Staying Healthy: Eating & Exercise (11/21 – 11/27)

Except for the ziti casserole, all of last week’s meals included some kind of meat substitute. The reason for that was mostly to use up what was on hand in the freezer in order to make room for upcoming food purchases for our daughters’ visit. We bought a ham on our last shopping trip which will be used in three different meals (the girls LOVE ham), but I still need to get ground pork, a pot roast, ground beef, and maybe some chicken. We will be purchasing meat from Big Save this time as we don’t need or wants the amounts that would come from Costco.

We have enjoyed all the meat substitutes we’ve tried these past few months. They taste good, they’re easy to prepare, and it can be hard at times to tell we’re not eating meat. I don’t miss what we used to pay for meat, and I definitely haven’t missed handling meat. However, if I’m honest I do miss the flavor of meat sometimes, and Brett and I are looking forward to enjoying a few favorite meat-based dishes again while our daughters are here. We feel healthier and better overall for not eating meat these past few months, our food bills have been lower, but we remain undecided about adding meat back into our diet.

Whenever I look at the photos of our meals my first thought is always that seems like an awful lot of food! However, the biggest plates we own are salad plates and a serving fills those plates. The ziti casserole was comfort food at its best and our Thanksgiving casserole was also delicious and filling. Besides tasty dinners, both casseroles also provided us with plenty of leftovers (some of the ziti casserole even went into the freezer).

Sunday: Plant-based meatball subs; 3-bean salad

Monday: Baked ziti casserole; roasted zucchini

Tuesday: Crispy mandarin orange chick’n; steamed rice; sweet & sour coleslaw

Wednesday: Plant-based chicken nuggets; onion rings; roasted cauliflower; roasted cherry tomatoes

Thursday: Chick’n & butternut squash casserole; roasted vegetables (zucchini, cauliflower, & tomatoes)

Friday: Baked ziti casserole; leftover roasted vegetables; apple slices

Saturday: Vegetarian cheeseburger mini pizzas

We enjoyed a Pepperidge Farm coconut cake for dessert the first four evenings of the week, then began another Costco pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. We’ll be eating it all through next week.

Next week’s goal is to continue emptying out the freezer and refrigerator before stocking up in preparation for the girls’ arrival. None of next week’s meals will be anything new or exciting but they will help free up space for other things, including all that meat we’ll be buying for the first time in months.

  • Vegetarian lasagna
  • Vegetable fried rice
  • Pasta with vegetarian “meat” sauce
  • Chick’n patty sandwiches
  • Coconut squash dal
  • Mini pizzas
  • Butternut squash ravioli with pesto

With nearly perfect weather all last week we got in lots of good walks. Most of our walking was done up at the park, but on Thanksgiving Day we hiked part of the Maha’ulepu Trail, which runs along the southeastern coast from Poipu eastward. Brett has hiked it several times, but this was my first time out there, and all I kept thinking was why had I put this off for so long? It was stunningly beautiful the entire way. Some of the trail was over ancient lava flows, where we spotted several “bowls,” created when lava bubbles burst, and there were other fascinating lava formations along the way. Some of the trail was as sandy as a beach and our legs got quite a workout, but views along the entire way were spectactular. We turned around a little after a mile, at the site of a huge ancient heiau (sacred native Hawaiian temple). Some of the boulders that had been used to create part of the wall were massive, a true architectural feat. It was weird though to realize that behind the heaiu walls now sits the giant Grand Hyatt resort golf course. I can’t wait to get out there and walk the trail again, hopefully to the end, maybe with the girls when they are here.

Views along the Maha’ulepu Trail

The trail was difficult for me in spots because of its uneven nature and even though I walked with the aid of a hiking stick, my bursitis still kicked in. With more frequent walking on pavement these days as well, I am experiencing more aches and pains in my hips again overall. I try to remember to take pain relief before we walk, which is the most effective for me (Aleve is my medication of choice because I need to take less for more relief).


12 thoughts on “Staying Healthy: Eating & Exercise (11/21 – 11/27)

  1. I recently strained a muscle in my foot, and my doctor recommended an over the counter Ibuprofen cream to spot treat it. Maybe that would also help with your hips? The trail looks like a beautiful adventure!


  2. I am definitely trying to eat less meat. I feel so much better when I do. I’m going to try some of your meals. Hope your hips start feeling better. I have plantar fasciitis. It affects my exercise a lot.


    1. Both of us really feel so much better with meat out of our diet, and we miss it less than we thought we would. Brett told me last night that I had ruined everything because he no longer wants meat or potatoes – now he craves rice and crunchy coleslaw LOL.

      My hip is fine if I stay on fairly level ground. It’s when I’m walking for distances on uneven ground (cobblestones included) that my hip rebels.


  3. Beautiful pics! And I want to thank you for mentioning Rao’s pizza sauce in a previous post. DH has started making little personal pizzas (yaaay! A meal I don’t have to cook!) and was just buying generic sauce. So I tried the Rao’s and we’re both hooked. So. Much. Better.


    1. Funny bit about Rao’s (which we are having trouble finding here now, unless we want to spend a small fortune): we always pronounced it Rah-ohs, but saw an ad for it the other day and it was pronounced Ray-ohs! Who knew? It is the best sauce out there though, no matter how you say it.


  4. We last hiked that trail in early 2020 right before everything shut down. Need to get back out there sometime this winter as it’s way too sunny and hot to attempt in the summer. The views are fantastic.


    1. I agree that trail would be murder in the summer, but it was absolutely delightful the other day, and I could kick myself for not hiking it sooner. I hopefully can get in a couple more hikes there before we depart.


  5. Your hike looked amazing. Sometime I forget to just enjoy where I am.
    We have,greatly, cut back in our meat intake. Cost started it, but the reality is we do feel better. We are treating beef like sweet (a little goes a long way). We do eat a lot of local Turkey. I would assume local chickens are the thing to eat there.
    We look for better cuts in smaller sizes. Our local beef butcher cuts thin minute steaks out of 1/2 lb angus grass fed New York Strips. Costco did have 90/10 grass fed ground beef on sale last week- three one pound pack. That should last us about two months.
    BTW- a billionaire has started building/ taking over large meat packing plants. His objective is to get small herds/ local/ grass fed meat back on the market (including his herds). It will cost more, but the money actually goes back to the rancher. The largest take over so far is on the Big Island. Corporate ranching is screaming!


    1. It was an amazing hike, and as I said earlier, I kick myself for not doing it sooner. I always though it was going to be much more difficult than it turned out to be. And the views! Absolutely Kaua’i at its best.

      Brett told me the other night that his whole attitude toward food and what he likes to eat now has changed. We’ll eat meat while the girls are here, but go back to meat/dairy/egg free after they leave.

      Love what that billionaire is doing re. meat production. Corporate ranching is an absolute huge waste of water and other grains, and this sounds like a better way of ranching for both the consumer and the producer.


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