#76: How To Create a Capsule Meal Plan, Part 2

How To Create a Capsule Meal Plan, Part 2

Last week I shared the concept of “capsule meal planning” and how to go about creating your own. It’s a super efficient way to eat well. This week I’ll tell you exactly what I put in my own capsule meal plan, and why. You even download my shopping list, meal formulas and bonus recipe book for free at http://shesgotpower.com/capsule

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Ever heard of a capsule wardrobe?

It’s just a few pieces of clothing that mix and match to create outfits easily. 

Last week, I introduced you to the capsule meal plan– it’s like a capsule wardrobe but for food. Imagine having a few foods you can mix and match to make meal planning, shopping, and cooking a breeze. Check out the episode from last week (#75) for the basic formula.

Today, I’m sharing what items I put in my own capsule meal plan, where I get them, and who they’re right (or NOT right) for. You can download the list AND my recipes at ShesGotPower.com/capsule.

Keep in mind that YOUR food choices do not have to– and probably shouldn’t!– look EXACTLY like mine. There’s no one-size fits all when it comes to food (or to clothes, either, let’s be honest!). 

But maybe you need some inspiration. So here are my go-to picks… 

You need powerful proteins

Let’s start with protein. Just like any meal should!

My first protein pick is eggs. Eggs are a nearly perfect food, nutritionally speaking (I know there’s still a lot of confusion around eggs and cholesterol– we can get into that another time, but for now, suffice it to say that eggs are not the problem.)

My very favorite eggs come from an Amish farm where the chickens are healthy and peck in the grass. But most often, I buy a brand called Vital Farms at the grocery store– they’re pretty widely available.

During an elimination diet (like the AIP for autoimmune disease), eggs might be off the menu for a while. And obviously avoid them if you have an allergy. But otherwise, eggs are an awesome protein choice.

My next protein staple is ground beef. I eat red meat a couple times per week. There is NO better source of iron, which is super important for women, especially if you’re still menstruating. 

I also like to get my beef from the farm… but in reality I mostly buy the best quality I can find at the grocery store. Usually this means one of those vacuum-packed, grass-fed beef bricks.

Beef is good for most people. Obviously follow your doctor’s advice, but I’ve found that even the most strict elimination diets still include beef, and that’s great: it’s super nourishing and nutrient dense.

Another great protein option is salmon. Fresh salmon, smoked salmon, canned salmon… it’s all good.

As always, buy the best quality you can afford. I like to order online from Vital Choice. At the grocery store, look for wild-caught over farm-raised. 

Salmon is a good pick for pretty much everyone. It’s a great source of protein and healthy fats. Plus it’s super versatile– you can have salmon with brunch or breakfast (hello lox!). It can be lunch, it can be dinner. It’s a capsule menu MVP.

My final protein pick is beans. They’re so inexpensive, so versatile, high in fiber. . . I dig ‘em!

Some folks get a lot of gas and bloating with beans– if this is you, maybe limit them a bit. They’re also eliminated within the AIP diet for autoimmune clients.

My favorites are black beans, pinto beans, and chickpeas. I buy dried beans and cook them myself. I usually skip the canned beans, but when convenience is your top priority, they’re great. Just drain and eat! 

Lots of dark leafy greens

When it comes to eating plants, it’s important to rotate your menu– don’t just eat spinach every day for weeks on end, ok? Change it up. Diversify.

A typical weekly selection for me would be something like arugula and kale. Any sort of kale! dinosaur kale, green curly, red russian… they’re all good.

Even the most conventional grocery store these days usually has some organic leafy greens. Kale has gone mainstream, folks.

I aim for organic. But any dark leafy greens are better than none! So don’t panic if you can’t find organic kale (or it’s not in your budget).

At parent’s night recently, my kid’s Home Ec teacher said they had to stop cooking food in class because of all the allergies. Gluten, dairy, nuts… I get it. So I said… NO ONE is allergic to broccoli! And everyone laughed. 

But it’s true! There are very few people who shouldn’t be eating dark, leafy greens. So pile ‘em on.

Superstar starches

Starches really round out your meals. Sweet potatoes are my absolute favorite. They are super nutrient dense– meaning bite-for-bite, you’re consuming a ton of vitamins and minerals. Every calorie packs a nutritional punch. We like that!

The other staple I like to use is rice. I use brown rice, white rice, wild rice blend– whatever! I eat it moderation, though– once or twice in a week, tops. It helps pull a meal together, the kids like it, and it’s gluten free, so a good choice for many.

If you are diabetic or have blood sugar issues, you might need to limit rice (and grains in general). And if you have autoimmune disease, rice is eliminated as part of the AIP diet– all grains are, actually. For most other people, though, it’s a good choice.

A little personal style

There it is! That’s the core of my capsule. I always have fresh onion, garlic, lemons, olive oil and salt on hand. Add those in and you can make a week’s worth of meals.

And just like you would style your denim and white button down top to reflect your personal taste, you can accessorize your capsule meals. I might add red bell pepper. Mushrooms. Hot sauce. Cheese. Maybe not all of those at once, though…

With a capsule meal plan like this, you’ll maximize the nutritional value of the meals you’re eating AND make it as quick and simple as possible each week. Win-win.

I’d love hear what ends up going into YOUR capsule meal plan. And if you want to download my capsule shopping list and recipes, find ‘em at ShesGotPower.com/capsule.

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