Your MONEY Meals

As you may have noticed, the new tagline I’ve chosen for my blog redesign is “Strength and Conditioning Science. Simplified.”

It’s because I feel that over the years, that’s what I’ve evolved to.

Simplification. Making things easy for you.

Like Master Bruce said, “It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity.”

In my last article I shared a simple training concept that will boost your confidence, skyrocket your training results and invigorate you after your workouts… but only when used in small doses.

You don’t even need a special program – it can be applied to your current program right now. [BTW – if you haven’t applied it and left your Comment, what’s holding you back? Make sure you take action then leave your Comment on “The MONEY Set” article ASAP]

Today, I want to share a similar concept, but with respect to what you eat.

Simple, applicable, with tremendous benefits.

Most guys I know are a lot like me – they ate a lot of junk food growing up and didn’t have to learn how to cook until they “left the nest”.

Very few grew up with what we now know as “healthy”.

Now, I definitely enjoy making fancy things like pate, roasted chicken with stuffing, and ginger mashed sweet potatoes.

Homemade burger, tabouleh, and sweet potato chips… YUM

The thing is, a lot of the same guys I see still lack skills in the kitchen and could never dream of anything fancy like this.

It’s not because of inability.

Everyone has the ability to cook.

It’s all a mental block.

I often hear things like, “I just don’t know how to cook” or “I’m not very creative in the kitchen”.

Here’s the thing:

1) You know stuff now. Maybe some MMA skills. Or how to write your own name. That means you’re capable of learning, which means that you can learn how to cook.

2) Cooking doesn’t require creativity. It requires the ability to follow a recipe, with most having simple, step-by-step instructions.

I’m going to leave you some simple step-by-step instructions at the end that you can follow to prove to yourself you can do both #1 and #2. [Failure to follow these instructions should worry you]

When it comes to nutrition, to get 80-90% of “optimal”, some very BASIC things will work for you:

  • Eat a fruit/vegetable that came straight from the ground with every meal
  • Eat a natural protein source that was hacked off an animal with every meal
  • Avoid refined carbs (sugar, white flour, white potatoes, white pasta)
  • Don’t overeat (if you have to unbutton your pants or your stomach hurts, you over ate)
  • Don’t starve yourself
  • Drink only water and lots of it

I just gave you the keys to nutrition success.

There goes my shot at a NY Times bestseller!

So now that you’ve got the basics, one of the ways to make it work is to have your MONEY meals.

What is a MONEY meal?

Example of a good resource to find your “MONEY” meals

A MONEY Meal is a go to meal that:

  • You can whip up quickly
  • You always have the ingredients available in your fridge
  • It either gets you closer to your goals or keeps you where you are - it never sends you backwards
  • Possibly the most important: you enjoy eating it

It’s like GSP with his takedowns. No matter what’s happening, he knows he can pull it off.

GSP’s “Money” Move

So if you’re short on time, short on energy, or simply have no brainpower left after a hard day’s work, you can pull off a MONEY meal.

They can change over time, or you can have the same ones for the rest of your life. Doesn’t matter.

Most of mine have been the same for years.

This is a big reason why I’ve been able to maintain 7-8% body fat for years.

As long as you have MONEY meals in your arsenal, you’re 80-90% of the way to optimal nutrition.

I want to know what your MONEY meals are, and here are a few of mine:

Eric's MONEY Meals

BREAKFAST

1) Oatmeal + Natural Peanut Butter + Fruit (berries, banana, apple, pear, even raisins) + Cinnamon

2) 2 Sunny side up Eggs fried in Olive oil + Black Beans + Vegetable (sliced tomato, cucumbers, peppers)

LUNCH/DINNER

1) Broiled beef/chicken/fish/pork seasoned with black pepper, sea salt and garlic powder + Vegetables or Salad + rice/rice pasta (dinner only)

SNACKS

1) Handful of Nuts + Fruit

2) Cottage cheese or Yogurt + Natural Peanut Butter + 1 tsp Crofter's jam (all-natural, no refined sugar)

Uhm, yeah, that’s pretty much it.

Not too glamorous.

But keeps my abs visible. And gives me loads of energy. And a ton of other good stuff.

Can you do it?

Of course you can.

The real question is, WILL you do it?

You can take the first step right now:

  1. Hit Like below (good karma)
  2. Think about what your “MONEY meals” are
  3. Share your “MONEY meals” in a Comment below

Also, if you have any questions or general Comments, leave ’em below:

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henry
henry

hey thanks for the article it helps a lot, but tomato is a fruit not a vegetable

Phill
Phill

How’s it going Eric
My favorite money meal snack is hummus with roasted pine nuts
in a raw slice of green pepper. It does the job, tastes great,
and very healthy.

kiteartist
kiteartist

HI Eric,
My two favorite money meal breakfasts are:
oatmeal with chopped dates and walnuts
and
fried fresh spinach and chopped garlic in olive oil, blotted on a paper towel while I scramble two eggs to eat with the spinach and garlic mixture.

Quick, nutritious and yummy.

jonathan
jonathan

brilliant simple advice as allways, even i can understand it! also your new blog look is brilliant!

Eric

Hehe – thanks for the comment Jonathan!

Matt
Matt

rice/rice pasta (dinner only)??? Shouldn’t carbs be in the morning or following training, if training to stay lean ie. below 10% BF. Isn’t carbs at 6pm+ going to become fat storage? Unless training has happened an hour before?

Eric

Matt, I tend to workout in the evenings and/or late afternoons, which is why my dinners have carbs…

I also often train twice a day (skill + strength, cardio + strength, skill + cardio) so then I’ll up my carb intake appropriately.

Also, because I’m already lean AND Chinese, I can handle carbs better than the average white guy.

For people looking to drop fat, my carb intake recommendations would be lower than what I eat myself.

Nelson
Nelson

Breakfast; oatmeal w/ scoop of whey powder, blueberries and apple juice

Lunch/Dinner: chicken breast, salmon, or flank steak /w steamed spinich or steamed and piece of fruit.

Snack: almonds, fruit, gallon of water ( drink water all day. NO LIQUID Kcals)

Dwight
Dwight

Hi!
I took one of your breakfast recipes and modified it a little. Instead of oatmeal I use farina but I also stir in a table spoon of whole ground flax seed (keeps me regular):) I add a teaspoon of honey, a tablespoon of peanut butter, cinammon, and 1 scoop of 100% whey protein powder (strawberry flavor) and it yeilds about 40 grams of protein! I usually fix this immediately after my morning workout for better absorption into my system. Oh, and it tastes pretty good too!

Kris Armstrong

I FOUND AN AWESOME MONEY MEAL SOLUTION! I found my Money Meal solution in March 2011 when my wife and I stumbled upon Smart Minute Meals. They provided me with an awesome solution to my nutrition struggles. I now receive all natural, Gluten free, pre-cooked great tasting, hormone free, grass feed meats and wholesome fresh vegetables at my door step a few times each month. Foods like truly All Natural Chicken Breast & Thai Basil Tilapia, Wild Caught Applewood Salmon, Organic Quinoa & Organic Brown Rice, Egg Whites, etc.. A bunch of good quality foods. What I like most is that the food is reasonably priced (as low as $13 per day), pre-cooked (so it only takes a few minutes to warm it up) and it stores in freezer for up to 6 months. It also taste great b/c its real food not diet food. They have this awesome product… Read more »

Leinz
Leinz

My diet includes much salads like:
250g paprika, 100g tomato, a bit garlic, 1/2 onion, 2Tsp balsamic vinegar, 2Tsp olive oil and
a bit of hot mustard.
Over the time you get fast in cutting veggies. And there are so many different recipes with
feta, parmesan, fruit, chicken, shrimp and all kinda stuff . . .

Colleen
Colleen

Pesto instead of Mayo, Hummus for dipping, Salsa on veggies, roasted & charred red peppers for eggs and sandwiches. Yumm….

It’s the little things!

Colleen

Eric

Definitely like the pesto substitution idea!

Travis Cavalli

Breakfast: I love me a 3 egg white 1 yolk, bell pepper, onion, mushroom omellete, 1/2 a cucumber diced with balsamic vinegar, and a 1/2 an avacodo.

Lunch: My favorite is a helath “loco moco”, ground turkey stir fy, with 2 fried eggs over the top. Larger serving of spinach.

Dinner: BBQ’d Chicken, with veggies, and a baked yam or sweet potatoe.

Snacks: Bannana, Almonds, Venison Jerkey.

The Hobbit
The Hobbit

my go to money meal: 1 slice of organic whole wheat bread 1 serving of all natural roasted red pepper humus on bread 1 handful of organic spinach 1 all natural chicken breast and 3 slices of all natural ham/turkey lunch meat i’ve been eating that for my lunch meal nearly everyday coming up on 6 months now. doesn’t bother me a bit either. i’ve always been good with my diet, but i tend to go crazy when i have a cheat meal (like eating whole pizzas or 3-4 trips to the buffet line). but i’ve kept sticking to the plan and now i don’t really crave bad foods anymore. usually if i want some kind sweet snack or something, i’ll go for a spoonful of peanut butter as opposed to going to cold stone or something. and my cheat meals have gotten farther and farther in between. i used… Read more »

Tuan
Tuan

Great advice, thanks

Avi
Avi

another vegan here…

I usually drink 2 glasses of water after getting up, been doing it for a few years now, does wonders for a healthy metabolism.

Breakfast: whole wheat bread with a nut spread I make on the fly with a handful of nuts (I rotate the variety) in a coffee grinder with some flax seeds, then add cinnamon, olive oil and tahini, and pure maple syrup.
Another option is oatmeal with fruits, or a green-smoothie with lots of green leaves and fruits in the summer.

Lunch/Dinner: Lately it’s been Quinoa/Brown Rice with veggies and soy/seitan, or lentils/beans.

And various nut shakes / home-made fruit snacks during the day.

On a side note, I got a copy of “The Art of Expressing the Human Body” which details Bruce Lee’s nutrition and workouts… seems he ate quite a lot almost daily (and he also ran a few miles every day).

Eric

2 vegans commenting on 1 post?!?

Is Mac Danzig hiding in the corner too??

WJB
WJB

Nope … he’s in my pocket. Shhhhhh …

WJB
WJB

“Eat a natural protein source that was hacked off an animal with every meal” … Are ya kidding me? I agree with Stephen regarding cow’s milk, or any dairy. I don’t eat meat either. I train with a lot of vegetarian and even some vegan fighters and other athletes. You don’t need to hack anything off of an animal. I train much better, I’m much stronger, and I stay healthier eating vegan. Being an athlete doesn’t mean you can’t have an environmental consciousness and worry about things like abuse in the animal industry or over fishing. No soap box, just saying. I hear all the time that not having whey protein or meat or whatever will effect my training. Not so far. My favorite money meal: Whole wheat bread, natural peanut butter, all fruit spread (not actually jelly). Excellent pre-sparring for me. Or post sparring for that matter. Always a… Read more »

RCC
RCC

kudos for sticking by something you believe, but at the end of the day homo sapiens = omnivores

WJB
WJB

Well, I respectfully disagree, but thank you. I don’t lecture people what they eat or try to make them into vegetarians or vegans. The hacking parts off of an animal (while I know meant in jest), got me riled up I guess. At one time we needed to eat meat, but now, we have so many other perfect sources of protein and we don’t.

Eric

Do we “need” to eat meat?

I guess it is arguable, but in history there has never been a fully vegan culture, so this is a new experiment that’s going on.

We’ll see when vegans get old as a population what happens.

Now, I may not “need” to eat meat, but oh how delicious it is and how great I feel after.

Plus, given the opportunity, I don’t think a lion or alligator would have any problem eating us, especially if they knew how to BBQ properly.

There is very little that humans need to survive, but it’s the rest of the stuff that makes life interesting.

WJB
WJB

People get so defensive on the meat issue. It’s an ethical and a spiritual choice for me also. I think it’s funny that the comparison continues to be made to what animals do vs. what humans do. They don’t know better. We do. BUT, I’m not saying anyone needs to make the same choices I make. I just think in training, there is this perception that people have to eat animal protein to be big, strong, ripped, perform better … whatever. It’s just not the case. When we know better, we should do better, and I think that (for me) includes being kind to the planet and animals. I am a vegan athlete, and there are lots of us. As far as the aging vegan population, there are a lot of cultures that do only eat plant based diets. It’s not just about no animal products, it’s about substituting that… Read more »

Eric

I’m just curious – what cultures (in history, not now) eat purely plant based diets? I’ve never been able to find one. I’d like to research them.

I personally believe that animal protein is superior to plant protein and any combination thereof, which is why I referenced an animal, not just protein.

In terms of kind to the planet, if you’re eating any GMO/non-organic veggies, then that’s not necessarily kind to the planet, especially factory farms which destroy the soil and virtually turn it into dust. Although yes, veganism is “kinder” to animals, although I don’t think by eating them I’m being unkind.

But if everyone went vegan, what would happen to all the cows and chickens?

Avi
Avi

Eric, I’ll follow up on your questions, only since you’ve asked… 🙂 Some brief notes: 1. Most animals, when they eat another animal in the wild, after hunting it down, they eat their prey RAW – – – Killed on the spot, and then eaten – fresh, full of nutrients and obviously without cooking. —Even the birds that wait for their turn after the hunter (the animal that made the kill) finishes its meal, eat what’s left while it is Fresh, human beings, all through time, have not eat raw meat (with a few exceptions e.g. the Inuit who have grown accustomed to it over centuries). 2. Nowadays when folks eat meat, it has been boiled/steamed/cooked/burned/fried – – – it has hardly any nutrients. It might well be tasty, but taste alone does not allow for good health. (though personally I think no one should eat something that is not… Read more »

Stephen

Hey Eric, I have read your blog for a very long time and never posted so here we go! this is workout day wake up: glass of water ( feels like nails going down) whey protein shake breakfast ( 1 hour later) 4 bacon 3 eggs on top of grated sweet potato (dry with paper towel first) or just sweet potato dollars. Drink water constantly – also most of the time sippin on a protein shake. Lunch 3-4 hours later whatever meat is on sale that day with a pile of vegetables and a starch. workout same meal as lunch ( cooked at the same time as the first lunch.to save time) with a glutamene shake 1 hour later eat a fruit bowl with granola and yogurt. dinner: meat and vegetables after – hard boiled eggs, pickled eggs, vegetables and dip, cottage cheese (rarely), Thoughts on milk. – no animal… Read more »

Roland
Roland

Thoughts on milk – no animal wears clothes either, so why do you? Sorry but I’ve never liked this kind of arguing.
Milk is hard to digest, but it is an excellent protein source. Although I rarely drink raw milk, I make yogurt out of it: boil the raw milk, then when it’s cooled to 45 °C (112 °F) put in an unflavored yogurt you can buy in a store, with living bacteria culture, and in a few hours all the milk is turned into yogurt. Perfect midnight snack, easy to digest, and 90-100% natural, depending on the yogurt you buy.

Alex
Alex

Hmm.. good point.. i just might try to start only chewing grass.. maybe that is the miracle diet.. just like the cows do..
Some peole are intolerant to milk from a certain age, others arent, and as long as it is raw milk, i dont see why they shouldnt consume it, we are omnivours.
And i see yogurt on your diet.. no animal eats yogurt.. why do you ? animals also dont consume whey shakes…
If corn, like you say, cannot be digested, how can it turn you into a fat slob ?
Your inteligence amazes me..

Stephen

Hi Alex, Wow I have always seen messages from people like you, I never thought I would actual get to speak with one. I wanted to contribute a few ideas to the blog to let people know my daily diet. I was not implying drinking milk is wrong in anyway, just wanted some feedback on your thoughts. Randy Couture made a comment on how he does not eat dairy which I also heard Arnold Schwarzenegger say the same thing, so I did some research and found more negatives then positives. I eat yogurt that is very high in guy flora to aid in digestion – again I looked as the positives to negatives. You also made a great point of cows eating grass – this is what cows eat. But there feed now contains the base ingredient of corn. This is so they can gain more weight which in return… Read more »

Alex
Alex

Hi Stephen, I was not trying to get to you personally, i dont even know you.. I was just trying to refuse a quoted sentence, wich has been used for too long over the net and has no logic in it, and i dont seem to be the only one.. we are omnivoures and cannot relate our diet with an animal that has a completelly different digestive tract than ours. You were basing your food choices on a cows example, sorry but doesnt seem smart to me.. Most studies you see on milk are focused on pasteurized and not raw milk, that’s why the results are so bad.. Anyway if you are milk intolerant, wich most of the people who write bad things about it are, i think you shouldn’t also consume yogurt or even whey because it can cause you problems like bloating for example.. you can get protein… Read more »

Eric
Eric

Hey Stephan – welcome and thx for the comment. I personally think raw milk is amazing, pasteurized not so much.

Side Info: milk has a high INSULIN INDEX which means it spikes your insulin a lot. Spiked insulin can result in fat storage, so if fat loss is a goal, I generally remove milk and cheese while experimenting with yogurt.

As for the animal thing, some animals eat their babies and lick their poo (my dog does this on occasion). So they are not necessarily the best role models. 🙂

Michael H
Michael H

Hey Eric, Thanks for this! Now that I think of it… I don’t have enough money meals! I do have a few though. Breakfast: scrambled eggs w/ cheese withHomemade wheat toast (topped with hot sauce! Yum!). Oatmeal with fruits, cinnamon, peanut butter, honey and sometimes with a milk base instead of water. Lunch: sandwich with lettuce, ham or other meat, cheese, and tomato, peppers or something like that if I have it. Dinner: we almost always have something healthy cooking ranging from homemade wheat pizza w/ veggies and meat to home grown beans, home grown corn, grilled chicken, and mashed potatoes. Snacks: pb&j (lol), some raw veggies (I don’t eat enough raw veggies. Which ones are best and cheapest–not the richest person in the world), fruit, nuts, milk and raw eggs mixed together (very good!), and maybe a little bit more? As you can see, I need to come up… Read more »

Chris
Chris

My opinion wont matter but having said that I think skim milk is good and I don’t believe there is any real negative impact. Corn is not digested well because of evolution but we do actually digest corn. The yellow part you see is similar to when you eat popcorn how the husks are left in your teeth the yellow part of corn is left in your stool. The insides of the corn are laden with starch and as a carb will turn to sugar and yes not so good for your body. The good news is you do actually digest the inside part of corn its the yellow outer shell of the corn you see in your shiat