Meal Plan

How to Build a Perfect Meal Plan [Podcast Episode #060]

A group of researchers once tracked people's grocery shopping habits over the course of several months to find out how many different foods they actually bought. What do you think? How many different food items would you typically buy in a week or a month?

The average answer was 15.​

People bought the same 15 foods over and over again. We are creatures of habit. We like doing things that are familiar and easy. Shopping for, and preparing, the same foods makes life simple. But is it healthy?

Episode Resources:

How to Build a Monthly Meal Plan [Full Text]


Dave: Hey, thanks for joining me this episode of the 'Make Your Body Work' podcast. As you know, this show is all about helping you live a healthier and happier life. Today, we're talking about a topic that I think will be relevant to you. It's definitely relevant to me. It's about meal planning, and how to plan healthy recipes, health meals, but that are also taste great, they're affordable, and that adds some variety into our life.

I know that it's really easy to find a couple meals that maybe they have healthy ingredients, but just eat those over, and over, and over again. That can be problematic over a long period of time. This all started with a great question from Ellie. Let's dive right in.

Ellie says, "I'm looking for the holy grail of meal recipes. Basically, I'm tired of eating garbage all the time. I've become lazy and my body is showing it. So my goal is to create a monthly menu that I can re-use. Finding dinner recipes isn't too hard, but finding breakfast and lunch ideas that are healthy, quick, yummy, and affordable, is trickier. I don't eat dairy or gluten, so that's another issue. Can you help me get started on this monthly meal plan with a few ideas?"

Ellie, thanks again. I think this is such an awesome question. I'm excited because the idea of meal planning tracking, and then planning our meals, I really believe that's the key to improving our health, particularly for people who are looking to lose weight. Knowing what we eat, and then planning what we're going to eat, is just so important. I'm excited because I think I found a perfect guest, Ellie, to answer your question.

She's got some amazing giveaways, free giveaways, that are going to help you so much, and all the other listeners out there, as well. She's a nutritionist. She's an author. She has one of the most amazing food blogs that I've ever seen. I'm really excited to introduce to you, Joy McCarthy.

Meet Joy McCarthy

Dave: Hey, Joy. Thanks so much for joining us on the show today.

Joy: Hi! Thanks for having me.

Dave: Yeah, I'm excited to have you as a guest. When I get questions from the audience, I always try and find a guest who's perfectly matched for their question. Today, we have a question all about healthy meal planning. When I was on your website taking a look at what you're doing, I saw your book, "JOYOUS HEALTH: Eat & Live Without Dieting."

Joy: Yes.

Dave: Maybe you can start by telling us, what's your book all about?

Joy: Yeah. My book 'Joyous Health' is really a celebration of eating healthfully, eating deliciously. I just really want to educate, and inspire, and teach, as many people as possible that healthy can and should be delicious, and that using food to really heal from disease, prevent disease, slow down the effects of aging, that food is really what can transform you life in so many great ways.

My book is really a celebration of delicious food. Also, as you probably noticed, if you saw the first half of my book, is sort of like a how-to guide of getting healthier. I have a whole chapter where I talk about digestion. I have a whole chapter where I talk about detoxification. Then, the second half are all the delicious recipes.

The Difference Between Healthy Eating and Dieting

Dave: Maybe you could differentiate between healthy eating and dieting. I know dieting is actually almost become a bit of a taboo word these days.

Joy: Yes.

Dave: What's the difference in your mind?

Joy: Yeah. If you flip through my book, you'll notice that I don't ever talk about calories. There's not a little breakdown of the carbs, the proteins, and fats, because I'm all about teaching people to just eat quality food, eat whole foods. You don't have to worry about counting calories, or following a diet.

Diets are time limited. They provoke deprivation. You're never happy when you're on a diet, and you just are always waiting, counting down the days to when you're off your diet and you go back to how you were eating before. It truly has to be a lifestyle.

The clients that I've seen over the years, the people that I've met over the years and talked to, it's the ones who truly embrace it as a lifestyle and that goes beyond just food, beyond just what you eat.

Talking about your lifestyle, we're talking about things like stress management, making sleep a priority, making nourishing relationships a priority. All of these things are so important for 'Joyous Health.' Diets don't focus on how nourishing are your relationships, and how much sleep are you getting? Diets just focus on calories.

Healthy eating is a lifestyle to embrace that goes beyond just food

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Dave: Yeah, I totally agree. It's funny that you brought that up, because this week, I was preparing a presentation on dieting.

Joy: Yup.

Dave: I found a really neat research study, and it tracked people who do the typical yoyo diets. You picture a line graph, and it showed their weight. Their weight would go down when they're on the diet.

Joy: Yup.

Dave: Then, as soon as they went off the diet, the line would go back up a little bit higher than it did before. It showed them doing this over and over again. The crazy thing was, the trajectory of the line was just going up, up, up over time.

Joy: It's going up.

Dave: I just felt like, just like you said, everyone who gets sort of stuck in that cycle. It's so self defeating.

Joy: It is. These people know, everyone knows who's tried ... I've been on ... Throughout my 20s, when my weight was yoyoing 10 pounds here, 10 pounds there, I full-on did many diets. I tried many of them myself. I was just always miserable. I never felt good. When I just let go, and freed myself from dieting, and freed myself from calories, that's when I actually attained the best health that I've ever had and continue to have was when I let go of that, when I freed myself from dieting.

One thing that a lot of people don't realize is that what you eat directly affects your hormones. Calories don't count because if you have one meal ... Say you're eating a meal that has 750 calories. You have a meal of fast food, and then you have ... let's compare a meal of like a big, huge salad with quinoa, and avocado. Maybe you have some grilled salmon.

Say you have 2 meals with the exact same calories. They have a completely metabolic effect in the body. One is going to make you hungrier, going to make you store more fat, going to make you tired and feel lazy. Whereas the other one is going to actually energize you, provide your cells with nutrients that create energy, makes you feel good. 2 different meals can be the same calories, but have a totally different effect on your mood, on your digestion, how you feel.

Two different meals, each with exact the same calories, can have a completely different effect on your body

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Do Fitness Trackers Change the Way We View Food?

Dave: Yeah. I love that message. It's funny because for some reason, we've gotten into this habit, just sort of as a health community right now, of tracking everything.

Joy: Yes.

Dave: Everyone's got these fitness trackers.

Joy: Yup!

Dave: All the apps and everything. I don't know, it's neat. I guess it's good to see where you're at, but it has such a focus on numbers, and breaking food down into numbers, and exercise into numbers. Like you said, it's not ... We're not an equation.

Joy: I think people ... I've had many clients over the years who are like, "Oh, I track it in whatever app." Before their session, they're like, "I'm just going to send you a link to what I'm eating." It's just crazy what it breaks down. It breaks down how much calcium they're eating, and magnesium. I think that just takes the joy away from food. To me, that is very stressful. I do not want that information! We should be enjoying food.

I think those kinds of apps actually disconnect us more from food. Food is such a beautiful thing. We should be very emotionally tied to it in a positive perspective. I feel those kinds of apps not only can they create stress and anxiety for people, but they just take the joy out of food. How can we enjoy food if we're looking at it like an equation?

Dave: I agree. Plus the fact that there's so much misinformation. You probably read studies like this, too, but that show nutrition labels on food can be as much as plus or minus 20% off in their calorie counts.

Joy: Yes.

Dave: And their macro counts, and all that. Then, the fact ... Then you think about how that's even amplified more when you run that through an app. I've done food trackers before, too, and sometimes your exact product isn't in there so you search for something that sounds like it's similar.

Joy: Yup.

Dave: I just think the output, there's no way that output is anywhere near reality.

Joy: Yeah, exactly. The other thing is that they often ... it doesn't necessarily focus on quality of food. It's focusing on how much fat, carbs, and protein your food has, but that really does not tell you how healthy that food is. An avocado obviously is extremely high in fat. I realize that some apps will obviously differentiate between healthy fats and bad fats, but at the end of the day, a lot of them don't differentiate that.

Focusing on quality food, eating food with as few ingredients as possible, never eat food with ingredients you don't recognize. These are just sort of simple eating real food guidelines that everyone can follow, and doesn't have to follow a diet, and really help transform their life and their health.

Dave: Yeah, again, I totally agree. It's really neat, because Ellie, who wrote in for today's question, actually, it was neat because I think she's exactly on the right track like you're speaking about right now. She doesn't mention calories. She doesn't mention fat, or any macro-nutrients.

Joy: Good!

Dave: She just says, "I'm looking for healthy recipes that I like, that are easy to prepare, and that I can put into a monthly meal plan, and then I can just stop worrying about it. And I know that I'm going to enjoy this meal plan and that I can follow it." She said she's a little bit stumped, so she said, "Dinners are not too bad to figure out." But, really stumped with breakfast and lunch ideas. When you hear that, or if you're working with a client, what would you say? In terms of breakfast and lunch healthy eating ideas.

Joy's Healthy Breakfast and Lunch Ideas

Joy: I feel like lunch is often the hardest one for people. Just over the years anecdotally when I think of what people always is say is they just can't figure out what is healthy to eat, and then they end up eating the same thing every lunch. I always say with lunches, just make extra of what you've had for dinner, and have that for lunch. It's the easiest way to ensure that you have a delicious and nourishing lunch, and also that you eat something different every day. A lot of people ...

People who eat healthy often times, the challenge that they have is that they eat the same things all the time. Most people don't eat the same dinner every night, right? I'd say that's one of the meals that people have the most variety in.

I feel that people get stuck in a rut for breakfast and lunch. I see on peoples' food journals, they've been eating the same pack of oatmeal that has 210 calories, they've been eating that for the last 5 years with their frozen blueberries on top. Even though sure it's low in calories, they've just been eating the same thing the whole time.

For lunches, I always say, "You know what? Make extra of what you've had for dinner, and take that with you because you're going to eat way healthier if it's something that you've made yourself. In addition to that, always make sure at lunch and at dinner that half of your plate is vegetables."

That's just a simple way to get healthier fast is fill up on veggies. You're getting so many minerals, and vitamins, and enzymes, and fiber. You're still getting protein.

Just every week, when you do your grocery shopping, buy vegetables and then mix it up, too. Some people have been eating their steamed broccoli for the last 10 years. They need to eat something else that's green. If you love broccoli, challenge yourself when you go grocery shopping on Saturday, don't buy broccoli. Try something else! Try bok choy, or try ... make some kale chips, or just try something different.

Dave: Joy, as you're speaking, I'm feeling so convicted because I'll admit, I am a habitual eater. I do exactly what you're talking about.

Joy: Are you?

Dave: I have maybe 2 breakfast smoothies that I've probably been rotating between those 2 for the last 3 years. I like it. It's easy. I know what the ingredients are.

Joy: Yup.

Dave: It's just so simple. You know what I thought was really neat when you were talking about how people had different dinners. It's interesting because dinner time, it has a different mentality because ... say you're eating with a family.

Joy: Yup.

Dave: Generally, you sit down and there's an expectation that there's some preparation time. That's just kind of expected whereas breakfast and lunch, I'd say convenience takes a priority maybe over what's actually being eaten.

Joy: Totally Yup. I think a lot of people are normally rushed in the morning. Breakfast is one of my personal favorite meals of the day. I just make sure I don't ... I have a baby, obviously it's a little bit busier in the morning now, but I don't want to miss out on that time to sit down and eat breakfast. For people who are rushed, what I always suggest is just get up 10 or 15 minutes earlier. It really isn't that much time.

If you're someone who flips on the news in the morning, instead of watching the news or whatever it is that you do that may take up that 10 to 15 minutes, just take some time ... You don't even need that much time, really. Just take some time to prep your meal. Breakfast is usually a pretty easy meal to prep anyhow.

It's not as ... Usually at dinner, you have more ingredients, and you might be interested in trying a recipe. With breakfast, just give yourself a little bit more time, and not be so rushed. This is also going to improve your health because it's going to improve your digestion when you take time.

I always recommend to people, don't eat while standing, or moving. Actually take some time and sit down, and eat your meal, because you will have far better digestion.

For yourself, like you were saying, like many healthy people like yourself ... I hear this all the time, and I see this all the time. When I look at their food journals, they're eating the same things often. If you like smoothies, I'm like you as well, I love my smoothies, but what I do is I'm always changing up the berries that I put in it.

Well, berries are in season right now, but let's use the example when berries aren't in season in the middle of the winter. I don't know what you do, but a lot of people, they will buy their same 'wild blueberries' every 2 weeks, the frozen bag of blueberries for their smoothie.

Dave: Yup.

Joy: What I suggest is, just like changing up that broccoli, next week have raspberries. The week after, maybe buy frozen mangoes, so making sure that you're always changing it up with your smoothie, change up your greens. If you always do spinach, then maybe try kale.

Just like your protein powder, it's important to practice protein cycling so that you don't develop food sensitivities and intolerance to protein. If you have one protein powder you always use, switch it up. Try something else. Once you're through that bottle, try something else.

Mix up your super foods, too, right? You probably don't always use goji berries, but buy a bag of goji berries. Once you're through that bag, then try a different type of berry, maybe try mulberries, or chia seeds.

Go through different phases of seeds, so you have some chia. The next time you do pumpkin seeds. The next time you do flax seeds. This will help ensure that you get a really wide variety of different vitamins and minerals as well.

Which Protein Should You Be Using?

Dave: Yeah, really good advice. I can speak personally with my own personal story to what you said about switching up your protein. This is a question I actually get asked for the podcast all the time is 'How much protein should I be consuming, and what type of protein?' For years, I did whey. It was just whey.

Joy: Yeah.

Dave: That's what most people do, right?

Joy: Yeah.

Dave: It's cheap. It's so easily accessible. I'm convinced that that contributed to a stronger dairy intolerance with myself.

Joy: Yeah, yup.

Dave: And with a lot of clients I work with. Now, oh jeez, if I drank a whey shake, my stomach would just explode. It would be so bloated.

Joy: I am the exact same way as you.

Dave: Yeah.

Joy: I am identical. I can't have whey protein, either, anymore, unfortunately. Unless it's fermented! I don't know if you've tried ... Genuine Health now has a fermented Greek protein.

Dave: Yeah.

Joy: Yeah, have you ... does that bother you?

Dave: It's better. It is better.

Joy: Yeah, it doesn't bother me either.

Dave: I'll put in the show notes ... For the listeners, this is episode 60. If you go to MakeYourBodyWork.com/60, I'll put a couple links to some proteins that you can try so that you can take Joy's suggestion and start to cycle. I know, Joy...

Joy: Yeah.

Dave: Maybe you can give some examples. Personally, I go between brown rice, pea protein.

Joy: Yeah.

Dave: Those are sort of the 2 main ones that I use.

Joy: Yeah, so right now for a little while, I've been using Genuine Health's fermented vegan protein. It has 7 different proteins in it. It has hemp, and chia, alfalfa, pea. If I was just doing brown rice, say I just had a bottle of brown rice protein, then I would still be cycling with each bottle.

But with that one, because it has such a variety of different proteins, I'm not too worried if I go through 3 bottles of it over the course of 3 months. Also, because it's fermented. That totally changes the structure of food and digestion.

I'm really all about this new food innovation without the supplement industry of fermenting the proteins. I am so passionate about that, and that's always what I use in my smoothie.

Some days, I don't add a protein powder. Some days, I just put in some hemp. It doesn't always ... We always have to remember, as you probably know, vegetables have protein, too. It depends, your lifestyle, and your level of activity. For me, I don't always use a protein powder, but typically I do use fermented ones.

Dave: That's interesting you brought that up. Just over the last 2 months, I've started to use a fermented protein. It's a vegan one as well. I'll have to take a look to see what the blend is. Even comparing that to before, I was on straight pea protein. I do notice a difference, digestive-wise.

Joy: Yeah.

Dave: The bloating is ... It's such a tell sign, because usually it's so soon after eating something that causes the bloating. You can just tell.

Joy: That's the biggest thing with fermented protein powders. They need to have a big sign on the powder, on the bottle, that says 'No bloat.'

Dave: Yeah.

Joy: Because they don't cause bloating, I am the same as you. With whey, if I had just a straight-up whey protein, I am so bloated. It's just really uncomfortable. It just makes you feel awful when you can't even do up the top button of your jeans.

Dave: I agree, and you look pregnant, even when you're not pregnant.

Joy: Yes, exactly!

Dave: I should have you back and we'll do a whole episode on protein, and tricks of the trade.

Joy: Yeah.

How Much Food Variety Do You Need In Your Diet?

Dave: About protein. To go back to Ellie's question, I want to focus on the path you're going about, routing foods. What would you say to her or anyone who wants to have a meal plan, how much variety do you actually need? She talks about a monthly mean plan. Does that mean she needs 30 different breakfasts, 30 different lunches, 30 different dinners.

Joy: No, definitely not. If you've seen, in my book, 'Joyous Health,' I actually have a 10 day meal plan in there. When I put together meal plans for my clients, I always do 7 day meal plans, but I always tell people, "This meal plan could last you 6 or 7 weeks, because you're always going to have leftovers and what not."

A simple way to get more variety is to really look to nature. Look at what is actually in season, and try and eat according to the seasons. You will just naturally have more variety in your diet. Also, just listening to what your body wants.

In the summers, you probably don't feel like eating as much roasted squash ... Well, I love sweet potato all the time, I am like sweet potato obsessed. However, I do take a break from it from time to time, because I know I need. Things that roasted, these are not ... pumpkin, or acorn squash. These are foods that we eat more in the fall. In the summer, it's more about eating lighter, eating salads.

Looking to nature and the seasons can help us have more food variety in our plates. Eat what's in season.

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I think if we look to nature, if you shop at a farmer's market, if you see what's local, that's a really simple way to get more variety in your diet because then when the seasons change, ... even week by week, you go to a farmer's market, one week there's strawberries, the next week, there's no more strawberries and now it's on raspberries. I think looking to nature can really help us to have more variety.

Also, doing a food journal. Writing down what you're eating every day, for even just 7 days, or 14 days, then go back and look at it and see, "Okay, how much variety do I have? Am I eating the same breakfasts every single day?"

I would say, over a 1 week period, you want to have at least 3 to 4 different breakfasts. It's okay if you've had 4 smoothies, you just don't want to have the identical ingredients every single day.

Dave: Yeah, and again, I really liked Ellie's question because I think her and I think along the same lines that she said, "I want to have this monthly calender of meals, and then I can just repeat it." Would you say then that it's dangerous ... say you had 4 breakfasts, and then you're using leftovers for lunch, like you suggested.

Joy: Yup.

Dave: And say, a variety of dinners based on the seasons. If you took that plan and repeated that for the rest of your life ... I know this is like a bit of [crosstalk 00:20:57]

Joy: That's not a very good idea.

Dave: Yeah, I guess that's what I'm asking then, for Ellie or anyone who wants a plan that they can just replicate. There still has to be some variety over the long term.

Joy: Yes. Yes, because when I do meal plans for my clients, I'm only doing 1 week meal plans, and I always tell people, "This is just to like, give you a good kick start. I do not want to see you 6 months from now showing me your food journal, and it looks identical to the meal plan I gave you 6 months ago!"

Meal plans are really only to give you a good kickstart, and teach you, educate you what is healthy eating. Then beyond that, you want to teach yourself ... You want to know, "Okay, when I go grocery shopping, when I put a meal together, what are the healthy essentials?" We can talk about that.

What are the healthy essentials of putting a meal together? Ideally, you don't want to have to just live your life by a meal plan. You want to be able to know yourself, and make informed choices when you go to the grocery store and put meals together so that you know that they're good for you.

The Essentials For Building a Perfect Meal

Dave: Maybe you can go into that thing, because I think that'd be really helpful to Ellie and a lot of other listeners. What are the essentials when you're thinking about building a meal?

Joy: Yeah, so when you're making a meal, always start with whole foods first. Kind of obvious, but for not everybody that is obvious, whole foods. Start with 1 ingredient foods. What I mean by that is foods that don't come in a package. Apples do not have an ingredients list, right? Start with 1 ingredient foods and always make sure that you have all 3 macro nutrients, unless you have digestive issues. Then, food combining can be beneficial. Most people need to have a fat, a protein, and a carb.

If you look at, for example, a typical meal that I might have for dinner. I might have fish. I might have a nice big salad, and half of an avocado. I've got my carbs, my protein, and my fat. Most people are missing the protein and the fat aspect, which helps you feel fuller longer. It is really important for balancing your blood sugar.

Whenever I put together a meal plans for people, when I put together recipes on the blog that are complete meals, you will always notice that there is always a carb, a protein, and a fat.

Then beyond that, I always suggest that at breakfast, you have at least one vegetable. At lunch, you have 2 different veggies, and at dinner, you have at least 3.

A lot of people might scrunch up their eyebrows thinking, 'Breakfast? What am I going to have as a vegetable at breakfast?' Well, if you don't have a smoothie and you haven't tossed a handful of kale or spinach into your smoothie, then grab a couple of carrot sticks or some celery and chomp on those as you're walking to work.

Then, lunch is easy. Lunch and dinner, people find it much easier to get in their veggies, but breakfast is usually typically a harder one for people. Always make sure that your meals are protein, carbs, and fats. Make sure you have lots of plant-based foods. Like I said earlier, half of your plate, lunch and dinner, make sure you've got veggies. It's just a really simple way to eat.

Dave: I'm really glad that you mentioned eating vegetables for breakfast, because that's something I really try and get my clients to do as well. Just like you said, sometimes I get some weird looks, or weird responses. Can you give some examples? I know smoothies is the obvious one, and then you mentioned maybe eating vegetable sticks...

Joy: Yeah!

Dave: which I know not everyone wants to wake up and start nibbling on vegetable sticks.

Joy: Yeah.

Dave: What else do you recommend? Are there some other go-tos?

Joy: Yeah, totally. I love omelettes. That is a really easy way to get in a couple of servings of vegetables. You could always saute up some spinach, and saute up some red onion, and then pour your eggs over top and do ... Or not even do an omelette! Do a quick egg-y scramble. You get your vegetables in that way. Or, have you have your smoothie, or you have whatever breakfasts you normally have, you could always ... like with those crunchy veggie sticks, take those on route to work.

Also, I love sauteing up broccoli, with tamari, at dinner, so making extra and just popping it in the fridge and chomping on those in the morning. You'd be surprised how much you like it. I don't mean you, I mean your listeners. You'd be surprised at how much you enjoy vegetables in the morning!

It's really refreshing and delicious. I don't know if you have any other ways that you do it yourself to get veggies in in the morning, aside from smoothies, but I think omelettes are a simple way, or scrambles.

Dave: Yeah. When you start using eggs, there's so many different options. Unfortunately, some people do have a sensitivity to eggs. One thing, and I'd be curious to get your opinion on this... one thing that I do recommend for people, not every day, but this is sort of like a back-up plan, is to use a greens powder.

Joy: Yes, totally! Yeah!

Dave: Like I say, not every day, but it's a supplement so it supplements your healthy diet. If you can't do it on a certain day, can't get your greens in, throw that in your smoothie mix or even water. I have one that tastes amazing.

Joy: Yes.

Dave: Do you have one? Is there one you recommend?

Joy: Totally, you know what? I'm so glad you said that. I don't know why I had a brain fart and totally forgot that, but yes! I do. The one I use is basically 1 scoop is the antioxidant equivalent of 6 servings of vegetables.

Dave: Wow.

Joy: That's such an easy way. Often times, they'll sweeten it with Stevia, or there will be other berries so it's kind of ... it doesn't have a super bitter flavor that a lot of greens have. I personally like mine just with water. I don't put it in a smoothie. I like having it just with water, because I actually like the taste.

I find most people with super food greens powders, super greens powders, a lot of people, at first, they won't like it. You've probably found this, too, with your clients. I can't tell you the number of times that people tell me then they start to crave it. That's how they want to start their day is with their greens powder, because it is so energizing.

Dave: I'm just going to say, that's so interesting because maybe they do grow to like the taste, but I think it's the feeling that you get from eating something that is so nutrient dense.

Joy: Yes!

Joy: Totally.

Dave: I'm the same way. I'll put a link again for the listeners, if you go to MakeYourBodyWork.com/60, I'll put a link to a couple options for greens powders, and I'll put the one that I like. Maybe Joy, after the show, you can send me the one that you like.

Joy: Yup.

Dave: I can put a link there as well.

Joy: Yeah, totally.

Make Your Body Work Takeaway

Dave: Great. I'm going to try and wrap this up, just because I feel like you and I could probably go on talking for all day. I like to give the listeners what's called a 'Make Your Body Work Take-away.' For Ellie again, she's saying "I need a healthier diet. I want to start meal planning." For her, or anyone in that situation, what's the one thing that they can start doing today that will help them be successful?

Joy: Eat more vegetables.

Such a simple thing. I know we've been hearing that from our mothers and our grandmothers forever, but I say this because over the years of looking at peoples' food journals, this is still something that we're missing. As a simple rule of thumb, 1 veggie at breakfast, 2 veggies at lunch, 3 veggies at dinner, and whatever your meals are, build your meals around that.

Dave: I love it. You and I were talking before the show, and you have 2 free giveaways.

Joy: Yes.

Dave: That are so relevant for what we were just talking about. I'm really excited to give these out to the audience. Maybe you can tell us what you have.

Joy: Totally! I love food, as you might have noticed on my instagram, and obviously my cookbooks. I have 2 free e-books. I have a healthy breakfast guide, which gives you 7 delicious and super nourishing different breakfast recipes. Then, I also have another e-book that actually just came out, and that's for salads. I've got in that e-book, I have 7 different salad ideas. Salads you can have lunch, you can have at dinner, you can have at breakfast, and lots of dressing ideas, too.

Again, you get stuck in a salad rut of always eating the same dressings. It's amazing how just changing up your dressing, like doing a creamy cashew dressing, for example, can totally up your salad game, and really excite you about eating different vegetables when you've got this amazing new dressing to try.

Dave: I love it. Ellie, if you're listening, I feel like this is perfect for you. You specifically said...

Joy: Yeah!

Dave: Breakfasts were 1 area you're struggling, and here's a breakfast guide. Then, the salads, you can put that as a combination or a side to your dinner, or use it as part of your lunch. Hopefully this is really hooking you up, Ellie. Thanks, Joy, for offering those, too. Appreciate that.

Joy: My pleasure. Then of course, I have hundreds of recipes on JoyousHealth.com, that are free and I'm always posting ... Every week, I have 3 new blog posts, and at least 1 or 2 of them are normally a new recipe. I'm always coming up with new recipes.

Just for the listeners out there who are just like, "How do I get inspired about food? How do ... " I really want to encourage people to reconnect with food. I think no matter where you live, you have access to go to a farmer's market. I think a farmer's market is really, really great for people to sort of fall in love with food again, and just really enjoy it. It's great for kids, too.

Farmer's markets are a great place for people to fall in love with natural food again.

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Dave: Yeah, I agree. Joy, you've been such an amazing guest and have so much wisdom, I really appreciate the practicality of what you shared today. Thanks again for being on the show.

Joy: Thanks, my pleasure!

Dave: Joy, thanks again for joining us today and for your awesome, inspiring message, and particularly, thank you for the resources that you've offered up to the audience. For everyone who's listening, be sure to check out MakeYourBodyWork.com/60 and you can get Joy's salad guide and her healthy breakfast guide, completely for free. Be sure to check that out, they're amazing resources.

If you enjoy the 'Make Your Body Work' podcast, and have been listening for a while, I have a favor to ask. I was hoping that you could go to iTunes and give the show a rating, and maybe give me some feedback and let me know what you like about the show, what'd you to see in the future. Your feedback really does shape the future of this podcast. Doing so, and giving the show a rating, in particular, really helps other people in iTunes find the show, helps grow the audience, and expand this message of helping people live a healthier, happier life. That's really what my goal is.

If you could go to MakeYourBodyWork.com/iTunes, that will take you right to the 'Make Your Body Work' podcast in iTunes. You can see there how you can give it a rating, and then give it a comment. I read all the comments personally, and definitely implement the suggestions that I get in future episodes. I really appreciate that favor. Again, that's MakeYourBodyWork.com/iTunes.

Finally, before I go, I just want to say, thanks for listening and thanks for your continued questions for future episodes. I remember when I started this podcast thinking my intention wasn't to continue it at all for any long period of time. I just thought it would be neat to do a couple episodes.

I love listening to podcasts, and thought this would be fun. As the questions come in, I just see that there is such a need. There's so much misinformation, and information overload out there. I know that there's a lot of clarification that is needed.

If you're confused, or you've been wondering about something related to your own health or the health of someone that you know, feel free to email me any time, Dave@MakeYourBodyWork.com. There's a good chance that your question will be included in a future episode.

I love hearing from you, and again, I read every single email that I get personally, and try my best to respond to them as well. Hopefully I'll hear from you soon. As always, I can't wait to see you here again next week.

Thanks for joining me today!

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  • Jennifer Brown

    What do I do if I only like a few vegetables or some vegetables really upset my stomach?

    • Jennifer, my first question would be, which vegetables have you actually tried? Most of us stick to a very small selection of veggies and miss out on lots of good options. I’d challenge you to pick just 1 veggie that you’ve never tried before (you can use the following list). You might have to try a few, but even if you end up with a handful of veggies that you love (and that work with your stomach), you’re in a great spot!

      Here’s the list: http://www.greatgrubclub.com/a-z-fruit-veg

      • Jennifer Brown

        You are right. I have not tried very many and will give this list a try. I have decided to just atleast try one new one each week. Thanks