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How Creating A Go -To Reliable Meal List Will Better Your Nutrition

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

As a personal trainer and nutrition coach, finding easy ways to help set clients up for success is a big part of what I do.

One of the best ways to set yourself up for success is to have a game plan.

Without a plan, you may have no idea what nutritional decisions to make, leaving you staring down a windy road to nowhere or reverting back to your old and possibly unhealthy habits.

Before any clients and I talk about calories, macronutrients, and pre and post workout nutrition, I want to know how they set them selves up for success.

What do they do behind the scenes so that they can stay on track.

Often times I hear that they don't have a plan, and they just make decisions in the moment.

You may have experienced this too.

You are doing really good Monday through Wednesday, but then something comes up and you are left trying to figure out to have for lunch or dinner.

Don't get me wrong, I understand how that happens.

After a long day of work you may not know how to answer the questions, what should I have to eat.

You brain may be fried from a tough day at work and you don't want to make any more decisions the rest of the night.

Or maybe you are like many other busy professionals that are going back into the offices more and more and your new morning routine is a little more rushed so you can your train into Manhattan for that 8:30 am meeting.

Well, there is a way you can beat those situations. Having a plan.

Making even the smallest plan today, can set you up for a successful tomorrow.

If you are struggling with making better nutrition related decision when you don't feel like it, I encourage to take 5 minutes, write some of your favorite meals that you feel confident you could make at any point throughout the week.

This will become you go-to back up plan meal list.

I am going to share with you my go to food list. These are meals that I can always enjoy and make no matter how busy I am.

There are a few rules I believe you should follow when putting your list together.

  1. Each meal should be centered around whole foods

  2. Each meal should have a balanced nutrition profile (protein, veggies, carbs, and fats)

  3. You can adjust based on preferences and goals!

  4. You must ENJOY eating these meals! Having healthy meals you love to eat will guarantee great success with this!

Use my list below as a guide to help you create yours!

Breakfast options

Breakfast for me is typically eaten at the gym after my morning sessions.

That being said, if my day starts at 6 am, I really don't want to be waking up at 4:30 am just to make eggs for breakfast.

So, I find other options that I enjoy and ones that I can conveniently eat at work. Here are two of my favorites for breakfast.

Overnight oats

Overnight oats with strawberries, peanut butter, and a little bit of honey.

You can add other nutrient dense foods like chia seeds to help increase the nutrition that your overnight oats can bring.

Yogurt Parfaits

Another breakfast staple that I use at least twice per week is yogurt.

My go to recipe here is some non-dairy yogurt (you can use Greek yogurt if you prefer it), granola, berries, and a little honey again. Sometimes I put peanut butter in there but some people have said that's weird.

What I love about these options is that they can be made the night before, for easy access on the go.

When people think of breakfast, most people thing eggs and bacon, warm oatmeal, or even just cereal.

Most of those items require you to sit down make them and eat them at a table, but that's tough to do if you are get up and go type of person.

Prep these the night before so they are all ready to go, and then be on your merry way knowing that you have breakfast taken care of.


In my professional opinion, lunch tends to be the hardest meal to navigate.

Much of it has to do with our environment we are in during the lunch time hours.

We might be at work, running errands, shuttling the kids around town, or maybe working from home but our mind is elsewhere stressing about the 3 pm meeting.

If there is any meal I think people should have a game plan lunch would be my number one.

Planning and preparing for lunch doesn't have to be rocket science.

Pick a protein, veggies, and that's enough to get the ball rolling!

My two fall back lunch options are salads and rice bowls.


Google salad recipes and you'll see some pretty complex options.

When it comes to nutrition for the week, the simpler the better.

When the recipes are simple, there is more likelihood that you will make it, party because you won't feel overwhelmed starting at a recipe that wants you to grow your own organic garden in the backboard.

My salad of choice is pretty boring, I wont lie.

If you have more culinary skills and can add some spices and flavor go for it!

If you want to check out my steps to make a salad check this Instagram post of mine from a little while ago. Click her for the Stiroh Fitness and Nutrition Salad

Rice bowl

Another classic is a good ole rice bowl.

What I like about these is that they can be found at a lot of places your co-workers may want to go out to eat.

And for the most part, restaurants are pretty cool with how you want to customize it so you can easily stay on track with your preferences.

Weather you make it your own, or order them, rice bowls are a super simple dish that can be very satiating.

When building your rice bowls, remember the following.

  1. Start with your protein

  2. Add your veggies

  3. Portion the amount of carbs based on goals and activity levels

  4. Add any fats you would like (avocado is a great option here!

  5. Enjoy!


Having a plan for dinner can be a game changer.

Remember this doesn't have to be what you eat for ever.

The whole premise is to be your plan B and list that you can resort to you if you don't know what to make for meals.

The last two meal options I want to present are below.

Dinner option #1


Salmon (or any other protein)

Green beans

Olive oil to cook with

Dinner option #2

Steak (or any other protein)

Brussels sprouts and carrots


Butter to cook with

There you have it!

Some fall back recipes and ideas you can keep handy when you feel stuck and don't know what to make.

There is nothing special about these meals.

The biggest benefit comes in having a list of your go to meals ready to refer back to.

This way you can cut out the hassle of trying to decide what to have, which can be mentally draining at times.

My actions steps for you is to create a list of 1-2 meal options for breakfast lunch, and dinner so that you can stay consistent with your nutrition goals.

If you want more personalized help to come up with your go to food list, hit the link below and let's strategize a nutiriton plan for you!

All the best,

Tim Stiroh

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