Monday, January 9, 2012

Curing the Holiday Hangover

With the holidays behind us, so is all of the reckless eating. Cookies constantly within an arm's reach and an eggnog latte or peppermint mocha coffee break just to enjoy and savor the beloved red cup. And there always an excuse for an extra cocktail. Or five. I don't eat everything in site but I also don't spend my holidays worrying about every morsel I put in my mouth because honestly, I just enjoy it and know that we'll return to our regularly scheduled eating habits once the season comes to an end. What's fun about indulging if you have to rationalize everything you eat? This also goes for every extra dollar that has cause the grocery budget to just be completely ignored.

The cookies are gone, the red cups are no longer available at Starbucks (sigh) and it's time to focus on cleaning up a bit and getting back into our usual routine and stocking our refrigerator with healthy fuel. I have said this before, but I don't like the word diet. You can't stick to a diet. You CAN stick to a lifestyle. And that's how we do it around here.

I meal plan every week. Ashley and I did it while living in our apartment and I have never gone back. At the beginning of the week, I sit down with my laptop, cookbooks and recipe binder and plan our dinners for the entire week. I find that one trip to the grocery store a week not only saves me time, but saves me money! Shopping with a well thought out list is key. I do most of my grocery shopping around the perimeter of the grocery store and besides a select few items, I try to stay out of the aisles since that is where most of the trouble is.

If you are in need of some healthy recipes to jump start your new year, keep reading! Below is a week worth of clean and healthy dinners, plus one for good measure. With the exception of the soup, all can be made in under an hour, making them ideal for your weeknight menus. I added many of these to our dinner menu for last week. Some are new, some are from my daily web browsing and some are my own blog recipes that I cleaned up with a few simple swaps.

Salmon roasted with fresh lemon & garlic
{salmon fillet, 2 cloves garlic minced, 6 lemon slices, salt,
pepper, brush of olive oil, 20 minutes on 350*. Easy!}
Simple baby greens salad with balsamic vinaigrette

The Culinary Couple's Tortellini Soup- one of my favorite all time recipes
(Double the sausage, skip the tortellini)

Grilled Chicken Breast with Olive Tapenade
Baby spinach salad with champagne vinaigrette

(Use ground sirloin and swap Hoisin sauce for 2 tbsp. natural peanut butter)

(I use olive oil instead of butter)
Tomato, cucumber and red onion salad with red wine vinaigrette

Grilled chicken breast over romaine & baby greens
cucumbers, grape tomatoes, green onions and avocados

Cheers clearing out the bad, shopping smart and to a fresh start in the kitchen in 2012!


  1. Love!! I can only "clean" up to a point, otherwise hubs freaks! (He's the guy who can eat anything and everything and is still thin! AKA a bag of potato chips then does a few crunches, voila.) I just need to eat more salad and a small serving size of what I feed him haha. Thanks again for the help! I'll be back to use your meal plans for sure!!