Lynne and Heather embark on the Eat to Live diet developed by Dr. Joel Furhman. The adventure begins with an initial 6 week diet to re-energise and detox the body. Follow us as we discard our favourite high calorie/low nutrient foods for a nutritional, disease-free diet!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Lesson 1: Prepare for the busy days

yummy veg at a farmer's market in Aix en Provence
It's funny...we prepare: our finances, our work week, social calendar, family engagements...the list goes on. But one of the things most people (me included) do not prepare is what we plan to eat for the week. Most people are busy so popping to the shop to pick up a pizza or even takeaway is sometimes too easy. However, why don't we spend time preparing what we will eat? Certainly this is just as important as preparing yourself for financial security? We should be preparing ourselves for a healthy future!

In the past few weeks following a plant-based diet, I have learned that preparation is key! I have been quite busy the last few weeks and I've been getting back home around 7-10 pm during the week. Part of this is because I'm making headway on my 4 goals before 2013 (next blog post coming up later this week). And while this is giving me a huge sense of happiness and accomplishment, it isn't that great for a plant-based diet. By the time I've been dragging myself into my flat, I'm usually ravenous - wanting a quick meal, which is do-able on this diet if you have the appropriate ingredients and a resourceful mind. However, you see...I also haven't had time to buy my weekly shopping. I've been popping into my local Sainsburys for odds and ends all week. When I haven't eaten since lunch and I'm shopping for dinner at 7-10 pm, it's so very easy to pick up that pizza that I can pop in the oven. It's harder to resist the temptation when your stomach is growling like a bear after hibernation (bears do that right?).

It's easy to forget that in these instances, it takes as much time for a pizza to cook as it does to prepare a black bean avocado salad (recipe below) and strawberries with chocolate almond dip. The first requires no prep to make but provides little health benefits. The later might take 15 minutes of prep but is a healthier option full of essential minerals and vitamins and is just as tasty (the salad is a great fix if you're craving a burrito!)

If I chose the first choice, I would feel bloated but slightly peckish. Insert me stuffing my face full of chocolate digestives...With the plant-based option, I would feel sated. No bloating and no need or want to binge on biscuits! 

Lesson 1: Thou shall not forgo weekly shopping.
Lesson 2: Thou shall prepare a large meal on Sunday to freeze leftovers for convenient weekday meals. 

I might even borrow a trick out of my mom's book and write out a tentative weekly meal plan...we'll see. Regardless, freezing a rainy day dish is perfect for those days you're either too busy or too tired to put much effort into your meal. By following this, you can make sure you eat without compromising your health.

Here's one of my go-to rainy day dishes:

Black Bean Avocado Salad (tweaked from the Black Bean Lettuce Bundles in Eat to Live pg 354)
  • 2 cups cooked or canned no-salt-added or low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 large, ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and mashed
  • 1/2 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 green onions chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh coriander (cilatro)
  • 1/3 cup mild no-salt-added or low-sodium salsa
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (lemon juice also works in a pinch!)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (sometimes I throw two cloves in for a stronger taste)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1-2 heads of romaine lettuce chopped
In a medium sized mixing bowl, mash the avocado and beans together with a fork. Mix all other ingredients. Spread mixture on top of the salad. Depending on the size of your salad you may have leftover for another salad!

Strawberries with Almond Chocolate Dip (dip recipe from pg 370 Eat to Live)
  • 2/3 c raw almond butter (only almonds in this)
  • 1 c unsweetened soy or almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp natural cocoa powder
  • 2/3 c dates pitted
Blend everything in a blender until smooth and creamy, adding more milk if necessary. Pour over strawberries or other fruit of your choice and enjoy!

What's your rainy day dish? Would love suggestions! x h


  1. Boy, that Black Bean Avocado Salad looks so yummy!!! I can see why it's your rainy day dish! I am learning how important it is to simply make a weekly menu and shop. It makes such a difference, having the necessary ingredients on hand to whip up tasty meals.
    Preparation time/planning is never wasted time! It pays big dividends!

  2. The salad is very yummy especially if you have a craving for Chipotle! So true - preparation is never wasted time. Better to learn that now so as to avoid temptation!

  3. I agree with you Lynne, that black bean avocado salad sounds very tasty!

    Heather -Very good idea to make up some dishes ahead of time and freeze! I always plan on doing this, however, it seems the food goes too quick around here! Lol