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This Week’s Meal Plan: 1/19/15

Another meal plan comin’ at ya this week!! If you didn’t catch my first one, go check it out here.

In addition to me sharing my week’s worth of lunches and dinner’s that I personally am eating at home, I will be doing a nutritional highlight on one food included in my meal plan each week.

This week’s nutritional highlight is pumpkin which is used in the pumpkin sausage soup on Tuesday.

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Besides being a fall favorite food that can be used in a variety of recipes, pumpkin surprisingly has a wide range of health benefits. I have highlighted a couple of them for you below.

1. Has a very low Glycemic Load

  • Pumpkin has Glycemic Load of approximately 3. Foods that have a Glycemic Load any higher than 10 will cause a rapid increase in blood glucose levels after consuming them. Raising your blood sugar levels quickly is never a good idea. To obtain optimal health we need to consume foods that help us maintain a steady blood sugar level. When we don’t, we risk all kinds of health issues like insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and more.

2. Has a perfect balance of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids

  • I think most of us know by now that omega 3 fatty acids are super important for our overall health, but what’s even more important is a proper balance of these two essential fatty acids in the body. You can eat all the omega 3 rich foods you want, but if those foods are really high in omega 6 also, the balance will be off in your body. The main reason we need to obtain balance of these two essential fatty acids is because, too much omega 6 leads to inflammation in the body which is at the root of almost all modern disease today. Studies show that when the balance of omega 6 to omega 3 in the diet is any higher than 4:1, body failures and chronic disease start to set in. The Standard American Diet on average is anywhere between 10:1 and 20:1. That is a nutritional nightmare. We do not make these essential fatty acids on our own so we must obtain them from our foods. This is why it is so important to eat foods that are not just high in omega 3, but have a healthy balance of both omega 6 and omega 3. Pumpkin is a perfect example!!

3. Is High in Magnesium

  • Magnesium is required for over 300 enzymatic processes in the body and many people are deficient in this important mineral. This mineral is often depleted after a hard sweat session which makes pumpkin a great food to consume after a workout.

4. Is High in Potassium

  • 1 cup of pumpkin has more potassium than a banana. Potassium is also another essential mineral that is used up rapidly in hard workouts, making pumpkin once again great post-workout fuel.

These are just a couple of highlights. Pumpkin has many other health benefits on top of these..Let’s give it up for pumpkin!

Now for your weekly meal plan..

Monday

Lunch: Grass-fed Beef Summer Sausage + 1 whole avocado + baby carrots

Dinner: Mini Mexi-Meatloaves with a side of Steamed Broccoli

Tuesday

Lunch: Leftover Mini Mexi-Meatloaves with a large spinach salad

  • Spinach salad: 2 heaping handfuls of greens, 1 full avocado, diced cucumber, tomatoes, and onions. No Dressing. Mashed avocado is enough for me.

Dinner: Crock-Pot Pumpkin Sausage Soup

  • I doubled the recipe to have leftovers for lunches the rest of the week

Wednesday

Lunch: Leftover Crock-Pot Pumpkin Sausage Soup

Dinner: A mix and match from a couple different recipes. Baked Spaghetti Squash topped with cooked ground deer meat and the Basil Almond Pesto found in this recipe

Thursday:

Lunch: Leftover Crock-Pot Pumpkin Sausage Soup

Dinner: Leftover Spaghetti Squash Mix and Match recipe

  • Can you tell I like to eat leftovers? Who has time to cook every single meal?? I always try and be realistic when planning my meals and plan accordingly.

Friday

Lunch: 2 Paleo Grass-fed Beef Hot Dogs, Chicago style, inspired by nomnompaleo with a Large Spinach Salad

  • Using the Franks as the bun, slice it open down the middle and place sauerkraut, pickles and a little bit of mustard in the middle and enjoy!
  • Spinach Salad: 2 heaping handfuls of greens, 1 full avocado, diced cucumbers, tomatoes and onions

Dinner: I will be on the road traveling. If you follow me on Instagram you most likely will see what I end up eating!

Meal Prepping Tips

  • Chop up all veggies used in the recipes and as salad toppings before the week begins
  • Make a note on your fridge of when to dethaw meat for each of your recipes
  • Make a note on your fridge to put all ingredients for Pumpkin Sausage Soup in the crock-pot at least 6 hours before you want to eat dinner..

 

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