We are almost to the end of our meat supply. I inventoried what we had at the end of last week and what’s left to go were two packages of chicken thighs, two pork chops, two packages of roasted chicken breast meat, one pound of ground pork, one package of Italian sausages, four 3/4-pound bags of ground beef, and three quart bags of homemade meat sauce. I’m going to keep the Italians sausages to have when the girls are here, but I’m not sure how we’ll use the ground beef although I used one package for hamburgers yesterday. At two meals with meat per week, we currently still have enough to take us into August. At that point we will become totally meat free except for an occasional seafood meal.
As with many things at this point in my life, I don’t miss having meat very much at all. I’m enjoying searching for plant-based dishes and salads, enjoy having cheese a few times a week, and it was a pleasure not having to buy meat on our last shopping trip, freeing up money for other healthy things we’d otherwise would have had to pass by. Costco has one of my favorite frozen treats in stock again: organic cherries, and a few weeks ago I would not have had room for them in the freezer because of all the meat, but they fit nicely now along with a big bag of blueberries, some plant-based “chicken” patties for sandwiches, and some plant-based Chinese-style orange “chicken.”
Last week’s meal schedule was sort of crazy. I have an idea for the day each meal will be served when I plan meals for the coming week (like the cheese board on Fridays, for example), but last week that all got thrown out the window because of a few days when I didn’t feel like spending time in the kitchen or was too tired to cook. Everything got made though and enjoyed, but it reinforced for me why having a menu plan is so important. The things that needed to be eaten were eaten, and our meals stayed healthy and fit our calorie limits.
Sunday: Chickenless nuggets; guacamole salad
Monday: Mini pizzas with marinated artichoke hearts
Tuesday: Pork chops with sauerkraut & apples; roasted cauliflower
Wednesday: Spaghetti with meat sauce; roasted zucchini; steamed artichoke
Thursday: Cheese board
Friday: Bean & rice burritos; cauliflower & tomato salad; cucumber slices
Saturday: Chinese 3-color salad with surumi, cucumber, and carrots; watermelon
Desserts this week were blueberry baked oatmeal, and olive oil orange cake with coconut cream whipped cream.
Next week’s menu plan includes two meals with meat, one new recipe, one old favorite I haven’t made for a long time, a Japanese vegetarian meal, and our regular pizzas and cheese board:
- Curried lentils
- Zaru soba with chilled tofu
- Grilled lemon chicken
- Pasta with red pepper alfredo sauce
- Mini pizzas
- Cheese board
Our weekly walking plan did not go particularly well this past week. We did a perimeter walk on Monday and found one golf ball. On Tuesday we spent a long afternoon at the beach (we did get a walk in from our car to the beach and back though), and Wednesday was our big shopping day. We end up putting in well over two miles on a shopping day and I finish feeling exhausted, not just from walking the stores while pushing a cart but from carrying all the food upstairs and putting it away once we get home. It rained both Thursday and Friday (and I went to the emergency room on Thursday), and Saturday looked sketchy but we headed up to the park any way and were able to get in another perimeter walk without getting wet. Brett’s eagle eye found us an additional five golf balls, so a good haul for the week, all things considered.
I always plan my daily calorie intake without exercise added in because stuff happens and a daily walk isn’t guaranteed. I sure miss walking though on the days when we don’t get to go. Maybe I’ve become addicted to endorphins that get released when we walk, but I know I always feel so much better after a walk, and sleep better as well. I rarely experience any pain after walking these days, another benefit of our getting out most days.