After several requests for some meal ideas and a glimpse into a week of my diet, I have written this up for y’all! Throughout last week I took pics of what I eat and learned that I really do eat a wide variety of stuff. Never, ever, do I feel like I “run out of ideas,” or “get sick of what I am eating.” I promise there are so many cool options that you probably didn’t even know about until you started researching a more plant based diet. Let me know what questions you have. Happy to help!
Let’s talk coffee for a minute if you’re a coffee addict like myself, and if not, just skip over this to the food: If I make coffee at home I always use either Silk Almond Creamer or Better Half ( 1/2 coconut cream and 1/2 almond milk.) I also like “So Delicious” flavored Coconut creamers, but they are on the super sweet side, almost too sweet for me now. But, if you like sweet, maybe go with that brand. Starbucks: At least a few times a week I am at Starbucks and have officially said goodbye to my latte. No more. Way too many calories, crap and $. I always get a grande or venti cappuccino with almond milk. That’s it. It is super foamy, so I do not recommend a tall, and I just love the foam. It reminds me of ice cream/whipped cream. A Grande Almond Milk Cappuccino has just 120 calories, 4 g of fat and 12 g of carbs and 10 g of sugar. (Compared to a Grande Almond Milk Cinnamon Dolce Latte without whipped cream is 330 calories, 13 grams of fat, 42 grams of carbs and 40 grams of sugar! Isn’t that crazy?? ) Get a cappuccino. You will be come hooked. And it is cheaper.
Here is a peek in my fridge -chocolate almond milk, unsweetened almond milk, silk almond creamer, better half creamer, and coconut milk whipped cream.
Okay, moving on to food:
1.) Banana cut up with peanut butter or almond butter. I buy peanut butters that are made with only peanuts and sea salt. I usually don’t buy ones with the palm oil. I like the Kirkland Signature Organic Peanut Butter ( love Costco! ) or the Simple Truth brand from Kroger.
2.) Silk Almond Milk Yogurt with Hemp Seeds. This yogurt is so good and hemp seeds are the bomb! You can sprinkle them in yogurt, on salad, in cereal, oatmeal, and no one even notices! They are tasteless yet packed with SO much protein and Omegas 3&6. Obsessed.
3.) A vegan protein shake. I will add hemp seeds or this vegetable powder. ( again, tasteless and so many added health benefits ).
4.) On the weekend we make protein pancakes for the kiddos.
5.) My kids eat Lara Bars almost daily for breakfast. Always with fruit cut up on the side: pineapple, berries, oranges, kiwis, melon, whatever is in season. And I urge you to NOT buy seedless fruit. That means it is not natural! Make sure you buy fruit WITH seeds! 🙂 Sometimes the kids will switch it up with toast or a waffle and peanut butter, but they love the Lara Peanut Butter Chocolate or the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. Blakesley doesn’t eat the chocolate bars – she gets Blueberry 🙂
1.) Lara Bars or Fruit bars – love these fruit pressed Kind bars.
2.) Dry roasted Edamame
3.) Favas & Peas
4.) Nothing But the Fruit real fruit snacks. You can even grab these at Starbucks and Blakesley has been obsessed since she was a baby. I love the raspberry and chia seeds. They are SO good. I buy them in bulk on Amazon.
5.) Hippeas – Love the white cheddar flavor! Baked chickpeas in a consistency like a “pirate booty” but they are Vegan! Another Starbucks checkout find ( do you see a trend here? ) Again, I started ordering in bulk on Amazon.
6.) Nuts – Plain & raw, except my kids love their almonds and cashews with sea salt. We try to stay away from canola oil. Not good! We buy big bags of pistachios, almonds and cashews. Those are my kids’ favorites.
7.) Fruit – we go through tons of apples, bananas, oranges, pineapple, berries, melon, etc.
1.) Good old fashioned peanut butter and jelly or peanut butter and honey or almond butter and pumpkin butter sandwiches. We love Dave’s Organic bread.
2.) Wraps with hummus, red wine vinegar and vegetables. I will thinly slice cucumbers, carrots & peppers
3.) Wraps with guacamole, salsa, garbanzo beans or black beans & cheese – a lunch favorite for the girls
4.) Vegan Pizza- I absolutely loved this one and didn’t even miss the cheese!
5.) We eat a lot of carrots and peppers and guacamole and/or hummus. We also started buying purple carrots because God made carrots purple, not orange!! Orange carrots are dyed, so we try to buy purple when the grocery stores have them. They taste the same FYI and my girls think they are super cool.
6.) Yogurt or a big salad with hemp seeds
Depending on the heat in which we are cooking are food, we use sesame, avocado and coconut oil. We haven’t bought olive oil for a while. So many other benefits with other oils.
Here is a Vegan butter I have been cooking with and putting on toast and bagels for the girls. I switch up hummus brands all the time. But, we always have hummus in our fridge, a variety of brands. Back when I had more time, I enjoyed making my own hummus. Maybe again soon 😉
1.) Veggie Burgers & Kale Puffs.
For busy weeknights, we always have a variety of vegetarian burgers in our freezer. I really like this brand of black rice burgers made with diff veggies. I like to cook them on the stove with a little coconut oil. Kale puffs = just like tater tots. My kids love these and they are perfect to go with veggie burgers for busy weeknights .
2.) Mexican Quinoa Crockpot Tacos. We eat a ton of different grains such as quinoa, barley, black rice, and farro. I like these because the quinoa cooks itself in the crockpot but make sure you cook it on high and not low! With the flavors and seasonings with lime and avocados, you won’t even miss cheese or sour cream!
3.) Veggie Soup – this is one I make on a whim, especially on a weekend for lunch. I always have veggie broth at home, and I will add frozen or fresh cut up veggies ( carrots, peas, green beans, celery, onion, really whatever you have on hand! ), and some ancient grains and rice ( thank you Costco for this awesome mix! ) and spices or seasoning.
4.) Hello Fresh – 3 meals a week, every week. I’ve said it before, and I stand by our love for Hello Fresh – it’s been over a year now and we get the veggie box delivered weekly. I changed our deliveries to Thursday night, so we can now cook the meals over the weekend and take turns cooking, since sometimes it’s hard to concentrate reading directions and cooking with three little ones at your feet 😉 The meals feed all five (5) of us, but we do not ever have left overs. We don’t waste buying ingredients for meals we don’t eat, and our family doesn’t do well with left overs anyways, so it is perfect. Here is a sample of 4 Hello Fresh meals that we would eat in a week’s time frame. If you need a larger photo, I can always email it to you if that is easier.
In an attempt to cut out gelatin (gelatin = a mixture of peptides and proteins produced by partial hydrolysis of collagen extracted from the skin, bones, and connective tissues of animals such as domesticated cattle, chicken, pigs, and fish.) we decided to stop letting the girls have fruit snacks with gelatin, as well as vitamins. We switched up our daily vitamins.
These are the supplements and vitamins our kids take daily. Have you tried Elderberry? It is one of our favorite supplements and these gummies taste amazing.
Since I wanted a vegetarian vitamin that didn’t contain animal by-products, I switched to this daily multivitamin and I love it.
While we eat vegan options when possible, we are not Vegan. That is a complete lifestyle change and we are just not quite there yet. Maybe some day. However, we LOVED hearing that one of our favorite and the best ( in our opinion) wines out there, Chimney Rock, is becoming a Vegan wine as of 2018! Most wines are made with an animal by-product cleansing agent, FYI. More reason to love and support Chimney Rock.
5.) Pasta w/ salads. My girls go crazy for Lemon Spaghetti. It’s literally just 3 lemons squeezed, 2/3 cup of olive oil ( or I like to use avocado oil sometimes), and 2/3 cup of parmesan cheese mixed with Italian seasoning and salt and pepper. That’s it. They beg for it every week. Sometimes I throw frozen peas in the pasta the last 3 minutes of cooking. They also love pasta with balsamic vinegar and olive oil or just a regular marinara or pesto sauce. We also cook sometimes with seitan ( a Japanese wheat protein ) and use it as a meat substitute.
There you have it. A glimpse into our kitchen for a week and some of our go to recipes and snacks. We usually go out at least once a week, and so many restaurants now a days are very accommodating to a variety of diets and allergies. Be open to change and make the decision to make a difference. I have no regrets and I have truly never felt better.