Lets change our thinking in how our breakfast, lunch and dinner plates should look!
I can say when I started eating more of a WFPB lifestyle, I really had to change my way of thinking when I would cook a meal…..I grew up where my mom cooked most of the time and we ate out very little…..particulary because my mom did not work, so she was home to cook and we did not have the money to eat out and to feed a family of 6, it was too expensive………so she cooked a lot….and the meals for dinner always consisted of a starch, a vegetable and a meat of some sort. I would say the meal was poportioned out as the starch was 50% and the vegetable was 25% and the meat was 25%…..Which in hindsight is not that bad…., particularly because we did not have the money to give everyone lots of meat……..however that is not what the SAD (standard american diet) plates look like in the population today…..most people do not even have a vegetable on their plate or they consider the fried potatoes, the vegetable and add another high fat starch or vegetable with cheese all on it …….and the meat is probably 50% of the plate and is a processed quick “boxed” “pre-packaged” meat because cooking today has become a thing of the past-time or cooking consisted of a Pre-packaged boxed dinner that is loaded with chemicals, salt, sugar and fat…..to keep us “addicted” to that stuff….. Now don’t get me wrong…I love a quick pre-package “boxed” meal, every once in a while for the convenience…….but I am very careful to look at the ingredients and see what is made from….hopefully some “real” food of some sort!
Now, before you go off on me….I am not saying that YOU eat this way but I am just saying…this is my opinion on what I have been observing ….when I see people eating………………So having said that……………..I had to change that “childhood” plate in my head that I was used to for a long time…….My dinner plate now is 50% veggies and I will usually make 2 vegetable sides, along with some kind of starch which is about 25% and a plant-based protein for my “meat” part, which is the other 25%. I also try to start my meal off with a salad of some sort…so veggies are in there too but I am not counting that…that is like a bonus of extra veggies………..My protein can sometimes be a dish that is a starch and a protein, married together, such as stuffed shells…it has the pasta as my starch and it is stuffed with tofu as my protein……….not just like bland like that……. but seasoned of course! That is actually a FAVORITE dish in our home and I will get that recipe to you all in time…..I promise…… My “protein” part can be a baked sweet potato stuffed with beans, rice & beans or a plant-based protein burger on a bun…..you get the point on how sometimes my starch and protein are together….like a marriage! And then I have my big veggie side and sometimes it can be 2 different types or one BIG portion. If I make my roasted kale it is usually one BIG portion, because I love it that much! ……
Now my lunch back in the day….was usually a sandwich with “cold-cuts” meaning sliced meat and cheese……and a side chips of some sort…and of course a bubbly cola. Or a big bowl of soup or chili….but I will save that topic for another post on how to re-create your favorite soups and/or chilis “plant-based style”………..But for now if your lunch used to look like this or still does…meaning a big sub sandwich, hoagie or whatever fancy names they call them…………..I want you to try and re-create and plant-base your hoagie or have a large salad with all types of good veggies and fruit and nuts in it…with a oil- free dressing or a dressing that has very little oil in it……..or try a veggie “buddha” bowl…..In The Engine 2 Seven-Day Rescue book, Rip goes into how to build a salad or bowl for lunch and that book is also an AMAZING reference for meals!….Listen I am not here to reinvent the wheel…I am here to help you out and share tips and tricks………..and all these references I give you has helped me….and why not share in the health wealth!
You can also keep the sandwich! Look for good clean ingredient bread, wrap or pita. Now, I will say when I started to eat clean….simple “real” bread was the hardest to find …..I had to find a local baker/farmers market and ask what their ingredients were…So check with your local baker or health food supermarket near you…because most big supermarkets do not carry “clean” bread. (tips on this at 100 Days of Real Food) Try stuffing the sandwich with all kinds of veggie goodies and replace the chips with a piece of fruit or a side of veggies and hummus, if you are looking for a crunch affect…another great CRUNCH affect are roasted chickpeas…… or popcorn……or YES! sometimes you can have a side of chips!……..just try and keep them on the cleaner side…if you are doing potato chips…then the ingredients should be potatoes, oil, salt….that is it! There are lots of great side options “snacky” options out there now but you need to be mindful of the ingredients and if you look at 100 Days of Real Foods website…Lisa goes into LOTS of snacks that are on the cleaner, minimal ingredient side…..she has done an EXCELLENT job on that! As far as the side of soup is concerned you need to really read ingredients there and watch the salt…But I will do a future posts on some alternative plant-based soups that are scrumptious!
Okay, now for breakfast….I know I did it backwards but I felt dinner needed the biggest “look” change then lunch now breakfast…….Breakfast for me was usually cereal with milk, a breakfast sandwich of some sort, omelettes platter with hash browns and bacon or oatmeal/cream of wheat…….Okay so there are LOTS of re-creations of breakfast….oh heck!! there are lots of re-creation of lunch and dinners too but I want to keep this post kinda short and just show you a glimpse of how you can re-create your dished and plant-base them! Follow my blog and you will get to see how I have plant-based my breakfasts, lunches and dinners!…………….Okay back to breakfast!….if you are used to having cereal with milk…….then have cereal with milk! just try and look for “clean” cereal and use a plant-based milk…..In my “Milk does the body no good” post I have link there to how to make your own plant-based milks or now you can buy them at the supermarkets….yeah! the world is changing! okay also I would go to the 100 days of real food site and watch how Lisa breaks down how to look for clean cereals!
Now for the cream of wheat portion…..there is a lot of oatmeal, whole grain/rice hot cereal options…… I found good ones from the brand Bobs Red Mill, there are lots of options here ….Oatmeal you can make it with water and top with your favorite nuts & fruit. For the hot cereal option I make it according to the directions and then I add a little coconut milk and earths balance butter, a drizzle of honey and a pinch of salt! okay you see I am trying to re-live my childhood favorite….Cream of wheat…my mom would make it…then add a little milk, sugar, a pinch of salt and a pat of butter…. I can say my new and improved version still gives me that warm cozy childhood memory feeling!………Now for the omelet platters with hash browns and bacon….I usually will do a tofu “egg’ scramble or put it in a wrap or just do a potato and veggies hash with some beans or a veggie breakfast patty on the side and ………truly I LOVE a savory breakfast and I have realized it is not the bacon taste that I miss but it is the salt……..so when a make a breakfast platter I topped it off with a nice sea salt and I am good to go! The breakfast sandwich game is really just taking my breakfast platter/bowl and wrapping it all up in a whole wheat wrap! There again, are lots of options here! But I am just trying to show you without giving you a “book” on this but “plant-basing” your meals can be done!
Follow my blog and instagram @fruitandveggiesforlife and I will hopefully get to show you how I do it for me and my family! I also hope you utilize all the links and great resources I give you because truly they have helped me and my family tremendously in getting healthier and I hope to do the same for you!