I believe one of the more important things you can do is eat meals together with anyone who is close to you. To cook and to consume a whole, healthy meal. It’s important to at least try that to see big changes in the long run. We can’t assess everything at once when it comes to health. here is one piece for you to try. If you’re super busy, you can still prep ahead. I started this as a little insight into my life and what I eat, but I turned it into something useful to help others. And so I’d like to share with you a week of meals, and I’m calling it a week of meals challenge and you can join in too. It’s super easy.
This is an example of my menu for one week. Every week is different of course, but I still make dinner every night that I can. You can read more about how I do my weekly meal planning here. I decided to go ahead and do a week of meals challenge for myself so I can see exactly what I’m eating for meals and what strengths and weaknesses are present. I’m not judging myself and I’m not counting. I’m simply sharing it with myself for a better understanding.
One point here. This is about meals. Meals are so important for us to have, especially when shared with family or friends, or whoever is considered your family. It doesn’t have to be a certain time or certain food. Just track it and see what happens. Snacks are not included as the focus here is creating a healthy full meal that a snack will not be necessary, right? I know, I snack too. It’s okay.
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A Week of Meals Challenge
What is the week of meals challenge? Something I just made up. Maybe it exists somewhere but I don’t really know. It’s a way for us to track our meals without judgement or counting calories. Just observing what is there and trying to improve upon one things at a time: meal time. See below for my week of meals and then how you can try!
I only took one photo for breakfast because I literally had the same thing for breakfast everyday and to make it easier for you to not scroll through the same photo seven times. Also, I did not do lunches because lunches correspond to the meal the night before. If you want to see the same item thrown in a container the next day, I’m sure it would be pleasant!
This was breakfast everyday, Sunday through Saturday. Homemade sourdough bread toast with butter, two scrambled eggs, half an avocado, sweet potato hash browns. Never you mind, the crust fell off the top of my toast. Or did somebody get hungry?
I did this week of meals challenge and completely forgot about my Sunday lunch. Good thing I take photos with my phone for Instagram. The day before, I made my Simple Stir Fry recipe (which wow, thank you! It made it to the top of Google search) with chicken. So here we are.
This is Chorizo Roasted Red Pepper Gnocchi and it’s amazing. I had been wanting to make it for a long time but wanted to find a proper brand of gnocchi without a lot of fillers first. Not to mention the chorizo! It was helpful that I found grass fed beef chorizo, already seasoned and ready to go, from Strauss.
Leftover chorizo roasted red pepper gnocchi.
This is inspired by a Blue Apron meal I had once. The kale slaw comes from their recipe. It’s actually one of the only ways I will eat raw kale. It’s delicious. The chicken is Breaded Paleo Chicken Cutlets. Also, delicious. And then sweet potato fries, a personal favorite. All you do is cut them in fry shape and roast them for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees with olive oil, salt, pepper. This was probably my favorite meal.
Leftover chicken, kale and sweet potato fries
These Pizza Potato Skins I found on Pinterest looked simple enough and I love pizza. For these, I used pepperoni, spinach, and mushrooms with mozzarella homemade pizza sauce (just a can of tomato sauce with the appropriate seasonings). Let me tell you, scooping those potatoes was a pain but it was a very good alternative to crust. Of course, a side of roasted broccoli. Bonus: I saved the extra potato insides for another meal.
Leftover pizza potato skins
I made a big chuck roast from our quarter grass fed beef in the freezer in the crock pot to go with the next two meals. This half of the roast got a taco seasoning treatment and black beans. I sauteed some zucchini and cauliflower rice to go with. Cauliflower rice is easy to just grate and then throw on a pan with olive oil, salt, pepper. garlic and any other flavor you like. It’s about 400 degrees for 25 minutes. You can also saute it.
Leftover roast tacos with cauliflower rice and zucchini
Here’s the other half of the beef in this concoction I created. I had Banza chickpea pasta in the cupboard so I made that with the leftover roast, broccoli, kale, and made a cream sauce. The sauce was butter, garlic, mushrooms, Greek yogurt and starch to thicken with some extra seasonings.
Leftover chickpea pasta mushroom cream roast thing.
Okay, I never make fish because my husband is not a huge fan. He said he was willing to try cod because we had it in Blue Apron once and it was good. Great. So I made this Easy 20 minute Garlic and Herb Baked Cod. This went with leftover zucchini, spinach and the extra potato insides fried up.
The fish didn’t go to the next day. The package only came with one serving for each of us three. Actually, the chickpea pasta roast mushroom thing lasted me another day because my husband got lunch at work and didn’t eat his. Score.
Oops, didn’t get this picture on my fancy white background. I’ll admit I was embarrassed at first thinking, I had pizza items two nights for this week of meals challenge. That usually doesn’t happen but these people will think I’m crazy. The point is, I can eat whatever I want and so can you. I’m eating real food (well, yes, pepperoni is negotiable) but that’s the most important part. If you want to eat pizza 3 times per week and salads the other days, I’m not to judge you.
I make a homemade sourdough pizza crust and top it with a can of tomato sauce with seasoning, mozzarella, leftover pepperoni, and kale.
- Always had a vegetable
- Able to stretch ingredients further by using the same ones multiple times
- Always had a lunch ready to go
- There wasn’t question about what we’re eating each day
- I made my own roasted peppers instead of buying a jar
For tips on how to add more vegetables to your meal, see my post here!
- Not much variety in vegetables
- Using packaged gnocchi and packaged chickpea pasta to be quick
- Pizza twice? Not sure if that’s a weakness..
- Pepperoni isn’t ideal
- Should have prepped more on the Sunday for the week by cutting produce
What I’d Like To Do
- Add more vegetables to my eggs in the morning
- Do more meal prepping for the week with cutting vegetables and portioning out
- Plan specific healthy foods to not eat packaged pastas
- Eat pizza more.
You’re Next in the Week of Meals Challenge
Write down or take a photo of what you make each day for each meal. Don’t worry about snacks and don’t count calories. Just look at the meal. It’s one step at a time and we can examine the rest later.
- Record meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
- Don’t count calories
- Don’t judge yourself
- Photos and lists are for your eyes only, unless you want to share
- Don’t worry about snacks or drinks
Consider your strengths and weaknesses and focus on the whole picture and not just the health of the meal. It all depends what your goals and aspirations for food are. It could be anything from, “I cut my meat in half with beans to save money.” or “I would like to eat one meal at home this week.”
Think about what you’d like to do.
Let me know how it goes! I would love to hear about your goals.
Fresh Insights: I challenged myself to a week of meals challenge and I want you to try, so you can better start to prepare meals for yourself and your loved ones.
TaraAugust 11, 2017
i am the worst at meal prepping, this is super helpful!
HeleneAugust 10, 2017
Wow, I love this challenge! I think I’ll do one myself as well:) Thanks so much for sharing! By the way, your last homemade pizza looks delicious:)
Mindy VoetAugust 11, 2017
Thank you! That’s great, I hope it helps!
CecilAugust 10, 2017
Great ideas and I love the idea of doing the Blue Apron meal remakes.
Mindy VoetAugust 11, 2017
Blue Apron is the best but it’s so darn expensive!
AdeleAugust 10, 2017
Great ideas! Thanks for sharing! 🙂
WhitneyAugust 10, 2017
I love how you have everything planned out! It makes everything so easy!
Brian from BrianElliottBlog.comAugust 8, 2017
The food looks absolutely delicious. I do agree with the previous comment, you meals show a great variety. All the best with your weekly challenge.
Mindy VoetAugust 8, 2017
T.M. BrownAugust 8, 2017
I really should consider doing something like this. This looks like a great idea and I loved seeing the variety in your dinners and the way you used leftovers for lunch.
Mindy VoetAugust 8, 2017
Thanks! Yes it’s super easy.
MichelleAugust 8, 2017
LOVE THIS!!!! Thanks for sharing!
Mindy VoetAugust 8, 2017