I have recently been asked about meal planning especially for families. Going plant based can be intimidating at first especially if all your life you were use to meat being the center of attention at every meal. Let me just say this…DON’T STRESS! Don’t overwhelm yourself because it’s likely you will throw in the towel after a week. If you are new to plant based (vegan or near vegan) lifestyle, take it slow. Start with Meatless Mondays and stretch it out from there as you familiarize yourself with ingredients, substitutions, and lovely appliances that make your life EASIER! It’s a learning process to change your lifestyle, because this IS a lifestyle but before you know it you will be a pro. It will come as second nature to you when your walking through the grocery store picking out the items you already know are healthy and making meals you are familiar with. Also, don’t give up even if you give in. If you fall off the wagon with a bag of Doritos, some Hostess cupcakes, and 2 liter of soda, it happens….don’t beat yourself up. That nagging stomach pain and queasy feeling will help get you back on track. 😉 We are not striving for perfection here! We all have lives, and most people have children so if you veer off track a bit due to life, it’s understandable.
So, for all my plant based newbies I decided to give you a few tips and great cookbook and website recommendations that have saved me from throwing in the towel. You may or may not be familiar with some ingredients so if you come across something you don’t know, Google it or ask me.
One of my favorite cookbooks is Happy Herbivore and you can purchase it through my Amazon store (paper back or digital). It’s very reasonable and worth every penny! It was also very informative with definitions of ingredients. The author Lindsay S. Nixon is available on facebook and her blog to ask questions or give feedback. She’s amazing and very helpful. She also creates 7 day meal plans for individuals or families with new recipes every week that are absolute time savers. It’s equipped with food shopping lists and you won’t have left overs! The plans also include a weekly calendar, simple directions, and a snack guide. Meal plans start at 1,200 calories which can be adjusted if you’re looking for more calories in your diet. As if it couldn’t get any better…the plans are just $5 and a new one is released every Wednesday. This definitely takes a load off!
I can’t tell you how many vegan food blogs I have comes across but not all are created equal. The trick is to avoid oils in your food. We get enough oils that are already found in whole foods. One website I absolutely love and recommend that you sign up for notifications is www.FatFreeVegan.com This website is full of great recipes and I love that I can type in an ingredient like “eggplant” and a list of recipes containing this ingredient will come up and I can search for the one that is appealing to me and that I have all or most ingredients to make.
These are the top two “go to” sources for meals that I turn to and I am sure you will find them just as useful. I have also downloaded apps on my phone such as YumYum and 21 Day Veg Kickstart which is also equipped with recipes. Vegan Xpress app is great for when you are on the go and want to find a vegan friendly restaurant near you. Lastly, there are a few kitchen appliances and tools I use to help make things a little easier with meal preparation and you can also find these on my Amazon store. I wish all you newbies the best of luck and if you live in the Las Vegas area I am available as your Health Coach and I can take you on a grocery store tour to help you food shop as well as cooking demos and kitchen pantry/refrigerator clean outs. Happy meal preparation!