My meal planning process

Good morning!  I thought I’d follow up on my last post around eating habits and share what my meal planning looks like these days.  Usually by Saturday morning, I finish this up so that the husband is ready for the weekend grocery shopping.

I plan out each week in Evernote, and start off with the weather & my goals for the week (food-wise).  My thoughts with this are to inform a seasonal eating strategy, and to be thoughtful toward my bigger picture goals.  (Really, I am looking to monitor my food so I can lose weight to be better at triathlon next year!)

Here’s what this past week’s meal plan looked like:  

Weather Forecast For Week: high 60s, low 70s. Rain at end of week.
Meal Planning Goal of the Week:   Track all meals in my fitness pal! Drink 8 glasses of water / day!

Green smoothiescurried-post-and-quinoa-stew-4_thumb
Overnight oatmeal
Sweet Potatoes baked on Sunday

None planned. (Boo hoo!)

Sunday –  Curried Pork and Quinoa Stew from Cotter Crunch
Monday-  Taste of VQ (computrainer workout).   Easy stir fry afterward.
Tuesday – Kale, Sausage & Spaghetti Squash Pasta
Wednesday – Layered Zucchini Parmesan and leftover spaghetti squash. Mike makes a simple pasta?
Thursday – Lauren makes some sweet potato gnocchi’s? Or easy dinner
Friday – Quinoa pizza crust pizza
Saturday – TBD.

Spaghetti Squash, Kale, Sausage PastaSunday Food Prep: 
Prep: Bake the spaghetti squash
Make Pork & quinoa stew (4-6 hours total)
Make green smoothie batch
Bake some sweet potatoes
Move all recipes into “MyFitnessPal” Recipes

Non-Staple Ingredients to Buy: 
Avocados -2
Colorful peppers
Kale (bagx2)
Apple or pear
More almonds
Spaghetti squash
Sausage -ground pork 2 lb
Quinoa x2

How is it going? 
I’ve been doing this for most of September now, and it’s coming along.  I still work at trying to actually do the Sunday Meal Prep on Sunday, and sometimes I forget evening activities.  (For example, I forgot that we had a Chicago Tri Club meeting last Wednesday, so that zucchini dish didn’t get made. And then we decided to eat out on Friday.  And have a surprise late dinner post evening 5K Mike did on Saturday).

Thanks to Jenn from Peas & Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday! wiaw-fall-into-good-habits-button

How to Make a Crawfish Boil

A recap from my New Orleans trip back in April!  Time has run away, and I wanted to share my final special experience from that trip!

In New Orleans we were invited to a very special activity – a crawfish boil at someone’s home!  We have a friend who moved to NOLA and one of her local friends wanted to put this on for us.

1. Put your crawfish in a baby pool and rinse them out a few times. Don’t let any crawfish run to freedom.

IMG_3154 crawfish raw

2. Pour crawfish into a big pot with other “boil” goodies:  potatoes, sausage, onions & garlic.


3.  Stir the pot.  I think we had to wait ~10 minutes per pot of crawfish.

4. Pour them out onto a picnic table & enjoy!

I miss New Orleans and loved it’s personality!  The crawfish boil was an unexpected special treat and so cool to see! They were juicy, good & spicy!

Sports Nutrition Saturday

I’m going to periodically chronicle my nutritional experiences as I go through ironman training. For a 10-17 hour event like Ironman, proper fueling is a critical component of your race day success.  Improper fueling, whether too much/not enough/not right can override all of the physical and mental training that you’ve been through for the past six months to two years, so it’s important to figure out your nutrition through training.  Please note that I am not a dietician or a coach, so what I am sharing is my own experience. Your experience may be different.  For advice, please seek out a sports nutritionist or qualified coach.  

So far in our shorter training blocks thus far, I’ve been using Nuun, and recently started using the Ironman Perform sports drink, since that’s out on the course.  So far that’s been working well for me (which is a surprise given my challenges with finding good sports drinks over the years!)

Today, I had a two hour ride on the books, followed by a transition run.  I wanted to see how the Ironman Perform would work with my mainstay from the 2013 season, Hammer Perpetuem. I decided I’d take a shot of the caffe latte Perpetuem paste every 40 minutes (starting 20 minutes into the ride), and drink the Perform throughout.  Water as well.

Less than half an hour into the ride, I started feeling my stomach. Being full. I know I didn’t properly fuel the night before for this training ride, so I wasn’t sure if this was the bottle of wine talking back to me.  It didn’t feel like that.  I was definitely noticing it again after the first hour. Thankfully I didn’t have to go to the bathroom; it was all higher up in my stomach. Since this is early on in training, I decided to take the 1:40 paste shot but did not feel like I needed to eat. I worked on spacing out in between that shot and drinking perform again.  By the time I got off the bike at two hours, I was feeling a bit better.

For the run afterward, I had a bit of water and no issues.


I think I had “delayed gastric emptying” going on after searching through Anatomy of a Gastroenterologist’s blog.  Also, after looking at what I took in, against my coach’s recommendations for intake, I did not meet the mark in hardly any of the key areas (caloric consumption, carbs, sodium).  Clearly I’ll need to plan a bit better for next time.