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Be Better! This week’s analysis and goals, including our Week 1 Printable Menu and Shopping list

Be Better, Karla's Making It

Be Better, Karla's Making ItBe Better! This week’s analysis and goals, including our Week 1 Printable Menu and Shopping list

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Good Day My Friend,

Hope you are having an amazing week! Coming off of a long weekend is bittersweet isn’t it? On the one hand we got another day of relaxing with our families but on the other hand, we have to squeeze 5 days of work into 4. It is worth it though, don’t you agree?

So, I am ready to jump into things and get started with my Be Better quest! How about you? Hopefully you will join me as our family adds new and improved habits and lifestyle changes. My anticipation is that this will result in a happier more peaceful life. I could fail and do all this work for nothing, but there’s only one way to find out…

Be Better! Karla's Making It

Boy isn’t that the truth! I have high aspirations for myself and fall short all the time.  I want to make so many changes to my diet, in my activity level, as well as in my mindset on life, but it is so easy to give up and fall back into my old ways.

I find myself eating unhealthy processed food or craving comfort food because I let myself get hungry.  I procrastinate and let my to do list get too long, resulting in no time for exercise. My sleeping habits are poor and it takes me so long to fall asleep most nights. I let negative thoughts feed my emotions at times. I could go on, but instead, this time I plan to make small weekly changes that will eventually, with persistence, will turn into good habits.

That’s leads me to another reason I came up with this new direction for my blog.  I figure if I am transparent in my goals, perhaps I would be more apt to achieve them.  After all, dear reader, you are going to hold me accountable aren’t you?

My expectation in participating in this plan is that not only will I Be Better, but I will achieve my goal to create a place to come for positive inspiration. If even one of you here feel like they got a big hug, a friend that can relate, some motivation, or peace of mind, it would make all this hard work worth it!

Be Better! Karla's Making It

So I will no longer live with regret for yesterday but use that as motivation to make changes today.  I wanted to start with nutrition. There is not much planning in my weekly meals or grocery shopping.  I will usually walk the aisles and choose whatever we are low on or that would please my family.  My cart often contains things like oreos, sugary granola bars, bagels, frozen kid favorites like Hot Pockets and such, with a sprinkling of fruits and veggies.

I’m pretty good about eating lots of fruit and a handful of veggies daily. I use calorie drinks like Naked Juice when I’m feeling too full. I rarely eat enough meat but I do mix in beans for protein. The worst is my night time snacking.  I will sacrifice breakfast and lunch in lieu of cookies or ice cream at night. VERY bad habit! That one will be hard to change. I speculate that I might decrease those craving at night once I am on a daily meal plan, including a hearty breakfast and continuing with small regular meals throughout the rest of the day.

My family has a little bit different nutritional needs. My honey wants to lose a few and we already started him with some good habits. Instead of eating out everyday for lunch, I have been making him batches of portion controlled meals to heat up at work.

The first week I made him chicken, rice and broccoli.  I used a citrus seasoning and it was pretty tasty.  This week he is having beef, potatoes, and green beans. I simply take one of our lower calorie dinners and portion it out in 5-6 small food storage containers. I have been trying to do this on Sundays, but it is turing out that the weekdays are easier for me to make an additional meal.

He’s doing GREAT!! In two weeks he lost 7 pounds! I’m so proud of him.  The only problem has been getting the food storage containers back home!

In addition to his lunch makeover, we started walking regularly. Now that the weather is warming up, we are able to walk either in the mornings or after dinner.  Our goal is to walk 5+ days a week and we are successful two weeks strong.

Our teenagers pretty much eat whatever is here.  Sometimes they will eat out at a fast food restaurant with their friends. But for the most part, they will eat whatever I have in the kitchen. One new thing I have been doing for them is to keep a bowl of fruit on the table.  I love seeing them grab an apple or a nectarine as they are walking by, rather than scan the pantry for junky snacks.

Be Better! Karla's Making It

So my goal for this week for our family is to analyze our family dinners, and make some alterations, if necessary. I know that I tend to make comfort food more often than what I would consider healthy food. I also noticed my menu is an eclectic collection of recipes consisting of my Italian upbringing, having lived many places in the U.S. from coast to coast (except the South), and spending a lot of time in the company of a hispanic family during my 20’s and early 30’s. I wouldn’t call it traditional California fare (I moved here when I was 12) or Midwestern as much as a mish mash of my journey until now.

This week’s menu includes meals that I had no clue had so many calories such as Chicken Marsala (979) and French Dip Sandwiches (793)!  When I added those recipes to the website and saw the nutritional information I was shocked. Since I love both those things, I will have to find healthier recipes or add them to my Comfort Food Day.  (Note: I was going to have a cheat day, but that brings a negative connotation to it, like I’m not entitled or something. So, I’m going to call it a Comfort Food Day. Doesn’t that sound more warm and fuzzy?) The Swedish Meatballs are hefty too, especially when you add the Garlic Bacon Mashed Potatoes I served with it (gasp – you don’t want to know).

menu and shopping list week 1
Menu and Shopping List Week 1

By the way, you are welcome to use these menus yourself.  It also includes a handy dandy grocery shopping list 😉 In addition, I have added my recipes to the website. Sorry if they are lacking in images, witty descriptions, and Karla’s normal fairy dust, but I wanted to get them up there for you.

I was please to see that I had some good choices on our menu as well. The Asparagus, Chicken and Penne Pasta and Minestrone Soup ( appetizers for us Italians) both came in at well under 400 calories and the Herbed Pork and Apples is close with 444. The Black Bean Burritos are 632 per serving. I think I could get that into the 400-600 calorie range (which is what I am shooting for) by just eliminating the cheese.

OK, so after meticulous analysis (j/k) my plan to Be Better this week includes:

  1. Start planning a weekly menu with shopping list (done!)
  2. Be more deliberate in choosing 400-600 calorie dinners for the following week

I will add that to my last week’s achievements of:

  1. Walking 5+ days per week
  2. Read 2-3 positive quotes a day
  3. Make weekly lunches for my honey
  4. Provide a bowl of fruit for the kiddos

How do you plan to Be Better this week?

Make it a Beautiful Day,


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