My Meals in a Week

 

My Meals in a Week

 

I get a lot of questions on my website, and unfortunately I do not have the time to answer many of them. I also get a lot of questions from my friends and family, and have no choice but to answer these… One of the most common questions I get from both seems to be:

“What do you eat in a week?”

Looking back I often talk about the foods I eat, yet for some reason I have been pushing off this answer for years.

So, I am finally providing my response: my meals for the week. While my foods consumed vary widely depending on the time of year, the week, my work schedule, my exercise habits, and my mood, the past week should provide a general idea of what I eat.

Monday
Breakfast: Bone broth made from 100% grass-fed marrow bones, spinach, bok choy, pepper, sea salt, kim chi on top, green tea
Lunch: Organic nitrate-free pork sausage, broccoli cooked in avocado oil, salt, pepper
Dinner: Octopus, olive oil, lemon juice, dark chocolate, glass of Super Tuscan
Tuesday
Breakfast: Earl grey tea
Lunch: Wild salmon cooked in grass-fed butter, bed of spinach, olive oil
Dinner: Organic sweet potatoes cooked in coconut oil, grass-fed butter, salt, cinnamon, broccoli, raw fontina cheese, glass of Bordeaux
Wednesday
Breakfast: Bone broth and tea
Lunch: Cod cooked in grass-fed butter, broccolini, salt pepper, olive oil, lemon
Dinner: Duck breast, Brussels sprouts cooked in grass-fed butter, salt, pepper, glass of Bordeaux
Thursday
Breakfast: Pastured eggs, spinach, 100% grass-fed raw cheese, salt, pepper
Post-workout: Whey protein, branched-chain amino acids, white rice, and butter
Lunch: Paleo Bread (Health Winner of 2015)
Dinner: Squid cooked in avocado oil, salt, pepper, spinach, beets cooked in butter, glass of Cahors
Friday
Breakfast: Bone broth and coffee
Lunch: Wild shrimp cooked in grass-fed butter, asparagus, salt pepper, olive oil, kale cooked in olive oil
Dinner: Duck heart, Brussels sprouts cooked in grass-fed butter, salt, pepper, glass of Barolo (fancy date night)
Saturday
Breakfast: tea
Lunch: Paleo Bread
Dinner: Ahi tuna, seaweed salad, spinach salad with olive oil, blueberries and blackberries, glass of Cahors
Sunday
Breakfast: tea and Paleo Bread
Lunch: none
Dinner: 100% grass-fed rib eye cooked in ghee, salt, pepper, beets cooked in butter, raw manchego cheese, 85% dark chocolate, glass of Cahors

 

Squid and beet salad - one of my favorites

Squid and beet salad – one of my favorites – with Cahors, another one of my favorites.

 

The Takeaways

While the exact foods that I eat may vary, the general theme stays consistent. Processed foods make little to no contribution to my diet and are more of a rarity. Nearly all of the food that I consume was alive at some point and require cooking. Few foods are “instant.” In the case of kimchi, it is still very alive… Cooking is like mediation for me. Oftentimes I listen to music or podcasts while cooking, unless I am cooking with others and then we have good conversations.

I cook with fats and high-quality oils, avoiding vegetable oils. I tolerate cheese just fine, and include this as a raw and ideally grass-fed source. This is often a treat for me, as is red wine and dark chocolate (with the goal of higher fat, higher fiber, lower sugar, and ideally 85% or more dark). I rarely drink anything besides water, coffee, and wine.

 

  1. The Quality of Food

As I have discussed in the past, I generally aim for the highest quality of food sources. My red meat sources are 100% grass-fed without grains or antibiotics. My eggs come from chickens that are not caged, roam the pasture (i.e. pastured chickens), and eat their normal diet of bugs. The nutritional profile of these animals is very different from caged animals fed an abnormal diet. These types of animals are under much less stress as well, thus less inflammatory hormones and chemicals are found in their meat.1,2

 

  1. The Vegetables

The vegetable portions are massively large. The asparagus that I include in my lunch is an entire bushel, and the broccoli if often three stalks and the heads. I am not sure if this if considered “plant-based” or not (but then again nobody really seems to know what a “plant-based” diet actually is). The vegetables are also often cooked in a healthy fat or garnished with olive oil.

 

  1. Carbohydrates are a Moving Target

The things that change the most drastically with my diet are fruit, sweet potatoes, rice, nuts, and breakfast. My fruits and starches, which are my personal sources of heavy carbohydrates, vary widely based on the season and my activity levels as well as any desire to lose or gain weight. While I rarely increase my carbs in an attempt to gain weight, I will come down on carbs if I purposefully want to hit ketosis more often or lose weight. Outside of work, in the summer I am usually doing something active outside. As a result, I eat more fruit and more seasonal fruit. In the winter, I tend to eat less carbohydrates. This causes my appetite to decrease and therefore in the winter I eat significantly less food overall.

 

  1. Don’t Go Nuts on Nuts

I seem to eat more nuts in the summertime. These usually consist of roasted and salted almonds or raw macadamia nuts. These are usually consumed to increase my calories as I am more active in the summer. During the winter, my appetite drops and I seem to turn to these less.

 

  1. Time to Fast

In regards to skipping meals, I generally fast Friday night to Saturday lunch or early dinner and repeat on Sunday. I usually do have a cup of coffee on Saturday and Sunday morning, so by the book that does break up my fast. During the summer, my appetite is quite high, likely secondarily to my increased activity level. I have a lot of difficulty doing morning fasts during the work week. In the winter, I fast much more frequently throughout the week by skipping breakfast.

For those of you who are still frightened by the hunger during fasting, it is remarkably easy for many people, especially if you rarely/never eat processed foods or grains and generally keep the carbs lower than what the low-fatters recommend.

 

My Week in a Nutshell

So that is what I eat during a random week. I would highly recommend tracking your meals for at least one week to give yourself on honest view of what you eat. The results may often be shocking, as it was for me during my first time six years ago. If you are willing to take it to the next step, I would suggest logging your foods on a website like fitday.com. This will give you an estimate of vitamins, nutrients, and macronutrient composition.

 

References:

  1. Karsten HD, Patterson PH, Stout R, Crews G. Vitamins A, E and fatty acid composition of the eggs of caged hens and pastured hens. Renew Agric Food Syst. 2010;25(01):45. doi:10.1017/S1742170509990214.
  2. Simopoulos AP, Salem  Jr. N, Salem Jr. N. n-3 fatty acids in eggs from range-fed Greek chickens. N Engl J Med. 1989;321(20):1412. doi:10.1056/NEJM198911163212013.

 

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15 Comments

  1. Owen

    Hi Colin,

    Thanks for the post. The nutrition content here is very high indeed – impressive. It strikes me as being pretty low carb overall. Would you say this is a week with low physical activity? Do you have regular workouts? Just curious.

    I find I can do low carb eating myself but only if I am not doing much movement.

    Reply
    1. cavemandoctor (Post author)

      Hi Owen,

      My carbs oscillate between 50-150 generally though this particular week they were very low some days (mostly because of winter). I fasted a decent amount of time during this week as well. My activity I would say approximates 3 miles per day of walking with an hour of martial arts twice a week and lifting heavy weights for around 30 minutes 3 times a week.

      Thanks!
      Colin

      Reply
  2. Sherry

    So, you never eat fruits at all?

    Reply
    1. cavemandoctor (Post author)

      Hi Sherry,

      I do – mostly raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries. This particular week I did not. In the summer I eat much more fruit but do not base my diet on it.

      Reply
  3. David

    Hi Colin,
    I bought a buffalo heart from Wild Idea. I thought it would arrive sliced, but it came in tact @ over 3 lbs. Do you have any recommendations for cooking? Thanks, David

    Reply
    1. cavemandoctor (Post author)

      Hi David,

      I would personally either go all Kevin Costner Dances with Wolves or (what I usually do) soak it in vinegar/wine/lemon juice to soften it up then cook it on cast iron in some spices. It took me a while to figure out what I liked, so 3 pounds should give you some practice haha.

      Reply
  4. Diane Studenski (Matt Studenski's mom)

    Greetings, Colin!
    Does the timing of fasting have any benefit? I’ve recently read where a mini fast beginning at 6:00 pm and ending at noon increases HGH & metabolism. It was also recommended to do this mini fast 2 – 3 times per week. Like you mentioned, it is difficult for me to skip breakfast then go to work as I am a dental hygienist. Most patients don’t like it if I’m “shaky.” What are the most optimal fasting times for short fasts? What about longer fasts?
    Thanks!
    Diane

    Reply
    1. cavemandoctor (Post author)

      Hi Diane,
      Great to hear from you. I generally do the fasts from 5 or 6 pm until noon the next day to get around the 16-18 hour point. There isn’t great data on timing, but I think including the fast next to sleep makes it easier. Sometimes during the work week I will fast from dinner the night before and bring my breakfast to work and eat it late (9-10am) as a massive brunch and then not eat again until night. This way I am still getting a 15-16 hour fast and am doing it in an eating window. The whole rest of morning and afternoon I am usually pretty full, which makes the work day easy. This seems to work well now (in the winter) but once summer hits I rarely fast during the week beyond 5 or 6 at night for 12 hours or so.
      Take care!
      Colin

      Reply
      1. Diane Studenski (Matt Studenski's mom)

        Thank-you for your valued opinion.
        One more question if you don’t mind? Is it healthy to not start your day w/ breakfast? Sometimes I can’t get certain ideas out of my head. (We are doing 18 hr fasts 2x weekly same way you described.) Skipping breakfast is psychologically tough for me.

        Reply
        1. cavemandoctor (Post author)

          Yes! We have been skipping breakfast for millions of years and it turned out Ok!

          Reply
          1. Diane Studenski

            Thanks again!

            Reply
            1. Owen

              If I might comment here I would say that after a period of time away from refined carbohydrates fasting does become easier, and you can begin to do it intuitively. I work as a coach in a clinical environment and I always recommend people get their food groups sorted out first, i.e be used to eating a whole foods diet and by all means stick to the old three meals a day routine to begin with. Like you say, psychologically it can help if you have only recently begun any type of ancestral diet.

              I would love to see workplaces that could facilitate decent whole foods for people to eat mid morning instead of people having the choice of either cramming convenience foods early on the way out of the house or waiting for lunch. Our set up in that respect in the west doesn’t help.

              Sorry for the long blurb, hope the comment is relevant!

              Reply
              1. cavemandoctor (Post author)

                I agree 100% with these comments. The change does make it easier, though not fool-proof depending on the work. The foods available at most workplaces certainly do not help…

                Reply
            2. cavemandoctor (Post author)

              you’re welcome!

              Reply
  5. Anna Wright

    This looks super delicious. Looking forward to more similar articles. Please keep the awesome recipes coming

    Reply

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