Magic is an overused term these days, but if you try what I’m about to share with you, your mind might be blown—yet it’s real, not trickery! You will even receive a FREE Gift if you read to the end of this post…
When we first decided to become plant-based, I sought the help of local Dietician, Chantal Gariapy, RD, CDE, because one of our children is allergic to many of the foundational foods of a vegan diet.
I was prepared for the usual admonition to, “think of meat and bone broth as medicinal in his case.” Instead, she fully supported our decision to not eat animals despite the extra challenge his allergies presented. She has given us much wisdom, but what I’m MOST EXCITED to share with you is the advice she gave me during our first meeting way back when.
You MUST batch cook for your sanity.
Batch cook? Huh? I’d never heard of it.
That night I checked out the two online resources she suggested and joined the Clean Food Dirty Girl Private Facebook Group — surprised I didn’t have to be an actual paying member to do so. I liked the idea of a meal plan, but…
1) The five of us are rarely home at the same time to eat together anyway so it won’t work for our family…
2) One kid is allergic to so many foods, I’d have to make him something different anyway so it won’t work for our family…
3) Mr. OneGreenSmoothie doesn’t like beans and I’m sure there will be lots of beans so it won’t work for our family…
4) I don’t like to cook and don’t want to spend that much time preparing recipes so it won’t work for me…
5) I’m not organized enough to plan that far ahead, and besides, I like to eat according to the weather ie, warm food when it’s cold, cool food when it’s warm so it won’t work for our family…
6) Gosh, it would be sooooo nice, but… It. Just. Won’t. Work.
After a YEAR of reading about all the amazing meals the other members of the group were posting, how their meat-eating family and friends were devouring the meals, and how much easier their lives had become since starting the program, I finally took the plunge…and WOW, the MAGIC started!
Here are just some reasons why I LOVE Clean Food Dirty Girl meal plans (there are more, but 10 seemed like a catchy number for the title):
1) Every Friday morning, Molly Patrick, the founder, sends you the plan with everything you need except the food and tools. For example, she gives you a detailed shopping list arranged so all the spices are in one section, fresh produce in another, non-perishables in another, etc. She’s ultra-organized so you don’t have to be!
2) I no longer waste time wandering aimlessly in the store trying to come up with an idea everyone in our family will like! I no longer make impulse buys that sit on the shelf for months on end. I buy only what I need, nothing more.
4) She tells you the exact order to make the recipes so you use your time in the kitchen efficiently (and you conserve mental bandwidth to use for other more fun/interesting/educational activities).
5) You batch all at once—yes it can take a couple of hours and can be exhausting as you learn the process, but when you’re finished, you have five nights of dinners done and you’ve only messed up the kitchen once, thus saving you hours exponentially during the week. Also, it gets easier and faster each week.
6) Since we batch cook on the weekends, the kids and Mr. OneGreenSmoothie are helping with the food prep which is:
- a) something they previously wouldn’t do after coming home tired and famished from school and sports
- b) great for learning how to read and follow recipes and building kitchen confidence
- c) special and lovely bonding time
7) You use mostly common ingredients, but also some new ones you might not have considered before such as coconut aminos, ume plum vinegar, black rice, collard greens, tahini, dulse, etc.
8) You will eat a greater variety of food and that diversity is a GOLDMINE for your microbiome!
9) Her sauces are seriously indescribable and make everything and anything taste out of this world! Did I just say, seriously indescribable? Yes, and I’ll say it again!
10) The MENTAL SPACE FREED UP by having a healthy and delicious dinner not only planned, but actually prepared, is beyond imaginable!!
If you’ve been plant curious, but just at a loss for what to cook that would please your family, especially the meat lovers, this is a super solution, a no-brainer, a slam dunk!
Plant-Based Meal Plans are becoming all the rage and rightly so! My favorite podcasters, Rich Roll and Julie Piatt, just launched a cool Meal Plan App, Matt Frazier of No Meat Athlete recently released a cook book with meal plan suggestions, Meal Mentor offers a weekly meal plan and podcast, and of course, the plan I’ve been using and loving is by Molly Patrick at Clean Food Dirty Girl. Try out a few different ones and see what fits best for you.
One final note, and this is the biggest surprise to me since I’m typically not a joiner. The community on the Private Facebook Group for Clean Food Dirty Girl is FANTASTIC!! They share great recipes, suggest substitutions, offer organization tips, provide support for people with less-than supportive families, bring humor and levity to eating plant-based, and contribute some of the most value-add posts in my feed!
I strongly encourage you to learn from my mistake and don’t hesitate. Just go for it and sign up for a plant-based meal plan. The investment is minimal, and you can always try a few to see which one is right for you. I’m confident you will want to shout this from the rooftops as much as I do!