Tuesday, January 3, 2023

dinner inspiration for this week and eating healthier


Happy Tuesday, friends! I have a question for you. What's for dinner at your house this week? I would love to know! Are you one who snacks? I'd love to know what you snack on as well! I'll share that with you as well. Here goes! 

I had a deconstructed sushi bowl for dinner Sunday night. 

This may not look like much, but it was so good! I cooked riced cauliflower (frozen, from Costco) according the package instructions. While it steamed in the microwave, on the stovetop, I heated up a can of tuna in a drizzle of olive oil and with I Can't Believe it's Not Butter. I seasoned it with red pepper flakes, garlic powder and a dash of salt. When that was heated, and when the rice was finished steaming, I put the rice in a bowl, the tuna on top, and topped with chopped walnuts (I wanted sesame seeds, but didn't have any), and a drizzle of sriracha. It was high in protein thanks to the white albacore tuna and low in fat and calories. It would be delicious with avocado, but I didn't have one or even a little pack of guacamole. We're having this again Thursday, because I want Todd to try it as well. We love sushi, so this is an excellent alternative to make at home. (I'll thank TikTok for this one.)

Last night I made this pasta for us. I ate this on Thursday and Friday nights of last week, it was so good. I did share about it then, but I'll share again. We bought this pasta on Amazon and I cooked it according to the instructions. While that cooked, in a pan on the stove top, I made a healthier version of alfredo. I used about 2 tbsp of the I Can't Believe it's Not Butter, a drizzle of olive oil, a 1/2 cup of heavy cream and 1 cup of milk, and pepper. I let that get really hot and added a 1/2-1 cup of grated parmesan cheese. If it's too thin, you can add more parmesan cheese, if it's too thick, you can drizzle in more milk. This DOES NOT need salt! It does need pepper, though. I also heated up some tomato sauce with garlic and a pinch of salt and poured that over the cooked ground beef. We like to mix our pasta sauces, which is what they refer to as Vodka sauce. It's half alfredo sauce, half marinara. It's so good! I added more red pepper flakes and a dash or two of salt. For the boys, I just cooked another box of regular pasta.

Wednesday night I am making what is called a "skillet". It's in one pan—a skillet. I'll use a pound of taco seasoned ground beef, black beans, corn that I'll char over the stovetop or under the broiler, avocado, tomatoes, quinoa (cooked according to box instructions), and a sprinkling of cheese. It should be delicious! I will garnish it with crushed tortilla chips, more salsa, and a sprinkle of shredded cheese.

That just leaves the weekend and I'll be home a lot by myself most likely, so I'll eat the leftovers of all this amazing food. It's good to have options! Here are a few tips and tricks I've learned for meal planning/prepping:

I have cut way back on my salt intake, because both my Mom and Dad have issues with this. I am being preventative and decided to make a change now. 

I need something to fill me up that seems like carbs, but without gluten. Remember how I mentioned yesterday that I'm eating gluten free and I feel better? Well, gluten is in all the things that fill me up—potatoes, rice, breads, and I not eating any of that. Better options for me are riced cauliflower, quinoa, and sweet potatoes, so I loaded up on those at the grocery store on Monday.

Having healthy snacking options is a must for me! I drink one of these protein drinks for my breakfast...

I snack for lunch on something like tortilla chips, hummus, and maybe a couple of slices of roasted chicken from the deli. I eat a protein bar in the afternoon, this kind we buy from Costco...

... and I've been keeping homemade Chex mix on hand for us to snack on. I make it with all the Chex cereals (wheat, rice, corn) and half a box of Cheese Its. I melt 1/4 cup of that I Can't Believe it's Not Butter, 2 tbsp of olive oil, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, and some shakes of a Cajun seasoning we have. I cook it for one hour on 300 and take it out every 15 minutes to give it a good shake. I make it one of those giant black roasting pans and it'll last us through at least four days. The guys love this stuff, so we can go through it quickly. 

I keep tortilla chips, hummus, and guacamole packs on hand for snacking as well. If I crave something sweet, I have a bite of something sweet. Last night it was a piece of peppermint bark and a tiny glass of milk. I don't deprive myself when I crave something, I just eat a little bite and it's enough to satisfy me. I've already lost some weight, but I've also lost that terrible bloated feeling I had after eating too much over the holidays. That's why I made the change the day after Christmas. I'm not following a plan, I'm just kind of doing what is working for me and what satisfies me and what goes along with what Todd is eating. In case you've missed this fact, he has lost over 60 pounds since he started dieting in February of 2022. 

I've learned that I can make things so much healthier by using things like olive oil mixed with I Can't Believe it's Not Butter, I can cut back on salt and use other spices in its place, and I can snack on things I make that are healthier and satisfying without feeling any of the guilt. 

I'm not doing it for any other reason than to just be healthier than I was. The benefit is feeling great, because I'm not eating the things that cause inflammation in my body. I have more energy because I'm resting well at night, I'm never tired anymore, I never feel too full or bloated, and it's changing my desire for what's entirely too personal to share here, but that you can imagine on your own. 😉 Who would have ever thought that all those things would be connected? I'm no professional, obviously, but I'm experiencing it right now in my life, so I know it's true.

Now that I've shared all of that, it's your turn. What are you having for dinner this week? What are you snacking on now that the holidays are behind us? I'd love to hear from you! Thanks for reading my blog, friends, and for the comment love. Much love to you all. ❤


  1. Great ideas! We are having the taco bowls - very similar to your skillet tonight.
    I didn't even think of doing Chex Mix that way!
    One suggestion - you can use Laughing Cow Wedges to do an alfredo. Also, they are so good on celery with everything but the bagel seasoning.
    I need to eat more sweet potatoes and you can use them for so many things. Do you like buffalo chicken? You can put that inside a sweet potato or use round slices for sweet potato nachos. This was very inspirational and I know I will go back to it.
    Yes to all of the benefits you mentioned and I am ready to feel better again like I did in 2021 and most of 2022!

  2. Good for you! Glad these changes are making you feel better- sometimes it is just tweaking a thing or two right? I am back to eating "clean" this week and feel better already- meals are an equal portion of protein, veggies and fat and beefing up my water intake. I find January the best month to "clean up" and "detox" :)

  3. Good job on all of the positive changes to your diet and congrats on seeing and feeling the results of your changes. I have not eaten desserts/ sugar the past two days and while I have not felt (or seen!) any positive changes, my mind has switched from non healthy eating to much healthier eating. When I make one positive change, it follows that I want to make other changes. So I'm pretty positive those jeans that are just a little too snug will fit me better soon ;). Having cashew chicken either tonight or tomorrow- other than that, I don't know. I have been winging it with kids coming and going. Have a great Tuesday, friend!

  4. Your meals sound delicious! I love anything in a bowl :) And your skillet dish sounds like one of my favorites, but I use Orzo (a pasta/rice product) and taco meat, Rotel, let it simmer in a skillet and it lasts for days! This week I've made ham and cheese sliders while the girls were here. Today I'm working on taking inventory and making a meal list for the rest of the week.

  5. Thanks, Amy! Your taco bowls tonight sound delicious as well. I love anything and everything that is Mexican-food inspired. I love some Chex mix! It's healthier for us to snack on with small amounts than to have other saltier snacks. The way that I make it is seasoned really well.

    Thanks for those suggestions! I bought some of that grilled chicken that's already cooked and sealed in a vacuum pack from Costco. I think you told me about that? So I could use in a buffalo chicken bowl with a sweet potato. I love Laughing Cow cheese, but had forgotten about them until you mentioned the name. I'm going to try these ideas!

  6. Thanks, Holly! You are so right. I think that's why I started the day after Christmas...I felt like I needed to flush out everything I'd eaten in December. It was definitely a month to indulge in all the things, but I was miserable on Christmas night.

    Water, water, and more water is one of my mottos in life. Everyone thinks they drink plenty, but most don't drink enough. It gets rid of tummy troubles, headaches, and all the other things that dehydration brings about.

    Way to go, my friend! You're doing a great job, it sounds like.

  7. Thank you, Maria! You are so right about how one small change brings about so many more. I'm even sweetening my coffee with raw honey, and only a tiny amount and with a drizzle of creamer I keep in the fridge. I feel too good to stop now! I get the "winging it" with dinner- last night I made something for the boys that only one of them ate, but it'll be here for them to have another night if they want.

    Have a great day, friend!

  8. Thanks, Debbie! I am the same way. Your skillet sounds equally delicious! I have seen that what I make for Todd and myself lasts for a while. We offer it to our sons, but they never take us up on it. 🤣 I love a day spent doing what you're doing today! Happy shopping and organizing!

  9. Monday - we had chipotle style bowls (white rice, seasoned chicken fajita meat, black beans, cheese, sour cream, guacamole)

    Tuesday - guacamole bacon grilled cheeses with fruit

    Wednesday - breakfast for dinner

    Thursday - Jeep meet at a restaurant (Texas Cajun place)

    Friday - no plans

    I'm trying to cut back on snacking this year! I sit too long at my desk to be snacking! :)

  10. Happy New Year! You've got some good options for dinner this week. For us, grilled fish, soups, and lasagna are up this week.

  11. I lost 40-50 lbs a few years ago on Weight Watchers and still use their tracking app to keep me making healthier choices. This week we're having alfredo (using laughing cow cheese wedges) and my boys will have whole grain pasta while I eat it with zoodles. Tonight I'm making burgers and fries but I'll have a turkey burger with butternut squash fries (I don't really like the texture of sweet potatoes but I love butternut squash so I use that as a substitution for a lot of things). We're also having salmon with rice (I'll have riced cauliflower)... I have been slowly making a list of what I want to eat all month and simultaneously writing a post about my favorite WW meals, foods, and snacks to keep me motivated in eating healthy.

  12. Crystal, all of those sound good! I totally get sitting and not needing to snack. I would be the same way if I sat at a desk all day five days a week. Thanks for stopping by!

  13. Thanks, Lucy, and happy new year to you! Your week of dinners sounds equally as good. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!

  14. Joanne, that's AMAZING. You look incredible! Aside from just wanting to be healthy and feeling good, I'd love to lose that same amount. I started lifting some light weights as well, so hopefully I'll be toning at the same time. I did WW years ago, so it's always easy for me to go back to that lifestyle. It's similar to what I'm doing now, I just added the gluten free part.

    Thanks for sharing!


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