This week’s tester’s are: Tanya and Neal Boissonneault and their three children from Lowell, MA. Tanya is a stay-at-home mom to kids Luke (8), Anna (6) and Cali (4). She works out at CrossFit Merrimack in Lowell. In her spare time, Tanya loves to cook, read, hike and hang out at the beach. Here’s what Tanya had to share about her experience with Paleo Nick and eating Paleo:
“I was a member a little while back and loved it. Glad to be back on. I was definitely in a rut when it came to weeknight meals and love all the easy new ideas on the website! I just also made the salmon with pickled onions and caper remoulade. It was amazing!”
“Eating Paleo and Crossfit has allowed me to completely change my eating habits. Years ago, I weighed as much as 250 pounds. I would take weight off, put it back on, over and over. I did a Whole30 three years ago and now eat a mostly Paleo diet. I’ve slowly taken more weight off and no more of the up and downs. I still have a little way to go but my focus is now on eating healthy and getting stronger. If I lose weight while I’m doing it, then great!”
Approximate Meal Plan Cost As Prescribed:
Chain grocery store (Kroger): $110.00
Warehouse store (Costco or Sam’s): $94.00
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:
- Open the document and click on the tab at the bottom that says “Menu item & Ingredient Brkdown.”
- 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 Paleo Tuna Crunch Bowl just change the “1” to a “2” and it will increase the ingredients for this recipe. Make sense?
- Click back to the tab that says “Meal Plan 17.9 Grocery List” and your quantities will be updated.
- Print out the grocery list from the first tab only.
- 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.
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:
- Prepare the Apple Raisin Country Style Ribs, place them in 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 6-7 hours overnight.
- Prepare the Pineapple Chicken with Broccoli. Enjoy this as a dinner for two. Properly store any remaining portions in your refrigerator for three to five days.
- Clean up the kitchen and pat yourself on the back for a day well done.
In cooking session two:
- Portion out the Apple Raisin Country Style Ribs 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. Prepare the meatballs for the soup. Place the ingredients for the Mexican Meatball Soup into the slow cooker. Place it on a foil lined sheet pan and place it on the counter to cook for the next 6-12 hours.
- Prepare the Shrimp and Sausage Stuffed Zucchini, Salsa Chipotle and Massie Mayo. These are great protein snacks for anytime of day. Eat a few while they are warm and properly store any remaining boats.
- Prepare the Paleo Tuna Crunch. Eat this for dinner. Refrigerate any leftovers if needed. Eat within three to five days.
- Portion out the Mexican Meatball Soup and allow to cool in the refrigerator overnight. Place any portions you wish into the freezer once completely cooled or leave in the refrigerator for up to seven days.
- Clean up the kitchen and polish up that sink!
In finishing session:
- Prepare the World’s Greatest Asian Chicken Salad. Eat some for lunch today and properly store remaining portions. Eat refrigerated portions within 3 to 5 days.
- 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 PaleoNick.com!
Notes: “This recipe was very easy to put together and get into the slow cooker. It was very tasty!” Tanya shared.
She had an issue with fitting all the ingredients into her slow cooker, so she left out some of the onions and apples she had prepped. The recipe calls for Super Radical Rib Rub, but also notes that you can use kosher salt and black pepper if you don’t have it on hand.
Tanya spent 5-10 minutes prepping this recipe, seven hours cooking on high, and yielded 6 to 7 portions.
Notes: “Beautiful colors on this dish! Cooked fast and was super easy,” Tanya noted.
The chicken in this recipe needs to be roasted in a 350F oven until it reaches an internal temp of 165F. This should be the first step when prepping this meal. Get the chicken in the oven and then begin to chop the needed veggies.
The tester spent 5-10 minutes prepping this meal, twenty minutes cooking it, and made 3 to 4 portions.
Notes: “The meatballs for this soup are delicious! I will make them again and just eat them alone. The soup a nice flavor altogether,” Tanya says.
This recipe is a bit prep heavy and calls for you to prepare the meatballs ahead of time along with using precooked squash. You can roast the squash while cooking the meatballs. Tanya noted that the recipe says to cook for six hours, while the video said four. She went with the six hours and thought it may have been overcooked a bit, because her squash got rather mushy. The squash is meant to be used as a thickening agent for the soup, which is why it’s precooked and mashed.
Tanya spent twenty minutes prepping this slow cooker meal, six hours cooking it on high, and yielded seven portions of soup.
Notes: “Easy and tasty recipe,” Tanya noted.
This recipe is to be garnished with Salsa Chipotle and Massie Mayo. Both options bring a great punch of additional flavor to the meal. You can serve these as an appetizer or eat them as a meal. They are reheatable, but best eaten hot and fresh.
Tanya spent ten minutes prepping, twenty-five minutes cooking, and made 2 to 3 boat portions.
Notes: “So easy, portable, no need to reheat. I really needed this recipe in my life. The Massie Mayo is delicious. It made me realize I need to make my own more often!” Tanya exclaimed.
This recipe is a great twist on the usual tuna you may eat. Be sure to whip up a batch of the your own mayo if you don’t already have some in your refrigerator. It’s quick and easy and you have the video tutorial to show you how. Why wouldn’t you make your own homemade mayo?!
Tanya spent ten minutes prepping this dish and made the single portion this meal yields.
Notes: “This was very good! Loved the flavors and colors!” Tanya says.
This salad is fresh, crisp and so tasty. It yields a large amount, so if you are not feeding a family of four or more, you may want to only dress one serving at a time. You can do this by mixing the liquid ingredients separately and then tossing it with the veggie blend when eating.
Tanya spent twenty minutes prepping the salad, twenty-five minutes roasting the chicken, and yielded three large portions.
Here are the photos from Tanya’s chosen meal plan:
A great big THANKS goes out to this wonderful family for their superb recipe choices and meal prep! Getting the kids involved in chopping veggies and taking photos makes my heart smile. I love the story of your weight loss journey and how you know that your focus is now on eating healthy and growing stronger instead of just the numbers on the scale. Way to go, Tanya! Keep up the good work!