About the meal plans

In the next couple of sections there are two example meal plans. Remember that they are examples only. You don’t have to stick to them and in fact I would prefer you didn’t use them at all. I would rather you used what you have learnt so far and put together your own plans that suit you. However, these can provide you with a starting point. You can mix and match the days, have leftovers, substitute meat for vegetarian and dairy milk for soy etc. You can also switch like for like. If you don’t like chicken, substitute salmon or tofu; if you don’t like goat’s cheese, feel free to use cheddar.

You also don’t have to do the simple or enthusiastic plan. You can use a combination to suit you and your schedule. As long as you stick to the plate model and portion sizes you can be pretty flexible.

I haven’t included sweets, cakes, or desserts, but if you want to add them, follow the rules about having them as part of a meal, rather than as standalone snacks, and watch the portion sizes. Remember to be mindful when you eat them – enjoy them 100% or ask yourself if it’s really worth keeping eating!

You can make or buy all these meals, it’s up to you, although when you make food yourself, you are in control of what goes in to it. You can be in charge of making sure there’s the right amount of pasta or protein. Batch cooking is a great way to have the best of both worlds – to make your own ready meals I have included some recipes if you are up for it.

General Rules

  • Portion sizes are really important. If you are buying something ready portioned, prepare to modify it a bit by eating less or adding something as necessary.
  • Have two large handfuls (half the plate) of two different vegetables (ideally) or fruit. If using a recipe you might have to modify it to include more veg, less protein or carbs. Frozen veg is a great thing to add to sauces to get more veg in.
  • Carbohydrate portions at mealtimes (bread, oats, rice, pasta, noodles, potatoes) should be approximately 1-11⁄2 fist-sized servings.
  • Protein should be about palm-sized.
  • Substitutes are absolutely OK: eg potatoes for rice, carrots for broccoli. In fact I encourageyou to choose the foods you like or what you have to hand.
  • Snacks are optional depending on hunger.