To eat healthy throughout the week, I have to plan and prepare meals ahead of time. If I didn't do it, we'd be eating horrible food all week long! By the end of the work day, I am exhausted and uninspired to cook dinner. Cooking meals that can be reheated quickly is the only way for me. I get up at 4:30 AM to meditate, then workout, then drive 1 hour to the office, work is always stressful & driving home can take 1.5 - 2 hours!
Everything we do is a choice. I choose to commute so I can live by the beach. I choose to plan and prepare meals on the weekend because I want to eat healthy. I choose to get up early to meditate and workout to help me manage stress. The choices I make are necessary to manage good gut health.
Our digestive system is the center of our good health. If our digestive system is compromised, then our immune system is weakened, our lymphatic system is sluggish and our mood can be terrible. When our digestive system is working well, our immune system can fight pathogens and illness, our lymphatic system can move waste out of our bodies and our mood is joyful.
What makes meal planning at my house a little more challenging is that I am mostly plant-based and my husband is a meat & potatoes man. I have him at least eating one vegetarian dinner per week. Sometimes I sneak in 2 days (shhh - he doesn't know). Being plant-based is another choice I have made. Eating a lot of meat isn't good for our bodies or the environment. Plant-based eating simply means I eat fruits, vegetables, grains and beans 3 - 4 days a week. I will eat meat or fish, typically only for dinner, the rest of the week.
Eating plant-based supports a healthy gut. Vegetables, fruits, grains and beans contain fiber that helps promote the production of good bacteria in our guts. When we have enough good bacteria in our guts, we stay healthy because pathogens and illness can be fought. Plus, there are so many more options for dinner than if we simply eat meat. When I ate meat all the time, it was the same routine: beef, chicken, turkey and pork. But eating mostly plants there are so many more options to choose from! I now eat a much wider variety simply because I cut out meat.
Since my husband is a meat-eater, I included meat based dinners but with ideas on how to eat plant-based. I encourage you to try plant-based eating at least one night a week. Then if you like it, add another day.
Here are 5 affordable and simple gut healthy dinners to try.
Made with cauliflower rice, this stuffed pepper dish gets elevated with lots of veggies and is gluten-free. While rice is gluten free, I've learned that all rice, even organic, is contaminated with mercury. This is very disturbing to me because mercury is absorbed by the nerves.
Cauliflower rice can be bought frozen which means putting this dinner together is very easy.
The great thing about this meal is I stuff the peppers on Sunday & then my significant other pops them in the oven 30 minutes before I get home!
Tuesday: Garlic Chicken Stir-fry
Here is where you can manage two different eating styles. Stir-fry the vegetables by themselves. This allows you to make the chicken in a different pan for the meat eaters in the household. Meanwhile, I cook veggie burgers or heat up beans for a vegetarian stir-fry.
This meal is quick and affordable because you can use chicken tenders that are already sliced. If you want to slice them into smaller cuts of chicken, you can.
Serve with a side salad to get even more veggies into the mix.
Wednesday: Oven Baked Pork Chops Smothered with Peppers
Smothering pork chops with peppers is very easy to do. The recipe calls for marinating the pork chops which can be done overnight. I would prep this the night before, slice the peppers and then all you have to do is combine the two into one baking dish and turn on the oven.
Serve it with a side salad and frozen or canned corn to keep this gluten-free.
Slow cookers can be a life saver for making dinner. You can either cook this on the weekend and then reheat it. Or make it the morning of. It all depends on your schedule. The recipe uses soy sauce, ginger and garlic which gives it a great sweet and spicy taste when paired with pineapple. Serve with or without rice.
Friday: Pizza night!
That's right - pizza night. With the availability of cauliflower crust pizza, it is easier than ever to make a gluten-free pizza. You can also buy gluten-free dough. What I love about making my own pizza is you can put any toppings you like. I like veggie pizza and my husband likes sausage on his. So we each get what we want. Another great aspect of cauliflower pizza is the crust is really low in calories. Helping to keep our weight balanced.
Did you find this week of meals inspiring? Leave me a comment below! I'd love to hear which recipes you will try.
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