Call Us: (303) 578-8455

A Week of Meals in Pictures


A Week of Meals in Pictures

Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
115 pound Push press, 10 reps
10 KB Swings, 1.5 pood
10 Box jumps, 24 inch box

Darden completes her first CrossFit Total. 6 months from now, those numbers will be sooooooooo last season.

A Week of Meals, in Pictures

Last week while eating my brussels sprouts and pulled beef out of a tupperware container in the corner at the shop someone said to me, “You don’t actually eat like that all the time, do you?” Well, all is an absolute term, but yes, for the most part, I do, and I think you can too.

I take the foundation of the CrossFit pyramid very, very seriously. It’s Nutrition. The way we eat can make us sick or enable us to be fit, it can lay the foundation for the onset of disease later in life, or aide in its prevention.

Commitment to this way of eating will be a lifelong endeavor. When I describe it to some, they are taken aback and shocked – the elimination of so many foods, the time, the effort, the constraint, the work. It’s a method that combines quality and quantity of food and requires varying amounts of discipline, all in the name of health, performance, and longevity. It’s also a very enjoyable way to eat, seriously.

Upon hearing about (or seeing) the way I eat, many people think one or a few of the following things:

– It must be ridiculously hard
– I must be hungry all the time
– The food can’t be any good
– I’m crazy
– Poor Eric

Without describing the method of how I eat and why (yet) I’m going to take this week and post EVERYTHING I eat from Monday through Sunday. I’ll also log my prep time. That will total 21 meals and 7 snacks and a lot of coffee.

On Monday, we’ll take a survey of whether or not the week of meals posted was something you would possibly eat. Remember, I said I also find this way of eating very enjoyable.  I actually want to eat this way. Let’s see what you think.

I’ll take next week to describe the method to the quest for everlasting life.

Here we go.

11 Responses

  1. Gator

    Nicole — I love your post today. A LOT! I (and then my hubby) began our JOURNEY with looking at food as a means for our health in the FUTURE exactly 1 year ago and have LOVED the JOURNEY each step of the way.

    The TIME my husband and I invest EVERYDAY in the shopping, preparation, and actual ENJOYMENT in eating is precious and truly the most important part of our day, all day. Is there anything you do more EVERYDAY day than eat?? Seriously…do you do a WOD 4x per day? or do you eat 4x per day?? (well…maybe some of you “young ins” can do 4 wods per day..ha!)

    At first…yes…It used to be a challenge for us to “be full” and to “find the time” and to “enjoy” what we were eating…but now…we “are full” in body and in spirit, and we “have the time” to invest in our health for the future, and we “take pride & enjoy” the foods we eat and eat A LOT of fabulous food ALL DAY, EVERYDAY.

    yes…that means veggies for breakfast, & lunch, & dinner!!! Who knew you could do that!!! But load up on some serious GREENs and you will NOT be hungry… you just have to LOAD up… make it like last weeks “TOTAL”. if you can max out on lifting heaving sh*t…see if you can max out on eating serious heavy PALEO sh*t!!!!

    oK… YES…we ate cupcakes at our kids 8th Birthday Party yesterday..and yes…we will eat nachos at the Super Bowl Party… and yes we eat 70% cocoa chocolate bars…and yes we eat amazing dinners that our friends so graciously invite us over and prepare for us, and yes…I’ve got frozen pancakes in the freezer… because that is also how we celebrate and live life…

    BUT those celebrations come because we are HEALTHY and able to make it to the parties… and those celebrations are the gift we give ourselves for taking care of ourselves EVERYDAY.

    Give yourself the gift of HEALTH and give yourself a foundation of food to play off of and you will have the gift that keeps on giving… You know “MURPH” is in the near future…so a good foundation might be a good idea if you wanna finish with a 20lb vest on…and finish in the same day! ha!

    To my Roots family — The JOURNEY and ENJOYMENT and TIME is worth it…


  2. Bones

    Great messages, Nicole and Gator.

    There is another issue that people raise with me, including my grown son (who is a poor college student but a very conscientious eater) – the cost! There is a strong perception that eating healthy meats, veggies and fruits is very expensive, especially if you stick as much as possible with organic and local.

    It would be interesting to log the COST of your meals as well as the contents, and compare that with the average cost per person per week spent on food in the U.S. According to the Department of Labor, the average consumer unit (2.5 people) spends $6,372 per year (2009) on all food, or about $50 per week per person.

    My son argues that the paleo constituents of his diet are the most expensive portions of his food bill, and that if he did not supplement this with whole grains (oatmeal, wild rice and beans, multi-whole-grain breads, etc.) he would go hungry. He is a pretty good chef and enjoys making his own meals, so he is not wasting money eating fast food, so he might have a good point. Healthy quality meat can be expensive, as can fresh veggies, fresh fruits and nuts. Can a person eat enough of these foods to maintain a healthy, fit, and active life on $50 per week? I don’t know.

    Perhaps for the next Paleo challenge, one of the elements could be cost – how little can you spend and still eat (quality) paleo? Who can spend the least on food over the 5 week period, while still enjoying their food? Hmmmm.

  3. Bones

    After posting the last message, I saw the NYTimes (1/24/11) opinion “Room for Debate” regarding WalMart’s announcement that it is reducing sugar, fats, etc. in the food it sells, and it is reducing the cost of fruits and veggies. The participants’ comments in that “Room for Debate” are worth reading and thinking about.

  4. Bones – logging all of my food and dividing out price might be a little bit beyond the scope of this week’s project; HOWEVER, I highly recommend your son read What to Eat by Marion Nestle. Nestle’s book evaluates all the angles of the grocery store from layout to pricing. It’s fascinating.

    Page 63 comes to mind…
    “Because surveys and other studies say that expense is a major barrier that keeps many people from eating fruits and vegetables, some USDA economists thought it might be useful to find out what such foods really cost. …Their stunning conclusion: you can eat the full daily complement of servings recommended at that time – three fruits and four vegetables – for just 64 cents (in 1999 dollars).”

    It has a lot to do with serving size!

    Check it out, it’s a GREAT read.

  5. Thanks much for doing this, Nicole.

    Jasmine and I are starting a 3-week eat-at-home experiment. Nutrition is key, and I need to learn to cook.

    Looking forward to the “data”!

  6. Hank

    Nicole, thanks for sharing your week in food.

    Nicole & Bones, I’m also curious about the cost issue—really curious. I have three kids in the house. We started the kids on a paleo challenge Jan 1, and will be on it until spring break. I’m the cook and shopper in the family and Sunday is my day to do the weekly work. Yesterday at Whole Foods I spent $436; the Sunday before, $401. Dropping this kind of cash, you would think it’s all organic, out-of-season produce & grass-fed lobster, but I assure you, this is not the case. I am actually extremely cost-conscience and methodical in my planning. For example, planning the meals and drawing up the shopping list (based on leftover items in the frig, meat in the freezer, what’s on sale, etc.) is usually more time consuming than the shopping itself.

    At any rate, my wife thinks we can lower our grocery bill by buying less meat and veggies, and supplementing our diet with some minimal whole grains. I don’t agree, or maybe I just like eating paleo. My big WF bill is shocking. At the same time, the money I no longer spend at restaurants is a big number too. And, we are spending less on prescription meds – turns out paleo is good medicine for allergies, asthma & eczema.

    I am very curious about others (especially families) perspectives on the cost of paleo. Thanks!

  7. Jasmine

    Having to leave for work in the morning by 6am, I usually have to prep all my meals for the day the night before. This usually means filling multiple food containers with various meats and veggies. Yes, it takes some time (I usually cook my eggs for breakfast the night before as well) and more thought, but I usually find that if I plan ahead, I’m generally better off than if I just showed up for a full day of work without any food because that’s usually when things fall apart. I’d show up at the coffee shop in our building and grab a coffee, but I’d also be starving. So, what to eat? Well, the options seem to be some form of sweet bread, croissants, breakfast burritos, bagels, etc. But I’m so hungry, so I HAVE to eat something. So, maybe I’ll get a piece of banana bread because it looks so good. But then I’ll eat it and feel disappointed, dissatisfied, and STILL hungry. So, I’ll probably stop back in 30 min later for that highly overpriced little bag of almonds. Then it’s lunchtime. Sure, you can eat paleo at the UMC, but I find I can’t leave there without spending close to $10. So, it’s only 1pm, and I’ve already blown $15-20 on food and I haven’t even gotten to dinner yet.

    I’ve found that shopping for paleo foods is cheaper than eating most of my meals out. We generally do some shopping at a wholesale club like Costco and then a mix of different supermarkets. We’ve found Sunflower Markets to be a whole lot cheaper than Whole Foods. And sometimes, some items are cheaper at an ethnic market, like a Mexican or Asian market. We do a mix of fresh and frozen vegetables to keep our grocery bills manageable.

    I’ve also found that a huge time saver for when I’m in a hurry is getting a whole rotisserie chicken (Nick and Willy’s has an awesome one) and taking all the meat off when I get home and putting the meat in a glass container for future meals. And I know it’s not for everyone, but I keep a few tins of wild-caught sardines in our cupboard for the times I just don’t have time to prep a meal (they’re generally super cheap, too).

    So, what does my day of food look like? Today, I packed a container with eggs scrambled with spinach and tomatoes for breakfast and another container with lamb tagine with parsnips and sweet potato I made last night in the crock pot (I packed enough lamb tagine for both lunch and dinner). For snacks, I have nuts and and some rotisserie chicken meat.

    Sometimes I eat leftovers from last night’s dinner for breakfast, and that usually leads to comments at work like, “That smells awesome but that’s not really breakfast food.” Yeah, but, it’s more filling and satisfying than the $4 breggo at the coffee shop.

  8. Gator

    Hank — a big shout out to you for getting your kids Paleo till Spring Break. Would love some pointers as we are trying!!!

    Jasmine — I had homemade coconut crusted chicken and tomato soup for breakfast…at the airport last week! It was pretty funny explaining it to the guy next to me but he actually gave me the nod like nice job! : – )

    Bones & Hank — As for cost…. we plan most everything in BULK and try to buy in bulk from local farmers…yes…I drive out to the local farms and yes…it does take time….but it is way cheaper!!! and most times they give me stuff for free just cause I am there! or we like SunFlower Market and Sprouts… again buying bulk size organic/pasture/grassfed/free range items. we plan our grocery trips 1nce or 2ce a week and try to maximize recipes for the week using a mix of the same things and then freezing some of them for the future so we are not eating the same thing all week… which seems to keep our costs down and also keeps our timing down when we can just grab something that is already made in the freezer….

    We have also dropped our costs significantly by not eating out as much like Jasmine says…we plan, plan, plan…and again that takes time, time, time.

    Lastly on cost… its hard to change your mind set on short term loss for long term gain…. paying a little more every week for the best food you can eat… will save you big bucks in the future as you grow older and you are not paying for healthcare, prescription drugs, let alone the mental price you pay for being stuck home sick or injured or just plain to tired to have fun. The mental price you pay for the loss in your health is a big one to swallow..

    I have exceeded my 2 cents for the day… if anyone wants to take a ride out to the local farms with me… just let me know…it’s FUN…I promise!

  9. Tracie

    Well, my 2 cents is worth exactly that, but… I just did shopping for the week and spent $96 (King Soopers) for my family of 5. Huge caveats in that I dropped over $500 in December for a big chunk of cow and have a hefty supply of staples like nuts and some frozen chicken/pork/berries; but that is basically what we run for veggies, eggs, fruit and lunch stuff for the kids for the week. I can’t say our family is totally paleo, though we try to get a little closer every day. Our kids still pack PB and J on a semi-regular basis, but dinners and subsequent leftover lunches are almost entirely paleo. Like Hank mentioned in an earlier post, I also get a lot of pushback from my kids on the lack of dessert or processed foods at home and in their lunch. But at the end of the day, I’m the one making the food decisions in the house and parenting really has never been a popularity contest. I will also concur with Hank that planning is sometimes a bigger effort than shopping and meal prep combined, but it is critical to a successful week and avoiding 4 trips a week to the grocery store.

    In a somewhat unrelated, but related vein, I just returned from visiting my parents who eat basically a complete processed carb diet (which I also grew up on). Most of what they eat comes from a box which is often marked “low-fat” or “cholesterol lowering”. My mom (who had her 1st heart attack at age 39)is now considered permanently disabled at the age of 66 because she basically can’t move due to her weight and long term cardiac/ mobility issues. I will NOT follow in those footsteps regardless of the grocery bill!

  10. Wow. Thank you everyone for posting your comments. This will be a great week on the blog. Your Paleo Family efforts are super inspiring and give Eric and I something to live up to in the future!

  11. Pingback : A Week of Food in Pictures Wrap-up | CrossFit Roots - Boulder, Colorado