Meal Planning 101

In my last post on meal planning, I talked about how striving for excellence is always balanced with reality. Be content with your imperfect best. Now I would like to focus more on what the goal is. What are we striving for in our menus? I feel that aiming to have nourishing meals should list high in our priorities. So focusing on nutrition as we meal plan will be vital if we are going to meet that goal.

Why Should We Care?

I think that food was created for many reasons, one of which was to give strength, sustenance, and health. I personally feel that when we fill our bodies with fake food full of anti-nutrients, chemicals, and highly processed food we are moving away from the very purpose of food.

I desire Elena, our daughter, to be given the best opportunity for good health and growth. While I cannot control all aspects of her life, I do desire to do my best in what I feed her. My goal is to feed her food that will give her the calories and nutrients she needs. My goal in preparing meals for my husband is the same.

Having said that, it’s not always easy knowing the most healthy way to cook and eat. As soon as you decide to make healthy food a priority, differing opinions start flooding in. This is where being content with your imperfect best comes in. We are not all knowing.

However, that doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions on what’s healthy!

So What is Nourishing?

We, as a group, are just now emerging from a whole thought process that said that things that taste good were bad for you (how’s that for a sum of the low-fat, high-carb “healthy” diet faze?). Many mom’s, doing their best with the available information, feed their growing children non-fat milk, egg whites, and less than ideal vegetables oils while shunning butter, beef, whole milk, eggs, coconut oil and other good fats.

I remember how stressed I was as a young girl, that my dad would put butter on his oatmeal. We were sure that my dad ate way to much “bad fats” and was going to fall over dead from a heart attack within the year. There was certainly a lot of fear behind avoiding all of the “bad foods” because of what the “experts” were saying.

When I started getting into health food after a cancer scare early in high school, I adopted a lot of the wisdom of the day on these issues. Since I was making meals for my family at that time, I feed us a lot of chicken (no beef), a lot of lower fat foods, and a lot of grains and legumes. Now- everything I did during that time was not bad by any means. I made everything whole grain, the beans I served had important nutrients in them, and everything was made from scratch. But I was sacrificing flavor and pleasure in our eating in the name of “health”. I also didn’t know how to incorporate certain nourishing practices such as soaking grains and legumes.

I, now, in the name of health, serve high fat dinners often (yes, saturated fats and all!). I even eat my oatmeal with a little butter and cream on it. While this little post can’t go into all the arguments for certain foods, I would encourage you that what our ancestors ate, were on to something. Shouldn’t we be a little suspicious of “experts” who tell us that what people thrived on for hundreds and thousands of years, was unhealthy?

I certainly am more wary of “research” that proves that mankind had got it wrong for hundreds -thousands!- of years while they thrived and we perish. I know food isn’t our only issue in regard to our health, but it certainly is a big one!

So in our meal planning, nourishing foods should be a top consideration.

Meal Plan

On to my meal plan for this week: I have recently been centering on getting more nourishing bones broths into our diet. We eat a lot of soup around here!

Monday: Roasted Chicken and Gravy, Brown Rice, Caesar Salad, cauliflower
(Make broth overnight)

Tuesday: Chicken Noodle Soup (with Turkey Sausage), muffins, biscuits, or bread

Wednesday: Quinoa and Millet Warm Salad (using leftover roasted chicken), leftover bread, or muffins, Cauliflower

Thursday: Russian Chicken Pot Pie (I am really excited about trying this recipe! I am going to have to convert it a bit from a Russian cookbook, but it should be easy enough to do.)

Friday: Lamb Stew, Green Salad, Soda bread (Saint Patrick’s Day is coming up! Get out those Irish Recipes soon!)

Saturday: Millet Waffles for breakfast, Rustic Lentil Soup for dinner

Check out more meal plans over at Organizing Junkie!

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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Comments

  1. Sheila says

    I love bone broths! I save up all my bones and make my own broth,and then I always have some on hand.

    We homeschool, so I do a lot of soups for lunches. It doesn’t take very long when you have tupperware containers of broth in the freezer. And then it’s so much healthier!

    Plus the house smells so good while you’re making broth…

    Have a great day!

    Visit To Love, Honor and Vacuum today!

  2. Debra says

    Kimi,

    That was a good post. I sort of ‘freeze up’ when trying to plan a week’s worth of meals. Do you ever feel that way? If so, what helps you to overcome it?

    Do you cycle through many favorites or are you always looking through cookbooks trying new things?

  3. Kimi Harris says

    Sheila,

    I don’t know what I would do without making chicken broth just about every week. 🙂 It is a cornerstone to my cooking, that’s for sure!

    Sweetpeas,

    I will be sure to post a recipe as soon as I create one! LOL

    Debra,

    I know how you feel, because that certainly does happen to me, do you mind if I answer that question in a Q & A post? I think that would be a good question to address in a post. 🙂

  4. Debra says

    Sure Kimi, that sounds good.

    Over the last year with the stress of Isabel, I have really let the nutritional value of our meals go out the window. We were on survival mode. I’m starting to feel like making an effort again.

    I have a great snack recipe (almond butter ball treats) on my Days of Grace blog that I made the other day. They were great and dairyfree/gluten free. Have you ever made them? I’m sure you have. I used cocoa instead of carob powder and like you mentioned on your homemade chocolate post, they were less sweet but richer and very yummy.

    Thanks again. I’ll look forward to your next Q&A post (but no pressure) ;o)

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