Should I try to be a “straight A” plant-based eater?

As a student I always strove for good grades.  I was usually happy with a B or better, but most of the time I was aiming for an A, 90-100%.  If you are anything like me, you would get upset with yourself if you got a C or lower, then you would plan better next time to make sure you didn’t get that low of a grade again.  If we apply a grading system to plant-based eating compliance, how well should we eat?  I would suggest you should aim for A’s, high A’s should be our target.  Does that mean that you need to be compliant 100% percent of the time for 100 % of your meals?  I would say NO. Some of us are over achievers though and will strive for 100 % compliance, good for you, go for it.  Just make sure you aren’t too hard on yourself when you slip or fall of the wagon.  You should be proud of yourself if you are compliant most of the time.  I aim for 95% compliance.  For me, this means that each day there is some room for error or reversion.  Don’t be too hard on yourself if you said yes to that donut at work today, that doesn’t mean you have to throw out the rest of the day and eat like crap.  Get back on track and eat compliant with the next thing you put in your mouth.  With time, you will find that you “slip” into non-compliance less and less.  Remember you ate the other way your entire life, give yourself credit for the positive changes and progress you have made.

Are you already a straight A eater?  Lets consider that there are 7 days in a week, if we multiply that times 3 meals a day it equals 21 meals a week.

  • A-:  90%    = 18.9 meals of your 21 meals for the week are 100% compliant
  • A:    95%    = 19.95 meals of your 21 meals for the week are 100% compliant
  • A+:  100% = 21 meals of your 21 meals for the week are 100% compliant


100 days

  • A-:  90 of my 100 days of eating were 100% compliant
  • A:  95 of my 100 days were 100% compliant
  • A+:  100% of my 100 days were compliant

If you are the type of person that does well with charts and graphs, create a 21 meal chart or a 100 day chart.  Set a goal for the grade you want. For each meal or day give yourself a star or smiley face for each meal or day you were 100% compliant.  Make sure to mark a big red X on each meal or day in which you are not 100% compliant.  Give yourself your grade.  Be proud of yourself if you are meeting your goal.  Make a plan to do better if you are not reaching your goal.

Here is a spreadsheet example of what you could do.  This is set up for 1 week of meals and snacks:

Plant-based A+ week spreadsheet

Give yourself some rules and do your best to stick to them.  Below are some ideas, write down your rules and stick to them:

  • if I make a poor choice at one meal, I will make the next meal 100% compliant
  • I can only have cheese with one meal a week on Saturdays (some day you may choose to give it up completely).
  • I will never eat meat again or I will only eat meat for Thanksgiving or some other guideline for yourself
  • I am allergic to dairy products

**Please note that if you have a serious medical condition you may NEED to be more serious about your compliance.**

A+ plant based week spreadsheet pdf




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Whole food Plant-based mom, runner, educator, health coach.

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