3

votes

3 Perfect Meals

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 31, 2011 at 3:55 AM

I'm trying to design my daily menu while minimizing costs subject to the following:

  1. >150 g protein
  2. 1400-1600 kcal
  3. All essential vitamins/minerals
  4. Beef/butter must be pastured

I will be supplementing with:

  1. A multivitamin
  2. Fish Oil - 10 g
  3. Vitamin D - 5000 IU
  4. Zn/Mg/Ca

Everything except the omega 3s should be considered 'backup', i.e. I don't want to depend on any of these supplements. I will also look into using protein powder because there's no cheaper source of protein, and protein is the most expensive part. It can be added to things like frittatas, or simply with milk.

Keep in mind my goals are 1. Fitness and 2. Avoiding dental caries. So please don't tell me I don't need that much protein, do ZC, avoid dairy, etc.

I would like to have the same meals every day as an experiment in food reward and because I'm just a very regimented, boring person. That means (I can rotate a bit) 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners. I would prefer they are meals I can make in advance for 2-3 days. After workouts I have 1% milk, which is cheap and achieves what I want.

So here's an example of some things I love to eat that meet the requirements:

  1. Frittata (3 meals) with 6 whole eggs, 1 T butter, .5 lb ham, misc veggies (carrots, spinach, mushrooms)
  2. Curry (3 meals) with 1.5 lbs shrimp or chicken, misc veggies
  3. 1lb cottage cheese, .5 lb berries/pears/bananas (my favorite, I'd prefer having this every night)
  4. .5 lb tuber, 5g butter, broccoli, lowfat cheese, baked chicken
  5. 1-4 cups 1% milk (this is my post-workout meal)

The first 4 meals come out to ~$4-5, ~500kcal, ~50g protein each

You come to realize that the cost for organic pastured butter is dirt cheap in the grand scheme of things. What really adds up are the proteins and the veggies. Red meat is, in general, difficult to fit into a diet unless it is very lean. I have considered making a beef/broth stew with leanish cuts, organ meats, onions, celery, carrots, etc. but don't know where to start.

So, what would you change, add, do?

Any big foods I'm missing that I should try and include?

How to make a diet-friendly beef stew?

Keep in mind this is just temporary out of boredom, economic, and reward interests to lose weight.

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on February 09, 2012
at 10:10 AM

I like Ray Peat's take on gelatin, saying it's a good way to get protein while limiting tryptophan : http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/gelatin.shtml Have any of you actually tried gelatin long-term before dissing it? We're not all mindless muscle-heads on this website, you know...

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on January 01, 2012
at 10:04 PM

Point taken, even fattier cuts fit I just can't be as liberal with the rest of the ingredients. I think I'm just gonna go for the cheapest cuts of red meat I can find (since grassfed is already expensive), which tend to be lean. And as for preparation, I just don't cook red meat often so I don't have a way I like it. Stews for the win I guess.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on January 01, 2012
at 10:01 PM

What would you consider a more nutritious protein than whey? And I don't see why insulin matters here...

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on January 01, 2012
at 10:00 PM

It doesn't make any sense to me to count PUFA by % overall intake. If a 300 pound man and a 60 pound woman both take in 5% PUFA that's a huge difference.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on January 01, 2012
at 01:20 PM

I would replace them with root vegetables and some greens like cilantro, parsley etc. Eggs are fine at 2-3 a day imo.

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on January 01, 2012
at 09:45 AM

Lol at all the gelatin hate recently. Whey is not very nutritious either + it's insulinogenic, so I don't understand why.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on January 01, 2012
at 06:23 AM

That is a lot of fish oil considering ur only eating 1500 calories. That's more than 2 tablespoons. I would do no more than 1 tablespoon. And even then only if you're eating lots of n-6 PUFA like nuts. It doesn't have to be exactly 1:1. The other concern is keeping your total PUFA under 5% of total calories. At 2 tbsp, you're at 7.5% of calories just from fish oil.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 31, 2011
at 08:12 PM

I need to look around for partridges. And 2 turtle doves.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 31, 2011
at 08:10 PM

Haven't ordered online meat, but Slanker's is actually really reasonably priced. Chuck roast, heart, and liver all look lean and cheap. A new gourmet butcher's shop opened up in town... I needa stop by and see if we can work out a deal for scrap organs/meat for stews.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 31, 2011
at 07:46 PM

Haters gonna hate.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on December 31, 2011
at 07:44 PM

Apparently, someone doesn't like lean beef.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on December 31, 2011
at 07:37 PM

Fine, how about a fatty ribeye? 11 calories per gram protein. 550 calories for 50 grams of protein, still very "affordable" in a caloric budget. As for preparation, however you like it.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on December 31, 2011
at 07:34 PM

@Futureboy, what's essential in gelatin that's missing from muscle meats? (Which all contain collagen aka gelatin, in connective tissues.) Heck, if you're supplementing with gelatin, it's a pretty sterile looking white powder. Not something packed with nutrition by any stretch of the imgination.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 31, 2011
at 07:01 PM

Why is gelatin essential? And I want to include organ meat, I just don't know how. I'll probably start by throwing beef/chicken heart/liver into a stew/curry, I imagine they are the most benign.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on December 31, 2011
at 06:52 PM

"Blocks of ballistic gelatin simulate muscle tissue as a standardized medium for testing firearms ammunition." <--from wiki

Medium avatar

(5639)

on December 31, 2011
at 05:27 PM

I'd argue that geltin is definitely essential if you're eating mostly muscle meats. You also seem to have left out organ meats.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 31, 2011
at 03:56 PM

Thanks, that's a good idea, but last I checked round steak is one of the leanest cuts :). Still, that will fit in nicely. How would you cook it though?

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 31, 2011
at 03:55 PM

1600kcal is enough when the goal is weight loss, yes. Goes up to ~2000kcal if I exercise that day, which is still enough for weight loss.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 31, 2011
at 03:55 PM

Because I don't get that many omega-3s in the rest of my diet. The eggs aren't really that significant, I eat like... 5g of butter per day, etc.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 31, 2011
at 03:53 PM

And I try and eat as many fruits/tubers as I can fit in. My goal is weight loss, hence the lower calories.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 31, 2011
at 03:52 PM

I'm pretty immune to allergens/impurities. Never noticed any effects. Although I think the anti-thyroid is, in general, exaggerated, in my case it is actually worth considering (since I eat a ton of veggies). What other veggies would you replace it with? And you'd decrease eggs below 2 per day? I plan on drinking as much milk as possible :). My ham is very lean (98%), but I will consider switching it for another lean meat that tastes good with eggs.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on December 31, 2011
at 03:40 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gelatin#Medical_and_nutritional_properties Doesn't have a lot of essential amino acids, and high in non-essential amino acids.

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on December 31, 2011
at 02:58 PM

The quality is low?

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on December 31, 2011
at 02:53 PM

At least gelatin is real food.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on December 31, 2011
at 02:50 PM

why so much fish oil? Why any at all?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on December 31, 2011
at 02:20 PM

@Eric, just add some real meat to your frittata (does that now make it an omelet?) to get some more significant nutrition in.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on December 31, 2011
at 09:09 AM

is 1600 cal enough food for a day?

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 31, 2011
at 08:02 AM

Nothing's wrong with it, it just doesn't contribute to daily goals from a body composition/training stand point. The quality is low.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 31, 2011
at 07:59 AM

10g/day. 5 with lunch, 5 with dinner. If I eat canned salmon I skip a few of those.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on December 31, 2011
at 07:40 AM

what's wrong with gelatin?

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on December 31, 2011
at 07:39 AM

is that 10g of fish oil per day???

C00e493393828df34be65ddc25456c7c

(610)

on December 31, 2011
at 05:46 AM

http://www.hippressurecooking.com/search/label/paleo

C00e493393828df34be65ddc25456c7c

(610)

on December 31, 2011
at 05:45 AM

Apparently, a pressure cooker is a good investment too: http://www.hippressurecooking.com/

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 31, 2011
at 05:27 AM

Yeah, I'd like that, but it means less room for butter, onions, etc. I do it on occasion, it really depends on how many eggs I have in stock.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on December 31, 2011
at 05:17 AM

I think I would up the eggs in the fritas to 8-9.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 31, 2011
at 05:10 AM

Bill, you are a gentleman and a scholar.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 31, 2011
at 05:07 AM

@Eric, yeah, I'm hoping to get 2-3 whole eggs per day in the form of that frittata, and hard boiled eggs as needed. They fit macros great, complement things like canned salmon (also cheap), and are really nutritious.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on December 31, 2011
at 05:04 AM

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Hamilton-Beach-33176HB/14320893?findingMethod=rr Thats a large one. Perfect.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on December 31, 2011
at 05:01 AM

Wally World had them on clearance, and good ones for like $15.00 lol

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 31, 2011
at 04:50 AM

Okay, gonna go trade in some of my christmas presents for a crockpot. It's time to invest in one.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on December 31, 2011
at 04:46 AM

Ive done it a few ways, they all worked out well, chicken stock or not, different veggies, different settings on the pot, just let it cook for 8-10 hrs, it comes out awesome. Then, after you pick the thing clean, smash up the bones, add more veggies and water and let her rip for another 10-12 hrs and make your own broth/bone stock.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 31, 2011
at 04:44 AM

haha, no gelatin :)

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 31, 2011
at 04:42 AM

Yeah I was thinking about a whole roast chicken... I think without the skin it would fit my macros pretty well, and very cheap. Just throw it in some store chicken stock and 2 buck chuck and set it on low? Do I even need to add chicken stock if I'm roasting the bones as well?

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on December 31, 2011
at 04:37 AM

What No gelatin???

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 31, 2011
at 04:31 AM

Planning on using casein or milk (80% casein 20% whey).

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6 Answers

3
21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on December 31, 2011
at 08:01 PM

Have you ever ordered frozen pastured meat from Slanker's or US Wellness? I've been thinking about buying some cow and/or pig meat to avoid having to get more expensive meat during grocery trips, and because Ted Slanker is cool.

Also, I ate a beef stew almost every day for three months, with a handful of ingredients: stew beef, carrot, celery, onion, rotating tuber, rotating spice. It worked out well!

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 31, 2011
at 08:10 PM

Haven't ordered online meat, but Slanker's is actually really reasonably priced. Chuck roast, heart, and liver all look lean and cheap. A new gourmet butcher's shop opened up in town... I needa stop by and see if we can work out a deal for scrap organs/meat for stews.

3
E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on December 31, 2011
at 03:02 PM

If your goal is fitness why are you so low calorie/carb? Avoiding carbohydrates and sugar won't help with dental problems imo, properly functioning thyroid, getting enough nutrition and avoiding stress are the most important elements for avoiding tooth decay in my experience(and I have plenty of first hand experience with this subject).

-I would drop the fish oil and multivitamin/supplements(too much PUFA, supplements most likely contain allergens/impurities)

-drink a tad more milk(cheap and extremely nutritious)

-decrease the eggs some(too High PUFA)

-get rid of the veggies or replace them with less harmful ones(no brassicas/spinach)(Anti-thyroid)

-drop the ham(too high PUFA)

-increase fruit(fresh squeezed oj is extremely nutritious) and potato consumption a bit.(increase fitness and help manage stress, eating soem fruit with your protien will help keep blood sugar regulated)

This is just based on my experience though YMMV

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on January 01, 2012
at 01:20 PM

I would replace them with root vegetables and some greens like cilantro, parsley etc. Eggs are fine at 2-3 a day imo.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 31, 2011
at 03:53 PM

And I try and eat as many fruits/tubers as I can fit in. My goal is weight loss, hence the lower calories.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 31, 2011
at 03:52 PM

I'm pretty immune to allergens/impurities. Never noticed any effects. Although I think the anti-thyroid is, in general, exaggerated, in my case it is actually worth considering (since I eat a ton of veggies). What other veggies would you replace it with? And you'd decrease eggs below 2 per day? I plan on drinking as much milk as possible :). My ham is very lean (98%), but I will consider switching it for another lean meat that tastes good with eggs.

2
1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

on December 31, 2011
at 06:44 PM

And you can add

1 whole Partridge served with sliced pears. = 50grams protein/serving.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 31, 2011
at 08:12 PM

I need to look around for partridges. And 2 turtle doves.

1
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on December 31, 2011
at 02:19 PM

Red meat is hard to fit in unless lean? 1/8" trim round steak, 6 ounces is 380 calories and 52 grams of protein. That puts you under calories and over protein for an average meal right there.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 31, 2011
at 03:56 PM

Thanks, that's a good idea, but last I checked round steak is one of the leanest cuts :). Still, that will fit in nicely. How would you cook it though?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on December 31, 2011
at 07:37 PM

Fine, how about a fatty ribeye? 11 calories per gram protein. 550 calories for 50 grams of protein, still very "affordable" in a caloric budget. As for preparation, however you like it.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on January 01, 2012
at 10:04 PM

Point taken, even fattier cuts fit I just can't be as liberal with the rest of the ingredients. I think I'm just gonna go for the cheapest cuts of red meat I can find (since grassfed is already expensive), which tend to be lean. And as for preparation, I just don't cook red meat often so I don't have a way I like it. Stews for the win I guess.

1
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on December 31, 2011
at 04:28 AM

Hard Boiled eggs are great. Also pre-cooking meat and freezing it. Then bring it frozen for lunch.

Make sure to use whey protein powder and not soy.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on December 31, 2011
at 05:17 AM

I think I would up the eggs in the fritas to 8-9.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on December 31, 2011
at 06:52 PM

"Blocks of ballistic gelatin simulate muscle tissue as a standardized medium for testing firearms ammunition." <--from wiki

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 31, 2011
at 05:07 AM

@Eric, yeah, I'm hoping to get 2-3 whole eggs per day in the form of that frittata, and hard boiled eggs as needed. They fit macros great, complement things like canned salmon (also cheap), and are really nutritious.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on December 31, 2011
at 04:37 AM

What No gelatin???

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 31, 2011
at 05:27 AM

Yeah, I'd like that, but it means less room for butter, onions, etc. I do it on occasion, it really depends on how many eggs I have in stock.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on December 31, 2011
at 07:34 PM

@Futureboy, what's essential in gelatin that's missing from muscle meats? (Which all contain collagen aka gelatin, in connective tissues.) Heck, if you're supplementing with gelatin, it's a pretty sterile looking white powder. Not something packed with nutrition by any stretch of the imgination.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 31, 2011
at 07:01 PM

Why is gelatin essential? And I want to include organ meat, I just don't know how. I'll probably start by throwing beef/chicken heart/liver into a stew/curry, I imagine they are the most benign.

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on January 01, 2012
at 09:45 AM

Lol at all the gelatin hate recently. Whey is not very nutritious either + it's insulinogenic, so I don't understand why.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 31, 2011
at 08:02 AM

Nothing's wrong with it, it just doesn't contribute to daily goals from a body composition/training stand point. The quality is low.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on December 31, 2011
at 07:40 AM

what's wrong with gelatin?

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 31, 2011
at 04:44 AM

haha, no gelatin :)

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on December 31, 2011
at 02:20 PM

@Eric, just add some real meat to your frittata (does that now make it an omelet?) to get some more significant nutrition in.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on December 31, 2011
at 03:40 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gelatin#Medical_and_nutritional_properties Doesn't have a lot of essential amino acids, and high in non-essential amino acids.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on December 31, 2011
at 05:27 PM

I'd argue that geltin is definitely essential if you're eating mostly muscle meats. You also seem to have left out organ meats.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 31, 2011
at 04:31 AM

Planning on using casein or milk (80% casein 20% whey).

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on December 31, 2011
at 02:58 PM

The quality is low?

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on December 31, 2011
at 02:53 PM

At least gelatin is real food.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on January 01, 2012
at 10:01 PM

What would you consider a more nutritious protein than whey? And I don't see why insulin matters here...

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on February 09, 2012
at 10:10 AM

I like Ray Peat's take on gelatin, saying it's a good way to get protein while limiting tryptophan : http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/gelatin.shtml Have any of you actually tried gelatin long-term before dissing it? We're not all mindless muscle-heads on this website, you know...

0
1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

on December 31, 2011
at 04:35 AM

1/4 lb 96/4 Ground beef cooked in frying pan with onions / mushrooms / peppers = 50 grams protein/4.5 grams fat

Whole chicken in crockpot with carrots / potato / celery / whatever else you like should work out to 50 grams of protein/serving and what about 4 servings?

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 31, 2011
at 05:10 AM

Bill, you are a gentleman and a scholar.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on December 31, 2011
at 07:44 PM

Apparently, someone doesn't like lean beef.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on December 31, 2011
at 04:46 AM

Ive done it a few ways, they all worked out well, chicken stock or not, different veggies, different settings on the pot, just let it cook for 8-10 hrs, it comes out awesome. Then, after you pick the thing clean, smash up the bones, add more veggies and water and let her rip for another 10-12 hrs and make your own broth/bone stock.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 31, 2011
at 04:42 AM

Yeah I was thinking about a whole roast chicken... I think without the skin it would fit my macros pretty well, and very cheap. Just throw it in some store chicken stock and 2 buck chuck and set it on low? Do I even need to add chicken stock if I'm roasting the bones as well?

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on December 31, 2011
at 05:01 AM

Wally World had them on clearance, and good ones for like $15.00 lol

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 31, 2011
at 04:50 AM

Okay, gonna go trade in some of my christmas presents for a crockpot. It's time to invest in one.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on December 31, 2011
at 05:04 AM

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Hamilton-Beach-33176HB/14320893?findingMethod=rr Thats a large one. Perfect.

C00e493393828df34be65ddc25456c7c

(610)

on December 31, 2011
at 05:46 AM

http://www.hippressurecooking.com/search/label/paleo

C00e493393828df34be65ddc25456c7c

(610)

on December 31, 2011
at 05:45 AM

Apparently, a pressure cooker is a good investment too: http://www.hippressurecooking.com/

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 31, 2011
at 07:46 PM

Haters gonna hate.

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