This week’s theme is: “Don’t Lose Heart”

We all make mistakes when it comes to our diet. We do the things we don’t wish to do and we don’t do the things that we want to do. Eating clean is so simple in theory, but we are forced to navigate the world of promoted products and pretend promises. I mean, when was the last time you saw a commercial for broccoli or someone handing out samples of asparagus in the produce section?

When we do make mistakes, I want to encourage you not to lose heart. I’ll share the following clip titled, “I Will Never Be On the Wrong Side Again” from the movie Braveheart. Take the ferocity of Robert The Bruce, don’t lose heart, and do your best to refrain from the wrong side…

This weeks tester is Keith Cavaretta from West Monroe, LA. Keith was training at Crossfit 318, but is currently recovering from foot surgery he had in March. Keith works in online marketing and the medical field. He has two active children, a daughter who is on the power lifting team at her high school and a son who enjoys working out with his Dad sometimes.

Here are a few photos of his meal preparation:

Some of the ingredients used for this weeks Meal Plan
Honey Sesame Chicken Thighs atop a Sweet Potato Puree (Keith’s own recipe)
Grilling the Skewers
Keith’s deposit into his Paleo Bank Account

Thank you Keith for your recipe selections, pictures and feedback for this weeks meal plan! Your Ninja skills and hard work are very much appreciated! Continue to sharpen your cooking skill and keep that bank account stocked to ensure that once your foot is ready, you can get back into the gym and get awesome results.

Don’t lose heart, guys. When you fall, get back up, prep out some meals and eat clean once again. Eventually you’ll get better at staying on your feet and the majority of your time will be spent on the right side.

I’m here to help.

“Keep It Paleo!”

Your Pal,

Paleo Nick

Sitting at Dallas Fort Worth Airport on my way to Power Monkey Camp. Just crushed a double meat and veggie bowl at Q-doba. As I ate, a Q-doba employee walked around and said, “Welcome to Q-doba” every 30 seconds. The food didn’t taste as good as it would have if she hadn’t done that.


Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:

Chain grocery store (Kroger’s): $185.00
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s): $158.00

The amount you will spend will depend on your geographic location and how much you rely on bulk purchases. As an example, you can get 1 quart of extra light olive oil at Kroger for $19.99 or you can get 4 quarts at Costco for $16.50. You follow? Meat and produce will also be less at the warehouse stores, but might require you purchase more than you’ll need for this plan.

Customize Your Plan and Shop It Up!

I have created a customize-able grocery list in the form of an Excel spreadsheet. Even if you’re not good with Excel, I’ve set it up in a foolproof way that even “The Jo!” could handle. Follow these instructions:

  1. Open the document and click on the tab at the bottom that says “Menu item & Ingredient Brkdown”.
  2. At the top, you’ll see the number “1” in bold just below each menu item. You can change this number to correspond with the number of portions that you’d like to make. Say you really like muffins and want 3 dozen, you’d change the “1” below Bacon Berry Muffins to a “3” and the grocery quantities will be updated.
  3. Click back to the tab that says “Meal Plan 15.9 Grocery List” and your quantities will be updated.
  4. Print out the grocery list.
  5. Compare what you need to what you have on hand and finalize your list. Then, head to the grocery store and make your purchases swiftly and efficiently.

Step-By-Step Instructions:

I want you to knock this out in one shopping session, two cooking sessions, and one short finishing session. I’ll explain these now, but want you to scroll down to read my notes on each meal below. They are listed under each picture.

In cooking session one:

  1. Prepare your Beef Bourguinon, place it in the slow cooker, set the slow cooker on a foil lined sheet pan, and place it in your garage to cook overnight.
  2. Prepare the marinade for the Honey Sesame Chicken Thighs and get them marinating in your refrigerator until tomorrow.
  3. Prepare the Caveman Cobb and Honey Pepper Vinaigrette and eat this as your meal. Container up the remaining dressing and refrigerate for up to a month.
  4. Clean up the kitchen and polish that sink.

In cooking session two: 

  1. Portion out your Beef Bourguinon and refrigerate for up to one week or freeze for up to 6 months.
  2. Clean out the crock of your slow cooker and load it up with the Tomatillo Pork Green Chili. Place the slow cooker on a foil lined sheet pan and set it up in your garage to cook overnight.
  3. Prepare the marinade and kabobs and get your meat into the marinade overnight if possible.
  4. Grab the marinading chicken thighs from you fridge and fire up the pan or grill.
  5. Prepare the Sweet Potato Puree to eat along with the thighs to balance out the meal. Portion out any left overs in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze for up to 6 months.
  6. Clean up the kitchen.

In finishing session:

  1. Portion out the Tomatillo Pork Green Chili and refrigerate for up to one week or freeze for up to 6 months.
  2. Fire up the grill and get those kabobs on the skewers. Prepare the cucumber salad and enjoy this tasty meal. Portion out the leftovers and refrigerate for up to one week or freeze for up to 6 months.
  3. Sit back and take it all in. You just made a beautiful deposit in the Paleo Bank Account and you should be proud of yourself. Be sure to tell your friends about!

Honey Sesame Chicken Thighs

Notes: Super tasty and full of flavor, these chicken thighs are always a hit. The longer you marinade, the fuller the flavor, so be sure to mix up the marinade on day one of your food preparation and get these babies in the refrigerator to soak up all the yummy flavors.

Beef Bourguignon

Notes:  Wonderfully rich and full of flavor this recipe is sure to satisfy your taste buds and your stomach. The recipe gives you an option of using red wine or combination of red wine and beef stock, so keep that in mind when preparing your shopping list.

Greek Freak Skewers

Notes: Kabobs are a summer staple if you ask me, so with summer just around the corner in some places (it’s been rather warm here in Henderson for the past 2 months), this is a great recipe to add to your recipe index. The recipe calls for 10 pounds of meat, so if that’s a little too much for you, change the 1 to a .5 on your grocery list and it will adjust the ingredients for you.

Greek Freak Cucumber Salad

Notes: This is one of my favorite salads! Nick came up with this recipe after a trip to my home in Henderson, NV. My husband and I took him to one of our favorite local Greek places and after the meal, we made our own version at home. I usually skip the olives and add the feta, but that’s just my own personal taste.

Caveman Cobb Salad

Notes:  Who doesn’t love a Cobb Salad!?! Paired with the Honey Pepper Vinaigrette you really can’t go wrong. Keith said he makes this dressing 2-3 batches at a time and dresses all his salads with it, it’s that good. Be sure to shake well before using though once it’s been in the refrigerator to ensure a balanced taste. Keith said he got a pretty strong vinegar taste on day two.

Tomatillo Pork Green Chili

Notes: This recipe is a great breakfast alternative to the tradition bacon or sausage. Add some eggs and avocado and Bam!, you’ve got yourself a great meal. Keith really enjoyed the interesting flavors in this dish.

Keith’s Sweet Potato Puree

Notes: This recipe comes straight from our tester, Keith this week. He had suggested that it would go along perfectly with the chicken thighs and we totally agreed. The recipe has been added to the recipe compilation for the weeks meal plan. There is no video to go along with it since it is Keith’s recipe, but the preparation instructions are incredibly easy, so it shouldn’t be a problem for all you culinary Ninjas.

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