It’s cold in Fort Worth as I prep this meal plan so that’s definitely reflected in this meal plan. Here’s what I plan on eating for the week.
Chicken Sausage & Sweet Potato Hash
BBQ Chicken Legs with Roasted Veggies (pulled over from last week because we didn’t get to this meal)
Chicken Parmesan Caprese with Salad (the Chicken Parm Recipe is from this cookbook; TW: cookbook includes reference to what could be considered a body size in the title and nutrition facts with the recipes; I’ve learned to ignore this information)
Beef, Tomato, and Acini di Pepe Soup with Salad (TW: recipe is from a website that includes nutrition facts with the recipes and has a body size descriptor as the title; I’ve learned to ignore this because I really like the recipes from here)
I truly enjoy meal planning. I like looking through my cookbooks. I like pulling up recipes from different websites. I like creating a list of foods that we’ll have each week. But, I know that not everyone else enjoys the process of meal planning. So…I’m going to share my meal plans with you.
Each week, I plan 4-5 (sometimes 3) dinners. Sometimes we use all of them. Sometimes a meal doesn’t happen so it gets rolled over to the next week. I try new recipes and I use tried-and-true recipes. I try to plan dinners that have leftovers so that we can use them for lunch and I also plan a couple of lunch ideas. I also plan a couple of breakfast ideas.
Here’s what’s in my plan for this week…
Egg Scrambles & Toast
Chicken Schnitzel & Warm Potato Salad (potato salad recipe is from the back of a salad dressing bottle)
Glazed Chinese Five Spice Chicken & Cucumber Salad (both from Fat Salt Acid Heat)
Grilled BBQ Chicken Legs & Roasted Veggies
I’ll share where I got the recipe from as often as I can. Some of our meals are things that we’ve been doing for years so I don’t know where they originated. I hope this helps you with some meal planning inspiration. Stay tuned for more ideas throughout the year!
Chicken marsala might be one of my favorite meal to cook at home. It’s quick and easy to make while tasting delicious and comforting. You can serve it over pasta, with a side of mashed potatoes, or with roasted veggies. Here’s my version of chicken marsala that’s been adapted from a few different recipe sources over time.
Chicken Marsala (serves 4)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1.5 pounds chicken tenderloins
8 ounces sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3/4 cup marsala cooking wine
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
To Make It
In a small bowl, combine flour, salt, and paprika. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.
Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, thoroughly coating all sides of chicken with flour.
Place chicken in skillet and cook until golden-brown, about 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a plate.
Add butter to skillet. Once butter is melted, add mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms start to release their juices, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add the marsala wine to the skillet. Using a spatula or wooden spoon scrape the bottom of the skillet to remove any browned pieces. Add the chicken broth. Reduce heat to low and simmer until mixture reduces by half, about 15 minutes.
Add cream to skillet. Stir.
Return chicken to skillet and cook until chicken is cooked through and sauce has thickened, about 5-10 minutes.
Intuitive eating is a non-diet, evidence-based framework that teaches you to trust yourself around food again. How amazing does that seem?
After years and years of chronic dieting, it’s likely that the concept of life without diets seems strange and a little scary. It’s also likely that thinking about eating without following a diet seems overwhelming and that you might be at a loss of where to even begin. This is where intuitive eating can really help.
With intuitive eating, we don’t focus on the scale. Instead we focus on behaviors that promote your health, that heal your relationship with food, and that help cultivate a better body image. To do this, intuitive eating integrates your instincts, emotions, and rational thoughts. It teaches you to how to eat based on your own wants and values while promoting a healthy attitude toward food and your body.
As a dietitian, I prefer the approach of intuitive eating because it allows me to work with people on nutrition interventions that are behavior focused instead of nutrition interventions that are restrictive in nature or rule focused.
Before we take a quick look at the intuitive eating principles, let’s take a moment to explore what intuitive is not. Intuitive eating is not a diet. It is not the “hunger-fullness diet.” It is not the “eat whatever you want” meal plan. Intuitive eating is not about following a meal plan (but intuitive eating and meal planning can coexist). Intuitive is not giving up on your health. In fact, there are numerous health benefits associated with intuitive eating such as lower HDL cholesterol (this is the “good” cholesterol), lower triglycerides, better body image, more life satisfaction, better self-esteem, lower rates of emotional eating, and more.
Intuitive eating is also not giving up on your health.
Now, for the 10 principles of intuitive eating…
Reject the diet mentality
This is the first principle and it’s first for a reason. To begin your intuitive eating journey, you have to acknowledge the harm that diets cause. You have to acknowledge that you did not fail. The diets failed you! You start here by reflecting on your own dieting history.
Honor your hunger
Your hunger is normal. Your hunger is a gift. You deserve to be fed but dieting has taught us to suppress or ignore our hunger. Learning what you hunger feels like is part of the intuitive eating process.
Make peace with food
Give yourself permission to eat. Give yourself permission to eat all foods! No more labeling foods as “good” or “bad.” Let yourself eat and enjoy all foods including those that have been on the forbidden list.
Challenge the food police
Those thoughts in your head that tell you what foods are “good” or “bad” or that tell you that you have been “good” for eating you veggies but were “bad” for eating a cupcake – those thoughts are the food police. It’s time to face them, acknowledge the, and flip the script on them.
Respect your fullness
Do you know what comfortable, satisfied fullness feels like? Like hunger, dieting has taught us to ignore what fullness feels like and to only eat a certain amount. Learning to recognize when you are full is an important part of honoring your health and becoming an intuitive eater.
Discover the satisfaction factor
Eating should be enjoyable. It should be satisfying. If you’re not satisfied, it’s likely that you’ll continue searching for the food or foods that will satisfy you. Knowing what textures, smells, and tastes lead to you being satisfied with a meal or snack will lead to being able to eat more mindfully and being able to stop eating when your body has had what it needs.
Cope with your emotions with kindness
It’s common to eat for emotional reasons and there are times when food really does help. But, we don’t want food to be the only coping mechanism so we’ve got to learn to recognize when we are eating for reasons other than biological hunger.
Respect your body
Bodies come in all shapes and sizes. All bodies are good bodies. You don’t have to love your body to be an intuitive eater. You will need to work toward respecting your here-and-now body and showing it kindness as part of your intuitive eating journey.
Movement – feel the difference
Stop thinking about exercise as something that you should do. Instead, think about exercise from a perspective of something that you want to do because you respect your body and your health. This will take finding a type of movement that brings your joy and feels good.
Honor your health with gentle nutrition
Nutrition does have a place in intuitive eating. Nutrition is an important part of intuitive but to get here, we have to go through some diet reprogramming first so that we can focus on nutrition from a place of self-care and respect.
This recipe is adapted from Tupelo Honey Cafe: New Southern Flavors From The Blue Ridge Mountains. It was so much fun turning this recipe into an air-fryer recipe and the outcome was quite delicious.
Air-Fried Pork Schnitzel with Mushroom Gravy (makes 4 servings)
For the pork
3/4 cup shelled, roasted, salted pistachios
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 large eggs
4 center-cut pork chops
For the mushroom gravy
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup diced pancetta
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
To Make It
In a food processor, combine the pistachios, bread crumbs, and pepper. Process until the pistachios are finely chopped (but not ground). Transfer to a large plate.
Whisk the eggs in a shallow bowl.
Coat both sides of each pork chop in the egg mixture and then in the pistachio mixture.
Place the pork chops in the air-fryer. Spray generously with cooking spray. Air-fry at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn the pork chops over. Spray generously with cooking spray and continue air-frying until the pork is cooked through.
While the pork is air-frying, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook until it starts to crisp (about 4-5 minutes). Add the mushrooms and cook until tender (about 4-5 minutes), stirring frequently. Add the butter. Once the butter is melted, add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and cook, stirring frequently, until the gravy has thickened (about 4-5 minutes).