Making Meal Planning Easy With Mary McDougall
If you've been thinking about making the transition to a whole-food, plant-based diet, yet need a little encouragement on how to get started, you'll enjoy viewing the below 30-minute video featuring Mary McDougall.
Some of the points that Mary covers in the video are:
1. You can spend as little or as much time as you wish in the kitchen — depending on your needs. Whether you prefer elaborate gourmet meals or very simple ones, choose a style that best fits your lifestyle and talents. For a successful transition, change your routine as little as possible — keeping things simple works best.
2. Take the time to plan meals for at least 3-4 days. This is a tremendous help, especially for those with busy families and schedules.
3. Plan your meal around a starch, for instance, a whole grain, beans, or potatoes. Then add a wide variety of colorful vegetables, fruit, and a small amount of nuts or seeds. For a visual guide, read my blog, What Does a Plant-Based Dinner Plate Look Like?
4. Start out with foods that are familiar to your family. Soups, chili, burritos, pasta with marinara sauce, and sandwiches are examples of family favorites that can be made simply by omitting the meat, dairy and oil, by replacing eggs, and choosing whole grains over refined grains.
5. Keep the kitchen well-stocked with whole grains, dried beans, canned tomatoes, whole grain pasta, some nuts/seeds, etc., and a few convenience foods like no-salt added canned beans.
6. Have a list of fast recipes that can be made in 15 minutes or less. It's easy to make a fast and simple meal out of frozen vegetables/grains, canned beans, and/or frozen veggie burgers that you've made previously.
7. Stock your kitchen with the right tools. Mary explains how to choose cookware, bakeware, and electric appliances. Examples include non-stick pans, stainless steel, silicone bakeware, slow cookers and pressure cookers. (This was filmed before the Instant Pot came out on the market.)
Part Two of Mary's presentation can be seen by clicking on Chapter Two- Reading Between the Lines.
Other helpful ideas to simplify meal preparation are:
1. Chop/cut vegetables up ahead of time and place in zip-loc bags. The vegetables are then ready for the next day's meal.
2. If your budget allows, purchase vegetables that are already trimmed and cut.
3. Always prepare more food than what is needed for one meal. That way, left-overs from dinner can be eaten for lunch the next day.
4. Cook a large pot of soup over the weekend which can be eaten several days during the week.
5. Dried beans and whole grains can be cooked in large pots and then frozen into small containers or bags. These can easily be thawed in the microwave within minutes and are ready to add to your meal.
6. Jeff Novick, MS, RD, LD, LN has produced many Fast Food DVDs which demonstrate how to navigate through the grocery store and prepare quick and easy meals using common ingredients.
7. For those times when you're not able to prepare a meal, or if you'd like to give plant-based cuisine a try, there are many businesses that will prepare a home-cooked, plant-based meal and deliver it right to your front door! It's never been easier to eat healthfully!
John McDougall MD Links
Preview the "Ask the Doc!" Trailer
Your Questions Answered: In Dr. Carney's Starch-Smart® System seminars, written questions from participants are collected beforehand, protecting their privacy. In this informative video presentation, Dr. Carney shares the answer to many of those frequently asked questions - with complex scientific evidence made easy to understand. Learn the answers to what you've always wanted to ask, and so much more!
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