Monday, September 26, 2011

Weekly Meals and Exercise Thoughts

As I mentioned in my meal planning post last week, fall is always busy for us, and I try to be more organized and efficient when it comes to our meals. Thank you everyone for your great comments and suggestions on last week’s post! One recurring suggestion was to make better use of the freezer, and I’m determined to double more recipes and freeze several meals each week.

Over the weekend, I took a good look at our freezer and realized that several items needed to be used up. I also wanted to make more space, so many meals this week will come from the freezer, which is nice and will give me some much needed time.

Weekly Meals

Meal 1: Bean and beef chili (Last week, I made chili for my brother-in-law who babysat for us one night. I froze the leftovers, and we’ll eat them this week. I very loosely followed Tami’s recipe, and it turned out great! I’ll always make chili in the slow cooker from now on!)
Meal 2: Veggie and bean soup (I made a huge pot a few weeks ago and froze the leftovers.)
Meal 3: Veggie soup with dumplings (I have some homemade frozen dumplings in the freezer that need to be used up. I’ll make a simple veggie soup with onions, garlic, carrots, and celery.)
Meal 4: Salmon cakes and a salad.
Meal 5: Quesadillas with Greek yogurt, salsa, and avocado and a salad.

Here is a photo of the chili I made for my brother-in-law last week. I served it with a little Greek yogurt, cheese, and green onions over a baked sweet potato.

Weekly Workouts and Some Exercise Thoughts

Last year I had some issues with exercise guilt when I didn’t work out every day. I soon realized the hard way that some rest days are necessary as I got sick a lot and also sustained some injuries. I also didn’t like the useless feelings of guilt when I took a day off.

A few months ago, I started a “new system.” I now plan workouts for 5 days out of the week, and if I don’t do one or part of one workout, I make it up during the weekend. Most weekends I have some workouts to make up, but if I don’t have anything to make up, I just get to do what I want (without guilt!), be it doing nothing, going on a hike, or anything else. So far, it works great, and I’m happy that I have a healthier relationship with exercise.

Here are my workouts for this week:

Monday: Barre workout.
Tuesday: Weight circuits.
Wednesday: Barre workout.
Thursday: Weight circuits and HIIT.
Friday: Long(er) cardio workout.

Questions: What’s on your menu this week? Do you ever cook extra and freeze meals? What workouts do you have planned for this week? Do you ever experience "exercise guilt?" If so, how do you deal with it?
Be well,


  1. I always cook extra for the freezer in the fall/winter months. A few meals I have on tap for this week are chicken stir fry, roast in the crock pot and home made chicken soup w/ grilled cheese sandwiches.....

  2. I used to feel guilty when not working out a day and it made working out less enjoyable. now I workout 5 days a week and take weekend off. I do that because it makes my whole day more energized. and if I don't do one day, it's okay too. I just stopped obsessing about it and take it as a moment to relax and destress.

  3. Homemade dumplings?? Do you need help eating those up? LOL

  4. I have absolutely no inspiration for making meal plans the past two weeks and make all the usual stuff at the moment. I never cook ahead but choose meals that are ready fast on busy days.

    I have a lot of exercise guilt lately. No inspiration or motivation on this front either.

    Hope both will come back soon.

    I like your system for planning 5 days and have make up room for it at the weekends.

  5. I am so glad you discovered that making chili in the slow cooker is the way to go! Thank you for the "shout out" as well.

    I do double recipes and freeze them. Last night I made a double batch of mini meatloaves and turkey feta burgers both recipes are on my blog.

    I also cooked up two large squash in the oven as they reheat nicely or can be make into soup. As soon as we get some cooler weather I will be using my slow cooker to make large batches of assorted soups and will freeze them in individual servings.

    Exercise guilt? Yep, I have plenty of that! I try to walk 3 miles at least 6 days a week. I give myself one day off with no guilt.

  6. The chili over a sweet potato sounds wonderful!

  7. I am the queen of freezing leftovers, simply because my husband doesn't eat them. It's nice on days when I am running late and can just grab and go.

    I wish I could do soup for dinner, but my husband considers that an appetizer! :D

  8. What kind of barre workout do you do?

    I force myself to take Sundays off. I'm always overdoing it.

    That chili looks fantastic! I'll have to try it over a sweet potato!

  9. @The Blonde Duck: I mainly do The Dailey Method and sometimes Pure Barre. They are the only barre studios close to me.

  10. @The Blonde Duck: I also have The Dailey Method dvd as well as some core fusion dvds. I'm thinking of adding to my collection...

  11. I have the opposite problem. My freezer is full because i make big batches of things and then it's full. I'm thinking about investing in a garage or basement freezer for extra food. $400 but being able to always have a meal and food on hand will same me more than that in less than a year. Especially if i go to town and stock up on food from a chain store instead of our small town market. Glad to be back catching up with friends. - Krystal

  12. Chili over a sweet potato!? Yes please!! Looks like a great week ahead Andrea. I admire your planning skills!!!

  13. I definitely experience exercise guilt. I try to just remind myself that it may be just one day and I can get back on track tomorrow.
    Love your meals planned for the week! :)

  14. Ha, samesies! I try to work out 5 times per week and use the weekend as a buffer in case I miss something.

    I rarely freeze food but I do like to make 3-4 servings of a couple of things early in the week to eat throughout. This week it was a crockpot roast braised in Guinness, with taters, onions, carrots, and a smattering of spices. NOM!!!!!

    The saying "If you don't plan, you plan to fail" is quite true.

  15. Enjoyed reading about planning your way!

  16. First, your chili photo reminded me I failed at chili toppings this week, ha. I made a chili, the Paula Deen recipe (chicken with dijon mustard/lime) we tweeted about, I have a curry lentil soup I have pulled out as well. I experience all sorts of guilt, so be good to yourself. From what I read and see you're doing a pretty good job with all of this eating/exercise stuff.

  17. Your new workout system is very similar to my own, however, I workout five times and it doesn't matter which day it is. It may be two times on the weekend, and three during the week, or 1.5 times on the weekends and 3.5 during the week....I never know!

    Your weekly menu sounds fantastic. I'm a huge fan of adding Greek yogurt for "sour cream". My weekly menu includes some salads with chicken on top, and perhaps some braised short ribs.