Food Plans, Labels & Shopping


This is about your journey, your health and your goals. Each of you will have your own unique path to transitioning to a whole food plant based way of eating.

I’m not the food police and this is not about perfection.

I’m here to share what has worked for me .

This is your journey and your choices.

Are you willing to experiment?  Are you at the stage of curiosity and researching or are you already on your journey moving forward?  

What is your goal? Jump in or dip a toe?    

I encourage you to choose a method that resonates with you. Keep in mind, whatever you choose, there is no right or wrong. However to succeed it will need to become a lifestyle and the foods you choose must be sustainable for the long term.

Success begins with choices.

Food Plans

While some people can figure out what to eat on their own, most prefer some sort of plan.

You may find it easiest to start by changing only one meal at a time. Choose the meal that will help you the most during the transition. It does not have to be the same each day. Select a recipe from any of the food plans below to begin.

Or, you may wish to plan for an “all in” approach by reviewing the food plans, shopping for your ingredients and preparing your meals in advance. This is referred to as “batch cooking”.

After selecting the plan that will work best for you, you may wish to view this excellent tutorial on easy whole food plant based Batch Cooking provided by Nutmeg Notebook.


Food Plans… The following food plans are available for free


3-Day Sample Menu 

The Center for Nutrition Studies invites you to check out their 3-day sample menu of delicious plant-based recipes to help you get started. You can also go to their recipe tab and look specifically for meals, salads, soups, appetizers, sauces, side dishes and desserts. 


10-Day Meal Plan 

Dr. McDougall’s Health and Wellness Center offers a wealth of information, from archived newsletters, over a thousand recipes, video presentations as well as his 10-day Meal Plan with recipes, grocery lists and a weekly menu planner.


7 Days of Kid-Friendly Dinners 

Are you looking for healthier ideas for children or grandchildren? Heather McDougall, McDougall Program Director and mother to 3 boys has modified a few recipes to create 7 days of kid-friendly family dinners. I invite you to check these out.  


21-Day Vegan Kickstart PCRM Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine 

This is a very popular program, which runs from the 1st to the 21st of each month. You will receive: 

  • a 21-Day Meal Plan with delicious and easy recipes with step-by step photos to guide you; 
  • daily messages from nutrition experts delivered to your inbox; and, 
  • coaching tips from celebrities, healthcare professionals, and athletes who will provide diet and lifestyle tips as well as a community support forum. 

How to Read Food Labels


Do you know how to read food labels?  Do you know what all the numbers mean?  Do the ingredients sound like they were created in a chemical laboratory?  Are the food labels telling you “the truth”? 

UC Davis Integrative Medicine gives us an in-depth approach on how to decipher food labels.  Get tips for identifying  “bad” fats, hidden salt and sugar, refined carbohydrates and intact whole grains as well as advice on fibre, cholesterol and calories. This source also includes a free download for your own personal wallet size card on How to Read a Food Label.

Benefit of no Food Labels

Hans Diehl, founder of CHIP – Complete Health and Improvement Program – delivers a short inspiring message explaining the benefits of purchasing foods with no labels. – 3:59

Fibre Rich Formula  

Nutrition Facts presents a short video to teach us a simple formula on how to read labels to insure we are getting adequate fibre in our chosen processed food. – 4:00 

Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss  

From a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter at The New York Times comes the troubling story of the rise of the processed food industry - and how it used salt, sugar, and fat to addict us. 

Purchase the book here

Shopping


When we are accustomed to purchasing meat, cheese and processed foods, as the mainstay of our diets, learning how to shop for Whole Food Plant Based foods can be a challenge.  I found a few videos to make your experience visual and fun. Each video has unique tips to show you what to look for when grocery shopping.

Chef AJ, an author and recognized expert in Whole Food Plant Based eating and weight loss, takes you on an in-store shopping tour. She demonstrates the steps of how to select healthy foods with particular attention to fruits and vegetables, as well as how to choose foods high in antioxidants and key nutrients. She also discusses oil-free condiments, seasonings, herbs, and frozen bulk foods. She shares practical tips on how to create quick, easy and satisfying meals with just a few foods.  (Lifestyle Medicine Institute; Vimeo; 9:57)

Jeff Novick, MS, RDN is a registered dietician with a Master of Science Degree.  He is the staff dietician for the McDougall Intensive Live-in Program. Novick’s in-store shopping trip leaves the produce and bulk aisles and reviews prepared and packaged foods to create delicious, easy meals in less than ten minutes.  Jeff makes cooking quick and easy with a list of the top ten of the healthiest packaged foods to keep in your pantry