The Journey So Far – Meal Plan #21

Hello, friends.

How’s it going on your paleo journey so far? Maybe you’ve just started and it seems like you’re dying and all of sudden there are Chick-Fil-A’s on every block and oreo donuts in the office break room every day. Maybe you’ve just started and it feels new and fresh and exciting and you feel great! You’re discovering new vegetables and you don’t get food comas or hunger hangovers anymore.

If you’re just starting, it gets easier! If you’ve been at it a long time, you know this already. You also hopefully have some good food theory in your noggin to help guide you along your  ever expanding culinary adventure. You know that paleo is not just a diet, but a lifestyle (and what I mean by that is it’s not a fad diet!) You know that eating paleo is taking a step towards a healthier and happier life. What’s the point if you’re stressed out all the time about added sugar or breads or legumes?! You also know that paleo is not just a meat-fest, but focuses on adding more vegetables and having a truly balanced diet. You also know that everybody is different, what may work for me may not work for you. Find what feels good.

Anyway, just a quick recap over some of the stuff we’ve talked about. If you want to review these posts, take a look back at the meal plan page.

Whatever the case, I hope you’re enjoying the meal plans I offer here at Tom Eats. My goal here is create healthy happy individuals through food and thought. So now, on to the meal plan!


Meal Plan

Breakfast:

Eggs, as per usual, with butter coffee making its way back in there! Recently I’ve been sautéing some veggies in a pan and then cracking a few scrambled eggs over them. Easy one-pan breakfast with some good greens. Also, check out this interesting podcast interview with the guy who came up with butter (bulletproof) coffee.

Lunch:

I really liked meal prepping last week and having lunches fully prepped and tupperwared (real word?) out for the week. This keeps my lunch consistent and easy. Roasted chicken with some spices (paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper), steamed broccoli, roasted sweet potatoes, and some almond butter. The best part is that it doesn’t take much longer than cooking a single meal, just make a lot and bag it up!

Dinner:

Crock-Pot Sweet Potato Chili! – I love all kinds of soups, and in my mind chili falls under that umbrella.

Broccoli Salad with Bacon – This is an awesome side dish for any meal, especially to bring somewhere. Add some bacon or big chunks of ham and you can turn it into a meal.

Thai Curry Turkey Meatballs – Okay, so full disclosure, I haven’t made this recipe yet, but it sounds great! Also, when I do make it, I think I’ll use ground beef instead of ground turkey. As always, serve with cauliflower rice!

Dessert!:

Shamrock Shake! – So, this is a classic seasonal golden arches special, usually loaded with terrible chemicals and dyes and sugar and corn syrup upon corn syrup…BUT! This ‘copycat’ recipe is awesome because it’s completely paleo, delicious, and ACTUALLY quite nutritious. Gets the green color from spinach! I’m thinking of making a hybrid between this and my green smoothie…

Stay happy and healthy and enjoy cookin’!

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Meat in Paleo – (Indian) Meal Plan #20

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Hello, friends!

I hope this email finds you well! This meal plan is made up of dinners based on traditional Indian recipes. I LOVE Indian food. And to make some really delicious, really healthy Indian food at home is so easy. Most Indian dishes have a lot of spices, vegetables, and coconut milk. Not as meat-centric as a typical Western spread.

I’ve heard a lot of people think that eating paleo is mostly just eating steak and bacon and maybe a little side salad if they feel like it. Sure, if you’re doing paleo as a “quick-fix weight-loss program,” that can fly, but it doesn’t fit in with the real paleo mindset (the people who are in it to win it!) Changing what someone does is one thing, but changing what someone thinks is a whole ‘nother ball game! Meat is definitely a part of it, but the mindset of most Americans has been shifted to believe that meat makes the meal, everything else is just supplemental. The paleo mindset focuses on meats and vegetables.

Check out this graphic, I think it sums up a typical paleo ‘plate’ pretty well.

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Veggies are a big deal and they have to be there! Make them a priority in your meals!

Anyway, all that’s to say don’t neglect the veggies (we’re not meatheads!)

-Tom Eats


Meal Plan #20

Breakfast:

Eggs, bacon, green smoothies. I really love this for breakfast. It has everything I need and fills me up. Really gets my days off to a great start!

Lunch:

Leftovers from the night before (as per usual). And I am trying to meal prep at the beginning of the week so that if my wife and I end up feeding someone else (or being fed by someone else) and don’t have leftovers, we aren’t left without a lunch the next day! Meal prep: roasted chicken breast, broccoli, and sweet potato.

Dinner:

Butter Chicken – The garam masala spice is a must for Indian food! Fenugreek, cardamom, and brown sugar are not entirely necessary.

Chicken Tikka Masala – Yeah, yeah. typical Indian dish, but this recipe is probably one of the most delicious paleo recipes I’ve ever tried!

Fried Dill Potatoes – Great Indian paleo recipe with white potatoes. Note: white potatoes are a starch, not technically a vegetable. Most people consider them to be a paleo “gray area.” They should be consumed rarely (french fries are not paleo).

Paleo naan – This stuff is so good! A great substitute if you can’t have Indian food without naan. However, this recipe uses non-wheat flours and non-dairy milk and that’s about it. Making it a good substitution over the traditional stuff, but it doesn’t really carry any beneficial ingredients. One of those “not as bad for you” type of things. On the plus side, tastes great, similar to traditional naan and easy to make!

Sabji (sautéed cabbage) – I love to serve this with other Indian dishes/curries. It’s basically just same spiced sautéed veggies, mostly cabbage. Goes great mixed in to other saucier dishes!

Have a great week and happy cooking!

And It’s Paleo! – Meal Plan #19

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Hello again! I hope you enjoyed Easter Sunday last weekend with plenty of good food and company!

This week, I want to go into some of the mindset behind living a paleo lifestyle. Yes, we all know eat meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, good fats, and avoid processed foods, sugars, wheat products, breads, blah blah blah. This is the WHAT of paleo, and hopefully you have a good WHY (which I probably talk about way too often), but also important is the HOW of paleo.

‘You mean it matters how I eat my food?’

Well, what I mean here is more of how you think. Honey is considered paleo, but does that mean you should put 10 tablespoons of it in your coffee? Eggs and bananas and pure maple syrup are all paleo, but does that mean you should eat paleo pancakes every day for breakfast? What about paleo brownies? Paleo ice cream? Paleo funnel cake? (is that even possible?!)

There’s a difference in what is ‘healthy’ and what is just ‘not as bad.’

What I mean by that is, carrots are healthy. Baked chicken is healthy. Brussels sprouts are healthy (and freakin’ delicious!). Cupcakes are not healthy. A paleo cupcake is not necessarily ‘healthy,’ but they’re not as bad as a traditional cupcake. That doesn’t mean you have free reign to eat as many as you can stuff into your face! Of course, I’m not going to come to your house and slap that cupcake out of your hand, but keep you goals in mind, whatever they may be. Those paleo oreos are not healthy. They most likely contain plenty of (paleo-approved) sugar, and offer no redeeming nutrients.

There is a wrong way to do paleo.

The paleo lifestyle doesn’t mean you just find paleo-approved alternatives to everything you were eating previously, it means changing your mindset from consuming calorie-dense but nutrient-lacking processed foods to nutrient-dense, fresh real foods.

Anyway, I hope that clears up some things. I do make paleo-approved treats, but it is only occasionally and I’m not fooling myself by saying they are ‘healthy.’ There are tons of treats out there that are delicious and actually healthy! Apples, bananas, avocados, pistachios, and so many more!

Have a good week and here’s the meal plan!

-Tom Eats


Meal Plan #19

Breakfast:

Green smoothie(spinach, coconut milk, banana), eggs, sautéed spinach and mushrooms, with the occasional butter coffee. I’ve been cutting back a little on the bacon just to shake things up.

Lunch:

Leftovers from dinner the night before, baby carrots and almond butter, and some dark chocolate.

Dinner:

Steak and Asparagus – Grab your favorite cut and fire up the grill! I season with only salt and pepper and let the flavor of the meat speak for itself. The asparagus I cook with a little olive oil and ghee and some salt, pepper, and paprika (optional: garlic powder).

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapeños – Okay, this is a classic appetizer that is usually loaded with cheese. The link I put up is the recipe I followed for years. I love this dish but can’t handle that much dairy. Instead, I substitute avocado for cheese. Still turns out great! A 50/50 mix is good, too.

Paleo Chili – Yeah, I know it’s not cold anymore and most people shy away from warm soups during springtime but this is just so good! Crock-pot, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, what more could you want?!

Grilled Tilapia Fish Taco Bowl – Fish tacos are one of my favorite meals. This takes all the tasty goodness without the tortilla!

Breakfast for dinner – An easy go to, since we always have eggs around. If I don’t have time or don’t feel  like making what I had planned for dinner, a simple scramble fits perfectly!

Happy cooking!

Tom is also involved with Globe & Crown Publishing and Podcast, and The Surreal Appeal Art & Jewelry. Celebrate art and creativity by checking them out!

Let’s eat! Meal Plan #13

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Hello, hello, hello!

I hope you’re having a good week! I’m really enjoying this beauticious weather we’ve been having in good ol’ Austin, TX. With such wonderful weather, why not go out and stinking’ enjoy it? Seriously. What are you doing on your phone reading emails?!

Anyway, these meals include some grillable options, and I encourage you to invite some friends over and share a meal outside. Sharing a meal together is one of the best ways to get to know people, and honestly, if you’re not sharing a meal with a person, then do you really even know them? What do you do for your birthday? Have a meal out and invite your closest friends and family? Great! Do you have a certain meal of the week you eat with your parents or some close friends? Terrific! So, knowing folks and eating with them go hand in hand. Want to get to know someone? Share a meal with them! If you eat approximately 3 times a day, then this gives you 21 opportunities in a week to build relationships with people. These meals are meant to be shared with others so put them to use and let me know how it goes!

Aaaaanyways, here’s the plan.

-Tom Eats


Meal Plan #13

Breakfast:

Last week I had a green smoothie for one breakfast. It was good, though I could tell I was a little hungrier than usual by lunchtime. Green smoothie = 80% green veggies 20% fruit. That “fantastically healthy!” orange-pineapple-mango-passionfruit-banana smoothie isn’t really doing ya much favors. When you make a smoothie, make it mostly with green veggies; fruits in moderation. And then of course there are egg scrambles with mushrooms, spinach, onions, whatever. Just because it’s breakfast doesn’t mean you can’t include some greens in there.

Lunch:

Leftovers. If we don’t have enough leftovers for a meal, I usually make a spinach salad with ham, walnuts, oil & vinegar, and maybe some blueberries or chopped pear.

Dinner:

Beef & Broccoli – a slow-cooker recipe, but a good one.

Chorizo & Beef Lettuce Wrap Burgers – Mix equal parts chorizo and beef add a single egg and form into patties and grill. serve in a leaf of romaine lettuce with all the usual burger fixin’s. Want to skip the fries? Try this recipe for sweet potato tots instead.

Thai Meatballs – These sound great, I haven’t gotten the opportunity to try them yet, though. I’m sure they’d be perfect to take to a potluck/party/appetizer extravaganza.

Chicken Fajitas – This girl has a pretty good recipe but I prefer to grill or use a cast iron skillet to cook the breasts whole and then cut them. I think it leaves the chicken moister this way. Also, serve with my recipe for mango salsa:

1 cucumber

1 red bell pepper

1/4 cup cilantro leaves

1 mango

1/2 red onion

juice of 1 lime

1 jalapeno, or more depending on spice preference

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

Blend all ingredients in a blender until fully salsa-fied.

Tom is also involved with Globe & Crown Publishing and Podcast, and The Surreal Appeal Art & Jewelry. Celebrate art and creativity by checking them out!

 

Chorizo & Brussels Sprouts! – Meal Plan #10

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Hello! This week the meal plan is a little short because we have a lot of leftovers from last week and the weekend. But anyway, let’s talk food theory for a little bit.

Fitness is comprised of two factors: diet and exercise. Everyone should know this but conventional wisdom doesn’t like to advertise it. It’s not diet or exercise. It takes both! A good quote that I hear often goes “You can’t outrun a poor diet.” Many people try to put in hours at the gym but shove full sleeves of thin mints down their throat and are then surprised when they get preventive health-related illnesses. You may think a person is fit and healthy because they are muscular and athletic but the truth is health is on the inside. Outward may give us some indication but don’t judge a book by its cover. I’ve seen plenty of people that “look healthy” on the outside but have to take 12 different pills every day because they kept choosing fries over kale.

Of course, the other side is true, too. A good diet won’t make up for hours spent sitting on the couch binge watching Making A Murderer. A good diet isn’t going to allow you to walk  from the Shire to Mordor. It takes both, a nutritional diet and proper exercise, to live a healthy life, to live the full human experience. Being in a ready-state means that your health and body doesn’t keep you from doing the things in daily life that come up regularly or even irregularly. Are you in a ready-state?

Anywaysss, here is some meal plan ideas for the week including a crock pot recipe that I’m excited to try!

-Tom Eats


Meal Plan #10

Breakfast:

Eggs and bacon – I made a batch of Chorizo and Brussels Sprouts and mixed it in with the eggs and some spinach for a high protein meal when it’s tough to add greens.

Lunch:

Leftovers from dinner the night before and add some carrots and almond butter and some fresh fruit!

Dinners:

Paleo fish tacos – This is a great recipe to impress some friends or neighbors who aren’t drinking the paleo-ade yet. Serve them up a delicious meal and then tell them it’s all paleo! (Then drop the mic and walk away)  Also, this recipe calls for paleo tortillas but since this is already a pretty involved recipe, I’m just going with lettuce wraps.

Crockpot Sweet & Spicy Chicken – Pretty standard crockpot recipe. You can serve this up with some cauliflower rice or sautéed peppers.