Sam’s “dirtbag body builder food plan” for climbers saving up for long term travel … or good training nutrition on a budget


Every meal box in this picture costs exactly $1.26.

Over the past few years I have been on an intense mission to live as cheaply and simply as humanly possible in preparation for pre retirement (temporarily retiring and doing everything I can’t do when I’m actually retired until I run out of money). I manage to save 80% of my paycheck every month, only spending 20% of my income on necessities (rent, utilities, food, travel, and phone). It is amazing what bullshit you can live with out.

One of the first things I cut back on was smoking, drinking and then food. In regards to food I only cook and I only buy in bulk. Eating out is not only expensive but can be extremely unhealthy. The Alfredo pasta dish at the Cheesecake Factory in America is about 3000 calories, which exceeds the amount of calories an average adult should consume in an entire day. Even restaurants that count calories usually round down, way down. You should add at least 20% to the figure they came up with because they don’t often include the oils in the pan and other small pinches of this and dashes of that which really add up.

Over the past few months I experimented with different meal preps until I mastered the ultimate “dirtbag body builder food plan.” I got it down to $1.26 per meal! That’s $17.70 for 7 lunches and 7 dinners. And let me be super clear, obviously this is boring, this is not for everyone, it is not insanely pleasurable. But usually I’m so hungry after working out anything tastes awesome, at the end of every meal I’m not hungry, I don’t care to go back for any more, my diet is balanced and it’s cheap as fuck.  When I’m super bored I’ll switch up the kind of rice I use, spices, or if I’m feeling super scandalous, I’ll add some cheese or sauce. On those days it’s like Christmas fucking dinner.

singlemeal allmeal

Contents of each box:

100 grams chicken
100 grams veggies
200 grams brown rice

Price breakdown:

2 kg chicken= $10
1.5kg veggies= $5.7
2kg Brown rice= $2
7 lunches + 7 dinners= $17.70 ($1.26 cents per meal)


sam-photoI started climbing in 2007 at 21 and remained a casual climber up until 2014 when someone introduced me to projecting and I sent my first 11a. Immediately I was inspired to take it to the next level and within the first 6 months I quit smoking, quit drinking, and climbed my first 12c. By the second year I picked up weight lifting, climbing specific training, nutrition and sent my first 13b. Anything is possible!

Footnote: Sam just quit her job and is gearing up for “the big trip” so guess it works!!! Follow Sam’s training and adventures on Instagram @samkatzman