A Week of Self-Love: A Vegan Meal Plan

As I wrote in my last blog, people are curious about what vegans eat. In the last week, as I’ve written down some of my meals, I’ve also thought about how to best convey my lifestyle. It’s made me reflect on it as well. I think it’s important to acknowledge that my choice to be vegan is not just about a diet. It’s about taking care of myself. It’s about self-love. It might seem like most vegans are first and foremost concerned about the impact of the meat industry on the earth and to animals. That’s part of it, but it’s actually more selfish than we’d like to even admit. It’s about feeling good (albeit sometimes downright righteous) about one’s choices.

For me, it’s self-love. I don’t want to eat something full of preservatives that I can barely identity as food that is sopping in grease because it makes my body feel icky. Similarly, I don’t want to eat anything that I know contributes to the suffering of animals and our planet because it makes my conscious feel icky. Ultimately, it’s about how I feel after. And it is also about using mindfulness practices to build that awareness of how I feel after. That said, to be mostly vegan has also been a matter of finding the right balance in my diet so that my body feels good. It’s been a scientific experiment and an ongoing one. The list of meals here aren’t meant to be recipes, though sometimes I come close. They are really just ideas that might inspire you to experiment as well.

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Day 1

Breakfast: Blueberry, Banana, Ginger Breakfast Smoothie
Blueberries
Banana
2 tbsp. peanut butter
Unsweetened milk/yogurt alternative
Fresh Ginger (about half tsp.)
Sprinkle of Cinnamon
Sprinkle of Turmeric
Honey (or to be strictly vegan, coconut nectar or maple syrup to sweeten)

Lunch: Sweet Potato and Black Beans with Side Salad
Sweet potato (whole or cut into wedges w olive oil)
Topped with black beans, fresh onion, vegan ranch, and siracha sauce
¼ Avocado on the side
Side salad (romaine, spinach, cherry tomatoes, red pepper, carrots dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar)

Dinner: Rice and Lentils
Brown Rice with lentils (I cooked brown rice like I normally do, except I just added in lentils because they both take about a half hour).
I added vegan butter, garlic powder, hot sauce, and nutritional yeast (but can be whatever strange seasonings you desire).
¼ Avocado on the side

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Day 2

Breakfast: Non-dairy yogurt and fruit
Non-dairy yogurt (coconut milk or cashew milk)
2 tbsp. peanut butter
Sliced apples
Raisins
Honey

Lunch: Black bean tacos
3 corn tortillas
Black beans (flavored with cumin, chili, and oregano)
Avocado
Topped with cilantro, avocado, diced tomatos

Dinner: Quinoa and Vegetables
Quinoa and kale and corn. (or whatever veggies I feel like. I often use zucchini.)
Add vegan butter, garlic, salt, and nutritional yeast.

img_20171112_182329674.jpg

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Day 3

Breakfast: Oatmeal
Plain oatmeal
2 tbsp. peanut butter (note, if I know I’m eating peanut butter in pad thai later, I leave this out)
Sliced apples
Raisins
Honey
(I often add a little turmeric and cinnamon)

Lunch: Grilled cheese and salad
Two slices of whole wheat bread with Daiya vegan cheese
Large side salad with a tahini dressing for protein
Tahini dressing – I just combine two tbsp. of tahini with lemon juice, water, dash of salt and pepper to taste.

Dinner: Pad Thai
Cook rice noodles separately
Fry Minced ginger, garlic, and onion in coconut oil
Fry Vegetables (carrots, red pepper, mushroom and zucchini or other preferred veggies)
In a small bowl or cup mix Bragg’s Aminos or Kikoman soy sauce with peanut butter and water
Add in cooked rice noodles, sauce, and fresh cilantro

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Day 4

Breakfast: Cereal and Non-dairy milk
Cheerios are great, but I’ll eat any whole-grain cereal with less than 5 grams of sugar.
Soy milk
Fruit: Usually half a banana with berries (blueberries or raspberries)

Lunch: PBJ sandwich and salad
What can I say? I eat this childhood staple a lot still and enjoy it and the protein it offers.
But if you really want something more exciting, I also sometimes eat snobby joes and cook them with tofu instead of lentils: http://www.isachandra.com/2009/11/snobby-joes/

Dinner: Haiyan’s (My dear friend’s recipe) Chickpeas and Brown Rice
Cook brown rice separately.
For the chickpeas, I spread a tbsp. or so of olive oil throughout the pan and then add in fresh chopped ginger, a touch of cumin, turmeric, cilantro, oregano, a little chili pepper, garlic/garlic powder, and onion.
I then chop up a few Roma tomatoes and add them in, along with the chickpeas for the sauce.
To thicken the sauce, I just blend some of the chickpeas in a blender and add them back in.
Avocado on the side

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Day 5

Breakfast: Toast and Kale
Slice of bread with sunflower butter
Cooked kale with raisins (see Day 7)

Lunch: Buffalo Chickpea wrap and Salad
(See https://minimalistbaker.com/spicy-buffalo-chickpea-wraps/) I usually make an extra large salad and put some of it in the wrap, and eat some of it on the side. I usually add the optional avocado.

Dinner: Vegan chili
I’m sure you can find a recipe, but it’s so simple too.
2 Tbsp. of olive oil in the pan with:
garlic/garlic powder
onion
Cumin
Chili powder
Cook in chopped carrots, corn that is sliced from the cob, green or red pepper, and beans. I just use a 14oz can of diced tomatoes, and add in water.

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Day 6

Breakfast: Banana Pancakes
This is the recipe I like because it’s simple: https://theprettybee.com/vegan-banana-pancakes/

Lunch: Tofu and Brown rice stir fry
I use whatever veggies sound good and just add in Bragg’s Aminos for flavor or Kikoman soy sauce. I think these particular brands are important for the right flavor.

Dinner: Coconut Curry Lentil Soup
I love this recipe and so does everyone who I’ve sent it to: http://vegangela.com/2014/01/09/coconut-curry-lentil-soup/

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Day 7

 Brunch: Tofu Scramble Tacos
I spread a tbsp. or so of olive oil throughout the pan and then add in desired spices (for me usually cumin), including turmeric to give the tofu a yellow color. Then I just cook this the way I do eggs, often frying onion, green pepper and tomato into it.
Avocado.
1 gluten free blueberry waffle with vegan butter and maple syrup

img_20171111_125142411.jpg

Snack: Slice of toast with sunflower or peanut butter, Fruit

Dinner: Hummus Wrap and Cooked Kale Salad
Kale: Spread Tbsp. of olive oil in the pan, sprinkle in garlic/garlic powder and a little cumin. Add in Kale until cooked til tender. Toss in a bowl with two tbsp. of tahini.
Hummus wrap:  spread hummus onto either a couple of corn tortillas or a wheat one, with red pepper, cucumber, red onion, and romaine lettuce.

 

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