What do you eat on a plant based diet, anyway?

This seems to be a popular question, so I thought I’d give it a go, with the caveat that I’m new at this and I’m not a registered dietitian, so for the love of your own health, people, don’t take this as advice. Rather, it’s intended as an illustration that I’m not subsisting off of salad.

Breakfast:

Oatmeal with smartbalance (it’s like butter, but plant based), cinnamon and almond butter; banana; COFFEE.

Cereal with almond milk; blueberry smoothie; COFFEE

Tangerine, protein bar, almond milk, COFFEE (always coffee in the morning. always).

Lunch:

Sauteed kale with mushrooms and pecans; quinoa; more almond milk

Bean and corn soup with spinach and tomatoes; tea

Avocado, walnut, hummus & tomato sandwich (I’m also fond of apple and almond butter as a sandwich combo)

Roast sweet potatoes; butternut squash soup

Supper:

Pasta (it’s quinoa based) with tomato basil sauce and mushrooms

Spaghetti squash with spaghetti sauce on top! Or pesto! and yes, a salad.

Roast root veggies and a side of leafy greens

Homemade pizza with homemade pesto, portabellos and pine nuts (this is the BEST)

Quinoa with stir fried veggies, topped with soy sauce

Snacks:

I’m big on fresh fruit, dried fruit, hummus on veggies, guacamole and chips, and nuts. I have jars and jars of pecans, walnuts, pine nuts, almonds and pistachios in my kitchen, and they’re my go-to snack and favorite source of fats and proteins. They’re also kind of pricey, so pro tip: buy them in bulk at Whole Foods or another market with bulk foods. Keep them in mason jars for cheap easy storage that will keep them fresh longer.

Desserts:

It turns out that dark chocolate is often vegan, and very easy to find, in my neck of the woods. I have a stash of it hidden in our cupboard where the non-vegan husband won’t find it (he can fend for himself when it comes to dessert, for the time being). So far I’m still taking a break from refined sugar, but on the day that I just need chocolate, it will be there waiting for me.

Yesterday was my one meal out to eat this week, and I went to brunch with friends. Remember, I’m only adhering to a plants-only diet at home – out and about, I’m still eating some animal products, until I get the hang of this new way of eating. I’m easing my way into it. So I had an omelette, with brie, and I loved it – but no more than the stuff I’ve been eating at home. How weird is that? All week I waited for cheese (and eggs. and butter. The lacto-ovo trifecta!), and it turns out that if you eat enough kale, you can grow to like it better than cheese. I think it has something to do with the way I feel after the last six days – I feel really good, and happy.

Also – I think I’m keeping honey, y’all. It turns out I miss it the most (every night while I drink my tea, and don’t even talk to me about stevia as if it’s the same, because no.it.is.not), and it’s not like I consume it to excess, so…I think honey stays. Apparently, this is a huge debate among vegans. I’m interested in improving my health and the state of the planet, not hard line adherence to a set of principles outside my own. So I’m going to stick with the term “(mostly) plant based diet” and avoid labeling myself vegan for the time being, because I don’t want to mislead anyone about how far I’m taking this. For the record, on the day that I think it no longer serves my health or the planet’s, I’m going to try something else. Remember: I’ve only committed through January. When it comes to the end of the month, I’m going to reevaluate and decide whether or not to keep going.

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