I used to post weekly meal plans each and every Monday. You remember them, don’t you? I stopped posting them because these days, I plan my menus quite differently.
So differently, in fact, that I thought you guys might like to see one of my plans in action.
Rather than writing out a plan for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for each day and listing the prep work necessary to make that happen, I’ve given myself more wiggle room. Now I just plan a bunch of breakfast ideas, lunch ideas, and dinner ideas and use them as I feel inspired during the week. This gives me a lot more flexibility, and doesn’t make me feel like I’m “failing” to keep my plan just because of an impromptu schedule change.
So, here’s my assortment of planned meals for this week:
Smoothies — Made with coconut milk, raw milk, yogurt or kefir, raw eggs (2 per person), nut butters, coconut oil (2 Tbsp per person), and fruits, these are simple, power-packed, nutrient-dense breakfasts that are oh-so-refreshing.
Scrambled Eggs & Bacon — Simple, fast, & filling. If inspired, I scramble my eggs with tomatoes, onions, peppers, and garlic — all of which are thankfully in season right now.
Lunch in our house is usually a giant bed of mixed greens piled with whatever vegetables, nuts, and fruits I have on hand. A common version of this is my Bacon and Avocado Egg Salad. I typically add about a palm sized portion of one of the following on top and serve with homemade salad dressings:
Chicken Salad — Shredded chicken, sour cream, mayonnaise, halved grapes, chopped pecans, salt & pepper.
Egg Salad — Hard-boiled eggs cut and mixed with sour cream, mayonnaise, bacon grease, salt & pepper.
Tuna Salad — Sustainably harvested canned tuna mixed with sour cream, homemade dill pickle relish, pepper. (Find decent tuna online here.)
Seared Salmon — Pan-fried in coconut oil & seasoned with fresh herbs. (Find decent salmon online here.)
Liverwurst — My kids love it! (You can find liverwurst online here.)
Leftover Dinner — Dinner leftovers make perfect & easy additions to any lunch!
For dinner, I’ve taken to planning the main course and leaving the vegetable side dishes up to chance, although I usually try to work in something fermented (like sauerkraut, kimchi, cortido, or pickles) or raw. This way I can use whatever fresh vegetables I’ve got on hand before they spoil.
Barbecued Sausage — As simple as it sounds, but I whip up a homemade barbecue sauce using canned tomato sauce, naturally fermented worcestershire sauce, molasses, salt, pepper, & caramelized onions. I always serve this with homemade sauerkraut.
Enchilada Chicken Soup — Using up the rest of that chicken & delicious broth, I add in black beans, tomatoes, homemade taco seasoning, and garnish with fresh cilantro, avocados, sour cream, & shredded raw cheddar cheese.
Stir Fried Vegetables in Khorma Sauce — Stir-fried veggies tossed with a coconut milk, yogurt, and roasted cashew sauce seasoned with Indian spices.
Caveman Chili — A fresh look at an old fashioned, beanless stew.
Fish Taco Bowls — Canned salmon mixed with plenty of cumin, homemade taco seasoning, & sour cream serves as the taco meat. Serve it up in bowls of homemade re-fried beans cooked in butter & lard (to die for!!) with plenty of grilled onions & peppers, cheese, sour cream, avocados, etc. on top. (Find decent salmon online here.)
So, I hope these ideas inspired you. If any of it sounds particularly interesting to you, please leave a comment and I’ll see what I can do about posting a recipe for you soon.
Also, I want to hear what you’ve got in store for this week. I could use a little inspiration!
I’m happily sharing this post in today’s Menu Plan Mondays carnival.
Silvana Vukadin-Hoitt says
I love this ‘plan’ of yours. I don’t usuall make a ‘plan’ because it is too constricting – my spontaneous self rebels immediately. Your un plan is pretty much what comes naturally to me anyway but in addition I love the ingredients that you have picked as a general guide. Good show!
Calling up my Russian chicken lady this week so I can get back to real eggs and make my own mayo too. Thank you for the ideas
PS: Great site, good tweets!
Kelsey Byron says
Glad to see meal plans back!
Please share your source/brand of naturally fermented worcestershire sauce. I’ve been searching and searching for it. Thanks!
I’m also happy to see your flexible meal plan.
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Vin - NaturalBias says
How about steak and eggs for a breakfast idea? 🙂 My breakfast for today is pork!
I love smoothies and used to have one every day for breakfast for over 10 years. However, I’d always be starving just an hour later. In line with the premise of Metabolic Typing, smoothies are not for everyone! Some of us need more substance!
Vin – NaturalBias
Local Nourishment says
I go back and forth between the day-by-day and the meal plans like this. What I gain in flexibility by using meal plans is lost in prep work for me, though. If I don’t remember to start the beans or sprouts on time, we end up in trouble and on the phone with the pizza guy. I do love the flexibility of not being “locked in” to a roast if I’m not feeling “roasty” though!
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Local Nourishment — Yes, it does through a bit of a wrench into the meal prep, but not too much. I never could have planned this way back when we ate sprouted grain bread. It all required far too much work and preparation, and I needed to stay on top of it to make sure we had enough of everything on hand. Now most of my meals are the kind that can be thrown together quickly. Plus, I have a single “meal prep” day when I wash & cut up vegetables, soak beans if we’ll be eating them, make sure all my condiments for the week are made, etc. It only takes an hour or so, and it makes the rest of my meals come together soooo quickly.
Vin — I understand where you’re coming from. That’s why our smoothies are packed with fats & protein and very little in the way of fruit/carbs.
We are perhaps backwards in our meal planning. We keep saying we’re going to switch to eating lunch as the biggest/heaviest meal of the day and eat light dinners (particularly since we both work from home, so this wouldn’t be a huge stretch). But for now, this is how we eat and it works for us.
Jen — I buy it at my local Asian market. I don’t know the brand name, since it’s in another language, but it’s an Indonesian version of the sauce called Kecap Inggris (roughly translated as English Fermented Sauce).
Thanks for sharing this! I was actually just looking through your old menu plans for inspiration, as we are attempting to go mostly grain free next week. I’d love to see the recipe for the enchilada soup and/or fish taco bowls. Sound tasty!
Cathy Payne says
You’re making me hungry! I find it very helpful to plan ahead each week as well to avoid waste and avoiding temptation. I was glad to find a source for healthy liverwurst!
This totally inspired me. I spend a ton of time every single weekend thinking up menu plans for the entire week and I must admit, I’ve been slacking on the lunches lately. As an Alabama girl, your egg salad sounds great! Bacon Grease? Do tell… I’ve never heard of adding that to your egg salad (and we add bacon grease to everything). By the way- I make my chicken salad with a mayo/garlic aioli, which works really well (and I make my chicken Barefoot Contessa-style before shredding).
This week I made black beans with red/yellow peppers and added to a burrito (with sour cream and cheese). Then I made a tomato and avocado salad with a dash of salt, pepper, fresh lime juice and cilantro as my side.
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I’d like to see your recipe for homemade taco seasoning, please :o) Thanks for a great post!
Breakfast smoothie idea: we throw in a huge handful of greens and nutritional yeast (Brewer’s yeast) in with our raw milk, berries, frozen banana, honey, flax seed, and coconut oil. Love it! Definitely gives me lots of energy for chasing kids around here. 🙂
Lunch salad ideas: sometimes my kids prefer to drink it rather than eat it. For lunch or supper, I pack the blender full of greens, just simply add a couple of frozen banans for a sweetner, coconut oil, and whirl it up. This gives us some variety with getting our salad in for the day. It’s fast and easy too. Similar to a regular smoothie, but more with the idea of throwing the salad in the blender for variety. 🙂
When I’m needing “fast food” — as in, I’ve got 4 hungry kids and nothing made up — I almost always revert to Ezekiel bread (sprouted grain bread) with almond butter, honey, bananas, and cinnamon or even just some 100% fruit jelly (not the best, but better than McD’s!). It keeps me from being tempted to run up the street for total junk. I also keep sweet potatoes on hand for those “need something quick, easy, and filling” times.
What about oatmeal, Kristen (or anyone else?)? Tell me what I’m doing wrong. For about a year, this has been a regular thing for breakfast. I usually fill a giant mixing bowl full of oats and water. I let that soak about 30 minutes for the first day I make it before the kids eat it. Then, it sits until we use it on day 2 and 3 continuing to soak. I add raw milk, cinnamon, blueberries (or raisins), flax seed, and honey. Is this the best way to prepare oats? I know you’re going grain-free right now, Kristen, but I’m sure you know the answer to this question!
Christina — Because oats are high in phytic acid, it’s best to soak them in an acidic medium for 12-24 hours before cooking in order to break down the anti-nutrient in the grain. So, the easiest way to do this is to make old-fashioned porridge. Simply soak your oats overnight in yogurt & water, then cook them in the morning. If you can’t do yogurt for whatever reason, you can use the whey you drain off the yogurt or a little apple cider vinegar or lemon juice mixed with water.
We used to do this with steel cut oats and use the opportunity to make a convenience food — a cereal that could either be served as a cold breakfast cereal OR cooked into a nice, relatively instant oatmeal. Check out the recipe here.
Lots of questions…
* How often do you have smoothies with raw eggs? I thought (from something in NT) that egg whites need to be cooked. How often could my 2 1/2 year old have them? Would 2 for him be too many?
* Does peanut butter taste okay with coconut oil? I’ve been making very similar smoothies (without the eggs or coconut oil so far), and have thought about adding coconut oil, but was nervous to do so since I didn’t want to spoil a whole blender full of breakfast!
* How many eggs and how many strips of bacon per person do you allot?
* I find that if I don’t have some sort of starch (sourdough toast, fried potatoes) with eggs/bacon-type breakfast that I’m famished in less than two hours – thoughts?
* I left this Q on Kimi’s blog, too,: which vegetables are okay to eat raw? I got a bit tripped up recently after I read in NT that especially crucifers and greens (except lettuce) need to be well cooked. I’d like to add more raw items to our family’s diet, but want to be careful, given the concerns – especially since I’m 21 weeks pregnant.
* Other than fermented, what do you recommend for young children in terms of raw foods/vegetables? My husband’s co-worker recently had a 3 yo granddaughter die from choking on a carrot… He instantly insisted on only soft vegetables for our 2 1/2 yo son.
* Do you make your own sour cream? How?
* For your taco bowls, did I gather correctly that you serve these without chips or tortilla shells as you’re trying to avoid grains?
* I’d love to see your recipes for taco seasoning, Khorma sauce and refried beans.
Thank you very much!
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Hi Debbie —
Just about every smoothie we make has raw eggs in it. The jury is still out regarding whether or not egg whites are safe to eat raw. I, personally, do eat them raw. But there are certain people who shouldn’t. Basically, egg whites contain an anti-nutrient called avidin that binds with the biotin in the yolk. It makes the biotin (vitamin B7) unavailable. If you get plenty of biotin from other sources, there’s no need to worry. But, if it bothers you, then make the smoothies using egg YOLKS and save your whites for cooking.
Peanut butter does taste okay with coconut oil, although I’d recommend using a different nut butter most of the time. Peanuts are goitrogenic (suppress thyroid functioning) and they contain aflatoxin. They’re okay in a well-balanced diet, but you wouldn’t want them to be your only nut. (And technically, they’re not even a nut. They’re a legume!)
We eat enough eggs and bacon to fill us up when eaten with a fruit and a glass of raw milk. So, for my husband and I that’s about two eggs each and one or two slices of thick cut bacon.
Two thoughts on your starch question: 1) It’s possible that your metabolism requires a little bit more starch, or 2) (and I think this is more likely) The starches serve as a vehicle for more calories. In other words, you probably butter your toast and fry your eggs in fat. Perhaps it’s the extra fat that’s filling you up and not necessarily the starch? If I were you, I’d experiment with adding more fat to my eggs/bacon type breakfast and see how it goes.
You pretty much answered your own question. Avoid eating crucifers & greens raw (green lettuce is okay, but things like collard greens, turnip greens, beet greens, spinach, etc. aren’t). And be sure to cook foods which would otherwise be inedible (like potatoes!). Otherwise, just about any other vegetable or fruit is okay raw.
As to what I’d feed my kids, it’s far more important for them to get nourishing fats than raw vegetables. So, I’d feed them raw milk, yogurt, kefir, butter, egg yolks, and even raw meats. There are a number of tasty raw meat dishes that are “cooked” in lemon or lime juice. Don’t get me wrong, veggies are important. But generally only as a vehicle to nourishing fats. Otherwise, your body can barely make use of the vitamins and minerals they contain.
I have made my own sour cream. I put raw cream on the counter and let it sit until it’s the desired consistency. If you’re using pasteurized cream, you can stir in a tablespoon of buttermilk per cup of cream and let THAT sit on the counter until it’s the desired consistency.
I do serve the taco bowls without chips or tortillas. I gave up grains for lent earlier this year and when I reintroduced them I noticed a lot of bloating and indigestion. I still do an occasional brown rice or slice of sprouted grain bread. I also sometimes let my kids and hubby eat corn tortillas so long as they’re made from corn soaked in lime.
Debbie — I would add to Kristen’s peanut comments that peanuts are also full of histamines, heavily sprayed with pesticides (unless you can find organic), are usually contaminated with mold unless you get them from somewhere extremely dry like New Mexico, and in addition, they are very heavy in Omega 6s. I think they can cause a lot of health problems. We prefer almond butter. I’ve read that if you do insist on using peanut butter, then Arrowhead Mills is a healthier brand to use — little mold because grown in dry New Mexico, organic, and you can pour off the oil on top to get rid of a lot of the Omega 6s if you need to limit those in your diet.
Kristen — Really? No raw baby spinach? We’ve done that for years along with lots of raw romaine. I hate spinach cooked, and love it raw! What’s the problem with it raw? I agree with the rest of your list. Just don’t understand the spinach thing. I’ve read to eat raw spinach from many other sources…. Fill me in!
It is so weird to study health from so many different positions. Everyone is fighting for the same thing, but coming up with different real food solutions and theories. Fascinating stuff, but boy, it takes some sifting through things to figure it all out! 🙂
Christina — Raw spinach, like most greens, is very high in oxalic acid. When your body digests this, it creates oxalates which can take on crystalline forms. These are particularly hard on your kidneys and bladder and can cause the formation of kidney stones, create flare ups of gout, and/or simply irritate/inflame your stomach, kidneys, and bladder.
As always, I wade through competing nutrition claims by looking to tradition. We’ve been on this planet a LONG time, and we’ve developed intricate food cultures and rules about what foods to eat, when, how to prepare them, and in what combinations to eat them. Spinach has traditionally been cooked and only rarely eaten in salads. So, that’s what my family does. We eat spinach raw in small amounts every week or every other week, but the rest of the time we eat it cooked.
I could just talk to you about health and nutrition for forever!! LOL
I’m not convinced yet as to tradition being the final way to wade through competing nutritional claims, but that’s why I’m a regular reader on your site — because you come from a slightly different angle than what I’ve studied over the years. What’s neat is that so many health and nutrition folk DO agree on so much: no processed, no white flour, no pasteurized dairy or conventional meat, no refined, no soy, no chemicals, additives, no refined sugar, no caffeine, etc. Where it gets tricky is where they start to differ: spinach — raw or cooked, herbs or grandular-based supplements, “plant-heavy” or “pasteured animal foods and good fats-heavy” diet. Oh, the confusion. I have always made it a point to study natural health positions that are opposite of one another. If I read something that seems heavily animal-based, I’ll try to read some natural health vegan stuff as well (I can hear you sighing, Kristen, all the way here in Houston over my “vegan” comment — Ha! :). I like to study both sides of the debate as much as possible.
Maybe I’ll become more of a traditionalist in my thinking as I begin to study things from the Weston A. Price point of view. Fascinating stuff….
One of my personal ways of wading through all of the nutritional controversies is just simply to listen to the body and see how it responds to various nutritional advice, real foods and supplements.
Christina — I guess it all depends on how you look at it. Part of what I call “tradition” also takes into account your genetic heritage. So, I say, look to your ancestors and their diets to see what kinds of foods you’re best suited to eat.
Also, although I emphasize lots of great animal fats, I wouldn’t call my diet very animal dense (at least not compared to many, if not most, Americans). My diet is definitely produce-dominated by weight & volume. A full 2/3 of my plates are piled with nothing but veggies, and only a small, palm-sized portion of my plate contains my animal protein. And fats, of course, are what you cook & serve with. It’s not like I sit down and eat a stick of butter for dinner. 🙂 Also, as an Orthodox Christian, I keep a vegan dietary fast for about 40% of the year. So, I think if you look a bit more closely at how I eat, you’ll see that it’s really quite balanced.
I am very surprised to hear that you do a vegan fast for 40% of the year. I was also under the impression that you were much more pasteured animal/good fat-based in your diet. That definitely puts what you write about on this site MUCH closer to the other sources I’ve studied. Check! Another thing we all agree on — heavy plant-based diets!
Christina — Yep, Orthodox Christians fast every Wednesday (to remember the betrayal of Christ) and every Friday (to remember his crucifixion), and before every major feast (Great Lent before Easter, Advent before Christmas, that sort of thing). And our fasting discipline is vegan (no meat, dairy, fish, etc.).
Now, despite my “produce dominated diet,” I’m also quick to emphasize that by calories about 55-65% of my daily intake is in the form of fats, 20-25% protein, and 15-20% carbs. That’s probably why you think I emphasize animal fats & proteins — because by total calorie intake I certainly do!
Thank you so much for responding to all of my questions. I have so much to learn!
My son has a tree nut allergy, along with a variety of seeds including sesame and flax. So I was excited when three weeks ago he didn’t react to peanut butter. I have only used organic from Trader Joe’s. But it sounds like I need to move away from that… and since he’s only been eating it for three weeks, that shouldn’t be too hard!
So far, my husband has said no to raw milk for our son, although my husband & I both drink it. And he lets me use homemade raw cream butter on our son’s food, etc. And twice I’ve made ice cream from raw milk/cream. But he’s still not crazy about giving our son the milk. So I make kefir from pasteurized, unhomogenized milk which I use in the morning shakes.
Based on what you were saying about how your calories stack up, I have a ways to go. But it’s one step at a time…
One last question: what are good thyroid-enhancing foods? I saw something about iodine on Kimi’s blog, but I have no idea where to get that in my family’s diet. My son, as yet, won’t touch fish. But I keep offering it each week, and I trust he’ll “cave” one of these days!
Debbie — The thyroid is up next in my Keys to Health series, so keep your eye out for it. In the meantime, one of the BEST things that you can do to support your thyroid is to eat in a way that supports your liver. Your liver converts T4 to T3. If it can’t do it efficiently b/c you’re starving it of the tools it needs to do it (good fats and Vitamin A), then your thyroid functioning will be out of whack.
Yoga Witch says
I think this is exactly what I need! Thanks for sharing!