A whole-food, plant-based diet is a diet consisting mostly or entirely of foods sourced from plants, including but not limited to vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and fruits. Plant-based diets usually include very few or no animal products, and not all plant based-diets are vegetarian or vegan. The term whole food describes foods that have not been heavily processed. This includes whole, unrefined or minimally refined ingredients.
The different types of plant-based diet plans
There are many types of people that follow a plant based diet. If you are not familiar with various eating plan intricacies, the terms can get a little confusing. Simply put:
- Semi-vegetarians or flexitarians do eat eggs, dairy foods, and occasionally eat meat, poultry, ﬁsh, and seafood.
- Pescatarians do eat eggs, dairy foods, ﬁsh, and seafood, but no meat or poultry.
- Vegetarians (sometimes referred to as lacto-ovo vegetarian) do eat eggs and dairy foods, but do not consume any meat, poultry, ﬁsh or seafood.
- Vegans consume no animal foods of any kind.
More about Vegan eating
Vegans do not eat animal products including honey, eggs, gelatin or dairy. Many vegans also do not eat foods that are processed using animal products, such as refined white sugar and some wines. Vegans also generally do not use clothes, soaps, or other products that are animal-sourced in any way and follow a whole-food, plant-based diet. This type of eating allows followers to meet their nutrition needs by focusing on natural and minimally-processed foods for nourishment.
The benefits of plant-based eating
Some research indicates that those following a plant-based diet live longer than meat-eaters, but that may or may not be tied strictly to a vegan diet. Generally, vegans are more focused on clean eating, consistent exercise and are very intentional about their overall health. Plant based diets have been shown to improve general health, reduce overall inflammation, promote better workout results, boost energy levels and reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases.
People follow plant-based eating plans for a variety of reasons, but there are several benefits to doing so. People who eat plant-based diets weigh less than those who don’t, and plant based diets make it easier to lose weight and maintain that weight loss. Whole food, plant-based diets can also prevent or even reverse certain chronic diseases such as heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Adding more vegetables to your plate displaces other less nutritious and less healthful items. More vegetables are never a bad thing, and consuming them will always be beneficial to your general weight management and health overall.
Many who are considering plant-based or vegan eating are concerned about consuming enough protein each day, but there are a variety of foods available to ensure that you will get enough protein. High protein vegan meals include fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, soy products and whole grains which means that vegans can enjoy complete nutrition and adequate nutrients from non–meat sources. Vegans generally consume fewer calories and less fat each day, due to the makeup of their diet.
What does a Vegan meal look like?
Vegans choose not to eat meats or fish, but that does not mean vegan meals are tasteless and bland. There are many colorful, tasty vegan, plant-based meal plans available that feature healthy, balanced food with a wide variety of flavors. Take a look at these sample vegan menu options. All meals listed below – when correctly prepared – contain a correct ratio of proteins, carbohydrates and fats but are vegan eating plan approved.
A plant-based diet does not mean that breakfast has to be boring! There are many delicious and healthful options including:
- Vanilla macadamia pancakes prepared with whole wheat flour, accompanied by fresh fruit
- Vegan blueberry muffin prepared with whole wheat flour, accompanied by fresh fruit
- Overnight oats soaked in almond milk, accompanied by fresh fruit and fruit compote
- Eggless egg and vegan cheese breakfast sandwich, accompanied by fresh fruit and greens
Vegan lunch or dinner meal ideas include:
- Sweet potato bowl filled with avocado, zucchini, spinach, black beans, cilantro and peppers garnished with enchilada sauce
- Whole wheat pasta topped with artichokes, zucchini, spinach, basil, garlic, red pepper and vegan cream and cheese sauce
- Plant based vegan burger accompanied by lettuce, sweet potato, tomato and vegan cheese
- Whole wheat pasta shells stuffed with vegan cheese, broccoli, tofu, onions, basil, spinach, garlic and sun-dried tomato, topped with marinara sauce
- Flour tortilla filled with BBQ jackfruit, green beans, parsley.
Plant-based diets aren’t for everyone, but how can you know it is right for you? You won’t know until you try it. But so many report dramatic weight loss, an overall feeling of improved wellness and reduced fatigue, that you just might want to give it a try. And if you’re worried about your budget, plant-based eating is less expensive than you may expect. Fresh produce and bulk portions of foods like potatoes and beans are some of the more affordable foods that you can buy. By creating meals around inexpensive staple items and supplementing with smaller portions of more-expensive foods, you’ll create a delicious, healthy and cost-conscious menu that has amazing health benefits.
A meal delivery service might be right for you.
Fresh Meal Plan menus – whether vegan, Paleo, Keto or traditional – have been created by our five-star gourmet chef and co-founder. Meals have been carefully crafted with your health in mind. Fresh Meal Plan uses the finest, freshest, farm-to-table ingredients. All dishes are thoughtfully prepared to meet your dietary needs, and are designed to look beautiful, taste amazing and fuel your body.
The ultimate in time-saving convenience, Fresh Meal Plan offers fully-prepared and healthy meals that are delivered right to your door at a time that is convenient for your busy, active lifestyle. Meals arrive chilled in insulated packaging, for easy transfer to your refrigerator. When it’s time to eat, just heat and enjoy!
Fresh Meal Plan also allows clients to choose across meal plans, giving you the option to add more vegan items into your rotation while still including animal protein options from other plans, if desired. Our vegan meals are low in carbohydrates and high in healthy fats and contain a moderate amount of protein, prompting your body to use fat for fuel.
Use Fresh Meal Plan’s meal solutions to help you achieve your health and wellness goals. We offer meals featuring only the highest quality ingredients and we have multiple plans to choose from. We believe that you matter, and that every meal matters, too. Clean eating means more plants, and clean eating without the added stress of meal prep means Fresh Meal Plan. Try our vegan meal plan today!