Have you tried Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen? It’s a list of 12 simple food groups (including supplements, beverages, and exercise) to do every day for great health. Rather than counting your calories, you can rely on this list to be sure that you’re getting all the nutrients you need throughout the day.
Following Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen is not such a hard task. You can download his app and enjoy checking off each item you eat.
What will make following this checklist even easier is meal prep. Vegan meal prep is something I recommend for every single plant based eater because it will save you lots of time during the week. Meal prep involves batch cooking a large portion of food during the weekend, and then using it in meals throughout the week.
In this post, you’ll learn how easy it is to meal prep, and then use your meal prep items in delicious, healthy and nutrient-dense meals throughout the week.
Vegan Meal Prep for the Week
If you always feel like you’re running out of time during the week to make yourself a nourishing meal, the secret to your success on a plant based diet is definitely meal prep.
Meal prep, synonymous with batch cooking, involves cooking large portions of food on one given day and then using it throughout the week.
However, I do not recommend the style of meal prep where you prepare the same meal, over and over again. This will make your weekly meals so boring, as you’ll be eating the exact same meal every day. Who wants to do that?
Instead, I recommend preparing several categories of food that you can then incorporate into different meals throughout the week. This genius method of meal prep is what I teach in my online course, Vegan Meal Prep for Wellness.
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Here is what you should meal prep weekly for delicious and easy vegan meals throughout the week, with examples of what I meal prepped this week:
- Freeze any ripe fruit that is about to go bad for smoothies bowls. I froze a whole lot of peeled organic, fair trade bananas.
- Cook a batch of beans of your choice. Make sure to switch it up every week in order to get more variety in your diet. I recommend that you cook a giant batch, and freeze some of your beans to use whenever you want to. In order to get more nutrition from your beans, be sure to soak them overnight in filtered water (I use my trusty Berkey water filter for filtered water), then rinse and drain, and then cook. I highly recommend cooking your beans in the instant pot, as this will save you lots of time. This week, I cooked up a giant batch of chickpeas.
- Roast several vegetables for the week using a silicone mat for oil free cooking. This week, I chose delicata squash (a must-try squash! It’s so delicious!) as well as orange and Japanese sweet potatoes.
- Cook a batch of whole grains. Make sure to switch up your grains of choice every week. This week, I chose organic millet. Just like with your legumes, be sure to soak, rinse and drain the grains before cooking them for better digestion and nutrient absorption (including zinc, protein, and more).
- Blend up a batch of oil-free sauce or dressing for the week. I will share my chosen sauce recipe for this week below. Download these 3 delicious oil-free sauce recipes to use in your meals this week: https://www.soulintheraw.com/oil-free-vegan-sauces/ I love using my vitamix to make super creamy sauces.
What I Eat in a Day Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen Style
Here is an example of what I ate in a day to easily fulfill all of the requirements of the Daily Dozen. As you will see, it’s pretty easy to do, and very delicious as well.
Along with these example meals, I will also share some key tips to help you absorb more nutrients from these plant-based meals.
Don’t worry if you don’t fulfill Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen requirements every single day. Just use it as a guideline to help you remember key foods and nutrients to obtain on most days of the week. This will easily help you fulfill nutrient requirements on a whole food, plant-based diet!
Supplements, Beverages, and Exercise
The first part of the Daily Dozen doesn’t include food. Here is how I fulfilled it:
- Exercise: I lift heavy weights about 5 days a week, and walk or do yoga the other days. You absolutely don’t have to do the same – just pick your favorite poison and move your body in a way that feels amazing to you. Whether it’s skiing, yoga, weight lifting, running, or playing tennis: do what feels great! I really enjoy weight lifting, and if you want to learn more about how to eat a diet that supports your muscle growth, be sure to check out this post: https://www.soulintheraw.com/vegan-bodybuilding-diet/ and this one with examples of my muscle-building meals: https://www.soulintheraw.com/vegan-bodybuilding-diet-post-workout-meals/
- Beverages: I choose water, and typically drink filtered water throughout the day, but you can also include beverages like tea (Dr. Greger particularly recommends hibiscus tea for its health benefits). Be sure to filter your water, as chlorinated water, while lacking certain pathogens due to chlorine, also kills several good gut bacteria strains. I use this filter for purer water.
- Supplements: be sure to take your vitamin B12, as well as vitamin D if you don’t get enough sun. In addition, consider taking a plant based source of omega 3.
What I Eat in a Day – Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen
Here are my simple and delicious meals to fulfill Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen:
Breakfast: Creamy Chocolaty Oatmeal
I’ve really been loving starting my day with these creamy oats. It’s so comforting, delicious and very nutrient dense.
✔️ whole grains
1/3 cup Coach’s oats (feel free to use steel cut oats too)
1 cup filtered water
1-2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon flaxseed, ground
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder + 1 pinch black pepper
2 tablespoons raw almond butter
As many berries as you’d like, chopped
Mix the oats with the water, and either microwave or cook on the stove-top (4-5 minutes). Then, allow to cool a bit in order not to degrade the nutrient quality of the ingredients. Add cacao, flax, berries, almond butter, and chopped berries, and enjoy!
Tips for Increasing Nutrient Absorption
- Try not to pre-grind your flaxseed, because it will degrade its nutrient content over time. If you can, store flaxseeds in the freezer and grind them right before using them.
- Don’t mix all the ingredients with very hot oatmeal, because this will impact their nutrient content. For example, the turmeric will decrease in anti-inflammatory power. After you cook your oats, wait a bit until it cooks just a little, and then mix in the rest of the ingredients.
- Always use black pepper with turmeric, along with a source of fat, to increase absorption. More on turmeric, along with several delicious ways to add it to meals, here: https://www.soulintheraw.com/turmeric-recipes/
Lunch: Fruit Mono Meal
For lunch, I devoured 3 delicious and very large organic, local oranges. I love eating a mono meal of fruit: it’s so easy, delicious and energizing. If you don’t have time to make a meal, this will be a great option for you! If no fruit is in season where you live, just rely on frozen fruits instead.
Dinner: Creamy Tahini Sweet Potato Bowl
This bowl was seriously my favorite meal of the entire day! So creamy and delicious! My favorite part was definitely the sweet potato. I’m so glad it’s such a healthy vegetable!
✔️ whole grains
✔️ cruciferous vegetables
✔️ other vegetables
Ingredients for the creamy tahini sauce (makes about 4-5 servings):
1 date, pitted
2 green onions
1-2 cloves of garlic
1 bell pepper
1/2 cup raw tahini
1 tablespoon mustard (I used my home-made mustard from the “How Not to Die” cookbook, but you can also just use dijon mustard)
1 tablespoon Wildbrine sriracha (optional; use as much as you want – this stuff is spicy)
1/2 cup filtered water
1-2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
Blend up in your vitamix until creamy and smooth, and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Ingredients for bowl:
*use as much as you’d like for each of these!
Use your meal prepped items to create this delicious bowl! You’ll see that having meal prepped items on hand makes putting together dinner a 5-minute ordeal. And it’s so delicious too!
Tips for Increasing Nutrient Absorption
- Include members of the allium family whenever you eat zinc-rich foods, such as legumes. More about zinc here: https://www.soulintheraw.com/vegan-zinc-sources/
- As mentioned in the meal prep section, make sure to soak, rinse and drain your whole grains and legumes before cooking to increase nutrient absorption (zinc, protein, and more).
- Have your greens and vegetables with a source of fat in order to absorb the fat-soluble nutrients from them, including vitamins A, D, E, and K. In this meal, it’s our raw tahini. However, you don’t need to consume the processed form of fat with your food: oil. For more on why oil is harmful to your health, read this post.
- Cruciferous vegetables have special cancer-fighting enzymes that are destroyed when cooked. If you choose to cook broccoli or arugula in this meal, leave a few florets raw to allow for these enzymes to activate. Alternatively, you can add raw mustard to the meal and it will have the same effect, as we did here.
Have you ever tried eating according to Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen? Did you find it easy or challenging?