My Nutrition Upgrade: Week 2

Happy Friday and first of November! Before we head into the weekend, I wanted to share my eats from last week and some tidbits from Week 2 of the My Nutrition Upgrade program.

I’ll share my food first!

Lunch on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday last week was kale salad with pears, grilled chicken, dried cranberries, slivered almonds, and goat cheese

Kale Chicken Pear Salad

And toward the end of the week we ate lemon farro chicken.

Lemon Chicken Farro Salad

Dinner on Sunday night was stuffed eggplant because we had a couple to use up from our farm share. We also had small salads on the side.

Stuffed Eggplant

On Monday and Tuesday I had soup. I’m calling this my “get rid of those greens” soup, because I had so many green veggies that were going to go bad and I pretty much just threw them all together to make this meal.

Get Rid of Those Greens Soup

For dinner on Wednesday and Thursday we ate spaghetti squash with turkey meatballs and tomato sauce.

Spaghetti Squash

Finally, dinner on Friday was splurge-worthy. I met up with Katrina and Slesh downtown at Stoddard’s (yes, this was my third time being there in the past 2 months). We ordered some CARBS with fondue for an appetizer, and then I ordered the goat cheese salad and the pork belly appetizer which came with cannellini beans, truffle-bean purée, and chive oil. Everything was delicious, but along with two gin and cucumber drinks I’m sure the calories added right up!

My Nutrition Upgrade

Speaking of drinks, one of the questions posed in my Google group for My Nutrition Upgrade last week was about alcohol and the best way to incorporate it into an otherwise healthy diet. Our nutrition coach informed us that most wines have about 100 calories per 5 ounces, so it’s important to pay attention to the size glass you are getting if you are paying attention to calories when imbibing.

Wine and Cheese

She also broke down the calorie counts and grams of carbohydrates for different types of beers:

Beer     Per 12-oz Serving
“Light” Beer     108 calories, 6 g carbs
Draft Beer     144 calories, 13.2 g carbs
Lager     168 calories, 13.2 g carbs
Ale     216 calories, 13.2 g carbs

Interesting huh?  She also recommended a couple of tips such as alternating a glass of water/seltzer in between ordering alcoholic beverages (something I should probably do more when I’m out!) and to steer clear of mixers, syrups, and sodas (something I already do).  Just thought you guys might be interested in that info!

Aside from that, the “upgrades” of the week were to shop smart and to clean out hidden sugars. I already knew most of the shop smart tips such as sticking to the perimeter of the store when you shop, being wary of packaging, and reading labels for things with fewer ingredients that are easy to pronounce. One new tip I learned though was to make sure to look both high and low on the shelves, because some companies pay grocery stores what’s called a “slotting fee” to house their products on the middle shelves at eye level. And a lot of these foods tend to be the processed and not so good for you items. Tricky!

grocery shopping 2

The hidden sugar lesson was my favorite so far. I learned that the average American consumes 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day when the recommended amount of added sugar should not exceed 5 teaspoons. That’s CRAZY and can add up to an extra 350 calories per day from added sugars alone. The most helpful tip I learned to help decrease the amount of added sugar in my diet actually pertains to label reading. There is an equation called The Altman Rule where you add the grams of protein in a product plus the grams of fiber. If that amount is greater than the grams of sugar, it’s generally okay. If it’s less, it’s not. I know I will start being more mindful of this at the grocery store, and take it into consideration with some of the products I tend to purchase.

I want to hear from you – what meals did you guys enjoy last week? What’s your go to strategy for enjoying adult beverages while trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle? Any comments about smart grocery shopping, hidden sugars, and your strategies for either?

Have a great weekend everyone! Tonight I’m lying low, but tomorrow I’m hosting a fall fest for my gym crew. Can’t wait!

Disclaimer / Disclosure:  I was not paid to write this post, but I was provided a free registration in the program in exchange for writing a review and sharing my experiences with my readers.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Weekly Eats

Last week, our meal plan didn’t go as planned because Tim we forgot to factor in that Tim’s lunches were taken care of due to customer events at work.  That meant we didn’t need to make nearly as many meals as we thought we would need, and we had a ton of leftover food from both girls night and Greek Easter the week before.

Here’s the recap!

One noteworthy breakfast:  Scrambled eggs with salsa, topped with sliced avocado.  Love. These. Flavors.

Scrambled eggs with salsa and avocado

For lunch, I’ve been on a huge fruit ON salad (not the same as fruit salad) kick lately.  I am really enjoying greens topped with barley, sliced strawberries, sliced kiwi (I think the prettiest fruit, no?), blueberries, walnuts, and goat cheese.  The barley is what gives this meal it’s staying power.  I am definitely making this again this week.

Barley fruit salad

For dinners, we enjoyed grilled cod with strawberry salsa on Monday night…

Grilled Cod with Strawberry Salsa

BBQ pulled chicken quesadillas on Tuesday and Wednesday night…

Pulled BBQ Chicken Quesadilla

Then on Thursday and Friday, I had my very colorful quinoa salad while Tim ate pulled chicken sandwiches.  Like I said, lots of leftovers.

Saturday and Sunday’s dinners were both out!

From The Brickhouse Cafe included mussels for an appetizer, and the “shrimp siciliano” for a meal (shrimp sautéed with mushrooms, broccoli, roasted red peppers in bianco sauce), along with a side of rice pilaf and more veggies.  It was good, but it was a little too oily for my liking.  I would definitely order something different next time I go there.  I would go back… it was super cute inside!

Brickhouse Cafe

From The Aegean included dolmades for an appetizer, Greek salads, and lamb kabobs for my meal with sides of rice, roasted potatoes, and green beans.

The Aegean

Also, one noteworthy new beer discovery:  Goose Island urban wheat ale.  Delicious.  So was the popcorn that went with it.  I literally said to Tim at the bar, “this popcorn tastes so… different… what’s on it?” to which Tim responded, “um, salt.”  Doh.   I’m so used to my unsalted with rosemary instead!

Goose Island Wheat Ale

Here’s our food plan for the upcoming week:

Lunches will be the avocado egg salad that we didn’t end up making last week, more fruit/barley on salad like pictured above, and/or leftovers from the dinners we make.

Dinner plans include:

  • Monday:  Shrimp stir-fry
  • Tuesday:  Leftover shrimp stir-fry
  • Wednesday:  Chicken ravioli
  • Thursday:  Portobella pizzas (I loved this idea after reading them in Jen’s weekly eats post last week!)
  • Friday:  Steak with baked sweet potatoes
  • Saturday:  TBD!

Here’s the grocery list:

Grocery List 5.12.13

I have recently been having a to buy organic or not to buy organic debate with myself AND I’ve been doing a lot of price comparisons between grocery stores.  This is changing up how we are grocery shopping to some extent.  I will likely be reaching out to you readers for some advice in a more detailed post coming soon!

As usual, I want to hear what your favorites were from last week.  Any noteworthy meals, whether home cooked or out to eat?  What’s on tap for this week?  I love new suggestions!

F&F Meal Plan: Week of 4/21

Hey guys.  With everything that went down in Boston on Friday, Tim and I didn’t end up getting away for the weekend as we had hoped.  We live in one of the cities that was on lockdown, about a mile and a half from where the suspect was found in the boat in someone’s backyard.  We were too nervous to leave in the morning and didn’t feel like celebrating when our home was going through such a nightmare, so we just stayed put and tried to work from home while stuck inside.  We will reschedule our celebrating of Tim’s 28th for another time.  I’m so happy the suspect was caught, but I know we have a long way to go in finding the answers we need.  Boston definitely deserves to rejoice and celebrate; however I don’t want to forget all the friends and family members of those who were killed or injured in last week’s events.  It’s terrible.  The MIT cop, Sean Collier, was from my hometown and went to my high school.  I didn’t know him personally, but since Wilmington is such a tight-knit community, I knew enough people and families who did, and my heart just breaks for them.  That being said, I hope everyone can find some peace in Boston Strong.  We are a resilient and strong city, and I know we will come back stronger than ever from this.

<awkward transition here>

Today I want to share with you some of the food/meals we ate last week:

Eats During Week of 4/7

Remember that I don’t photograph everything I eat, and I don’t like to share every single snack, just the highlights.  Last week’s main lunch choice was the quinoa sweet potato salad you see in the collage above, and a noteworthy breakfast was Saturday morning’s chocolate chip sweet potato pancakes.

Our dinners were only slightly off from what we planned last week:

  • Sunday:  Spaghetti squash with turkey meatballs
  • Monday:  Spaghetti squash with turkey meatballs for me / turkey meatball sub for Tim
  • Tuesday:  Really made that spaghetti squash stretch….
  • Wednesday:  Salad with grilled steak for me, steak sandwich for Tim
  • Thursday:  Birthday cupcakes with a side of crab dinner and salad
  • Friday:  Lockdown mode is when meal prep fails you — we just had scrambled eggs and toast for dinner
  • Saturday:  Out for dinner at Cambridge 1 after being cooped up too long

Cambridge 1

The pizzas we had last night were unreal!  Highly recommend this place for my local readers.

F&F Meal Plan:  Week of 4/21

This week’s meal plan looks like this:

Meal Plan Week of 4/21

That chicken/artichoke skillet was actually on last week’s meal plan, but we didn’t end up making it because we ended up having more than enough other food.

The grocery list looked like this:

Grocery List Week of 4/21

For a total of $49.52.  Not too shabby.  We stocked up on Chobani last week and already have chicken and some other main ingredients in the house, so that definitely cut down on the bill.

Let’s chat!  Did you have any noteworthy eats last week that you’d like to share?  Any fun meals planned for the week ahead?  Are you guys finding these Sunday food posts helpful?

I’m off to do my Sunday night food prep.  Catch you guys tomorrow!