Whole Foods Lifestyle - Meal plan help/ideas?

View Full Version : Meal plan help/ideas?

07-24-2010, 02:21 AM

I just finished reading Jillian Michaels book Master Your Metabolism and am really ready to ditch the processed food and start going organic (as the budget allows) I was going to join her website to get meal plans (besides the ones in the back of the book) but it's just a little too spendy and from what I read not that helpful. I mostly wanted the meal plans, I am just know what I am eating everyday and not have as many food choices which I feel makes it easier in the beginning of a change like this. So I thought I would see what people here recommend. I don't mind eating the same things for breakfasts and lunches most days, maybe one or two options. Currently I have been doing a whole wheat English muffin, one egg, 1/4 shredded cheese, and 1.5 slices of turkey bacon and then a cup of strawberries or a banana and a glass of milk...I like this but want some new options too I guess. I used to be a cereal fanatic but wanted to up my protein. Lunch has been lean cuisines or sandwiches and a piece of fruit and a 100 calorie pack so I need a total overhaul there I guess. Dinner is tricky because my hubby is the chef so as I bring him around to eating whole foods I would love some help here too.

I know I need more veggies in my diet, I am just not a huge fan of very many types and I HATE beans of any variety. It's a texture thing. I never have and probably never will. So it is a little tricky to get all the things I need without that I guess...her book recommends legumes of some sort everyday but that is just not gonna happen. Sorry to be negative but I have tried a lot of types so it is not some mental thing I just really can't stomach them.

Anyways...this has been a novel. Thanks to any still reading this far :o

Any ideas, inspirations, encouragement, and/or recipes would be greatly appreciated!!!



07-24-2010, 12:08 PM
I'd say, since your dinner is the meal over which you have the least control, I'd plan my breakfasts and lunches accordingly. If your husband offers a lot of grains at dinner, then eat minimal grains at other times of the day.

A great big salad for lunch would be a good way to get in veggies. Pair it with some protein and a healthy homemade salad dressing and you have a meal.

If you like raw vegetables, chop up some celery, carrots, broccoli and dip in a healthy sauce. I know you said you don't like beans, but have you tried bean dips? The texture is disguised a little more and you're taking smaller portions at a time. I'm thinking hummus and black-bean dips.

Here is a meal plan from one of my favorite food sites - whfoods.com


If you're concerned about getting the right portion sizes or the correct ratio of fruits/veggies/grains/protein, I'd check out the ADA or AHA diets.

There are many free resources on the web, so I would do a thorough search before paying for any meal-plan information.

Good luck! Sounds like you're off to a great start!

07-24-2010, 01:06 PM
You are off to a great start! You've been doing some excellent thinking.

There are some good higher protein cereals which might be a good thing to have around for rush days. I use the Ezekiel 4:9 original flavor cereal for that.

How about adding a couple of slices of heirloom tomato to your breakfast sandwich? They are in season now at the farmer's market. A bit expensive, but one big tomato will last several days if you're using it for sandwiches.

I second Hyacinth's idea of a big salad or veggies and dip for lunch. That's a vital part of my vegetable intake. I can be more flexible with supper if I've eaten plenty of veggies at lunch. A nice low-carb lunch is a huge salad of greens and veggies topped with nuts or seeds and/or some cheese and/or some chicken or fish (canned wild Alaska salmon is really healthy and meets my criteria for natural). I add a few dried cranberries and a nice homemade dressing. Yum!

07-24-2010, 03:28 PM
Thanks ladies!!

I do like the idea of a salad for lunch...I just get hung up by dressings I guess. I mean the types I used to eat were ranch or Cesar which are creamy and not so good for you...especially now that I am learning what the true cost of "low fat, processed, etc etc" crap is. Yuck! Hehe.

What kind of homemade dressings do you make?

In regards to bean dips I have a story...my friend had me try hummus once and I said "isn't hummus beans?" and she said "no, it's chickpea" so I was like alright and gave it a try...I immediatly spit it out and was like "that is beans!!!" Only then did she "remember" that chickpeas is another word for beans!!! Haha! So as I said...not like I haven't tried!

Also what are some good organic/whole food cookbooks you would recommend? I'll check out that website too.

Thanks again!

07-24-2010, 04:21 PM
Salad dressings are easy! (but I didn't used to think so) You can "dress" a salad by splashing on vinegar or citrus juice (usually a good balsamic vinegar) and oil (usually a good extra virgin olive oil). To make a salad dressing requires at least one more ingredient, an emulsifier, because vinegar and oil will separate. Mustard and ketchup both work. Also, most jellies or jams will work if you want a fruity dressing. Use a whisk or a small food processor or blender to get everything mixed.

My husband likes his dressings sweet, and I find that I can get away with less oil when I use something sweet, so I go for that. That small amount of sugar doesn't trigger cravings for me. Start with about equal amounts of vinegar and oil, and change the proportions up or down for your taste.

My easiest dressings:

Honey mustard: Extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, mustard, honey
Creamy honey mustard is the same but I add some mayo to get some creaminess

Spicy Catalina: Extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, ketchup, Asian sweet chili sauce, agave nectar

Asian: Toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar or lime juice, mustard, maple syrup

For creamier dressings, I use mayo mixed with yogurt (strained or Greek-style is best, but the normal fat free yogurt works). So I might mix mayo, strained yogurt, rice vinegar, milk, and sugar for a creamy coleslaw dressing. With less sugar and some pepper, it resembles a ranch dressing.

There's a sticky at the top of this forum about books, some recommendations are cookbooks or have recipes.

I like the library for cookbooks, since I frequently find I use three recipes in every cookbook, so I might as well let the library own my cookbooks. Food Matters by Mark Bittman is good. He has many other cookbooks, but that one focuses on whole foods and why they are good for us and the planet as well as having recipes in the back. Tosca Reno has books about clean eating and some are cookbooks. Even the ones that aren't cookbooks generally have recipes.

07-24-2010, 07:28 PM
Another way to get vegetables in is to chop up whatever you like (this week I'm doing eggplant, mushrooms, garlic, onion, green peppers) into biggish chunks, marinade in olive oil and balsamic vinegar and maybe some pepper, and roast them in the oven. Delicious!

My fav salad dressing is the best balsamic vinegar I can find + the best olive oil I can find + fresh herbs from the garden. Toss in a food processor and voila! I also make creamy dressings with yogurt instead of mayo (or cut half and half, if necessary).

I like Mark Bittman's "How To Cook Everything" and the Superfoods books. I also use a LOT of internet resources for recipes, mostly supercook.com.

07-25-2010, 05:28 PM
Great ideas above on the salads and dressings. Also have you tried lentils? They are a legume but not "beany" tasting. Lentil soup or stew can be flavored in so many different ways and freezes well. I also think that roasting the veggies as mentioned provided an entirely different taste and texture that may win you over.

07-26-2010, 07:35 PM
Roasting is a favorite, it is what got my kids to start eating different vegs
Cauliflower roasted is an entirely different veg than you have ever had fresh or steamed.

Chopped up zuchini, peppers, carrots etc are great in a marinara sauce, ALSO cook once eat twice...make a big batch and then use it a couple times

07-26-2010, 07:50 PM
Thanks for all the ideas!

My hubby and I went shopping at the natural foods store and I was overwhelmed!! I just did not know what to buy organic what is ok not organic. I can't really afford to do 100% organic at the moment.

I mean I like a brand of cheese that says "All natural" but does that mean the cows are natural/organic fed, not injected with nasty chemicals and stuff, etc. Or does that mean just the cheese is processed in a natural way?!

It was kinda making my head spin!

I thought this new lifestyle or way of eating would be simpler...

I guess I just gotta work on baby steps and making those changes last so things get auto pilot eventually.

Thanks for the ideas guys!

07-26-2010, 09:33 PM
I agree! It can be overwhelming and hard to understand. There are lists of foods that are more important to buy organic, here is an example: http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy-eating/eat-safe/Dirty-Dozen-Foods

I don't find it easy to buy 100% organic, either. I do buy a fair amount of farmers' market foods, organic or not.

For me, to get into whole foods it was easier to just start simplifying. It didn't mean going organic at first, but eating more fresh and raw fruits and vegetables, simple meats (and less meat), and easy grains. After a few months, I cut out high fructose corn syrup and learned to make some things on my own. Every now and then, I grab something new at the health-food store, like next it will be a bag of kamut (a grain). I go to traditional grocery stores about half the time, and the other times go to an organic food co-op or the nearby farmers' market, and occasionally get some produce from gardening friends or relatives.

07-27-2010, 01:05 AM
Yep, "all natural" means pretty much nothing! You've already learned one important tenet of eating whole foods!

I agree with you and Hyacinth that it's best to take things slowly and gently. It seems like there's always something that can be done better and you'd drive yourself nuts trying to be perfect.

08-01-2010, 01:17 AM
I'd also suggest you take things slow when trying to cut out the processed foods.

When I started out, I tried small changes. For example, I replaced all my snacks with fruit. I used to eat lots of granola bars, or cookies, or a piece of chocolate, etc. Now, I eat a small banana, or an apple, or a peach, or a cup of strawberries. In fact, I used to "treat" myself to a chocolate bar in the supermarket. Now I treat myself to a box of yummy strawberries!

I buy as much organic as I can, but I can't afford to go 100%... I also try to go by a list similar to what Hyacinth posted. For example, an orange has a thick peel, so I buy the regular oranges. Grapes, on the other hand, have very thin skin, so I can almost *see* the pesticides get inside (I really have this mental image in my head when I go grocery shopping :P)

For regular meals, I relied a lot on soups and stir fries in the beginning.

My faves are lentil soup (regular and Indian style), split pea soup, vegetable soup over 2/3 cup of cooked brown rice, chili (although mine has a significant amount of beans in it :P).

I also like whole wheat pasta with homemade tomato sauce (sometimes with hormone-free ground turkey, or soy crumbles (meatless ground beef), or diced chicken breast).

And you can add a lot of vegetables to a stir-fry (you can replace meat with tofu, that'll be cheaper) and serve it over brown rice or whole wheat couscous or quinoa.

By the way, try quinoa -- it's really healthy and yummy!

Good luck!