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2013: The Year I Meal Plan

25 February 2013, 08:57



It’s funny how things change over the years. From 2007 until 2013, I was basically living in survival mode. My main priority was to keep my children (alive and) in one piece. Everything else was secondary. (Except for watching Housewives. That never faltered.)

This year, after patiently awaiting all that time, I’ve arrived at THAT PLACE. The place where I work a decent amount of hours a week from home. The place where I wear yoga pants for actual exercise. The place where I can leave and socialize more than once a week.

The place where I meal plan.

I mean, don’t get me wrong. There are still challenges with all of this. In hindsight, it might actually be harder now. But, mentally, when you arrive at that place where you are confident that you can at least tackle it, head-on, you feel like you won a million bucks.

While I’ve always felt that my children have eaten healthy (and I know I’m blessed in that my kids eat pretty much anything), I became consciously aware of what went into all of our mouths at the very start of this year. I decided what we would try to eat more of, what we’d try to avoid more of and what foods would keep us healthy during the winter. And the only way to do this is to meal plan. No shopping on the fly. No grabbing stuff just because it’s on sale. It doesn’t work for me. I need to kick my Virgo into high-gear and write it all down and STICK TO THE ¬†PLAN.

I’ve been scouring food sites that fit our nutrition profile. I bought cookbooks. I asked friends for recipes and I tweaked them to use certain ingredients that I preferred. I’ve been food prepping on Sundays. I’ve made an effort to bump our health up to top priority. Now, what we eat ranks in importance with what Brandi Glanville will get sued for next. MY WORLD HAS ARRIVED.

But, seriously, the results have been amazing.

The energy, the avoidance of illness, the positive attitudes. It’s all good stuff, peeps.

So, because I’m about to become THAT MOM, here is a glimpse into our family dinners for this week. Every week, we only need to plan for Monday, Wednesday and Friday, because we eat at my parent’s on Tuesdays and Chad’s parent’s on Thursdays. (Another blessing, I know.)

Without further ado (I’ve been known to have a word count issue), here are our dinners for this week:


Baked Sesame Chicken Wings
Roasted butternut squash
Roasted asparagus (I roast them with a tiny bit of olive oil and kosher salt.)



Sloppy Joe’s in large portabello caps
Blanched green beans w/ lemon & garlic
Carrot fries (Carrot strips sauteed in coconut oil. My kids inhale these.)



Fiesta chicken soup w/ avocado
Salad with chopped apple, cukes, sunflower seeds, tomatoes, crushed walnut, tiny bit of crumbled feta

My mouth is watering. I know this only gives a glimpse of our dinners, but we follow a whole nutritional profile with our other meals and snacks, too. But that’s another post for another day when I’m not at 800 billion words already.

Now, my next project is to create a beautiful meal plan board, like my friend Joanna at Baby Gators Den did. She got the idea from Pinterest, but, seriously, look at her creation. It’s GORGEOUS. And you can read how she did it, here.


What’s on your dinner meal plan list this week?¬†



  1. Kameron @ My Wrinkle in Time February 25, 2013

    Last night we had roasted butternut squash quesadillas (black beans and avocado) in whole grain tortillas, whole roasted chicken with asparagus, vegetarian shepherd's pie with lentils, broiled cod with broccoli and quinoa salad. :)P.S. I love meal planning...well, the having the meals decided part, not the picking them out part!

  2. Amanda February 25, 2013

    Monday - Baked Chicken Parm w/Whole Wheat Rigatoni
    Tuesday - Steak Sandwiches w/mushrooms/onions & Sweet Potato Fries
    Wednesday - Chicken Stir Fry w/Rice
    Thursday - WW Shrimp Scampi w/Whole Wheat Linguine
    Friday - Hopefully Date Night Dinner out!

  3. Heather @ Kraus House Mom February 25, 2013

    I actually planned for the next two weeks, my only challenge is going to the store today and next week to get the stuff I need to make all of it.

  4. melissa at filling our bucket February 25, 2013

    I have not meal planned in weeks. And this is why we've been eating like crap!! I wish my son actually ate and my husband were more adventurous in his eating. It would make planning meals much easier. ;)

  5. Kim in RI February 25, 2013

    Your menu sounds great! And I like that you are sharing your ideas as I'm always looking for cooking inspiration! I like to plan weekly as well but don't set days to the meals so I can be somewhat flexible. This week I know we will be having tortellini soup, pork tenderloin with roasted butternut squash, turkey tacos, and baked shrimp and scallop scampi, I just don't know which days yet since the kids' schedules are in flux this week.

  6. admin February 25, 2013

    Love all of these comments! Such good ideas.. keep 'em coming!

  7. Megan February 25, 2013

    Oh Jen those all sound delicious! I'm working on my march meal plan (I do a month at a time) and am going to add those in. Thanks for sharing. (OH and what cookbook is that? Are they all from the same one?)

  8. Joanna {Baby Gators Den} February 25, 2013

    Those sound awesome. I might be stopping by ;) Thanks for the shout out! Also, WHAT cookbook is that? I love when they have pictures like that and the food in yours looks absolutely mouth-watering!!

  9. candice February 26, 2013

    I love meal planning. It makes my life so much LESS stressful! You must write up a little something on the carrot fries!

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    Jen Senecal

    My name is Jen. I have a contagiously funny husband, three awesomely gorgeous daughters, a knack for design, a love for writing, an obsession with kids fashion, a secret desire to be a photographer and a curfew of 10 pm. WHO'S WITH ME?
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