Dinner time can be a struggle during the week. I am always looking for fast dinners that require very little of my time. The balancing act for me is having a plant-based lifestyle to support my gut health while my husband eats meat. He has agreed to one plant-based meal per week but that is it.
Being plant-based doesn't mean I am a vegetarian or vegan. Most people think that if you focus on eating plant-based foods, you do not eat meat ever. The truth is following a plant-based diet means you are reducing how much meat you eat and eating instead fruits, vegetables and healthy grains for all meals. You can be plant-based as many or as few days a week making it a very flexible lifestyle.
I like to eat plant-based Monday through Wednesday, sometimes on Thursday as well. I find during the week, it is easier to follow a schedule. On the weekends, I will eat meat and/or fish. On the weekends we have a more flexible schedule which may not allow for plant-based eating.
Why do I eat plant-based?
#1 FOR MY HEALTH
When I decided to go plant-based, I had no idea the healthy effects I would experience. One year after following a plant-based lifestyle, my cholesterol dropped 10 points. It wasn't high to begin with but this was a measurable effect of choosing to eat more plants. Plus, my energy levels have soared and I've been able to maintain my weight for the past 6 years.
My digestive health has also healed significantly. Our gut needs to be fed a steady supply of both insoluble and soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber helps to speed up our digestion and add bulk to our poop. If you are eating enough insoluble fiber, you will have a bowel movement every day and avoid constipation.
Not having a bowel movement every day is not a healthy habit. We've been led to believe that our bowel movements are different for every person. Some people don't have one for up to 1 week! Think about what a bowel movement is. It is the body getting rid of waste. Imagine that waste is left in your body for days and ferments in your bowels. Bad bacteria starts to grow.
If you aren't having a bowel movement every day that is well formed (see Bristol Stool Chart) you more than likely have an unhealthy gut.
Additional symptoms of an unhealthy gut are:
These symptoms are embarrassing and force you to miss out on important moments in your life.
How would eliminating those symptoms improve your life? You could:
✅Be more present with your children
✅Thrive in your career
✅Improve your communication and your relationships
✅Have more fun!
✅Move your body and improve your fitness
✅Lose weight and feel better about yourself
✅Be able to cook healthy meals for you and your family
✅Take an active vacation
✅Reclaim your life!
Not sure where to start? I am here to help!
I am a Certified Holistic Nutritionist teaching people just like you how to stop suffering from the embarrassing effects of an unhealthy gut so you can get back to living. The TAKE YOUR LIFE BACK coaching call is a FREE 30 minute call where we will talk about your specific symptoms and start creating a plan on how to heal your gut using the Simply Great Gut Health program.
Simply Great Gut Health is a customized 5 Step plan that heals your gut and fits your busy lifestyle.
It’s very simple. No jumping through hoops and NO PRESSURE.
If we determine it’s not a fit, we’ll go our separate ways for now.
If it is a fit, we can take the next step and get you started on the path to healing your gut.
You can also join our email list by clicking here. You'll receive healthy living tips and gut friendly recipes for free. As a thank you for signing up, I'll send you the 5 Tips To Fight Bloating e-book for free.
#2 FOR THE VARIETY
When I was eating a meat-based diet, it was very routine. Same type of poultry, beef, fish and pork cooked in a similar way every week. But when I went plant-based, I couldn't believe the variety of recipes. Also, there are so many different vegetables to eat. A lot more compared to the types of meat I would buy. When I ate meat all week long, I would stick to the basic vegetables like green beans and corn. A whole new world was opened to me when I went plant-based.
#3 FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
Eating plant-based can help manage global warming. The World Resource Institute calculated that beef, lamb and goat have the largest impact on greenhouse gas emissions. Poultry and pork have a medium impact and beans, fish and nuts have the lowest impact. Even if you only have one night a week as a meatless dinner, you are helping the environment.
The amazing and quick dinner recipes that the whole family will love are a mix of plant-based and meat. I hope this list inspires you to experiment at least one plant-based dinner per week with your family.
Chickpea Quinoa Stir-Fry by My Plant Based Family. This recipe would need meal-prep over the weekend to make it a fast dinner. Quinoa takes 25 minutes to cook. Plus, I would chop all the veggies and have frozen ready to throw in as well to finish the meal. By prepping on the weekend, you can have this together in 15 minutes. Click here for the recipe.
Sweet Potato Veggie Lasagna by Plant Based Cooking. This lasagna is a hearty meal. It can be made on the weekend for a quick and nutritious heat and eat dinner. Plus, there will be left-overs for lunches. I love it when left-overs become lunch! Makes my life so much easier. The recipe calls for tofu but if that is way too vegetarian for you, you can skip it. There are plenty of other ingredients in this dish so I promise, you won't miss it. Click here for the recipe.
Middle Eastern Salad Tacos by Feasting at Home. What I love about this recipe is that you can make this really quickly and have it on the table in 30 minutes or less. Also, you can make this anytime of the year and simply substitute whatever veggies are in season. Click here for the recipe.
Vegan & Gluten-Free Green Falafel by Elephantastic Vegan. This recipe can substitute spinach instead of using collard greens. Don't let the word vegan scare you. It is simply because the recipe doesn't need an egg as a binder. The chickpeas are moist enough to make the falafel. Pair this with steamed broccoli or sauteed zucchini or eat on top of salad as shown in the picture below. Click here for the recipe.
One Pot Kale & Quinoa by deensiebat. This recipe is so simple that it practically cooks itself. Perfect for a busy meatless Monday dinner. If kale isn't popular in your house, this will work just as well with spinach. It serves 2-4 and takes under 30 minutes. Click here for the recipe.
30 Minute Chicken Puttanesca by Honest Cooking. Made on the stove-top in one pot, this couldn't get easier. Just a couple of steps for chopping garlic and browning the chicken - then use canned tomatoes and cook it all together! YUM! Click here for the recipe.
One Skillet Ground Beef Divan by the Midnight Baker. This recipe uses either cream of mushroom soup or pre-made alfredo sauce. If you are lactose intolerant like I am, I recommend using a dairy free milk and cornstarch, which will thicken the sauce. This allows you to forego the cream of mushroom soup or alfredo sauce. Also, ground turkey or chicken is a nice substitute for the ground beef. Click here for the recipe.
One Pan Gnocchi with Sundried Tomatoes and White Beans by Sweet Peas and Saffron. This couldn't get any easier since all the ingredients are prepared and all you have to do is cook it together. This recipe includes mushrooms and spinach to help reach your veggie intake for the day! Click here for the recipe.
Slow Cooker Santa Fe Chicken by Skinny Taste. When you are short on time, nothing beats a crock-pot. Put in the ingredients, set it and forget it. This recipe does just that! Click here for the recipe.
Do you think you will try any of the above recipes? Let me know by leaving me a comment below.