Over the past month, I’ve been really making an effort to eat a more plant-based diet. For me, it was a personal choice to adapt a more healthier lifestyle as it has been shown to reduce chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer as well as aid in weight loss. I’ve never been a big meat eater, but this girl loves her dairy (give me all the half and half in my coffee and cheese please!), and I would do a salad with chicken for lunch daily. And with a big meat eating husband, at first I really had no idea what to make for lunches or dinners. But after some experimenting, I’ve found some favorites!
Below I’m sharing some of my favorite plant-based meal ideas. Now I would just like to say, that no one is perfect and I am a big believer of “everything in moderation”. Do I follow this 100%? No, I’m more 80/20. Even if you eat plant-based 1 or 2 days a week, you’re making an effort to be healthier and be more sustainable for the environment. (Read more about my tips on how to transition to plant-based here).
Plant-based meal ideas
Ok so I have never been a big breakfast person. Usually it’s just 1-2 cups of coffee for me. But I did have to swap out my beloved half and half. I really really love Califa Farms vanilla almond creamer, that’s been my jam!
If I do eat breakfast it’s usually
- Shaved kale and brussel sprout salad with cooked lentils.
- Bean salad with lavash.
- Smoothie bowl
- Bento Box or Snack Plate – Stuffed grape leaves, veggies, hummus, fruit
- Butternut squash soup – here’s my recipe!
- Quinoa stuffed peppers
- Lentil Sheperd’s Pie (This is the recipe I used)
- Taco bake with Lightlife meat substitute
- Stuffed spaghetti squash with sauteed spinach, vegan cheese and Primal Kitchen’s vodka sauce
- Chickpea pasta with butternut squash sauce (I used my butternut squash soup as a sauce)
And that’s pretty much it! I’ll add to this list as I experiment more. If you have any favorite plant based or vegan recipes, comment below!
For more inspo check out some of my favorite plant-based/vegan food bloggers:
This post is sponsored by Else Nutrition but all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Eating a plant-based diet can be really good for you! Rick and I are really trying to be more healthy about our food choices for our own personal goals and to set a good example for the kids. And while we haven’t gone fully plant-based (everything in moderation), we are trying to be more mindful. Our behaviors are trickling down to our kids and it’s been great because not only is it healthier, but I don’t have to make 3 different meals at mealtimes. Below I’m sharing my tips on transitioning your kids to a more plant based diet.
What is a plant-based diet?
Plant-based eating means eating foods that mostly come from plants such as fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, seeds and nuts. Eating a whole food plant based diet gives your body nutrients from natural minimally processed foods. There are a few types of plant based diets, the most common being a Mediterranean diet (which also includes fish, poultry, eggs, dairy, a few times a week) and vegetarian, which there are many different versions of.
Benefits of plant-based eating
The benefits to going plant based are well documented. Plant-based diets have been shown to reduce or reverse chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, metabolic diseases and depression. There is also evidence to support that plant based eating helps with weight management and obesity. In addition, it is also more sustainable so better for the environment.
Tips for transitioning your family to a more plant-based diet
Now I am of the mindset “everything in moderation”. So do we still eat chicken, eggs, meats, cheese, etc? Yes we do. However with that being said, we’re being more conscientious and making an effort to incorporate more plant based meals into our diet. Here are some of my tips to help your family transition to a more plant based diet.
- At least one night a week, have a vegetarian meal for dinner. In our house we try to do “Meatless Mondays”. Our favorites is Zoodles with tomato sauce or chickpea pasta.
- Fill the majority of your plate with veggies and healthy grains. This is my tip for my husband who is a big meat eater. It’s all about changing your perception. Instead of making meat the focal point of your meal, make it about the plants with a side serving of meat.
- Incorporate a nutritional drink for the kids – Recently, we tried Else Nutrition. It’s a complete clean-label nutritional drink for kids ages 12-36 months made with whole foods. Endorsed by leading pediatricians, it’s a great alternative for children with lactose intolerance, sensitivities or families looking for options free of dairy or soy. My kids love their “breakfast smoothie” – almond milk, Else nutrition, a banana and some fresh berries, but it’s also great by itself. Scroll to the bottom for a special offer for my followers/subscribers.
- Have fruit for dessert – If you’re like me and have a sweet tooth, you probably crave something sweet after dinner to cleanse your palette. Instead of my usual ice cream, I have a bowl of berries or I make “nice cream” – blend a frozen banana with a splash of almond milk and add in some nuts and a few chocolate chips.
- Start small and be kind to yourself – When making any change, it’s normal to want to go full out and give it all 110%. But start small. Instead of cutting out meat and dairy completely, try just doing 1 meal a week or 1 meal a day at first. For your little ones, you can also try incorporating Else Nutrition a few days a week. Recognize that you are making a conscious effort to be better to your body and give yourself a pat on the back.