Meal Plan & PTO

Well deserved break by the pool at the Airbnb

It isn’t easy to get back into writing weekly posts after two weeks of PTO. But, especially as the kids are still not back in school until 6 September, I’m attempting to be energized to return to the office.

I’m not sure if old age makes the first week back harder, but I have been exhausted every evening! There are a lot of projects and activities to catch up with. Thankfully I have a great team that tends to deal with most issues.

I sometimes wonder if I’d be missed or needed, but that’s probably just an excuse to have a little whiskey while reminiscing on my achievements at the company.

We dropped our daughter off at her college and spent a week in Florida, on the space coast, making sure she settled into the crazy new chapter in her adult life. Then, a couple of days were spent on campus attending parent sessions, explaining all the stuff about to happen academically and the student loan.

I cannot believe that people take on excessive student loans and expect the government to pay for their decisions to get into debt. Surely, pick a degree that will give you a future job, accept that loans have to be paid, and live within your means.

Like so many other kids, our daughter will start university in debt – but she is also taking up a job (or two) to start paying back the loan. But, again, it’s part of being a responsible adult.

Back to our Florida trip!

Eating in Florida

Food in Florida differs slightly from our dinners in upstate New York. Some ingredients are fresher given they have better weather and easier access to water. You can easily enjoy fresh juicy oranges and lemons, often used with drinks and some dishes.

It is easy to see that the food is inspired by a more Southern kitchen and cultural cuisines from South + Central America, including Cuba. Excellent options when driving around with fantastic flavors.

However, a lot of food is also deep-fried, which tastes nice the first few times but gets a little boring after a while. Chicken, catfish, shrimps, gator, vegetables, and desserts get a dip in the fryer.

Don’t get me wrong; I love a good basket of fried gator or catfish with an oversized portion of grease-glaced fries. Damn delicious and finger-licking addictive!

just a few Delicious Florida foods we sampled

No offense to the Floridian cuisine, but it is not anything magical. They have some excellent resources, which makes their food extra delicious.

  • Key lime pie – adding on some extra pounds with locally sourced limes for the pie
  • Orange juice from the local orchard and squeezed with love
  • Cuban sandwich – yes, you can find it elsewhere, but the Floridan version is awesome
  • Deep-fried catfish, shrimps, gator, chicken … anything can get dunked

Meal plans while on PTO

Despite popular belief, I did create and stick to meal plans while on PTO. However, I didn’t take time out of my pina colada breaks by the pool to write and publish them.

Like a professional athlete, staying in the game and continuing your meal plans are vital. If you don’t, the grocery shopping becomes sporadic, and you buy all kinds of shit you don’t need.

Your finances takes a negative hit. Your waste of produce increases. You eat shitty food (again), and you get unhealthty.

Nobody wants to be unhealthy and broke, so stick to the bloody meal plans!

Viking Heart Warrior

22 – 26 August

Our first week back from Florida, and time to indulge in some grilled meat and other homemade dishes using fresh NY-based produce. So yep – I shopped at the local farmer’s market for fresh vegetables and made a pitstop at my local butcher.

MondayCaesar Salad with grilled chickenSmoked corned beef brisket with salad
TuesdayGrilled chicken with stir-fried noodlesBeef Stroganoff
WednesdayRoast beef sandwichChicken tikka masala with rice
ThursdayTuna sandwichHomemade pizza
FridayLeft-over pizzaPicanha steaks with grilled peppers

29 August – 2 September

The first week back in the office, the kids still sleep in until midday and watch movies all day – or have playdates with their friends in the strange world of Roblox.

MondayCaesar Salad with grilled chickenChili mango chicken with rice
TuesdayBuffalo chicken sandwichSalmon teriyaki with asparagus
WednesdayVietnamese steak sandwichSpinach salad with corn, mushrooms, bacon, and feta
ThursdayBagel with egg saladNew Orleans Jambalaya
FridayBagel with melted cheese and roast beefSurprise me BBQ

One day, I might get so organized that I will link the meals below to my recipes. We can only live in hope!

Have a fantastic week, my friends. I hope you enjoy these meal plans. It is much easier to make food in advance, although you must invest several hours preparing meals during the weekend.

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