Whole Plant-Based Convenience Foods

In today's busy world, many people find cooking to be difficult to fit into their schedules. In the mornings, everybody is rushing around doing their own thing. Mom and dad are getting ready to go off to work. The children are getting ready for school or to be dropped off at daycare. Lunches need to be prepared. Dinner gets squeezed in between work or school and soccer practice. It just seems too easy to grab a breakfast croissant at the local fast food place and then a hamburger at the same fast food place at night. In fact, I know of more than one family that makes no meals at home. Every meal is eaten out.

So then when you talk to somebody about following a whole foods, plant-based diet, they look at you like you are from Mars. What is it that you don't understand about their lifestyle? They envision a WFPB diet as being one that requires endless hours chopping and dicing vegetables, soaking beans overnight and then cooking them for an hour and a half, or prodding through vegetarian cookbooks trying to find the perfect recipe. They don't envision anything fast or easy about it.

And yet it can be. While there are purists out there who insist on every meal being made with fresh, organic, non-GMO, locally-grown vegetables, it doesn't have to be that way to enjoy the benefits of a WFPB diet. The important thing is to stop eating the disease-causing foods and put whole plant-based foods in their place. If it's in your budget, then buy fresh, local organic fruits and vegetables. But if it's not in your budget, don't say, "Oh the heck with it. I might as well not try." That would be the wrong thing to do. If you don't have time to chop and dice and scrub veggies, then buy frozen veggies that are already chopped and diced and scrubbed. In other words, don't make things more difficult than you can handle.

The picture shows a small part of my pantry. You will see that I always keep cans of beans and cans of tomatoes on hand. I also have plenty of spices on hand, as can be seen on the lower shelf. For a starch, you can see 10-minute rice in the cupboard. Throw in a bag of frozen veggies and you have everything you need to make something for dinner or lunch. Or even breakfast. I've been known to have rice and beans for breakfast before.

By staying stocked with tomatoes, beans, frozen veggies, quick-cooking rice and some spices, I am always at the ready to make a quick meal. And there are plenty of different dishes from Mexican to Italian to good old-fashioned American that can be made from a well-stocked pantry.

And when I do cook, I usually like to make something for the entire week. It's easy to make a pot of something in less than fifteen minutes and then freeze what won't be eaten that evening.

So, never say you don't have time for a diet like this. You do have time. And your life may just depend on it.