KOO beans Budget beaters

Koo beans
Koo
My wonderful KOO hamper

One of my favourite budget stretchers just got even better!

KOO Beans! I love adding beans to food to bulk it up and now I have even more recipes and ideas to try out.

By chance, I saw a post on SA mom blogs https://samomblogs.co.za/ about KOO hosting an event to launch their new range of beans.

I haven’t been online much and had decided to check in and see who was posting what. I am so glad I did.

I went off to the KOO experience, just expecting to be shown the new range and listen to a talk about the brand and their new KOO beans range of products.

I never even thought about the fact that the venue happened to be a cookery school. I just thought it would be a good opportunity to meet the faces behind some of the other mom bloggers that I have come to know online through their blogs and in various blogging groups.

KOO beans experience
I really need to pay more attention!

I did get to put faces to names; I even met new faces and have a few new blogs and vlogs to follow.

The experience is not something I would normally get to have.

Keeping kosher usually means that cooking experiences and demonstrations happen few and far between. Even when I see an event that interests me I usually don’t go because it’s either on a Saturday which is the Sabbath or it is on a day when I am working.

Besides, what is the point when I can’t taste anything? That is definitely going to change.

 The event was sponsored by KOO and hosted by Margy Vally of the Olive Branch Cookery School, in Fourways.

Margy of Olive Branch
Margy Vally of Olive Branch showing us how to make truffles0

The meet and greet experience I was expecting was actually an interactive cooking experience using the new KOO beans range.

We all got to participate in making part of the light lunch that was served, lots of fun and delicious smells going on in the kitchen.

KOO Beans

The recipes KOO supplied were very easy and it didn’t matter whether you had no cooking experience or were a seasoned pro.

The menu was obviously very Mexican since we were using beans.

Spicy Nachos with KOO bean dip, guacamole and sour cream -KOO Black beans in Mexican style sauce

KOO Mexican tortilla cups – using KOO Black beans in Mexican style sauce

KOO Mixed bean and salsa salad- using KOO baked beans in tomato sauce, KOO Black beans in Mexican style sauce and, of course, KOO Whole Kernel corn

KOO chicken quesadillas and sweet corn salsa- using KOO Baked beans in Barbeque flavoured sauce

KOO Fiesta chicken burritos – using KOO black beans in brine

KOO Albondigas- using KOO baked beans in Chili Wors flavoured sauce

KOO Black Bean Chocolate Fudge Balls- KOO Black beans in brine, I cannot wait to make these!

I am so inspired and even though my meal plan for November is all drawn up and the shopping is done for the month, I actually have 99% of the ingredients in my pantry, plus we were given a very nice hamper. http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/recipes/basic-mince-recipe/

This means changing the menu won’t cost me anything!

KOO beans Budget beaters 1
Black bean truffle

I think I just might try the KOO black bean Chocolate Fudge Balls first!

Beans are a staple ingredient in making food stretch; reducing the grocery bills and ensuring the family all get enough protein and fibre in their diet.

Fall in love with eating lunch at your desk

Eating at work

Brown bagging it
Taking lunch to work, will save you money and help you stick to your eating plan -Photo by Edwin Macalopú Diaz on Unsplash

Here’s how to fall in love with eating lunch at your desk.

In this day and age, taking your lunch in the park or going out to restaurants or getting take out is happening less and less.

Why lunch at your desk is on trend

This is for a few reasons, one is to do with the cost of eating at out every day is more than most can afford. The second is the health disadvantages, so many of us are trying to lose weight, diabetes is on the rise and the LCHF (Banting) lifestyle is becoming more popular. The third and probably the worst reason is that there is too much to do and you don’t have time to leave the office to eat lunch somewhere else.

I am guilty of this, I often sit at my computer and eat and work at the same time. My excuse is that when I am working on my business, I am at home and tea and eats are readily available and when I am at work, I am busy with patients, so I eat a bite in between.

First

The first rule of eating lunch at your desk is that there should be no smell. So the only fish you should eat at work is found in you California sushi roll.

Reheating food at work in the microwave can be a disaster or a win, the heated food either stinks up the place or smells divine and has all your colleagues salivating. The downfall though is that an architectural firm shouldn’t smell like a fast food joint.

So unless it is freezing in the building, try and take only cold lunches, like salads and sandwiches (tuna/egg mayo should not be on the menu, chicken mayo is, however acceptable. Even the kids avoid peanut butter sandwiches at school because of the smell.

No fish at work
The only fish allowed when eating lunch at your desk, is in the sushi. Photo by Mike Fox on Unsplash

While there are some companies that don’t allow eating at your workstation, others are more lenient.

Second

Your next step is to turn off your computer for 20 minutes or so so that you are not tempted to work during your lunch break. Taking a break from work even if it is only 15 – 20 minutes, will improve your productivity to a certain extent, however sugary and fatty lunches can have a negative effect making you sleepy.

If there is a break room, why not network with your colleagues and not about work either, get to know the people you work with, you never know who you might meet, besides, eating with others is usually much nicer than eating alone.

Don’t stop eating

The next little tip is to eat all day! Yep, I said it, eat all day. Snacking on healthier foods such as nuts, pretzels and even some biltong, can keep your energy levels from dropping. Remember to drink plenty of water during the day, you may need to get up to go to the bathroom regularly but think of it this way, you are earning your 10 000 steps!

Avoid sugary drinks as these do not keep you hydrated, as well as depleting your energy, they are also now thanks to the sugar taxes (YAY) more expensive. If you need to drink carbonated drinks, stick to flavoured water.

Hygiene

The most important aspect of eating at your desk is hygiene. Clean your desk well before and after your meal. I would also suggest a bamboo that can be rolled up and put away or a fabric placemat, that can be taken home and washed at least weekly.

 

Lessons learned from falling off the meal planning wagon!

Lessons learned from falling off the meal planning wagon! 3

Lessons  learned from falling off the meal planning wagon!

Old Meal Plan
This is an old meal plan

I fell off the meal planning wagon!  Over the last 2 months I haven’t been as diligent with meal planning as I should be and it is showing. Here are some of the lessons learned.

Lesson 1

My bills have started to rise a little more, as I am buying food almost daily. While I still have stuck to my basic template and therefore, at least know my main ingredient. I am finding myself at the store almost every day. I don’t know what to make to go with my main ingredient. I stand and stare at the shelves. Lessons learned, a template is good but a meal plan is better.

Meal Plan Template
Available to workshop and FB course participants

Lesson 2

My kids are complaining of having nothing to eat (that’s because anything in the cupboard needs to be cooked still or the can actually opened) so they are making themselves eggs and toast.  We have started to be a little less healthy than we should be. Lesson learned, having set menus written where the family can see them, helps them see what they will be eating with “no food” available.

My very neat pantry
When there’s nothing to eat!

Lesson 3

School lunches are once again a nightmare to think of making. Except thankfully for the template, I at least know what to put on the bread. Lesson learned school and work lunches take more thought than I remember and take longer to prepare.

 

Lesson 4

I get home from work and don’t feel like cooking as I haven’t had anyone do any prep . It used to be that I would be able to assign prep tasks in the morning and I would come home and be able to begin putting my meal together immediately. I have gone from having dinner ready in 45 minutes or less to sometimes taking over an hour to make. Lessons learned.

Lesson 5

We are eating supper much later than normal. I often arrive home from work at around 6 or even later if I have to go to the store and decide what we are having with the main course, once am home I still have to prep before cooking.  I work 5 minutes from home. Lesson remembered, I HATE shopping!

Lesson 6

My children are snacking before their dinner because they can’t wait till 7:30 for food. This is a very bad habit. A habit they learned from …….. (an older family member). Snacking before a meal is extremely unhealthy. Lesson learned, family needs retraining!

It’s time to get back into my good habit of proper meal planning. What are the lessons learned? Meal planning is the tool to making my life easier! It saves me money and it reduces the amount of complaining from the kids!

Planner on my fridge
Menu planning on a magnetic board and stuck on the fridge, so everyone knows what’s for dinner

Follow me in my FB group, Kashering Your Life, Instagram @kasheringyourlife or Twitter @adibog to see how I get back up to speed! My weekly dinner plan is found in my insta-story and I post the meal in my feed once we have eaten. I also post the plan on my FB page.

Do you meal plan?

Children belong in the kitchen

Children belong in the kitchen 5

Children belong in the kitchen 6
Children belong in the kitchen (photo from Epicurious)

Children belong in the kitchen?  ‘RealIy’?, I hear all the moms out there ask, as they imagine the mess and how much longer it will take to prepare dinner. What about the sharp knives and the vegetable peelers and the mess?

I am one of those.  If it takes more than 30 minutes to prepare, I would rather not cook it. So why do I say children belong in the kitchen?

Obese children!

Children belong in the kitchen 7
13% of children under 12 in South Africa are obese!

I am a volunteer ambassador for the ‘Jamie Oliver Food Revolution’: their goal is to reduce childhood obesity 50% by the year 2030!

England has already banned the sale of energy drinks to children under the age of 16 because of the harm it does to their health.

Sugar tax

South Africa is introducing 11% tax on sugary drinks on April 1, 2018, to become one of only 20 countries to do this. While this may cause some consternation to those of us who are soda drinkers, as this will mean that your average 2l cola will go up by almost R2, it will lead to people buying less sugary drinks for their children. This sugar tax applies to cordials as well as carbonated beverages.https://www.beveragedaily.com/Article/2017/12/20/Sugar-taxes-The-global-picture-in-2017?utm_source=copyright&utm_medium=OnSite&utm_campaign=copyright

This is a step in the right direction to reducing obesity in children.

Children belong in the kitchen

This still hasn’t explained my statement of ‘children belong in the kitchen’.

On your next school run, get your children to count the fast food outlets that you pass on your way from school to home, then let them count the number of restaurants. How long was your journey, and how many did they count?

Children belong in the kitchen 8
How many fast food places are there?

Now watch for the fast food adverts on TV during their favourite shows. How many were there?

Name that veg!

Here’s a tough one, take them with you on your next vegetable shopping trip. This was probably the worst part about having small children, going to the store with them. The refrains, ‘Can I have’, ‘I want’ and ‘I need’ still echo in my head and my children are all teenagers.

This assignment is for parents and children, so maybe take your partner with. See how many fresh fruits and vegetable you can identify? Obviously the younger they are the less they will be able to name. Parents how many could you name, have you ever tasted them and do you know how to prepare them?

This is why I say children belong in the kitchen. Learning to peel and cut potatoes for mashed potato instead of buying powdered potatoes or ones that come with fried chicken and gravy or as a hash brown on the side of your burger order, will teach them about the vegetable, how to prepare and enjoy it in a way that is healthy and delicious.

Children belong in the kitchen 9
Children belong in the kitchen Photo by Hannah Tasker on Unsplash

Carrot salad, coleslaw, potato salad are easy to make for slightly older children but the younger ones can wash the veg so that they are ready for cooking or peeling.

What do vegies look like?

Having children in the kitchen to learn what vegetables look like in their original state, helps them to learn to identify vegetables as well as fresh herbs used to flavour the cooking.  Having them help with the making of those vegetables encourages them to try out their flavours .

Most of my children eat a variety of vegetables that are often unknown to adults. Things like beetroot, eggplant, parsnips and turnips, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, kale, Brussel sprouts, celery, rocket. They know the smell of fresh basil and mint, of coriander and thyme, rosemary and oregano.

Meal Prep
Do you know your fruit and veg?

The older ones have even been known to request to try such vegetables as calabash and kohlrabi and even a madumba.  Not all of the requests have turned out successfully and some are definitely an acquired taste.  Edamame beans were a definite ‘no no’

The benefits

Getting children to help in the kitchen also has a few other benefits.

  1. Quality time, for working mom’s, or even individual children assigned to a different night of the week to help.
  2. Basic hand washing and food hygiene. A chance for both of you to learn together on how to prepare and store raw foods safely and how to reduce illness and infection.
  3. Developing the senses, taste, smell and touch. Listening to instructions and reading recipes.

Taking them with to the store and getting them to choose the vegetables required also helps with learning colours and for little ones describing the shapes.

Let children help with meal planning as this will get them excited about the meals ahead. It teaches planning skills. They know what’s for dinner and now can plan what prep is needed to get the meal to the table.

Do your children help in the kitchen? How early do you think it is possible to get them involved?

Listeria hysteria- Listeriosis

Listeria hysteria- Listeriosis 11

Listeriosis
The listeriosis germ

Listeria hysteria, is it valid? Listeria or Listeriosis whatever you call it has been around for years.

Is the hysteria over the listeria outbreak warranted? In my opinion it is too little too late. The outbreak was bound to happen, and here’s why.

Food safety in South Africa

South Africa does not have a central authority or organisation to oversee food safety and hygiene. We have the Health Department who are blaming the food companies and then we have the ‘Food Safety Network’, this is the objective on their website.

Objective: The Directorate: Food Control ensures an optimal non-personal preventative primary health care service in respect of the safety of food for the South African community based on basic needs and the right to make informed choices without being misled by means of scientifically founded legislation, auditing and information actions.

We also have the Labour Department involved and the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Trade and Industry and sundry other departments involved in the import and export as well as the control of local food producers involved in all of this.

Listeria- South Africa wins the title!

Yet South Africa still managed to have the worst outbreak of Listeria in the world.

Foods to avoid
These are the most common meat products to find listeria in at present.

During my research I discovered that most of the legislation governing food control was last updated in the 1980’s!  See the following links  http://www.saafost.org.za/Legislation/index.asp

In an interview I found with Dr Lise Korsten, she mentions that most of the large companies are self-regulated.

Why did it take us 14 months to determine where the outbreak originated and besides closing the two factories where it was found, what is our government doing about it?

Recall

I know that there is private litigation happening, but what else? I missed the product recall 4th March 2018, possibly because I don’t use Enterprise or Rainbow chicken products. Products are still being recalled.

Dr Korsten said in her interview on http://ewn.co.za/2018/03/13/analysis-what-led-to-world-s-worst-listeriosis-outbreak-in-south-africa, that a food safety outbreak was imminent and had been expected by the scientific community???

She also stated that over the last 10 years suggestions have been made but no headway was achieved.

We are not the only country to have outbreaks of Listeriosis.  We are, unfortunately, the title holder for the largest outbreak in the world, with nearly 1000 cases having been reported since Jan 2017!   http://theconversation.com/spike-in-listeriosis-infections-in-south-africa-why-it-matters-

At risk

Pregnant women are the most vulnerable.

  • It is found in raw or unpasteurised milk, or dairy products that contain unpasteurised milk,
  • Soft cheeses like feta, goat cheese and brie,
  • Foods from delicatessen counters like prepared salads and cold meats that have not been heated and reheated adequately,
  • Refrigerated pâtés

listeria facts
Things you need to know

Attention Dr Motsoaledi

Dr Motsoaledi, you admitted that the government had failed in its environmental inspection responsibilities http://ewn.co.za/2018/03/09/motsoaledi-govt-can-t-be-blamed-for-listeriosis-outbreak, so what are you doing about it now?

I beg you, with all the good you are doing to promote healthy lifestyles in this beautiful country by encouraging exercise and pre-natal visits, vaccinations etc., please take action now to prevent this happening again!

Set up a National body to properly govern the food industry. Look at our food safety laws. Speak to the scientists and those who know.

This outbreak cost us the lives of 78 babies and over 100 other people. Who knows what these deaths have cost the economy now and in the future. According to an interview with times live, Dr Motsoaledi expects further outbreaks. https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2018-03-15-motsoaledi-expects-more-listeria-cases-to-emerge/ and Namibia is now being affected too! https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/africa/2018-03-13-namibia-reports-first-listeriosis-case-after-south-african-outbreak/

 

4 steps to a balanced meal

Prawn citrus salad

There are 4 basic steps to any balanced meal, whether you are on a tight budget or not. How will knowing these 4 steps help you?

4 steps to a balanced meal 12
This is what should be in a balanced meal

You want to lose weight except all you know about dieting is that it is expensive. You don’t have time to go to the dietician or nutritionist. You are not on a medical aid so a dietician or nutritionist is not possible.

Banting and Paleo are not options if you are like me and enjoy your carbs and sugar in your tea.

Your new year’s resolution was to get healthier and eat better.

I am not a dietician or a nutritionist. I am an old fashioned nurse who has kept up with the trends in food and health.

My family is made of different people with different needs. I feed between 6-8 people every meal. We are made up of pre diabetic, some wanting to lose weight and get healthy (only 2 go to gym and I am not one of them), one wants bulk up, 2 who don’t eat a lot by way of fruit and veg but 1 will eat fish and meat and the other will only eat certain meats and then I have 1 who is a vegetarian and lactose intolerant.

With just the basic knowledge of what a balanced meal is composed of, anyone should be able to improve their eating habits. While a dietician or a nutritionist is able to create an in depth eating plan for you, you have the ability to change your own health.

Food pyramid
Daily food choices for balance meals. Servings are per day not per meal

Obesity worldwide is on the rise and is creating a scenario where our children’s life expectancy is shorter than our own. That is why a healthy balanced meal is vital and it can be done on a budget.

Step 1

Fat is allowed in a diet; however, it should be the smallest part of your meal and should consist of a healthy fat.

If you use oil to cook only use good quality oils not blended and only use about tablespoon for cooking, obviously depending on how many you are cooking for. Another change you could make is using avocado instead of butter on your bread.

I know that avocados are costly but so is butter and spread thinly you would only need a little. Choosing margarine over butter should really only be a choice if you are lactose intolerant. Even then you should look carefully as some margarines contain dairy and are also not suitable for cooking or baking.

Salad should also not be dressed before serving as we all tend to over dress them, rather serve individually and pour a tablespoon over each serving.

Nuts and peanut butter are also good healthy fats to use in meals.

Step 2

Your protein in your meal should be roughly the size of your palm, it should preferably be a lean protein such as egg, fish or low fat cheese or chicken breast.

Red meat should only be once a week. If you are eating chicken it is best to remove the skin. You can cook the chicken with the skin on and then remove it before serving. Season your chicken under the skin if this is what you will be doing.

Step 3

To simplify let’s say that there is healthy carbohydrate and unhealthy carbohydrate. A healthy carbohydrate is one which is easily digestible and therefor e your body is able to make use of the energy from the food immediately.

White bread, white rice, a normal potato and sugar are a few examples of unhealthy carbohydrates.

On the other hand brown rice and couscous, sweet potatoes and baby potatoes as well as Durham wheat pastas are example of healthy carbohydrates.

Step 4

Half your plate should be filled with colour which you get from varying your vegetables or fruit. Peas, carrots and cauliflower give you colour. The colour however, can come in the form of your salad or fruits.

Remember when planning you meal, sweet potatoes, corn and baby potatoes are both a vegetable and a starch/carbohydrate, this means you should have less of these and more of the broccoli and gem squash.

Food should look enticing and colourful, try and avoid foods that have the same basic colour on a plate.

Pie
This mince pie is filled with bright colours making it more enticing to eat

There is also nothing wrong with using frozen vegetables as opposed to fresh vegetables.  If you do want fresh choose quality, in season fruit and vegetables. Buy smaller amounts rather than large quantities of cheaper vegetables that you will soon get fed up eating.

We eat first with our eyes, then our sense of smell and only lastly the taste. So if you food looks and smells good, chances are it will taste good too.

Colourless
While the food was delicious and smelled fantastic, it had no colour

Another way to trick ourselves into eating smaller portions is by serving on smaller plates. A large dinner plate with food in the correct portion size is not going to satisfy you visually as much as a smaller plate filled with the same amount of food.

Carb Heavy
This plate of food is not only nearly monochromatic, it is also pure starch, not a single veg in site

What kind of eating habits do you have?

 

There’s a vegetarian living in my house!

Prawn citrus salad

There’s a vegetarian living in my house!

One of the members of our home is a vegetarian and the rest are all big meat eaters.  This in itself would not be too much of an issue but she is also not exactly a fan of fruit and vegetables!

Beef Wellington
Renamed Beef Waterloo. 

As a teenager, in the olden days, as the children remind me, I did the same thing! I still, as an adult, don’t eat a lot of fruit and while I do eat my veggies I am still not crazy about them.   I do, however, eat meat, fish and chicken.

Meal planning has become even more important in order to ensure that everyone in the house gets the nutrition and balanced diet they need.

So now we are trying low carbs/no carbs at night, with a vegetarian whose favourite food is rice!

It’s a challenge

I love a good challenge and this is it!  New recipes have to be found and tried and new flavours tested!

While it is still cold here in South Africa (anything below 22C for me is cold), thick soups are on the menu for ‘after school’ lunches. Minestrone, butternut, French onion and tomato soups are some of the choices. Vegetable lasagna and spaghetti with cheese and tomato are some of my other menu choices.

Deconstruction

Deconstructed dishes for dinner are needed to cover everyone’s tastes and preferences. Since I do not run a restaurant and do not want to cook 3 different meals, deconstructed works best.

A deconstructed dish is typically a dish that has been broken down into individual ingredients. For example, cottage pie would be served as mince and mash potato and bolognaise would then be spaghetti and mince. Some meals are easier to deconstruct than others.

The fun is in creating the concept. It is easy to deconstruct a burger where each person can create their own by having all the toppings separately, however a lasagna would present a challenge.

The way I do this is to look at a recipe and then see if you can divide and cook the ingredients into individual components that still have the taste and flavor of the original. Thank you to my favourite TV show, ‘Master Chef Australia’, for showing me how.

If you enjoy cooking like I do, then half the fun is in inventing the ‘revised’ recipe. If you don’t enjoy cooking, then it is better to find recipes that have clear and easy layers that can be served separately.

I would love to hear from you about any recipes you have served deconstructed and why.  I would also love to make any of your tried and tested vegetarian recipes!

Interesting times – a curse or not?

Kashering your life logo

Interesting times

May you live in interesting times, is thought to be a Chinese curse, however, there is no proof of this. The first time this sentence appears to have been used was in 1936 by the British Ambassador to China, Mr. Hughe knatch-Hugessen.

In recent months this has been our home life. I like to think of those words as a challenge, a hidden blessing, in a way.

Yes, sometimes a nice quiet life is what I dream of but I have 4 teenagers in high school so interesting times are all I will get for a while.

Health and financial challenges have been leading the pack and I have had to learn a lot from my own course on meal planning.

Couponing in SA
Coupons are a great way to save money

Without meal planning, I do think that I would have changed the word interesting to nightmarish.

My two youngest children have developed a social circle and have designated my home as the ‘club house’. I love the fact that they have friends and feel that our home is a place where everyone is welcome.    It does often mean though, that I can have up to 15 teenagers between the age of 13 and 16!  They come home for Sabbath lunch and then stay for movie nights.

Sabbath afternoon involves old fashioned board games, where everyone is talking to each other (okay, yelling at each other.  Who knew that Trivial Pursuit could get so loud). No cellphones in sight.

We go through a lot of popcorn these days. Movie nights involve putting up a white tablecloth across the wall unit and setting up my overhead project to play the movie through a computer. What I love about these nights is that I know the kids are having fun, are safe and are not wandering around shopping malls.

Meal planning for weekends now also involves having snacks on hand and enough cans in the cupboard for instant salads to bulk up the meals when the 4 you were expecting becomes 6 or 8.

I am loving living in interesting times. It keeps me on my toes and reminds me that meal planning makes life so much easier. 3 things you must know about meal planning

Overhaul

Gnocchi

Sometimes our eating habits need an overhaul.  This is when meal planning becomes your biggest ally.

These past few months we have had to change the way the family eats. I have always cooked fairly healthy, low GI meals but now we have had to introduce carbohydrate free dinners. This has meant that I have had to rethink our entire meal plan.

Meat free Mondays no longer contain pasta or challenge me to make gnocchi. Now it includes things like Frittata’s and salad.

Gnocchi
Homemade Gnocchi

Mincemeat Tuesdays can’t contain spaghetti bolognaise, sloppy Joe’s or even taco’s anymore. Shepard’s pie and cottage pie now either feature cauliflower mash or mashed turnips instead of potatoes.

Wednesday night fish has also become a new adventure, tuna lasagne made with zucchini slices instead of lasagne sheets.

Lasagna
Lasagna

Thursday  there is no roast potato with the chicken and beef stew is now filled with patty pans, baby marrow, onions and carrots, there is no rice in sight, unless it’s cauliflower rice!

Friday night is a big night for dinner; we start with soup, then salad and main course and occasionally desert. With it being winter here in South Africa and my family really liking soup, I am having to look up new recipes, the family favourites of potato and leek soup, curried butternut soup are needing an overhaul too, so besides the standard chicken soup, we are now having baby marrow soup, carrot soup, leek soup and a bell pepper soup! I do admit to serving some carbs in the form of couscous or brown rice on a Friday night.

Butternut and Sage pasta
Butternut and sage pasta

Saturday and Sunday night have always been about leftovers so the meal plan stands unchanged.

No matter who you are a meal plan is essential when changing your lifestyle, I had forgotten how important it is to have a template when planning for your new eating habits. I am not partial to the low carb high fat (banting) mostly because I like my carbs, my breads and pasta’s.

Now lunches include healthy carbs and spaghetti bolognaise is made with zucchini spaghetti. I at least enjoy the challenge of new recipes and cooking challenges.

Have you changed your eating habits recently? Gone on a new diet? How did you make the change?

 

The restaurant meal plan

Restaurant

Restaurant
Eating in a restaurant can be part of your meal plan

Meal planning doesn’t only have to be meals made at home. If you are in the type of working environment that requires you to eat out, then put restaurant food on your meal plan. Dinner Theme Meal Planning

How does this work?

If for instance you use a meal planning template, this could help you decide what to eat at the restaurant your business meeting is being held.

chicken night
Some chains have healthy option meals

Using my home template, it would mean that if you are going out for lunch or dinner at a restaurant you would then either choose vegetarian/vegan restaurants or a vegetarian dish at whichever restaurants you go to. Monday is meat free in my house.

Mince is the main ingredient on my meal plan template for a Tuesday, so Italian restaurants would work well.

Mince night
Tuesday mince, try Italian

Fish on Wednesday’s, there are so many restaurants to choose from for this option. My advice though is to avoid ordering fish in a steakhouse. They cook steaks; fish is not always their forte except at the very upmarket places.

Fish Night
Some restaurants offer specials on certain days

You can see how this would work for you.

There are 5 benefits to this method.

  1. You can actually stick to an eating plan, by knowing ahead of time what you are going to be ordering. Maybe not the exact dish but an idea
  2. It gives you an excuse to try out new places and new flavours
  3. When you draw up you home meal plan you can adjust the size of your meals to suit what you had at lunch or pack a lighter lunch if it is a business dinner.
  4. It will take you less time to order as you already can cross off certain dishes from your range of choices.
  5. You don’t have to cook! For those who don’t like cooking, this would probably be the best option.

Once again proof that meal planning is not some rigid regime you have to stick to. It is flexible and can fit in with any lifestyle you live.

If you need help getting your meal plans up and running, why not book a Skype one on one coaching session with me? https://calendly.com/adrienne-2/90-minutes