Life can get pretty hectic, especially when you have three school-aged children running around, but that’s why it’s so important to eat well-balanced meals to keep your body working in tip-top shape and your immunity system in a really good place. We all have our own personal goals that go on top of our regular dietary requirements. I am trying to put on a little more muscle mass so I’ve purposely put in more protein and carbs into my week’s menu than I might normally eat. I like to call this intuitive eating. Try to think about what your goals are and choose your meals accordingly.
But how you eat is almost as important as what you eat. 'Food combining' is kind of like figuring out which order you should be eating your foods in, and why. You basically eat food that digest fastest in our stomachs first before moving on to progressively heavier food. Fruits, for instance, are typically served at the end of meals, almost like a dessert, but they should be eaten on their own or at the start of a meal because they digest really quickly. This may seem like a totally unnecessary complication to meals, but if you’re battling indigestion or feel bloated after every meal, food combining may be an interesting concept to look into. It could help your everyday problems without making huge lifestyle changes. And that’s also what our weekly menus should be like; small, sustainable choices that form lifelong habits, and not crazy crash diets that just don’t work.
I want to show you some of the foods I eat in a week to boost my immunity specifically. You can see some of the sustainable choices I’ve made, like starting each morning with a glass of warm water with lemon juice, and building every meal around fiber, protein, and a carb. In general, I’m a self-proclaimed “boring eater”, and I stick to what I know, but I hope this gives you some ideas for what to eat when you’re on the run, when you’re trying to build muscles, or you just want to cook a nice, all-encompassing meal for your friends and family.
Monday / Day 1
I start every morning with a big glass of warm water with the juice from half a lemon. This is a great way to cleanse and detoxify your body at the start of the day with an added benefit of vitamin C to keep your immunity up. I try to do this about 30-60 minutes before eating my actual breakfast.
- A banana and coffee (with collagen powder, oat milk, and cinnamon to stabilize blood sugar).
Breakfast # 2
I didn’t want to eat a lot before my morning workout so I split my breakfast in half
- Maca smoothie (maca powder, almond milk, collagen powder, almond butter, banana, and ice).
*Maca is a root vegetable known as “Peruvian ginseng” that’s great for boosting health and balancing hormones
- Chopped salad with sear-fried edamame and sushi I had left over from dinner the night before.
- Russian sauerkraut (for digestion), potatoes, fresh fish, and a sauce of olive oil, garlic, cilantro, and lemon.
Tuesday / Day 2
- Glass of warm water with lemon;
- Papaya first (food combining), whole wheat toast with fried eggs and avocado.
- Chopped salad with chicken, sliced avocado, and left-over edamame.
*I like to split my plate in half. One green side with vegetables and fiber, and the other half with protein and carbs.
- Salad, buckwheat, and chicken with hot sauce.
Wednesday / Day 3
- Americano coffee with almond milk followed by a bit of break before I eat the main part of my breakfast;
- A vanilla protein shake (with collagen powder) with almond milk, almond butter and ice;
- Fried eggs and toast with cream cheese.
- Oven baked fish (I usually choose a type of whitefish), couscous, and an “empty the veggie drawer” salad (onion, tomato, radish) with avocado
(at a restaurant)
- Appetizers: carpaccios (Octopus and Snapper) and pumpkin soup;
- Main: Pasta with a seafood spread (calamari, shrimp, and grilled veggies).
Thursday / Day 4
- Green Tea;
- Homemade banana/walnut muffins with almond butter spread on two halves;
- A side of raspberries;
This was all I had time to eat before rushing out to bring the kids to school so when I got back home I had:
- Toast with cottage cheese spread and mashed avocado;
- A hard-boiled egg;
This is a great, quick meal that will leave you feeling full for a long time.
- Chopped salad (lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado, olives, and tuna);
- Dressing: olive oil and apple cider vinegar;
- I added some brown rice crackers for fiber (and crunch)
- Homemade kebabs;
- Chopped tomatoes;
- Sauerkraut (which helps for digestion, especially with meat. I don’t eat red meat very often so I may need the help).
Friday / Day 5
- Black coffee;
- A vanilla protein shake with almond butter and almond milk.
*This is a typical breakfast I would have before morning workouts. I try to consume enough to get me through the workout but not so much that I’ll want to throw up at the gym.
- Whole wheat tortilla breakfast wrap I saw on TikTok: eggs, cottage cheese, avocado, marble cheese (fiber, protein, and healthy fats all in a nice little package).
- Chopped salad (lettuce, feta cheese, tomatoes, and olives topped with a can of beans for protein).
- Chicken and veggie stir-fry with rice noodles;
- Grilled chicken (what didn’t go in the stir-fry);
- Challah for Shabbat.
Saturday / Day 6
- Coffee (with collagen, almond milk and almond creamer);
- A bowl of kefir with granola, blueberries, chia seeds, and flax seeds.
*Kefir is a fermented, high protein dairy product that is a great source of probiotics. It’s also much easier to digest than yogurt for those who have intolerances to lactose.
- Homemade chicken schnitzel;
- A chopped salad (lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, and hot sauce).
- Stuffed pasta (spinach, cauliflower, and ricotta cheese);
- Chickpea salad (chickpeas, tomatoes, onion, and cucumber).
Sunday / Day 7
- Americano (coffee);
- Whole wheat toast with almond butter, banana, and chia seed sprinkled on top.
- Prepackaged veggie patties (cauliflower, broccoli, potato, corn starch, sunflower seeds, egg white, pea flour, salt and pepper) and a chopped salad.
*I try to eat whole, unprocessed foods whenever I can, but when I am in a time crunch and need to eat pre-packaged foods I look for something with very few (easy to pronounce) ingredients and this one from Trader Joe’s fit the bill.
- Buckwheat salad (buckwheat, with sauteed mushrooms and onions);
- Cutlete (chicken cutlets) and sauerkraut.
Late Night Snacks
Dark Chocolate Banana Bites
Slice a banana (source of melatonin), freeze the slices, then dip them in a melted mixture of 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips and 2 tbsp of coconut oil. Pop them back in the freezer for a grab-and-go snack.
Vanilla Greek Yogurt Bark with Blueberries
1 cup of blueberries, mix in a quart of vanilla greek yogurt (source of tryptophan- another sleep hormone). Scoop out little clumps onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper then put the baking sheet in the freezer.
Wash a bushel of kale and make sure to dry it completely. Cut out the stems before tearing the leaves into small chip sizes. Place your chips into a bowl and toss them with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Line the chips on a baking sheet with parchment paper and top with Himalayan Sea Salt. Baked at 400 degrees for about 8-12 minutes (err on the shorter end).