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Weekly Paleo Menu- Vol. 1

We are now a couple of weeks into our CFR Whole30 challenge! We have done Paleo/Whole30 before, but this time it just seems different. I think it is because I have a handful of great go-to Paleo recipes already, and then this time I decided to order a couple of cookbooks to help change it up! A friend asked if I would post our weekly menu and I was already thinking it might be helpful to anyone out there wanting to try Paleo eating but feels intimidated. I know the feeling- it can seem overwhelming to cut out so much! But I promise, once you get the hang of it, it is so easy to stick to and everything we eat is so YUMMY!!

Before I share our first week’s menu, let me put a few things out there:

  • We do not stick completely to Paleo/Whole30 even when we are in challenge like this. This doesn’t necessarily mean that we have cheat meals, but we also don’t go super ultra crazy when sticking to the rules. For example, we try to buy organic, grass-fed, etc, but honestly if Trader Joe’s or Costco doesn’t carry it, I’m buying what they have. So our bacon is organic, but it is not Whole 30 Approved bacon.  If you’re getting technical, which Whole30 is very technical, then we aren’t really doing Whole30. We are trying to stick to the rules for the most part, but I don’t have time or money to go hunt down a bacon farmer. And going without bacon is like going without coffee..ain’t gonna happen.
  • Speaking of coffee…the first time we did Whole30 I lasted 14 {yes, FOURTEEN} days without coffee. Yes, you can have coffee but you can’t have sugar or cream, and I promise I tried all the paleo-approved creamers such as coconut or almond dirt creamer {oh, I kid}….and it just isn’t happening. So, I let myself have my 2 TBSP of Natural Bliss coffee creamer and move on. Life is too short and I would be a miserable momma and wife if I didn’t have my coffee. So again, technically, we aren’t doing “Whole30” because of the creamer.
  • I love to cook, and I have time for meal planning and cooking. This is HUGE. I usually meal plan on Sunday afternoons and it takes me about an hour to get the plan for the week and make my grocery list. Then I spend time shopping for everything and then cooking like this takes So. Much. TIME. I feel like I am always cooking, and there are always dirty dishes in my kitchen. Thank the LORD my sweet husband does the dishes every night. Yep, he’s a keeper.
  • I have easy access to Trader Joe’s and Costco. This is huge because they both carry so many paleo-friendly ingredients and time-saving foods. For example, Trader Joe’s pre-chopped butternut squash and frozen riced cauliflower have been LIFESAVERS. I can get to TJ’s in less than 5 minutes, so if I’m needing something for a new recipe I’m not having to go very far to get it.
  • I say we are doing “Whole30” because we are-  the whole idea of practicing good mealtime habits and filling up our plates the way they say to is the basis for our meals. The Whole30 Shopping List on their website is also key- it has helped me branch out to find more things that are on the list that we like, and helps me stick to only the things on the list. The difference for us between Whole30 and Paleo is adding in things like honey and maple syrup for flavoring, and then we even occasionally add things like quinoa or brown rice or corn to our meals when we are still eating mainly Paleo. Confused yet? The Whole30 list will help you get started, then as you finish your 30 days, you can find more things that are Paleo-friendly (or not but still healthy) that you can add to your diet.
  • We go to all of this trouble for a few reasons- we feel better when we eat like this. No sugar, no grains, no dairy (ahem, except my creamer!), no cokes, no tortillas, no Chuy’s…it does a body good. We also keep the pounds off when we eat this way, but we don’t feel like we’re dieting. The food is too yummy to be a diet! We also know it helps us perform better at CrossFit, running, etc.
  • Our kids eat what I cook. Period. The only time I fix them something separate is if I think it is too spicy. Otherwise, their plate looks identical to ours! I usually add a small portion of fruit to their plate and sometimes a tortilla/bread/etc., but I save so much time because our kiddos eat the foods we eat. Chloe LOVES eating paleo- her favorite things to eat are salmon, green beans, and steak. Jack- the kid doesn’t eat much no matter what it is (except Chuy’s), so he eats it without complaining. And Lila, well we know she’s a bottomless pit and eats literally ANYTHING I offer. So it works for us because I’m not cooking twice each meal!

Ok, enough about how we do it. Everyone is different and you have to find what works for you! After a few tries, this is what works for us. Now on to our weekly menu!

Weekly Paleo Menu, Vol. 1

**to see what we have for breakfast/lunch, click here.

MondayBarbacoa w/ stir fry bell peppers and cauliflower rice* the first time I made cauliflower rice I used the recipe linked, but then a friend told me about Trader Joe’s riced cauliflower in the frozen section and I am a changed woman. SO much easier and less messy! But you still follow the recipe above, you just don’t have to do the ricing yourself! **I love making one big crock pot meat recipe a week- that way we have plenty of meat in the fridge to eat for lunch throughout the week!

Tuesday– Flank Steak (just seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked it in my cast iron skillet on the stove- it was too cold to grill!) with chimichurri from this recipe and roasted sweet potatoes (made like this but subbed sweet potatoes!). ***What is chimichurri??? We have been eating it for a long time, and my post on chimichurri back in 2011 is still one of my top posts of all times. And I know why. It is because chimichurri is LIFE. CHANGING. I have made it so many ways, but the recipe linked above from PaleOMG is seriously amazing. You will want this in your fridge at all times.

Wednesday- Barbacoa Eggs Benedict using leftover barbacoa from Monday, the chimichurri sauce from Tuesday, and make the rest of this recipe. This one was labor intensive but since I had the meat and chimichurri already done, it helped some. And it was so worth the work- see??

Thursday- Chicken Enchilada Bake with Pioneer Woman’s Homemade Chipotle Salsa (omit sugar) and sweet potato chips

Friday- Leftovers (we usually have some sort of meat scrambled with leftover veggies and eggs– see this? It is leftover flank steak sautéed with sweet potato and spinach, with chimichurri on top

Weekend Cooking- Frittata Egg Muffins (I changed recipe and used leftover veggies we had in fridge and breakfast sausage), put remainder in freezer for an easy go-to breakfast! I like to do some cooking on the weekend that will help for breakfasts for the following week. I always try and roast sweet potatoes or butternut squash on Sunday evenings so we can easily throw it in a pan for breakfasts all week. We usually go out 1-2 times a weekend, and then fill the rest of our meals with either an easy grilled meat and veggie side, or leftovers. I really try to save my big cooking for the week, and that usually means we have plenty of things to choose from over the weekend.

Ok that took me way longer than I thought it would. I think I gave you too many details, haha! If you are still reading, could you leave a comment telling me you are here? I would love to know if this is helpful for anyone else. I know it will be so great for me to look back on meal plans from the past to make it so much easier, but I would love to know if this is something others will use! Also if you have any questions, feel free to ask! Happy Paleo meal planning!!

Comments

  1. Mandi

    Thanks for sharing. My 13-year-old is starting to explore food choices and eating options for herself, and she was just asking me if I knew anyone following a Paleo diet. I will happily share your post with her. I am also interested, but I’m not sure I could give up Chuy’s if I knew it was nearby! :) I know you guys live in the Dallas area. Do you have a particular place you shop for grass-fed meat? We are considering the possibility of moving to that area when we return to the States, and I’m curious to know what’s available.

    1. Author
      sherry

      Hi Mandi! Glad you can pass this along to your daughter! And we aren’t giving up Chuy’s forever! That is never going to happen! ;)

      They have grass-fed meat at Costco and it is reasonably priced. I haven’t explored other options, but I know friends that do a meat co-op type thing with local ranchers. Honestly, I haven’t been super dedicated to the best options of meat- we try to do organic, but after that I have to buy what is available when I go to the store! Maybe I should do a little more research though! I know the Dallas Farmers Market would be a great place to start!

      Please stay in touch and let me know if you guys end up in Dallas!

  2. Krista

    You know I love you posting this. Now, you don’t have to text me all the recipes. Ha! We’ve come a long way from our daily sonic runs and whataburger breakfast burritos when we were pregnant with Chloe and Owen.

  3. Pingback: Weekly Paleo Menu- Vol. 2 | Crazy Blessed

  4. Lori Adams

    Oh my, I will not give up the coffee either! I am on a plant based vegan diet, and I am feeling great! Technically, coffee is supposed to be out. But, life is too short, and I am just not the best me without it. I did last 18 days though, without. Long enough to know coffee is essential for me😊

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