What I’m eating
In this post I’m going to share exactly what I have in my grocery basket this week and how I plan to cook and eat it. I hope this gives you an idea of how to plan your nutrition for the week and gives you some inspiration on how to get a sufficient quantity of nutrient dense food in your diet. Remember, it’s all about the micros! If you get this base covered, the rest will fall into place.
All from Abel and Cole, organic.
Large veggie box containing:
1kg Broad beans
1kg new potatoes
250g Pak Choi
2 Red peppers
1 bag Mixed salad leaves
4 Spring onion
4 Vine tomato
500g additional broccoli
2 additional red peppers
1 pack Cherry tomatoes
6 Red onions
4 whole artichokes
1kg Additional new potatoes
2 packs of broccoli sprouts (300g)
Unsweetened almond milk
6 bottles of sparkling water
6 bottles of still water
2 whole chickens (1.7kg each roughly)
4 chicken breasts (800g total)
1 Gala melon
The first thing you might notice is that this is A LOT of food and a ton of vegetables. I would actually argue that it’s a bare minimum. I could eat a lot more veg than this if I could afford the time and money! The first principle of grocery shopping is not to scrimp on vegetable quantity, quality, and variety. Go big on the veg, go organic and get experimental! As you’ll see below, all this veg really doesn’t cost you that much in terms of preparation. I want to encourage you to think of vegetables first, high quality protein second, nutrient dense fruit and nuts / seeds third and macronutrient / calorie requirement fourth.
This list covers me for about 80-90% of my meals outside of breakfast. I generally get breakfast out after teaching morning classes. Breakfast is normally some form of eggs with avocado, sometimes cheese and some toast (yes, toast: the paleo police are coming for me, I can smell it!). The 10-20% of meals this doesn’t cover include weekend meals out or the very occasional lunch on the go during the week.
What to do with it all?
Alright so what the hell to do with all this food? My delivery comes on Wednesdays. I will then normally do a form of food prep on Wednesday / Thursday and again on Sunday. Below is the plan I will be using on the above list:
Mixed roast vegetables:
Chop up a load of peppers, courgettes, cherry tomatoes, vine tomatoes, red onions, carrots and a few potatoes. Use as much as I can get in a big roasting tray. Dress in good quality extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, pepper and mixed herbs. Roast at 180 degrees for 50-60 minutes.
Cover top of chicken in cubed butter mixed with herbs (rosemary, thyme) and salt and pepper. Squeeze a whole lemon over the top and then leave the lemons in the pan. Cut another whole lemon and place up the butt of the chicken. Scatter any other veg which didn’t fit on the other roasting tray and a few additional potatoes. Roast on 180 degrees and the same time as the veg for about 80-90 minutes (assuming a bird somewhere between 1.7-2kg.
I would place the chicken on top and the roasted veg below in the oven.
Boil all the broccoli and dress in a little olive oil, salt and apple cider vinegar.
I will probably boil one of the artichokes to have on Thursday. Simple boil whole in a pan of water for 30-40 minutes. Add some salt and lemon to the water. Then when it’s nearly ready melt some butter in a pan and add a whole lemon and salt. I then dip the leaves in the butter mixture and suck out the flesh. If you’re ever watching a film and you want a paleo-ish snack, this HAS to be it. One of my all-time favourite veggie treats!
This will give me a load of food for Thursday, Friday and the weekend.
I construct meals like this:
- 2/3 of the plate covered in vegetables. That could be one variety or a mixture. I will often add broccoli sprouts on top for some variety (and the sulforophane, duh!).
- The other 1/3 of the plate consists of chicken.
- Then I add additional fats, carbs or fruit as needed. I will often just chop a whole avocado over the top, or if it’s directly after training, some boiled rice. Other times I will have some nuts for dessert. With most meals I will have a piece of fruit or two as well.
Again, yes, this is a lot of food! But I generally just eat 3 times a day and that is it. So it works for me… You may need to adjust quantities accordingly. What you have here is a very effective way to maximise the quantity and variety of micronutrients you are getting at each meal. In terms of nutrient density, this formula works a treat. You’ll be getting a ton of fibre, a diversity of vitamins and minerals and a decent amount of good fats. And don’t be confused: a plate of 2/3 vegetables and 1/3 protein will be pretty calorie controlled. It’s the extra avocado / nuts / fruit / rice where I derive more of the calories.
On Sunday, I will roast another chicken with potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic. I will also boil another artichoke in exactly the same way. This will be for an early dinner with Carla. This meal will be accompanied by a salad using the mixed salad leaves and any left over peppers, tomatoes, red onions etc.
Baked chicken breast
I will also bake the remaining chicken breasts. I will baste the breasts in a Ras el Hanout spice blend with olive oil, salt, mixed herbs, pepper and the juice of a lemon. Then I bake, covered in foil for 35 minutes at 180 degrees. I normally get this out the oven and leave to cool. Once it’s cool, I’ll chop up the breasts in to pieces using a pair of scissors so it’s easy to portion out.
I will also prepare the remaining green vegetables: I will most likely sauté the spinach and pac choi. To be real for a second, I’m going to need to look up what to do with the broad beans!
Again this will give me a decent quantity of food to portion out for Monday and Tuesday.
This should give you a base case to work with. A solution similar to the above should work for just about everyone. Adjust for overall energy requirement, taste, season and so on. I’ve said this before, but I would recommend using a delivery service like Abel and Cole. Abel and Cole really is amazing because of its quality and seasonality (no affiliation… yet!). Doing a delivery allows you to be far more systematic in what you get. It also saves time and money and prevents your from making unhealthy impulse purchases. Here is my final advice: make an order, see how it goes and then adjust from there. You’ll very quickly understand how much and what you need. Good luck team!