Meal Plan

Meal Plan #4: Bacon and Blueberry muffins!

Snacks, Candy, Sugar

What do your cupboard and pantry shelves look like? Do you fill them to the brim with only whole foods (foods consisting of only one ingredient, i.e. fruit, vegetable, nuts, seeds, etc.)? I sure don’t! I have one, fairly small corner of the pantry which contains protein powder, bone broth powder, nuts, seeds, dark chocolate, nutritional supplements, etc. Don’t judge me, but the rest of my pantry is filled to the brim with processed foods, sugar cereal, chips, snacks, candy, Nutella, etc. There is even a bowl of candy right at my three year old’s level so that he can just help himself as he pleases (How’s that for awesome parenting!?!?)! I do ensure that my family eats their veggies and protein. I prepare healthy meals for them and I work to teach them principles about good nutrition. But I don’t subject my own weight loss rules on them.

You and I both know that I could be quite happy pulling out a spoon and digging into the jar of Nutella, without abandon. So how do I avoid goal sabotaging behaviors when I allow myself to be surrounded by the non-strategic foods, you ask? It’s all about the mental and physical preparation. Knowing your goal (what it is you want) and the steps you need to take to get there are the keys to success. And one of those steps is your meal plan.

Following a meal plan will provide an assurance that you’re taking the steps required to attain what you want. And It really is quite enabling as you get to the store for the items on the grocery list, spend a couple hours food prepping and separating into individual containers, and know exactly what you’re going to be eating for the following six days. Doing these things set you up for success. When you don’t have a plan and your prep work isn’t completed, you will FOR SURE find yourself gravitating to the chips/crackers/(insert favorite processed junk food here). Do yourself a favor, follow these steps and watch your health improve for the better!

As mentioned in previous posts, this is the week that I’m decreasing calories and carbs. This is the epitome of a low carb meal plan. The macronutrient range for this meal consists of about 35% protein, 45% fat, and 20% carbs. If you are new to a low carb diet, you might experience such symptoms as fatigue, weakness, lightheadedness, “brain fog,” headaches, irritability, muscle cramps, and nausea. You may even find yourself peeing more (I promised to be straight forward, didn’t I?). These symptoms will pass within 2-10 days (how’s that for a broad range of days?). If after this point you still don’t feel like you’re back to feeling good, feel free to eliminate 20-25 grams of protein. In it’s place, you can add in 20-25 grams of carbohydrates from a healthy source (no spoonfuls of Nutella!).

This week’s meal plan has a smaller amount of food prep, but you do get to bake! Meal number two is a low carb blueberry muffin! Yum! Also, who loves bacon? You get to eat that every day this week! (Insert double high five emoji here). You might notice that this meal is dairy free and grain free. You might even say this meal plan qualifies as paleo. As mentioned before, I’m eager to clear up any potential inflammation. Dairy can actually cause inflammation in the body, so we are experimenting here, to see if we might feel better without it.

Only the muffin recipe gives your directions to make enough for the whole week. The rest of the meals are laid out as individual servings. For the items that require prepping, like grilled chicken and bacon, go ahead and cook all of it at once. This makes for an easy grab throughout the week.

*EDIT ADDED:

  • The blueberry muffins are not very sweet as the recipe is written. Feel free to double the monk fruit sweetener for added sweetness.
  • After making the recipe in my own meal prep, I wish I had added 1 tsp of almond extract or vanilla extract.
  • I used mini muffin pans. It took about 11-12 minutes in the oven.
  • When using mini muffin pans, the serving size becomes 7 mini muffins
  • Refrigerate your muffins after they have cooled down. These aren’t the type of muffins that can be left out on the counter. They’ll begin to spoil within a few days, out of the fridge.

Week 3 Meal Plan

Grocery List

Here are some of the items from the grocery list that might be more expensive or harder to find at your local grocery store:

Nutritional info for this week’s meal plan:

And that’s a wrap! Talk to you soon!

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Meal Plan

Week 3: Meal Plan & shopping list

Are you familiar with the epic cookie and “dirty soda” shop scene that is going on in the state of Utah? That is where my little family is from, and where our parents and siblings still reside. We moved away from there in 2013, not long before these cookie/soda shops started popping up everywhere. Now, every time we go back for a visit to see family, we tend to make a stop or two at these shops. The soda doesn’t do much of anything for me (they call them dirty sodas, because they take your regular Coke, Sprite, etc. and add different flavored syrups into it). But if you dangle these cookies in front of me, I turn all shark feeding frenzy mode on them! And that Dirt Ball cookie from Swig?! Holy smokes (It’s a chocolate on chocolate cookie and I’m drooling just thinking about it!)!

One of these shops, Crumbl, has made it’s way out here to Colorado. Just yesterday, they opened up a brand new location only 10 minutes from my house. I swear, in the last few days, I haven’t been able to escape having Crumbl and their Twix flavored cookie at the forefront of my mind (insert salivating emoji here!). I walked into work yesterday morning and there was a giant box of them on the supervisor’s desk. Our neighbor was given some at a work meeting, and she brought one over for my boys to split (they’re giant cookies!). I am proud to say I was able to successfully avoid masochism by refraining from taking my boys to their grand opening free cookie day! But you guys, the temptation is real! And it is heavy!

But don’t you worry, I know what I want in the long run, and it is not to be weak in the face of the baked goods! I want to continue to nurture this side of me which stays focused on the efforts required to meet goals; to practice what I preach; to show myself that I can do this. And if we’re being really honest, I want to find some ab muscles which I believe are down there somewhere. The cookies that are now 10 minutes away from me can have their place as a “once in a great while” indulgence, and that will be enough. I just need to decide if I want to include that as part of my first indulgence meal which is coming up next Friday… We’ll see.

Since we’re in the business of doing the work required for losing weight, let’s shift focus to what is really important. I’ve created another meal plan which promises placing the body in an environment conducive to weight loss. In a perfect world, I’ll be posting these meal plans every Friday. That’s what I’m shooting for so that you can do your shopping and meal prep on the weekend.

I had a few particular objectives with this next week’s meal plan.

  • First was to keep things simple. Since these meals happen 6 times a day, I wanted very little time to be required prepping in the kitchen. There are way too many other ways I want and need to spend my time than slaving away at the stove. These meals will require a dedicated few hours on one day, but the rest of the week, you’ll be able to grab and go.
  • Second objective was to decrease the calorie content to just below 1700 calories per day. If you aren’t currently very active, you’ll want to eliminate an additional 100 calories, give or take, in order to be in a weight loss calorie range. If you are really active, 6 days a week for more than an hour, you might need to increase your caloric intake.
  • Third objective was to decrease the carbohydrate ratio down closer to 100 grams per day. I’m slowly inching my way into a carb range of 50-100 grams of carbs each day. This meal plan lands at about 108 grams of carbs each day. (Next week, I’ll begin decreasing protein quantity just a bit, and increasing fat intake.)
  • Fourth objective was to include almost no dairy. I’m still getting headaches and vertigo, like crazy, from my concussion in October. I love my cottage cheese, but since dairy can cause inflammation in the body, I’m ready to see if I might be able to decrease headaches by decreasing the amount of dairy that I consume. This will also help to keep saturated fat intake a little lower, as animal fat is a source of saturated fat. Do you have aches and pains, or chronic conditions? You might notice this to help you feel a bit better, as well.

The meals in the plan, list the quantities that you’ll consume in a single meal. As you’re prepping, multiply the recipe by six in order to make food for the rest of the week. The grocery list includes enough groceries to make meals for six days. Food doesn’t always stay as fresh as we want if we try to extend it beyond that time, so be sure to use the seventh day to eat what ever leftover protein and veggies you might still have from the previous week.

Day Seven can be a “wing it” day, as long as you stay within a similar calorie and macro range as the previous meal plan. This will ensure you continue to be successful in your weight loss efforts. Also, whatever you do, don’t make that seventh day a “cheat DAY“. Remember, a pre-planned Indulgence meal is perfectly acceptable! But we don’t do ourselves any favors turning the entire day into a free for all!

Week 3 Meal Plan

Grocery List

Here are some unique products from this weeks grocery list. To make it easier on you, you can snag them on Amazon via the links below:

I have and use collagen protein powder regularly, it’s flavorless and provides fantastic nutrition. That said, I want to try this collagen protein powder (because chocolate!).

Here is a “cleaner” whey protein powder. As you may already know, there are so many whey protein powders out there! Many of these are filled with ingredients that we really don’t benefit from putting into our bodies. It can feel overwhelming to know which powder to choose. I’m still researching “the best” protein powder that I am excited to fully promote (I’ll be sure to let you know when I’ve found it!). If you have a favorite whey protein powder, let us know in the comments!

And finally, pumpkin seeds. I love these little things, like mad!

That’s it for today! For the entire food Journal for this meal plan, and nutrition information (see below). Happy meal prepping, and eating from a nutrition plan that our body can thrive on!

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Weekly Meal Plan #1

I’m so happy to say that I’ve made it through the first three days without the derailment that I typically experience by this point. (I totally wish that read “the first 83 days”, but, a wins a win!)! I successfully stayed in an acceptable weight loss calorie range all weekend long, and I got in a killer workout Saturday morning. As planned, I used today (Sunday) as my weekly rest day from exercise. Aside from one extra heightened emotional moment where I wanted to gravitate toward the processed sugary snacks to eat my feelings away, I’ve been pretty void of food temptation. Don’t worry though, instead of eating my feelings in that moment, I let myself feel and process my feelings. The frustrations passed and so did the call that was coming from the pantry! Amazing how that works when we address the real issues which cause emotions, instead of looking for temporary comfort from taboo food sources!

Shifting focus, formulating a meal plan for myself that other people may or may not follow is tricky business! I mean, if I were working this up just for myself there would likely be meals on there that would raise an eyebrow. For example, I was listening to a podcast a little more than a month ago where the guest speaker was a woman who grew a successful career through teaching people to make smoothies loaded with veggies. I was so intrigued that I tried it, and actually kind of fell in love. So for the last month, before beginning this blog, I was making a daily smoothie which was absolutely loaded with a whole days worth of different types of veggies: carrots, celery, cucumbers, onion, tomato, broccoli, bell pepper, collard greens, spinach, romaine lettuce, and the weirdest addition which I tried once and only once was mushrooms (never again with that one!). I was throwing a different combination all in my awesome blender, each day, and making two giant cups of it. I’d keep it in the fridge with a straw and sip on in throughout the day. I mean, if you’re up for trying weird things, you should definitely give this one a try sometime. For the most part, I really really liked how it tasted, but mostly I loved knowing that I was getting a boat load of nutrients in my body, and I felt really good doing it (side note, isn’t boat load a funny unit of measurement???). Anyway, I will do my best to avoid projecting my appreciation for the super weird healthy foods on you as I assemble these weekly meal plans.

As I was saying before I side tracked myself with veggie smoothies…. My objectives for this meal plan were to 1. Choose foods and food combinations that I know I like, and won’t get bored of eating for a whole week straight. 2. Make sure that there was enough variety. I mean, I could be happy eating cottage cheese 3 or 4 times a day, but once again, I’m working on not projecting my own weirdness. 3. I wanted to show that you really can eat delicious foods while losing weight, and a lot of it, too. There really is no good reason to feel like you’re starving yourself. Or to feel like you’re in food prison. 4. I wanted to keep the protein high, fat and carbs moderate. The first week isn’t really a great time to go all in on a low carb approach when your body is used to the high carb diet you might have been consuming before. Also, for those of us who struggle with binge eating, going all in on low carb too quickly is an invitation for disaster. I do plan to gravitate in the direction of a low carb approach (between 50 grams and 100 grams of carbs daily), because that is a state my body feels so good in, but, I’m easing into it, by cutting out 25 grams of carbs per day as the weeks progress.

Before I give you the meal plan, here are a few tips for success (Also, I dropped some links to Amazon to make it easy for you to snag the items you may not have):

*Have a food scale and plan to measure everything! This food scale is similar to the one that I use and you can pick it up for cheap.

*Take a day and prep all of your food in one day. Yes, it may take a good chunk of your time upfront, but when you aren’t sure what to eat, just snag a meal you have already made, and – Pro Tip – you’ll even thank yourself if you pick up some individual serving containers and separate your meals right off the bat.

*This meal plan is just for one person for a week. If you plan to make the same meals for your family, you’ll have to plan accordingly to increase the quantity that you make.

*Meal-1 doesn’t include a sweetener in the oatmeal. If eating un-sweetened oatmeal is too big of a new idea for you, feel free to add in a little bit of monk fruit sweetener. But try it without, you may come to appreciate oatmeal’s natural flavor.

*My local Costco has been carrying a keto bread, which I’ve really come to appreciate. But I’m not sure if you’ll find that in every location. You can try to track down a keto bread at your local natural grocer, or even attempt to make your own (if you do, I’d love to hear how that goes!) If you can’t find keto bread, you can substitute for Dave’s Killer Bread, either the 21 Grain loaf or the Good Seed loaf (Make sure you get the thin slices, though). Also be aware that the carbohydrate intake will be higher with the Dave’s bread than a keto bread, but I’m sure it’ll taste amazing, because have you tried Dave’s killer breads? Seriously delicious!!!

*Lastly, chia seeds. Have you had chia pudding before? I’m fairly new to it, but I’m completely converted! The first bite or two might be weird because there is a bit of a crunch. After that, let yourself fall in love with the tasty treat you’re allowing yourself which is actually so nourishing for you! They are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, rich in antioxidants, and they provide fiber, iron, and calcium. Who’d want to pass up all that goodness in their dessert along with not having to eat fish?!

Alright, here it is, The meal plan for week 1:

According to MyFitnessPal, these are the macronutrients for all of the above (if you find the keto bread):

This whole meal plan comes to 1806 calories. (This allows for an additional 344 calories, if I feel the need.  Quite honestly, I’m going to do my best to stop eating at this point. I’m anticipating this amount and quality of food to be plenty satiating.  But it leaves the option of a little more food if it feels necessary. What I won’t do if I decide to use those extra calories, is eat processed foods or anything with more than 5 grams of added sugar).

And there you have it!

*Be watching tomorrow for the workout plan I’m going to be following this next week.

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