Welcome to the most compassionate and peaceful lifestyle you’ll ever know.
However unique your vegan birth story is, let me assure you that the challenges you will face in the first year of your new life are not.
This is not a bad thing.
The changes we’ve decided to make are not small and it takes a village supporting you to overcome the obstacles that any form of change creates.
A major and very important obstacle to overcome is meals – right from planning, to prepping for yourself or your family, to eating out, and basically any social interaction that involves food.
This is a single point of failure for new vegans.
Poor nourishment and meal planning will leave your body nutritionally deficient and is dangerous in the long run.
The media will use this point extensively to show the public that a vegan diet is harmful to humans. It’s not true and you need to know that now. Here are some of the myths around veganism that you’ll come across. You can read more here.
So without further ado, I give you a 7 day meal plan which you can reuse until you feel you’re confident to run solo.
The meals are simple to throw together and don’t require you to hunt down ingredients you can’t pronounce.
The smoothie for each day can be a snack or liquid breakfast.
A good practice to adopt is to cut and store your veggies & fruit for your meal a day or two in advance. This is probably the most tedious part of the entire meal prep process.
A few other things to keep in mind:
- Chia seeds/Flax seeds – Add them generously to all your meals. They’re a great source of Omega-3 which is anti-inflammatory and brain food. Walnuts are a good source too.
- Protein powder – I personally don’t use protein powders and for the fitness junkies reading this, I have not lost muscle mass and have in fact made more gains than my pre-vegan days. Eat whole foods and enough of them – that’s all you’ll need. You might find a few smoothie recipes below calling for protein powder, please note that this is optional
- Avocado/nut butter can be used for a creamier texture. Of course, if these are unavailable or you worry that purchasing these might drive you to bankruptcy, omit them and find local alternatives. Almond butter is quite pricey so feel free to sub it out for oil- and sugar-free peanut butter.
- Sub seasonal and local fruit and greens wherever you can. Keep in mind that a vegan diet is also about sustainability…and that goes for your wallet too.
- Spices – if you’re like me and you like a lot of flavor and heat, I’d suggest you play around with spice combinations to create a bolder flavor profile.
As the Germans say – Guten Apetit!
Breakfast: Vegan Overnight Oats
Dinner: Vegan Lentil Curry
Breakfast: Fruit Salad with Vegan Coconut Cream
Smoothie: Creamy Chocolate Breakfast Shake
Lunch: Vegan Greek Salad
Dinner: Spicy Tofu + Rice Bowl
Breakfast: Vegan Granola Bars
Smoothie: Kale and Pomegranate Smoothie
Breakfast: Vegan Bircher Muesli
Smoothie: Green Smoothie
Lunch: Easy Kale Salad
Dinner: Farro Salad with roasted eggplant, caramelized onion and pine nuts (sub farro for bulgur. Brown rice or spelt)
Breakfast: 3 Vegan Breakfast toast ideas to choose from
Smoothie: Mango “marriage saver” smoothie and mask!!
Lunch: Black Bean Dip – enjoy with veggie sticks and/or pita
Breakfast: Southwest Tofu Scramble
Smoothie: “Summer in a cup” smoothie
Lunch: Roasted Beetroot Salad
Breakfast: Vegan Banana Bread
Smoothie: “All Day Glow” Green Smoothie
Lunch: Greek Yellow Split Pea Dip
Dinner: “Better than restaurant” Falafel – Add lots of greens to this mix.
Submitted by Betty P.