The 4 Best Plant-Based Meal Planners to Kickstart Those New Year Goals

The 4 Best Plant-Based Meal Planners to Kickstart Those New Year Goals

Every year, millions of us jolt ourselves out of a month long holiday-induced food coma into a regimented, often extreme diet. The first of the year marks the bleak and immediate transition from cookies and cocktails to carrot sticks and vegetable-only green juices. It doesn’t have to be this way. You can change your diet without punishing yourself for your holiday sins.

In accordance with the food predictions for 2018, the diet of the year will be plant-based.  Those unfamiliar with this lifestyle may be intimidated and wonder what they will eat…carrots? Lettuce? How depressing. Thankfully, as plant-based eaters know, variation abounds within this lifestyle, and now there are programs to help those adopt and maintain this diet every step of the way. Introducing plant-based meal planners.

No doubt, there are literally millions of resources for plant-based living, both in print and online. However, too many choices can shock anyone into a paralysis of indecisiveness. Plant-based meal planners circumvent this tsunami of information by creating effective, structured, and individualized meal programs for every client. You tell them where you are, and they meet you there with a program just for you.

Everyone can benefit from a plant-based meal planner. Whether your goal is to change your diet to lose weight, feel better, or enhance athletic performance, the right meal planner will get you there. Here are the most trusted plant-based meal planners that will not only help you achieve your resolution, but keep it all year long.

4 Meal Planners for Keeping Those New Year’s Health Resolutions

1. Lighter

Lighter Meal Planner
Micah Risk and Alexis Fox, founders of Lighter. Photo courtesy lighterculture/instagram

Founders Micah Risk and Alexis Fox pioneered the plant-based meal planner with their extensive site, Lighter. The duo teamed up to create this comprehensive platform to help people eradicate their chronic health issues and achieve healthier, happier lives through the power of a plant-based diet. In essence, they simply want the world to eat better, starting with you. Lighter partners with plant-based heroes from all walks of life, including professional athletes, nutritionists, chefs, stay-at-home parents, and entrepreneurs, to offer meal plan guidance. You pick the lifestyle you associate with, complete a list of preferences and dislikes, and the system designs a plan perfectly suited to you. Only have twenty minutes to prepare dinner? No problem. Hate kale? You’ll never see it on an ingredient list. Lighter wants to break down every barrier to healthy, plant-based eating – you’ll even receive a grocery list of everything you need. The program offers three levels of participation, from the free Exploring Membership to the most expensive, $34 per month Elevated Membership. For the most flexibility and hands-on experience, Lighter is your best bet.

2. Forks Over Knives

Forks Over Knives Meal Planner
Photo courtsey of forksoverknives/instagram

From the creatives behind this influential health documentary, the Forks Over Knives Meal Plan was created to support viewers in their transition and maintenance of a whole foods, plant-based diet. The recipes are developed by in-house chefs who provide meals that are equally satisfying and nutritious. All recipes take about thirty minutes (or less) to prepare, and they never require hard-to-find ingredients. They are also all oil-free, keeping with the Forks Over Knives health-based mission. There are tons of customization options, and they offer a free trial for those unwilling to commit just yet. If you decide this program is for you, there are various payment plans – the more you buy, the more you save. Choose from a monthly plan of $5 per week, or purchase a full year for $2.30 per week. Note: the meal plans only cover five days a week, but the recipes are yours to keep, so you can repeat a few if needed on the weekends. If your resolution is to ditch a few holiday pounds, start your free trial today.

3. The PlantPower Meal Planner

PlantPower Meal Planner
Photo courtesy richroll/instagram

One look at ultra-endurance athlete Rich Roll, and you’ll have what he’s having. Obviously exercise plays a major part of his physique, but he could not perform on such a level if not powered by the right fuel. In partnership with Lighter, he created his own plant-based meal planner to help us mere mortals achieve a higher level of athletic prowess and overall health. Like Lighter, the program involves a personalization survey, which covers everything from allergies to what kitchen tools you own. You’ll receive recommended meals based on your survey and goals from Rich, his wife Julie Piatt (yogi and cookbook author), and the Lighter nutritionists. You’ll also receive a grocery list that you can send to Instacart or Peapod for delivery. Again, the goal is to make your new diet as easy as possible. The service is $14 per month, or $99 per year. With the ability to add family members and leftover suggestions, we love this program for everyone from athletes to families. 

4. What The Health Meal Planner

What the Health Meal Planner
Photo courtesy wthfilm/instagram

Inspired to make a change after watching Cowspiracy or What the Health? Documentary producers Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn have developed a meal planner to turn that inspiration into sustainable action. The personalization survey covers a plethora of lifestyle factors like the others, but you can also control how strict your plan is. Choose the Classic option for a mix of whole foods and convenience foods,  Low-Processed for a minimally-processed plan, or Whole Food, Plant-Based for 100% unprocessed, oil-free recipes. Enjoy a Beyond Burger from time to time, or not. You decide. The cost is identical to The PlantPower Meal Planner, with similar perks. If your goal is to promote environmental sustainability, or if you just need an arsenal of healthy recipes your kids will actually eat, What the Health can get you there.

Find Tanya on Instagram and The Vegan Potluck Podcast. 

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