3 – 3 Day Meal Plans – Whole Food Plant Based, Vegan and Vegan on the Road

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Here is a three day meal plan to inspire a Whole Food Plant Based (WFPB) diet.  This is great for loosing weight, reversing, halting or preventing most of the diseases that are affecting westerners today. Adjust this to your tastes and repeat as necessary to take better control of your health.  The key to adopting a WFPB diet is finding a set 6-8 meals that you REALLY LIKE and repeating them.  For example, I eat oatmeal with ground flax seed, ground chia seed, walnuts or hemp seeds, 1 tablespoon maple syrup and a banana every morning with slight variations such as blueberries instead of banana.  Then for lunch, I typically have left overs.  But my husband, who committed to WFPB January of 2017 hates leftovers for lunch (lucky me) and insists on ordering vegan tacos on Tuesday, Chipotle vegan burrito bowl on Wed, a salad from wherever on Thursday, Thai on Friday and so on while at work.  Then at home I keep meals as clean as possible, including a smoothie for breakfast.  We just got test results back and his cholesterol has dropped as well as his HgbA1C’s (measures average glucose/indicator for Diabetes).  We know the weight will come off even quicker if he would allow me to pack him a lunch, but this is where he is comfortable. Everyone is different, but if you are not working from home like me, I suggest you pack a lunch because homemade food is just better.  You have control over added fat, sugar and salt.  But do what you know will work and improve where you can at your own pace.  I also have a smoothie mid morning.  I like the chocolate vegan Shakeology with blueberries or add your favorite vegan pea powder, berries, chia/flax seeds, maca, spirulina, etc., or skip the smoothie all together.  Just be careful because these can pack a lot of calories.

You don’t have to make everything from scratch. Certainly buy some items from the store to make things easier, such as Dr. McDougall’s soup.  Pour his chili over a baked sweet potato and you are set. TIP: I bake a large batch of sweet potatoes at one time, then add them to salads or heat them up and enjoy them with a veggie and cashew cheese or chili type topping.  

For snacks, I tend to add a small amount of protein like almond butter or hummus to help feel full.  That is where I get my fat, along with nuts and seeds.  I don’t add oil while cooking or to dressings.  See the recipe section for cashew cheese and dressing ideas.

In the beginning I was tracking my intake on the app MyFitnessPal.  This way you can see the fat, carb, protein ratios.  I tend to stick to roughly 15% fat, 15% protein, and the 70% carbs.  Carbs give energy, make you feel full and also contain protein, so it’s a little misleading.  We tend to obsess over protein, which is completely unnecessary.  Read the book by M.D. Davis Garth called Proteinaholic.  He is a weight-loss Physician that debunks the protein myth.  Also check out Dr. McDougall’s new book called The Healthiest Diet on the Planet and my favorite book of all times by M.D. Michael Greger called How Not to Die.

*These recipes are posted under the recipe tab or under Instagram posts.

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This meal plan is for straight forward vegans not super interested in fighting disease. Ethical vegans are more interested in saving the animals, planet and stopping world hunger. All very noble causes.  You can mix and match ideas from all 3 meal plans.  This is intended to make it clear that just following a vegan diet will not have the same affect on your health as a WFPB diet will.  Sometimes you want to splurge or entertain regular vegan food might work better.  I will keep adding fun ideas to the recipe tab, or follow my Instagram. Or this could be a good transition for the Standard American Diet (SAD) to vegan to eventually WFPB or mainly WFPB.  Once again, everyone’s journey is different, no judging here.

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Finally, what the heck can you eat on the road?  Here are some ideas, but the options are endless.  You can even buy some travel worthy items from the grocery store such as Dr. McDougall’s oatmeal, or some items by Amy’s.  Once again, this is just to inspire. We tend to eat at restaurants with a chef that can adjust a meal.  They will make a great vegan dish according to what they have in the kitchen and to your taste.  I ask them to limit oil, salt and sugar as much as possible. Depending upon the area, you can find places like Kreation or other juice bars, that make smoothies, grab and go meals and great smoothie bowls.  Download the HappyCow app, or Google vegan friendly restaurants.  Sometimes you may end up at a restaurant where the only option is a baked potato.  That’s great, just add salsa and you are good to go!

The New Science of Meat

Are the New Vegan Burgers Really Worth all the Hype? 

When you see traditional brands like Hellmann’s come out with a vegan mayonnaise, you know the demand for vegan food is on the rise. After all, no one wants to be left out.  Especially when vegan burgers are crossing new boundaries, including vegan cheese companies. But whats the big deal?  We’ve had veggie burgers for years, right?  True, but the new fake meats are in a class all their own.  The question is, are they really any good?

I had the pleasure of trying the recently released, Beyond Meat’s, Beyond Burger the day it was delivered to stores across Texas.  In fact, all of the Vegan communities on social media were posting which stores carried it and then posting videos and photo’s of the precious commodity in their possession.  The Whole Foods down the street from our house hadn’t put it on the shelves yet, but a store associate was kind enough to grab a box in the back for me.  I bought 4 packages, shared on Facebook and Instagram that Highland Village Whole Foods carried it and went on my merry way.  Then others went to pick some up and none of the other employees were able to locate it, because it was scheduled to be put out the following week.  In fact, one person came to my house and got a package from me after posting that they couldn’t find them.  Not only did she pay me for the burgers, she gave me an amazing bar of vegan chocolate for my trouble and I made a new friend.  Needless to say, vegans all over Texas were beyond excited and were collectively having the burgers that very evening.

Then a few weeks later I went to visit my daughter in Los Angeles (photographed above).  The only restaurant in L.A. to carry the Impossible Burger, by Impossible Foods was CrossRoads Kitchen on Melrose.  Apparently there are only 10 restaurants that serve Impossible Burger in the country and CrossRoads is the only vegan location.  The rest are delivered  by fine eating establishments with notable chefs that are providing them as a novelty to their carnivorous patrons.  Crossroads is only serving theirs at lunch. According to our waiter, the lunch crowd has tripled in size and 35% of the orders are for the burger.   My daughter had the In-N-Out version and I had mine with mushrooms and Kite Hill cheese.

The verdict?  They were both extremely different, but equally amazing.  The Beyond Beef is thick and actually red and juicy in the center.  The Impossible Burger was served thin to resemble and taste similar to the In-N-Out eatery.  Burgers are supposed to be greasy and boy do they both deliver.  They are both made completely of plants.  And people that are not vegan are eating them.  Exactly how many, I can not say, but the ones I know really enjoy them.

Because of the grease, I don’t see myself eating either of these on a weekly basis, but they are great for special occasions.  In fact, I served the Beyond Burger at our 25th Wedding Anniversary and Wedding Vow Renewal.  Even the guests that aren’t vegan loved it.  We may even have some vegan converts! The following day I used the remaining burgers in a chili over sweet potatoes.  It was moist, incredibly hearty and tasty.

The mock meats are great for people transitioning to the vegan lifestyle and for those that aren’t watching their waistline as well.  My verdict is that they are definitely worth the hype.  They are made of plants so more healthful than animal meat, don’t harm the environment and are especially and wonderfully humane.  Go get ya some!