Healthy Body  >  How to Get Inspired About What to Cook and Eat

How to Get Inspired About What to Cook and Eat

It’s no secret that I eat a mostly plant-based diet. I say “mostly” because I don’t do anything super rigidly when it comes to food. I spent way too many years obsessing and stressing about every bite, following all kinds of restrictive rules. And it was exhausting! So, I’m not into rigidity anymore. These days, I eat whatever makes me feel good. And that happens to be lots of [colorful, beautiful, nutritious] plants.

So many clients ask me about getting more plant-based foods into their diet! “I want to eat more plants…but, what should I cook?” or “I feel so uninspired in the kitchen. What should I do to get inspired?” or even “I’m already eating lots of plants, but I’m bored: I need new ways to eat them.

I can relate! After a long day of one-on-one sessions, meetings, teaching, writing, and handling all the usual house-errand-shopping-mom duties, by dinnertime, my brain is fried, and sometimes, I just don’t know what to make. In those totally blank moments, I need a quick burst of inspiration – a new photo, a new recipe, or just a little suggestion to get my wheels turning.

The moral of the story? All of us – even a major foodie like me! – sometimes get stuck in a rut. We get bored of the same ol’ kale salad over and over. We flip through the usual cookbooks and nothing seems interesting. It’s all just…blah. We rack our brains for dinner ideas…and come up empty. (Frustrating!)

Recently, when I got into one of those “food slumps,” I started looking through a copy of Forks Over Knives magazine that I had picked up. If anyone can infuse new energy into plant-based eating, they can! Their mission? To encourage people to eat more plants, because it’s good for our bodies – and good for the environment, too. Plus, they make plant-based cooking simple, quick, and tasty, instead of complicated or intimidating.

Inspired by what I found in the magazine, I hopped on their website and noticed their Forks Meal Planner. The pitch? Sign up, try it for 14 days for free, and get a collection of nutritious recipes to add to your repertoire – plus a customized shopping list and dynamic meal prep guide.

They ask a few simple questions, such as you how many people you’re cooking for (and how many adults vs. how many kids), plus some thoughtful questions about allergies, and then you enter your email address. And boom: rather than a rigid “meal plan,” you get 14 days (three meals a day) of recipe suggestions and ideas. You try what appeals to you, then save what you like best, so you remember to make them again.

Easy, right? Well, I have to admit, I was skeptical at first. The phrase “meal plan" has always sort of bothered me: “Is this going to be a strict program where they’re telling me to eat exactly ¾ cup of steamed Brussels sprouts no later than 7 PM?”

Because, c’mon: I don’t have time for that kind of rigidity, and I’m betting you don’t, either.

But I was curious about their suggestions and ideas, and I’m always looking for creative ways to up my plant-based cooking game. So, I signed up and dove inside. And what I found surprised me: each Forks recipe was extremely easy. Many had just four or five ingredients and only a couple of steps. For instance, there’s a Chunky Monkey Breakfast Bowl where you toss together plant-based milk, peanut butter, dates, cocoa powder, and some sliced bananas to top it off. Simple, but so satisfying!

One day I ate Lemon Poppy Seed Overnight Oats with jammy blueberries, Saucy Spring Roll Bowl, BBQ Sweet Potato Tacos, and Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies for dessert!

Each meal was more delicious than the next – although I did find some fast favorites. (The BBQ Sweet Potato Tacos has already been on repeat over here!)

Just like me, Forks Over Knives believes that incorporating more plants into your diet isn’t about “deprivation” or “rigidity.” Quite the opposite: it’s about color, flavor, and abundance! (Did you know that there are 20,000 different types of edible plants in the world?!)

There are so many veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, grains, and herbs out there, and just as many innovative ways to prepare them: you can pulverize cashews into a creamy sauce; roasted sweet potato can be pureed into a flavorful dip; avocados can be mashed, grilled, or diced on top of a warm grain bowl with a zingy ginger dressing. The possibilities are endless…but sometimes, we can all use a creative push in the right direction. And that’s just what I found in the Forks Meal Planner.

If you’re the type of person who often thinks, “Ugh, I don’t know what to make! I just need some fresh ideas,” I’d definitely recommend checking out the Forks Meal Planner for yourself. It’s an incredible resource! Because some days, even if you’re a professional foodie like me, you just need some inspiration to re-ignite your passion for cooking…and get you back in the [plant-based] kitchen.

*This blog post is sponsored by Forks Over Knives. All opinions and recommendations are my own.

2 Comments

  • Beverly Rosenstein says:

    I believe you are an inspiration to up my plant-based game! Sweet potatoes, avocados, apples, spinach, asparagus, mushrooms & many more are my favorites. Baking & grilling with lemon & ginger really give it that zing! It can be a challenge but it’s well worth it!

  • Elise says:

    Haha! Well, I will gladly take on that role!! Sounds like you don’t need the support though!~ Thanks for being such a valuable part of this community, Beverly!

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