What to Eat on a Plant Based Diet Without Crying Everyday
Are you new to a plant based diet, or thinking about trying one? I bet the first thing you are wondering right now is what to eat on a plant based diet that will keep you motivated and feeling great?
Don’t worry, there are tons of great things you can eat while on a plant based diet, and I promise you will love them. I remember when I was starting out on a plant based diet. It seemed like I was OK with eating vegetables, but I had a hard time with snacks.
I mean, you can’t go making a whole meal every single time you want to nibble on something, right? I was always a chip and sandwich guy, so finding things that I could crunch during the day was the hardest thing for a while. Lucky for you though, I have found a bunch of stuff and now your journey can be a bit easier.
Every food idea I am about to give you is going to be low on sugar. I am 100% convinced that sugar is responsible for so many of the health problems we have today. From diabetes to high blood pressure to obesity, sugar is somewhere in there to blame. When I gave up sugar, or when I gave up added sugars in my food, I really started to lose weight fast. Nowadays when I do have even a small amount of the stuff I feel crappy pretty fast.
It is really hard to find foods without sugar, but once you get used to eating non-sweetened foods you will develop more of a taste for naturally sweet things. And then, when you do have some sugar you won’t even like it anymore, because it will make your stomach hurt very likely.
So, let’s get to the food already so you can start planning some meals.
My breakfast most mornings usually means juice. But I understand that this is extreme for a lot of people, so I won’t include it here. Here are some breakfast foods that you can eat that are really going to fill you up without making you feel gross and bloated all morning.
Toast – This isn’t ordinary toast, trust me. Find a good sprouted wheat bread from your health food store and toast it up. Next is the fat. If you are a butter eater (butter is fine if it is organic, salt free) go ahead and schmear some on there. Next you want some good fat (some more good fat), so add a bit off natural peanut butter. I know all peanut butter is natural, but you want the kind without any added sugar or junk, so the label should say “Peanuts, salt” only.
Next you may want to add some banana slices? Of course you do, because it tastes freaking awesome. I have this exact snack late at night a lot (oh no!) but it would be a perfect breakfast day starter for sure.
Cereal – Cereal is hard to find. Most of it is loaded with added sugars, even the “healthy” kind that is a big brand…you don’t want that. I recently found a cereal called “Rip’s Big Bowl” that you can either make out of your own bought ingredients, or you can buy it already put together. It’s really tasty and just a little bit will fill you up all morning.
Lunch is my favorite meal of the day. I look forward to lunch the second I wake up. So what’s for lunch?
Salad – Don’t be sad, salad can be so good. Instead of plain, lifeless iceberg lettuce though, try some spinach or a good spring mix that is readily available in most any store these days. You can now throw a bunch of stuff on there like mushrooms, carrots, tomato, olives and whatever else you can think of. I try to limit my cheese personally, but I won’t tell if you put a little bit on yours.
Dressing: The most important part of the salad is the dressing! And if you get any typical kind, you will just be eating sugar, so be careful. If you have no other choice than a typical store bought dressing, go for the FULL FAT version. There will likely be added sugar in this, but it will be less than the low fat or non fat version (isn’t that nuts?).
If you want to make your own, try a good balsamic and olive oil dressing or go to a health food store like Whole Foods and find some good dressing. I eat a caesar dressing that I buy from there and it has no sugar and is really tangy and awesome. I don’t eat salad for lunch a ton these days, but when I do I have to make it taste great with an awesome dressing.
Stir Fry Vegetables – Don’t worry, this isn’t going to hurt you for a second. I take some squash or mushrooms or bell peppers and onion or whatever I have around and add it to a pan with some coconut oil. Cook for about 5 minutes and you have a lunch that tastes great. OH…you may want to add some salt and pepper to this.
“Isn’t salt bad for you?”
I’m glad you asked. The truth is, you can not live without salt, literally! There are increasing studies that show that a LOW sodium diet is worse for you than a higher sodium diet. The important thing is which type of salt you choose. A good Himalayan salt or Celtic sea salt that is not processed is just fine, but you always want to avoid “table salt”.
What’s the difference?
Traditional table salt has been processed. In that process, all of the trace elements that are found naturally are removed, leaving only sodium chloride. Those trace elements are healthy for you, so you want them. A good salt will have these elements in tact and you can safely eat them.
Dinner is open season really. You can have so many different dishes. From veggie dishes, to vegetable chili and soups and it’s endless. What I found works is to find foods that you love now, and then find the alternative.
So if you are a fan of chili, make it without the meat and the packet of sodium seasoning. Get good, natural seasonings and peppers and really make it taste great. One of my favorite things to eat are burritos. But it’s hard to eat burritos without meat, isn’t it?
No, it’s pretty easy. Once a week or so I have a burrito with some quinoa and/or brown rice, stir fried or baked peppers and onions and whatever else is lying around all wrapped up in an ivory teff or brown rice wrap.
The most important thing here is to forget the white flour tortillas and look for something like a sprouted grain or teff or one of the other (many) alternatives.
I snack all day long. I love raw/organic sunflower seeds and “cocoroons” that can be found in most health food stores these days. There is fruit, and if you can believe there are chips that are amazing to eat, and won’t hurt you one bit. I eat a brand called “Way Better” and they are great. They come in a bunch of great flavors and are made from Non-GMO corn, quinoa and spices.
There is no garbage in there, so I eat them almost every single day. Here is their website — http://gowaybetter.com
Cashews – Cashews are the best thing ever. You can eat them too, so don’t spend a second worrying about the fat in them. All you want to make sure of is to get the UNroasted kind and unsalted. “I thought you said salt was fine?”
It is, but when you buy salted nuts you are not getting the high quality salt that is good for you. Organic, raw cashews are very sweet tasting, and really filling so you don’t need a ton anyway, so eat away!
These are just a few tiny possibilities. There are endless snacks you can safely eat that will not hurt your health or your weight one bit. The key is to find one or two things, and then add when you can. If I give you a huge list of things right now, you may be confused and not have any idea what to try.
I have found that adding here and there is a great way to find new foods and get rid of old ones. As you learn more, you can replace things that are “kind of” healthy for truly healthy things. The point of this is to get you in the mindset that there are options out there.
You don’t have to starve, and you do have choices!