WSU 2016 Week 1 Meal Plan

Welcome to week 1 of the 2016 Winter Shape Up, which begins on Monday, January 25, 2016!

(Looking for the home base Winter Shape Up page? Click here – it has answers to any questions you might have about the challenge and links to all the weekly content!)

As you know, my friend Gina and I have partnered up to bring you this fun healthy living 4 week challenge to inspire you to kick off the year on the right foot in terms of fitness and nutrition. Gina is a personal trainer, so on her site, you’ll find the weekly workouts for the challenge, including videos. Here on mine, I’ll be sharing the weekly nutrition-focused content, which will feature regular, gluten free, and vegan meal plans – as well as quick snack ideas and some make-ahead snack recipes.


We’d love to hear how you guys are doing with this challenge! If you share updates or photos on social media, please include #WinterShapeUp and, if you have space, tag both myself (@fANNEtasticfood – follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!) and Gina (@fitnessista) so we can see! :)

winter shape up social media

Before I get into the plan, please remember that everyone’s nutrition needs are different and will vary based on activity level, age, gender, height/weight, and more. I am a Registered Dietitian, but this meal plan is not meant to be a substitute for personalized nutrition plans or nutrition counseling (like I provide in my AnneTheRD private practice). Above all, use this as a guide, not a concrete plan, and change it as you see fit based on your own hunger levels, preferences, and dietary needs. I’m not including specific quantities/portion sizes because of this – try to eat intuitively and listen to your body. This guide may be too much food for some of you and too little for others. If you’re getting full, save the rest for later. If the meal or snack wasn’t enough, don’t second guess yourself – listen to your body and have something else. If you’re really hungry and try to deny it, it will only lead to overdoing it later or feeling like crap. Honor your hunger, my friends. And same with the other end of the spectrum – stay mindful during your meals, and stop as soon as you start to get full. If you’re distracted, it’s a lot easier to overeat. Your body knows what to do if you just listen to it! Sound good?

A note on drinks: I didn’t include drinks in this guide, but aim to limit sugar-sweetened beverages. If you’re currently having a lot of sugar-sweetened beverages (soda, sweet tea, sweet flavored water, etc.), try to cut back by 1 or 2 drinks per week until it becomes an occasional treat vs. a daily habit. Focus on drinking lots of water (carbonated water with fruit in it is a nice sweet, fizzy alternative to soda – as is kombucha), some unsweetened tea/coffee (if you’re into it), and the occasional wine or beer, if you like.

Regarding dessert, it’s not included in the plan for simplicity’s sake, but indulgence in moderation is certainly part of a healthy relationship with food. The key is to view dessert as an occasional treat vs. letting it become an everyday habit. If you really want something, by all means allow yourself to have it and really savor it. There’s no point in feeling guilty – eating perfectly 100% of the time isn’t realistic or healthy. Just make sure that when you do indulge, it’s worth it. Choose the real thing, not a diet imitation; stay mindful and stop when you are satisfied.


To download the week 1 meal plan, please click here.

If you have any problems downloading the meal plan or see any errors, please let me know! It also includes grocery lists (including vegan and gluten free variations).

For snacks, choose a variety each day based on hunger levels. Some days you might need a snack or even two or three, while other days you might not need one at all. Focus on how you feel. Hunger levels change daily based on activity and a host of other factors, so don’t expect to feel the same every day. For snacks, just like meals, focus on a good mix of carbs, protein, and healthy fat to keep you satisfied.

To download a simple snack ideas PDF, click here. Here are some make-ahead recipes to try out this week too:


Please say a big thank you to our Winter Shape Up sponsors for making it possible to offer this challenge to you guys for free!

Cabot | Sabra | Sizzlefish | Pure Canadian Maple Syrup
Daily Harvest | Gluten Free Chex | Crunch Live

wsu2016 sponsors


This week’s featured sponsor is Cabot Creamery, maker’s of the World’s Best Cheddar and a personal favorite of mine, too! They are a cooperative owned & operated by 1,200+ farm families throughout New York and New England, and 100% of their profits go back to their farmers. Rich in calcium, Cabot’s Cheddars are a tasty (and lactose-free!) way to add a protein-packed punch to your Shape Up snacking routine. I highly recommend the Seriously Sharp variety. :) Their cheese is great with crackers, and is also included in some of the recipes in this week’s meal plan!


To find where Cabot’s Award Winning Cheddar is sold in your area, visit and click on “Store Locator.”

Cabot is happy to provide 5 lucky Winter Shape Up participants gift boxes of their award winning cheddars.

$25 Gift Box Easel

Comment below up to once per day (starting on Monday) with how things are going for you during the challenge/what meals and snacks you’ve been loving and each comment will count as an entry! I’ll randomly select the winners after the week is over (Monday morning) and notify them directly by email. Good luck! And don’t forget to check in over on Gina’s blog with your fitness updates – she’ll be sharing a giveaway from a different sponsor!


  1. 1

    The carrot raisin everything muffins have been a great snack. Plus I had to add some mini-chocolate chips to make them even better!

  2. 2

    I’m so excited! We’re traveling so the meal plans will need to be modified (plus gluten and dairy free), but I’m looking forward to a guide to keep me on track!

  3. 3

    SO EXCITED! I’ve picked out my fave recipes already and super pumped to get healthier.
    Thanks so much.

  4. 4

    I’m ready to go shopping tomorrow and doing some prep for Sunday. Excited too since I love trying different recommended recipes!

  5. 5

    Excited to get cooking! I won’t get out until probably Tuesday to go shopping (so much snow!) so I’m thankful that I already have a lot of the items.

  6. 7

    This is perfect timing for me because I have recently started to dial-in my diet. Looking forward to sharing the next 4 weeks with everyone.

  7. 8

    Excited to get started with winter shape up today!

  8. 9

    Yay for day 1!!! I’m super happy for the return of WSU!!

    I had your tarte cherry oatmeal this morning…, so good!!! Nothing like healthy cherry ‘pie’ in the morning!!

  9. 10

    excited to make the 5 minute no bake bars

  10. 11

    Started the week off on a good note with some prep completed over the weekend. Makes life so much easier!

  11. 12

    Today I tried the tart cherry juice oatmeal for breakfast, and I made the Hatch Chile casserole for lunches this week. Meal prepping, for the win! Tonight it’s the Afghan Chicken, which I’m super excited about.

  12. 13

    Started off WSU with a simple protein and berry smoothie for breakfast and have healthy tuna salad over lettuce packed for lunch!

  13. 14

    I’m going to try the protein pancakes, they sound so good!

  14. 15

    I had a lovely kale and egg scramble this morning topped with some guacamole as well as a smaller portion of your microwave banana oatmeal made with half a banana!!!

  15. 16

    After a very indulgent, family filled weekend, I am excited to take a look through these recipes for some new ideas. So far today: green chocolate smoothie, bakes potato with mushrooms, and coffee. Likely to come: salad. Dinner unknown.

  16. 17

    Thanks again for your work on the WSU! It’s my favorite thing when you and Gina get together and work your magic!

  17. 19

    I’m definitely in a winter food rut-this is perfect timing!

  18. 20
    Amy Ramos says:

    Hubby is still raving about the minestrone soup you posted the other day. While it is not on the meal plan, it still gets all our veggies in. Win win.

  19. 22

    I’m making those cinnamon raisin snack balls with peanuts and cranberries today. I made the creamy chicken hummus chili yesterday! I’m going to try to freeze some = )

  20. 23
    Barbara G says:

    Protein pancakes simply speak to me. Can’t wait to try them. Soooo many tasty-sounding recipes to try.

  21. 24

    Thanks for hosting WSU again! I’m excited to have a workout plan to follow and new meal ideas for the next few weeks. The recipes this week sound delicious! This morning I went for two eggs over medium with sautéed brussels sprouts and I swapped out the toast for some homemade breakfast potatoes. Off to a good start :)

  22. 25

    I definitely want to try those cinnamon raisin almond balls- they look so easy and delicious! I’ve eaten really healthy today and am feeling great!! :)

  23. 26

    I prepped some roasted veggies, pasta and fish yesterday to keep on hand for lunches this week!

  24. 27

    The afghan chicken was so good! I’m about 8 months pregnant so while i can’t necessarily do all of the workouts, the meal plans are great since they give me ideas for healthy meals when i don’t have the energy to think of anything on my own! Thanks anne!

  25. 28

    I am loving tuna salad for lunch! Super easy to prepare!

  26. 29

    The Afghan Braised Chicken was sooo good! Well, I made it vegetarian by using chickpeas and tofu as suggested. This will be on my list of rotating dinners for sure.

  27. 30

    Can’t wait to try as many of these recipes as I can. I’m eyeing raisin muffins for sure. Thanks for setting us all up for success!

  28. 31

    Making your tart cherry oatmeal for a snack for work today (after reading above comments ;)). I have frozen cherries in the freezer so I will use them instead of the juice. Yum!

  29. 32

    Roads are finally clear enough to go to the grocery store today to stock up for Week 1! Can’t wait to try all these great ideas!

  30. 33
    Allison Tack says:

    Overnight oats this morning for a win! Such a time saver in the morning when your breakfast is all ready to go :)

  31. 34

    These meal plans and recipes are so needed on this snowy week! I love love love having a guide, so off to the grocery store I go!

  32. 35

    I had some your perfect banana microwave oatmeal and added a couple egg whites to the mix this morning! Topped with cocoa powder and peanut butter, nom!

  33. 36
    Katie Moran says:

    I have been loving hummus and veggies so far this week! Some hard boiled eggs as well for protein!

  34. 37

    I had some chicken chili and kale salad for lunch. Comfort food!

  35. 38

    Dinner last night: cabbage, latkes, and egg noodles Today so far: green smoothie, overnight oats, coffee and probably a salad for lunch

  36. 39

    Yogurt + berries for breakfast, almond snack, tuna + lettuce for lunch, asparagus + dijon snack for later, and salmon + bok choy planned for dinner tonight!

  37. 40
    Barbara G says:

    Very useful snack list, and I must mention how cute your polar bears are on their bicycles!

  38. 42

    I had an omelette with veggies for breakfast and a tuna salad with toast for lunch today!

  39. 43

    Going well today! Enjoying the eggs, potatoes and veggies for breakfast. Hubby wants pizza for dinner though. Thinking of making this: with a big greek salad on the side.

  40. 44

    I brought my lunch to work today instead of grabbing something out…small victory!

  41. 45

    Today I had some more of the hatch chile casserole for lunch, some cottage cheese for an after workout snack, and salmon and Brussels sprouts for dinner! I just remembered that I had smoked salmon on sprouted bread for breakfast, too… apparently I was feeling very salmony today.

  42. 46

    Was eyeing the muffins and tonight I bought the ingredients for a variety of the recipes. Tomorrow is going to have some great eats!

  43. 47

    For breakfast I had a small smoothie and 3 eggs with tomatoes. Yum!

  44. 48
    Barbara G says:

    I re-read the introductory guidelines again this morning. I understand that desserts are not in the plan but are definitely permitted. Denying myself always boomerangs for me as I strongly seek whatever food items I mentally deny myself.

    Today I’m meeting with a friend, and we will no doubt share a dessert. I will eat it slowly, and I hope to enjoy it guilt-free while savoring both the food and the friendship.

  45. 50

    Indian chickpeas for lunch YUMMY will be added to my lunch rotation meals for sure!

  46. 51
    Jennifer l. says:

    whole wheat English muffin, cottage cheese, & nut butter for breakfast. Good ol’ Turkey sandwich w/ fruit for lunch today, and planning on trying a new recipe tonight—-Chile Colorado Burritos (on low carb tortillas).

    • 52

      I’d recommend regular tortillas — if you’re trying to skimp on carbs it generally comes out later in the form of sugar cravings. Just a thought. :)

  47. 53

    Made the Afghan Chicken last night and it was amazing! Didn’t have any rice on hand so I substituted with quinoa and it was so yummy!

  48. 54

    The chili is delicious! I never thought to add rice, but it really makes a nice bonus.

  49. 55

    Today I had a couple work events so I indulged in Pad Thai for lunch at my favorite restaurant – WORTH IT. But tonight is Afghan Braised Chicken! I’m super excited about it! GIVE ME ALL THE ETHNIC FOOD!

  50. 56

    Timing for this is great! I just got back from a trip on Monday and my husband and I always like to clean up our eating after vacations!

  51. 57

    Still going with potatoes, veggies and eggs for breakfast. I think I could eat that every day! Lunch was a big salad with lettuce, arugula, carrots, celery, red onion, cucumber, edamame and canned tuna topped with a little goat cheese and dressed with balsamic and EVOO. Going out for sushi for dinner :)

  52. 58
    Allison T. says:

    I have your almond butter breakfast bars baking now!

  53. 59

    I enjoyed the Hatch Green Chile Quinoa Casserole leftovers for lunch today with some wilted baby kale topped with a dollop of guac!!

  54. 60

    Made a batch of healthy tuna salad for lunches for the next couple of days.

  55. 61

    I can’t get off the egg train. Eggs for breakfast again!

  56. 62

    I didn’t get a lot of veggies in at lunch, so I’m having a big salad for dinner!

  57. 63

    I LOVED the recipe for the pumpkin overnight oatmeal. This will be a staple for sure!

  58. 64

    Going on vacation tomorrow and prepped some cinnamon raisen balls = )

  59. 65
    Rosie Lucchesini-Jack says:

    Loving the accountability that the WSU group is providing. Thanks for the opportunity to win some good prizes to boot.

  60. 66
    Barbara G says:

    Today I’m truly taking to heart what Anne highlighted above re: honoring my hunger. Today is International Eating Day! In the name of the day, I will savor my food, bite by bite, noting texture , aroma and more.

    In addition, I will set up an inviting space for my meals using a place mat, a beautiful water goblet, perhaps a glowing candle and more.

  61. 70

    Gonna make the best dietary choices possible on this vacation. And meal plan for next week!

  62. 71

    I made the cinnamon raisin almond balls and they have been such a great snack to eat right after my workouts! Plus my toddler loves them too!

  63. 72

    Just made a juice/smoothie with ginger root, spinach, celery, pineapple, and apple. A recipe that I’ve been eyeing for a while since I’ve been trying to get more produce in my diet.

  64. 73

    Another day another protein oatmeal with half a banana and two egg whites.

  65. 74

    Day 4 and still happy with all of my food choices! Loving getting in veggies at every meal lately. Making taco salad bowls using ground turkey tonight for dinner and should have leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

  66. 75

    Packed my lunch again today to avoid eating out!

  67. 76
    Barbara G says:

    Anne, I see you included a nut butter stuffed date on the snack list. I enjoy a pitted Medjool date stuffed with a pecan or pecan half. For me, it’s a very close taste to pecan pie! Love it. If you or any WSU 2016 participants give it a try, let me know how your taste buds react….

  68. 78

    The carrot raisin everything muffins are on my to-do list. I happen to have all the ingredients on hand.

  69. 79

    Peanut butter bars for win on my work two jobs days!! YUM

  70. 80

    I was craving eggs for breakfast this morning so i made an arugula omelet with hot sauce and green grapes on the side!

  71. 81

    made the hatch green chili quinoa bake last night and my husband and I loved it! Cant wait for the leftovers at lunch today!

  72. 82

    I had green chile quinoa for breakfast, but I put an egg on it so it wouldn’t be weird. Kale Caesar salad with nonfat Greek Yogurt Caesar dressing for lunch… hopefully that’ll make up for the tacos I plan on having for dinner. ;)

  73. 83

    Didn’t get any vegetables in at lunch, so I’m having a big salad mash up for dinner!

  74. 84

    Eating my veggies/hummus late afternoon snack!!

  75. 85
    Amy Ramos says:

    I picked up grapefruit this week. I have not had it in a looong time. Looking forward to having it with some raw almonds.

  76. 86

    Making the chili now! Smells so good :)

  77. 87

    My goal is to be more optimistic!

  78. 89

    Had the enchiladas last night, so good !

  79. 90
    Barbara G says:

    Joining the polar bears today in moving my body and eating according to my hunger. Just made a grated “ABC” salad. It’s grated (via the food processor) fresh apples, raw beets and raw carrots. I added a little juice and zest from fresh squeezed oranges, and it’s marinating until I get to enjoy it as a part of my lunch.

  80. 91

    Had a flour-less protein pancake this morning topped with strawberries and peanut butter, nom nom!

  81. 92

    Green smoothie for breakfast. Going to work in a lot of produce today because I was a little light in produce yesterday.

  82. 93

    Enjoyed a breakfast sandwich this morning – added a slice of prosciutto for a treat. Homemade soup for lunch with chicken sausage, beans, tomatoes, and spinach! Going out to dinner tonight after church but feel good about choosing a healthy option :)

  83. 94

    Had a slip-up last night, but back on track with healthy lunch and snacks for my (Sunday) work day today. One of my snacks: plain yogurt with blueberries and sunflower seeds.

  84. 95
    Barbara G says:

    I’ve been choosing to eat more fish and more meatless meals this week, yet I still feel 100% satisfied with my meals. Things are going well.

  85. 96

    Splurged a bit on brunch with friends this morning but followed it up with a 7.5 mile run and making a big salad with lots of chopped veggies, some avocado and grilled chicken for dinner.

  86. 97

    Splurged for Saturday night going out for Restaurant Week, but loved having the WSU to remind me to be mindful even when indulging! Can’t wait for week 2!

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