Yup, this is a 100% vegan meal plan. It’s not to discourage my meat-eating followers, but to be honest I don’t know how to cook chicken or eggs, and since I’m vegan I do things plants-only. It’s also the best way to teach you about all of the amazing plant foods out there while supporting my vegan and vegetarian followers. Vegans and vegetarians will find this meal plan exactly tailored to your needs, and meat-eaters can treat it as an opportunity to learn about some new plant foods.
Well, ‘weird’ is a bit subjective, but I keep the ingredient list for my plans as simple as possible, using vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, seeds, and seasonings that you should be able to find at any major supermarket. There are a few things that might be tricky to find (like coconut oil, quinoa, nutritional yeast) but the good news is that those things are now really easy to find and order online. If you really can’t get hold of something, or it’s too expensive where you are (avocados where I am right now are $3 each!!!), just let me know and I’ll help you figure out an alternative.
You can do some really fun things with a $400 blender, but I would never tell you that you absolutely had to buy one. Healthy eating doesn’t require any special equipment, but here are the tools I use on a regular basis and would be used to make the dishes in the plan: a good knife, a cutting board, pots and pans, various utensils (spoons, ladles, flippers, etc), and some kind of blender or food processor. I sometimes use other tools (like a citrus zester and a garlic press) but you can get by if you don’t have them.
The only soy products I used are frozen green edamame beans (which you can easily swap for any other type of bean you prefer or even frozen peas) and tamari/soy sauce (which you can swap for a soy-free aminos or just a bit of sea salt). I don’t include any tofu, tempeh or other soy products in these plans.
Online plans only: If you check the ‘soy-free’ option in the customization box, it will make those swaps for you in the plan and the recipes.
I occasionally use frozen corn in a recipe, but it’s easily left out or swapped for frozen peas, red pepper or any other vegetable you like.
I do use some nuts, but they’re easily swapped out for seeds if you have an allergy or sensitivity. Any of the nuts can be swapped for seeds or maybe some avocado, and peanut butter can be replaced with sunflower seed butter, tahini or any other nut-free butter.
Online plans only: If you check the ‘nut-free’ option in the customization box, it will make those swaps for you in the plan and the recipes.
I designed the plan to have simple, quick meals on weeknights and any longer meals, or ones to be made in larger batches, are on weekends. I generally try to keep weeknight meals to 30 minutes cooking time, and weekends might be 45 minutes or an hour. I also try to keep meals to one or two pots so that dish cleaning time is minimized as well.
If you have days when you just have absolutely no time to make a meal, I have a section in the site where I divulged my secret shortcuts and options for making packaged foods healthier, as well as tips for eating out and at parties.
I designed the plan to be as easy as possible for people who aren’t used to cooking for themselves, or aren’t used to cooking whole plant foods. I put the recipes and meals together using as few packaged foods as possible, so you will be learning how to cook things from scratch, but you can totally do it.
Even the most beginner cooks have told me they weren’t overwhelmed, and actually enjoyed gaining confidence in their skills in the kitchen. I put together some articles and videos showing you all the important things you need to know about cooking vegetables, whole grains and beans and using seasonings so that you shouldn’t have any trouble with the recipes.
Personally, I don’t like following meal plans or recipes all the time. You may not follow the plan as laid out, but hopefully it’s still a good resource to give you lots of new healthy recipes and also show you how to portion meals to get the right amount of nourishment and energy for you. It can also be used as a guide to show how to get balanced nutrition on a vegan diet. I put this together to show you how healthy eating works, so you can understand it and make sure that you’re getting the right nutrition and make meals for yourself every day. My goal is not to get you hooked on buying meal plans every week – it’s to empower you to make your own plan and just know how to eat healthfully on a daily basis.
I generally create meals and recipes that are inherently gluten-free, but I do include some bread/pasta/flour in some of my plans to make things easy and familiar. In those cases, I give a ‘gluten-free’ option.
Online plans only: You can select ‘gluten-free’ in the customization box that will switch any bread, wraps, pasta and pitas for cooked whole grains or spaghetti squash. The grocery list will be changed accordingly.
I do use rolled oats in the plan for many of the breakfasts, which will work for anyone who either isn’t sensitive to oats or can find gluten-free oats, but for anyone who is sensitive to even gluten-free oats they’ll have to use other grains for those breakfasts (like rolled quinoa, or cooked brown rice) or swap in the oat-free breakfasts in the plan for those breakfasts.
Yes – in the online plans, there’s an ‘oil-free’ option you can check that will switch any oil used in the plan (which is minimal already) for whole food fats, vegetable broth or non-dairy milk depending on the recipe. The grocery list will be changed accordingly.
In the pdf copy I generally give the oil-free swaps in the recipe.
I didn’t design this plan for diabetics, but I don’t generally use much sweetener and I focus on whole plant foods that have a lot of fiber. When compared to a standard Western diet, this meal plan will be much better for maintaining fairly stable blood sugar levels – but isn’t specifically designed for that. There are some easy swaps you can make to lower the glycemic load of this plan. Any unrefined dry sugar can be switched for coconut sugar. Maple syrup can be swapped for brown rice syrup. Bananas can be swapped for avocados in smoothies, or any lower-glycemic fruit in a snack or meal.
No, you can start whenever you like. The plan is set up to start on a Sunday, but only because I figure that’s a day most people have time to prep a few things for the week ahead. You can decide which Sunday you start, or if you consider Wednesdays to be your Sundays, then start then! You can even do a few days, take a break, then do the rest. Some people take the plan as an idea, and just use the recipes and meals when they want to incorporate them into their regular routine. Use the plan however works for you. You will only be evaluated by the size of your smile in the end-of-plan quiz, not on when or how you used the recipes and meals.
Your access won’t expire, so you’ll be able to go into the site as long as I continue to run it, which I plan to do indefinitely. I’m not going to say ‘forever’ because that’s a lot to live up to… That would also involve post-mortem planning, which I’m not quite ready to think about. But pretty much as long as I’m alive and getting your support and feedback on this site, I’ll keep it going.
Yes – most people don’t allow this in membership sites, but I give you the ability to download all of the videos and audio in the plan so that you can watch offline and keep them forever. I’m saying ‘forever’ here because this is more on your side, and totally out of my control but once you have a digital file it should theoretically last forever. Sometimes computers decide to crash and take all of their data with them. If such an event should happen to occur in your life, you can just log in to the site and download everything again. You can also email me to cry about your loss of data, because it’s a horrible thing to have happen and I will most definitely cry with you.
No, definitely not! I set up the plan to be as detailed and complete as possible for the people who want that kind of support and structure. My best friend loves it because she’s a super-planner and my meal plans take the load off her cause she knows exactly what and how much and when to eat.
But you could easily just look at the recipes and meals and do your own thing – either following them as laid out but in a different order, or just take them as ideas and make them in your own way. You could follow a day of the plan, and then do your own thing for a day, then come back to another day of the plan. However you want to do it.
The plan may seem very precise and exact, but that’s only because I made it for the people (like my best friend) who want that degree of precision. For the people (like me) who prefer general guidelines and concepts to exactness, just think of the plan as an idea from which you can jump off in your own way. You can add things, you can take things out if you don’t like them, you can swap foods around.
The only trouble with changing things in this plan is that the grocery list is set up for the exact meals as listed (because I can’t read your mind, and the software that runs the meal plan doesn’t allow for swaps aside from the customizations for the dietary restrictions listed above), so you may not want to use it exactly. You can use it as a guideline, though, since the ingredients are the basics of a healthy kitchen and just go with your gut on quantities.
I’ve studied – and tried – lots of different health approaches, such as Ayurveda, Chinese nutrition, raw food, and the diets of the healthiest cultures around the world, plus our western diet and popular weight loss diets. After studying to become a holistic nutritionist, I’ve taken a balanced perspective, borrowing from disciplines around the world. I’ve looked at the benefits and potential problems with all of these diets and what works long term. This is not an extreme, imbalanced diet like many fad Western diets. This is simply a healthy way of eating and living.
That’s no problem – just take the concepts of healthy eating I give you in the plan to try to make fairly healthy choices, and then pick back up the next day or the next meal. You’ll just have a bit of extra food if you followed the grocery list exactly.
I put together the recipes in my meal plans with the goal of pleasing someone who isn’t used to eating healthy plant foods. I tried to make the meals as simple – but as tasty – as possible, using ingredients and flavors that most people are familiar with. I can’t guarantee that the recipes will please everyone’s tastebuds (I’ve heard that there are people who actually don’t like chocolate!), but hopefully most. If there are any ingredients that you just don’t like, or can’t eat, I’m happy to help you find a substitution.
If there’s one recipe or meal that you look at and know that you’re not going to want to eat, feel free to change whatever you don’t like about it. You can make substitutions, make another meal from the plan, anything from my recipe site, or any other healthy recipe you enjoy. The plan may seem really exact, but that’s just the way I had to lay it out to give exact grocery lists and meals for the people who want it that way. But healthy eating can really be very flexible if you want to change things around.
Oh, you’re in luck. I create a lot of chocolate-flavored recipes in my plans because I know there are a lot of chocoholics out there (myself included). I include dark chocolate sometimes, and I also show you how to make super healthy chocolate treats – I even make it for breakfast somtimes. Breakfast is my favorite time to eat dessert…
Absolutely not!! I take a lot of pride in the work I do, and my standards for email communication. I will never ever sell your email address, I will never give it to anyone else for any purpose, and I will only contact you for this plan or for future programs I put together that I think you might be interested in. You can always unsubscribe from any email list you’re on, and you can always email me if you have questions or concerns. I am a real person, providing real programs and services, and if you have any doubts whatsoever just send me a note and I’d be happy to call you on the phone to talk and let you know I’m really here 🙂 If you sign up for something and find that it isn’t what you were expecting, or find it isn’t useful to you, then I will be happy to refund 100% of your purchase.
Do you have a question that wasn’t listed here? Send me a note and I’ll get back to you.
Are you ready to boost your energy levels, drop the extra pounds, get all the right nutrients, save time, and stop wasting food?