AIP Week 4: Budget Update and Meal Plan

I’ve hit the three week slump, I think.  My cravings, which mostly went away after week 2, have come back.  Or maybe it’s just the influx of delicious Super Bowl party foods, which are some of my favorites.  Potatoes, dips, nachos, deviled eggs (I don’t even eat them that often…why has this been such a consistent craving?!), sweets…the list goes on and on.  This was definitely an influence in our dinner plans this week (meatballs, wings, and dip all make an appearance) and an influence on my shopping cart as well (yes, flavored seltzer and sweet potato chips made their way in there.)

This slump/cravings wave could also be from stress, I suppose.  I have a work event tomorrow (only plus is that it’s during the Super Bowl, so I’m less tempted by all the foods than if I were attending a party.  And yes, it’s during the Super Bowl.  We are arts people.  We don’t care about sports ball. Haha!).  Our largest program for work starts next weekend and still requires a lot of prep this week.  My class has started, and while I love the professor and it’s lots of fun, it’s also adding homework to the mix.  And finally, I’ve only just put together that we are renting a moving van on February 19 and it’s already February 4 and that means WE ARE MOVING IN TWO WEEKS.  EEK!

We are leaving our little apartment complex (and our garden plot and the walking paths and the neighbors–I’m trying not to let myself be sad yet) to move back in with my mother, briefly, while we look for a house to buy.  Ahhhh…adulthood, as usual, is both scary and exciting.   But right now, I can only focus on the fact that I haven’t packed at all yet, so that will be consuming most of my time in the next few weeks.  I’ve gotta get some boxes!

In spite of my frustration with AIP, I have stuck with it.  Thankfully, I am far enough in that I have the valid and powerful excuse of “past-halfway” and thus, why would I throw that away now.  Let’s hope my resolve holds strong.  My breakfasts and lunches have still, mostly, stayed on track.  Both of those times of day, it is evident that I need to eat something, so I just eat and get it over with.  Its much more of a Food Is Fuel mentality.  This is actually a little refreshing sometimes, rather than worrying to make sure that something is awesomely delicious at every meal.  I’m still trying to be creative with dinner, though.  Having two leftover nights a week is helpful, for sure.  We make sure to clear out the fridge and it take away some of the food prep.  Also, since I get home around 8pm after class, it’s naturally happened that we have had soup every Thursday.  I think I may try to stick to that trend, as it’s quick and easy after my long day.

I was just over $75 this week, but I did get a lot of meat (and those few extra indulgences).  I also did my best to get the highest quality of meat in the type that I wanted.  That means organic ground beef, totally “regular” chicken wings, and chicken breasts and bacon that fall somewhere in between.  In another couple of weeks, when the protocol is finished, we will have to evaluate our budget and our eating habits once again.

Here’s what we spent:

IMG_8723

Aldi (food items): $57 (vitamins don’t pull from food budget)

Trader Joe’s: $7.84

Hungry Harvest Produce Box: $15.00

Total: $79.84

Here’s what we got:

IMG_8720

Aldi: 12-pk seltzer, pomegranate juice, dates, fresh ginger, garlic, blueberries x2, beef broth x 2, cauliflower, 3 lbs onions, serrano ham, ~3 lbs chicken breasts, ~4 lbs chicken wings, 1 lb ground beef, 1 lb thick-cut bacon

Trader Joe’s: sweet potato chips, coconut milk, coconut aminos, sweet potatoes

IMG_8721

HH Produce Box: 2 lbs purple & green brussels sprouts, broccoli, yellow squash, romaine lettuce, oranges, onions, apples

Here’s what we’re eating:

Sunday: Out/Leftovers  I’m not sure what of the hors d’oeuvres I will be able to eat, so I am snacking before and fully prepared to eat some leftovers at home afterwards.

Monday: Chicken Schwarma, Coconut Tzatziki sauce, Roasted Brussels sprouts  another new recipe to try.  I think we still have a GF pita in the freezer if M wants one.  And maybe I’ll remember to take photos of this awesome Tzatziki sauce, so I can share it with you!

Tuesday: Leftovers  I work late, so I’ll cobble something together from the fridge

Wednesday: Honey Garlic Baked Chicken Wings, Sweet Potato Fries, Yellow squash  Time to feed those Super Bowl cravings!

Thursday: French Onion Soup + Salad  I’ll nix the cheese+bread, and the red wine from my usual recipe, but the onion-y beef-y goodness remains.

Friday: Swedish Meatballs with Mash and Roasted Brussels Sprouts  Very different from my preferred recipe.  But…it’ll be some kind of meatball in gravy, plus my new favorite cauliflower-parsnip mash.  A super substitute for mashed potatoes: 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets.  2 large parsnips, peeled and diced.  Boil until soft, drain, and then mash like potatoes, with coconut milk, salt, and garlic, until you achieve the consistency of mashed potatoes.

Saturday: Leftovers  Clear out the fridge again!

Breakfasts will be plates of protein (bacon or sausage), veg (greens or sweet potatoes), fat (avocado), and probiotics (sauerkraut or kombucha).  Lunch will be leftovers + fruit.  Snacks will be sweet potato chips, ham, fruit, and seltzer.

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