Eat Right: Vegan for a Week

A lot of people have expressed to me an interest in going vegan. People are under the impression that it’s really hard to do and very expensive. It’s actually neither if you just plan ahead, have some staple ingredients, and prepare things in advance.

Eating a more whole foods, plant based diet can help you lose weight, feel better, and live a healthier life. I try to think of things I’m ADDING to my diet (vegetables, fruit, nuts, beans, and seeds), rather than what I’m LOSING. Many of the meat substitutes (with some brands being better than others, but you must try to get your favorite) taste like the real deal and when you compare the calories, sodium, and fat, you would be amazed at the difference.

I’m not a fan of eating big meals so I mostly “graze” throughout the day. The following is an example of 2 weeks in which I buy certain items from the grocery store and use them up throughout the course of the week, along with a list of those items:

Grocery Store:
Bananas
Oatmeal
Raisins
Cantaloupe
Watermelon
Multi-grain sandwich rounds
Portabello mushrooms
Eggless egg noodles (or whole wheat fettucini)
Frozen spinach
Peppers
Onion
Tomatoes
Chickenless chicken
Tofurkey Turkey Deli Slices
Beefless Beef Tips
Peppers

*Everything that’s in bold represents staples that I keep around at the house and office.

Monday:
Breakfast: ½ a sandwich round folded over with peanut butter; ½ a banana (Freeze the other half)
Snack: Cantaloupe
Lunch: Sandwich (sandwich rounds, your choice of condiments, Tofurkey deli slices, tomato, lettuce, onion); Dill Pickle; Black Bean Soup
Snack: Wasabi peas
Dinner: Portabello Mushroom Stroganoff

Tuesday:
Breakfast: Oatmeal with raisins, the other half of the banana from yesterday (frozen)
Snack: Watermelon
Lunch: Salad with your choice of dressing (tomatoes, onions, peppers, green olives, banana peppers); ½ a baked potato with vegan butter and sour cream
Snack: Pretzels with peanut butter
Dinner: “Chicken” Fajitas with peppers and onions (Add rice and black beans if you want, or have refried beans as a side)

Wednesday:
Breakfast: ½ a sandwich round peanut butter sandwich, ½ a banana
Snack: Canteloupe
Lunch: Sandwich (hummus, Tofurkey, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and salad dressing); lentil soup
Snack: Wasabi peas
Dinner: “Chicken” Salad; ½ a sandwich round, toasted with vegan butter and garlic powder; canteloupe

Thursday:
Breakfast: Oatmeal with raisins; ½ a banana
Snack: Watermelon
Lunch: Salad and ½ baked potato
Snack: Cashews
Dinner: Beefless beef tips with peppers, onion, rice, and Amino Acids

Friday:
Breakfast: ½ a sandwich round with peanut butter and ½ a banana
Snack: Pretzels
Lunch: Leftover “chicken” salad sandwich; Dill Pickle
Snack: Watermelon
Dinner: Portabello Mushroom Burger with peppers and onions

Try this for a couple of weeks and see if you feel any better. Going vegan helped me to feel a lot better, mentally and physically. I lost 20 pounds within the first month and have kept it off for over 2 years. In 2 months I’ll be 40 years old and I’m at the same weight I was my senior year in high school. I’ve been told that my skin looks better. I also feel like I have more energy. When I used to eat lunch, I’d feel very sleepy afterwards, but not when I’m eating vegan and smaller meals throughout the day.

Add exercise to this lifestyle to ultimately boost your energy levels. Some yoga or pilates, walking or swimming, would be a great way to stay fit and feel more energetic. A 30 minute walk a day would do wonders, especially if you’re walking somewhere scenic like downtown. You can go on Youtube and find 30 minute yoga or pilates workouts.

Hope this helps!