An increasing number of people are transitioning to a whole food, plant-based (WFPB) lifestyle as a way to improve their health and reduce the risk of chronic disease, but making the switch means rethinking the way meals are planned and prepared. A plant-based diet meal plan includes a wide variety of:
What isn’t on the list? Meat (including poultry), fish, eggs, dairy products, oil and processed foods. Working toward eliminating these foods from your diet has a range of well-documented health benefits, some of which you can start seeing within just a few weeks!
Although plant-based diets can be described as vegan because animal foods are absent, avoiding processed foods and oils takes the concept one step further. Known as a whole food, plant-based diet, this way of eating aims to include as many health-promoting foods as possible. For a more detailed breakdown of how and why to go the extra step and try a whole food, plant-based diet plan, see our comprehensive diet guide.
Need some inspiration to jump-start your foray into a new lifestyle? This easy WFPB meal plan has some tasty recipes to whet your appetite. Each daily menu sets you up with breakfast, lunch, dinner, a snack and a “salad of the day.” There are tons of familiar flavors and some new surprises, so get ready to dive right in!
Your first plant-based menu combines classic favorites with fresh, unique ideas. You’ll start off the day with a delicious twist on toast featuring sweet potatoes and blueberries, then move on to a creamy tomato soup that’s sure to invoke memories of childhood. And who can resist hearty lentil burgers for dinner? Make a big batch to store in the freezer for even easier meal planning.
Bet you didn’t expect to be eating carrot cake and “tuna” salad on your second day of going plant-based! With a few adjustments, these delicious classics fit right into a whole food vegan meal plan. Today’s menu is made for a busy schedule, including “grab-and-go” salads in a jar to simplify your lunch plans. In the evening, you’ll enjoy a big bowl of “sushi” — just like the takeout you used to order, but much better for your body (and your wallet)!
Comfort food, anyone? Day 3 kicks off with a warm, smoky mix of tofu and vegetables and cruises right on into lunch with a bountiful bowl that will put you in mind of your favorite burrito joint. When dinner rolls around, surprise your family by tossing millet-based “meatballs” with whole-grain noodles and a quick homemade sauce.
This plant-based diet meal plan is a great place to start, but it’s only the beginning of an ongoing journey. By keeping things simple and focusing on whole, unprocessed foods, you’ll find it gets easier to plan your own menus and start putting together recipes tailored to your tastes.
If you want a little more help with your transition, our 7-Day Plant-Based Kickstart plan goes beyond the menu to provide additional resources and daily motivation. Good luck!
Copyright 2024 Center for Nutrition Studies. All rights reserved.