I speak to my members about this a lot, particularly those who do our Performance Nutriton Program, so I decided to just pump out a big ass blog detailing the steps i use to eat clean, healthy, delicious meals without breaking my own balls each week! This post will have two parts
First thing to consider is how to actually construct a meal. To keep things simple for myself I will generally have a protein, carbohydrate and vegetable source at every meal
I’m assuming that you understand the difference between those three things, but if you don’t it will probably take you around 3 mins to learn now on a goole search… Let’s push on
So if we look at the week, we have breakfast, lunch and dinner x 7 days. Thats 5 weekdays and 2 weekend days. I figure if i can take care of the 5 weekdays, with a little bit of supply left for the weekend, then i am in good shape (and I believe you will be too, friend)
For breakfast I’ll have cheese, yoghurt, eggs, oats, fruit and what not available all the time, so breakfast is generally taken care of. For lunches and dinners i will lock this down more specifically, then shop and prep over the weekend
LUNCH & DINNER PREP
A simple way i like to plan my meals is to select 2 protein sources, 2 carbohydrate sources, and 2 main vegetable sources. That means i have 6 decisions to make all up. I can do this!
P + C + V = 6 things
Let’s start with protein…
Whether you eat meat or not, look at what protein sources you enjoy and choose two of them. I eat meat, so for this scenario lets say i am going for lamb shanks and a whole chicken this week. I’ll simply buy a quantity that allow me to make 4-5 lunches and 4-5 dinners, which i now have an intuitive understanding of (usually 4 shanks and 1 whole chicken if you’d like to know). On my little shopping list i’ll write:
whole chicken x 1
lamb shanks x 4
If you’ve got a partner or a family to feed you would just adjust the quantities accordingly. I prefer to over-estimate because you can freeze anything extra if you have too much, which saves you cooking the following week, or you can give you mate some lunches so they can be healthy too!
Next I’m going to look at my carbohydrate sources…
I want to keep this real simple too, so i’ll choose two different sources. My go to sources don’t vary a lot – i like different varieties of sweet potato, white potatoes, white rice, brown rice, maybe some pasta on occasion. Let’s say I go with some white rice and sweet potato this week. So i know that I need to get 3-4 sweet potatoes and a big bag of rice (I’ll usually have this in the cupboard already). On my little shopping list i’ll add:
sweet potato x 4
My next consideration is the vegetable source
I believe the more varied you can keep your veggie source the better so on a weekly basis I’ll rotate which one’s i’m eating according to what’s seasonal and what i’m feeling like eating or learning to cook with. Let’s say this week i will go to two of my staples – Silverbeet and Flat leaf kale. Onto my little shopping list goes:
silverbeet x 1
flat leaf kale x 2
The last macro consideration, fat, generally takes care of itself – i cook with ghee, olive oil, coconut oil, or butter and all of these things i have on hand in the kitchen. There’s also sufficient fat in the meat i like to cook, so i generally don’t need to account for more fat in my meals
So, our shopping list is looking good and simple
We’ve got our top 6 meal items. I’ll then add the regular items which i need to restock on every other week or so. I keep a generic list of these items in the notes section of my phone and i refer to it when i am writing my shopping list. I can look over the items, identify if i need to restock or not, and then add to my list accordingly.
That list in my notes looks like this (feel free to cut and paste as your own!):
yoghurt, milk, cheese, eggs, fermented veg, granola, sourdough bread, chocolate, apple cider vinegar, spices, herbs, avocado, salad, olive oil, butter, ghee, coconut oil, spices, berries, bananas, honey, toothpaste, toilet paper, paper towel, dish wash detergent, laundry detergent, onion, garlic, ginger etc.
This simple formula works really well for me for the majority of the time. Sometimes i’ll definitely feel more inspired, take an afternoon to go shop for some special ingredients which i’ll use to whip up a special meal, but that’s the exception. For the most part i want to eat good quality, home cooked food that is simple, doesn’t stress me out, and meets my nutritional needs
I believe if you can eat like this 80% of the time, then there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a meal or two out each week, or some ice cream here and there, and stay on track with your health goals #realtalk
Thats the planning and the shopping done. Next week i’ll take you guys through how i go about preparing this stuff in the quickest, easiest, and most delicious way possible
PS. If you want some help with any of this drop me a line here and let’s chat about how I can help