HL week day 1: prep is key

March 8, 2010

the usual routine
as you all know, i am a creature of habit. sure — once in a while, i get thrown off track, thanks to an upside-down work schedule or a pediatric virus. but most of the time? i’m as predictable as they come. and one of my most treasured routines these days is that of meal planning and grocery shopping.

some may find it tedious, but it’s actually a ritual that i love. i gather my planner, menu-planning pad, and a blank grocery list (oh paper, i can’t quit you!) and scheme out the week in terms of meal in, meals out, and nights suited more for leftovers. i also grab whatever resource i’m using for recipes that week: last year doin’ time made that a no brainer, this month i’m referring to the latest issue of cooking light.

during a typical work week, i usually cook 3 times, we eat leftovers or very easy things 1-2 times, and we go out 2 times. this seems to be a happy mix for josh and me.

sunday shopping spectacular
once i have my plan of action, i almost always head out on sunday afternoon to my beloved whole foods, conveniently located less than 3 miles from our apartment. i know it’s expensive, but I FREAKING LOVE THAT PLACE, and it’s just worth it to me. i even have my own well-worn path around the store, and i love foraging for new products and interesting produce.

yesterday, in the spirit of healthy lifestyle week (HL week for short from now on!), i decided to capture my loot on film. so here goes: a week’s worth of groceries. (and then some!)

produce! pink lady apples, loose carrots, an onion, red peppers, broccoli, scallions, mushrooms, baby spinach, garlic, ginger, avocado, bananas, and a cucumber. whew! will we eat all that!? i hope so.

meat + frozen and prepared goods: chicken breasts (in new, less-wasteful packaging — yay WF!), bacon (mmm), shrimp, amy’s wraps/burritos, flax waffles, and my beloved ezekiel english muffins. (and, our toaster.)

beverages: the milk and OJ are for josh — i really don’t drink either of them, since i think i’m borderline lactose intolerant (yum) and i just don’t like OJ (or oranges, really). the beer was selected based on the label. looks mysterious and fun, no?

snacks and essentials: i’m loving KIND bars lately. coffee is the #1 thing that we CANNOT run out of, so i stock up whenever i think of it. and pb is #2. i threw in the whole foods baked granola bar on a whim — my sister turned me onto these delicious treats, and they keep for ages.

specialty ingredients: things specific to this week’s planned meals. this week: red curry paste, black bean sauce, NC peanuts, roasted red pepper, and grits

whew! this was a more extravagant and extended trip than usual, but that seems to happen every few weeks when the essentials need restocking.

so there it is: the groundwork i try to lay each week to help maintain the food portion of my HL. tomorrow: a deeper look into what the concept of healthy lifestyle means to me, anyway. i am also flirting with the idea of food blogging for this week! even though josh has already started making fun of me . . .

what is your strategy for keeping the cupboards and refrigerator stocked? do you buy everything at once like i do, or do you shop for fresh ingredients in a more european fashion? am i the only one who spends half of her paycheck at WF?

weekend update
★ i did not get much done on my project.
★ but i really did enjoy my weekend!
★ i delved into the happiness project website and fell in love with the concept (although the whole time, i had an eerie feeling like “I COULD HAVE (and should have) WRITTEN THIS!)
★ a major highlight was a run with meg on the tobacco trail

we had so much to talk about, and our paces were well matched! i can’t wait to run with her again.

fashion ?
what do you think: could i get away with the below number at a black tie wedding?

i’m thinking no, but i wanted to ask. i’m not even sure where to look for a black tie-appropriate dress! sadly, anthro has its limitations . . .



workout: 11 miles on the tobacco trail. i guess i will survive my upcoming half, after all! miles 1-6 were run with meg at average 8:31/mi, then the last five with ira glass (ie, this american life) at an average of 8:38/mi. it was nice to run on flat ground after weeks of hauling my butt up hills in CH!

oscar fail: we were supposed to attend an oscar party last night! in the party-food spirit, i whipped up some basil and sundried-tomato/goat cheese crostini (recipe here).

but. josh got called to a case, and we didn’t get to go. several of these made for a delicious (albeit poorly balanced) dinner. don’t worry, i rounded out my meal with strawberries and chocolate!


  • Reply Anonymous March 10, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    WF is like 2 miles from my house but I usually don&#39t shop there. I wish I could afford it! I go there maybe once every three weeks.

    We have similar eating habits – I cook 3 meals, we have leftovers or random stuff (i.e canned soup) twice a week and we go out twice a week.

    Was it the TAL about the DSM? That was interesting. I just listened to that on Saturday. I think it was last week&#39s.

  • Reply Jill March 10, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    WF is so worth it! "Paper–I can&#39t quit you" love it, just love it! 🙂

    I try and shop mostly once a week, but it always turns out to be more like every day. I really enjoy cruising the aisles, using my coupons and planning/making lists…oh…I think I see a few grey hairs sprouting!! AHHHHHHH

  • Reply Meg @ Be Fit Be Full March 10, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    Can&#39t wait to see your meals this week based on your groceries! As for the dress, maybe if you wear really fancy shoes and jewelry you could get away with it? Maybe??

  • Reply Aimee March 10, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    Did I NOT call dibs on that dress? 😉

  • Reply Heather @ Side of Sneakers March 10, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    Haha I saw that beer and was like "oooh I wonder what that is, sounds good" and then read on to see you bought it b/c of the label- I totally would have done that!

    I LOVE that Anthro dress…probably not black tie appropriate, but surely you can think of another reason you have to have it 😉

  • Reply Chelsea March 10, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    Unfortunately our living/commuting situation makes "dropping by" for groceries almost impossible so I try to do everything in one big trip on the off hours (usually Wednesday after dinner). Sometimes we have to make a second trip if we run out of a necessity, but usually we just make do until the next trip. We do 99% of our shopping at Trader Joes and 1% split between WF and the regular grocery store.

  • Reply Susan March 10, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    That dress is beautiful!! I agree, however…maybe not for black tie.

    I liked Whole Foods when I was in there once…but it was soooo expensive! A new one opened up not super close to my house, so I might just have to browse it a little.

    I love meal planning, although it usually just involves me making one meal per week…cooking for one is difficult!

  • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 10, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    pen: i think we are, too. i need to replace my menu-planning pad 🙂

    inmytummy: yes we both like our evenings out. i would be sad to give those up! it wasn&#39t about the DSM (you mean the psych one right?) – but that sounds fascinating. i have a few to catch up on.

    jenny: yes european! us lazy americans tend to just do it all in one go. sometimes i&#39ll do a second mini trip just for milk + fruit, but usually it&#39s just the one. hence the dinners out towards the end of the week . . .

    jill: coupons are something i cannot get myself to do. but i&#39m okay with that. i will buy the brand on-sale, and sometimes try to stick to what&#39s in-season, but that&#39s about it.

    meg oh you&#39ll see!

    runsarah: luckily residency pays a bit more than the negative $ of med school! trust me i wasn&#39t shopping @ WF back then, either.

    aimee: yeah . . . you did. can&#39t we both have it? just not wear it at the same time? maybe?

    MM: usually just 1x/week. sometimes an extra quick trip for josh&#39s milk + bananas or something, but otherwise just one.

    heather: i want it but SO don&#39t need it.

    stephanie: sigh — you&#39re right!

    chelsea: i don&#39t go to TJs nearly enough. it&#39s right next to the wf!

    katie: ohhh i love bcbg. i don&#39t know if there&#39s an outlet around here, though.

    jess: you pick great recipes, too. i only usually make ~3 real &#39meals&#39/week too . . . 4 at most. leftovers are key.

    susan: it&#39s hard to motivate to cook for one! and sometimes i end up eating the same thing for lunch all week long if we make a particularly big batch of something . . .

  • Reply Cel March 10, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    That is a beautiful, beautiful dress! I love it 🙂

    I don&#39t particularly like grocery shopping, mainly because I find it difficult to meal-plan for one person (this infinitely compounded by my lack of cooking skills and motivation). Depending on freezer goods/leftovers, I usually end up going anywhere from a couple times a week to once every couple weeks.

  • Reply Anna March 10, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    Where do you get the menu planning pads!?

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