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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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!

Happy Easter! – Meal Plan #18

Happy Easter, y’all!

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I hope you are enjoying this day of celebration! As a christian, this is a super important day. As humans in general, we often celebrate moments occasions with food. Fourth of July BBQ, Thanksgiving dinner, birthday cake, etc. Food is one of our natural rhythms of life. It’s part of being a healthy, happy individual.

I remember when I was young and thoughts on the future including meals in pill form (or those protein blocks from Snowpiercer!). How lame would that be?! Seriously, take a pill and that’s it?! No interaction with others? No taking time to slow down and smell the sweet aroma of the delicious plate in front of you? A future where we don’t have time to enjoy the wonderful goodness of food is not one that sounds good to me!

So, this week, take some time to enjoy each meal. Look at every meal as a gift that we get to take pleasure in. Spend dedicated time to eat with others, to appreciate the look and smell of your food before you strap on the feedbag and gorge yourself!

Anyways, hope you have a great week and onto the meal plan!

-Tom Eats


Meal Plan #18

Breakfast:

I experimented with serving up some green smoothies (1/2 banana, 1/2 cup packed spinach, 1 tbsp almond butter, 1 cup coconut milk) with the usual eggs for breakfast and really enjoyed it!

Lunch:

I love leftovers for lunch but I’m thinking of trying some meal prepping (note the difference between meal planning) this week with baked chicken and steamed veggies packed up and ready to go each day for lunch.

Dinner:

Sausage, egg, sweet potato skillet – You should be able to find some nitrite and nitrate free sausage at your local grocer. Cook it in a pan, put in a bowl and set aside, add some olive oil and cook chopped sweet potato, add some kale and eggs, then throw the sausage back in! (Optional: add onions, peppers, mushrooms, whatever!)

Cabbage and Sausage Skillet – Yes, I love skillets. There’s a satisfaction in only having to use one dish. Plus, meat and veggies are mixed together so you don’t have to worry about serving sizes for each. This recipe is great, but I like to add a little mustard to mine, too.

Zucchini pasta – So, i couldn’t get my grubby little paws on some spaghetti squash, but chose to sub in zucchini. I sliced it long and thin and sautéed it in olive oil with onion and mushrooms and added some pasta sauce (you should be able to find one that only has natural ingredients but read the label!).

Chicken and Avocado Caesar Salad – If you feel like you’re not getting enough veggies during the day, check out this salad. One of the reasons I don’t usually post salads is because most people associate salads with “diets” and paleo is a lifestyle, not a fad diet. Eating like we used to without all the processed junk food. So, I like to show a lot of ‘regular meals’ that have meats and veggies and aren’t salads. Just a personal preference.

Chicken Salad with Avocado – I know, another chicken and avocado salad? This one is more like traditional chicken salad: shredded chicken, creamy texture, etc. I used to make this all the time as a quick easy dinner or lunch to take somewhere. Also, adding hard-boiled egg is great!

Enjoy the cooking and the eating!

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!