I hope you enjoyed week 1 of the meal plan! These posts will hopefully help inspire you, your gymnast, and your family.
Part of learning to eat healthfully is making things taste good. A little flavor goes a long way in helping things like vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains turn into delectable dishes that everyone will enjoy.
With everyone’s busy schedules, some planning each week will help solve the “what’s for dinner?” conundrum.
I make a loose meal plan each week for 2 reasons:
1) This plan gives us 4-5 meals that will also provide leftovers for lunches (healthier, saves money)
2) This plan also allows us to grocery shop less frequently (instead of having to pick up something random everyday) and thus also saves money, time, energy, etc.
Here’s my plan for the week. For you and your gymnast, it’s really easy to modify the portions at the meal to fit your gymnasts needs. The gymnast will likely need the moderate to high intensity performance plate (more carbs), and a sedentary adult would be fine with the low intensity plate (on average, everyone is different). Download my 5-day meal guide if you haven’t and you’ll get the Performance Plates Guide and lots of other recipes for meals/snacks.
Sunday: Parmesan Pistachio Crusted Salmon + Alfredo Tortetillini + #SummerSalad
Parmesan Pistachio Crusted Salmon Recipe:
This recipe uses a soft garlic herb cheese called Boursin which is available at most grocery stores. You could also substitute some Neufchatel cream cheese mixed with a small minced glove of garlic and 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese + a dash of salt/pepper.
- 1-2 lb salmon filet with skin (fresh)
- 4 tbsp Boursin Cheese
- 2-4 tbsp crushed pistachios
- 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs (optional if needing the recipe to be GF)
Spread the Boursin (can soften in microwave for 10-20 seconds) on the filet, skin down on a baking sheet. Sprinkle crushed pistachios and then Panko bread crumbs. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15-25 minutes until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F.
Alfredo Tortellini– As simple as it sounds. I enjoy a fresh pasta tortellini like these brands (Costco, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Walmart). Yes, this is not a high fiber carbohydrate but that is fine. This is why you include lots of COLOR like vegetables, fruits, etc at the meal to provide additional fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Not every single carbohydrate has to be super nutrient dense, etc. It’s about the averages throughout the day. If I’m making a white flour pasta at dinner, I’m mindeful to include more fibrous grains or starches at other meals and snacks throughout the day.
I like a lot of different Alfredo sauces, ranging from jarred to homemade. I’d stick with one of those versus a powdered packet. Yes, Alfredo is a higher fat sauce but this is why you include other components at the meal. Again, there is a big difference between an entire plate of pasta versus 1/4-1/2 the plate as carbohydrate for the high level gymnast.
#Summersalad: (mixed greens, berries/nectarines, pistachios/walnuts, blue cheese or your fave, a fruity vinaegrette like this homemade lemon strawberry, other veggies like cucumber, carrots, bell peppers, etc). You’re welcome to mix and match any other veggies at this meal, I just can’t get enough of these salads when fresh berries, white nectarines, and peaches are available.
Monday: Enchilada Soup
I use this recipe
Enchilada soup is a year-round favorite of my family. If it’s crazy hot at your house right now, just turn the temp down to get in the mood for a bowl of soup. I like to crush tortilla chips and top with shredded white american cheese (from the Deli, this is the same cheese used to make queso dip. Just ask for a block and you can shred yourself).
You can add a salad or another veggie if desired, but the soup has plenty of fiber, vitamins/minerals/antioxidants from the beans, tomatoes, and other ingredients that you may be too full. Always options!
Tuesday: Egg Strata + Caprese Salad with Pearl Mozzarella
Use the Egg Strata recipe in my Gymnast 5 Day Meal Guide.
My husband HATES tomatoes, yet he couldn’t get enough of this salad. Give this a try with your gymnast and family and let me know what you think!
This side dish is a fabulous way to get in COLOR (fruits/veg high in antioxidants) and protein (with extra Calcium/Vitamin D).
Recipe: Caprese Salad
- Balsamic vinaigrette (equal parts EVOO and balsamic vinegar, pinch of sugar/honey/maple syrup, dash of garlic salt/pepper/mustard powder, whisk all together)
- Cherry tomatoes (halved)- about 1 cup
- Pearl Mozzarella- entire package
- 4-5 leaves fresh basil (or more if desired)
Instructions: Whisk together balsamic vinaigrette. Add cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and chopped fresh basil. Let marinate 30 min in fridge before serving. Great leftover the next day.
You may want some additional items at the meal, like more carbohydrate for your active high level gymnast (roasted potatoes, fruit, etc) or just enjoy some dessert after the meal 🙂
Wednesday: Pulled Pork + Baked Beans + Cowboy Cornbread + Steammed Broccoli + Watermelon or #summersalad
This meal can be scaled from “can’t be easier pick up meat from local BBQ joint” all the way to homemade BBQ pulled pork in the smoker, grill, oven, etc.
This is a particularly busy week for me with the exciting things coming your way NEXT week (FREE Masterclass- The Gymnast’s Guide to Food Freedom + Elite Performance) so for us I’d either pick up BBQ or use this simple crockpot recipe that is also fabulous over a baked potato or sweet potato as an easy lunch (or dinner).
You don’t have to make cornbread or the beans, but for me these are special sides that fulfill the “carb” requirement of the meal and are balanced with lots of COLOR by serving a salad, fruit, or a steamed/roasted non-starchy veggie (broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, etc).
Thursday: Cheater Chicken Parmesan
This is another recipe that you can find in my 5 day Gymnast Meal Guide.
I’m all about quick an easy, especially during the week. This recipe is great with any kind of tomato sauce or a vodka sauce. You can also use pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and a few pepperonis to turn this into “pizza chicken” for a different flavor.
Be careful not to over-bake the chicken, I recommend this meat thermometer as it’s hard to tell when they’re done. I only recently invested in a meat thermometer and it’s a game changer.
When I’m feeling fancy I’ll use an egg wash, flour, and panko bread crumbs to coat the chicken and bake, then top with a tomato sauce and cheese.
Serve either way with some sort of carbohydrate on the side, pasta goes best and I love a good ravioli or even pesto angel hair. Use the Performance Plates to dictate the portions of carbohydrate based on activity level, needs, etc.
Add some COLOR (salad, veggie, etc) and you’re all set.
Friday: Pizza Friday!!
Friday’s are traditionally pizza at our house as this was also a tradition at my house and my husband’s when we were growing up. Pizza has a really special place in my heart as it was a food I avoided for years while I was a gymnast and struggling with food and my body.
This is not a “cheat meal” (I don’t believe in those), it’s just another normal meal that I’ll serve it with a #SummerSalad to balance the plate. My favorite pizza is a wood-fired or really puffy crust (not too chewy/dense but not thin and cardboard-like) with alfredo, chicken, bacon, diced tomatoes, and spinach. I often recreate this with a frozen Trader Joes crust for a cheaper alternative to ordering out.
Recipe: Copy-Cat Paradise Pie from Hideaway Pizza
- Current favorite pre-made crusts: Stonefire Thin Artisan, Sam’s Club Member’s Mark Naan, Trader Joe’s Frozen Organic Montelli crust
- Alfredo Sauce (any brand is fine…I like Trader Joes as it’s thicker than other brands like Bertolli and doesn’t run everywhere in the oven). See above for ideas.
- Chicken- can be leftover grilled, rotisserie, etc (needs to be fully cooked)
- Few slices of cooked bacon (3-4, dependent on pizza size). I like to microwave bacon between paper towels or in the oven.
- Fresh diced tomatoes (roma, cherry, anykind…scrape out some seeds if needed so it wn’t make pizza soggy)
- Baby Spinach- you don’t need a ton, could pick some out of your Mixed Greens used for #summersalad, etc
- Whole Milk Shredded Mozzarella- I like this better than the part-skim as it melts better due to the slightly increased fat content
- Sprinkle of parmesean cheese to add flavor (if available)
Just follow the instructions for the crust in terms of oven temp. I spread the Alfredo sauce, sprinkle some cheese, add chicken/bacon/tomatoes/spinach, and top with the rest of the cheese and a sprinkle of Parm.
Saturday: Cubano Sandwiches with leftover pulled pork
This is one of my favorite sandwiches. I know this recipe is perhaps not the tried and true Cuban version, but my family and friends like the flare and I think you will two. You’ll need a hearty bakery bread like sour dough though this certainly can be made on a whole wheat sandwich bread like Dave’s Killer Bread. I prefer honey mustard, some ham and turkey (you don’t have to use both), sweet pickles, a little mayo (optional), and a good melting cheese (I like to use muenster or harvarti with a little sprinkle of white American for extra melty goodness).
- Sourdough bread, sliced
- Leftover pulled pork (ok if has some bbq sauce)
- Sliced deli ham and/or turkey (You just need 1-2 slices of each per sandwich)
- Sliced Sweet Pickles
- Honey Mustard/Mayo (I like an olive oil based mayo as more benefical than just canola or safflower/sunflower oil)
- Sliced Cheese- Muenster or Havarti (creamy, meltable cheese) + some shredded white American (from the deli, ask for 1 lbs block to keep on hand for tacos, egg sandwiches, etc).
Spread the mayo/mustard on both halves, place in heated pan to toast. Add cheese, deli meat, pulled pork, and pickles. Grill until crisped and brown; may need to put lid on pan for a few minutes to get the cheese to melt inside.
Balance the plate with COLOR (can be as simple as cut veggies with a dip, hummus, guacamole, some fruit, etc).