It makes me a little nervous to use the word Paleo, because I don’t particularly subscribe to everything that some “Paleo” people subscribe to. I aim to eat in a traditional and natural way. That’s pretty much it. The way I eat fits mostly into categories like ‘paleo,’ ‘primal,’ ‘traditional,’ ‘Weston A Price’ etc. I don’t worry too much about it, but I know other people do so there’s my disclaimer.
My husband and I have pretty busy schedules. We don’t have children yet, but we both work full time. I’m in an Evening MBA program, we workout regularly, we have 5 dogs and we volunteer at our community farm, helping with 6 goats, 10 chickens, 2 sheep and 1 pot bellied pig. If there’s anything I’ve learned over the past year, its that a) eating well is even more important with a busy and stressful schedule, and b) in order to set us up for success there’s some planning involved.
So, how do we prepare to eat healthy, nutritious food throughout a crazy week? Well, I documented our process this week so that I could show you what we do. Of course this might not work for everyone (and to be honest, it doesn’t always work for us), but here’s what we aim to do.
On Saturday or Sunday morning, I’ll spend some time perusing my various cookbooks, blogs and Pinterest looking for some meal ideas. At the same time, I’ll take a look at our schedules for the week.
For this week our schedule after our 9-5 work day looks like:
Monday: Amy – Class 6:30-9:30pm, Clayton – WOD
Tuesday: Amy & Clayton – WOD (7:30pm)
Wednesday: Amy – Class 6:30-9:30pm, Clayton – Writing group
Thursday: Amy – Midterm Review 6:30-7:30, Clayton – WOD
Friday: Amy & Clayton – WOD (7:30pm)
With this schedule, I need to have breakfast, lunch and dinner planned & packed for myself for Monday and Wednesday. On Tuesday we need a dinner plan that can be made quickly when we get home from the gym and on Thursday I’ll have a little bit of time after my review session that I can cook. On Friday’s we have a date night of going to the gym and then getting a ‘clean’ dinner at a local restaurant of our choosing. Even though I pack my dinner on the nights I have class, my husband prepares dinner for two and packs up leftovers for me to take for lunch the next day (awwwwww, right?).
Our meal planning looks like this:
This weekend I picked up Diane Sanfilippo’s 21 Day Sugar Detox Cookbook (getting new cookbooks is one of my favorite things in the world) and I found a couple recipes there that I wanted to make this week.
The Pizza Frittata looks like a delicious options for quick breakfasts, and the Slow Cooker Chicken Adobo is perfect for a night that I have class. I wanted another slow-cooker-friendly recipe for Wednesday and we have 2 lbs of ground beef defrosted, so I picked Everyday Paleo’s Marvelous Meatball recipe. From this I start creating a grocery list for us. For additional lunch options I picked the Waldorf Tuna Salad recipe from Well Fed.
So now I’ve got dinner covered for 2 nights, lunch for the days after those nights, and Tuna Salad for at least 2 other lunches that week. Plus we’ll have Pizza Frittata for breakfast.
Some other staples I add to my grocery list include:
- Pre-washed lettuce for lunch side salads
- Chorizo Sausage (no crap added)
- Sauerkraut + any fermented things that look good
- Uncured pepperoni
- Pine Street Market bacon
- Coconut Milk (for coffee primarily)
- Healthy snacks for the break in my evening classes: usually banana or plantain chips (unsweetened) or Steve’s Paleo Goods Beef Jerky.riverv
I don’t typically need to buy a ton of meat because we are members of a local meat CSA through Riverview Farms here in Georgia. They drop off 16 lbs of local, natural, pasture-raised meat once a month.
After our grocery store tour (we usually go to a local butcher like Pine Street Market, our local farmer’s market, and Whole Foods to get all the items we like), I prepare the items I can do ahead of time. This week that meant making the Pizza Frittata, homemade mayo, Waldorf Tuna Salad, and that’s it.
p.s. I’m working in a teeny tiny kitchen y’all. Also, below are a couple photos from my Sunday prep time in the kitchen. The Pizza Firttata is gonna be gooood.
Monday morning I’ll prep the Marvelous Meatballs in the slow cooker for that night’s dinner. On Wednesday morning I’ll do the same for the Slow Cooker Chicken Adobo. On Tuesday, we’ll either quickly sauté some ground beef after our WOD, or we’ll grab a marinated skirt steak from our local market and broil that with some veggies and call it a day (or night as it were).
I’ve made the mistake on more than one occasion of not packing enough food for a whole day. I’m getting better at estimating how much food I’ll need in a day and try to err on the side of having too much rather than too little. Even though I have some general guidelines for what I eat, it has been really important for me to make listening to my body the number one thing that guides both when and what I eat. So, I don’t worry that I’ll eat too much food if I pack too much food because I’m listening to when my body is full.
Here’s what my Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner for Monday look like. That’s Pizza Frittata in the aluminum foil, leftover smoked chicken in the red container with a side salad in the silver container (lunch), and Waldorf Tuna Salad with some dried plantain chips and dried okra chips.