In the spirit of Veganuary, we're here to support you with the basics of composing a healthy and delicious plant-based meal plan.
You'll need to make sure you're getting a good balance of vitamins and minerals in your diet. Many vegans lack vitamin B12, as this is a B vitamin that’s not as readily available in plant-based foods. The good news is you can sprinkle some nutritional yeast over your meals for an easy B12 source (and a tasty, cheesy flavor!). You can also take a B12 supplement to make sure you're getting enough.
Some vegans lhave their B12 levels checked when they get their annual blood tests o make sure they aren’t at risk of becoming deficient. With proper supplementation, this doesn’t have to be a long-term roadblock on a plant-based diet.
You'll also need to make sure you're getting enough protein from plant-based sources. Focus on getting enough lentils, beans, seeds and nuts in your diet. Other plant-based protein options include tofu, tempeh, and soy curls. See below for a suggested plant-based shopping list and sample meal plan.
Plant-based Shopping List
- Fruits: citrus, berries, peaches, pears, bananas, pineapple, etc.
- Vegetables: spinach, kale, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, asparagus, etc.
- Starchy vegetables: sweet potatoes, potatoes, pumpkin, butternut squash, etc.
- Whole grains: rolled oats, brown rice, quinoa, millet, brown rice pasta, etc.
- Healthy fats: olive oil, avocado, unsweetened coconut, etc.
- Legumes: chickpeas, peas, black beans, lentils, etc.
- Seeds, nuts and nut butters: cashews, almonds, pepitas, mac nuts, sunflower seeds, tahini, natural almond butter, etc.
- Unsweetened plant-based milks: almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, cashew milk, etc.
- Herbs and seasonings: rosemary, basil, coriander, turmeric, cayenne pepper, Celtic salt, etc.
- Condiments: Nutritional yeast, hummus, Bragg's liquid aminos, lemon juice, etc.
- Plant-based protein: soy curls, tempeh, tofu, plant-based protein sources or powders with no artificial ingredients.
Sample Meal Plan
This meal plan includes all vegan recipes with vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and more, providing you with a variety of flavors, cuisines, and nutrients. Because nutrition isn't one-size-fits-all, please adjust recipes, ingredients and servings to meet your personal dietary needs and food quirks. We love to see your creations - please tag us @downtoearthhi on social media!
- Breakfast: Banana Walnut Bread (make the day before)
- Lunch: Heart Healthy Quinoa Salad (make the same day)
- Dinner: Vegan Garlic Chicken
- Breakfast: Banana Walnut Bread
- Lunch: Green Goddess Bowl (make for 3 days)
- Dinner: Pumpkin Sage Pasta
- Breakfast: Banana Date Rolls
- Lunch: Vegan Street Tacos (leftovers from Thu)
- Dinner: Plant-based Shoyu Chick'n
- Breakfast: Banana Date Rolls
- Lunch: Plant-based Protein Power Bowl
- Dinner: Broccoli & Kale Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing
*Note: this meal plan has not been formulated by a registered dietitian and should not be taken as professional dietary advice.