Vegan diets are linked to a number of health benefits, such as boosting your mood, improving weight management, and it’s great for the environment.
However, vegan diets can lack the nutrition that you would otherwise get from animal products. Finding a vegan diet that’s balanced with 100% of your nutritional needs can often be quite difficult and overwhelming. If your vegan or plant based diet is poorly planned, you may end up with some nutritional deficiencies and certainly not feeling your best.
We’ve put this vegan meal plan together to give you a helping hand in planning some nutritious and tasty food throughout your day to help you feel amazing!
Breakfast – Overnight oats and vitamins
Overnight oats are a great way to start your day, and you can flavour them any way you want, they’re also great as they’re ready to eat the moment you wake up. Adding fruit such as strawberries or blueberries in the morning makes a great addition too!
To make overnight oats;
- Get yourself a cheap mason jar, or reuse an empty glass container
- Add ½ cup of oats to your container
- Add 1/c cup of your chosen plant milk (we recommend using oat)
- Add a cap of vanilla essence
- Cover and add to fridge overnight
Along with your breakfast, the morning is a great time to take your vitamins! Multivitamins tend to do better when taken in the morning as the B vitamins stimulate your brain and metabolism, turning your breakfast into energy for the day. Taking a B12 supplement is recommended to anyone following a vegan or vegetarian diet as even drinking and eating B12 fortified food and drink may not give you adequate levels of B12.
Mid morning snack – Protein bar
When following a typical vegan diet, you can quickly slip on your protein intake. On average, a person needs 60g of protein each day to prevent deficiency. (This figure does change depending on height, weight and how active a person is, see bottom of this segment for some more information.)
Using a protein bar as a mid morning snack is going to give you that boost you need to get through to lunch. Protein is the second largest matter in the brain, second to water, so it’s vital to nourish your brain with protein. Protein will help neurons in the brain communicate with each other through neurotransmitters. A lack of protein could mean your brain won’t make enough of these neurotransmitters, which can cause low levels of dopamine and serotonin, which after long periods, may cause confusion, aggression, and depression.
If exercising, you should eat between 1.2 – 1.7grams of protein per lb of body weight each day, sedimentary adults should eat between 0.8 and 1grams of protein per lb of body weight each day.
Lunch – Chickpea curry
It’s hearty, it’s full of protein, and chickpeas are full of iron, magnesium, and selenium. We chose Chickpea curry as lunch for our vegan meal plan, it’s a really quick and easy thing to cook in the evening, in fact, the recipe here only takes 20 minutes! Once cooked, dish it out for your tea, then either freeze or refrigerate a portion to take to work the next day!
If you’re struggling for time or didn’t get change to prep, a bagel with some vegan pastrami and spinach is full of protein and nutrition. You can get these things from a local supermarket near you.
Afternoon snack – Brew and biscuits!
Probably the best part of this vegan diet plan, eating biscuits! As an afternoon snack, get a brew and get dunking your favourite biscuits.
Often meal plans you find on the internet are restrictive, avoid all sugar, and some avoid carbs, but we want to show you it’s a load of rubbish. Our vegan meal plan is full of food to nourish and be enjoyed, which is precisely what we want you to do. Eating 3-4 biscuits with a brew in the afternoon will give you energy from the sugar to help you see out the day until the evening.
If you are looking to lose weight, don’t fear a few biscuits, at most three biscuits will add 200kcals to your total, which is less than 10% of what you should be eating.
Dinner (or tea if your from up’ north) – Meat free tacos
For dinner, we chose meat free tacos. They’re easy to fill with protein and vegetables, and they taste amazing! Get your taco kit, get some peppers, onions, and some soya mince, and get cooking. Soya mince makes a great alternative to beef mince as it’s still full of protein, has a much lower saturated fat content, and is much better for the environment.
Below is a full recipe to season your soya mince and create an amazingly tasty taco. If you’re in a rush and need a quick fix, taco kits include tacos, salsa, and seasoning, so you just need the veg and mince.
350g soya mince, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 chopped onion, 1 garlic clove – crushed, 1 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 green pepper, 400g can chopped tomatoes, 215g can kidney beans, 2 tbsp tomato puree, 2 tsp dried oregano, 4 tbsp chopped coriander + extra for garnish, salt + pepper, 8-12 taco shells, 6 tbsp vegan yoghurt, 2 spring onions, 10cm piece of cucumber, 2 tbsp chopped coriander, 4 tomatoes, 1/2 small iceberg lettuce, 100g grated vegan cheese
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Saute the onion and garlic for 2 minutes, then add the chilli powder, cumin and cinnamon and cook for a minute. Stir in the soya mince, coating it well with the spices. Stir fry for a further minute.
- Add the green pepper, tomatoes, kidney beans, tomato puree and oregano. Season to taste with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir in the coriander. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Prepare the garnishes by mixing together your choice of unflavoured vegan yoghurt, spring onions, cucumber and coriander and setting aside to chill until required.
- Slice the tomatoes and shred the iceberg lettuce, set aside until required for garnishing.
- Heat the tacos in a warm oven or under the grill for 3 minutes.
- To serve, place the chilli and warm taco shells on the table accompanied by the vegan yoghurt, lettuce, tomatoes and vegan cheese in separate serving bowls. Simply ladle some of your chilli into the taco shells and everyone then adds their own toppings.
We hope this vegan meal plan has helped show you how to be a healthy vegan whilst also enjoying your favourite foods and not restricting yourself.