What does a day eating a plant-based diet look like?
I could say my plant-based diet looks like it has been prepared by a private chef for an Instagram inspired photo shoot but in reality, my daily plant-based diet is pretty simple; its bursting with fresh organic wholefoods mindfully purchased from farmers markets, organic grocers and independent local retailers and speaks for itself simply looking amazing without too my effort put into the preparation or presentation.
Most of the foods I buy don’t come in any fancy packaging, in fact most are purchased in bulk saving on plastic and landfill. I create and cook majority of my meals as this way I have control over what I eat ensuring it is healthy and nutritionally dense.
A cup of warm water and lemon along with a shot of apple cider vinegar & beetroot juice to really fire up the digestive system. I avoid any caffeine for the first 3 hours of waking. I might also indulge in a turmeric latte simply made with Golden Grind turmeric and Bonsoy.
A bowl or Flip Shelton five grain porridge topped with papaya, coyo natural coconut yoghurt and a sprinkling of hemp seeds. Occasionally I will drizzle maple syrup over the porridge but I try not to make a habit of this; always good to start your day off without the help of stimulants such as caffeine and sugar.
Smoothie. Typically, it has maca powder, desiccated coconut, cacao nibs, chia seeds, hemp protein, flaxseeds, protein nut butter, bananas, and a mix of frozen or fresh berries. Sometimes I add some kale or spinach greens, turmeric root or chlorella.
Usually as simple as a piece of fruit or a raw food bar in particular At One; favourite flavour of the moment Peanut Chocolate or veggies such a celery, cucumber or carrots dipped in hummus (homemade). Making your own hummus is pretty easy; chickpeas, tahini, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, spices such as cumin and paprika, water and salt. I avoid at all time snacks from vending machines.
And finally, dinner
I love dinner time but what I don’t like is slaving away for hours in the kitchen cooking a meal that is consumed in minutes. This is why this scenario never happens in my household.
Between full-time work, managing a small business, training not to mention a running a household my time is limited but this does not mean I let my meals suffer, it’s imperative that I eat well. The foods I cook are simple:
- Salad or macro bowl which include carbohydrates such as rice, quinoa or noodles, a protein source; tofu, tempeh or beans, sautéed greens; kale, spinach, broccoli or asparagus and lastly fats; nuts, seeds, avocado and an oil-based dressing.
- Stir-fry with green vegetables, beans or tofu
- Tempeh tacos or burrito
- Falafel in pitas
- Tofu with greens and satay sauce
- Fried rice
- Lentil spaghetti Bolognese
- Baked potatoes with beans and guacamole
Quick & Easy
I have my ‘quick and easy go to meals’ which generally consist of tofu, rice or noodles and a simple sauce such as tamari, ginger, garlic or satay. I try and cook where possible in one pot or pan to reduce dishes and when all else fails I make a salad adding beans and nuts for bulk (and protein which apparently vegans struggle with!!)
My approach to food is simple and although I love cooking I have a handful of meals in which I create each night that are tasty, fulfilling and healthy. I don’t feel the need to be adventurous each and every night, that would be exhausting. I like food routines, there is absolutely nothing wrong with routine. Up until dinner time, I eat mostly the same way each day — but still get plenty of variety by varying the fruit I eat and maybe mixing up the ingredients of my smoothie.
I don’t believe there is anything wrong with eating the same foods 80% of the time. It removes the stress of decision making and I know I am going to fill fulfilled and satisfied due to the nutritionally dense foods chosen to eat on a daily basis.
Don’t over complicate it
I feel we tend to over complicate the foods we eat; think about your top 20 foods and then figure out ways to incorporate these into quick and easy meals. This doesn’t mean you only eat these 20 foods but what it does mean when you have more time you can look to create something new but for 80% of the time, you have the basics right and you are not confused by your daily food choices. Confusion equals bad choices and being unfilled when it comes to meal times.
This simple approach to food helps me eat the healthiest diet possible; a diet rich in plant-based wholefoods rich in fresh fruit and vegetables with a balance of key macro and micronutrients.
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