As I mentioned in your 7-Day Challenge Guide, I want to keep the meal planning more flexible and instead of giving you a ready-made shopping list and a meal plan, I want YOU to choose what you want to eat every day based on some suggestions and the overall guidelines.
I believe that by DOING this part yourself, you will be better equipped to plan and prepare paleo meals going forward. Don’t worry, I am here to answer any questions and to provide you with ideas if you get stuck.
Back to 7-Day Paleo Challenge home.
Use the daily worksheets to help you plan and organise your shopping list and meals for the week. Review your 10-point checklists to see which foods you might want to include in your meals and then add them to your shopping list (I provided a list of suggested essentials in the guide).
Then, use my suggested meals or look up recipes online and in cookbooks to plan what you want to make during the week. Alternatively, some of the meals might be consumed at a café or a restaurant – just stick to the guidelines!
Good nutrition is all about variety and balance so you plan your weekly menu, here are some nutrient-dense foods to include on a regular basis:
- A rainbow of fruit and vegetables – the more colours, the better
- Mushrooms – fresh or dried
- Berries – fresh or frozen
- Red meat – beef, lamb, goat, duck
- Offal – liver, liver pate, kidneys etc.
- Oily fish – sardines, salmon, trout, mackerel, anchovies
- Eggs – free-range!
- Shellfish/seafood – prawns/shrimp, mussels, oysters, squid, clams, octopus
- White meat – chicken, turkey, pork
- Safe starches – sweet potato, pumpkin/squash, carrots, beets, parsnips
- Healthy fats – coconut oil, olive oil, macadamia oil, ghee (clarified butter), nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut milk or coconut cream, almond milk, cashew milk.
- Seaweed – dried seaweed such as nori sheets or dulse seaweed sprinkle
- Fermented foods – kimchi, sauerkraut, other fermented vegetables, kombucha, water kefir, coconut yoghurt, olives.
- Herbs & spices
- Some pleasure foods (dark chocolate, red wine, aged cheese) – not during this challenge
When you look at your shopping basket, ask yourself some of the following questions:
- Do I see a rainbow?
- Do I see a cut of meat I haven’t tried before?
- Do I have some green leafy vegetables as well as starchy root vegetables?
- Do I have some fish or seafood?
- Do I have fresh herbs?
Do as much meal prep as you can on Sunday to save time and decision-making during the week. Having a fridge stocked up with healthy foods and ready meals or pre-cooked ingredients will make your life a lot easier and will help to keep you on track.
Some things you can make ahead of time.
- Soup – I often make a batch of soup to enjoy throughout the week and to freeze some for those busy weeks. Here are some lovely healthy soups to try.
- Stews – Things like Bolognese sauce, lamb curry, chicken tagine, or good old beef stew will keep for a few days in the fridge or can be frozen and defrosted when needed. Add a side of greens or cauliflower rice and you have yourself a meal in no time.
- Roast meats and fish – Do yourself a favour and make some roast chicken, a tray of baked salmon or chicken fillets, a batch of pulled pork or a leg of lamb, and portion out the meat to enjoy in various meals throughout the week. Freeze leftovers for later.
- Roasted or grilled vegetables – I love having Tupperware containers filled with grilled zucchini and eggplant or roasted sweet potato and squash. They make for an easy side dish or as a filling ingredient in a salad.
- Eggs – Something as simple as boiled eggs can save you a heap of time in the mornings. You can also add them to lunch salads or to have a snack. Breakfast egg muffins, casseroles and frittatas are also great make-ahead options that can be stored for a few days in the fridge. Here are 20 paleo breakfast casseroles to check out.
- Marinating meat and seafood – If a recipe calls for a spice rub or a marinade, you can make that ahead of time and store the protein in the fridge or freezer until needed. It will taste even better this way! Check out these 5 tasty meat marinades.
- Make a salad bar – I enjoy a salad almost every day (usually for lunch) so I make sure to stock up on and prepare all my salad ingredients ahead of time. Some things are best cut fresh (like avocado or tomatoes) but shredded cabbage, diced pepper, radish and cucumbers will keep well for a couple of days. If you like everything cut fresh, you can make sure everything is washed and ready to go (e.g. prewash and pat-dry the salad leaves and keep the crisper). Stock up on a few ingredients to spice up your salads like sun-dried tomatoes, tinned artichokes, olives, capers, nuts and seeds. I’ve got a whole cookbook on salads.
- Make a salad dressing – A jar of salad dressing is something I always have in the fridge. Whenever I make a new salad, I often double the dressing and keep the leftovers for later. A simple lemon and mustard vinaigrette or a good old paleo ranch dressing will keep for an up to a week in an airtight container. This will save you the prep time during the week. Here are some paleo dressings you can try.
Here are some pics from our community:
These are just some suggestions but I am sure you can think of a few other ways to utilize meal prepping time over the weekend.
Are you ready to plan your meals and go shopping? Let’s get started!
If you have any questions, come and share in our private Facebook group or email me directly and I will try to get back to you as soon as we can. Bonus points if you share some pictures of your shopping and meal prep with the community.