Day 3 of Vegan Month of Food and we have a wide open prompt today: Quick, easy, and delicious. My first thought was to finally write about the 7 Day Meal Plans that I’ve been on since January 1st and how awesome they are!
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know how much I love Happy Herbivore. She has an amazing philosophy on life, and comes up with very creative easy quick and delicious recipes. Lindsay of Happy Herbivore took her love of food, and healthy living and came up with Meal Mentor– a program of meal plans that cover all your meals for 7 days. Back in January I purchased a year’s worth of these meal plans to try to help myself get back to healthy eating. I haven’t always kept up with it, but I don’t regret this purchase at all. Every week a file is delivered to my email with a shopping list, preparation instructions, and recipes for both family size portions and individual portions.
The point of the plans are to show people how easy it is to cook healthy. There is this idea that’s still out there that healthy is boring, doesn’t taste good, and is too complicated. I’ve heard people say “well I don’t know what any of those ingredients are in your recipes” or that it looks like it takes a long time to make. The recipes on the meal plan are quick: most can be made in 30 minutes or less. These plans show you exactly how not boring healthy eating is, how quick it can be, and how anyone, no matter where they live or what they have access, to can eat healthy too.
I mean, look at all the fun delicious things I’ve made over the last few months:
Buffalo Chickpea Potato Bowl
Thai Peanut Butter and Jelly- Yes that’s basil, and it was amazing!!!
Creamy Garlic Pasta
Chickpea Caesar Salad
Chili Cheeze Fries
Sweet Potato Sundae
So Happy Herbivore and many other vegan authors have cookbooks out on the market. Why wouldn’t I just cook from those instead of spending money on these meal plans? And I do have ALL of her cookbooks, and many more from other authors as well. I used to think that too. And maybe you wouldn’t find the cost to be worth it. But this program is so much more than just about the recipes.
For annual members, the weekly plan starts off with a nice letter from Lindsay:
It goes over fruits and veggies that are in season, gives a freebie recipe for one of the in season produce, and has a nice note for the week. After that there is a table of contents with all the recipes in the file:
After that there is a shopping list and all the recipes for the week. There is also tips for how to order your cooking to do all the cooking for one week in a single day! Cooking all your meals for the week in one day really helps keep you eating healthy even on the busiest days. I don’t do it much anymore, but in the beginning I loved cooking all my meals in one day.
I don’t cook like this much anymore because I rarely have several hours on any given day to prepare all my food at once. What I love about these plans is that they are so quick, I can make my meals during any small amounts of down time I might have. Say I get home from a long day at work and I don’t feel like cooking for my lunch the next day. I get up the next morning a little early and throw together my lunch in the 30 minutes I have before I need to leave for work. This works out great for me!
There are lots of other perks for members of this program. There are videos to help you learn how to cook more efficiently. There are ebooks of recipes and other useful information that you might need like what you’ll need to start out the meal plans. I’ve gotten a lot of use out of the breakfast book. There are also forums where members can ask questions and chat with other people who have the same diet. It really is a very cool thing to be a part of.
You can purchase the plans by week, monthly, or annually. I’m currently an annual member. I believe you only need to be a monthly member in order to get the extra perks of the plan. They have sales every so often too, so if you are considering joining, the annual plan will be a lot more affordable when it’s on sale. (I hear there is going to be a sale after labor day…)
I love these plans because you can follow them as strictly or as casually as you’d like. Many people have used them to lose weight by following the plan strictly with the 1200 calorie recommendations. There are tons of stories on Happy Herbivore about people who have lost weight and gotten healthier following these plans. For me, I’m not too worried about my weight but I do need to continue to eat low fat. I didn’t do that this summer and I ended up gaining weight and feeling terrible. Cooking off the plans for just a few days had me feeling better again! And at the same time, if I don’t feel like using the plans a particular week, or the meals don’t appeal to me, then I can cook whatever I want. It’s not like someone is going to come out of no where and beat me up for not following the plans. 🙂 They are just one great tool to help stay on track that I love to take advantage of.
Until next time!