10 Trouble-Free Techniques to Cut Calories

How to Make Your Calories Count Without Counting Calories

No matter how we approach weight loss, all methods ultimately require the creation of a caloric deficit for results. Nowadays, with the onslaught of food and fitness trackers, calorie apps, step counters, etc., there are myriad ways to calculate and postulate how much energy is coming in and about how much may be going out. Despite these calculations and disciplined approaches to monitoring progress, there are several simple ways to effectively decrease calories consumed without much of an effort; habits you can change in your day to day practice which can support your goals and help you succeed.

Since you can’t out-exercise your diet and what you eat is unquestionably the primary factor in weight loss, here are 10 ways to reduce your intake significantly enough to make a difference:

  1. Hold off on eating the first meal of the day for as long as possible.

    There are no verified rules about how many meals per day are ideal or that eating breakfast helps “jumpstart your metabolism” for the day. Remember that the human body is adapted to survive periods without food (beyond just dinner through breakfast the following morning) and that skipping meals does not, in fact, “slow down” your metabolism. Time without food being digested and absorbed is precious for the body, as it offers energy for the body to repair, recover, and rejuvenate. Unless you are really, really lean, your body has enough fat storage to metabolize for energy in between meals. Pushing off breakfast as long as possible is the perfect way to offer your body rest and an opportunity to start nibbling away at your fat stores. This is why the concept and practice of intermittent fasting has taken off recently in the news. Drink water, sparkling water, black coffee, or any of the infinite varieties of teas without any added sweeteners or creamers. It will keep you satisfied as you stave off hunger until your body is really ready to eat.

  2. Drink tea or coffee straight up.

    Speaking of tea and coffee… If you do enjoy these beverages (as millions or billions of people do around the world), they fit perfectly into a healthy diet for most people. (Of course, if you have cardiac arrhythmias, high blood pressure, reflux, are pregnant, or other specific conditions, this is something to ask your physician about.) And, as I mentioned above, they can keep you going in the morning as you delay your first meal of the day. The only way people get into trouble is by dousing these calorie-free, phytonutrient-containing beverages with addictive sweeteners and calorie-dense creamers. These beverages offer the perfect vehicle for excess sugars, fats, and calories. My favorite Starbucks venti green tea soy latte, for example, contains a whopping 320 calories, 9 grams of fat (6 of which are saturated), and 43 grams of sugar (!). Hence, these are best enjoyed as special occasion treats. I am not going to pretend there is no adjustment necessary when transitioning to clear tea or black coffee, but you can indeed adapt with time (see tip #9). If you have ever made an attempt to lower your salt intake, switch from whole milk to skim milk, or switched from sugar to artificial sweeteners, you have experienced this process. This helps in the morning, when you are avoiding kicking in the digestive process with calories but, if you account for the calories during the day, when you are in fact eating (during the feeding window), you can enjoy tea or coffee with an unsweetened plant milk (or even foamed…a la latte or cappuccino style).

  3. caloriesEat only when foods like a crunchy stalk of celery or crisp apple sound satisfying. 

    The longer you go without food, the better everything seems. Anyone who has gone on a “diet” can attest to this experience…where everything sounds delicious and you can easily end up reading through recipe books for masochistic distraction (well, perhaps that is something only I used to do). Often, most people eat for emotion, stress, convenience, or opportunity. Doing so easily contributes to weight gain. Further, many people experience toxic hunger, a hypoglycemic feeling that may include shakiness, headaches, fatigue, cramps, etc. This is usually due to an unhealthy diet and is a sign that you may need to reevaluate your overall intake. (Again, please see your physician if you are experiencing these symptoms before jumping to conclusions.) True hunger is something that is felt in the throat region and the best test of this is pontificating upon whether eating a crunchy stalk of celery, a crisp apple, or any simple food that may not normally tempt you will actually satisfy you. At that point, eat a healthy, whole food, plant-based meal, including any infinite combination of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices.

  4. Cook more.

    Eating out is a convenient way to enjoy a delicious meal without spending the time necessary to prepare food at home. And dining at restaurants can indeed fit into a health-promoting lifestyle when done conscientiously and infrequently. However, it is unquestionably more challenging to find food at restaurants that is truly free of ingredients you need to avoid for weight loss and for your health. Oils, salts, sugars, and flours are added in far greater quantities than would be in your own kitchen and calories are almost guaranteed to exceed your goals. Additionally, it is far too alluring to overeat when you are surrounded by access, excess, and hyperpalatable options. On the other side of this is the fact that most of us are busy. Very busy. And cooking is not the first thing you may be eager to do after a long day of work, kids, school, etc. This is compounded by the fact that many people do not feel cozy in the kitchen. I know I didn’t. And it was overwhelming to have to create healthy delicious dishes…particularly once I had kids. But cooking is a priority. Learning just a few dishes can mean massive control over your weight and your long-term health. The trick is to keep it simple. You can go all out and take the amazing Rouxbe Online Professional Plant-Based Cooking School to gain mastery over your kitchen. You can use shortcuts and order plant-based meal kits from places like Chef’d. But, you can also learn some very simple tips and tricks by following some healthy recipes. Here is a collection of some of my favorite recipes and here are all of my favorite cookbooks (and other resources). Batch cooking items like a large pot of rice or other whole grains, soups, stews, and chilis helps because they last several days in the fridge and you can freeze them and defrost as needed for up to a year. Keeping precut vegetables, hummus, tofu/tempeh, and  in the refrigerator; and frozen vegetables, fruits, and whole grains in the freezer; as well as canned beans, jarred marinara sauces and salsas, and whole grains in the pantry; and potatoes, squash, avocados, and fresh fruits on the countertop will enable you to make quick and easy meals with hardly any effort. Some examples of super easy, satisfying, and light dishes include: baked potatoes with salsa and canned beans; frozen stir-fry vegetables sautéed in water or vegetable broth over brown rice; or beans with precut veggies, salsa, and avocado in a bowl or in a whole grain tortilla. In fact, it doesn’t get any easier than these 50 whole food plant-based recipes with 5 ingredients or less.  You will save hundreds or thousands of calories each day that you prepare your meals at home. Keep it simple for sustainable results.

  5. caloriesPrioritize vegetables and fruits.

    Everyone, from the American Institute for Cancer Research to the USDA, agrees that at least half of your plate should come from fruits and vegetables. Forget “5 a day,” new research supports aiming for at least 10 daily servings. Not only do fruits and vegetables provide unparalleled health benefits, but they play a pivotal role in weight loss with their very low calorie density and high satiety factor. Prioritize these food groups every single day to maximize weight loss and help reduce your risk for chronic disease. Aim to eat a huge salad with everything you enjoy mixed in, which could include leafy greens, steamed or roasted vegetables, shredded veggies, slaw, artichoke hearts, potatoes, corn, fresh herbs, beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, hummus, sun dried tomatoes, onions, sautéed mushrooms, avocado, fruit, cooked whole grains, leftovers from yesterday, etc., etc. Essentially, there is no limit to the creative combinations possible. Here are 40 fun recipes to inspire you. And topping it off with a delicious dressing or sauce, like one of these healthy options, helps you enjoy salads and vegetables even more. Include cooked vegetables, especially leafy greens, each day, using them as a bed to lay the rest of your meal upon or plate them on the side. Whipping up a batch of soup, stew, or chili to enjoy throughout the week is the ultimate fast food. Here are 30 delicious recipes you can try. Experiment with new items to build your repertoire and have fun with them. While eating fruit may be easier for many people to consume, vegetables can be sexy and super delicious as they take center stage on your plate.

  6. caloriesMinimize or eliminate oils. All oils.

    One of the easiest ways to cut out hundreds – or even thousands – of calories each week is to simply cut down on oils. All oils (yes, even olive oil and coconut oil) are 100 percent pure fat, containing 120 calories and 14 grams of fat. One cup of oil contains more than 2000 calories…an entire day’s worth for most people! And just think of how easy it is to drizzle a half cup of oil over a salad, or in the pan to sauté, or to dunk your bread in at a restaurant. Boom. 1000 calories added right there. Further, there is zero fiber and many of the nutrients that started in the olive or soybean are extracted out. Fortunately, it is easy to cook without oil. You can sauté with water, vegetable broth, vinegar, or other liquid; use beans, silken tofu, nuts, or seeds to whip up a creamy dressing; and bake with mashed banana, applesauce or other fruit purees, silken tofu, or mashed avocado. All of these hundreds of options are oil-free and offer examples on how to modify your cooking. Eating out, however, makes it much more challenging to avoid oil. Ask for foods steamed, grilled, baked, or roasted without oil, and use vinegars, salsa, guacamole, lemon or lime juice, or hot sauce as salad dressing.

  7. Focus on your food and shut down all distractions while you eat.

    We make approximately 200 food choices a day, which matters immensely when you consider the fact that diet is the number one cause of early death and disability in the United States. There are many reasons we overeat, mostly due to social pressures and accessibility. But, practicing mindfulness is an excellent way to help avoid overeating. Shut down the television, close your laptop, and put the phone down (a challenge for many of us) while you sit down to a meal. With an emphasis on the word sit. Instead of noshing while standing, walking, driving, or skateboarding, or even just taking bites here and there throughout the day, try to create rituals when eating a meal. While it doesn’t have to include candlelight and background music (although that is a lovely tone to set anytime you’re in the mood), there is a happy middle ground between getting fancy and getting to the bottom of a tub of popcorn without remembering enjoying it. Try tactics like choosing dishware and utensils you love, plating your meal prettily, and putting utensils down between bites to bring in the zen and help you be present.

  8. Chew.

    Although it sounds so simple and perhaps trivial, chewing is a lost art. From the moment food enters your mouth, a cascade of mechanical and biochemical reactions rev up to start the complex digestive process. While there is a host of psychobiological implications of chewing, an incentive to slow down and chew better includes that it may help reduce hunger and food intake.

  9. caloriesTrain your taste buds away from hyperpalatable food.

    Sugar, oil, salt, more sugar, more oil, more salt… Pick your poison, but let there be no doubt that the food industry has masterminded your palate. Extensive science is at play making certain “you really can’t eat just one,” as the goal is to enhance their products for your eating pleasure. Hooking consumers on products in a similar manner used to make the cigarette industry so successful is a motivation of the food industry. There is sugar, oil, and salt in everything from the obvious chips, cookies, and candies to the less obvious breads, dried fruits, and dressings/sauces. Research has found similar neurological and behavioral responses to these highly processed foods as to substances that cause addiction. While there are biological reasons we fall into the “pleasure trap,” and there are powerful pressures at play that exacerbate that biology, it is indeed possible to break the food seduction. One of the best ways to bypass this system is to recalibrate your taste buds by setting a few weeks aside and committing to eating whole, intact foods without exception. This is simple, but not easy. If you are motivated to make it happen, you can move beyond the challenging first few weeks and feel liberated and empowered from thereon forward.

  10. Stop eating at least three hours before bed.

    Similar to holding off on your first meal of the day, ending your feeding window earlier in the evening enables your body to complete the energy-intensive process of digesting and absorbing food. There appears to be circadian explanations for why it is best to stop eating earlier, but there are also behavioral elements, such as decision fatigue, that come into play. Being tired reduces your ability to resist tempting (usually less-than-ideal) foods, no matter how much willpower you may have. Making this choice can become habitual over time and usually requires some scheduling adjustments.

As you may have noticed, there are no recommendations listed above to count calories or fat grams, to cut out carbs, or to exercise harder. This is because the weight loss industry’s loud messaging simply has not worked. It is time that we shift our focus to foods, behaviors, and social pressures in order to ameliorate the issues so many of us struggle with in terms of achieving and sustaining our ideal body weight.

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Vegiterranean Feast

Vegiterranean Feast

Making all things Vegiterranean on #LunchbreakLive with Jane Velez-Mitchell and Lisa Karlan…hummus, baba ganoush, easy caprese, and falafels. Bring your appetite and your questions!

Posted by Plant-Based Dietitian on Tuesday, February 21, 2017

 

Here are two of the recipes:

Easy Caprese

A simple, traditional dish, this combination satisfies as a perfect appetizer. Hearty in texture, but zesty and light in flavor, you can throw this together in minutes and enjoy as a light snack in the afternoon or before dinner.

Makes 2 to 4 servings

2 large heirloom or beefsteak tomatoes, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
4 ounces organic soft tofu, thinly sliced
2 to 3 tablespoons reduced balsamic vinegar

1. Layer the tomato slices on a large plate. Evenly place the basil leaves over the tomatoes, followed by the tofu slices. Drizzle the vinegar over all.
2. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Note: You can use your favorite regular balsamic vinegar as is, or try reducing it. Using at least triple the amount of vinegar called for in the recipe in a saucepan (you can store the leftovers in the refrigerator for up to a week), bring the vinegar to a boil over medium heat, and then reduce the heat to low and simmer until at desired thickness, at least 20 to 30 minutes.

Hummus of the Earth

Hummus should be a food group with its infinite combinations of ways to enjoy. With the addition of cannellini beans and spices, this essential version is earthy, warm, and classic. Use it in sandwiches, as a dip, or in salad.

Makes 1 3⁄4 cups

2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed if using canned
1 cup cooked cannellini beans, drained and rinsed if using canned
1⁄4 cup nutritional yeast
11⁄2 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice with zest
11⁄2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon tamari
3⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin
3⁄4 teaspoon smoked paprika
3⁄4 teaspoon ground chipotle powder
1⁄8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1. In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, cannellini beans, nutritional yeast, 1⁄4 cup water, lemon juice and zest, tahini, tamari, cumin, paprika, chipotle powder, and red pepper flakes, and puree until smooth, 30 to 60 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
2. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.

The rest of the recipes can be found in The Vegiterranean Diet.

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Six Serious Reasons to Just Ditch Dairy

Haven’t ditched dairy yet?

Here are 6 serious reasons to just do it:

 
ditch dairy1. As per Dr. Michael Klaper, the purpose of cow’s milk is to help a baby calf grow, grow, grow as fast as possible. Dairy is hormonally active…intentionally. But once we are full-sized adults, growth is not a positive thing…it inspires cancer growth and contributes to other health problems.
 
 
2. Upwards of 70% (or more) of the world’s population is lactose-intolerant. The fact that more people than not react with painful gastrointestinal symptoms upon consumption of dairy demonstrates the fact that the human body is not intended to consume it. Doctors and dietitians are now pushing the use of lactase enzymes and other symptom-relieving medications in order to ensure “adequate” intake of dairy products. Yet, if we have to force our bodies to accept something it doesn’t want, shouldn’t that be a sign that something is wrong?
 
3. You do not need dairy for healthy bones. There are excellent plant-sources of calcium that are alkalizing and support bone health. Broccoli, kale, bok choy, other leafy green veggies, sesame seeds, tahini, calcium-set tofu, almonds, aditch dairynd fortified plant milks/juices all have adequate amounts of calcium to meet daily requirements. In fact, calcium in kale is absorbed 30% better than from dairy!  
 
4. People are always concerned about the phytoestrogens in soy foods. Yet, dairy has estradiol, natural animal/human-based estrogen, which is 10,000 times more potent than environmental or phytoestrogens.
 
5. Dairy, particularly cheese, is the number one source of artery-clogging saturated fats in the diet. Remember, according to the American Heart Association, a heart-healthy diet contains no more than 5-6% of total calories from saturated fat, the amount found in a typical vegan diet.
 
ditch dairy6. There is a currently a wall o’ milks that are plant-based and delicious at your neighborhood grocer. Choose between almond milk, soy milk, hemp milk, oat milk, coconut milk, flax milk, rice milk, chocolate almond milk, horchata rice milk, vanilla soy milk, almond-coconut milk, and the hundreds of other varieties now available. Exciting, decadent, creative, and much healthier….dairy milk is indeed jealous! So jealous that Big Dairy recently approached the FDA to intervene and make it illegal for plant milks to be called “milk.” However, consumers are not buying plant-based milk because they’ve been tricked into believing they actually came from a cow. They’re buying plant milk because it’s healthier, cruelty-free, and easier on our planet.
 
Eat plants. Drink plants. For your health.

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Say Cheese for these 20 Delicious DIY Whole Food Plant-Based Recipes

You can have your cheese and eat it, too!

cheese

There are a plethora of paramount health reasons to ditch dairy – particularly in the form of cheese – from the high saturated fat, sodium, cholesterol, and hormone content to the opiate-like casomorphins that encourage its addictiveness. Just the mere fact that approximately 75 percent of the global population is lactose intolerant is enough to reason that we have no business consuming the milk of another species!  Fortunately, there has never been an easier time to chuck cheese because there are infinite plant-based alternatives available both commercially and in the DIY format (a la delicious recipes).

To reduce calorie density and maximize nutrient density, I recommend minimizing or avoiding the use of oils. Thus, if you love cheese the way many people do, it is ideal to make your own without using oils.

Here is a collection of 20 whole food, plant-based cheese recipes that are easy to make, oil-free, and absolutely divine…

1. Vegan Feta (That Tastes Really Good!) by Dreena Burton

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2. Cheesy Cauliflower Sauce by Fat Free Vegan

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3. Vegan Cheese Sauce by Contentedness Cooking

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4. Nut-Free Vegan Nacho Cheese Slices by Vegan Richa

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5.  “Cheezy” Cashew Dip by Jazzy Vegetarian

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6. Sharp White Cheese Sauce by Veggies Don’t Bite

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7. 6 Ingredient Vegan Cheddar Cheese Sauce by Veganosity

cheese-6-ingredient8. Pistachio-Crusted Cheese Ball by Jessica in the Kitchen

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9. Veggie Cream Cheese Spread by Veggie Inspired

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10. Spicy Vegan Almond Cheese Spread by Vegan Chickpea

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11. Cheesy Smoky Butternut Squash Pasta from The Vegiterranean Diet via The Blender Babes

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12. Vegan Queso Fundido by Veganosity

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13. 2 Vegan Parmesan Substitutes: Brazil Nut Parmesan and Cheesy Sprinkle by Dreena Burton

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14. Walnut and Herb Vegan Cheese by Green Evi

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15. Jalapeno Cashew Cheese Spread by Cadry’s Kitchen

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16. Sundried Tomato Cashew Cheese by Loving It Vegan

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17. Vegan Cheese Quesadillas by Contentedness Cooking

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18. Ultimate “Cheese” Sauce by Veggies Don’t Bite

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19. Vegveeta Dip by Dreena Burton

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20. Roasted Garlic Cheese Fritters by Contentedness Cooking

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20 Plant-Based Experts’ Favorite Recipes

Delicious Nutritious Recipe Roundup

If you haven’t heard about Lighter yet, here is your chance to get an exclusive taste of their deliciousness! A powerful tool designed to help the world eat better, Lighter offers insanely useful grocery lists and flexible weekly menus based on the recommendations of plant-based leaders. To follow my eating recommendations – customized for you – visit my Lighter profile.

This recipe roundup features favorites of experts in the plant-based world, from physicians and dietitians to athletes and food bloggers, and offers a super sampling of what Lighter is all about.

1. Dr. Michael Greger’s Super Salad with Golden Turmeric Dressing

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2. Dr. Neal Barnard’s Tabbouleh

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3. My Green Salad with Maple Mustard Dressing and BBQ Tofu Wings

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4. Micaela Karlsen’s Salad Nicoise

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5. Kathy Pollard’s Potato Leek Soup

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6. Dr. Michael Greger’s Go-To Quickie Tacos

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7. My Hearty Nachos

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8. Marco Borges’ Moroccan Lentils with Sweet Potato (*Omit Oil*)

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9. David Carter’s Classic Crunchy Lentil Tacos (*Omit Oil*)

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10. My Japanoodles and Noritos

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11. Dr. Michael Greger’s Portobello Steaks With Mashed Cauliflower

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12. Christy Morgans’ Zucchini Noodles with Chunky ‘Meat’ Sauce

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13. My Holy Kale with Herbed Tahini Dressing

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14. Dr. Joel Kahn’s Tamale Pie

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15. Kayli Dice’s Yamadillas

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16. Matt Ruscigno’s Easy Spanish Rice & Black Bean Burrito

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17. My Fiesta Fantastica

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18. Dr. Michael Greger’s Collard-Ritos

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19. Kayli Dice’s Portobello Black Bean Tacos with Avocado Cream

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20. My Lentil Chili

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For more recipes, profiles, meal planning strategies and then some, visit Lighter.

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It Doesn’t Get Easier Than These 50 Whole Food Plant-Based Recipes with 5 Ingredients or Less

In this previous post filled with meal plans and hundreds of wholesome recipes, there leaves no question that there are infinite delectable dish options on a plant-based diet. The other crucial part of this lifestyle is that eating this way does not have to be challenging. At all. In fact, it can be super simple. With a sprinkle of creativity and a twist of courage, you can whip up a meal that is healthy, delicious, quick, low in cost, and (yes!) made with five ingredients or less!

Here are 50 – yes 50 (!) – oil-free, sugar-free, whole food, plant-based recipes that can be made with five or fewer ingredients from breakfast through dessert:

***Note: I did not count herbs, spices, or other seasonings in this roundup because those are optional and the easiest addition to anything, as it is just a dash or sprinkle here or there. I also excluded other optional ingredients or garnishes in the “five” for a few of these because they were too good not to be included and still just as simple as the rest…

1. Chocolate Crispy Fruit Squares from The Vegiterranean DietVegiterranean Crispy Fruit Squares_2

2. Green Chia Pudding by Veggies Save the Day

3. 3-Ingredient Vegan Pancakes by Green Evi

4. Easy Oil-Free Granola by Feasting on Fruit

5. BLT Savory Oatmeal (*Omit Oil*) by The Mostly Vegan

6. Instant Pot Buckwheat Porridge by Veggie Primer

5-ingredient-savory-oatmeal7. Raw Peanut Butter and Jelly Collard Wrap by Lauren Vacula

8. Glamping: Easy Power Muesli by Champagne Tastes

9. Perfect Pumpkin Pudding by Garden Fresh Foodie

10. Sweet Potato Toast by It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken (*Top with oil-free hummus, mashed avocado, smashed banana, or nut butter*)

11. Lemon Vanilla Bean Rawnola by Feasting on Fruit

5-ingredient-carrot-soup12. Easy Vegan Carrot Soup by Contentedness Cooking

13. Kachumber Salad by Vegan Richa

14. 5-Minute Lentil Tomato Salad by The Garden Grazer

15. Basil Mustard Salad by Eating Vibrantly

16. Detox Broccoli Soup by Contentedness Cooking

5-ingredient-avocado-mash17. Chickpea Avocado Mash with Lemon by The Garden Grazer

18. Tuna-Less Tuna Salad by Rouxbe Online Professional Plant-Based Cooking School 

19. Warm Asian Bok Choy and Mushroom Salad by Carob Cherub

20. Creamy Tomato, Basil, & Rice Soup by Sprinkles & Saturdays

21. Simple Spaghetti Squash by VegAnnie

5-ingredient-thai-green-curry-meatballs22. Thai Green Curry Meatballs by Contentedness Cooking

23. Hummus Tortilla Pizzas by Dreena Burton

24. “Hungry Guy” Burgers by Jazzy Vegetarian

25. Quick Avocado Pasta by Green Evi

26. Crispy Baked Potato Wedges by Carob Cherub

5-ingredient-portobello-fries27. Oil-Free Baked Portobello Fries by Fat-Free Vegan

28. Smoky Spiraled Sweet Potato Fries by Strength & Sunshine

29. Perfectly Crispy Baked Tofu by VegAnnie

30. White Bean Artichoke Burgers by A Virtual Vegan

31. Tofu Sofritas by Rouxbe Online Professional Plant-Based Cooking School 

5-ingredient-rainbow-collard32. Rainbow Collard Wraps by Phruitful Dish

33. Spicy “Refried” Lentil Dip by Veggies Don’t Bite

34. Frijoles de Cabo by Fried Dandelions

35. Yellow Split Pea Dip (Greek Fava) by Veggies Don’t Bite

36. Jalapeño Hummus by My Plant-Based Family

37. Crock Pot Potato Soup…A Bowl Full of Comfort by My Plant-Based Family

Bowls of Red Lentil Ragu and Fresh Pesto Zoodles38. Blueberry Balsamic Mint Cauliflower Steaks by Athletic Avocado

39. Red Lentil Ragu with Zucchini and Fresh Basil by Garden Fresh Foodie

40. Oil-Free Vegan Avocado Pesto by Glue & Glitter

41. Sweet Potato and Ginger Soup by Sweets and Greens

42. Gluten-Free Baked Oat Bread from The Vegiterranean Diet

5-ingredient-truffles43. 2-Ingredient Blueberry Ice Cream by Vegan Heaven

44. Mango Coconut Ladoo by Vegan Richa

45. Baked Apples in Parchment by Jazzy Vegetarian

46. 5-Minute, 5-Ingredient Chocolate Gelato by Dreena Burton

47. Maple-Raisin-Date Truffles by Jazzy Vegetarian

5-ingredient-choc-ice-cream48. Mint Chip Brownie Homemade Lara Bars by Feasting on Fruit

49. Vegan Coconut Panna Cotta by Green Evi

50. 4-Ingredient Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream by The Vegan 8

 

easier

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Fettuccini Alfredo

This easy pasta dish, traditionally made with cheese, milk, butter and oil, has been given a healthy makeover, using cashews and white beans to create the creamy white sauce. The cashews add richness while the white beans help keep the calories down. Print Fettuccini Alfredo Prep time:  15 mins Cook time:  10 mins Total time:  25...

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10 Tips for Eating in Restaurants

Most restaurant food is extremely flavorful as a result of being prepared with concentrated amounts of salt, fat/oil, and sugar (among other things). This is by design so that customers keep coming back. You could vow to never again eat in a restaurant in your efforts to be as healthy as possible, but that isn’t...

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What Vegans Eat…Sample Meal Plans Made Simple + Hundreds of Recipes

Eating vegan can absolutely be easy, affordable, and most definitely delicious. On the gradient between super simple and grandly gourmet, there is a ton of wiggle room to make eating plants an everyday, enjoyable experience for everyone. You definitely aren’t limited to munching on lettuce and carrot sticks all day because there is a universe of possibility out there.

what vegans actually eat

Because there are innumerable benefits (and even more) of a vegan diet for humans, our planet, and the billions of animals that can be saved annually, it is an extraordinary investment to accept the learning curve necessitated by facing up to the process of redefining your plate. Most of us were raised eating a standard western diet. That is how we were taught to prepare food and how we simply look at our food. Thus, taking meat out of the center of the dish and reworking the culinary repertoire (or meal ordering know-how) you have hardwired in your brain from years of experience requires a reset. I liken it to learning a new language. You begin by trying out a few new ingredients such as nutritional yeast or quinoa (as in learning the fist few words on a new language). Then you try some recipes out (like learning some phrases). Then you start connecting those meals and stringing them into days (initiating some conversational sentences). Before you know it, with plenty of practice under your belt, you become fluent in how to eat a plant-based diet.

Flexibility is key in making the transition simple. Allow yourself to experiment with an open mind. Explore and find recipes online, via friends and family, or in books and bookmark the ones you love. I print or write out my favorites and collect them in my cookbook cabinet in my kitchen so they are always there for me to refer to when I need some inspiration.

VS Simple

 

Aim to follow the Plant-Based Food Guide Pyramid and Plate, emphasizing The 6 Daily 3’s, and pick your preferences. Mix and match any of your favorite foods that fit into your lifestyle.

6 Daily 3's Web Sized

 

Here are hundreds of delicious, healthful, simple, creative, and absolutely practical meals you can use to build your repertoire:

Breakfast Options:

What vegans eat via The Vegan RD via UnCruel EatsLunch and Dinner Options:

What vegans eat_Vegan Sidekick

Snack and Dessert Options:

  • Hummus with crudite, whole grain crackers, whole grain bread, corn thins, rice cakes, whole grain tortillas, nori paper, rice paper
  • Air-popped popcorn with optional spices and nutritional yeast
  • Fresh fruit
  • Trail mix with your favorite combination of nuts, seeds, and fruits
  • Baked potato, sweet potato, or yam
  • Seaweed snacks
  • Steamed edamame
  • 25 Savory Snacks
  • 40 Whole Food (Sugar-Free, Oil-Free) Vegan Delicious Desserts

And this is only a small sampling….what is YOUR favorite meal plan or meal planning tip?

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The post What Vegans Eat…Sample Meal Plans Made Simple + Hundreds of Recipes appeared first on Plant Based Dietitian.

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