This week’s meal plan

this week's meal plan

 

Hello Everybody,

Firstly, a huge apology as there was no Meal Plan post last week.  A frantic week of Sports Day, prize giving and end of term events at the children’s school deprived me of any time to write!  As we are now heading into the holiday season, my weekly posts will probably vary between meal plan’s and healthy eating ideas.  I hope you will find them helpful and motivating in creating a healthy lifestyle.

To make up for the lack of a post last week, I thought I would share a free, quick and easy recipe.  On the last meal plan I’d included Moroccan Lamb Meatballs.  The hot weather however made me crave something lighter and more outdoorsy.  So, I adapted the recipe into Moroccan Lamb burgers and thankfully they received a thumbs up from the family.  Give them a try and let me know how they are received by your family.

Moroccan Lamb Burgers

Newleafhealthandwellbeing.com

Moroccan Lamb Burgers

  • 750g lamb mince
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • ½ cup or large handful of fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 finely chopped onion (optional)

Mix all the ingredients together into a bowl and then mould by hand into burger sized shapes.  Pan fry on a medium heat (or you could BBQ them if the sun’s out).

Cook for about 15 mins or until cooked to your preference.  Try not to overcook them as they could become a little dry.  They should be juicy and soft.

Pop in a burger bun with sliced avocado, lettuce and any other vegetables you like. I added some lightly fried courgette and mushrooms as well.  Serve with a healthy salad.

This week’s meal plan:-

  1. Sweet chilli and ginger glazed chicken, salad and rice
  2. Mexican pork stir fry and rice
  3. Tuna and sweet corn quiche and salad
  4. Pan fried chicken, wrapped in prosciutto and stuffed with brie, with potato wedges and salad
  5. Chicken and spinach lasagne
  6. Sausage and vegetable pasta.

I hope you have a super week.  Pop over to my Facebook page or comment below, and let me know if you try out the Moroccan lamb burgers.

If you’ve enjoyed this post, please like and share on the social media buttons below.

www.newleafhealthandwellbeing.com

 

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My meal plan for this week

newleafhealthandwellbeing

Hello Everybody

I’ve seen several critical articles in the media this week about ‘clean eating’ and the bloggers/influencers who promote these diets on social media. Clean eating as a movement usually promotes a very restrictive diet.  Often whole food groups are removed from the diet and foods are labelled as ‘dirty’ or ‘clean’.  Medical practitioners are concerned that this mind-set is increasing eating disorders in teenagers and young adults, who can hide their condition behind a ‘healthy eating’ label.

The human body cannot obtain all the essential nutrients it requires to stay healthy from only one food.  Our bodies require a complex combination from different food groups to be able to metabolise nutrients fully.  The only exception is if you have been diagnosed with a medical condition by a GP or consultant.

The British Nutrition Foundation advises that the 5 main food groups are:-

  • fruit and vegetables
  • starchy carbohydrates – such as potatoes, bread, rice and pasta
  • proteins – such as beans, pulses, fish, eggs and meat
  • dairy and alternatives
  • fats from oils and spreads

Fruit, vegetables and starchy carbs should be the main basis of your diet, with moderate amounts of protein and dairy.  Fats should only be eaten in small amounts.  We all know we should try to avoid refined sugar, processed foods and saturated fats but it’s important to realise it’s not the end of the world if we do enjoy them once in a while.  We are not “bad people” or “failures”.

A healthy lifestyle is all about ‘balance’, not the imbalance of ditching whole food groups.

Here’s my meal plan for this week, which includes all food groups:-

  • Grilled salmon (or fish of your choice), new potatoes, and a spicy sweetcorn salsa
  • Chicken schnitzel caesar salad
  • Mexican chicken with a sweetcorn and avocado salsa, rice and salad
  • Creamy asparagus and salmon pasta
  • Spaghetti bolognaise
  • Moroccan meatballs and rice

Have a super week everybody.  If you like my meal plan, please share and like on the social media buttons below.

Source: http://www.nutrition.org.uk

https://www.positivehealthwellness.com

 

 

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This week’s meal plan

this week's meal plan

 

Hello Everybody,

This week, after a special request from a reader, I thought I would include a recipe for you from last week’s meal plan.

Red or Green Thai curry turkey meatballs:-

This is a super easy dish to put together.  Items can be substituted to suit your family’s tastes. Check out the picture of the one I prepared with red Thai curry paste on my facebook page here: red Thai curry turkey meatballs

Serves 4-5 – depending on portion sizes!

For the meatballs

  • one onion (red or white) or 3-4 spring onions, peeled and finely chopped (however my kids don’t like onion so I left this out of mine)
  • 750g of low fat turkey or chicken mince
  • 1 slice of bread (wholegrain or white) crumbed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander leaves (freshly chopped leaves or dried)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of Thai curry paste (this can be green or red. Again if you’re concerned your kids might find the curry flavouring over powering you can leave this out).
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

For the Sauce

  • 2-3 tablespoons of Thai red or green curry paste
  • 1 tin (400ml) of coconut milk

Vegetables of your choice

  • I usually add frozen green beans to the sauce as it’s simmering.  You can also add sliced mushrooms, peppers, courgettes or any veg that your family loves.

To make the meatballs

Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.  Roll tablespoons of mixture into meatball shapes.  If you have time, place them on a plate, cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.  This helps keep their shape when you cook them, but often I don’t have time for this step and they still turn out OK.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and cook the meatballs (in batches if necessary) for about 10 minutes, until they are nicely browned all over.  Once browned, take them out the pan and set aside.

To make the sauce

Using any leftover oil in the pan, sauté the veg you want to include i.e. mushrooms etc.  Add the curry paste and stir for about 1 minute.  This warms the spices and releases all their lovely aromas. Add the coconut milk.  Bring this mixture up to nearly boiling, then pop the meatballs into the sauce, together with the frozen green beans.

Leave this to simmer over a medium heat for a further 10 minutes, or until the sauce has began to thicken and the meatballs are heated through.

Serve with rice of your choice, together with some fresh coriander leaves, if you family like them.  Enjoy!

Overall this dish should come in at under £2 per head, depending how much vegies and rice you add – cheaper than a takeaway!

 

This week’s meal plan:-

  1. Spicy barbecued chicken pieces with salad
  2. Pork steaks with pineapple coleslaw and Jacket Potatoes
  3. Chilli beef enchiladas and salad
  4. Sticky pork fillet with a rice salad
  5. Chicken in a creamy mustard sauce with sweet potatoes and vegies
  6. Quiche with salad

 

I would love to know how you get on cooking the Turkey meatballs and whether they’re a hit with your family.

Would you like to receive more recipe ideas?  Let me know in the comments below or on my facebook page.

Have a super week and please like and share this post on the social media buttons below.

 

 

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1 quick step to healthier eating

1 quick step to healthier eating

 

One of the most common obstacles people say they face in trying to eat healthier is “TIME”.  With our busy lifestyles it’s becoming harder to find time to buy healthy foods, prepare them and cook from scratch.

But – If you keep eating really unhealthy foods such as ready meals and takeaways you are significantly increasing your chance of becoming seriously ill from diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome etc.

Do you actually have TIME to be sick?

If you become ill you could end up spending long spells in hospital receiving treatment, which means less time with your family and friends and less time doing the things you enjoy.  So, finding time to eat healthier is really important.

One of the problems we all face is the “all or nothing” attitude.  We try to go all in on changing everything about our lifestyle and then find we just can’t maintain it and slip right back to where we started from.

I believe it’s better to start with just one or two small changes to begin with.  Once you’ve adopted these changes into your life, it becomes easier to make the next few changes.  As you begin eating healthier you should start to find your energy levels improve.  More energy = more productive use of your time and so the next steps become easier.

So, here’s my first step to get you off on the healthier eating path:-

Shop once a week

Why? – It saves time and you don’t waste money buying food you shouldn’t eat or food you end up throwing away.

If you shop every day or every other day, then you’re increasing the temptation to buy unhealthy foods.  Those chocolate bars look so appealing at the check out!

If you have kids, it helps train them that the cupboards won’t be full of food all week.  Mine are like locusts and can clear a week’s worth of snacks in one day.  When they do though, they end up with no more snacks for the rest of the week  – and yes the reality is we do have snacks in this house! – it’s all about moderation.

Start off with a Meal Plan

Every week I sit down and work out a meal plan for the next week.  I have a stack of recipe books and magazines that have easy recipes that don’t take long to prepare.  I flick through these and pick out some ideas.  This exercise should take about 10 minutes – the time it takes to drink a cup of tea or coffee.  If you have to commute to work on a bus or train, then you could do this whilst travelling.

When planning my meals, I try to bear in mind what’s going on in the next week – if there’s a night when we are going to get back late – then I make sure I have a super easy meal that can be prepared quickly and easily.  Other nights, when I have time, I have something a bit more fancy.  I post my weekly meal plan each week on this site to give you some inspiration and ideas.

Shopping List

From this meal plan I write out a shopping list of the ingredients I need.  I have a notepad in the kitchen which I add items on during the week when I’m getting low or have used something up.  This keeps the basic staples in the food cupboard topped up, so you always know you have them to hand.

Order on line

I use a supermarket delivery system.  This saves a huge amount of time.  One evening a week, whilst watching TV with the family, I click through my order using my shopping list.

It’s then delivered in a one hour delivery slot at a time convenient to me.  No wasting time wheeling a trolley round and round the aisles searching for stuff, no queuing to unload and reload it again through the tills, no driving backwards and forward to the supermarket.  BUT most importantly, I’m not tempted to load my trolley up with lots of unhealthy processed foods that I don’t actually need.

The downside of this process

The family will probably moan that they don’t get much choice or treats – plus side –  if you haven’t got unhealthy foods on the shelf then they can’t eat unhealthy food!

I don’t always feel I get the freshest, best fruit and vegetables on offer.  Ideally I’d love to spend time going to a Farmer’s Market picking these up fresh each week but the reality is, I usually don’t have time.  If you live or work in a town/city then you may find you can slot this into your lunchtime or a Saturday morning.  Like anything, adapt and find a way that work’s best for you.

Cook from scratch whenever possible

Once you have a meal plan and you know you have the relevant ingredients already at home, it becomes much easier to think “ok, when I get home I’m going to cook X” instead of “I don’t know what I’m going to make for dinner – I’ll just get a takeaway”.

I usually end up multi tasking meal preparation time either by:-

  • having the kids sat at the workbench doing homework so I can help them whilst I’m chopping vegetables;
  • or, I might be catching up on a ‘You Tube’ video or podcast;
  • or, talking to my mum or a friend on the phone.

If you’ve had a particularly stressful day, it can be quite meditative chopping and preparing food and gives your brain a chance to start relaxing.

If you can get the whole family involved, it’s a good time to chat and connect together about your day.

Meal preparation doesn’t have to be boring!

However, I’m the same as everyone else and some nights just don’t work out and you know what – sometimes a takeaway makes life easier!  The thing is, to just have some systems in place so that it’s not the everyday routine.

 

I’d love to know whether you think this healthy eating step is doable, or are you already doing this?  What’s your thoughts or opinions on this?  Send me a comment in the box below or on my facebook page.

If you found this article helpful please like and share on the social media buttons below.

 

 

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My meal plan for this week

this week's meal plan

 

Hello Everybody

I hope you have had an enjoyable Bank Holiday and half term.

The beautiful weather has meant we have been enjoying eating outside as much as possible.

This reminded me of various holidays in France, spent eating baguettes and cheese on picnics in the countryside.  Which then raised the question “how come the French eat so much refined white flour products but don’t have the same obesity problems as other Western nations?”*

Recent research by scientists suggest the answer  maybe that white flour products in France contain only flour, water, yeast and salt.  In the UK and America, much of our commercially produced bread contains artificial emulsifiers such as carboxymethyl cellulose and polysorbate 80 (P80).  These chemicals are often not even included on a product’s ingredients list.

Research in mice has show that these emulsifiers had a direct affect on their gut barrier and triggered an inflammatory reaction, providing a possible link to IBS, inflammatory bowel disease and Crohn’s disease.

In addition, the mice gained weight and frantically overate, again providing a link to our growing obesity crisis.  As consumers we need to realise that bread that goes stale after one day is actually a good thing.  It means it’s made with pure ingredients that the body can process.  The chemicals in emulsifiers and preservatives could be having an extremely detrimental affect on our health.

If we take our food production back to basics, then we can carry on enjoying bread, croissants and cakes (in moderation) without affecting our health.

I may need to investigate buying a bread machine.  I’ve always been reluctant as I felt it would be a gadget that just sits on the side, never used.  Do any of you use one – how do you get on with it?  I’d love to hear your opinions.

Here’s my meal plan for this week:-

  1. Satay Pork stir fry and rice
  2. Salmon with a nectarine and red onion salsa, new potatoes and green salad
  3. Moroccan chicken skewers with a pineapple, sweetcorn and tomato salad
  4. Turkey mince meatballs in green curry sauce with rice
  5. Chicken breast fillets in a creamy mushroom sauce with asparagus, courgette and new potatoes.
  6. Seafood linguine

Have a wonderful week.

Please like and share on the social media buttons below and join my Facebook page to see photo proof of this week’s el fresco eating!

 

* a small caveat to this statement – I think France is beginning to develop obesity problems now but historically they have always had much lower levels of heart disease, obesity and a longer life expectancy than us.

source: http://www.rodalewellness.com

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