What I Eat in a Week: Healthy Meal Prep & Dinner Ideas

What I Eat in a Week | Healthy Meal Ideas | Houston Blogger Lady in Violet

Well, I am venturing a little out of my fashion comfort zone on the blog today to share about another topic I love to talk about, living a healthy lifestyle.  A few years ago, I did Whole 30 and it really changed the way I eat.  I even shared my journey with you all HERE and HERE. It opened my eyes to how my body responds to the different kinds of food I choose to eat from my appearance to my food cravings.

For a the past few years, I have found nutrition interesting, so I started diving deeper into eating more healthy.  I found a documentary called In Defense of Food and started to look at food and what I ate in a whole new light.  I took the focus off good vs bad and calories and fat.  I started focusing on one thing – how is the food I am eating serving my body.  I watched more documentaries and read articles, even accidentally purchased a vegan cookbook on my quest to find more plant based recipes and to learn about the nutrients in these recipes.

I started noticing how great my skin looked.  My high energy levels and focus were amazing when I ate a diet filled with real food that I cooked.  I also noticed how sluggish I felt, the skin breakouts, and the strong mid day cravings I got after eating multiple fast food meals, dairy, and too much sugar.  I really started paying attention to how different foods affected me and started really enjoying/craving all the vegetables.  I stopped worrying about weight, and the craziest thing happened – I started dropping weight without trying.  People started noticing and asking what I was doing to lose weight, so I decided to put together a blog post to share what I eat in a week, along with a few of my healthy meal prep and dinner ideas.

Also, I do want to mention that the way I eat is based on what makes me feel good.  Everyone is different and will need different nutrients for their body.  I did tons of research and lots of trial and error to find the best food for me.  This post is not intended as a guide on how to eat just a glimpse into what I love to eat on my journey to living a healthy plant based lifestyle.

I’m also not perfect.  I still eat Whataburger and cupcakes.  I still visit the vending machine at work every so often for a bag of Cheetos and will happily share an order of fries.  If I’m going to my Grandma’s house, I want her food because it’s comforting and delicious.  I don’t believe in depriving yourself.  I live under a 90/10 or 80/20 rule.  Most of the time I focus on putting all the good nutrients into my body, and sometimes I let myself indulge in a comfort food or small craving.  I’ve also learned that the next day I am going to have to fight off some serious craving for more junk food, so I keep healthy options on hand. As I mentioned, I’ve learned how my body and mind responds to different foods.

So now that I have shared a brief look at why I eat what I eat, let’s look some of my regular meals.  I will note I am someone who can eat the same thing over and over.  I meal prep my lunch every Sunday and eat the same thing all 5 days.  If you need variety, you could try meal prepping a few weeks at a time and then mixing and matching each week.

morning vegan protein shake with mct oil | Healthy Breakfast Idea | Houston Blogger Lady in Violet

I’m not a big breakfast person, never have been!  I love breakfast food, just not first thing in the morning.  My normal Monday through Friday breakfast consists of black coffee mixed with collagen peptides, a Vega One protein shake with MCT Oil, and hot lemon water.

I know breakfast really helps set up my hunger levels and cravings for the day.  I tried doing eggs and avocado in the morning.  I loved how the fat and protein from this meal kept me full until lunch, but most mornings I’m not that hungry.  When I skipped breakfast, I would be starving by 10.  I found when I switched to a liquid breakfast approach, I was able to make it until lunch before becoming hungry, and I was consistent with breakfast everyday.  I stuck with the protein/fat combo with my morning shake.  I’m still learning about MCT oil to know just how beneficial it is for me, and I highly recommend doing your own research before trying it out.

healthy breakfast idea | avocado toast | Houston Blogger Lady in Violet

Another breakfast favorite of mine, avocado toast! I know so basic. LOL.  I love to sprinkle mine with red pepper flakes or smoked salmon.  This breakfast is one I keep on rotation on weekends along with eggs and avocado.

Healthy Meal Prep Lunch Ideas | Houston Blogger Lady in Violet

If you follow me on Instagram, these weekly meal prep pics may look familiar.  Every Sunday, I meal prep my healthy lunch for the week and share it on Instastories.  I typically have a lean protein like turkey, chicken, or salmon along with as many vegetables as I can fit in my container.  I also try to find some kind of fat like olives or oils to add to the meal.  Every so often, I opt for a vegetarian or vegan lunch option like Eggplant with Tomato Sauce or Lentil “Meat”balls.

I usually think about what I’m craving and then head to Pinterest to find a healthy dairy free version of what I want.  I also love creating healthy recipes, so sometimes I just toss things together and hope for the best.  Changing to eating real food meant cooking tons more, so I learned lots along the way about what flavors, foods, and spices go well together which helps with the whole throw things together plan.

For my vegetables, I usually pick up 2-3 vegetables that are in season at the store.  I’m pretty basic with how I cook them by either roasting in the oven or sautéing.  When I’m busy, I will cheat and buy frozen vegetables because it’s quick and easy.  A good guide for me on what produce is in season, it’s usually the more affordable options that look really fresh and vibrant.

healthy snack | mixed nut snack bag | Houston Blogger Lady in Violet

I am a snacker.  I try to break the habit, and some days I can go from lunch to dinner without wanting or needing a snack.  For days that I need a little something, I keep healthy options in my desk and fridge at work.

About once a month, I make mixed nut bags. I buy about 4-5 different nuts, toss them all in a bowl, and package them in half cup servings. I keep them in my pantry and desk.  A few of my favorite nuts are pistachios, cashews, macadamia nuts, and brazil nuts. A few other favorite snack options are baby carrots with hummus and Cuties/Halos mandarins.

 

Healthy Dinner Ideas | Plant Based Meal Ideas | Houston Blogger Lady in Violet

Dinner is where I have the most variety and fun with vegetables.  Some days I’m basic with Salmon and a vegetable side and other days I play with some of my favorite recipes like Minimalist Baker’s Cauliflower Tacos.  FYI – it’s one of my favorite recipes!  I usually buy 2-4 vegetables at the store and cook a different 1 or 2 each night. This helps give me some variety.  If I eat meat at night, it’s typically fish and usually salmon.  On a night when I’m craving a salad, I love to top it with smoked salmon and a Primal Kitchen salad dressing.

Similar to lunch, sometimes I play and toss things together and see what happens.  I have found some really good recipes this way.  I really focus on eating a variety of colors each week, and I try to buy a new to me vegetable every week or two to keep things different and to keep expanding my options.  I don’t eat meat every night.  A big bowl of vegetables will satisfy me, and I love using dinner as a time to play with different flavors and vegetables.

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If you are one of the people who have asked for a look at what and how I eat, I hope this answered some of your questions.  A few things you may have noticed, I don’t eat a lot of dairy or sugar.  It’s a personal decision that works best for my body.  I do still occasionally indulge in cheese and dessert because I love both and don’t feel the need to fully say good bye and deprive myself.  I have a HUGE sweet tooth, and sometimes that sweet tooth really wants a cupcake or chocolate cookie.  When I treat myself to a yummy dessert, I savor and enjoy every bite.

I also don’t eat too many grains or much beef.  Every so often I might crave one of these like a nice juicy burger, but I can mostly live without these foods.  I put focus on not depriving myself of certain foods, and I also don’t eat something if it’s not my cup of tea.

Thanks for sticking with me through this long and different post.  I’m planning to start sharing a little more about my love of living a healthy lifestyle, so stay tuned for more!

SHOP THE KITCHEN

4 Responses to What I Eat in a Week: Healthy Meal Prep & Dinner Ideas

  1. Can’t wait to try the Mediterranean chicken and salmon dishes, they look so great! Over time, the husband and I have been incorporating more and more dietary changes and agree that it’s remarkable how much better you feel when eating closer to nature.

    Betsy | https://nattygal.com

  2. Karen, so many great meal ideas! It all looks delicious. I never used to eat breakfast either. I just wasn’t in the mood for food early in the morning and lunch would often by my first meal of the day. A few months ago, I started having a soy protein shake made with fruit, yogurt, and almond milk and I lost over 20 pounds…by ADDING a meal to my diet! Thanks for sharing your process! This post will be featured on tomorrow’s Link Up On the Edge!

    Shelbee
    http://www.shelbeeontheedge.com

  3. Shellhy says:

    Love these ideas! And I also have found so much to be true about learning how my body responds to food and ignoring the counting calories. I’m reading Body Love right now and learning more + switched to the shake in the morning instead of my eggs and have really found I love it more and it keeps me more satisfied. Great post Karen!

    Shelly | The Queen in Between

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