Monday, December 9, 2013

So this is Christmas...

I've always been an avid believer and user of the flu shot.  Growing up in a household with a father who was perpetually on immunosuppressant drugs, getting a respiratory virus like the flu posed a very real threat to his well being.  Believe what you will about the flu shot and its effectiveness (I really do think it's become a pretty heated debate, and in those I always like to take the neutral stance of "Do whatever you think is right"), but when your own health poses a risk to one of your loved ones, you'll do whatever it takes to stay well.  So, basically, since then I've always gotten my flu shot and in my line of work, I'm usually able to get them for free - including this year.  So, imagine my surprise when last week I fell ill with the flu.  According to the doctor the flu shot isn't necessarily 100% effective and this year it appears there is a strain that is pretty resistant to the shot.  (By the way, for me, finding this out was akin to Ross finding out that condoms weren't 100% effective.)

All that to say, I wrote up a meal plan on December 1 and didn't even have time to eat the first meal on the menu before I was stuck in bed for the next three days.  (In truth, it's been a week and I'm still not feeling 100%.)  What I'm sharing with you here is what we ENDED UP doing.  Good thing meal planning is all about flexibility because otherwise we would have either gone hungry and I'd have a fridge full of groceries we never used.

This month was also bit difficult to plan for because we still haven't completely set in stone some of our plans for this month.  I went ahead and put meals down for nights where we may not actually eat at home - just a leg up for January if we end up going out!

So, anyway - here it is...

{December 2013}

December 1, 2013 - Homemade Pizza; Salad (Thank God my husband is our pizza chef because I could barely hold my head up to eat this.  It was the last real meal I ate over the next few days.)

December 2, 2013 - I am pretty sure my husband and The Incredible Hulk ate leftover pizza or breakfast for dinner.  I literally didn't get out of bed to find out.

December 3, 2013 - I ate some soup on this day.  It came from a box mix.  It was delicious.

December 4, 2013 - Chicken Bruschetta Bake; Salad (I subbed whole wheat stuffing mix for the first time - I wouldn't recommend this because the whole thing was a bit dried out.  But, given that it was my first real meal in several days, it still didn't taste that bad.)

December 5, 2013 - Beef Dip Sandwiches (Crock Pot); Chips; Steamed Broccoli (My husband has proclaimed this one of his favorite meals.  It is ridiculously simple.  We always finish our sandwiches with provolone and stick them under the broiler to melt the cheese.  Perfection.)

December 6, 2013 - Homemade Chipotle Bowls (This was my 30th birthday dinner.  Normally we might have tried to go out to dinner or made something a little more glamorous, but NONE of us were feeling up to it.  It's a favorite at-home meal and we went out for ice cream afterwards.  Good enough for me.)

December 7, 2013 - We totally planned to eat dinner at home on this day, but TIH was invited to two different birthday parties (quite the social calendar for a three year old) and we were served meals at both parties.  By the time we got home, no one was even thinking about any more food.

December 8, 2013 - Chicken Pot Pie; Arugula & Spinach Salad with Honey Lemon Dressing (One of my favorite combinations is the richness of pot pie with a nice, crisp green salad.  The dressing was a bit on the sweet side so next time I would probably cut the honey from 3 tablespoons to 2 - it still went perfectly with the salad.)

December 9, 2013 - Orzo Salad with Spinach, Tomato, & Feta (will add Rotisserie Chicken)

December 10, 2013 - Lemon Parmesan Chicken Skillet*; Italian Chopped Salad

December 11, 2013 - Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff*; Egg Noodles; Steamed Broccoli

December 12, 2013 - Chicken Parmesan Roll-Ups*; Alfredo Pasta; Roasted Zucchini

December 13, 2013 - No meal plan (Going to a Christmas party!)

December 14, 2013 - Cilantro Lime Pasta Salad

December 15, 2013 - Chili!

December 16, 2013 - One Pot Pasta; Salad

December 17, 2013 - Shrimp & Guacamole Tostadas; Cilantro Lime Rice

December 18, 2013 - Crock Pot "Fried" Rice; Salad

December 19, 2013 - No meal plan (My company Christmas party)

December 20, 2013 - Order Pizza

December 21, 2013 - Grilled Marinated Chicken with Corn Barley Salad (Didn't get to this one last month and it is a great recipe, so we definitely had to put it back on there.)

December 22, 2013 - Chipotle Grilled Steak with Lime Butter*; Baked Potato; Asparagus (As promised, I am going to attempt this one this month since we didn't get to it in November.)

December 23, 2013 - Chicken Caesar Sandwiches; Chips

December 24, 2013 - Christmas Eve! (We're still trying to decide on our plans.  We have a special meal that we've always had on Christmas Eve, but we might be spending it with family and friends instead.)
December 25, 2013 - Christmas Day!

December 26, 2013 - No meal plan

December 27, 2013 - No meal plan

December 28, 2013 - No meal plan

December 29, 2013 - Beef Vegetable Soup; Bread (We made my husband's mother's recipe for the first time a few months ago and it was a SLAM DUNK.  We talked about how delicious it was for days after.  I love trying new recipes, but it is so refreshing that these tried and true recipes are just as amazing.)

December 30, 2013 - Greek Marinated Chicken; Greek Cous Cous

December 31, 2013 - World's Best Chicken; Smashed Potatoes*; Roasted Brussel Sprouts  (This has been on the menu for about 4 months and we've never gotten to it.  And I'm putting it on New Years Eve which I'm not sure we have plans for it may get bumped to January.  Poor dinner.)

(* = A new recipe I'm trying.  Check back because I'll review the recipes here on the blog!)


Hope you all have had a delicious start to your December.  Make sure you check back later on this week as I will be sharing a really cool product with you that will not only make meal planning even easier, but will also give you a way to save money while doing so.  Intrigued? I thought so.  See you soon :)


  1. What I don't get is how you've managed to lose a shit ton of weight by eating all this rich food! You're amazing!

    1. Well, thanks for calling me amazing. In truth, it it's not only a great observation, it's one of the things I always share with people who ask about my weight loss. I lost 50 pounds by allowing myself to eat everything I enjoy (within reason.) I actually think much of the reason why I was able to lose weight (and subsequently keep it off) is because I do most of my own cooking. When I was struggling with my weight, I did a lot of eating out. And while some of the meals on my monthly meal plans are not so much in the "lighter fare" category - we try to space out the really decadent ones with filling, but healthier, menu options. I also try to be aware of what I eat earlier in the day with relation to what I will eat for dinner that night. And, of course, what anyone will tell you - portion control is tantamount to any other tip anyone will give you when trying to lead a healthy eating lifestyle.


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