Healthy Meal Plan

eating togetherWith so many types of dietary needs, priorities and choices there had to be a way to make a bridge across the table and bring people back into one plan.

Food for Well-Being is a bridge that made it possible for a vegetarian and a meat-eater to survive in the same household. The plan also serves as a bridge between gluten sensitive eaters and bread eaters, dieters and big eaters.  Even junk food junkies love Food for Well-Being if they are willing to wait until the weekend for a "cheat day".

Teré Foster, a light-eater, vegetarian from California, wrote a cookbook with the help of her husband, Dale Foster, an athlete, meat-eater from the Mid-West who needed big meals to sustain his active lifestyle. This couple struggled for many years and worked together to find a way of eating that would meet both of their needs. Soon they added two children into the mix and the situation became more complicated.  chloe masala

Dale loves to cook and was willing to do whatever it takes to make the plan work to keep his family sitting around the same dinner table, but at first he didn't have any knowledge or experience cooking with the foods that Teré wanted to eat. Thus Food for Well-Being was written as a clear-cut plan with recipes and instructions for meals from whole foods every day that would satisfy the whole family. Children often beg for things that are not good for them and this wise couple didn't want to play the role of the "food police" who always say "no" to any and all junk food. They created a "healthy cheat day" that the children could plan for and look forward to all week long.  With this plan in place, they have been able to enjoy their meals around the table every night of the week.

Here's how they make the Meal Plan work:

Tere cooks up a box of Food for Well-Being ahead of time including rice, beans. quinoa and lentils.  At meal time Dale uses these whole foods as his "groceries" to make meals that fit into the Meal Plan. These whole foods are now cooked and ready whenever he gets the inspiration to cook. Dale believes in having dinner around the table every night while Tere is less formal about her meals.  As the perfect compromise, Tere was willing to formalize her eating habits to include dinner at the table if Dale was willing to cook the foods that Tere wanted to eat.

The cookbook, Food for Well-Being includes many ideas that saved them money, lowered Dale's cholesterol, kept Tere's weight down, and kept their children happy to eat around the same table!  Their "cheat day" on Saturday that gave the family something to look forward to and also gave them a day to be with friends and extended family without worrying about carbs, calories, sugar, salt, meat, dairy or gluten. But On Sunday they were right back on track with all of their personal diet priorities.

The name Food for Well-Being was used rather than "vegan" or "gluten free" because vegans are not always motivated by health, but by their concern and love for animals.  Vegans might eat a lot of processed or fried foods and sweets while they absolutely shun all products made from animal sources. Food for Well-Being does not include meat and can be eaten by vegans, vegetarians and gluten free eaters because every meal is made from whole foods that spring from the ground naturally.  Some members of the family may include dairy, eggs and fish or sweets on the weekend "cheat day" but no one judges or complains about the choices their loved ones make. This "cheat day" is an important part of the plan's long-term success as they are able to continue using this plan year after year without feeling deprived.

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The problem with an "all or nothing" diet is that it doesn't work well with the human psyche.  A conflict is created between the heart and the mind.  The mind eventually snaps and the pendulum must swing back the other way.  Once the diet is "broken" it seems impossible to get back on track.  With a planned "cheat day" each member of the family has the option to cheat or not cheat, but the mind doesn't have as much leverage against the heart when it has options.  But when the mind has no options it begins to kick and scream to be released from confinement.  It doesn't mean the heart isn't a good heart, it simply means that the mind and heart are in conflict.

Over time, with more education and understanding, the mind gives in to the higher basis of decision-making that the heart wants to live by.  Peace settles in and harmony works its magic in all the relationships around the table.  But this can only happen when each individual is able to make choices without fear of judgement.

Because healthy cooking was a part of Teré's childhood, her instincts about cooking and planning meals are incredibly simple and powerfully packed with short cuts that make the process of cooking with whole foods easy and sustainable. She eliminates the need to buy foods at the grocery store and can live comfortably without those high-calorie, high-sodium, high-fructose corn syrup, high-cholesterol, processed foods that Americans fill their shopping carts full of. When you embark on Food for Well-Being centered around whole foods you will be stepping into a whole new world you didn't know existed. One that is not at all dependent upon a trip to the grocery store.  Whole foods store well in a cool place for many years, so it is easy to have everything you need on hand simply by having a stock of Food for Well-Being.

Nutritionists and health coaches use this program with great enthusiasm as they see the wisdom of the little things that make this plan so unique and so "do-able" for the average family. "Knowing the facts about health and nutrition doesn't mean nutritionists actually know how to cook," Teré points out about formal nutritional educational programs. "Learning a subject in school and then implementing that subject into daily living are two different things. This plan gets right down to breakfast, lunch and dinner and even plans for what to do with the leftovers."

Teré continues, "dinners 6Established nutritional educators seem to think a cooking class is not a worthy subject matter, so students often graduate as a Health Coach or a Nutritionist without a practical or teachable meal plan.  They often rely on expensive nutritional supplements to meet their dietary needs rather than getting what they need from the foods they eat. This is understandable since cooking healthy meals was not part of their education.  But our plan is based around inexpensive whole foods in pre-measured packages instead of expensive supplements that try to imitate the real thing.  Teré protests, "This version of nutrition is just a variation of the pill-popping Western Medicine mentality.  It's silly to me to take a pill of "turmeric" or "garlic" for example and not enjoy the incredible flavor that turmeric or garlic gives to your meal. The whole food found in nature is always superior to a pill."

Food for Well-Being from My Whole Foods Kitchen addresses every dietary hurdle with practical instruction how to live it out in daily life. Dale and Teré produced over 100 corresponding videos and continue to add more as they learn together how to bridge the gap across their dinner table.

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