Craving Meat and the Menu Planning link up

Here we go again!  A new week, new training plan and another menu link up.

Thanks for all the encouragement on my taper crazies.  One week to go, and today I am feeling more confident and ready.  Tomorrow it will likely change again.

This week turned out a little easier than planned, with only 3 days of running due to some rainy weather, but I’m okay with that.  I keep reminding myself “the hay is in the barn”- right?

Monday: 1 hour spin + quick weights circuit

Tuesday: 9 miles with 4 at 7:30 pace

Wednesday: Christine’s Threes-a-charm workout

Thursday: 9 mile run, easy pace

Friday: Off

Saturday: Taught spin (1 hour) + weights + 20 min elliptical (rainy day)

Sunday: Planned 10 mile run, with 5 at marathon pace



As for food, my body has switched gears into craving meat lately.  This is why I call myself a “semi-vegetarian”- something about the cooler weather sparks an interest in more protein. I prefer high quality as much as possible (here’s a great article on grass-fed beef and another on natural or organic chicken), but it can be really expensive.  (Another benefit of a less-meat diet!)

This craving has also been reinforced by some of the lectures I’ve listened to lately.  Especially in the winter, our bodies like the denser, warmer (higher energy) foods.  If you are a strict vegetarian, you can fulfill this craving with more root vegetables and heartier stews.

I loved this interview Amanda did with Andrea Beaman, a natural foods chef, holistic health coach, and also one of the speakers we’ve had at Integrative Nutrition.  She has such a beautiful, balanced approach to healthy eating.

The bottom line, of course, is that everyone is different.  I can go for weeks (or months!) with no desire for meat and feel great, but occasionally I want it.  Some people feel much better with animal protein daily, while others find it doesn’t agree with them at all.  And what works for me won’t necessarily work for you… just sharing my journey along the way.  🙂

Here’s our menu plan for the week:

Monday:  Kale Frittata

Tuesday: Baked fish, sweet potatoes and salad

Wednesday: Pizza with Heather’s Pizza Hummus

Thursday: Laura’s Turkey Beer Chili

Friday: Pasta night- carb loading begins!

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday: Marathon celebration meal out!

My husband asked what I wanted to celebrate, and honestly the first thing that came to mind was this casual spot nearby with grass-fed burgers.  Burgers?! Who am i?

Does your eating change with the seasons?

61 thoughts on “Craving Meat and the Menu Planning link up

  1. It’s so funny that you mentioned craving meat – I had an intense craving for a burger a couple of days this past week! I can’t even remember the last time I had an actual meat burger. Every time I get a crazy craving for meat I think it must be that my body needs a little more iron.

    Good luck with the final week before the big day!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..Meal Planning: Week of January 6My Profile

  2. That interview is interesting. I think Andrea Beaman is very interesting! I definitely have different cravings at different times of year, but I think that’s what makes our bodies so amazing. If you pay attention, it’s usually guiding you to what it’s lacking.
    Michelle @ Eat Move Balance recently posted..Friday’s FiveMy Profile

  3. I hear you on the organic chicken being pricey! I only buy organic so and always check to see if there are any reduced to clear every time I’m at HEB. Over the holidays I have bought 12!!!!!!!!!!!! My freezer is full and I got them for around $6 each rather than the full price $18! A bargain and a freezer full of organic chickens which I know will make a great meal AND that I can then use the bones to make my own stock with makes me soooo ridiculously happy 😀
    HAppy taper, it sucks, I am not in a good place mentally AT ALL! Glad schools go back tomorrow so at least I can regain some of my usual routine even if running will only make up a tiny part of it – I’ve got 6 miles today. 6 miles, is that all?!?!?!?! ARGH! ;D Let me know when you’re planning on hitting the expo and maybe we can hook up!

    • Oh, I hear you! I get so happy when I find a good deal like that, too. I need to buy more whole chickens, such a better deal and you’re right, it makes great stock.

      Yes! Hope we can figure something out. Maybe email me your phone #? I’ll be at the expo sometime Sat morning. Hang in there with the tapering!
      Laura recently posted..Craving Meat and the Menu Planning link upMy Profile

  4. I only eat seafood and almost never crave meat, but I’m a big believer in not labeling your eating habits, so the one-two times I’ve really wanted a bite of my boyfriend’s meat dish, I’ll have a small bite. I typically find that’s all I want — it wasn’t the meat, but the taste that I was craving.

    It’s funny, though, because most of the meat I crave is stuff like hot dogs and pulled pork tacos! It’s not so much meat as things that make me think of a fun occasion, like picnics or a night out. I think a lot of food cravings are tied to that, our memory of the food rather than our body needs. Learning to decipher which is which is tough!
    Jen @ Jens Best Life recently posted..Very Berry Banana Oatmeal RecipeMy Profile

  5. You are doing so great!! It’s like I don’t even know you anymore – ms. “I want a big juicy hamburger!!” Enjoy every yummy bite!!!

  6. The last time that I craved meat was when I was pregnant with E. That’s ALL I wanted to eat (and I was vegetarian at the time) – bacon and fried chicken. It was crazy! Since then, I’ve added meat back into my diet but not too much but I definitely crave heartier food in the winter. One week left! I’m really excite for you and happy that you got to try the workout.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Friday Round-Up: Intentions and PassionsMy Profile

  7. I definitely crave meat more in the winter than in the summer. In the summer, I just want light foods, veggies and so on. In the winter, give me weight and heartiness!

    Looking forward to seeing your marathon experience!
    Jenna recently posted..Ice As It IsMy Profile

  8. I’m a big believer that there’s a place and time for meat and when you want it, you want it. But I do have to say, tempeh and portobella mushrooms can still do the the trick for certain recipes. But when I’m feeling like a burger, bison wins every top. Topped with grilled mushrooms and avocado! Hmmm, now I know what’s for dinner!
    Nicki Anderson recently posted..Gray Expectations – Liberation or Panic? 8My Profile

  9. I don’t eat meat often and I’ve been playing with the idea of “going vegetarian” for quite a while now, so I made it one of my goals for the year–to try out not eating meat. I don’t think it’ll be hard for me, but I’m curious to see how it’ll make me feel. I’m also excited to focus on eating even more fruits and veggies and trying all sorts of new vegetarian dinner recipes.
    Danica @ It’s Progression recently posted..8-minute Core workoutMy Profile

  10. “today I am feeling more confident and ready. Tomorrow it will likely change again.” Yes, it will : ) After every long race (half-marathon or marathon), I always, always, always have a cheeseburger and french fries for dinner – with some Fritos chips and an ice-cold beer for an appetizer. It’s what I crave, and it’s what I love, and I figure I’ve earned it, so I savor every single bite. I am SOOOOOOOOO excited for you – one week to go!!!!!!!!!!!
    Michelle recently posted..A Glance Back, and So Much To Look Forward ToMy Profile

  11. What a great idea -juicy burger. I love to celebrate the marathon with a big medium rare steak with matchstick fries. OR a big big eggs, oatmeal, and pancake breakfast with Canadian maple syrup (separately). mmmm otherwise, a clam white wine sauce linguini at Di’Amico would be awesome too. (yes I am cheap date).

  12. I actually heard one of the big NFL playoff stars – Arian Foster- talk about how he is normally vegan, but at this time of year puts a small amount of meat into his diet. He did an interview on the pregame today. Looks like maybe others have that same craving as you.
    Abby @ BackAtSquareZero recently posted..Diet-to-Go ReviewMy Profile

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  14. I finally got my butt in gear and I’m joining your challenge! Thanks for the inspiration. I am looking forward to having my meals planned in advance. As for meat cravings, I haven’t had meat for almost 18 years. I haven’t craved it for over 17. 😉 Funny you mention root veggies. I have definitely been craving them lately. And baked tofu. Yum. 🙂
    Joann @ Woman in Real Life recently posted..A Menu Planning ChallengeMy Profile

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  16. I try to eat seasonally whenever possible – warm, hearty meals right now and lighter, fresh meals in the summer. Really, it’s whatever sounds good and (of course) tastes good! I’m so excited you’re trying the pizza hummus! Since it’s right before a race, you might want to tone down the spice (a little less chipotles) if that tends to bother you at a race. 🙂
    Heather @ Better With Veggies recently posted..Super Spinach Pizza {MMAZ #23}My Profile

  17. I craved meat my entire pregnancy. Specifically lunchmeat, which was weird. I crave more sugar during the winter and I really want sandwiches during the summer, but I’m not sure I crave meat as much as cheese.

  18. My eating definitely changes with the season. As soon as Fall and Winter arrive, I crave anything pumpkin, soups, stews, chili and casseroles. Occasionally I will get red meat cravings and I will buy a couple of grass fed steaks for my husband and I to enjoy (though not often, because it is expensive!). I try to follow my cravings, as I believe it my body’s way of telling me I need certain vitamins or nutrients. Good luck with your race this weekend!
    Melissa @ Fit ‘n’ Well Mommy recently posted..First Day of Our Paleo Challenge…My Profile

    • Not at all! I realize I throw around a lot of runners lingo. 🙂
      You can get a general idea of marathon pace from a running pace calculator like mcmillan’s:
      Generally, the half marathon is the best predictor, if you have a recent one. It’s a general guide, and it’s usually better to start at a slightly slower pace and reevaluate how you’re feeling as you go.
      Laura recently posted..#5bythe5th Link up and January winnersMy Profile

  19. I hope you enjoyed your burger! I see that you kicked butt at the race! I always crave more bread products in winter time! (also PS you are totally my TX running twin; we run at about the same pace!)
    Travel Spot recently posted..2013 Race CalendarMy Profile

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