I recently became vegan, approximately 4 weeks ago. I am also hoping to transition to clean eating. I have found it very difficult to find a clean eating meal plan for vegans. All are for vegetarians. I am a busy mom and would like to find something I can pick up and follow, without a lot of hassle. Also a resource that might have suggested substitutions. For example, I do not like tofu at all. I also can’t stand sweet potatoes. And the a few meal plans I found were heavy in both.
First, let me just extend a HUGE congratulations to you and your new vegan journey! I hope you are enjoying it so far!
Starting anything new can come with a lot of questions and doubt which can lead to frustration. I have been eating vegan and clean for over four years and I STILL get frustrated at times – it’s very normal!
My view on Clean Eating has always been “Eat from the Earth”. Food should be consumed in its most natural state – no chemicals, un-processed, whole and mostly raw. I find it is so much easier to eat clean by being a vegan. But it wasn’t easy at first. You have to train your mind, stomach and body to eat a certain way and eventually it will become a habit that you wont even need to think about. For the first few years of being vegetarian and vegan I was eating my fair share of faux meat products, which are not that healthy for you. But it was a good transition substitute for me. It allowed me to fight my cravings while I was learning to cook and eat differently. Now I don’t crave the taste of meat at all and I don’t need faux meat. Not even tofu.
A typical day looks like this:
Breakfast: An apple with nut butter
Lunch: A salad OR a protein shake
Snack: handful of almonds with some raw crackers OR hummus with vegetables
Dinner: A cooked grain like quinoa, roasted vegetables (onion, brussel sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, garlic) and maybe some beans.
You will be constantly learning as you go. You will find what your body needs to survive and which foods make you feel strong, powerful and healthy. I have learned that a very high raw diet is best for my body. I LOVE bread and pasta but my body doesn’t. So I avoid it – the sick feeling is not worth it. I suggest keeping a food journal and documenting your food and the mood and feelings it gives you.
Most important, be easy on yourself. You are not perfect. Life and food should be enjoyed, not looked at negatively. This is NOT a diet, it’s a way of life. The transition should be slow, easy and enjoyable.
I wanted to include the vegan food pyramid. I think it is a great learning tool for those that are just starting out to eat vegan.
If you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments below or shoot me a email!