Menu Planning Monday

I’ve been giving the subject of food a lot of thought in recently.  Once again I’ve had blood tests that show that I’m VitB12 and folate deficient – this isn’t the first time, indeed it’s been a bit of  theme with me and I need to have regular injections (well, once I’ve changed my GP to the local surgery as I have to go every other day and the 40 minute bus-ride to my current GP doesn’t appeal!)  I haven’t been vegan for about 9 years and eat quite a bit of meat, so it is rather a mystery to me as to why I am B12 deficient (and, for the record, I eat a lot of leafy green vegetables, amongst other folate-rich foods) so what is going on?

I’ve been referred back to gastroenterology and this time I want to go back fore-armed with some questions to ask.  For quite some time (well, years, to be honest) I have been looking into the possibility that perhaps something I’m eating is affecting my ability to absorb these vitamins and then not doing anything about it (for various reasons, not least because it looks bloody hard work!)
I have been gluten and dairy free in the past and definitely felt better, but struggled with lack of support in the home and the cooking of multiple meals (and having to prepare my own food separately) was hard and then with various stresses, things slipped (especially whilst I was working outside of the home – the rather manic shifts I worked weren’t conducive to home-cooking!)  A combination of this and the various many stresses that have happened over the past few years all added up and I’ve had all sorts of health issues, including being diagnosed with IBS.

During the past couple of years (after being diagnosed with IBS and, of course, Joint Hypermobility Syndrome,) I’ve steadily clawed back cooking properly and have been doing so for a while, but still have some difficulties and things just ‘aren’t quite right’ – add to this the recent blood tests and deficiencies and I’ve been having another serious look at what I eat, which, whilst certainly not the typical so-called SAD “Standard American Diet) diet, is clearly not entirely right for me.  As a result I’ve recently cut out gluten again and am in the process of cutting out all grains and looking towards GAPS or SCD.

I’ve been menu planning again since Anna was born (save for a couple of months in the autumn – that served to remind me how useful menu planning is) and as I transition what we eat here, I think it will become a more valuable tool.

Adrie’s recent Get Real – Making Dinner post (and those of the other ladies involved) and a recent discussion on one of the groups I’m a member of on Facebook, were timely for me and set me thinking about how so many people are interested in menu planning and how discussion, support and ‘just seeing what other people are doing’ can be so helpful! Well, to me anyway…

So I’ve been wondering whether a link-up might be a good idea and thought I’d do my own Menu Plan Monday (linky at the bottom of the post).
To kick-off, here is this week’s menu-plan here (which is based around a weekly veg box from Riverford Organics):
Breakfast: Butternut squash pancakes with baked beans
Lunch: Various leftovers
Dinner: Beefburgers, garlic mushrooms, salad and potato salad

Breakfast: Stewed plum & kefir
Lunch: Courgette, pea and parmesan soup
Dinner: Pot roast chicken; purple sprouting broccoli; roast swede
Breakfast: Avocado with Potato & Bacon Fritters
Lunch: Lettuce Soup
Dinner: Chickpea, spinach and mushroom curry with carrots & coriander
Breakfast: Apple or pear clafoutis
Lunch: Leftover chicken and coconut soup
Dinner: Meatloaf (using mince and leftover home-made pate from the freezer), salad and roasted swede
Breakfast: Banana pancakes
Lunch: Butternut Squash soup (from the freezer)
Dinner: Asian-style Chicken Salad
Breakfast: Spiced mince sausage and garlic mushrooms
Lunch: Root Veg soup (from the freezer)
Dinner: Beetroot curry
Breakfast: Butternut squash pancakes with baked beans
Lunch: Celeriac and Apple Soup
Dinner: Pot-roast beef; various veg and roasted swede
* * *
So, that’s the plan for here, for the week.  What’s yours? Either link up using the widget below or leave a comment (or both!)

6 thoughts on “Menu Planning Monday

  1. Sue Barnicoat says:

    OU Nutrition text book says ‘if the diet contains excess amts of vit C this can bind to vit B12 and limit its availability.’ Do you eat liver? It has high levels of B12. Have you been tested to see if you make sufficient amounts of the ‘intrinsic factor’ protein that B12 binds to? OU book also says ‘If the cells that produce intrinsic factor are destroyed or the intrinsic factor is inactivated vit B12 cannot be absorbed. This situation may occur due to autoimmune disease in which the body produces antibodies against the cells that produce the intrinsic factor or the intrinsic factor itself. Women more commonly affected than men, and this type of autoimmunity tends to run in families. The intrinsic factor cells can also fail to function efficiently in patients with ulcers, stomach cancer or other conditions such as Chron’s disease that affect digestive system.’ The book then asks why consuming large quantities of B12 every day might be only partly effective and answers that its because it does not treat the underlying lack of intrinsic factor. I’ll be having liver & onions and mash and some sort of veg for dinner. I’ve been feeling extremely tired these last few days. I usually feel better when I’ve had some liver. I admire that you menu plan, its something I’ve often done for 2 or 3 days, then I forget to do it. My children don’t help, one prefers white food, one has annorexia, they don’t like wet foods such as casserole or stew, they just don’t like ‘food’.


    • Nikki Wall says:

      Hi Sue – hope you’re all well! Yes I do eat liver – the meatloaf listed above will be made from a mix of mince and some leftover liver pate I’ve made (and has been in the freezer as it wasn’t particularly a success, so I figured I’d use it in *something else* 😉 )I’m lucky in that my children will eat pretty much anything, although Nin did have a temporary moan about mushrooms. However, it seems that a lot of people I know have problems with at least one of their children and eating. I worry about my eldest, but that’s more because he lives off a diet of junk (he’s left home).My stepmother is an immunologist and IF has been mentioned (a few times) but last time I was at gastro nothing much appeared to be done aside from him to expess concern that I could barely walk and to refer me to rheumatology. The GP I saw recently expressed surprise that I had not had a colonoscopy bearing in mind the history in front of him, but I was so completely exhausted last time I was there I didn’t really have the wherewithal to ask questions. This time I think I’ll write them down and give them to John to come with me and prompt me!


  2. sheila says:

    Hey Nikki,I love this link up idea. We need to get back on our menu planning as well. This has given me some needed inspiration. I will link to 2 “old” menus – but hope to make a new one as well. I tend to plan less specifically and more broadly, but it helps me to remember what to take out of the freezer when.Wishing you good health and good energy today.Sheila


    • Nikki Wall says:

      That’s great, thanks! I plan around a weekly veg box delivery (contents are announced on a Friday and it’s delivered on a Tuesday) so try to be fairly specific around that (as it means I can get any extras added before the cut-off order time). What I haven’t included in the above are the additional notes I make – literally things like: “soak beans”, “take giblets out of the freezer to add to carcass for stock”, etc – as it also helps me remember what to take out when 😀


    • Nikki Wall says:

      I think I may have come across it before, it looks familiar. I haven’t seen Waldorf Moms before – it looks lovely, I’m bookmarking both to have a look later on when I have a little more time (hopefully). Thank you 🙂


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