As I take some well-needed time to re-evaluate my schedule, health, and ultimately make lifestyle changes in an effort to be a better me, I’ve decided that I’d like to try out meal planning! Now, I’m a bit nervous about the consistency of this and how well I’ll be able to keep up with it, however, my hospitalization provided me with access to healthy and nutritious meals each day, and more than ever, I’m beginning to internalize the impact of a well-balanced diet on my Lupus management. Prior to my hospitalization, my mom pointed out that my appetite was very poor. I was eating child-sized portions of food and the combination of a gluten-free diet (stay tuned for a post on its effects) and minimal food intake was clearly impacting my body. All things considered, I am now even more aware of the value of a wholesome and balanced diet and truly want to work towards maintaining one.
After doing some research on meal planning, I immediately felt overwhelmed by the number of ingredients, meals, and tools that I would have to use in order to plan for a week, 21 days, or even a month! As a beginner, I am going to simply start with one week. There are a few recipes that are my absolute favorites! Mainly because of how interchangeable their ingredients are and knowing myself, by Wednesday I may be a bit bored of the same meal.
For this first week, the main ingredient of all of my meals will be ground turkey meat—YUM! I absolutely LOVE ground turkey with everything—taco shells (soft or hard), rice, pasta, lettuce, potatoes… there’s just so much you can do with it and depending on your veggie preference, you can make it as plain or fun-filled as you’d like! When I’m in a rush, I tend to make one big batch and combine it with other ingredients throughout the week—depending on my mood. With 3 easy steps, you can have a variety of meals to make your week easier! Oh, and please feel free to modify the ingredients based on your preference!
Things You’ll Need:
- Crock Pot, Slow Cooker, or Frying Pan (a frying pan may be a bit challenging if you make a huge batch because the ingredients may overflow onto the stove).
Ingredients (for turkey meat):
- 1 Onion (chopped)
- 1/2 Green Pepper (chopped)
- 1/2 Red Pepper (chopped)
- 2 Garlic cloves
- 1 Can of Corn
- 1 Can of Kidney Beans
- Package of Frozen Mixed Vegetables
- Shady Brooke Farms Ground Turkey Meat
- 1 Bottle of preferred Tomato Sauce (I really recommend Classico—my absolute favorite brand!)
- Salt and Pepper (to taste)
- Package of Sazon (to taste)
- Adobo (to taste)
- 2 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil (or an alternative of your choice)
- Place the onion, green pepper, red pepper, and garlic in the crock-pot (or other cooking tool of your choice) with the coconut oil and let sauté for 2- 3 minutes.
- Add turkey meat into the mix and season with the salt, pepper, sazon, and adobo. Let cook until all of the red is gone in the meat (7-10 minutes).
- Add corn, kidney beans, and mixed vegetables to the mix along with your preferred tomato sauce. Let simmer (5-7 minutes).
And that’s it! With those 3 simple steps, you can have an array of lunch and dinner options for the week! Consider combining with the following:
- Pasta (of your choice)
- Salad (Romaine, cucumbers, tomatoes, feta cheese and you HAVE to add ranch dressing on top)
- Mashed Potatoes
So this is my first attempt at seriously meal planning in an effort to maintain a consistently healthy lifestyle. Each of the combination ingredients can be stored in your refrigerator and made available to you depending on the needs of your taste buds.
When battling disease, one of the best things you can do for your body is to eat 3 nutritious meals per day. My goal is to eventually be able to plan out my breakfast, lunch, and dinners at the start of the week! I’ll continue to keep you guys posted on my progress as well as sharing the different recipes that I find and try out along the way. Feel free to comment below and let me know if this worked out for you! Until then, be well!
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