Download your weekly VEGAN MEAL PLAN here and learn how to meal prep so you can enjoy the rest of the week worry free!
How To Create A Vegan Meal Plan
Eating vegan food is anything but boring! You don’t have to settle for quinoa bowls and avocado toast for the rest of your life. Look at all the different countries around the world offering delicious vegan dishes that are colorful, tasty, and packed with goodness. The key to keeping a vegan diet exciting is to constantly experiment with new ingredients and flavor combinations. Being on a vegan diet these days is exciting, and you’d be surprised at how easy it is to turn a pescaterian or a vegetarian dish into a vegan. I do it all the time! The more you cook without animal products and the easier and more natural it will be to skip them whenever you are creating a meal.
Here are few tips on how to create your own vegan recipes and meal plans that are nutritious and tasty.
- Diverse Protein Sources: Incorporate a variety of plant based proteins such as lentils, beans (chickpea, navy beans), quinoa, tofu, tempeh, seitan, chia seeds, edamame, and buckwheat. Experiment with different cooking methods – baking, air frying, broiling, steaming, sauteing – to enhance flavors and textures.
- Abundant Vegetables: Include a rainbow of vegetables such as sweet potato, bell peppers, kale, spinach, carrot, beet, squash, and broccoli, to ensure a wide range of nutrients. Highlight seasonal vegetables to keep the meals fresh and flavorful.
- Some Fruits: Fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, apples, oranges, pineapple, bananas, and melons, are full of fiber, vitamin c, and antioxidants, which are all good for the mind and the body. Just make sure not to eat too many since fruits contain sugar and can lead to weight gain if you consume too many on a daily basis. I suggest eating one or two per day.
- Healthy Fats: Integrate sources of healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, grapeseed oil and olive oil. These fats not only add richness to the meals but also provide essential nutrients.
- Whole Grains: Opt for whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, farro, and oats to boost fiber intake. Whole grains contribute to a feeling of fullness and provide sustained energy.
- Creative Flavoring: Use dried or fresh herbs, spices and condiments to add depth and variety to dishes. Experiment with different cultural flavors to keep the meals interesting.
- Balanced Meals: Ensure a balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in each meal.
This balance helps maintain stable energy levels throughout the day.
- Vitamin B12 Consideration: Be mindful of vitamin B12 intake by incorporating fortified foods or supplements such as nutritional yeast, fortified breakfast cereal, plant based milks (soy milk, almond milk), and fortified meat substitutes. This is crucial for a well-rounded and balanced vegan diet.
- Incorporate International Cuisines: Explore recipes from various cuisines to introduce diversity and excitement. This broadens the palate and keeps the meal plan interesting.
- Sweet Treats: Include vegan desserts or snacks to satisfy sweet cravings. Utilize natural sweeteners like monk fruit sugar, maple syrup, agave, or date syrup. For those wondering about whether honey is vegan or not, the answer is no – it is not considered vegan since honey production involves the use living bees.
The Complete Digital Meal Planner
Stay organized with The Complete Digital Meal Planner. Create a weekly meal schedule, plan meals, save your favorite recipes, and shop smarter. Reduce stress and enjoy delicious meals with this easy-to-use meal planner. It’s meal planning made simple!
Vegan Diet Frequently Asked Questions
It’s helpful to get in the habit of creating meal plans for two reasons: it keeps your meal rotation interesting and ensures that you get all the nutrients you need. Without a meal plan it’s easy to fall into bad habits such as reaching for a premade frozen meals, or using too many unhealthy vegan meat substitutes. Remember that eating vegan doesn’t necessarily mean eating healthy – there are just as many unhealthy vegan foods as there are regular foods. To eat healthy one has to commit to cooking homemade natural foods as often as possible. It’s okay to take it easy once or twice a week but anything more than that can lead to weight gain.
As mentioned above, eating vegan food does not necessarily lead to weight loss. If you eat vegan burgers, mac and cheese, and other vegan foods using lots of processed ingredients and fats, you will not lose weight – you might even gain a few pounds. But if you take the time to cook vegan dishes from scratch and using mostly natural ingredients, you will notice a difference in how you feel (your body will thank you for it) and will also most likely lose some weight.
No. A vegan diet excludes all animal products, including meat, dairy, eggs, and honey. Veganism also extends beyond diet as it aims to eliminate the use of animals for food, clothing, and other purposes to reduce harm to animals and the planet.
A plant based diet primarily focuses on consuming whole, plant-derived foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Those on a plant based diet may occasionally allow to include small amounts of animal products on occasion, but overall prefer not to. A plant based diet emphasizes on health benefits and often centers around promoting a diet rich in nutrient-dense, plant-based foods.