Simplify Meal Planning with These Helpful Guides
Once you've made the commitment to eating an oil-free, whole-food, plant-based diet, you will then be wondering "How do I plan meals without using all the foods that I used to enjoy?" Don't worry, there's numerous resources available that will help guide you through planning nutritious (as well as delicious) meals for your family!
Preparing meals will initially take more time and may be a little intimidating, but within a few short weeks and a little practice, you'll see just how easy it can be! To help you begin, we've highlighted seven oil-free, whole-food, plant-based meal planning guides below. It's important to mention, that some of the recipes may include ingredients that I encourage my Starch-Smartest patients to avoid. This facilitates quicker results for my patients who are struggling to reverse a serious illness.
7 Meal Planning Guides to Help You Make a Successful Transition to a Plant-Based Diet!
- 10-Day Meal Plan and Recipes by Dr. John and Mary McDougall
Dr. McDougall's free 10-Day Meal Plan features just a small portion of the thousands of online recipes created by Mary McDougall that are simple to prepare using everyday ingredients. Dr. McDougall's webpage also introduces and discusses in-depth what an oil-free, whole-food, starch-based diet entails and how his program promotes the reversal of many serious illnesses such as heart disease and type-2 diabetes without the use of drugs.
This collection of recipes includes many comfort food items like hearty soups and potato entrees. A shopping guide provides additional help. For 40+ years, Dr. McDougall has been studying, writing and speaking about the correlation between nutrition and disease. Dr. McDougall is the most influential and prominent physician of all the nutritional experts who specialize in the prevention and reversal of dietary-induced illness. He founded and serves as the medical director of the McDougall Program, a ten-day residential program located in Santa Rosa, California. Decades of extensive research serves as a foundation for which many other physicians follow. He is the author of numerous best-selling books on plant-based nutrition including The Starch Solution. Connect with and enjoy support from other McDougallers by joining the free Discussion Forums and signing up for his Monthly Newsletter.
- How to Plan Weekly Menus with Plant Plate, by Emma Roche
Emma Roche, creator of Plant Plate, offers many free helpful tips on how to save time and money when planning plant-based meals.
The first menu she says is more structured, and "perfect for those who want to learn to cook complete plant-based meals."
The second menu uses common ingredients and makes suggestions on how to "personalize" your meals -- "making them as creative or basic as you like."
Emma has also written a comprehensive 145-page ebook that explains in detail how eating a plant-based diet isn't expensive. The e-book includes grocery lists, recipes, preparation instructions and kitchen and cooking guides to make delicious meals for about $5.00 a day.
- Free Meal Planning Guide by The Forks Over Knives Plan
Forks Over Knives offers a free 4-week downloadable meal plan that is best used as a companion to The Forks Over Knives Plan. If you don't have the book, this plan can still be used to help make the transition from eating the standard American diet to a whole-food, plant-based diet in four weeks.
The first week is dedicated towards finding healthy options for breakfast and how to stock your kitchen. The second week focuses on the basics of planning lunches. The third week offers many suggestions for dinner. The fourth week is dedicated towards reviewing and improving the skills you have already learned.
- 21-Day Vegan Kickstart by Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
The Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine's free meal planning guide provides ideas for meals for 21 days. This plan is part of their free 21-Day Vegan Kickstart program that begins the first day of every month; however, you may sign up for it at any time.
If you sign up for the Kickstart Program, for 21 days, you'll receive an email which will include meal plans, grocery lists, shopping guides, celebrity tips, video clips, nutritional guidance, a community forum, and a personal health tracker (which monitors your blood pressure, weight loss, blood tests, etc. for the year). If you opt out of signing up, the meal planning guide is still a very valuable resource.
Engine 2 Extra is a very active online community of like-minded people, created by Rip Esselstyn. It consists of thousands of members who are interested in following Rip Esselstyn's Plant-Strong Diet. For a monthly membership fee, members can enjoy personalized coaching as well as support from other members.
Video presentations, meal plans that focus on plant-strong versions of familiar family favorites, fitness and cooking tips, live chat rooms, web-conference calls, and suggestions on how to get started are part of the many benefits of this supportive community.
If you're interested in learning more, but are not ready to commit to an online membership, you may sign up for the Engine 2 Diet 28-day Nationwide Challenge for free. Read our Take the New Year Health Challenge blog for more information or view their meal suggestions here.
Meal Mentor is a service that Lindsay Nixon, creator of Happy Herbivore offers as part of her paid membership.
A new plan for every week (for individuals as well as families) and printable shopping lists makes transitioning to a plant-based diet exceptionally easy!
Holly, the creator of My Plant-Based Family offers many free meal planning ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner including tips on food allergies.
We hope these meal plans will help you make the transition to a more healthful diet! Once you learn the basics however, you may not need to rely on following a recipe or meal plan.
With minimal effort, meal planning can be as easy as filling your plate with starchy vegetables, whole grains, colorful fruits and vegetables and beans with the addition of a few nuts/seeds. Begin your journey towards optimal health and wellness today!