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P90x Meal Examples – Portion Approach Menus



OK folks, you asked and I listened! lol. At long last, here are some P90x meal examples and menus using the recipes from this site. I’ve done one example day for each level of Phase 1, so hopefully you can start to see how you can work the recipes into your daily portion approach meals. Plus, I’ve also uploaded an example of my P90x Nutrition Plan food journal filled out.

If you’d like to avoid this planning process completely, and would rather just get complete menus and shopping lists, check out my P90x Menu and Shopping List eBook where I’ve done all of this meal planning for you!

A day in the life of…
Phase 1, Level 1

Breakfast:
1 cup Herbed Cottage Cheese Spread – 1 dairy serving
1 Whole Wheat English Muffin – 1/2 carb serving
1 Protein Shake (made with water, ice and 1 scoop chocolate Whey protein powder) – 1 protein serving

Snack:
1 Protein Bar (I use Atkins Advantage) – 1 Bar serving

Lunch:
1 Basil, Tomato, and Mozzarella Sandwich (sub 1 Whole Wheat English Muffin for the bread in the recipe, use olive oil in the vinaigrette) – 1/2 carb, 1 vegetable, 1 dairy, 1/2 condiment, 1 fat serving
3 oz. Cold Turkey Ham – 1 protein serving
1 medium Apple – 1 fruit serving

Snack:
12 Mini Rice Cakes – 1 Single snack serving
6 Hard Boiled Egg Whites – 1 protein serving

Dinner:
6 oz. Easy BBQ Chicken – 2 protein, 1/2 condiment serving
1/4 recipe Burnt Green Beans – 1 vegetable, 1 fat serving

After Workout:
Recovery drink – 1 Drink serving

Total Daily Servings:
5 protein, 2 dairy, 1 fruit, 2 vegetable, 2 fat, 1 carb, 1 Single snack, 1 Bar, 1 Drink, 1 Condiment
_________________________________

A day in the life of…
Phase 1, Level II
Breakfast:
Ham and Mushroom Omelet – 1 1/2 protein, 1 vegetable, 1 dairy serving
Protein Shake (made with water, ice, 1 1/2 scoops chocolate Whey powder) – 1 1/2 protein servings
Snack:
8 oz. Cottage Cheese – 1 Single snack serving
1/2 cup Cucumber Salad – 1/2 vegetable serving

Lunch:
Chicken Caesar Wrap – 1 carb, 1 protein, 1 vegetable, 1 dairy, 1 condiment serving
3 oz. Green olives – 3/4 fat serving

Snack:
3 oz. cold Turkey Ham – 1 protein serving

Dinner:
Olive Feta Turkey Burger (protein style, wrapped in lettuce) – 2 protein, 1 dairy, 1/4 fat serving
Mandarin Salad with Candied Almonds – 1 1/2 vegetable, 1 fruit, 1 condiment, 1 Double snack serving

After workout:
Recovery Drink – 1 Drink serving

Total Daily Servings:
7 protein, 3 dairy, 1 fruit, 4 vegetable, 1 fat, 1 carb, 1 Double snack, 1 Single snack, 1 drink, 2 condiment
___________________________

A day in the life of…
Phase 1, Level III

Breakfast:
Pesto Feta Scramble – 1 protein, 1/2 vegi, 1 dairy, 1/2 condiment serving
1 medium Grapefruit – 1 fruit serving
Protein Shake (made with milk, 2 scoops protein powder) – 2 protein, 1 dairy serving

Snack:
1/2 Protein Bar (I use Atkins Advantage) – 1 Single snack serving
1 can low-sodium V-8 – 1 vegetable serving
3 Hard Boiled Egg Whites – 1/2 protein

Lunch:
6 oz. BBQ Meatballs (served w/ 1 Tb. BBQ sauce for dipping) – 2 protein, 1 condiment serving
Lemon Steamed Broccoli – 1 vegetable serving
1 oz. Nuts – 1 Double snack serving

Snack:
3 oz. Turkey Ham – 1 protein serving
Protein shake (made with water, 1/2 scoop protein powder, 1/2 cup strawberries, 1/2 banana, ice) – 1/2 protein, 1 fruit serving

Dinner:
Healthy Mac and Cheese! (w/ Turkey Bacon added) – 1 protein serving, 1 1/2 dairy servings, 1 carb serving, and 1 Single snack serving
Olive Salad (with 1 Tb. olive oil and vinegar vinaigrette dressing used, 3 oz. Turkey added, only 1/2 oz. cheese used, only 1/2 cup extra raw vegetables added on top) – 1 1/2 protein, 1 1/2 vegetable, 1/2 dairy, 1 fat, 1/2 condiment serving

After Workout:
Recovery Drink – 1 Drink serving

Total Portions:
9 protein, 4 dairy, 2 fruit, 4 vegetable, 1 fat, 1 carb, 1 Double snack, 2 Single snacks, 2 condiments
____________________________________

How to plan your menus for P90x:

  • I typically don’t plan more than one or two cooked meals in a day – that can get to be a lot of work. So typically, if I’ve made some special entree, I’ll keep the remainder of the meal easy, like plain or unadorned foods. However, I’ve tried to make a point to use recipes from the site in these examples, so it does mean that following these P90x meal examples exactly would be a bit more work than my typical day.
  • When I am planning the day, I start with the prepared meals that I want to fit in there, then work around it. So if I want to make the Healthy Mac and Cheese for dinner, I’ll plug that into the dinner spot, and work the rest of the day around it. With that, I’d know not to serve a sandwich on bread for breakfast or lunch, because I’m saving the carb serving for dinner. Also, I try to mix up when I throw in that carb serving and the fruit serving (see my theory on calorie confusion), so I try to plug those in first. Then it becomes a matter of just filling in the rest. Cold turkey ham, for example, is one of my favs – I’ll throw 3 oz. in there during snack time or lunch if I am short on a protein serving. Protein shakes function in the same way. The Olive Salad is another, favorite flexible standby – you’ll notice how many alterations I made to it in the example Phase 1, Level III dinner in order to make it fit into the day’s portions.
  • If this sounds like a lot of work, take heart. It takes concentration for the first week or so, but it really does become second nature after a bit. I remember now how intimidating the whole P90x nutrition plan looked when I first opened the guide, but trust me, it becomes natural VERY QUICKLY. You can do it!

I hope these examples are helpful to you guys as you are trying to work these and your own recipes into the P90x portion approach!
– CJ =)

31 comments

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  1. Tracey

    CJ,
    What’s your take on Shakeology and how it fits into meal planning. It’s a meal replacement, it’s packed full of protein. I hear it is a recovery drink…How many portions of what does it count for?

    Thanks

    1. CJ =)

      Hey Tracey!
      Great question. Check out my FAQ article about how to add Shakeology to your P90x nutrition plan!
      -CJ =)

  2. Louise

    Hi I’ve been considering taking on the P90X program! I’ve worked out what diet plan I should be on (fat shredder) and I know that this is generally used for days 1-28 etc of the program but at what point do you move between phase 1,2,3? Is it after a certain amount of days or when you feel Ready to move on?
    Any help greatly appreciated as I’m finding the idea of the nutrition plan a little daunting!

  3. Tammy

    First, thank you thank you thank you!

    I’ve bought your book and it is sooooooo helpful since I too, don’t eat fish! Its a great guide between yours and the nutritional guide from beach body.

    I do have a stupid question since I will be beginning tomorrow. I want to make your “whole chicken” but how exactly do I measure out 3 oz of chicken? I know you are supposed to measure your meats raw so I can’t really put it on a scale…right?

    Also, in general, have you found a guide or what sort of method do you use to figure out your portions. For example, I’ve made some pretty good chicken recipes that I feel would fall under a dinner but I would have no idea on how to say that this is 3 oz of chicken…do you again base it off weight and the nutritional info of the recipe?

    thanks!!

    1. CJ =)

      Hey Tammy!
      Hey, thanks for the purchase of the ebook!

      To measure out 3 oz. of chicken, you’ll just need to use a kitchen scale. You’re right that you are supposed to measure meats raw, but in this case I’d just measure it cooked, or perhaps just use a shy 3 oz.

      Regarding how to measure out the portions, I just go by the P90x nutrition plan food list. I typically use chicken in increments of 3 oz. so that I know how many portions are in a recipe. If you’d like, you can just post the ingredients and directions to one of your recipes and I can show you how I’d analyze or alter it for P90x portions.

      – CJ =)

  4. oliabh

    sorry,,,I meant to submit that comment above to another site. But you might be interested in the link. I’ve supplied it here. You can get the PDF file for portion control…it has helped me a great deal as has your site….you guys really do take the puzzlement out of all of this…http://www.mixedfitness.com/p90x-portion-plan

  5. oliabh

    Thank you soooo much for your pdf file on portions. My husband and I are both going to try it. He works a lot so the menu was a huge obstacle for him. Now I’ve printed it out and will supply him with a pocket version so he can take to his job. You are wonderful. It took so much work off my shoulders and I wasn’t sure if I could eat everything they had on the menu…now I have a choice

  6. APO

    Do you know if we can use the nature valley protein bars instead of the other bars? They only have 10g of protein. 190 calories, 12g of fat, 5 dietary fibers, 6g of sugars

    thanks!

  7. Michael

    My Phase I, Level II nutrition plan is as follows. To date (11 days into the P90X program), I have only lost about a pound. Please let me know your thoughts on decreasing my calories or changing anything else with the plan. Thanks!

    6:30 AM – Breakfast
    Shakeology
    Fruit (Banana/Orange)
    Milk (8oz)
    ½ Serving protein (powder)

    8:45 AM – Snack
    6 Egg Whites
    1 Servings Vegies

    11:00 AM – Lunch
    2.5 Servings Protein
    1 Serving Veggies
    Condiment
    ½ Servings Carbs

    1:15 PM – Snack
    Protein Bar
    Nuts or String Cheese

    3:30 PM – Snack
    Cottage Cheese
    Flax Oil (1 tbls)
    1 Serving Veggies

    6:30 PM – Dinner
    2.5 Servings Protein
    1 Serving Veggies
    1 Serving Cheese
    1 Serving Condiment

    8 PM – Workout
    P90X

    9:15 PM – Post Workout
    Shake

  8. Trevor

    CJ,

    I was afraid and intimidated by the nutrition portion of the P90X program and am relieved and excited to have found your tools and advice. What a service you are performing. I am a father of 2 and I want to be around for a long time to run, laugh and play with my kids. Thanks for helping me realize that dream by de-mystifying the whole process.

  9. Abigail

    You are my hero!! My husband has been wanting to do P90x and found out one of his friends has it and hasn’t been using it, so we’re borrowing it. I had a baby a month ago and am going to be doing Power 90 workouts while he does p90x, but we’re both intending to follow the p90x nutrition plan and Just looking over their first sample week I was like, this will take our entire month’s grocery budget! So it totally made my day to find your site and all the help you give as well as recipe ideas. Thank you thank you! I just hope I can do this. Just walking around the grocery store things were calling to me. . .like the big chocolate cake at the bakery.

    1. CJ =)

      Hey Abigail!
      I had a baby a month ago too! =) Hang in there, you can do it! The meal planning can be intimidating at first, but you totally get into a groove after the first week or so.
      If you are breastfeeding, be sure to add in an extra 200-500 calories on top of the calories recommended by the plan. =)
      – CJ =)

  10. lindsey

    I am very new to p90x and as I have read a lot of new people write the nutrition is very confusing I am use to counting calories so now trying to figure out how to not do that and go off of portions is confusing. Anyways this may sound dumb but when you put for example that 2 cup of herbed cottage cheese spread is equal to one dairy serving do you get that from the serving size on the package or how do you know that? I am still very confused about figuring out how much a serving of carbs are and a serving on dairy is. I know its probably a dumb question but I am still trying to figure it out and thought you might be able to help me. Thanks

  11. Julius

    Thanks for this site…it is really breaking the P90x diet down to the T….

    1. CJ =)

      So glad to help, Julius!! Let me know if there is anything else I can do to help make P90x nutrition a bit easier. =)
      – CJ =)

  12. jeff

    okay I now mostly understand the portion plan, however I have one question.

    If I eat an apple as a snack. Do I check off my fruit AND a snack box?

    Also, if i have a Peanut Butter sandwich what does the PB fall under?

    thanks!

    your site is very helpful!

    1. CJ =)

      Hey Jeff!
      If you eat an apple as a snack, it is a fruit serving only. With the P90x nutrition plan, any given food only counts for one serving. You may be eating it as a “snack” as in between your major meals, but it still only counts for the type of serving that it falls under. Just as long as you eat all of your alloted portions in a day, it doesn’t matter what official meal you eat them for. (I make use of this fact in several of my recipes, such as my Healthy Mac and Cheese, where I use one of your snack servings in the dish.) Does that make sense?

      Regarding peanut butter, it is only mentioned under the Single snack list of the P90x nutrition plan (1 Tb of peanut butter and celery = 50 calories), so whenever I use peanut butter, I count it as a snack serving.
      Hope this helps!
      – CJ =)

  13. Richard

    I’ve been to this site many times and I need to compliment you on translating this nutrition program from concept to on-the-ground reality. Not only with recipes but with a description of how you’re planning meals out. You ROCK! (and so does that lettuce-wrapped olive-feta turkey burger ;o) Thanks CJ!

    1. CJ =)

      Hey Richard!
      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! It makes the effort of the site worthwhile to hear that folks like you are really using and benefiting from it!!!
      – CJ =)

  14. kelly

    thank you for sharing so kindly

    1. CJ =)

      You’re welcome, Kelly! =)

  15. Raquel

    Thank you so much for having created this site. I just got the p90x as a gift and as I was going through their nutrition plan I became extremely overwhelmed with the meal plans since for one, they’re not the most economical for me, and for two… I really am naive when it comes to nutrition. I don’t know the whole plan behind carbs, protein, and calories… something I’m slowly learning through your site and meal plans. Which is what leads me to thank you for every single post you have made here in your site. Every single thing you have here has been helping me.

    Thank you so much!

  16. Dan Roland

    I’m just starting out the P90x program, and like many who have contacted you I to became overwhelmed with the nutrition plan. I want to thank you for the many recipies and ideas on how to attack this, what to eat and when to change it up as the program changes.
    THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I have a friend I talked in to trying P90X You know what website I’m fixing to send him to check out.lol PEACE!

    1. CJ =)

      Hey Dan!
      Thanks so much for taking the time to respond. I was totally overwhelmed at first too, which is exactly why I started this site! I’m so glad that this website is helping people like you. Stick with it and keep pressing play!!! =)
      – CJ =)

  17. Oscar

    Hi, I plan on starting p90x soon but the nutrition aspect seems very difficult to keep up with. Do you have, or can you suggest, a grocery shopping list for the foods/items I’ll be needing?

    thanks for all the work you have done here, it really is helpful.

    1. CJ =)

      Hey Oscar!
      I’ve been thinking about this and am having a bit of a hard time coming up with a list for you, because I don’t know what you like!
      If I were you, I’d search through the recipes on this site and pick 2 or 3 recipes that you’d like to try, and compose a shopping list from that. Try printing out enough of my P90x Nutrition Plan food journal pages to last you a week, and plug each recipe that you want to eat into the day. Then figure out the gaps you need to fill to get your correct number of portions, and choose items off the list in your nutrition guide that fit the bill. (So if you still need fruit servings, add fruit to your shopping list.) If you are missing specific servings, you can also use the Category menu on the upper right side of the site to find recipes that provide that specific serving.

      Also, I would look at the ingredients you’re buying, and use the tag cloud on the lower right hand side of the site to see if there are any other recipes that use those same ingredients, so you’re being efficient with your purchases. So for example, say you decide you want to try Twice Baked Potatoes, Healthy Mac and Cheese, and the Mini Pizzas.
      From these three recipes, your shopping list is as follows:
      * Two 2″ x 4 3/4″ white potatoes
      * Fat free sour cream (or use the nonfat yogurt below, I used sour cream)
      * 1 package chunk low-fat ham or turkey ham
      * 1 stalk green onion
      * salt and pepper
      * 1 package whole-wheat pasta
      * 1 bag or block low-fat cheddar cheese
      * 1 large package low-fat cottage cheese
      * 1 large container non-fat plain yogurt
      * 1 Roma tomato
      * Italian seasoning
      * Garlic powder
      * Crushed red pepper
      * 1 package turkey pepperoni
      * 2 whole wheat English muffins
      * 3 oz. low-fat Mozzarella cheese
      * 1 carton eggs

      Then what you do is look at what you are already buying here, and use the tag cloud on the bottom right of the site to see if there are any other recipes you can make to use up the leftover ingredients. For example, once you have the turkey pepperoni, might as well make the Pepperoni Scramble for breakfast sometime. Once you have the turkey ham, maybe you could add some spinach and Parmesan to your list to make the Crustless Ham and Spinach Quiche. With this ingredient list, you already have the ingredients for a variation on the Pepper Jack Breakfast Sandwich – just use one of the cheeses you already have and throw on the crushed red pepper flakes. Since you already have the cottage cheese and green onion, all you need is some cilantro to make some Herbed Cottage Cheese spread, and you could spread it on some of the leftover whole wheat muffins.

      Anyway, you get the idea. I know that this seems intimidating at first, but trust me that you’ll get the hang of it. Just jump in and try planning out a few days of meals for yourself. You’ll get used to it very fast!
      Let me know if this helps you at all.
      – CJ =)

  18. Brandon

    Hello,

    I just wanted to say that this is a great website, it really got me started. Contrary to the name, I am a girl, and my boyfriend and I have been on P90X for a week and a half, it is going really well, but the first week we tried the menu and it was too difficult, this plan is going much better. I also wanted to let you know that if you are looking for more good recipes that easily fit into P90X I have recently picked up the Jillian Micheals Master your Metabolism, and it has heathly muffins and all kinds of good stuff. Thanks again, you have been a big help.

    1. CJ =)

      Hey Brandon – Thank you for the recommendation!! I’ll have to check it out. I’ve been thinking that I need to get my hands on a healthy muffin recipe. =)
      – CJ =)

  19. Stephanie

    Thank you soooo very much! This is the website I have been searching for! My husband just started P90X and I’ve been trying to help him with the menu, but their planned menu can get very expensive and we don’t know where to start in creating our own meals and figuring everything out. You have helped so much! This site is fantastic!

  20. SteveC87

    CJ,

    My Fiance and I are doing P90X and were glad to see the new recipes. Great work and thanks for making this easier on us… keep it up!!!!

    Stevan and Rebekah

  21. gg

    I just wanted to say thank you for all the work you put into documenting the p90x nutrition information. For someone just starting out and researching everything, you have provided a lot of valuable information. I can not thank you enough for that. It has been a great blessing to have.
    gg

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