Meals and Snacks

Throughout my few years eating on a diet, I've developed a small but very helpful collection of meals and snacks that I find myself relying on to keep me on goal. This will not work for everyone, but for me I found it easy to stick with one meal and eat it till I can no longer stand the smell of it anymore. Some of these meals I ate for months or years at a time in a row due to their convenience and how they fit into my daily diet macros. Many of my ingredients I've bought at price saving places like Costco and Aldi with great savings.

The first thing that I did was follow the following meal plan system. It allowed me to not have to think about what I needed to do, only follow and obey the instructions. After doing this for a month or so, I gained confidence in my own ability to make good choices and started gradually allowing myself to move to other meals and snacks.

Meals

Breakfast:

Egg and Bacon Muffins) These are great either on the go or at home morning meals from the microwave. Two of them work out to great macros for a breakfast and the amount of customization you can do on your own is limitless.

Ingredients:
  • 12 eggs
  • 12 slices of bacon

Directions:
  1. Grab a 12 slot muffin pan, and coat it in a cooking oil spray (Pam). I liked to wipe down the top of the pan after this to avoid more mess.
  2. Line each muffin hole with a slice of bacon. Lay one end across the bottom and then wrap it around the sides.
  3. Cook the pan with just the bacon for about 10 minutes in an oven at 350 degrees F.
  4. Take the pan out, and using a plate or cookie cooling rack to hold the bacon into their holes, drain any excess fat. Wipe down any spills on the top of the pan.
  5. Now take one egg and crack it into each hole. After some practice you can consistently make well formed bacon cups, but often enough the bacon will not be in a cup form. Just crack that egg in there. It's all going to the same place. 
  6. Place back in the oven for another 10 or so minutes until the egg is well cooked and firm. I liked to check about halfway through this step and mix each muffin with a fork (optional, but if not a film will form and could make it unpleasant in texture).
Notes:
  • Cleaning the pan can become a chore with this one. I ended up going through many non-stick muffin pans just throwing them away as their non-stick wore away. In the meantime, iron wool balls were helpful.
Protein Powder) Yah, this one is fairly simple. I drank one or two scoops of protein powder for breakfast. This one can be fun as well, add in spices like pumpkin or cinnamon or substitute part or all of your water with almond/coconut milk. I've also heard of people adding in peanut butters. I like to add a dash of salt to mine. I watch for low carb options and buy on sales or as cheap per scoop as I can get. Have used BPI, Muscle Milk (from Costco), Isopure, Quest Protein Powder to name a few. 

Lunch:

Chicken Breast Pizza) A good low effort flavor mix that I enjoyed for a while.

Ingredients: 
  • X Chicken Breasts
  • 2 Slices of large Pepperoni from deli per breast
  • Low carb tomato/pizza sauce
  • Shredded cheese of choice
  • Pizza/Italian seasoning

Directions:
  1. Take your chicken breasts and cut them in the middle hamburger bun style. Stuff your pepperoni and a spoon or two of pizza sauce inside.
  2. Place breasts into a pan, and bake in the oven at 350 for 40min.
  3. Take out, and spread another spoon of pizza sauce on top and sprinkle with cheese and seasoning.
  4. Cook for another ten minutes.
Eggs) My most inventive and longest lasting lunch meal. Take three eggs and crack them into a pan on the oven top. Flip over once and cook to desired hardness. Season to taste/desire. If you are feeling adventurous, scramble them with butter, heavy cream or plain (WOW!)

Dinner

Lettuce Taco's) A great and easy meal that is dead simple to edit to your own taste. Simply grab a meat like ground beef or chicken, cook it with or without veggies and seasonings. Place your meat, veggies, condiments (guac,  sour cream, shredded cheese), seasonings and any desired sauces (Taco Bell has a sauce that is low carb found at Wal-Mart) into a romaine lettuce leaf. What do they say, "Tasty!"

Hotdogs 'n Bacon) One of my favorite dishes, and really looked forward to dinner every day.

Ingredients:
  • 10-12 Hot Dogs
  • 30-36 Slices of Bacon
  • Toothpicks
  • (Optional) Mustard
Directions:
  1. Line a cookie tray that has sides with a layer of tin foil.
  2. Cut each hot dog into 1/3rds (easy to do when they are all still in their pack at once).
  3. Cut each bacon slice into half.
  4. Wrap each 1/3rd of hot dog with a half of bacon, and secure the wrapping with a toothpick.
  5. Line the hot dogs with bacon up on your tray, and place in the oven at 350 for about 20-25 minutes or until done.
  6. Take the tray out, and portion your hot dogs out into containers to be refrigerated for the week.
Notes:
  • Mustard pairs really nicely with this meal!
  • The toothpicks make a great handle to pick up each unit and eat with no mess.
Tuna/Chicken "Salad") One of my lazy meals that's been lasting me for a while. Simply take a 5/7oz can of tuna or chicken meat and mix it with all or some of the following: mayo, mustard, olives, seasonings, seeds, pickles, sauces like sriracha. I find it also pairs well with steamed veggies like brussels sprouts or broccoli. Get creative, lots of easy options for customization.

Steaks, Brats (careful of carbs), Chicken, Pork, Ham) Meat tastes good!

Snacks

For many of the following snacks, it's really important to weigh out your portions. Many of these can easily skyrocket up in calories very quickly.
  • Steamed Veggies
  • Almonds (Costco sells raw 3lb bags at great prices.)
  • String Cheese (Costco again. Try wrapping an almond in a string of cheese for something different.)
  • Pork Rinds (Aldi's has 3.5oz bags for .99c)
  • Sugar Free Gum (Trident is a great healthy option.)
  • Carbonated Flavored Waters
  • Sugar Free Jello (Try mixing some cream into your jello for something better!)
  • HALO TOP ICE CREAM! Wow is this stuff amazing, the hype is real folks!
  • Protein Bars
    • Quest
    • Bup (from Yup Brands)
    • Oh Yeah!
    • Some Think Thin (higher in carbs)
  • Quest Protein Chips
  • Coffee/Tea (These make my world keep going)
  • Winky's Gel Bites
  • Beef Jerky's (Home made is king, otherwise Jack Link is ok.)
  • Siggi's Plain Yogurt
  • Seaweed Slices
  • Sliced up pickles/cucumbers with salt and I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray.
  • Plain popcorn
  • Protein Fluff (Google it, it's super filling! I make mine with 1 can of sugar free soda, scoop of protein and some xanthan gum).
  • Deli Meat/Cheese (Ask for two slices of deli meat, and one slice of cheese. Wrap the meat with the cheese!)
  • Veggie-Go's

Restaurants

Any Restaurant) Salads (full fat ranch and caesar), steak, fish, omelettes, ect...
Jimmy Johns) Ask for your sub to be an unwich for a lettuce wrap (don't forget the giant pickle on the side). Their website also has an amazing nutrition calculator.
Five Guys) Ate here every Friday for over a year. Build your burger and have it with a lettuce bun or in a bowl. With the free peanuts, it's a great meal!
Red Robin) Any burger can become a lettuce bun or turkey burger. Add in the unlimited broccoli and salad instead of fries, this is one of my favorite options!
Chinese Restaurants) Ask for plain steamed chicken with broccoli. Soy sauce it up!
Hu-Hot) Do a bit of research online with sauce carb counts, and avoid the noodles. This place is great with meat and veggies for days.
Pappa Murphys) Great pre-made salads that you can purchase and even add toppings from the pizza creation line to!
Sushi) Ask for your roll wrapped with cucumber and no rice for a great keto friendly sushi meal!
Hardees) Any hamburger can be wrapped in lettuce.
Buffalo Wild Wings) Wings with low carb rubs/sauces!
Qdoba) Bowl with lettuce, meat, veggies, cheese, guac and sour cream.
Panera Bread) They have a low carb menu, look it up!