Meal Plan Monday Post

Nothing too interesting happened last week in terms of altering the meal plan. Our food challenge for Week 4 that we incorporated into the meal plan was to avoid fast food or any foods that have been deep-friend oil. We were mindful of including some of the things we enjoying in previous weeks - mainly eating more fruits and vegetables and including more meatless meals throughout the week.

Week 4: No fast food or any foods that have been deep-fried in oil.

Before I share my thoughts on the week I wanted to include some information from the challenge author to explain things a bit better than I could:
"It's a two-fold challenge where I'm asking people to avoid both fast food and deep-fried food for a week... First off, fast food is defined as “food sold in a restaurant or store with preheated or precooked ingredients, and served to the customer in a packaged form for take-out/take-away.” Hopefully I don’t need to go into too much detail about why it would be beneficial for you to avoid fast food meals, but let’s take a moment to discuss the reasoning behind deep-fried food. The problem with something being deep-fried is that the food absorbs a great deal of oil during the cooking process. So when you eat the end product you are consuming far more oil (which in most cases is highly refined, i.e. an unhealthy fat), than is recommended.
   For this challenge you must avoid food from:
Restaurants with drive-thru windows. Convenience stores that also typically sell gas. Places where you watch them assemble your food through a glass wall (i.e. Subway). Restaurants that are situated in a “food court” setting in a mall...
   The places where you can eat during this challenge:
Restaurants with waiter service (which aren’t always ideal when it comes to food quality, but we just had to draw the line somewhere). Grocery stores (we recommend hitting the salad bar, vegetable sides and brown rice sushi). Your own kitchen! :)
   Even while you are eating at the “allowed” places you must still of course avoid deep-fried foods, which is trickier than it sounds. If it is crunchy and crispy you need to question it. We were even fooled once by some hard taco shells not realizing at first they probably got their crunchiness from being deep fried in refined oil.
   Some other examples of deep-fried foods to be on the lookout for: French fries. Sweet potato fries. Potato/tortilla chips. Chicken fingers. Chicken wings. Donuts. Corn dogs. Egg rolls. Crispy tortilla shells.
   The goal of the fast food part of this challenge is to force you to figure out alternatives to a Big Mac even when you are starving and on the go. And the key to success is planning ahead. Don’t wait until the last minute to figure out where and when you will have your next meal. Consider packing some whole food snacks to hold you over including bananas, apples, oranges, nuts, carrot sticks, popcorn, dried fruit, store-bought bars made with simple ingredients (see below), whole-grain crackers, cheese sticks, etc. Also take the time to pack lunches for work, school, long car rides, and airplane trips."
So with all that being said - how'd we do?! This wasn't a "hard" challenge for us this week. We rarely eat fast food anymore and, of the two us, Patrick sneaks it in more than me during his lunch breaks. Even though this wasn't "hard" we still put in effort to avoid the deep-fried snack foods like potato chips. I don't foresee us eliminating all deep fried foods from our diet but continue as we do - eating them in moderation - which means we'll grab a donut every few months, enjoy black bean potato chips with nacho night, and I don't think Patrick can give up Chick-fil-a.

Meal Plan for Monday February 2 - Sunday February 8

   Monday - Crockpot beef and broccoli
   Tuesday - Creamy mustard chicken, kale Caesar salad

   Wednesday - Crockpot gumbo, brown rice
   Thursday - Friends over for dinner: Chicken tetrazzini, mixed greens salad, pecan pie
   Friday Honey soy broiled salmon
   Saturday - Brunch Oatmeal with Nutella and banana
      Dinner Black bean empanadas
   Sunday - Brunch Drop scones

      Dinner Stuffed sweet potatoes

Challenge Meal Plan Summary: Week 1 Fruits & Veggie | Week 2 Beverages | Week 3 Meat | Week 4 No Fried Foods | Week 5 New Whole Foods | Week 6 Labeling | Week 7 Grains | Week 8 Internal Cues | Week 9 No Refined / Artifical Sweeteners | Week 10 No Refined / Hydrogenated Oils | Week 11 Locally Grown | Week 12 No Added Sweeteners | Week 13 No Artificial Ingredients | Week 14 5 Ingredients or Less

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