By request, I have written this blog post with the purpose of highlighting what I eat in a week and included a copy of my grocery list that you can download here! Food seems to be the one area of wellness and healthy living that a lot of people have some trouble with, and while there are loads of opinions out there about what you should and shouldn’t eat when trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle this is what worked best for me and my body! The basis of it is eating as clean as possible, focusing on eating lots of greens and healthy proteins and eliminating or limiting processed foods.
I do not count my macros or calories, reason being I have found that it stresses me out. I know that it would be much easier to measure out my portions and track what and how much I’m eating because I meal prep already, but for the time being macros just aren’t for me. I think at one point I will try it simply for the experience and because I am curious as to how my body would react, but like I always say; find what works best for you physically and mentally. For me that means being a little looser with my eating and portion control.
I often meal prep on Sunday’s and again on Wednesday’s if I need to cook more food/want to switch things up. Meal prepping has been the KEY to maintaining a healthy diet for me and so many others. It leaves no excuse to reach for something processed, and offers more control over things like sodium content, portion control, and you get to pick your own menu! My style of meal prepping focuses more on component cooking as opposed to creating entire dishes. This means that I’ll cook a few different types of veggies, proteins, and starches/grains and combine them together to create a meal the day of.
Here is what my meals looked like this week:
I usually make some form of eggs or I have a bowl of rolled oats for breakfast. I try to avoid eating any dairy (with the exception of eggs if you classify those as dairy) simply because they upset my stomach and make me drowsy and bloated, so I use almond milk for my oatmeal and smoothies. Oatmeal is fairly carbohydrate heavy as well, so I tend to eat that after a morning workout.
2 eggs (sunny side up), sauteed onion & pepper, spinach on Ezekiel bread.
rolled oats with 1 scoop of peanut butter, sliced strawberries and blueberries.
5 minute flaxseed pancakes with fruit topping
This meal is sort of all over the place with me and is very dependent on my mood, but recently in these winter months I’ve been making lots of soups, stews and crock-pot meals to take with me on the go for lunch. These are super cost effective and yield almost a week’s worth of food in one simple step. Some of my favorites include sweet potato and black bean chili or pulled chicken taco soup. If I don’t have a soup then I usually have a salad or—very rarely—a sandwich.
honeyfresh salad with mixed greens, sliced apple, blueberries, walnuts, craisins and Annie’s balsamic dressing.
sweet potato and black bean chili (I like this recipe).
arugala, cheddar and apple sandwich with honey mustard dressing on harvest bread.
I almost always stick to the same formula for dinner: 1/2 of the plate is vegetable(s), 1/4 protein, and 1/4 starch/carbohydrates. This is where meal prepping components comes in super handy! I’ll usually piece together a meal using a few different ingredients that I’ve cooked on Sunday to make a full plate, always going heavier on the vegetables.
baked (organic, free range) chicken breast, broccoli, carrots and quinoa.
baked (wild caught) salmon, asparagus and quinoa or wild rice.
lemon and rosemary pork roast dinner with red bliss potatoes (recipe is here on my blog!)
I don’t always eat dessert, but I do allow myself to enjoy it on occation! I found in the past that the more I limited my diet the more tempted I was to cheat. Now that eating clean is a lifestyle for me, it is much easier to eat healthy most of the time. That’s not to say that some days I won’t indulge! I have found that I have the best success when using clean substitutions in my desserts as processed sugars and white flours upset my stomach. These are a few of my favorites!
clean brownies (recipe here).
vanilla protein bites (recipe here). These are a great snack too!
Enlightened or Halo Top ice cream (I usually will eat half of a pint in one sitting).
I eat a snack between every meal because 1.) I am always hungry and 2.) I believe in eating 6 smaller meals throughout the day rather than 3 larger ones. I rotate through what snacks I eat every week and it is largely dependent on the season (I like to eat fruit but in the winter it can taste icky). These are some of the snacks I’ve been enjoying lately!
- raw baby carrots
- apple slices with peanut butter
- RXBar (I love the all the flavors but lately the mint ones are my favorite!)
- Squarebar (you can use my code “kellymcgrath11” for 20% off your purchase)
- Women’s Best coconut protein bites
- Women’s Best protein shake/smoothie
And there you have it! As I said, I don’t count calories but if I had to guess I would say I probably eat around 1800-2000 a day. Some days I’m not as hungry, others I can’t stop snacking all day long. I figure that so long as I am reaching for healthy options I am doing okay. When I first started to eat clean and cut out processed foods I felt really tired and sluggish, but as I continued to fuel my body with whole foods I noticed that I was sleeping better, had far more energy and over all I simply felt better than I ever had before.
It takes time for your body to adjust to any changes, and it takes time to figure out what foods work best for you. My suggestion is to keep a record of what you are eating, record how you feel after eating or not eating certain foods, and take the time to create a diet for yourself. I promise it is worth it!
My Free Downloadable Grocery Lists