Menu Plan Monday ~ Nov 10/14

Menu Plan Monday for the week of Nov 10/14

Hi everyone, I hope you are excited about planning your weekly menu.  Hopefully by now you’ve realized how life changing it can be.  I am so thankful to have a weekly menu plan each week but no more so than in the last couple of months. You see I’ve recently been diagnosed with the autoimmune disease of Rheumatoid Arthritis.  A couple of months ago I started experiencing very painful joints in my fingers and toes.  I’ve now been put on some harsh medication that I’m required to take twice a day for the rest of my life.  Unfortunately it’s making me pretty sick and exhausted and I spend a lot of my day sleeping.  There is no way I have the energy to cook right now.  Thankfully, with my menu plan created each week, my daughter (17) can go into my blog on her iPad when she gets home from school and knows exactly what to make for dinner.  Years of training with her in the kitchen have paid off my friends.  Trust me when I say it is SO worth taking the time to teach your kids to cook!  I’ll definitely be writing more on this later.

Another reason I wanted to share this information with you is that after a ton of research I will be transitioning to the Autoimmune Protocol Diet.  I’ve learned that people with autoimmune diseases have done extremely well following this way of eating.  For me it will mean no grains of any kind, dairy, refined sugars, legumes, eggs, nuts, and nightshade vegetables such as tomatoes, potatoes and peppers.  I’ve been gluten-free already for almost 2 years so that won’t be too difficult but the other restrictions will definitely be hard.  But I’m an all or nothing kind of gal and if there is any chance that I might be able to get off these meds I will certainly do all that it takes.  Eventually I should be able to transition to the Paleo diet.

So what does this mean for MPM?  Not much really.  I will still be planning regular dinners for the rest of my family and that’s what you’ll see below.  For me, and my food allergic 15 year old son, we’ll be sticking to the meat and veggie portion of the dinner even if it means we need to adjust a few of the ingredients to make it safe for us.  I’m not a huge fan of meat (especially for breakfast, yuck!) so this is definitely going to take some getting use to.  For those interested, for the first little while I’ll be following the autoimmune protocol menu from this book, Practical Paleo:

Practical Paleo

Your support and prayers would mean the world to me, thank you!!

So enough about me, let’s get on with a few Thanksgiving resources shall we?


Thanksgiving Crockpot Recipes


25 Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Dishes


Thanksgiving Desserts

Have a great week everyone!

My Weekly Menu Plan:

Monday:  Baked Salmon with Honey Dijon and Garlic

Tuesday: Classic Roast Chicken

Wednesday:  Savory Pot Roast a La Pressure Cooker

Thursday:  Leftover buffet

Friday:  Dinner out

Saturday:  White Chicken Chili

Sunday:  Church Potluck ~  Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars


Menu Plan Guidelines, banner selections and recipe helpers are here.

More family favorite recipes here.

Don’t forget to join the growing Menu Plan Monday Facebook Page!!

One of my favorite menu planning resources:

  Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

Filed under: Menu Plan Monday


52 Responses to Menu Plan Monday ~ Nov 10/14

  1. 1
    Erin @ My Mommy World says

    I’m so sorry about your diagnosis! One of the teachers at my gym does a Paleo diet because of auto-immune issues (she hasn’t said which ones) and it has helped her a great deal. She also advised her 78 year-old mother to try Paleo for her arthritis and she has seen an improvement in her condition too, as well as having lost 40 pounds. I hope it works as well for you too!

    • 1.1
      Laura says

      Thank you so much Erin for your encouragement, it means so much to me!

  2. 2
    hchybinski says

    Oh my goodness – many prayers and hugs – sometimes a plan can be such a blessing. I’m looking forward to learning from you as you go on your journey – stay strong!

    • 2.1
      Laura says

      Yes I’ve got a plan and feel organized about it now…first full day will be this upcoming Monday. :)

  3. 3
    Chava says

    Sorry to hear about your diagnosis! Autoimmune disorders stink! I have lichen planus. They find that food allergies are really bad for autoimmune stuff so I hope the Paleo diet works for you!

    • 3.1
      Laura says

      Thank you Chava, I’m sorry to hear about yours as well :(

  4. 4
    Miz Helen says

    Good Morning Laura,
    You will be in my prayers as you begin this journey. I will look forward to your progress as you seek recovery.
    Miz Helen

    • 4.1
      Laura says

      Thank you Helen :)

  5. 5
    Jenn says

    I am sorry to hear about your RA diagnosis. Many prayers for you and your family!

    I have followed a paleo diet off and on for several years. It is a great way of eating. Unless you have another reason for it though, eggs and nuts are allowed on the plan.

    Best wishes!

    • 5.1
      Laura says

      Thanks Jenn for your encouragement. With the autoimmune protocol you need to avoid eggs and nuts initially but I may eventually get to add them back in. Sure hope so anyway.


  6. 6
    Heather @CeliacFamily says

    I know it’s a big change, but I think you’ll find the Paleo diet to be extremely helpful. My husband and I both feel better and more energized following the diet, even if just for dinners. I have friends who follow it for serious health problems. It has changed their lives for the better — no more meds, remission, and better living. I hope you find it to be as helpful, too!

    Practical Paleo is a great cookbook — one of our favorites is the Cumin spiced Pork Tenderloin on pg 328.

    • 6.1
      Laura says

      Thank you Heather, I will definitely check that one out :)

  7. 7
    Cathy @ Chief Family Officer says

    Oh, Laura, I’m so sorry you have to deal with this disease! While not life-threatening, my aunt has had it for decades and I know it can severely impact quality of life. You will be in my prayers, and I hope that the Paleo diet makes a world of difference for you!

    • 7.1
      Laura says

      Prayers are so appreciated, thank you Cathy!

  8. 8
    Lori says

    I’m so sorry to hear about your diagnosis, Laura. I truly hope the dietary changes give you the relief you need. Best wishes as you navigate through these changes.

  9. 9
    Lynn says

    I am so sorry to hear that. I know quite a few people that have been helped by the Paleo type diet, so I hope it helps you and that you get some relief. I know it is not an easy diet, but if it works it will be worth it!

    • 9.1
      Laura says

      Yes definitely worth it especially if I can get off these awful meds :(

  10. 10
    Tanya @ Mom's Small Victories says

    Oh Laura, sorry to hear of your diagnosis. I have had Rheumatoid Arthritis for the past 13 years, my pain started when my oldest son was 6 weeks old. I’ve had RA as long as I have been a mom and it’s the reason I started my blog, Mom’s Small Victories, as a way to positively cope with RA. I hope the Paleo diet works for you in relieving your pain, I hear it works for a lot of patients. Are you on methotrexate? I hear the side effects are awful but hope your body gets used to the medicine and you start feeling better. I tried cutting out many food items but the biggest ones that impact me are fried food and sugar. keeping extra weight off helps my joints, I dont’ think it’s that eating certain foods makes my pain worse. My biggest flare triggers are stress, hormones and the weather. Stress is the only one I can sort of control but otherwise just have to take it easy when a flare hits. I’ll be thinking of you and praying that the medicine you are on helps. Feel free to ask if you have any questions or I can help you at all. Gentle hugs. I have been linking up my menu plans too, this week I’m #30. :)

    • 10.1
      Marcia Francois says

      Tanya, I just loved reading your response. You’re such an encourager and have a beautiful, sweet spirit.

    • 10.2
      Laura says

      Such a nice comment, thank you so much for your encouragement and support, it means the world to me!

  11. 11
    Vickie says

    I have a great hope that this diet will work for you. You see I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Uticaria (hives) this past spring. I was taking antihistamines every day to calm it down. Then sleeping then rest of the day.
    I’m living proof that watching what you eat helps. Chocolate and dairy seem help bring it on. I heard about this and I figured what would it hurt to watch what I eat and I had success. I know you will too! I feel so much better now!

    • 11.1
      Laura says

      Thank you, thank you!!!!

  12. 12
    Wendy, A Day in the Life on the Farm says

    So sorry to hear of the Rheumatoid Arthritis. I will be praying that this diet works for you or that they find meds that will better accommodate your lifestyle.

    • 12.1
      Laura says

      Thanks Wendy!!

  13. 13
    Shelly says

    I pray your transitioning to a new diet isn’t too hard. I know transitioning for me is very difficult and I pray your journey into this new diet won’t be. It also pray the diet changes you make will make a world of difference in your life. I have friends and relatives with autoimmune diseases and life with them can be hard and the medication side effects bad. Sending you a hug and prayers for healing.

    • 13.1
      Laura says

      Thank you so much for your prayers!

  14. 14
    Sharon at Momof6 says

    I am sorry to hear about your diagnosis- and I imagine how awful it must feel for you to have such a lack of energy- you are such a go-getter. Hang in there. I hope the transition to the Paleo diet helps you to feel better and restores your quality of life. And please know that you have so many virtual friends here sending you hugs, thinking about you, and cheering you on!

    • 14.1
      Laura says

      Thanks Sharon, I’m starting the diet full throttle, no turning back on Monday. I’m organized for it and ready :) But I’ll still miss cheese…and chocolate.

  15. 15
    Keri says

    I’ve heard lots of great things about the Paleo diet. Any diet changes are hard, especially if you have to give up something you like a lot. What a blessing that your daughter can help out in the kitchen though!

    • 15.1
      Laura says

      Oh I’m so thankful for her, she is awesome!!

  16. 16
    Dallas says

    So sorry to hear about this Laura! You are in my thoughts and prayers. As always, your positive attitude and go-get-it spirit is inspiring, and I really hope the Paleo diet works wonders for you!

    • 16.1
      Laura says

      Ahh so nice, thanks Dallas!!

  17. 17
    Dianna says

    I totally understand where you are at and feel for you. I have been diagnosed with RA, Fibro and Lupus. I have a few bad days here and there and my freezer saves me. I had gotten away from it (menu planning, freezer cooking) because life just got a bit confusing for a time around here. But, I am working on getting back on track. I hope to by next week be able to start posting menu plans again and have the freezer cleaned and restocked.

    Thank you for hosting this site, it is such an inspiration for me. I do however wish more posters would include links for recipes. While it does give me some great ideas, I am spending a lot of time Googling recipes and hoping there is one with that name. LOL

  18. 18
    Deborah (Debbie) says

    Laura, I’m talking to God about you and your new journey. Praying that you are able to sense His “more than present everpresent help” and that you are able to rest in Him in all of this. I’m also praying for your healing — of course! God bless you in and through all of this. P.S. I’m also praying that your can be patient and gentle with yourself as you learn your new normal.

    • 18.1
      Laura says

      Thanks so much Debbie, yes I must remember the grace for myself. Thank you for that reminder.

  19. 19
    Eden says

    I’m so sorry about your diagnosis. Not sure if you know of this website, but it is great for grain free recipes and talks about how diet can help auto-immune diseases:

    • 19.1
      Laura says

      No I’d not heard of that one, thank you for sharing it with me!!

  20. 20
    Mridu at Life is Organized says

    I’m so sorry to hear about your diagnosis. But I love how you’re taking circumstances into your own control (as much as you can) and are focusing on the things you can change. You’re an inspiration! Thanks for all that you do. :) xo

    • 20.1
      Laura says

      Thanks Mridu, yes I’ve spend all week researching and organizing my notes and recipes. I think I’m ready to start full throttle this Monday!

  21. 21
    Marcia Francois says

    Oh Laura, I’m so sorry to read your news. I know you’re a determined, positive person and you’ll do what you can to have it affect you in a very minimal way.

    Looking forward to reading more about Paleo….. and always praying for you and sending you big, warm hugs from Jhb xxx

  22. 22
    Waking Up Bagtas says

    Hooray, it’s November!!! Thanks for hosting another great party. I love your blog! Hope you have a wonderful week.

    Catch Ya’all Later,
    Aubrie B. @ Waking Up Bagtas

  23. 23
    reb says

    I’m so sorry to hear about your illness, but also glad that you’ve been able to determine what was causing your pain. Food is a wonderful healer and there are some fantastic resources out there for excellent paleo food. I hope the transition goes smoothly for you!

  24. 24
    Angela says

    Hubs & I have recently transitioned to a Paleo diet also. Breakfast is the most difficult for me (hubby loves eggs & bacon, so it’s a piece of cake for him). I do not like eggs, but I know I need some protein in the mornings. Chia ‘puddings’ have worked well for me – I use almond milk (or you can use coconut milk) blended with chia seeds and some kind of berry – and that works for me. Good luck!

    • 24.1
      Laura says

      Yes breakfast will be hardest for me too, hopefully I’ll be able to reintroduce eggs after some point.

  25. 25
    CraftyHope says

    I hate to hear you’ve had so much pain lately, but glad the source of the problem has been identified. Here’s hoping the transition to the new diet goes well and that it helps you feel better too!

  26. 27
    Susan says

    My heart goes out to you.I was already laboring over a response to Rachel’s guest post 11/7/14, where she mentioned her autoimmune infertility problem. And now you are sharing your rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis. (Also an autoimmune(AI) issue.) I feel and know firsthand the pain you are both going through. I’m a nurse and have four AI conditions-2 of which have resolved.I’m still working on the rest. I don’t usually comment on blogs, but God is nudging (no, SHOVING) me to take the time to share info and hope to you and anyone dealing with AI diseases.
    There is an Autoimmune Summit going on online right now–“” –(Nov 10-17th). You are on the right track in following the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol and already being gluten free. But so much more than diet needs to be addressed. Conventional medicine leaves much to be desired in treating AI disease or any illness. PLEASE do NOT accept the conventional medicine paradigm which treats symptoms without getting to underlying causes and which says there is no way to reverse AI illnesses! Conventional medical “treatment” usually involves suppressing the immune system with potent drugs that have severe side effects and dire consequences. Did you know that once you have an AI disease you are likely to develop others?
    Google “functional medicine and autoimmunity” or “functional medicine and RA” and start educating yourself. I tried Googling ‘functional medicine and infertility’ and didn’t come up with much, but just researching how func. med. deals with autoimmunity should provide a place to start with AI pregnancy issues. I believe functional medicine is cutting edge. It seeks out the root cause of illness and how to heal it. There is a REASON your body is attacking itself. The reason(s) usually involve(s) hidden allergies and food sensitivities (often gluten and dairy, and not just the IGA type reactions which conventional allergy testing uncovers), leaky gut, toxins (such as mold, mercury, lead), infections (bacterial, viral, candida, parasites) , and stress. Functional medicine focuses on strengthening and supporting your immune system to function the way it is meant to–NOT suppressing it. Genetics may play a part (25%) but environment (food, lifestyle, toxins, etc.) are 75% of the equation–and those are things you have control over.
    I stumbled across Functional medicine a yr. ago while researching how to cure my “chronic idiopathic urticaria” (hives). Multiple conventional medicine docs, after several rounds of prednisone, told me there was nothing else to be done. One doc did offer a super expensive immunosuppressant drug which would have greatly increased my risk for cancer. I refused. I felt like there had to be a REASON for my hives and no one was helping me figure out the CAUSE. After tons of research I stumbled across histamine intolerance and functional medicine. My hives are gone after following a low histamine diet for a few months, increasing my water intake, and working on healing my gut. I had no clue that I had parasites(gross, I know!), candida overgrowth, leaky gut with multiple food sensitivities(beyond what traditional allergy testing had uncovered). The hardest thing for me is dealing with the food sensitivities, which basically encompasses the Paleo autoimmune protocol and then some. I still don’t have all the answers, but feel I’m on the right track in dealing with my other health issues. I have had Hashimoto’s thyroiditis for over 10 yrs. Conventional docs treated my symptoms with thyroid medication, but had no solutions for dealing with the underlying AI disease. This frustrated me no end. I only wish I had stumbled across the func. med approach back then. I might not have developed all my other AI conditions. But I’m on the right track now! There may not be a cure for what I already have(my thyroid gland is already destroyed), but I aim to get my immune system back in balance so I don’t develop more problems.
    I have a friend who had lupus and she is my inspiration. After identifying multiple food and environmental allergies, and eliminating all food allergens from her diet (again, what she must follow is pretty similar to the autoimmune paleo diet and then some), she has no more symptoms of lupus,and was able to stop taking her potent lupus meds!!! Her debilitating migraines and skin issues have also disappeared! (Btw she also has Hashimoto’s.)
    Unfortunately functional medicine practitioners are scarce. These are practitioners with websites, articles and books that I have found helpful: Dr. Mark Hyman , (the Cleveland Clinic…mainstream medicine!… is opening a Center for Functional Medicine with Dr. Hyman as it’s director), Dr. Amy Meyers (she is hosting the online AI summit), Chris Kresser (not an MD, but has a wealth of well documented info, he interprets and analyzes current research and medical studies; good info on healthy pregnancy/fertility), and Dr. Terry Wahls. Interestingly, each of these practitioners had debilitating health issues themselves which led them to seek and find answers outside the realm of conventional medicine. (Dr. Wahls was in a wheelchair because of MS and thru a functional med. approach returned to good health.) Btw, functional medicine is NOT alternative medicine.(I’m not discounting alternative medicine, but that’s a whole other area to be explored.) Also functional med. deals with ANY and ALL health issues (ADD, cardiovascular disease, etc)
    My prayers and best wishes…I hope I’ve helped,

    • 27.1
      Laura says

      Thank you Susan for taking the time to communicate this to me, it means so much. I have been doing a great deal of research and am excited now to get going full throttle on the menu. I’m all in and hoping and praying for the best.

      Blessings to you,

  27. 28
    Susan says

    I had arthritis pain in my finger joints and went dairy free. It helped tremendously – to say that I am mostly pain-free and only feel it when I let dairy slip back into my diet. I hope it works for you. Will be praying!

  28. 29
    Jo-Anna says

    So sorry to hear of this diagnosis Laura. I will be thinking of you as you take this new journey…best of luck with the Paleo diet – I hear so many amazing things about this diet so I hope it brings some relief for you!

    • 29.1
      Laura says

      Thank you Jo-anna, that means so much to me!

  29. 30
    amy says

    hi laura: just to add another resource to you research, i wanted to let you know about a book i have read as i have been searching for answers in my childrens allergies. (my son sounds alot like your son, and all of my children have allergies, asthma, excema…etc..)

    The book discusses the spiritual roots of diseases, its called, “A More Excellent Way…… To Be in Health” The website is, there are some videos available to watch, but the book goes into alot more detail.

    It has been very eye-opening for our family so i thought i would pass it on to you FYI.



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