logo

Where to start

Where to start with the monthly 7-day meal guides

Here are a few tips to get the most from the monthly meal guides: 

The main meal guide recipes (lunches and dinners) make two portions, one for dinner and one for lunch the following day. So, if you would like to make enough for you and your partner, you can double the recipe for four serves. However, as discussed in the “A healthy relationship with food” module in the mindset section of the Base Trainings, considering this is not an individualised meal plan and is rather a meal guide, the servings may not be appropriate for you. For some, the recipes may be 2 more satiating, larger serving sizes, and for others, it may be 4 moderate serving sizes. If you are not satiated, double the serving and eat until satisfied, finding what amount suits your needs best. Alternatively, if you are struggling to eat an entire serving of a meal, feel free to either halve the portion or simply eat to your satisfaction.  


Do your weekly food shop once

Do your weekly food shop once per week and take your shopping list with you to ensure that you have food ready for prep. Note that the quantity of each ingredient on the shopping list is something you will need to do based on many factors. These factors may include which meals you would like to follow for the week, whether you need to double portions, omit certain snacks, etc. 


Meal prep essentials

You'll need plenty of storage containers and room in your fridge and freezer if you wish to batch cook. 

You can keep the meals for up to three days in an airtight container in the fridge. Always cool food quickly and refrigerate promptly. If you keep food for more than 2-3 days, please freeze it. Always defrost and reheat food to piping-hot temperatures.  

A few tips on the ingredients

There are only a few brands on the shopping list that may not be available at your local supermarket. Below are a few tips on alternative products.  

If you’re in Australia the first product is the Herman Brot high high protein bread. You can find this product at your nearest IGA here, or additionally, you can find it at your local Coles supermarket. This bread was chosen for a few recipes because it has a low GI (meaning it doesn't spike your blood sugar levels), is rich in fibre, packed with protein & is a micronutrient-dense option for bread! If you're in Australia, a few other brands of bread are very similar macronutrient-wise. This includes theColes brand high protein bread or theWoolworths Macro linseed & sunflower bread.  

Alternatively, if you would prefer regular bread or if you are located overseas, please swap this for a bread made from whole grains. When looking for whole grain bread, please look out for the following;  

  • Phrases in the ingredient list which may include "whole wheat flour", "whole wheat", "whole grain flour", "wholemeal wheat flour", and "wholemeal grain" as one of the first items on the ingredients list. Even a combination of these may be present in specific brands.  

  • A carbohydrate-to-fibre content of 5:1. For example, if you had a serving of bread containing 40 grams of carbohydrates, we would look for at least 8 grams of fibre! Of course, if you are clinically required to eat gluten-free, swap this for gluten-free bread.  

If you’re in Australia, the Vitasoy plant-based milk is available at selective IGA's, Coles and Woolworths. Specific variations of the Vitasoy plant-based milk I recommend includes; 

  • Vitasoy - protein plus unsweetened soy milk 

  • Vitasoy - calci-plus soy milk 

  • Vitasoy - protein plus unsweetened almond milk 

 

Other Australian brands suggestions includes; 

  • InsideOut - milkish almond barista 

  • So Good - regular soy milk 

  • So Good - unsweetened almond milk 

  • Australia’s Own Like Milk - pea milk 

 

Alternatively, if you are located overseas, or wish to use a different milk, have a look at the ingredients list and per 100ml ensure your plant-based milk contains;  

  • 120 mg calcium  

  • A minimum of 3g protein 

  • Opt for the unsweetened variation 

  • Vitamin D & B12 fortification (a plus, but not essential) 

If you’re in Australia, the Vitasoy soy yoghurt is only available at Woolworths supermarkets. However, other Australian brand suggestions includes; 

  • Kingland - dairy free plain soy yoghurt  

  • Kingland - dairy free greek style soy yoghurt  

  • Alpro - vanilla soy yoghurt  

  • Soy Life - vanilla soy yoghurt 

 

A soy-based yoghurt was chosen as it's lower in saturated fat, higher in protein & is fortified with calcium. This is particularly important compared to other plant-based yoghurts, such as coconut yoghurt. Of course, if you are plant-predominant, you can choose another yoghurt (such as greek yoghurt, for example).  

 

Alternatively, if you are located overseas, or wish to use a different yoghurt, have a look at the ingredients list and per 100ml ensure your plant-based yoghurt contains;  

  • 120 mg calcium  

  • 3g protein 

  • Under 15 grams of sugar 

  • Under 2 grams of saturated fat 

  • Vitamin D fortification (a plus, but not essential) 

The brand suggestion within this meal guide is the Evergreen tofu. This is because each serving (150 g) of the Evergreen extra firm contains roughly ~346 mg of calcium. Other Australian brands suggestions includes; 

  • Macro - classic slightly firm 

  • Tly joyce - silken / firm tofu 

 

Alternatively, if you are located overseas, have a look at the ingredients list and ensure your tofu is non-GMO and is calcium fortified. Phrases in the ingredient list to look out for that suggests your tofu is calcium fortified includes;  

  • E516 calcium sulphate 

  • E170 calcium carbonate 

  • E509 calcium chloride 

You will notice only a few recipes in the monthly meal guides call for protein powder. However, protein powder is not essential at all, as every recipe has been formulated to be protein-rich without protein powder. The use of protein powder is simply a tool for an array of jobs. Whether that job is to add a delicious taste to meals or to support higher protein requirements if you are physically active. If you follow me on Instagram, you already know I'm obsessed with Macro Mike. If you have yet to try the Macro Mike goodness, try the sample pack available here. Even better, you can get 10% off with 'amb-raquel.' However, you are of course, welcome to utilise a different plant protein powder if you prefer.

Lastly, a note on protein sources. You will notice that a lot of recipes call for tofu. I chose tofu to be the predominant protein source for a few reasons.  

  

1. The first reason is that soy foods, including tofu, contain all 9 essential amino acids. It’s also an excellent source of protein that is low in saturated fat and rich in iron, calcium and potassium!
  

2. The second reason is that tofu seems to be the easiest swap for many people due to its ability to emulate the taste and texture of animal-based proteins.  

  

3. Here in Australia, availability of other plant-based protein sources such as tempeh, textured vegetable protein and so on, are store and location dependent and therefore may be more difficult to find.

  

4. Tofu requires proper skill to make it taste delicious. Some people may like the taste of firm tofu on its own without any seasoning or cooking preparation (if that's you, be my guest). However, suppose you're like me and need convincing that tofu can be delicious. In that case, these meal guides provide you with delicious recipes to experiment with tofu; helping you make this healthy food part of your everyday diet.
 

 5. And lastly, tofu was chosen for many recipes as it makes a simple swap for any other protein that may best work for you. While I encourage you to try the recipes with the listed ingredients, I understand this may only sometimes be possible. For example, if you are allergic to soy or simply don't like the taste/texture, of course try swapping it with any other protein source that works best for you! Whether that protein source is tempeh, legumes of all sorts, textured vegetable protein, soy based fillets, experiment with swapping it out with any other plant-protein alternative. Alternatively, if you are plant predominant (such as vegetarian, flexitarian or pescetarian), you could of course swap some proteins in recipes for fish (for example), if the flavour of the recipe accommodates it nicely.
 

These monthly meal guides are not about rules. Rather, see them as a resource to provide you with a solid platform for building nutrient-dense, macronutrient balanced and delicious meals!