Two-week, grain-free meal plan and cost breakdown Feb 11-24

This post is a couple days late, but I’ve had a sick baby on my hands and an over-worked husband!

I’ve been following a pretty strict primal/paleo diet these last few week and it’s going great. I’ve lost a few pounds without trying very hard and I’m feeling pretty good. We aren’t doing a diet as strict as the Whole30 program, but trying to do about 90/10.

Usually I post meal plans for the week coming up, but I’ve decided to start posting meals, shopping lists, and cost breakdown for two weeks at a time, since a lot of what we buy is in 1 or 2 week cycles.

The Lenten season has begun and I will admit, the start of Lent was not very self-sacrificing. I thought Lent was the following week and did not plan very well. I am breast-feeding my baby, so I am not fasting, but I am replacing breakfast with a shake that has lower calories than my typical cooked breakfast.

My husband eats dinner leftovers for lunch, but I have started enjoying protein shakes as meal replacements because it is quick and easy (which is necessary with my 9 month old!) and it ensures I get plenty of protein. We try and order the cleanest protein we can. We aren’t perfect, we aren’t nutritionists, we are just trying to figure out what works best for us.

two week meal plan 1

We eat a little cheese here and there, so I guess you can say we eat more primal than paleo. There are places to get paleo-friendly protein powder so if you are more strict in your diet, you can certainly find it. We could use more veggies in our diet (especially for breakfast), but we are a work in progress 😉

Meal plan, grocery list, and price breakdown after the jump.

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Adventures in Breastfeeding + Altered Shirt Tutorial

Little man is 7 weeks old now; where has the time gone!? Actually, much of it has been spent sitting on the couch watching Netflix and breastfeeding. Not many complaints here, though. My wonderful husband has done a great job with most of the cooking and house upkeep so that I can feed Gabe and keep him happy.  Plus, I get to stare at his sweet face on cuddle him. And steal lots of baby kisses, don’t forget about those.

It has been nice, though, that he has started going longer between feeds. It’s nice to have a little break!

Breastfeeding for a new mom can be a bit of a surprise (at least for me and those that I have talked to). Much of the time you expect it to be such a natural thing, but it can be hard work! Between getting that baby to latch correctly, worrying about supply, and having sore and sensitive nipples, it’s no wonder our breastfeeding rate is one of the lowest in the world. Having said that, nowadays there is so many resources available to new moms that can help. Le Leche League and hospital run courses are just the tip of the iceberg – just do a Google search!

Get through some of the tough patches and the benefits of breastfeeding make themselves more clear. Besides the health benefit of the milk itself, the amount of money we save, and the bonding experience, I really think little Gabe would cry much more if it wasn’t for breastfeeding. We are lucky that so far, he has never been inconsolable. If he starts to cry, it is usually because he is hungry. If he is crying for another reason, then breastfeeding automatically fixes the problem. Nothing the boob won’t fix and it’s always a pleasure having a happy baby.

My biggest breastfeeding problem currently? Trying to find clothes I actually want to nurse in (and can afford)! I think I have finally found the solution: altered camis/spaghetti-strap tanks with a nursing bra under a loose or stretchy shirt. This makes nursing easy and discreet and way cheaper than buying specialty nursing clothes. Sometimes nursing tanks don’t offer much support; by altering these tanks it is easy to choose the support you want by wearing it with a nursing bra.

All you need is:

Easy!

All the tanks I used were fitted, so there was no droop in the back. It is so easy to nurse in any top!

Grocery Savings Challenge: Week 5

Click the picture for more meal plans, grocery lists, and recipes

I can’t wait for the Farmer’s Market to open in May; local produce for better prices! But until then, I am left to wander the produce aisle at the grocery store (our former CSA box was just too much for us two).  I have been really craving strawberries and soon the many stands along the side of the road will be open as well.

But enough dreaming about the upcoming months (oh my goodness we will have baby in less than 3!), here is this week’s plan.

The Stores and their Deals
The Meal Plan
The Grocery List
The Final Cost

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Grocery Savings Challenge Week 4: Review (with meal cost details)

In this week’s review, I thought I would try and break down the meal costs to be more accurate. I did not include the cost of oil or seasonings, since the cost is usually quite small per meal and hard to determine. If I grill in butter, I include the butter cost (and we use butter than comes from grass fed cows, so it’s about $7-8 a box).

Here was this week’s plan and cost:

The Meal Plan

The Final Cost

Meal ingredients: $42.61
Other items: $15.53
Total: $58.14

What we actually ate and price details:

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Quick and Easy Breakfast Ideas

If I can’t make breakfast quick, I am less likely to eat in the morning. Here are a few simple meals that leave me satisfied AND I enjoy:

PB Banana Smoothie:

1 banana – prefrozen in chunks
2-3 TBSP natural peanut butter or other nut butter (I like to keep mine frozen in ice cube trays)
½ cup of milk (whole milk works best)
A handful of ice

Blend all ingredients together and serve! I also use this as a sweet fix after dinner as well. You can lessen the amount of pb for a simple but tasty dessert.

Cheater Chilaquiles
1 corn tortilla cut into strips (works great with leftovers, I use sprouted corn tortillas)
1 egg, scrambled (the best eggs are from chickens who pastured!)
Salsa
Sour Cream (we use organic sour cream – and not the light stuff)
Salt, to taste
Pinch of cayenne
Pinch of garlic powder
Olive oil, butter, or coconut oil

Sauté tortilla strips in oil until they begin to get crispy. Salt to taste. Add egg , 1 spoonful of salsa, and seasonings. Scramble mixture until cooked to desired doneness. Serve with salsa and sour cream.

Green Smoothie:
1 apple, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
Handful of spinach
Juice from 1 orange
½ frozen banana
½ cup frozen pineapple
¼ cup yogurt
Handful of ice

Blend and serve. Because of the apple, the texture might be a little grainy, but I still think it tastes good.

Make Ahead:
I also know someone who cooks little quiches in muffin tins as well as a whole pack of bacon – that way she has breakfast already cooked for the week, she just has to warm it up.

If I am running out of time to prepare anything I grab any combination of the following:
a glass of whole milk
a cup of yogurt
a cup of kefir
a handful of nuts
a piece of fruit
PB toast

What’s your favorite breakfast fix?