This week’s tester is: Lisa Hergeneter and her family of seven from Greely, Colorado.Lisa is co-owner of CrossFit Battle Ready, a group fitness instructor at The Greely Family FunPlex and the owner/creator of Wellness Investment Nutrition.

When Lisa isn’t in the gym, she loves getting the family outdoors for camping trips, time in the Rocky Mountains, gardening and yard work. She is also very passionate about learning all she can about fitness, wellness, nutrition and self improvement.

Lisa has followed Paleo Nick since the website began. “Paleo is a great way to eat for performance and optimal health,” Lisa shared. Now if she can just get some of her family members on board, she will be set. This meal plan was her way to introduce some new tasty Paleo recipes to her family.


Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:

Chain grocery store (Kroger): $135.00 (on four of the six recipes she chose)
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s): $120.00

Your final tally will depend on your geographic location and how much you rely on bulk purchases. As an example, you can get one quart of extra light olive oil at Kroger for $19.99 or you can get four quarts at Costco for $16.50. You follow? Meat and produce will also be less at the warehouse stores, but might mean you’re buying more than you’ll need for this plan.

Customize Your Plan and Shop It Up!

I have created a customizable grocery list in the form of an Excel spreadsheet. Even if you’re no good with Excel, I’ve set it up in a foolproof way that even “The Jo!” could handle. Just 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 want to make a double batch of the Almond Chocolate Chunk Cookies just change the “1”  to a “2” and it will increase the ingredients for this recipe. Make sense?
  3. Click back to the tab that says “Meal Plan 17.12 Grocery List” and your quantities will be updated.
  4. Print out the grocery list from the first tab only.
  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 make sure to scroll down to the notes on each meal below. They are listed beneath each picture.

In cooking session one:

  1. Prepare the BBQ Pork Shoulder, place it into the slow cooker, set the slow cooker on a foil-lined sheet pan, and leave it on your counter or in your garage to cook for 12-20 hours overnight.
  2. Prepare the Massie Mayo and Crab Artichoke Dip with Veggie Chips. Enjoy this as a meal or appetizer/snack. Properly store any remaining portions in your refrigerator for five to seven days.
  3. Clean up the kitchen and pat yourself on the back for a day well done.

In cooking session two:

  1. Portion out the BBQ Pork Shoulder and refrigerate for up to seven days or freeze for up to six months. This one freezes and reheats very well. Clean out the slow cooker and start the prep work for your Scallion Thai’d Chiang Mai Cabbage Wraps. Once prep is complete, load up the slow cooker once again and place it on a foil lined sheet pan and set it on the counter to cook for the next six hours.
  2. Prepare the Chainti Braised Short Ribs. Get these in the oven to slow cook for the next couple of hours.
  3. While the Ribs are cooking, prepare the CoCo Choco Ice Cream with Banana and Mango. Portion out and place it in the freezer to harden. Pull out each portion fifteen minutes prior to eating.
  4. Prepare the Almond Chocolate Chunk Cookies. Portion these out into 2-3 cookie portions and freeze.
  5. Once the Chianti Braised Short Ribs are finished cooking, enjoy a portion for lunch and properly store remaining ribs in the refrigerator for up to seven days or freeze for up to six months.
  6. Portion out the Scallion Thai’d Cabbage wraps once the six hours is up. Enjoy a portion for dinner and refrigerate any leftovers. Store these in the refrigerator for five to seven days. These do not freeze all that well, so avoid freezing if possible.
  7. Sit back and take it all in. Your Paleo Bank Account is stocked and you’ve become a Culinary Ninja ready to tackle life with energy, clarity and confidence. Be sure to tell your friends about!

BBQ Pork Shoulder

Notes: “This recipe tasted great! The ingredients were very easy to throw together and this meal is very affordable,” Lisa shared.

The recipe is a slow cooker option. The sweet potato needs to be roasted separately, so try to plan ahead for this step. You can toss them in the oven an hour before the meal will be done, or cook them ahead of time and re-heat when the pork is ready.

Lisa spent ten minutes prepping this recipe, eight hours slow cooking it, and yielded several portions to feed her family of seven.

Paleo Crab Artichoke Dip with Veggie Chips

Notes: Lisa didn’t get a chance to complete this recipe, but don’t let that deter you from giving it a try. You will need to mix up a batch of Massie Mayo in order to complete the dip if you don’t already have some stored in your refrigerator. Feel free to mix up the veggie chip vegetable options also. I have made this recipe several times and occasionally add a little cheese to amp up the flavor even more.

Scallion Thai’d Chang Mai Cabbage Wraps

Notes: Lisa enjoyed the new and different flavors that this recipe provided for her and her family. She had some trouble finding the Kaffir lime leaves in her area, so she used some key lime zest instead. The lemongrass, thai chiles and Kaffir lime leaves can usually be found at Whole Foods or your local Asian market. If you’ve never looked for an Asian market in your town before, Google it! You’ll be surprised that there is most likely one closer than you think.

Lisa spent thirty minutes prepping this recipe, three hours slow cooking it, and made twelve portions. Be sure to keep your eye on these while slow cooking. If they over cook, they become very mushy.

Chianti Braised Short Ribs

Notes: This recipe came about one day when Nick was at Costco and spotted boneless short ribs in the meat case. Costco is a great place to find this type of beef ribs at a discounted price along with the bottle of Chianti. The regular grocery store rarely sells this type of ribs in a large package. Lisa had a hard time finding boneless short ribs on her trip to the grocery store, so she chose bone-in ribs instead and was underwhelmed with her results. She stated there was too much fat and bone and very little meat for the cost. She thought she would try making this recipe with a roast instead of the ribs next time.

She spent ten minutes prepping this meal, three hours slow cooking them and only yielded three portions with her bone-in rib selection.

Coco Choco Ice Cream with Banana and Mango

Notes: This video was shot in my very own kitchen about five years ago. Nick and his family came to town for a visit and he brought all his camera equipment in order to have us help him shoot some new footage. We enlisted some friends from the gym and this tasty dessert recipe came about. Max did a great job helping Nick and we all enjoyed plenty of laughter throughout the filming process.

Nick uses honey mangoes in this recipe, which are the smaller yellow type of mango compared to the larger red/green/yellow mangoes you typically see in the grocery store. If you can’t find honey mangoes, go ahead and use the larger ones, but cut the amount from eight to four or five. Since this ice cream recipe has a much lower fat content that dairy ice cream, you will want to allow the portions to thaw for 10-15 minutes before trying to eat due to the fact that they will freeze like ice. Nick also notes in the recipe that you can get creative with this by keeping the banana ingredient, but switching up the mangoes to any other type of fruit that suits your fancy.

This recipe takes about ten minutes to prep with no cooking involved. The best way to divide it out would be to split it up into two cup portions to freeze and you should yield around ten portions. These a great treats on a hot summer’s day!

Almond Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Notes: Lisa thought these cookies were very easy to throw together with the few ingredients they take. She decided to add a little vanilla to her batter after cooking the first batch to amp up the flavor a bit.

As with any Paleo dessert, portion control is key. Don’t think you can eat the whole batch in one setting because they are a healthier option than sugar and flour cookies. I suggest portioning them out into two to three cookie baggies and freezing them. This way you just pull out a bag here and there as a sweet snack rather than being tempted by a container full of cookies sitting on your counter calling your name 😉

Here are some of the recipe choices that Lisa and her family tried:

BBQ Pork Shoulder and plated Chianti Braises Ribs
Scallion Thai’d Chiang Mai Cabbage Wraps
Almond Chocolate Chunk Cookies

A big “thank you!” to Lisa and her family for volunteering their time and effort into preparing their chosen recipes. We hope it worked, and your family is on board with the whole Paleo thing. It sounds like you are one busy momma and being passionate about health and wellness is a great quality to install in your children’s lives. Keep up the good work!

Lisa and family from Greely, CO

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