How it works: You’ll begin the healthy monthly meal plan with a seven-day detox—and by "detox" we do not mean anything resembling a juice cleanse or watery soup three times a day. This first week is designed to prime your body for the coming weeks. The healthy breakfasts, lunches, and dinners will jumpstart your metabolism, digestion, and diet overall to get it over the hump from dense holiday meals more quickly. You can start your days with one of three drinks: hot lemon water, matcha green tea (made with water), or a simple green juice (kale, water, lemon squeeze, ice). Breakfasts include quick eats such as oatmeal or avocado toast. Lunch will always be a re-imagined version of leftovers from the night before. (So easy, we know.) And dinner this week includes seven original recipes created by Jackson Blatner just for Shape readers. And guess what? They are so good and so simple.
If you’re asking, "Will this healthy monthly meal plan help me lose weight?" or "Will eating these healthy breakfasts, lunches, and dinners give me more energy to get to the gym?" the answer to both is likely yes , but that’s not why we worked with Dawn Jackson Blatner, R.D., registered dietitian and author of The Superfood Swap , to create this healthy monthly meal plan. "Shaping up your plate can be easy and taste great, so I wanted to prove that," Jackson Blatner says. "This challenge spends time on food prep only once a day, and I’m not a gourmet chef, so I made sure the dinners are things you can do, even if you’re new in the kitchen or tight on time." And before you roll your eyes thinking that a nutritionist created a bunch of bland yet healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas filled with "diet food," think again. This month you’ll enjoy things like fried rice, meatballs, lemon chicken, and stuffed sweet potatoes. You’ll never go hungry either: Each day, you’ll have three balanced meals plus healthy snacks and sweets. See? Doable and enjoyable! (We're not leaving you hanging when it comes to fitness goals this year either. In fact, we have an ab-solutely amazing plank challenge to try alongside this healthy monthly meal plan.)
To make things even easier for you (because eating healthy should be easy, and dare we say, fun), we created a healthy grocery list for you. You'll have everything you need on hand for every week of the healthy monthly meal plan, which will make meal prep Sundays a breeze and hopefully keep you from making extra trips to the store.
The 30-Day Shape Up Your Plate Challenge for Easy, Healthy Meal Planning.
Eating right, prepping meals, avoiding all the processed stuff you know you should save for special occasions, and oh yeah, staying committed to a healthy diet can be difficult—duh. But it can be even more daunting right after the holidays when you’ve spent the last four or five weeks eating more rich, creamy, heavy, belly-clogging foods than you normally would. All those splurge foods and holiday treats should be enjoyed (I mean, we’re all about balance here at Shape ), but not at the expense of your health, fitness, or frankly, mood. (BTW, save this three-step strategy to feel better faster after you eat a little too much…)
The three weeks after that are grouped by category: healthy gut, vegetarian, and superfoods. You’ll find breakfasts, lunches, and dinners planned out for you again, so there’s no wondering "What’s for dinner?" or "What can I pack for lunch tomorrow?"
So in the spirit of starting fresh with a new year (but if you’re reading this and it’s, oh, say, July…who cares? Start this healthy monthly meal plan now!), we wanted to make things easier on you with an entire month of healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner options planned out for you. That’s right—the Shape Up Your Plate Challenge requires no guesswork, no research. Just recipes, tips, and yep, even treats to get you back to yourself in no time. (Related: 10 Meal Planning Staples You Should Always Have In Your Kitchen)