Adopting a vegan diet
Eating a vegan plant based diet is about consuming a colourful array of seasonal fruits & vegetables, wholegrains, legumes, beans, soy products such as tofu, tempeh and edamame and healthy fats; nuts, seeds, coconut, avocado and cheese (nut cheese of course). It also includes gut health promoting foods such as fermented vegetables, miso, kefir and kombucha.
When adopting a vegan diet the focus should always be on the REAL foods you CAN eat not the PROCESSED foods you SHOULD NEVER eat.
What do you eat?
- Eat a varied and balanced diet across all the macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein and fat
- Eat brightly coloured fruit and vegetables including green leafy vegetables (think rainbows)
- Eat a wide variety of wholefoods
- Consume adequate fibre
- Reduce your salt intake
- Limit your consumption of processed foods (they contain high amounts of salt, sugar and hydrogenated fats)
- Avoid consuming too many foods rich in refined (simple) carbohydrates such as pasta and bread
- Choose foods containing monounsaturated fats: olive oil, canola oil (non GM), avocado, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias and almonds
- Include omega-3 fatty acids in your diet: flaxseed, hemp seeds, spirilina
- Consume plant-based proteins; soy products, beans & legumes
- Include fermented foods in your diet; kombucha and fermented vegetables
- Add pseudograins to your meals; quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat
Going vegetarian or vegan?
One of the biggest mistakes individuals can make when adopting a plant-based vegan diet for health or ethical reasons is to consume a diet high in carbohydrates; pasta, bread and saturated fats such as cheese. The common meals seem to be made up of pasta with tomato sauce topped with cheese or fried foods such as hot chips and potato cakes.
As part of a health-promoting eating schedule replacing the animal and dairy component of your meals goes beyond carbohydrates and fat, you need to include plant-based proteins such as lentils, beans, tempeh, tofu, portobello mushrooms and quinoa as well as an array of vegetables, in particular dark leafy greens.
Don’t like vegetables?
If you are new to exploring a plant-based vegan diet then vegetables play a key role in maintaining and promoting a healthy diet. We don’t believe you need to FAKE IT when you remove the animal component to your meals, you just need to eat REAL wholefoods rich in protein and other essential nutrients to create healthy eating practices. I do believe you will struggle to follow a vegan diet if fresh fruit & vegetables don’t make up the bulk of your diet.
Can I only eat pasta?
A plain pasta with tomato sauce is one of the easiest meals you can make in your Planted Life kitchen but it is not the only meal a plant-based vegan can eat. Or should eat. When cutting out meat & dairy this should not be your go to meal; you are not going to promote health and wellness consuming a meal rich in carbohydrates. Time to think inside the planters box.
What can I eat?
Udon noodle stir-fry
Udon noodles, greens (bok choy, broccoli, spring onions, coriander) sautéed tofu served with a tamari and sesame seed sauce
Soba noodle bowl
Soba noodles, sesame oil, tamari, rice vinegar, ginger, edamame beans, spring onions, Chinese broccoli, nori flakes and sesame seeds
Brown rice, potatoes, carrot, onion, puff tofu, curry sauce and a fresh side salad with pickled ginger
In place of rice use quinoa or cauliflower, spring onions, garlic, ginger, carrots, zucchini, peas, bean sprouts, sesame oil and tamari
Moroccan chickpea curry with quinoa
Quinoa, chickpeas, cauliflower, carrots, tomatoes, spices, ginger and coriander
Baked falafel with roasted peppers, tahini and tabbouleh
Falafel, red peppers, tahini, bulgur wheat, tomatoes, cucumber, pickles
Bean and Spinach Rice
Long grain rice, oil, garlic, chilli, spinach, kidney beans and cumin seeds
Red peppers stuffed with cous cous, currants, pistachios and spices
Lentil and mushroom bolognaise with spaghetti
Spaghetti, brown lentils, Swiss brown mushrooms, whole tomatoes, and herbs
Baked Portobello mushrooms with pesto
Portobello mushrooms, pesto and herbs
Lasagna sheets, vegetables; onions, carrots, zucchini, spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes with a cheesy sauce
Mung bean pasta with greens
Mung bean pasta with pesto and sautéed and steamed greens; kale, green beans, peas and broccoli
Risotto rice witih roasted pumpkin, pine nuts, garlic and savoury yeast flakes
Sausages and mash
Vegetarian sausages, mashed potatoes and sautéed greens – don’t forget the (onion) gravy!
Lentil pies with a mushy pea sauce
Potato and leek soup served with sourdough croutons
Potatoes, leek, herbs and sourdough croutons
Refried black beans enchiladas
Black beans, jalapenos, corn, tomatoes, fresh salad greens, guacamole and sour cream
Tofu & Bean Burrito
Hard tofu, black beans, corn, guacamole, grated beetroot, currants, tomatoes, lettuce and cheese
Long grain rice, onions, capsicum, paprika and coriander
Are you still a little confused about what to buy and cook when following a vegan plant-based diet? Sign up to one of our positive eating programs or 30 day plant-based challenge for further guidance and support.