I have been vegan for a whole year! I am quite proud of myself for adopting this new life style and sticking to it. There have been a few slips throughout the year but overall I’d give myself an A for my diet change.
Since becoming vegan, I have gotten a lot of questions from people about what I eat. Some are concerned I’m not getting enough vitamins, while others are just plain curious about how I’ve changed my eating habits.
One of the great things about my new lifestyle is that I have been eating a lot more veggies. Yes, I had salads and veggies before being vegan but I would say I’ve doubled my intake over the past year. This is great for so many reasons – but mostly because I am getting a lot of vitamins the natural way. It is really amazing how many different veggies are out there! I’ve been brave and creative in the kitchen and the results have been fantastic!
Before getting rid of meat completely, I only had it 4-5 per week. Red meat was a rare occurrence and my dinners were usually chicken or fish. I was eating dairy only because I thought I “had to” to get enough calcium. But like meat, I didn’t have dairy all that often. Yogurt was a staple in my diet and I occasionally had cheese, but I wasn’t eating it every day.
I had eggs maybe once or twice a week and they were usually egg whites. Eggs are tricky because they are in a lot of things you wouldn’t automatically think of finding them. Pretty much all baked goods have them but they are also found in: canned soup, fresh pasta, salad dressing, protein powders, mayonnaise, and breaded foods. You really have to do your research and read labels to ensure that what you are eating is vegan.
Here are some of my go-to meals and snacks:
- Homemade overnight oatmeal – mix some quick oats with almond milk, protein powder, PB, and chia seeds.
- Smoothies – Coconut-Lime and Mango Smoothie, 4 Vega-Licious Smoothies for Fall, Coffee Banana Breakfast Smoothie, Green Smoothie
- Silver Hills Sprouted Bread – usually topped with raspberry jam and avocados (perfect combo)
- Fruit and Granola – mixed with some almond milk
- Fruit – apples, pears, grapes, bananas, etc.
- Trail mix
- Protein Bites – Pumpkin Protein Energy Bites, Walnut Oatmeal Date Balls, Peanut Cinnamon Date Balls, Super Seed Chocolate Protein Bites, Chocolate Cherry Chip Balls
- Bars – Larabars, Clif Bars, Luna Bars, etc.
- Chopped Veggies with Hummus
- Salad – my go-to lunch. Usually spinach/kale mix with beans (black beans or chickpeas), cucumbers, avocado, peppers, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and olive oil/vinegar dressing.
- Wrap – stuffed with spinach, hummus, tomato, avocado, sprouts, and other veggies I have.
- Stuffed Sweet Potato – another favorite. I bake a sweet potato the night before and then to prepare it for lunch I heat it up and stuff it with some sunflower butter, avocado, pecans, and kale (I heat my kale before adding it).
- Spaghetti Squash – I cook a big spaghetti squash at the beginning of the week and use it for lunches. I add tomato sauce and some beans to it or mix it up with mushrooms, kale, and garlic.
- Frozen Amy’s Burritos – I keep these in the freezer in case I don’t have time to pack a lunch. They are super easy (pop in the microwave for 3 minutes) and it saves me from having to go out and buy lunch.
- Salads – again, a mix of whatever veggies I have lying around.
- Tofu – I found this How to Cook Tofu tutorial when I first went vegan and it helped me so much!
- Soups and Chilis – Veggie Minestrone Soup, Veggie Loaded Chili, Tuscan White Bean Soup, Split Pea and Kale Soup
- Burgers/Sandwiches – Ham Apple Cheddar Sandwich, BBQ Tempeh Sandwiches with Apple Slaw, Grilled Veggie Banh Mi Sandwiches, Sweet Potato Veggie Burger
- Beans – sometimes I’ll just open a can of beans and have them with a piece of toast and avocado slices.
- Pasta – I love pasta! I try to only have it once a week and when I do it is always brown rice or quinoa pasta. I love to make one-pot pasta dishes (add everything and let it cook). Super easy!
And there you have it! I also make baked goods and other treats on occasion.. but I try to eat healthy most of the time. On the weekends I like to make bigger breakfasts like french toast, cinnamon buns, breakfast sandwiches, biscuits, etc. It’s the best time to try out new recipes when I am not scrambling to get to work.
What is your favourite thing to have for lunch? Do you have the same thing every day?
Do you make big breakfasts on the weekend?