Taking the full measure of life

Valentine’s Week Healthy Meal Plan (& My Weigh-In for the Week)

February 9th, 2008 · 10 Comments

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I’m weighing in this week at 168.8 pounds, which means I have now lost 34.8 pounds since January of 2007 and over 58 pounds since my highest weight. I have 18 pounds until I reach my goal weight! That’s exciting. (My goal weight could always change if I decide I’m comfortable at a different weight or if my body reaches a set point, but 150 has been the goal I’ve had in mind since the start of 2007.)

Before I added my January monthly activity, upper-body and core strength training, to the running I was already doing, I was averaging a loss of around .5 pounds per week—slowly and steadily—and I was fine with that, because I was still making progress toward my goal and doing it in a way I knew I could sustain. But the addition of the extra exercise (I now work out 5-6 days a week instead of 3) has increased my weight loss to an average of about 1 pound per week. That’s pretty thrilling to me, and I love the additional toning, strength, and stress relief that the extra exercise provides me as well.

On to my food for this coming week: we decided to do Valentine’s at home this year. There’s a restaurant serving a special gluten-free menu on Feb. 10th, but that’s two days before my husband’s thesis proposal, and I didn’t want to add to his load right now. I looked at other restaurants, but it’s so peaceful to eat at home and know that all the food is safe that I decided to go with that. These were my criteria:

  • I wanted a relatively simple meal that didn’t generally require me standing in the kitchen, stirring and stirring and checking the oven and blending things up all night.
  • I wanted to focus on a couple of my husband’s favorite foods in the meal.
  • I wanted an impressive-tasting dessert that’s a bit more labor-intensive than we might create on a typical day.
  • I wanted a first course and main course that could be light enough that eating dessert would not make us feel grotesquely stuffed.
  • I wanted to serve a different kind of wine with each course to punch things up a bit for the special occasion.

Our first course will be fruit and cheese; you could certainly get full on these alone if you tried, but I’ll get high-quality cheeses, keep the portions moderate (plating them in the kitchen), and remember that a really awesome dessert is coming along later. Cheese is my husband’s favorite food, so I know he’ll be excited, and I won’t be standing in the kitchen prepping the first course for long. The second course is a lentil soup—lentils being another of my husband’s favorite foods—topped with broccoli rabe. I’ll prep the soup at the same time as the cheese and fruit so that the soup can simmer while we’re eating our first course and sipping our cava. We’ll have a moderate portion of lentil soup as well, as lentils can be very filling. (We’ll freeze the leftovers to eat for lunch the following days.) The savory, umami aspect of the lentils should be a nice contrast to the fruity wine I’m serving with it and the courses that come before and after it. For dessert, I’ll reheat brownies I’m making this weekend and top them with sliced bananas and homemade dairy-free caramel while my husband whips the coconut cream to go on top. (This will be our first experiment with whipped cream made from coconuts. I’ll let you know how it goes!)

Here’s my full meal plan for the week—which is, as always, gluten-free, casein-free, egg-free, and soy-free . . . plus moderate in calories and fat, high in veggies, high in locally produced and organic foods, and overall pretty healthy.


Breakfast: Variation on quinoa breakfast porridge

Lunch: Elise’s tuna salad melt (with avocado-based mayo replacer–see previous post) on millet bread with a side of roasted brussels sprouts

Dinner: Simmered greens with cornmeal dumplings (adapted from Jan. 2008 Gourmet)


Dinner: Healthy 7-Grain Broccoli Soup (using gluten-free grains, of course) and apple slices with cashew butter and honey for dessert


To Do: Pick up breakfast foods for Dan’s thesis proposal. (They want foods like Krispy Kreme donuts with OJ. The idea of something that sugary for breakfast is abhorrent to me now, which shows I have come a long, long way from how I used to be.)

Dinner: Sally works late; Go to Whole Foods for 7-course dinner with wine tasting ($20/person! AND they make different foods for me or alter the recipes for me for most of the courses that contain things I can’t eat.)


To Do: Pick up CSA order!

Dinner: Sally works late: Baked Potato of the Week: Slowww-baked potato with spinach/onion/garlic/white sauce on top—I’ll make it up as I go along! (Missed my post about making super-slow baked potatoes? Click here. You can read about and look at some of my previous potato toppings.)


Valentine’s Day


  • Appetizer: Fruit & cheese plate with a glass of Spanish cava (Don’t like champagne, do like some kinds of cava)
  • Main Course: Red Lentil Soup and steamed broccoli rabe piled on it with a glass of Beaujolais
  • Dessert: Brownies topped with sliced bananas, Dairy Free Caramel, and whipped coconut cream with a glass of port


Dinner: Weekly Pizza & Movie Night: The BLT Pizza–Gluten-free, egg-free pizza crust topped with a sauce of goat yogurt and hemp milk mixed with Ranch dressing-like herbs; tomato slices; bacon; and (after cooking) shredded lettuce


Lunch: Hummus with sliced veggies, olive tapenade, and gluten-free, egg-free breadsticks

Dinner: Crockpot: Venison roast with pomegranate sauce; Beth J.’s green beans recipe; red potatoes mashed with hemp milk, dijon mustard, and herbs

Make ahead: Vegan carrot cookies

As usual, I will be submitting this week’s meal plan to the Gluten-Free Menu Swap, which will be hosted this Monday by Carrie at Ginger Lemon Girl.

Tags: 2/3 veggies · allergen-free recipes · baked potato of the week · celebrations & holidays · dessert · flexitarian · fruits of my labor · meal planning · new activity of the month · winter

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 justoofat // Feb 9, 2008 at 10:31 am

    I’m very interested in how your coconut cream turns out. I’d love to add that to my repertoire as well, as it sounds truly lovely. I’m also interested in your hummus recipe — do you have it posted somewhere?

    Your blog is delightful. Your organization and success inspire me. I’m not quite to the point where I plan my meals for the whole week, but I can see that coming in the future. In the meantime, I’m glad to be able to glean much from your example.

    Best wishes to your husband on his thesis.


  • 2 Ashley // Feb 9, 2008 at 11:56 am

    Your Valentine’s Day sounds wonderful! And thank you for your help with filling out the rest of “Cinderella” for me. I’m trying to incorporate play into my exercise, or otherwise I’ll grow to hate it and won’t want to continue it anymore, hence the jump rope rhymes… Now if only I could get in 15 consecutive jumps…

  • 3 Onestripperpole // Feb 9, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    Wow … I truly do admire the fact that you can plan meals for a week. I think if I had money, I would hire a cook, it is not my favorite thing to do. Maybe as I learn a more healthy lifestyle, I will get more excited about cooking.

  • 4 Alanna // Feb 9, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    Many congratulations, what a feat already and so close to your goal. Keep moving!

  • 5 Jenn // Feb 9, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    Sounds yummy. I always enjoy picking up recipes from your blog. Thanks for sharing!

  • 6 Shannon // Feb 10, 2008 at 11:20 am

    Heehee! Less than a minute after posting a new entry on my blog I receieved your comment. I am back and have GREAT gluten free bread 🙂

    Thanks for asking after me. Hopefully life will calm down and my blogging will get back on track.

  • 7 carrie // Feb 11, 2008 at 9:54 am

    Great menu Sally! I LOVE your little 3 course meal on Valentine’s! So elegant and yummy!! Congrats on all your weight loss! I want to be where you are this time next year!! I have 60 pounds to lose!!

  • 8 melody // Feb 11, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Your Valentine’s Day dinner sounds wonderful.

    .. and great going with the weight loss. I am just re-starting my journey and KNOW that slow and steady wins the race. It’s hard to be patient, but there is obviously a lesson I need to learn in that.

  • 9 Marianne // Feb 12, 2008 at 10:23 am

    As always, your meal plan looks delish!

    Good luck to Dan with his thesis proposal!

  • 10 Grumpy Chair // Feb 12, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    I am so excited for you! I can’t wait to celebrate when you reach your goal!

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