Monday, July 23, 2012

Back to Meal Planning

Recently, I took a little break from planning meals. I guess I wanted to see what it felt like to fly by the seat of my pants. Or maybe it was my way of rebelling against the system. Okay, not really, but sometimes life has a way of making a person slow down. Some things had to give so other things could happen.

Fact is, I was tired. And there was a reason for it other than just my thyroid issue. After seeing a specialist, I was diagnosed with low levels of vitamin D. Go figure. Around the Pacific Northwest, this is a common ailment, but not something that is routinely tested. Low levels of vitamin D can cause fatigue, achy muscles/joints, unexplained pain, mood swings, inability to lose weight (particularly in the abdomen), depression, food allergies/intolerance, and sleep irregularities. Combined with the hypothyroidism, it's no wonder why I didn't feel like myself!

But now, I'm back. And better than I've been in a long time. Because now I have answers that make sense. Now I have hope. And now I see the light at the end of a very long tunnel.

Going without a meal plan was a good experience for a short time. We tried new recipes, used up older ingredients in the pantry, and have almost completely cleaned out 1 entire freezer. We've replaced the wheat berries with gluten-free flours and beans, making it much easier to implement a plan. And while I have no totals on money spent for the months of May and June, I can honestly say that I don't care. Having a full pantry of usable ingredients is more important to me than knowing how much we spent to get there.

Starting now, I'm back on track with both the meals and the planning. And beginning August 1st, I'll be back on track with the budget.

Because really, what else could go wrong?

Never mind. I'll wait to be surprised.☺

Here's what's cookin' this week...

B: Simple Soaked Oatmeal with berries & almonds
D: Roasted chicken, Chickpea Fritters (new), green salad with Bleu Cheese dressing

Prep: Cook 8#'s ground beef. Make 4#'s Sloppy Joe mix and 4#'s taco meat and freeze for later.
Refrigerate 2#'s Sloppy Joe mix for Thursday.

B: GF Lemon Poppy seed Muffins, venison breakfast sausage
D: Meatloaf, Broccoli Salad, Roasted Rosemary Red Potatoes

Prep: Soak dried beans.
Make yogurt.

B: Cinnamon Spiced Granola & Yogurt Parfaits
D: Salmon Patties, (I'm replacing some of the ingredients with gluten-free options.) Macaroni & Cheese, green peas, Tarter Sauce

Prep: Cook 4 whole chickens in stock pot. Shred and freeze in separate bags.
Start chicken stock. (I will pressure can this on Thursday.)

B: Quiche Lorraine with leftover sausage
D: Sloppy Joes on GF buns, 3-Bean Salad

B: GF Blueberry Scones (new), Kefir Fruit Smoothies
D: Grilled T-bone steaks, Baked potatoes (on grill), green salad with Bleu Cheese dressing

B: Cinnamon Spiced Granola & Yogurt Parfaits
D: Fancy Baked Beans, GF Cornbread, Strawberry/Spinach Salad with Poppy seed Dressing

Prep: Place frozen pasta sauce in refrigerator to thaw.

D: Pasta with Spicy Turkey Sausage Sauce, green salad

*I am doing a lot of freezer cooking while our weather is still cool. But more on that later...☺

This post is linked to Menu Mondays.


Kris said...

Kim, when the cows have their calves and you are milking again, maybe the Vit. D will get back to normal. I seem to feel better when I am milking again. I'm glad you're getting back on track anyway!

Candy C. said...

Low Vitamin D is getting to be more of a problem in our society as we are all told to avoid sun exposure because of skin cancer, Also, as we get older, our bodies don't absorb the Vitamin D from the sun as easily. There have been reports linking low Vitamin D levels with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia.
I'm glad you are feeling better! :)

Mountain Home Quilts said...

It's all making sense now. The lack of sun is the reason I look 5 months pregnant....and feel that way too......except I'm not. So, do tell, what are you using to supplement your vit d? Because I may be in need of it here unless I start heading up river on a daily basis!

Crazynursea said...

Amazingly, I have almost identical health well as a few more...understand exactly how you feel. I am also diagnosed celiac...again after living most of my adult life being told I had outgrown the ALLERGY. Gluten free on a budget is indeed a challenge! Just the planning, can be daunting. I find I frequently did not have the exact gluten free flour blend required for a particular recipe....those flours are expensive. I found a formula on the internet recently that so far has worked for me. 40% higher protein, whole grain flours, and 60% the lighter, not necessarily complete others. Add 1/4 teaspoon zanathan gum per cup of blend. I am passing it on because with everything I have tried so far, it has worked!! I have gleefully used soya flour or other bean flour instead of brown rice or other blends. Using 1/4 cup of potato starch when short tapioca flour. It has worked with breads, cookies, dumplings...I am so impressed. Keep posting. It is nice to run across someone who is feeding her family a variety of gluten free food.

Kim said...

Kris~Thank you! I can't wait to start milking...I just hope Tilly is as ready as I am!

Candy~Thank you! I completely agree. I was told to limit my sun exposure...of course, I don't listen very well, but I'm sure there are a lot of mysterious illnesses that can be traced back to low levels of D. It would be interesting to find out just how many people are affected!

Heather~I'm taking 50,000 I.U.'s of Vitamin D2 1x/wk. for the next 12 weeks, then I'll be retested. I'm also spending as much time in the sun as possible...without sunscreen! (Such a rebel.) I've been very surprised at good I'm feeling already!! You're in the same type of climate as me, so I would definitely get your levels checked...but still spend as much time at the river as possible! :)

Crazynursea~Thank you for the tip! I'm mixing 4 different blends and buy 2 different all-purposes blends...I'm always unclear on how much xanthan gum to use, so you just helped me a ton!

Kimberly said...

Looks delicious!

Kimberly said...

I think most of our town needs or takes Vit D. :)