Minimise time in the kitchen and maximise time enjoying life

by | Jun 29, 2020 | Magazine

“The decision to go plant-based was an easy one. Figuring out what the heck to eat was not.”

Carleigh Bodrug saw the need for truly simple and approachable recipes in the vegan space. So she filled it with Plant Ahead – a digital meal plan that is packed with easy to make recipes, “…helping you to minimise time spent in the kitchen and maximize time spent enjoying life.”

Can you name some people/teachers who have had the greatest impact on your holistic nutrition journey?

Definitely Dr. Michael Greger and Dr. Joel Fuhrman. I read both their books, How Not To Die and Eat To Live, early on in my journey.

They provided such strong evidence about the power and impact of a plant-based lifestyle that I felt compelled to learn more, which is how Plant You started.

What is your personal eating philosophy?

I consider myself plant-based, which describes an approach to eating that consists of mostly or entirely foods derived from plants.

So what falls under the category of a plant?

Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes. The lifestyle (for the most part) excludes meat, dairy products, eggs, as well as refined food such as sugar, white flour and processed oils.

With that said, I always like to reference the 80/20 or 90/10 philosophy when it comes to a whole-foods, plant-based, oil-free lifestyle.

I eat healthy nutrient dense meals at least 80-90% of the time, while also enjoying food out with friends, indulgences like vegan ice cream and more as the 10-20%. A healthy lifestyle is more about consistency than perfection, and this type of philosophy allows me to feel my best, while still enjoying the fun things in life!

What are the top 3 things in your opinion that people can change right now to move towards a happier and healthier life?

  1. Add more plants to your diet.
  2. Prioritize sleep. Sleep impacts almost every aspect of your life, from energy to appetite. Aim for 8 hours a night. Minimize screen time before bed. Get blackout curtains, and make your sleep space as inviting and comfortable as possible.
  3. Get some movement every day. This doesn’t have to mean an hour on the treadmill. Find something you love and do it consistently. This could mean a brisk walk, a dance video or biking!

What are your favourite ways to relax?

I love curling up with a good Netflix movie with popcorn, or going to enjoy a meal and a few drinks with friends!

Can you describe your morning routine?

I hop out of bed around 6:50am, feed my cat Tut, have a big glass of water, and prepare my matcha latte.

You can find the recipe I drink almost every morning here. While my matcha latte is heating up in my vitamix I do all the necessities – brush my teeth, hair, and put on a little makeup for the day. While I sip on my matcha latte, I get out my journal and write out my intentions and goals for the day!

It’s nothing fancy but I look forward to my mornings.

Where do you get your inspiration for your recipes from?

I love to take inspiration from restaurant menus, travels and childhood dishes.

For example, my fiance and I had the privilege of travelling Thailand in 2016, and from that trip, I absolutely fell in love with Thai food.

When I got back I was able to recreate some of my favorite recipes like Pad Thai and Red Curry to be healthy, plant-based dishes! On top of that, I will often peruse some restaurant menus to see favorite dishes, and am able to recreate them as simple plant-based recipes as well.

Can you tell us more about your Plant Ahead program?

The Plant Ahead Program is a weekly digital plant-based meal plan subscription which helps people eat more plants in their daily diet, save time and money at the grocery store.

Members receive a new plan with seven whole-foods, plant-based, oil-free meal prep recipes every single week, along with caloric information for each dish and a shopping list to take with them to the grocery store.

When a member signs up, they also get access to all past meal plans, and at the time of writing this there are over 70 available in the members only portal! The subscription is one low cost of just $7.99/month.

What advice can you give someone wanting to create a career in the plant based world.

There’s never been a better time to get involved in the plant-based space as it continues to grow and flourish.

My best advice is honing in on what you love to do!

Is it cooking? Perhaps managing a restaurant? Blogging? Creating content? Designing t-shirts or other material?

All of these things can be done under the plant-based umbrella and it just takes a bit of imagination to create a business opportunity from them!

What message would you like to share with our beautiful plant based sisters around the world?

I’m so thrilled to be surrounded by a community of strong, determined women who are making the world a better place through promoting a healthy plant-based lifestyle.

My message would be to keep shining your light and encouraging others to eat more plants through your kindness and compassion. We are moving the needle!

Carleigh’s favorites

Favourite plant based breakfast?

A big bowl of oatmeal with bananas and almond milk.

Plant based comfort food?

Definitely pasta with a vegan bolognese made from tomato sauce, walnuts and mushrooms! It’s my absolute favorite.

Plant based treat?

I’m a sucker for chocolate, and I love making a chocolate chia pudding with dates, cocoa powder, chia seeds and almond milk.

Plant based book?

A new one which is absolutely life changing is Fiber Fueled by Dr. Will Bulsiewicz (@theguthealthmd)

The next plant based recipe I’d like to try is..

I want to try making homemade potstickers, but I’m a little intimidated by the wrapping of them! We’ll get there.

A plant based eatery anywhere in the world I’d love to eat at..

It’s no secret I’m a huge pasta fan. I’d love to try famous vegan restaurant La Tecia Vegana in Venice, Italy. 

A plant based chef I’d love to meet and share a meal with..

None other than Tiktok sensation and amazing home chef Tabitha Brown.

Thank you Carleigh xo

Visit Carleigh’s website: