Edit Content
Food and Nutrition

Food Diary: A Week of Meal Planning With Natalie

Natalie Devlin | Nutrition Specialist
/ April 27, 2023

Join Nutrition Specialist Natalie for a typical week! She covers meal planning, workouts, cooking, and taking care of the little ones.*

*Disclaimer: Please be aware that this post contains content that some readers may find triggering. This is not intended to be dietary advice. Anything written here is not necessarily appropriate for the Enara program you are on or consistent with your particular goals.

Friday 3/24

I sit down and make my meal plan for the next week. Once a month, typically the last week of the month, my husband and I do an inventory of our fridge, freezer, and pantry and try to plan meals using what we have available. This is to help keep grocery costs down while also using up what we have. Being in Minnesota we know farmers and tend to buy our meat straight from the farmers, some whom are family. We have all cuts of cattle and hog in the deep freezer that I am ready to clear out and refresh later this year. This week will entail some chicken, pork, and beef meals. This weekend I am all over the place so I will start my meal tracking on Monday!

Monday 3/27

6am wake up call! I like to wake up nice and early so that I can have breakfast and read before my little ones wake up. I start my day every day by filling up my tumbler with 26 ounces of water with a goal to finish it by the time the girls go to daycare at 9. I warm up my savory french toast that I prepped on Sunday. This meal is more for when I am in maintenance or when doing intense training. My husband is training for his first marathon so he needs the extra calories and I just have a smaller portion than he does. This meal has asparagus and ham to go with the french bread. I double the asparagus from the recipe to be sure I get in my vegetables.

I feed my sourdough starter and read my book before my daughters wake up. I decided a few months back that I wanted to give sourdough bread a try. I gave it a shot and failed many times but last week I baked the most perfect loaf of sourdough and now my daughters and I are hooked. About 8am my girls wake up, have some yogurt and berries and head to daycare. I drop them off and go to the small local gym. I have a gym in my garage but my motivation just isn’t there and I need a little extra motivation which I always get when I am in a gym setting. I do a quick full body workout before I head home and start working for the day.

I have a quick 20 minute break where I pull out one of my prepared mason jar salads and enjoy that before working some more. This week’s jar was a 7-layer salad which is quick and delicious. I continue on with my work day and when I have a gap between appointments I head to the kitchen and throw the chicken in the crockpot for taco dinner tonight. I set that up and finish up my day meeting members. When I finish up my day I shred the chicken and let it sit until my husband gets home from work. Tonight we have a family dinner since this is one of the few nights that we are all home. The girls have tacos, berries, and refried beans while my husband and I have tacos, refried beans, and a small salad. After dinner we get the kids ready for bed and I prep leftovers for my lunch tomorrow.

Savory French Toast (From A Week of Meal Planning With Natalie)

Tuesday 3/28

Same morning routine as Monday except no gym. Today I have a couple of protein balls for breakfast. I normally make these for my daughters because they enjoy helping me make them but of course this is a week they don’t want anything to do with actually eating them, so Mom and Dad have to eat them. Today is also an active rest day so as I work I am walking using my under the desk treadmill to be sure I get in some physical activity outside of running after my kids. I grab my mason jar salad for another quick salad and a taco for lunch. I finish some more work before picking up my girls from daycare. Today is just the 3 of us for dinner so we go home to prepare our meal. It’s a quick and easy crockpot pizza bake recipe that I supervise as the girls make on their own. I cut up the dough and leave the rest for them. My oldest daughter is almost 3 but going on 13. She feels like now is the time to be very independent and wants to do everything herself. I work that into my meal plan for the week so I know we have a recipe that’s easy enough for her to either help with or do on her own with minimal assistance. Last week was pigs in a blanket, this week is the pizza bake, and I’ll need to find some more for next Tuesday!

I skip on the pizza bake (I leave it for the kids) but have my dinner made for the days my husband works late. I eat some baked chicken, quinoa, and half a bag of frozen broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower. I enjoy a glass of wine and read a few more chapters in my book before my husband gets home from work or I fall asleep.

Wednesday 3/29

Very different day here as my husband is home all day with the girls while I work. I wake up early to complete my morning routine. Of course, at 7am as I’m about to head out to the gym my youngest knows and wakes up. I get her some breakfast and let my husband know I am off to the gym. I lift weights today doing another full body workout which takes about 40 minutes. I head home and start my day. I had a chipotle egg salad on a wrap for breakfast. I prepped this salad on Sunday to help keep my mornings quick and easy. Lunch is leftover taco meat with refried beans. I’m in meetings and hiding out in my office.

If you haven’t caught on, my daughters love to be in the kitchen. They make great grandma’s cookies with dad for a treat and bring one to me during one of my breaks. It’s delicious but I have a feeling that the temptation to have another tonight will be difficult. If I limit myself to one cookie a day for the next few days, we can freeze the rest and enjoy some throughout the summer. I finish up my day of appointments and start prepping some Mississippi chicken for the rest of the week. This will also make for easy meals on the weekend since my husband works some of the days. I throw the frozen chicken in the crockpot and today’s meal in the oven. Dinner tonight is Blackened Chicken Alfredo from Sam’s Club. It is an easy meal for a busy night. I make a salad to have with it and play with my daughters until the pasta is ready. We finish up dinner together and get the kids ready for bed. I then put the Mississippi chicken away and go to bed.

Thursday 3/30

Thursdays are the same as Tuesdays: active rest days. This morning I start my day with a Cabin Coffee copycat southwest breakfast wrap. I take my low carb tortilla and put in one scrambled egg with a cup of spinach and half a Roma tomato with about a ½ tablespoon of chipotle aioli sauce. Normally I would have 2 eggs but we only had one left this morning. Today is a day full of many appointments so I also prep my lunch so I can just grab it when I have a break. While I have all the ingredients out, I prepare my Mississippi chicken, farro, and frozen veggies for the rest of the week. I meet with some members, look at food pictures, check my emails, and around 1pm, I warm up my lunch. I use my treadmill again after lunch since I am in Minnesota and Mother Nature can not make up her mind with this weather. I see some more members and head out to pick up my girls. I warm up their pizza bake dinner and carrots while I make a taco salad out of the last of my taco meat. The wind finally dies down so the girls and I take a short walk before bed in hopes that the fresh air will help them sleep.

Southwest Breakfast Wrap (From A Week of Meal Planning With Natalie)

Friday 3/31

My Fridays are similar to my Mondays. I do a full body lifting workout but I do different exercises. On the meal plan I created last Friday, I put today as leftovers because by the end of the week we have so many leftovers from previous meals and these need to be eaten or they will go bad. So today I finish the last of my chipotle egg salad in a wrap for breakfast. I feed the girls some blueberry muffins they made on Wednesday and they head off to daycare. I have a shorter day of appointments with members today so I do a lot of extra walking while I look at food pictures, work on this blog, and do other projects. I eat my last mason jar 7-layer salad for lunch and take the dog for a walk before picking up the girls from daycare. We head home and I start making dinner for all four of us. I make parmesan spaghetti squash with turkey Italian sausage.

Parmesan Spaghetti Squash (From A Week of Meal Planning With Natalie)

Saturday 4/1

We wake up to 2 inches of snow… good one, Mother Nature! Thank goodness that my children are not old enough to know what April Fools’ Day is and my husband is too focused on the kiddos today since it’s his only day with all of us. Today we head to town and meet up with some of our friends for brunch. I decide to order the chicken fried chicken meal since that is my favorite dish from childhood. I order it with fresh fruit and a pancake that I will split with one of my kids. Since today is the first day together as a family without plans we decided to take the kids bowling for the first time after brunch, and boy it’s fun! We then go to my sister-in-law’s house for a game night, and for the kids to play with their cousins. We have burgers and broccoli salad as we watch the MN Twins, the MN Wild, and then some car race that only the men watch. I play games with everyone else while my brother in law makes Philly cheese sandwiches which once again is one of my favorites. Even though it is later than I normally would eat, I decide to have one. I enjoy the sandwich but do not feel my best the next morning, reminding me why I usually stop eating earlier in the night. We spend the night at their house playing games until way too late.

Sunday 4/2

Sunday is the only day that I sleep in as it is always a rest day. The kids sleep in most Sundays due to being extra active on Saturdays. Of course, the day I need to sleep in, we have to be up early to get back home so that my husband can get to work on time. The girls and I go back to sleep until 8:30am when I wake up and make breakfast for all of us. I have the last of the savory french toast while my girls have yogurt and berries. I reorganize my pantry and do some spring cleaning while the girls play. During nap time, I create our meal plan and grocery list for next week. As soon as the girls wake up we head to the grocery store. This is the ideal time to go as I can get in and out without any meltdowns… most times. I spend the rest of the afternoon and evening with my daughters playing games, building forts, and playing outside until the wind gets too cold for us. I bring them in and make peanut butter “roll ups” (my daughter’s name for tortillas with peanut butter). It’s an easy meal that both of my daughters enjoy! I have one of my prepared Mississippi chicken meals, clean up the kitchen, and get the kids ready for bed. Tonight is bath night especially after the peanut butter! We finish up and go to bed. Since I didn’t get to read this morning, I read before going to bed.

This week was not as interesting as the last food diary I wrote for you but maybe my next one will fall on some town festivals or some travel! Thanks for reading and remember how important it is to meal plan!

Skip to content