I’ve had an interesting week. I traveled to New Hampshire, did a seminar at CrossFit Juggernaut and held a Culinary Crash Course for a group of Culinary Ninjas for 3 days. The weather was wicked cold, but it was warm inside, I can’t think of a better way to pass time in a blizzard. My flight home was delayed by two days and then, once I flew yesterday, both of my flights were again delayed. I eventually made it home, but the last thing I wanted to do was publish this plan. So, I called an audible, spent some time with the family and tackled this today.

The meal plan tester for this one ended up dropping out early last week, so this is a plan that I put together. It features some of my favorites and while we have short ribs and pork two weeks in a row, these are completely different preparations that you’ll enjoy.

The title of this week’s plan is “One Foot In Front Of The Other”. This has many meanings, but was inspired by a struggle I had last week and the fact that eating healthy, just like building a business, is a long term goal. When I boarded the plane out of Reno last Thursday, I finished up my book by Craig Lambert called Mind Over Water. Two pages from the end of the book, he says this:

“The pursuit of long-term goals can resemble climbing a mountain in a dense fog. Imagine climbing through a fog so thick that you cannot see beyond your next step. You have no idea how much farther there is to go. Under these conditions, the key is simply to make each step a sound one, and to keep going. Never cease moving upward, because your next step may be the one that places you on the summit.”

That’s some powerful stuff, Craig! I wanted to share this with you because we all face struggles at times. We want to give up because that seems easiest, but the key is to keep going, placing one foot in front of the other. I hope this encourages you today, both in life and in your food prep. Most of the 30 day challenges are over and we’ve got 315 days left in the year. Do your best to “Keep It Paleo!” and make every effort to keep moving forward.

Have a great end to your week, make the chicken fingers and share your story when you do. When your neighbors smell the aroma coming from your house and ask you what you are doing, smile and let them know that you are…

“Keeping It Paleo!”

Your Pal,

Paleo Nick

(Throw back to the time the Ninjas and I threw down in my back yard. @paleoschmaleo was working hard as usual…)


Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:

Chain grocery store (Kroger): $157.00     
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s): $137.00

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 15.1 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 Pork Green Chile, place it in the slow cooker, on a sheet pan in case it overflows, and cook in your garage overnight.
  2. Prepare the Kickin’ Like Van Damme Chicken Fingers, portion out and refrigerate.
  3. Prepare the Massie Mayo and Salsa Chipotle if you do not have them already. You can use the combination of these two to make the sauce for the chicken fingers.
  4. Get your chop on and prep out the veggies for the Greek Freak salad. Container them up separately and toss at the time you eat the salad. If you bring it for lunch, take the oil and vinegar separately so that the salad does not become soggy.
  5. Prep out your halibut (or other white fish) and cook or store according to the directions in the notes below.
  6. Clean up the kitchen, pour yourself a cup of tea, and sleep in a cool, dark room because tomorrow’s a big day! Actually, they’re all big days. Think about it.

In cooking session two: 

  1. Portion out your Pork Green Chile. I container these up into pints and use one pint for two day’s of breakfast paired with two eggs. Refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for up to six months.
  2. Clean out the crock of your slow cooker and load it up with the Cinnamon Infused Short Ribs. Place in your garage on a sheet pan and cook overnight.
  3. Prepare the breakfast pizza, slice it into 8 slices, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for up to 6 months.
  4. Prepare the Shrimp and Sausage Stuffed Zucchini. Portion these out in 16oz containers or wrap each one individually in plastic wrap.
  5. Clean up the kitchen and polish up that sink!

In finishing session:

  1. Portion and refrigerate/freeze the Cinnamon Infused Short Ribs. These work well in 8, 4-block portions and each will fit into a pint deli container. Label them and refrigerate or freeze.
  2. Clean up the kitchen and sit back and marvel at the fridge/freezer full of amazing food you’ve just created. You are a Culinary Ninja who is ready to tackle life with energy, clarity, and confidence. Be sure to tell your friends about PaleoNick.com!

Deep Dish Breakfast Pizza

Notes: This is my favorite make-ahead breakfast. It yields 8, 2 block portions that will get your metabolism rolling and start the day off on the right foot. To decrease the fat (and total calories) you can sub the 10 eggs for 20 egg whites. Either way, freeze ’em, wrap ’em and enjoy ’em.

Greek Freak Salad with Halibut

Notes: This one aired just a few weeks ago on CrossFit.com. It shows how many raw veggies you can get with 5 blocks and is a very filling meal. If you want to learn to cook fish like a ninja, watch this video. If you are going to eat this throughout the week, keep all of your veggies chopped and separate, then toss and dress them at time of consumption. For the halibut, you can either cook it when you eat it, or cook it ahead of time and serve it chilled.

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Fingers

Notes: I threw these together one night and they have since become a favorite. I recommend making a double or triple batch as they are addicting. You can eat these cold as well.

Shrimp and Sausage Stuffed Zucchini

Notes: Another weeknight throwdown, these things are so good! You’ll need Salsa Chipotle and Massie Mayo to pull it off as seen in the pic, but you should have these in your fridge already anyways, right?

Tomatillo Pork Green Chile

Notes: I love this one and offer it as a breakfast option. While it’s good at any time of day, it goes well with eggs and avocado. Pair that up with some fruit and you’re good to go. Portion it out in pint delis and freeze. One pint is good for two breakfasts for me.

Cinnamon Infused Short Ribs with Butternut Squash

Notes: This is a legendary slow cooker meal. If you cannot find pre-cut butternut squash, simple peel one and cut it yourself. You will get 8-12 cups out of one squash, depending on the size. When you purchase cinnamon, check the ingredient list and make sure it is not cassia. While the two are similar, cinnamon is better.

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