Your 1-Week Fit Meal Planner
A live-in chef is paradise for the fitness-minded. You have one of those, right?
Riiiiight. Bet the odds of that are the same as hearing Delilah drop an F bomb on your car radio.
Unfortunately, cooking at home is a necessary evil and time-suck for those who want to control their nutrition. You arrive home after a workday, run errands or pick up your kids, escape to the gym -- and then what?
You might be tempted to just relax and order a pizza, hit the drive-thru window, or pop frozen lasagna in the oven -- none of which is a prescription for 6-pack abs.
What you need is a Sunday nutrition game plan that'll last the rest of the week! This easy-to-follow weekly meal plan starts off with a Sunday shopping list and light cooking on Sunday evening. What you'll end up with are five dinners -- and enough leftovers for lunches for the rest of the week, stress free!
The detailed shopping list that follows tells you exactly how much food to buy at the grocery store. Then you'll get detailed recipes that explain how to cook five individual-serving-size dinners. You'll also be able to pack up extra food for lunches during the day.
Spare a couple of hours planning, shopping, and cooking, and you'll actually have time to enjoy the healthy lifestyle you work hard to achieve!
- 1 lb brown rice or quinoa* or buy a bit of both!
- 8 oz container of old-fashioned oats
- 3 lbs of lean ground turkey (try for 85-90% lean)
- 1 flank steak (1 lb can be divided into 2 servings; 2 lbs makes 4 servings)
- 1 dozen eggs
- 1 avocado
- 1 large package fresh spinach salad mix
- Fresh veggies including:
- 2 bell peppers
- 1 head of broccoli (or 1 package pre-chopped, fresh broccoli)
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1 pack pre-cut and washed mushrooms (or 1 lb fresh mushrooms-but then you have to cut them yourself)
- 1 pack celery
- 1 package fresh pre-cut stir-fry veggies (or build your own by buying onion, Chinese cabbage, shredded carrots, broccoli, snow peas, and water chestnuts)
*What is quinoa? An ancient food staple for people in South America, quinoa (pronounced KEEN-oh-uh) is a seed that, when cooked, becomes creamy, crunchy, and nutty tasting. Quinoa is technically gluten-free; it's not a grain, although it's cooked and eaten like one; and it's not even related to nuts!
Quinoa is actually more closely related to spinach, Swiss chard, and other leafy greens. You can get about 5.5 grams of complete protein (that's right, a full amino-acid profile!) and 3 grams of fiber from 1 cup's worth, cooked.
Always Have These Items On Hand
- Garlic Powder or Fresh Garlic
- Mustard Powder
- Black Pepper
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Egg Whites (or enough eggs to use the whites)
- Soy Sauce
- Onion or dried onion flakes
- Fresh Ginger
- Brown Sugar
- Oil (Olive Oil or Canola Oil is recommended)
- Homemade Dressing (Don't have a recipe? I've got a collection of great dressing recipes!)
With the above ingredients ready to go in the refrigerator, here's a list of easy dinners for the rest of the week.
6 Fit Recipes
Sometime on Sunday cook 1 pound of lean ground meat and leave it plain. Cooking a large batch of meat means leftovers, which means less cooking in the evening -- a huge time saver! There are so many things you can mix up with ground meat, as you'll see in almost every dinner idea for the week.
With the remaining 2 pounds of ground meat, cook the following "meat muffin" recipe:
- 2 lbs ground meat (I've used beef, turkey, and combinations)
- 1/4 heaping cup chopped celery
- 1/4 heaping cup mushroom, diced
- 1/4 cup oatmeal
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion or 1 tbsp dehydrated onion flakes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced, or 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dry mustard powder
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 egg whites
- 1/4 cup water
- Preheat oven at 325 degrees.
- Spray 2 muffin tins with nonstick spray or oil.
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl (using your hands works best).
- Cook at 325 degrees for 22 minutes.
This recipe makes about two dozen turkey muffins. They're great to take to work for lunch and can be combined with salad, quinoa, brown rice, or veggies for an easy and healthy dinner.
Three muffins make one serving. Each serving contains 2 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fiber, 30 grams of protein, and 263 calories.
- Mix together and add 1 tbsp soy sauce
One bowl makes 1 serving. Each serving contains 13 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fiber, 53 grams of protein, 461 calories.
- Warm up the meat muffins you baked on Sunday.
- Sautee 1 cup of veggies (mushrooms, celery and asparagus in a small amount of soy sauce)
Ginger Soy Marinated Flank Steak
- Mix the above ingredients together in a big enough container to fit your steak. Marinade the flank steak for as long as you like. Start the night before or in the morning when you leave for work, or even when arriving home if you plan to eat a bit later. For a great flavor, you want at least a couple hours in the marinade.
- To cook the steak, grill or broil it for 8 minutes on one side and 6 minutes on the other side. Adjust the cooking time according to the thickness of the meat and how done you like your steak. A 2-pound flank steak feeds a little over four people in my family. So if you cook for one, you may only need to buy a steak between 1 and 2 pounds. Or if you cook the whole 4-pound steak, you should have plenty of leftovers for easy lunches!
4 ounces of flank steak contains 32 grams of protein and 222 calories. Add some of your favorite veggies to your plate (grilled or fresh), and you're ready to eat!
This recipe makes one 360-calorie omelet, good for 36 grams of protein, 9 grams of carbs (you can boost the carbs and fiber by adding some cooked quinoa instead of just veggies), and healthy fats from the avocado.
This recipe will yield 31 grams of protein from the turkey, 11 grams of healthy fats from the avocado, and about 400 calories total. There are very few carbs in this meal, making it perfect for low-carb dieters. But if you want to boost your carbs in this meal, add some brown rice or quinoa on the side.
These are just a few meal ideas but a lot can be done with egg whites, quinoa, veggies and ground meat. Get creative and plan ahead. You can also preplan your lunches by grilling a bunch of chicken or having tuna packets on hand for lunches. The secret is to learn to pair a great source of protein (chicken, tuna, ground turkey, flank steak) with your favorite vegetables. Once you find the combinations that you like, prepare big batches of food that you can throw together for easy lunches and dinners.
If you have a family, finding vegetables and healthy recipes that everyone likes could be challenging. This meal plan makes it easy to follow your personal nutrition needs even if your family has different needs. Even if your family has a different set of nutrition goals from you-strict dieters and pre-contest folks, you know what I'm talking about-spend some time pre-planning, and you can spend time with your family at a stress-free dinner table.