A Healthier Approach to Food (Sample Meal Plan)

I have many passions in life. Most of The Traveling Cook Abroad readers are fully aware that I’m obsessed with cooking, food, wine, beer, and traveling. Last year, I spent 110 days traveling, and 90% of my trips revolve around eating and drinking. It’s all about immersing yourself and living like the locals do – at least that’s MY philosophy about traveling. And remember – even though I was traveling for 110 days, I still live in ITALY, so eating and drinking here is a gift/struggle in itself.

When you love to travel, cook, eat, and drink as much as I do, the battle of the bulge is REAL. Fortunately, I’ve also developed a passion for health and fitness over the last couple of years. This has actually gone hand-in-hand with my love of cooking, since I love to learn about different ingredients, preparations, creative ways of developing dishes, nutritional benefits, and interactions. My husband and I also love to hike, explore cities on foot, and challenge ourselves physically when it comes to fitness. Thankfully, this helps to keep our weight gain/loss at bay (although I will admit, I do struggle not to gain weight when I have periods of extended travel or lots of visitors).

All of that being said, I want to share with you a sample weekly meal plan of mine. On Sundays, I typically plan my week’s worth of meals, go grocery shopping, and do all of the prep that I can. I actually keep my meals pretty simple. I focus on whole foods, lots of fresh veggies, healthy fats (like avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, and nuts). Generally speaking, I eat a diet consistent with a Mediterranean diet – not because I’m looking for a diet, but because it makes me feel good and stay healthy year round, despite the amount of food-and-drink-focused trips that I take.

Without further adieu, here’s the meal plan I had this week!

Breakfast: Egg scramble on greens, dressed with olive oil
I typically make a 2 egg scramble with zucchini, mushrooms, and red peppers. I spice up the scramble with cumin, turmeric, and paprika. Once the scramble is cooked, I put it all on top of my favorite greens (arugula and Lamb’s Lettuce). Dress with (GOOD) extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper

Lunch: Spicy Turkey, Red Pepper, and Sweet Potato Hash
I used to have this meal for breakfast, but now I prefer it for lunch. I typically leave off the egg. I could literally eat this meal every day for the rest of my life. I love it because it’s easy to prep in a large batch and then eat for lunches all week. Again, I serve the hash over a huge portion of greens and dress with coconut oil and sriracha. You can never get enough greens.

Sweet potato hash

Snack: Chocolate Shakeology
I typically workout in the afternoon due to my flexible schedule (for now). I like to have a chocolate shake after I workout. I’ve been drinking shakeology for 2 years and I’ve been sick once… It’s insane. I used to get sick every 3 months. My hair and nails also grow incredibly fast and I always have energy. Anyway – My favorite shake is: Chocolate Shakeology with cinnamon, banana, and blackberries. I drink it every day. If you have questions about shakeology, you can click the link above or ask me. I’m technically a beachbody coach, although I don’t coach actively anymore (I still run a group for my former clients, but I don’t typically reach out to new people; however, I’m happy to answer any questions you may have).

Dinner: Protein, Veggie, Carb
I know it sounds simple, and that’s because it is. Every night of the week, we choose one protein, one veggie, and (sometimes) a carb. For example, we might do salmon with cubed pumpkin and roasted sweet potatoes. We might do grilled chicken tenderloin with broccoli and quinoa or lentils. You get the idea. This is such an easy meal to keep simple! If you’re looking for something a little more exciting, I recommend trying Southwest-Style Stuffed Peppers. They take just a bit longer to make, but still fit the “protein, veggie, carb” type portions.

Processed with Snapseed.

Snack: Fruit and Pumpkin Seeds
I’m a notorious night-time snacker and so is my husband. We don’t torture ourselves into not eating after dinner. Instead, I plan my snacks into my meal plan and I choose healthy snacks. I like to munch on frozen fruit. Cherries and mangoes are my favorite. I also have about ¼ cup of lightly salted pumpkin seeds. Maybe it’s weird, but that’s what floats my boat!

*If I don’t have a carb with dinner, I’ll enjoy a glass of red wine a few nights of the week*

So there you have it! This is a standard weekly menu for me. I switch up my meals each week, and lunch is usually a meal in which I like to experiment with new recipes. We like to alternative our proteins, veggies, and carbs as much as possible at dinner to keep from getting bored. I base my portions and general macronutrients off of the 21 Day Fix Eating plan – it just works for me. I like its flexibility and whole-food approach. Let me know if you have questions or perhaps some suggestions for easy week meals.


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