It’s Sunday, what are you doing today?
Besides dreading tomorrow…do you have anything else planned?
Public service announcement: You need to get up and join me in the kitchen, my friend! That’s right, Sunday’s were made for kicking ass in the getting healthy department!
It’s time to wrap your loving arms around this day because if you use it right, it is going to give you maddening success in the week to come! You are going to OWN this week!
All it takes is one day of purposeful action to guarantee that you stay on track with your healthy eating for the next 7 days. And guess what? If you can duplicate that week 3 more times–well, then you’ve got a whole month of healthy eating under your belt. (And, BTW your belt is going to be feeling a whole lot looser too!)
I’ve got everything you’re going to need to make this happen! All you have to do is start. Now.
My eat to live motto has always been: PREP YOURSELF BEFORE YOU WRECK YOURSELF!
And I’m going to show you exactly how you’re going to do it with these 8 steps:
- build your own salad bar
- get good food storage
- super-easy breakfast preps
- make a big pot of soup
- AHVR (always have veggies roasting)
- portion out carbs
- the real power lunch
- set your schedule **grab your free printable weekly schedule here!
No more thinking “it’s too hard to eat a healthy lunch at work,” no more compromising your food choices because you’re too tired to cook after a long day of commuting, working and wrangling the kids.
You’re a weekly food prepper now!
Um, how freaking amazing does this salad bar look? Doesn’t that make figuring out your two daily salads a whole lot easier?
Good! Now let’s learn how to make it happen…
STEP 1 | BUILD YOUR OWN SALAD BAR
Salads loaded with raw veggies and healthful, no-oil dressings are the cornerstone of the Eat to Live program.
Dr. Fuhrman recommends getting a pound of raw vegetables in your diet daily.
Seem crazy? Don’t be scurred. Easily done with your weekly salad bar! The key here is taking the time to do all your veggie chopping on Sunday.
The first step is figuring out what veggies you want on hand for the week.
Here are my top choices that can stay fresh for 5+ days:
- red onions
- cabbage (red or green)
- bell peppers
- sugar snap peas
- grape tomatoes (can be chopped or left whole)
A little tip for keeping chopped veggies fresh is adding a napkin or half paper towel into the bottom of the container to absorb water.
Don’t forget to have beans ready to go too. I usually take two cans of garbanzo beans (use your favorites), drain them and rinse them well and keep them in a baggie for easier access.
Make two fresh, homemade salad dressings for the week.
I suggest always having one bean-based and one nut-based dressing each week. You can also fill in with flavored vinegar if you get bored.
Some of my favorites are:
- Extra-Creamy No-Oil Hummus
- Dr. Fuhrman’s Walnut Balsamic Vinaigrette
- No-Oil Citrus Salad Dressing
- No-Oil Spinach Pesto Dressing
- No-Oil Carrot Ginger Dressing
- No-Oil Beet Hummus Dressing
How Your Salad Bar Works
By having all your salad toppings cut, shredded or otherwise modified to your heart’s content, it’s going to make your salad literally grab-and-go-able!
Just like your favorite local salad bar. And if you have to make more than one salad, all the better and all the easier!
Load up your toppings, choose your dressing and then eat! that! salad!
Here’s a quick video of how I like to make a huge rainbow salad with oil-free hummus and balsamic using my in-fridge salad bar:
More Salad Bar Prep Tips
Big tip alert:
When you’re making your dinner salad, pack up your lunch salad for the next day.
Let’s start with Sunday’s dinner. You’re going to have a salad (cause you are striving for that 1 pound of raw veggies daily goal, right?). So, you’re just going to pack your lunch salad for Monday at the very same time.
While you’re already in salad-making mode, make your salad for lunch! Make sure to pack your toppings and dressing separate from the greens (no one wants a soggy salad–Monday is soggy enough already!).
What are you going to pack your lunch salad in?
That brings me to the next point…
STEP 2 | INVEST IN GOOD FOOD STORAGE
You’re a serious weekly food prepper now, that means you need the right gear!
If you’re eating your lunches away from home, your first purchase needs to be a good salad container.
There are tons of options out there! My personal favorite is this one from Sistema:
I pack the bottom up with greens, I mean really stuff them in there! The top portion holds about 2 cups of toppings. The dressing container is on the smaller side, but that’s a good thing–you don’t need to be dowsing your salad in dressing anyway (even if it is healthy).
The fork and knife are just cute. I mean, eating your salad with a hot pink fork just makes it taste that much better–I promise! There are other colors too (if you insist on being boring).
Ditch the Plastic & Go Glass
You want all those veggies you chopped to stay fresh for at least 5 days, so you’re not dealing with a salad-topping meltdown come Friday.
You need to invest in glass food storage containers. I have done the clinical trials for you on this one! Glass keeps veggies fresher longer.
The other great thing about glass is that you can heat up your hot dishes right in the microwave. No first-world problems like having to transfer your food to a microwave-safe dish or just figuring that you can handle some hot plastic chemical exposure because you’re just too dang lazy to do otherwise (okay, I’m speaking from personal experience on that one).
These are my two favorite sets, and I have them both (you can see above):
This set from Glassware (above) was my first. I’ve had it for about two years and I love it! Lots of different shapes and sizes and wonderful quality.
This set I just bought last week at Costco, and so far I’m impressed. I love that it has a steamer tray–I’ve used it to make broccoli and beets and it worked perfectly. Very comparable to my first set, so I recommend them both.
Lastly, since you’re going to be making your own delicious and nutritious salad dressings and sauces weekly, might I suggest you climb aboard the Mason jar train!
Yes, these puppies are all over Pinterest, dipped, dyed, feathered and bedazzled. They always seemed so annoying to me because they were so trendy. But, man oh man, do they keep your sauces fresh!
I made a batch of no-oil hummus for our Christmas vacation road trip, we were gone for two weeks, and the leftovers were still fresh when we made it back home!
So, grab a pack of Mason jars for your sauce preps. Wide mouth is best, so you can easily spoon out your dressings.
3 STEP 3 | LEARN THESE ESSENTIAL (AND EASY) BREAKFAST PREPS
Dr. Fuhrman’s plan calls for three meals a day. There is no snacking between meals (that would mess up your body’s catabolic state of super-good-for-you cellular repairs), so you really don’t want to skip breakfast.
Meet the three easy breakfast food preps that you need in your weekly food prep routine.
1 – Frozen Smoothie Packs
All you need are some plastic baggies, frozen fruit, greens, and banana. It really does save that precious time during the morning rush–all you need to do is add your liquid, blend and go.
2 – Make a Batch (or three) of Tofu Eggs
I make about 3 batches of tofu eggs as part of my weekly meal prepping using this no-oil, no-salt recipe.
I like to have them in the mornings, sometimes along with my green smoothie (if I’m particularly famished) and they are super-easy to heat up in the microwave and top with low-sodium pico de gallo or add in some spinach and chopped tomatoes.
3 – Overnight Oats
Here’s another insanely easy breakfast prep that you’re going to love. Plus, you get to use one of your cute new Mason jars!
I have a super-quick, fruit-sweetened recipe here: Simple Overnight Oats. Or you can check out this classic vegan recipe from Oh She Glows (photo credit). Almond milk, un-cooked oats, chia seeds and fruit. You had me at “un-cooked!”
These are super-satisfying and easy to make the night before!
STEP STEP 4 | MAKE A BIG POT OF SOUP
Dr. Fuhrman calls this the soup and salad diet. And it can be that simple (and effective).
Now, I’m not advocating you eat the same soup at every meal. There are lots of easy, yummy recipes you are going to add in there. But, spaced out over the week, a pot of soup is going to take you a long way.
It’s an essential eat to live food prep!
- No-Oil Split Pea Soup (shown above)
- No-Oil Roasted Asparagus & Pea Soup
- Cauliflower Cream Soup
- Indian-Spiced Red Lentil Stew
- Chipotle Lentil Black Bean Soup
- Nutritarian Pho Noodle Soup (fair warning, this recipe is a bit time-intensive, but delicious!)
You’re going to want to make about 6 to 8 cups of soup for the week per person. I have it 3 to 4 times during the week.
I will be sharing my personal food prep regime at the end of the post! We’re getting there…
STEP 5 | AHVR (ALWAYS HAVE VEGGIES ROASTING)
This has been an absolute game-changer in my third year on the Eat to Live lifestyle!
Somehow roasted veggies taste a bazillion times more amazing than raw veggies.
And it’s ridonculously easy to get a baking sheet and just load it up with whatever fresh veggies you have on hand. They keep wonderfully in the fridge, you can load them into pitas and pop them on top of your salads.
These are my favorite veggies to roast:
- squash (butternut and delicata)
There are 2 ways you can roast your veggies.
If you’re just starting out, spray them very, very lightly with oil. You can use this compressor and avoid the chemical exposure in non-stick sprays:
If you are meticulously cutting out oil (which you really should do if you’re serious about getting to your ideal weight) then you will want to invest in this Silpat pad:
If you’re not ready to invest in a Silpat, just get some good old fashioned parchment paper!
Either route you chose make sure to use no-salt seasoning, or dried herbs like thyme and rosemary.
Here are a few of my favorite roasted veggie pita recipes:
Always have a yummy sauce for your veggies.
You’re going to have pitas this week!
They are just too yummy and too easy to ignore! I suggest making a sauce for the week that you can add to your pitas or serve with your roasted veggies.
These are some of my faves:
Bake a few sweet potatoes weekly.
Dr. Fuhrman recommends sweet potatoes over regular white varieties (and you can learn all about how to eat potatoes and which varieties are best on the nutritarian program by reading the Nutritarian Potato Primer here!).
Just wash them with water, wrap them in foil and bake at 375° for 30 to 40 minutes. Stick them in one of your new glass containers and they will keep fresh (and be easy to re-heat) all week.
You can load them up with black beans, avocado and any other toppings you have on hand. You can slice them up into your salad. Trust me, you’ll find lots of way to jazz them up!
STEP 6 | PORTION OUT YOUR WHOLE GRAINS
On Dr. Fuhrman’s 6 week plan, you can have up to 1 cup of whole grains daily. If you’re working out regularly you can have more. On my workout days I do two cups of whole grains.
I make a pot of brown rice for the week and then I have pitas and the baked sweet potatoes I mentioned above.
It is helpful to measure out your 1 cup of rice and keep them in baggies or containers. This makes it super-easy to keep track of and they are right at your finger tips.
STEP 7 | LEFTOVERS FOR LUNCH
Meet the new power lunch. You’ve got the power because you don’t even have to think about what you’re having for lunch.
I’ve lost a lot of weight by following this principle and you can too!
It’s so simple, just make an extra serving (per person) of your dinner and pack it up for the next day. Now, your soup can already be portioned out on Sunday. But about 2 times a week you’re going to make something fast and easy for dinner.
That’s your built-in lunch!
I found these edamame noodles at Costco and they have only one ingredient: that’s right, edamame. Packed with plant-protein and yummy too! Get em!
You can boil them at the beginning of the week and they stay great in the fridge. I add them to meals or salads.
STEP 8 | SET YOUR FOOD PREP SCHEDULE
Alright, you know what you need to do! You’ve got the 8 easy recipes, the right gear, the tips, the tricks, now print this out–stat: Weekly Prep Schedule
Set your plan for the week and check off your categories (on the lower left-hand side) as you complete your food prep on your designated prep day!
Sometimes I have more time to cook. Those are the times I like to make something special, and more involved, like these dishes:
Are you more of the I-need-it-all-figured-out type?
Well, I’ve got you covered!
I’ve helped over 3,500 nutritarians learn the prepping habits they need to have success eating to live! You can learn more and read testimonials about my premium prepping program here!
I hope you can see now that you’ve got this!
This week is going to be amazing, you’re going to feel organized, in control and healthier in just 7 days.
You’re going to get better with practice. More inventive and more efficient every Sunday–I promise. You’re going to be a clean-eating-food-prep-machine!
So, I say we formally petition to have Sundays changed to Super-Unstoppably-Amazing Food Prep Day!–are you with me?
I’ll be in the kitchen today, hope to see you there!
Let’s live better together!