meal plan: week 1

Hey there, friends. On Sundays I often share things I am cooking over on my Instagram stories. After a few requests for meal plans and a deeper dive into what I eat I decided to share more. While I don’t work off of strict meal plans, I do use meal planning of our food for the week to shop and then cook accordingly. A lot of you said you wanted to see this IRL, so here is my first attempt at sharing how I plan and feed myself and my fiancé each week. I do a bunch of cooking on Sunday. Dustin takes over on Monday nights and cooks whatever is left to do while I teach group fitness classes. Sometimes we need to cook a quick veg or protein on a Tuesday or Wednesday, and do so as needed.

P.S. I don’t have diet restrictions (except higher FODMAP items) however, if you do, simply choose a substitute or eliminate foods as needed. For instance, if you don’t eat fish, choose cubed chicken instead. Don’t eat broccoli? Use asparagus. Can’t have wheat? Choose a GF option.

Okay, lets get to it.


planning process

I sit down Saturday or Sunday and talk with Dustin about his week. Are there any days we won’t be home for dinner? Maybe he has a work lunch planned. Maybe we have a date night. Maybe I have plans with friends. I take these things into consideration as I plan for Monday breakfast - Friday lunch. Friday dinner is rarely prepped food. Usually we think of something yummy we want and one of us stops at the grocery on the way home. If there is any food left in the fridge we try to finish it off for Saturday’s lunch. I am also considering our time to cook, if we are out of town for the weekend I am usually selecting easier meals that use more quick cook freezer items.

week 1: what we eat in a week

This particular week he had lunch plans one day and I did not eat dinner at home another day so we only ended up requiring one back-up meal.


I usually choose a breakfast that will get us through 4 days and then Friday we usually put together an egg sandwich or something of the sort. It helps us not get bored. We always have extra eggs in the house.


I select 2 meals that will incorporate our starch, protein, vegetables, and fat. We batch cook (large portions) so that we are fed from it ideally 3-4 times each. If this requires me to cook a larger protein portion than stated in the recipe I will increase some of the spices slightly. We do not cook a hot meal each night. It is too much work and planning and our schedules are pretty packed. Who wants to cook after a long day? Not this girl.

  • Ginger beef stir-fry (used just over 2 lb beef)+ stir-fry rice noodles (prepared according to package) + Stir fry vegetables (did not mix with the noodles for prep or storing)

  • Curried chicken salad (about 2.5lb chicken) bowls with roasted cubed sweet potato (cooked 2 large) + chickpeas + roasted broccoli + shredded cabbage (was leftover from stir-fry recipe) + feta + arugula

Back-up Meals

I have an idea of what my back-up meals will be based on whats in the freezer and pantry or leftover. I also always have lettuce in the house because you can make a salad with anything.

  • Tuna salad w/ lettuce on Dave’s Killer Bread


I pack us each a morning and afternoon snack. These are snacks we have on hand that I mix and match each day based on each of our needs.

  • Yogurt + almonds

  • Tumeric quinoa (made in IP, stove top option included in link)

  • KIND bar or Health Warrior Chia Seed Bar

  • Rice cakes + cheese stick

  • Grapes, frozen mango and strawberries (snack or dessert)

  • PB&J on thin sliced Daves Killer Bread

Let me know if this post set up is useful. Let me know what else you do or don’t want to see. I am going to try to start posting these regularly and I am open to adjusting the format until it works for you! Prefer to see all links at the end in one place? Link to the exact products when applicable? LMK!!! I want this to help you!

beef and sustainability

What a fun few months I have been having! If you read my post earlier this month you read about how I was turning my focus to being present and enjoying life, instead of worrying and overstressing about big projects and goals. This shift has helped me really focus on the fun and professional work that is important to me. Plus, this approach is helping me say ‘no’ more often, which means more time for things I love.

In March I was insanely excited to head out to Kentucky for a couple of days (Sponsored by the Beef Checkoff) to learn all about beef production and sustainability. Did you know that Kentucky produces more beef than any state east of the Mississippi River?

On our trip we learned from a master butcher, ground and made our own burgers, had a steak taste test, toured the YARDS, an education center focused on the science and practices in the beef industry, and toured Eden Shale Farms. The best part was hearing from and interacting with local farmers.

I have to say, I was really blown away by these incredible farmers who work so hard every day to care for their animals, that they don’t get a chance to get out there and share what beef farming and ranching really looks like. Some farm full-time, some have their family members help, some work full-time and take care of their farm and cattle in the evenings and on weekends. Many of the 38,000 cattle farmers in Kentucky operate multi-generational cow-calf farms. These are real families that have helped to feed our country for many years.

They all have one thing in common: they CARE.

These beef farmers and ranchers care so much about their animals, and their wellbeing. I don’t feel this message is conveyed enough, or ever. Our society is quick to shun different foods and food groups and then others latch on to the latest trend. When was the last time you made a food decision FOR YOURSELF? The last time you didn’t play back in your mind what someone at work said to you about this food, or what food your sister was avoiding on her new diet. It is important that we educate ourselves and make up our own minds about what and how we want to eat.

I eat beef, and I eat poultry, and I eat dairy, and I eat more fruits and vegetables than most people I know. I also eat almost all of my meals at home. I eat products and foods that I believe in and I feel good knowing that beef not only provides me with the essential vitamins and nutrients my active body needs, but also that it supports real families, agriculture, and our environment.

Here are some things about beef and sustainability that I learned on my trip. I really hope this helps you make a new food decision for yourself, or at the very least, teaches you something new.


Facts about Beef and Sustainability:

  1. Cattle are ‘upcyclers’. They eat human-inedible plants (ahem- grass) and convert it into a high-quality human edible protein.

  2. Cattle also consume plant-based leftovers that would otherwise go to waste like distillers grains, and cottonseed.

  3. Cattle graze on rangeland that is unsuitable for cultivation which expands the land available for food production.

  4. Corn only accounts for 7% of cattle’s diet. Concerned about this corn being removed from the food supply? The corn usage for animal feed has decreased while the corn usage for fuel production as increased so if cattle weren’t fed that bit of corn, it would likely go towards fuel production

  5. The US beef production system is 10-50x more efficient than other nations. We have more efficient practices, which are being improved constantly, and through these practices use fewer natural resources and put out a carbon footprint that has been on the decline since the 1970s.

Ultimately, the decision of what you eat is and should be up to you. We are all entitled to our own food choices, and that is what makes education and awareness of the facts that much more important. If you want to explore more you can check out this website which has the answers to the most common questions, and misconceptions about beef. If you have questions, post in the comments I will happily reply and work hard to find the answer to your questions if I don’t know the answer myself.

PS the grain v grass fed discussion was insanely informative for me and you all need to read this blog post from Nicole to learn more about the actual process of finishing beef.


Post content is sponsored by the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative, a subcontractor to the Beef Checkoff Program. All opinions and meal ideas are my own.

Post-Workout Nutrition: Refueling with Beef (sponsored)

It’s that time of year where new workout routines and gym memberships are motivating us to get moving. Remember, building a new lifestyle requires consistent commitment to habit changes. While small changes are key, it is important that as we succeed, we build on the habit. For instance, maybe you are really loving your fitness goals, but haven’t quite figured out the food piece. I often hear clients express their frustration at increased hunger related to their workouts and frequently the sub par eating habits that persist. Unfortunately, working out on its own isn’t enough to change your body and health. What we eat, particularly after we exercise, matters.



Post-workout we want complex carbs which will help to refill our energy stores, and preserve muscle from being broken down. Complex carbs might include whole grains, or starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, or fruit. Of course, protein is key for building strong bodies. Protein helps us maintain muscle we have and build new muscle. Quality protein also helps with meal satisfaction, which can help limit nighttime snack cravings.

When it comes to eating post-workout, I love refueling with beef. Beef is a nutrient-dense food that provides 10 essential nutrients including iron and about 25 grams of quality protein to help us recover.

Important note: Beef can only be claimed as “LEAN” if the cut of beef is less than 8.5 grams (g) total fat, 3.8g or less saturated fat, and less than 80 milligrams of cholesterol per 85g serving (about 3 ounces by weight).
Find out more about beefs nutrient profile here.


With your new workouts taking up more of your time, you want meals that are simple and easy to make ahead. Here are some ideas to keep you fueled and strong.

Lightened up spaghetti and meatballs

Protein: Use a lean ground beef (at least 95% lean ground beef) mixed with defrosted frozen spinach and italian spices to form simple meatballs that you can bake in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Carbohydrate: Balance a serving of whole grain or legume based pasta (~1c cooked) with plenty of vegetables. I like to add spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles to keep my carbohydrate portion moderate.

Top with your favorite marinara sauce and cheese for a satisfying meal.

Pair lean beef meatballs with veggie noodles mixed with whole grain noodles

Pair lean beef meatballs with veggie noodles mixed with whole grain noodles

Taco salad

Protein: Use a lean ground beef with your favorite taco seasoning! Talk about satisfying!

Carbohydrate: Add brown rice (~½ c) to the salad for your carbohydrates.

Add plenty of veggies including leafy green lettuce, corn, peppers, and avocado! This satisfying meal is the perfect refueling meal you will actually look forward to eating!

Here are some great snack ideas

Beef jerky + mixed nuts. This is my favorite daytime snack, especially after a morning workout. I know my body is constantly rebuilding all day long, and even more so after a tough workout. Including some protein from beef jerky into my snacks helps me support that process.

Fruit and cheese. A cheddar cheese stick provides about 8 grams of protein. Pair that with fruit can serve as a great post workout snack to tie you over until your next meal, or a great midday snack after a tough morning workout.

So let me know, how do you prefer to refuel after a tough workout?

Post content is sponsored by the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff Program. All opinions and meal ideas are my own.