Final Part of the “Real Life” Expert Roundup Series!

This is our final part of the “Experts Reveal: Three Great Breakfasts, Lunches, and Dinners for Weight Loss” series!




Last week we spotlighted Certified Personal Trainer & Weight Loss Coach, Bianca Meehan. This week Marisa Watson, Certified Personal Trainer, Crossfit coach and certified yoga instructor is sharing her tips and recipes with us. It has been a pleasure working with these fitness fanatics, and we hope that you have learned some good tips and recipes too!

We asked Marisa, “What are your ‘Go-To’ Meals for Breakfast, for Lunch and for Dinner?”

So here are another nine more tasty yet healthful meal ideas. We’re giving you three recipes for each meal of the day; 3 for Breakfast, 3 for Lunch and 3 for Dinner. These meal ideas are Marisa’s “Go-To” meals that help her reach & maintain her health & fitness goals (and also can help you reach & maintain your weight loss goals!).

It’s hard to figure out what to eat…searching the internet = information overload!

So to help you out, we’re giving you some “Real Life” examples of the types of meals that work for our fitness experts. Everyone’s DNA is different, so remember that what works for someone else may not work for you. So you may have to tweak it to your liking and for your DNA…but, when it’s all said and done, if you’re looking to drop the LB’s, incorporating some of these meal ideas will really help you get there! Read on for the Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Fat Burning Meals that our health & fitness fanatics include in their daily diet!

CPT, Crossfit Coach, Yoga Instructor, Marisa Watson:

 Marisa Watson, Before (right) & After (left)
Marisa Watson, Before (right) & After (left)

Marisa is a Certified Personal Trainer at Gold’s Gym, CrossFit coach at Crossfit Pandora’s Box and a certified yoga instructor.  Having lived in Colorado Springs her whole life she has participated in an eclectic assortment of activities ranging from horseback riding (barrel racing and polocrosse) to crosscountry and running trail marathons, to yoga, hiking 14ers, shooting, crossfit, olympic weight lifting, and most recently bodybuilding and NPC bikini competitions under Adam Bonilla of Team Elite Physique. Between August and October of 2014 she has participated in 3 NPC shows, never placing lower than 2nd.  These included two novice overalls and two second place finishes in open tall class.

Fitness has become an integral part of her life.  At one point nearly 6 years ago, she had begun having issues with an eating disorder which nearly killed her leading to two separate inpatient hospitalizations at two different treatment centers.  Since then, the focus has been more-so on fitness and performance and finding ways to balance overall health with a certain look and physique required in bikini.  Meal prep and planning has been essential on the road to recovery.

Follow her road to nationals on Twitter and Instagram: @RiskyRawr

Marisa’s Philosophy:

 Marisa Competing
Marisa Competing

“I keep my meals fairly simple and adhere strictly to my meal plan whenever possible.  I find for me I am able to stay on track with my recovery if I track my food and prep ahead of time.  In the off season and while I am trying to build muscle I do allow myself some wiggle room so long as snacks or going out to eat still fits in my meal plan- otherwise I have known myself to restrict eating that day to compensate for other calories.  It is a fine line between becoming obsessive about my meal plan and being able to still reach my goals and stay in recovery.  For that reason, my meals are very plain and simple.

I also have a lot of dietary restrictions because of issues I’ve had with the eating disorder affecting my GI system.  I’ve been paleo for a number of years and other than adding in some beans and dairy occasionally I stay within the parameters of that diet.  This means eating a variety of lean meats, vegetables, nuts, seeds, oils (avocado, coconut or olive), some starches (sweet potatoes mostly), and a little fruit.  No grains, no legumes,  no processed foods, and if I consume any dairy it is full fat versions.”

Marisa’s Top Three Go-To Breakfast Recipes:

Breakfast Recipe #1: Competition Prep Basic Breakfast

“My go to breakfast is very specific to my meal plan but sometimes when i’m in the off season i replace on egg with a piece of bacon.”

  • 2 egg whites and 2 whole eggs cooked with spinach
  • Gluten free hot cereal (Bob’s Red Mill has a lot of great options here!)
    • 1/4c Almond milk
    • 1 TBSP Honey
    • 1/2oz chopped almonds or 1 TBSP peanut butter
    • 1 T BSP apple butter (just for a little extra sweetness)

Breakfast Recipe #2: Sweet Potato and Bacon Hash

“When I was eating strictly paleo this was my favorite! IF you are watching your fats opt for turkey bacon instead.”


  • 1-2 Slices bacon or turkey bacon
  • 1TBSP chopped onion
  • 1/4c chopped bell peppers
  • 4oz sweet potato cut into thin slices
  • 2 eggs and 2 egg whites


  1. Cook the bacon in a skillet and put off to the side to drain keeping the remaining fat in the pan
  2. Add onions, bell peppers, and sweet potatoes and cook until veggies are soft and sweet potatoes start to crisp a bit.
  3. Chop bacon and add back to the mixtures. Add in eggs (either scrambled or I  like them whole for a runny yolk) and cover till eggs are cooked to your liking.

Breakfast Recipe #3: Paleo Pumpkin Microwave Breakfast Cake

“This is a recipe I modified from to fit my macros and give me a complete breakfast.”


 Paleo Pumpkin Microwave Breakfast Cake
Paleo Pumpkin Microwave Breakfast Cake
  • 1/2c Canned Pumpkin (NOT the pumpkin pie mix but plain pumpkin)
  • 1/8c Almond milk
  • 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites
  • 1 banana (chopped into dime-sized pieces)
  • 1-2 TBSP Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Flour (or almond or coconut flour)
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1tsp pumpkin pie seasoning
  • 1TBSP honey
  • 1/2oz chopped walnuts


  1. Combine all ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl and mix well.
  2. Put in microwave for 2.5-3 minutes, sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy!

Marisa’s Lunch Tip:

“My lunch stays the same for the most part and I just alternate the veggies.  To make prep easier I often times cook my chicken in the crock pot.”

Marisa’s Top Three Go-To Lunch Recipes:

Lunch Recipe #1: Crockpot Chicken

 Crockpot Chicken
Crockpot Chicken
  1. All you do is take all your chicken breasts, put them in the crock pot with fresh rosemary, black pepper, garlic powder and a little salt and cover everything with water.
  2. Cook on low for 4-5 hours and you have chicken for a week! Always try and precook your chicken, sweet potatoes, and pre-chop your vegetables so all you have to do for prep is weigh and measure your portions.

Lunch Recipe #2: Ground Turkey Muffins

“Another way to make easy proteins is ground turkey muffins.”

  1. Mix your ground turkey with fresh herbs (Marisa’s Tip: Italian blend with black pepper and garlic is yum!)
  2. Add an optional egg white to hold everything together.
  3. Grease a muffin pan
  4. Roll the turkey into meat balls
  5. Cook for 20 min at 350 degrees.

Lunch Side, Recipe #3: Sweet Potatoes!

 Sweet Potato Mash
Sweet Potato Mash

“The majority of my carbs consist of sweet potatoes so often I will have to mix it up and often make savory versions of them.  I always boil them and mash them but love using fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, garlic, basil,) to make them savory.  I also found that they are amazing with thai green curry powder! I get a blend from a local spice shop and just mix it in.  For a more sweet, dessert style sweet potato with my evening meal I’ll mash them with almond milk, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon.”

Marisa’s Typical Lunch:

  • 3 oz lean meat (chicken, turkey, white fish, bison)
  • 1cup leafy green vegetables (kale, broccoli, asparagus, brussel sprouts, etc)
  • 1cup mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1tbsp coconut oil (while trying to gain some muscle mass) 

Marisa’s Dinner Tips & Tricks:

“Dinner is the one meal I don’t usually prep ahead of time unless I will be at work or working out later in the evening.  I keep my carbs lighter here opting for baked winter squash or parsnips instead of sweet potatoes (it also adds a little variety!).

My protein is usually bison steak or just a top sirloin especially on days when I’m lifting larger muscle groups or doing more volume like back and legs.  I love using different flavors of balsamic vinegar and we have a few local shops that have great varieties!  My favorite for bison is an espresso balsamic and often for chicken or turkey I will use a pomegranate flavor.  It’s like a guilt-free steak sauce!” 

Marisa’s Top Three Go-To Dinner Recipes:

Dinner Recipe #1: Slow Cooker Dry Rub Pot Roast

“I will also do a pot roast in the slow cooker as well using a dry rub.”

  1. Line the bottom of the slow cooker with veggies (onion, carrots and celery)
  2. Coat the roast in a dry rub
  3. Sear on all sides in a pan before putting it in the slow cooker.
  4. Cook on low for 4 hours (depending on the size of the roast). 
  5. Another way to season it is to cut a few holes in the roast before searing and filling them with a sliver of garlic and a sprig of fresh rosemary then sprinkling the whole thing with black pepper.

Dinner Side, Recipe #2: Sauteed Brussel Sprouts and Parsnips

“The main thing I switch up is my veggies.  This is my go to when I have parsnips at home.”


 Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Roasted Brussel Sprouts
  • 1c Brussels sprouts, chopped in half
  • 1 and 1/2c parsnips, peeled and chopped into fries
  • 1TBSP onions
  • 1tsp olive oil
  • 1tsp Cajun seasoning


  1. Sautee onions in olive oil until soft
  2. Then add parsnips and brussel sprouts and toss to coat everything
  3. Sprinkle with Cajun seasoning and cook covered till the veggies begin to brown just slightly.

Dinner Side, Recipe #3: Sauteed Spinach with Craisins


  • 1 and 1/2 c spinach
  • 1 tbsp craisins
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1tbsp onions
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • Black pepper to taste


  1. Sautee olive oil, garlic and onions in a pan until they’re soft.
  2. Add spinach and craisins and cook until spinach is slightly wilted.
  3. Add pepper to taste. 

Bonus Dinner Recipe Tip:

“I always like to keep baked winter squash prepped in my fridge!  All you do is cut the squash in half (spaghetti, kombucha, butternut, or acorn), scoop out the seeds with a spoon and place face down on a cooking sheet.  Bake for 45min-1hour at 350 degrees, scoop out the insides and enjoy!  The only difference is with butternut squash you will want to add a little bit of water to the bottom of the pan because the skin is so thin (you can also peel the skin of butternut squash and chop it up before baking for 25-30min).”

I hope you enjoy Marisa’s great recipes and tips as much as we have! It’s been a pleasure having our fitness fanatics guest post on! Next week starts our “Real Life” series, but this time around (instead of recipes) we are bringing you workout routines!! 

Marisa has one last farewell note for you too!

“There you have it! I keep things very simple and regimented because I have found that is what works best for me.  I live alone so I don’t often have an excuse to cook anything much more elaborate than this but sometimes it’s fun to mix it up!  Find your happy medium between obsessive weighing and measuring in meal prep and being able to go out to eat on occasion and truly enjoy yourself.  Trust the process and find what works for you!”

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