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    Hey! I'm Beth - a 27 year old foodie living and working in the Washington, DC area who has lost almost 90 pounds through Weight Watchers. I love good food, wine and getting creative in the kitchen, and then balancing that out with running, The Shred, and yoga. Please feel free to browse around and hopefully you'll find some ideas, recipes and motivation!

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Mini Menu Planning Recap

Though I was sad that Wendy, Harper, and Justin hit the road after just one night, it WAS nice to have Saturday night and Sunday to adjust back to normal life. Since I have things going on every single weekend of June (Indy, Wendy, NYC, Philly), I’m taking advantage of all the relaxing I can get!

With their visit, we ate out/ordered in every single meal, so I was really looking forward to restocking the fridge and doing some cooking of my own. I wasted no time – we stopped at The Teet on the way home from the crab feast Saturday night. Though I was super full from housing almost 10 crabs (I think?) they say that is the best time to go!

  • 6 peaches (79 cents/lb!)
  • Blueberries
  • Bananas
  • Onion
  • Cilantro
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • Lindy’s Gelato – Pistachio and Cappuccino
  • Enchilada Sauce
  • RF Shredded Mexican Cheese
  • Black Beans

All that for under $25!

Side note, I have been DIGGING these gelato cups lately.

Only 3 pts+ a cup and they are really creamy and delicious. The cups have a good amount in them too and I do best with a single serving container, so these are perfect for me. I’d tried the pistachio before but this was my first time trying the Cappuccino and they were awesome too – so creamy and only mildly coffee-like.

After a lazy night in with a movie after The Teet, Wil and I got an early start on Sunday with a quick trip to the farmer’s market before church.

Love the tag line on this one:

Delicious produce, plus a cool sign. Win-win.

Jarred everything… even banana pickles!?

A movie premier I’m supposedly scoring a ticket to next week…

And look!

Apparently we have Great Harvest Bread Co. in DC!

I kept my impulses low with purchases (again, ate before we went!), so only got the bare minimum.

Honey-Wheat Bread, Lettuce, and Okra.

How pretty is this okra?

Love!

After I got back, I put on a pot of the black beans that will change your life while I figured out my menu for the week. Here’s what I came up with:

Breakfast Lunch Snack Dinner
Monday Greek Yogurt, Blueberries, Granola At work event – veggie sandwich, cookies Banana + Peach Black Bean Enchilada Casserole**
Tuesday Toasted Waffle Sandwich w/pb + banana Leftover Enchilada Casserole w/salad Cottage Cheese w/ peach Mexican Egg Scramble – eggs, black beans, cilantro, sour cream
Wednesday English muffin w/pb + banana Black Beans w/cilantro rice Peach w/greek yogurt Zucchini Burgers over salad
Thursday greek yogurt w/granola and frozen strawberries Zucchini Burgers w/black beans and leftovers Almonds, Peach, Larabar (for the Road Dinner in NYC!!

*Dinner last night was supposed to be Black Bean Enchiladas. I started assembling them, but didn’t soften the tortillas so they kept breaking. I ended up just making it into a version of the mexican casserole, using enchilada sauce instead of salsa (because I didn’t have any!) and it actually turned out great and super flavorful.

Mini Menu Planning Recap

I’ve been getting lots of questions about menu planning lately – how I pick out what I buy, whether I make my plan or shop first, and how closely I stick to my plan.

I buy almost strictly what is on sale in terms of produce. I normally pick out one whole fruit to have every day with lunch or for a snack (this week – peaches, but sometimes apples, oranges, or pears), always bananas, and then one or two more things. I also try to pick out 2-3 veggies to use with dinners, plus always salad mix or spinach (depending on what’s on sale!).

Almost always, I plan my menu AFTER I shop, which I know isn’t the “right” way to do it, but it works for me. I’ll usually have some idea of what I want to make at least once during the week – tofu, tempeh, beans, etc – and then based on what I pick up at the store I’ll map out my week. For example, this week I knew I wanted to make a big pot of black beans because they are delicious and versatile, but I wasn’t sure exactly what I’d have during the week.

In terms of sticking to the meal plan, I don’t always. If I come home and am not in the mood for what I had planned – I’ll make something else. I try to have ingredients on hand for a few quick meals, and do plan meals based on what’s going on during the week. Example – I work at WW every Tuesday night so I always make sure I can have dinner on the table in under 10 minutes that night because I’m ravenous by the time I get home at 8:30! That said, I do change it up based on what I feel like often.

What about you – do you shop and then plan, or plan and then shop? Or just not plan and that works for you?

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21 Responses

  1. I generally plan first and then go shopping, though I can see where you’d have advantages to buy what’s on sale before you plan.

  2. I am so a shop then plan type person. I hate planning my meals then not finding what I want at the store. I also buy what’s on sale as far as produce.

    However, I do not have as structure of a plan as you. In fact, it usually takes until about Tuesday to figure out in my head all my dinner options for the week. Lunch and Breakfasts are usually determined on what I buy at the store or what I have left at home. Let’s just say its a much more loose model than yours 🙂

    However, Tuesdays are Weight Watchers meeting nights and dinner has to be quick after the meeting becuase we too are starving!

  3. I usually plan and then shop — but sometimes I go with what is on sale or on special and then plan from there. It depends on how busy I am that week!

  4. I plan then shop. If I go in without a plan I grab whatever sounds good and end up with a bigger bill

  5. Which DC farmers market did you go to that has Great Harvest?? I have been hoping they would come to this area!

  6. Beth, I really like how you alternate your breakfasts. That’s one meal where I tend to eat the same thing over and over again. I’m going to definitely try this strategy when I go grocery shopping this week!

  7. That Great Harvest Honey Whole Wheat bread is fantastic! I’ve been buying it for years, and I know you will enjoy it.

  8. Great Harvest is in Fairlington – right near Spokes off Quaker Lane!

  9. I definitely plan and then shop. Keeps costs low for me and keeps me sane 😉

  10. I try (keyword: try) to plan, then shop, but it doesn’t always work. Sometimes I just plan based on what I have (which isn’t so bad because I get to use what’s on hand). There are also times that I just don’t plan.

  11. I’m sort of wondering if Chicago has a Great Harvest Bread Co and I just really have no clue? Time to fire up the google… 😉

  12. I try to plan ahead of time but I seem to get inspired one I’m at the grocery store. I’m not in a place where my pantry is full and I really need to eat what I have at home (today’s blog).

    There’s a Great Harvest in Vienna, VA and out in Burke, VA. How awesome to have them in DC now!

  13. That all looks so yummy!! I should make a menu for the week but I don’t. I get home rather late to cook everynight.. so its a lot of putting things together randomly. Hopefully that changes when I move…

  14. What a fantastic looking Farmer’s Market. Are those okra as big as they seem in the picture??? WOW!!!!! I try to plan ahead when I grocery shop, but usually see a thing or two that I decided to try and they magically make their way into my cart. Have a great day Beth!

  15. Farmers market looks fab, Wish we had them in the UK (well, we do, but not very often in London). Meal plan also looks great, very imaginative 🙂

  16. I like to plan before I go so that I know that I will have atleast 7 meals in my chart when I leave. I have been trying to budge a 100 a week and I am having difficulty with that. Anyone else having that problem?

  17. I’ve heard a few people talk about Okra. I’ve never tried it myself. Honestly I don’t know what to do with it. If you could share what you do with yours that would be great!

  18. I just stocked up on GH bread yesterday. The closest ones to me are 20 min (opposite direction from everything I do) and 45 min away near my parents. I’m glad it freezes well.

    Since CSA season has begun, our menu is planned after we pick up our goodies. We usually know our Thur pick up a couple of days in advance and our Tues one is usually a surprise. I try to keep basic meat, tofu and beans on hand to complement.

  19. I… don’t plan, and that DOESN’T work for me! That is why I love reading your menu planning and grocery shopping posts. One day, the reading will rub off on me (I’m hoping!)

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