I’m not doing a health update this week, as I’ve basically just eaten cake from Wednesday onwards. I am so pregnant right now that I’m eating first and thinking second. I’ve only managed one and a half workouts this week too, as the heat that kicked in towards the end of the week meant I had to abandon my efforts in a sweaty puddle. Luckily, the sheer amount of calories I must be burning dragging my big ol’ bump around seems to be balancing things out and my weight has stayed fairly stable.
But I think another thing that has helped me is that although I’ve had more goodies than I should have had, my meal plan means that most of my lunches and dinners are consistently healthy. Meal planning is like my anchor, my stabilisers, my compass. Whilst I have the ability to go seriously off the rails when it comes to snacks and treats, because I’ve been using meal planning for longer than I can even remember it’s become an ingrained part of my life to have healthy meals built in. It’s so ingrained that I’m actually surprised when I meet people who don’t meal plan.
Why I meal plan
I can’t sing the praises of meal planning enough, I try to convert everyone I meet. It’s essential if you’re trying to lose or watch your weight, but even if you’re lucky enough to not need to focus on that there are still so many benefits to meal planning.
- If you’re watching your weight, meal planning..
- …helps you to think in advance of the healthy choices you will make that week
- …means you are organised and prepared, and so less likely to reach for quick fixes like takeaways
- …helps you identify what your syns/calories/points are being spent on, to help you make all the other choices around food you need to make
- And even if your weight isn’t something you’re focused on, meal planning still…
- …stops that “what’s for dinner” hassle at the end of each day
- …helps you draw up a shopping list so you aren’t wandering aimlessly around the supermarket
- …helps you stick to a food budget (if you stick to that shopping list!)
- …reduces waste because you know exactly what you’re going to use
- …encourages you to think about your meals, and maybe even try new things
Unlike last week this should be fairly quiet and a good chance to get my nutrition on track in the lead up to birth! I’m taking the four year old (and maybe the teen, if he’s willing) to a local farm tomorrow so we may have lunch in the shop there. I’ll try to go for something fairly wholesome…though I don’t know if I can resist the home baking! We also have friends coming to help Hubs lay turf in the garden on Wednesday so there’s been talk of a takeaway – I’ll try to sway it towards a kebab so I can go for grilled chicken and lots of salad. Other than that, I should be fairly on track, so what’s on the rest of our dinner menu this week…?
Now I’m on maternity leave, I’m cooking for the kids during the week and not just Hubs. This is a nice mild curry, and as it has fruit in it is quite sweet. I’ll serve it with broccoli and spinach.
Tuna pasta bake
I can’t even remember the last time I made this! But it’s right up the four year old’s street, and goes well with a big salad.
I’m not a chippy fan, and after the worst heartburn of the pregnancy coming after a Chinese I think I’ll find it easy to resist that option. A grilled chicken kebab has my name all over it.
Paprika pork with lentils
The kids actually really like lentils, and pork is my favourite meat so this ticks all the boxes. I’m going to serve it with root veg mash.
Now the four year old will eat eggs, and we all like fish, this is becoming a family favourite. I’ll serve it with some mixed frozen veg.
Another crowd pleaser, because I’m trying to make life easy for myself at nearly 39 weeks pregnant! Plus, Tesco have a great frozen mix which works really well for this. I serve it with corn on the cob.
Sausage and mash
With the in-laws on holiday, I’m taking the chance to avoid any Sunday dinner effort! I’ll probably just use the mixed frozen veg for this one too.
If any of my meals inspire you, let me know and I’ll share the recipe next week!