This week’s tester is: Belinda Smith from Rancho Cucamonga, CA. Belinda is a full-time student studying for her BS degree in environmental biology. She also works part-time as a merchandiser. She gets her daily burn on at CrossFit Foothill and also loves spending time outdoors with her pooch, hiking, camping, being at the beach, knitting, gardening and watching Netflix marathons. (Wow! She is one busy lady!!)

Belinda shared that she has Hashimoto’s disease (an autoimmune disease) and that eating Paleo has helped her symptoms a great deal.


Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:

Chain grocery store (Kroger): $115.00
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s): $85.00

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 half batch of the Chili Lime “Pollo Asado” just change the “1”  to a “.5” and it will decrease the ingredients for this recipe. Make sense?
  3. Click back to the tab that says “Meal Plan 17.29 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 and two cooking sessions. 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 chicken for the Chili Lime “Pollo Asado” and allow it to marinade for up to 24 hours.
  2. Prepare the marinade for the Beef with Broccoli recipe and allow the meat to sit for up to 24 hours.
  3. Prepare the Chipotle Mango Baby Back Ribs. Enjoy this meal as your dinner tonight and properly store any remaining portions in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.
  4. Clean up the kitchen and pat yourself on the back for a day well done.

In cooking session two:

  1. Get the Chili Lime Chicken on the grill. Separate the chicken into individual portion sizes and refrigerate for up to seven days or freeze for up to six months.
  2. Prepare the Beef with Broccoli recipe and enjoy this meal for lunch today. Portion out and properly store any leftovers.
  3. Prepare the Shrimp and Sausage Stuffed Zucchini with Salsa Chipotle and Massie Mayo. Eat this for dinner tonight. Portion out and properly store anything remaining at the end of the meal. Store these in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.
  4. Sit back and take it all in. Your Paleo Bank Account is stocked and now you are a Culinary Ninja who is ready to tackle life with energy, clarity, and confidence. Be sure to tell your friends about!

Chili Lime “Pollo Asado” – Barbecued Chicken

Notes: “This recipe is really tasty, super simple to make, and would be good for big party. The chicken out extremely moist,” Belinda shared.

Belinda decided to only use one whole chicken instead of the four chickens called for in the recipe. If you are having a party or looking to add a good deposit to your Paleo bank account, the full recipe is a great option. This recipe will freeze and reheat well.

Belinda spent fifteen minutes prepping this meal, fifty minutes cooking it, and made six portions from one whole chicken.

Beef with Broccoli

Notes: “I loved the sauce for this dish! It was loaded with flavor. The recipe was so yummy and super simple to make,” Belinda exclaimed.

You want to allow the beef for the meal to marinade for up to twenty-four hours, so take that into account when prepping. You also need to blanch and shock the broccoli. This means once you steam or boil the broccoli, you immediately place it into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. This also helps to keep the bright color and crispness of the vegetable instead of it getting mushy.

Belinda spent fifteen minutes prepping this meal (not including the marinating time), thirty minutes cooking it, and yielded six portions.

Chipotle Mango Baby Back Ribs

Notes: “Tasty!! Another cool throw it together meal that turned out superb!” the tester noted.

Belinda used some Super Radical Rib Rub to season her ribs because she couldn’t find pickling spice anywhere. She also used a whole mango instead of the 1/2 mango stated in the recipe.

She spent ten minutes prepping this dish, two hours and thirty minutes cooking it, and made ten portions from the recipe.

Shrimp and Sausage Stuffed Zucchini

Notes: “This was very good! The Massie Mayo and Salsa Chipotle added so much flavor to the recipe. I will be making homemade Mayo from now on and my Dad says that I get to make this salsa for everything from now on,” Belinda shared.

The tester did note that the spice of the hot sausage was a little much for her taste, so she will try this recipe again with a mild or sweet sausage instead.

Both of the above referenced recipes are included in this week’s recipe compilation and grocery list. This recipe is a constant pick for meal plan tester’s and for good reason. It is so very simple to make and the flavors will knock your socks off. You could eat these as an appetizer or a meal any day of the week.

Belinda spent twenty minutes prepping this recipe, twenty minutes cooking it, and made six portions.

These are the photos that Belinda shared from her meal plan prep:

Meal Plan 17.29 groceries


Chili Lime “Pollo Asado” – Barbecued Chicken
Beef with Broccoli
Chipotle Mango Baby Back Ribs
Shrimp and Sausage Stuffed Zucchini

Belinda! You did an awesome job with your four chosen recipes! I am glad to hear that making better choices with food makes you feel better. Dealing with Hashimoto’s disease can not be easy, but making good choices with how you fuel your body is a sure thing. I love that you have found how easy it is to prepare your own mayo and that your Dad has officially deemed you as the “salsa maker” from now on.

Belinda channeling her inner Minnie

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