Re-Focus on Health with a 3-day Meal Plan

Here I am, embarking on another diet-driven health kick. Similar to last time, I’m referring to the Buzzfeed Clean Eating Challenge to get inspiration and ideas for meal planning this week.


It happens to all of us: you get busy, you get distracted, you can’t get to the gym or do the exercise you usually do, and – just like that – you’re noticing a slow, but deliberate, expansion of your waistline.

I’m not into that. So here’s my plan.

Health. I won’t call it “fitness”, but I’m making a deliberate effort to walk more. When I lived in the city, walking was a part of my lifestyle, making it really easy to stay in shape. Now that we’re in the ‘burbs, it’s just not as practical. So unless it’s raining (or snowing – like it did, briefly, on Sunday!), we’ll walk a mile a day, sometimes more.

Intake. I’m deliberately drinking more liquids each day. I carry a water bottle everywhere, but sometimes I just don’t want water. So I gave myself permission to drink all of the apple cider and smoothies I want. If I’m having trouble meeting my goal on a given day, I’ll eat a few bites of salty food. It’s not long after that before I’m craving water again.

Fitness. I can’t get to the gym as much as I would like, so I’m going to do 3 Nike Training Club workouts a week at home. Most of these will be 15-minute focused workouts, occasionally I’ll do a 30-minute, and occasionally I’ll do some crunches and call it a day. And I’m heading to the gym for a treadmill run and all-out burn workout once per week. It’s less than I would like, but it’s better than nothing!

Food. This is the big one. Using the food in our cabinets, Pinterest, and my favorite recipes from the Buzzfeed Challenge, I crafted a meal plan for the week. With these recipes, it’s easy to go gluten-free.

If you want to do this, feel free to add or subtract as you want based on what works for you. For instance, before I started this challenge, I had the smoothie for dinner instead of pasta.

Also, note that this is a 3-day meal plan. I like to keep things to 3 days because that’s about the most attention I can give a diet. Also, I find that ingredients and leftovers can be overwhelming, so I spend the rest of the week eating everything I made and purchased.

Day 1 Recipes

Day 1

Day 1 | Breakfast. Kale-Banana Smoothie. Lunch. Spinach, Arugula, and Cranberry Salad with balsamic vinaigrette and half a slice of naan. Dinner. Broccoli Quinoa Casserole.

Notes: If you don’t want to make dressing from scratch, don’t. We always have balsamic vinaigrette in the fridge, so I use that. Also, instead of cheese, I used toasted pumpkin seeds. And if I hadn’t devoured it, I would post a picture and recipe here. Next time!

Day 2

Day 2

Day 2 | Breakfast. Peanut Butter Overnight Oats. Lunch. Shakshuka. Dinner. Turkey Meatballs with Collard Greens.

Notes: I’m roasting cauliflower, eggplant, and chickpeas tonight for meals tomorrow, but as long as you save enough for an omlette, it’s a great addition to tonight’s dinner.

Day 3

Day 3

Day 3 | Breakfast. Cauliflower omlette. Lunch. Spinach, Arugula, and Cranberry Salad with balsamic vinaigrette and the other half of the naan. Dinner. Easy Crockpot Chicken Tikka Masala.

I hope this inspires you to make changes too. Next week I’m going to talk more about being comfortable in your own skin – an important topic as we approach the holiday season.

Wish me luck!