Shrugged Collective

The Power of Meatloaf

Meatloaf is comfort food at its best, but it’s also an essential go-to meal for strength athletes. 

I’m a busy mother of three doing her best to run a household and stay fit. The one thing I can’t be doing is making one meal that matches my clean eating habits, and another that pleases the kids. There’s just no time for it. Everything I cook first needs to address the needs of the family, then my own. It has to be healthy, nutritious and tasty to avoid my fussy 11 year old having a case of “the sulks.”

You can’t go wrong with a great meatloaf. It will comfort, fuel and satisfy any tough crowd, especially if you invite bacon to the party. I can’t think of a more satisfying, hearty, muscle building meal.

Here’s my take on the meatiest of all meals.

Enter THE loaf

Choose your meat.

You can make this with beef, turkey, a mix of beef and pork if you’re clever, whatever you like. I like to mix up my selection often, although I’d skip the addition of any mushrooms if you choose turkey. Add a stick of celery instead, the flavor and texture will be much improved.

I told you this loaf is tasty, but it has to meat my standards for nutrition. The dish is loaded with veggies, omegas, and high fiber on account of the flax. It’s also a gluten free and meats the Paleo standard if that’s important to you. And no, there will be no breadcrumbs or crushed crackers included in this dish. We don’t need any of that.

This takes 15 minutes to put together and about an hour to cook. The recipe will easily feed a family of four for dinner and lunch the next day. You cannot beat the macronutrient bang for your buck.

Give it a try.


  • 3 pounds of grass-fed ground beef (or ground meat of choice)
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 6 medium mushrooms (optional)
  • 3 whole eggs (or 4 egg whites)(beaten)
  • 3 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 2 tablespoons (approx. 20g) of tomato puree or thick tomato sauce
  • ½ cup (50g) of ground flax seeds (linseeds)
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon of chili flakes (optional)
  • 5-10 slices of nitrate free bacon
  • 2 tablespoons of oil (I use coconut oil)

Veggie filling

  • 3 cups of spinach
  • 1 handful of torn basil leaves


Set the oven to 375 degrees and dig out a loaf pan about 10 inches by 5 inches.

Blitz the onion, pepper and mushrooms in a blender (or finely chop). Saute with coconut oil in a pan on medium heat for just a couple of minutes, then add the garlic, cumin, paprika, oregano and chili. Saute for another 2 minutes, mixing through the herbs.

Set the pan aside.

Combine your meat, the eggs, tomato puree and flax in a bowl, then add the onion mixture. Mix some more, then season with salt and pepper.

On a flat surface flatten out about a third of the meat mixture, making sure to match the size of your loaf pan. Add the spinach and basil. Cover the spinach and basil with the remainder of the meat so that it’s all sealed up inside. Wrap the bacon slices around the uncooked meatloaf and then carefully lift this and pop it into your loaf pan. It moulds easily.

Bake for an hour. You can broil the top to crisp the bacon before taking it out of the oven (do that!). Allow the dish to sit for 5 minutes so the juices don’t come pouring out when you go to cutting. Try enjoying a portion with some mashed sweet potatoes for a heavenly, powerful combination.

I like to serve this dish with bone broth as a gravy, or, I might cook up some chopped tomatoes with garlic and chili flakes for more of a flavor punch. Experiment and see what floats your boat.


Nutrition info

*Per 1/8th of a slice (based on portion including 3 pounds of grass-fed beef and 6 slices of bacon)

  • Calories (512)
  • Fat (36g, 16.8 saturated)
  • Sodium(239mg)
  • Protein (40g)
  • Carbs (5.34g)

Just try comparing this meatloaf with the popular American TV diner version, which has approximately 1080 calories for a similar sized portion, 68g carbs and 3570mg sodium!

Remake your meals. Pump in as much nutrition and flavor as possible. Learn to properly fuel your body and meat your families needs. And when in doubt, wrap it all up bacon! You’ll never miss those cracker crumbs, I promise.


Happy eating,



For more

  • Want more killer recipes? Follow Virginia on Instagram, and don’t miss her excellent blog, Moozlers, for fueling ideas.
  • Need to gain muscle and strength? Don’t miss your chance to join the MUSCLE GAIN CHALLENGE.

Mike Bledsoe


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