Welcome to BBC Good Food’s Healthy Diet Plan for summer 2023! This page contains everything you need for the whole week. Scroll down or click the links below to get started. Looking for a different plan? Discover our meat and fish menu or try our vegetarian plan.
Our new gut-friendly Healthy Diet Plan has been exclusively developed by food writer Sara Buenfeld, with analysis and expert advice from registered nutritionist Kerry Torrens. With colourful fruit and vegetables, minimally processed foods and recipes loaded with healthy fats, fibre, lean protein and slow-release carbs, you can start this year looking and feeling your best.
The food we eat not only affects our physical health and how we look, it also impacts how we feel as well as our mood and outlook. Providing your body with the right nourishment through a healthy, balanced diet can improve mood, support energy levels and help you think more clearly.
Cutting meat and dairy from your diet, however, can mean you miss out on some essential vitamins and minerals. Our vegan diet plan helps you optimise your intake of these nutrients. We’ve done this by including some handy kitchen hacks, like mixing rice and beans to offer the full spectrum of essential amino acids, using rapeseed oil to support omega-3 fatty acid levels, and choosing fortified dairy alternatives to boost your nutrients.
If eating like this is new to you, add a couple of the recipes to your diet the week before you start the plan to help your system adjust to the new foods and the additional fibre. Click here for more information on following a healthy, balanced vegan diet.
We’ve focused our vegan diet plan on wholegrains, vegetables, fruits and nuts and seeds, and with good reason. These foods have been associated with a number of positive health benefits, including better digestive health, stronger immunity and improved mood. As a result, by following our plan, you can expect to feel more energised, improve your digestion and feel brighter and sharper.
The secret to success is preparation and planning, which is why we suggest using the Saturday before you start the plan to shop for ingredients and do a little food prep. What’s more, to help free you up during a busy week, we’ve cut down on time spent in the kitchen by ensuring leftovers for some meals.
These recipes are great to enjoy pre or post-exercise. For resistance training, for example, plant-based protein is key for muscle repair, and for cardio and endurance training, you’ll need some energising carbs to replenish glycogen stores, as well as protein. Muscles are most receptive in the 30-minute window following exercise, so eat in this time frame if you can. Remember to drink plenty of hydrating fluids and, if necessary, include a small amount of sodium to replace any lost through perspiration.
How to use the plan
Use the chart below to see your weekly menu at a glance. Eaten in this order, each day will deliver a balance of protein, fat and carbs, helping you manage hormonal and blood sugar levels, as well as optimal nutrient levels each day. You’ll also achieve all five of your five-a-day (or more) and keep within the recommended reference intakes (RI) for fats, protein, sugar, salt and calories while following the latest guidance on your intake of ‘free’ sugars. As with any lifestyle or diet change, if you have any concerns or health issues, we would encourage you to check with your GP before embarking on our plans.
If this is a new way of eating for you, we suggest that you begin by introducing some of the recipes the week before starting the full seven days. This will allow your digestive system time to adapt to the more fibre-rich foods we’ve included. To help you supercharge your results, read our six tips to make the most of the plan.
Your shopping list for the week
To help you get organised, we’ve designed a handy shopping list so you can buy everything you need in one shop – just remember to check the packets for sell-by dates to make sure they’ll last until the end of the week.
Download the printable shopping list.
Your menu chart for the week