Hey beautiful people, I hope you’re all well!
Today, October 1st, is international vegetarian day, so to celebrate, I’m sharing some info and a day of vegetarian (and vegan) meals to perhaps inspire you to move closer towards a plant based diet, even if just a couple of days a week!
As I’ve said countless times before, you don’t have to go vegetarian or vegan to be healthy or even to have a plant based diet for that matter. Earlier this week, I shared a blog post on the topic of plant based eating where I explained this in more detail. You can learn more about it here: Online workshop – An introduction to plant based eating
HOWEVER, even though we don’t need to remove meat and other animal foods from our diets entirely to live healthily, on a global scale and according to literally thousands of medical and environmental studies, we do need to reduce our intake DRAMATICALLY! This is equally important for the health of our bodies and that of the planet which we are depleting of it’s resources.
Many people, myself included, were brought up with your typical “chicken / meat / fish + veg + potatoes” for dinner. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, we need to find ways not to have the same meal structure every day. Animal protein, such as chicken, meat or fish, should ideally not make up the largest part of our plate. Perhaps we need to stop thinking about meat as the main food and use it more as a flavour component which would allow us to enjoy the flavour without consuming large amounts.
Here, I’m going to walk you through a typical day of food – I often consume mainly vegan or vegetarian meals and therefore have built a large repertoire of easy delicious recipes which I hope will inspire you to try out for yourselves!
I often start my day with a fresh juice – I’ve shared a lot of info about juicing here if you’d like to learn more Why I got back into Juicing 🥤 – or a nice iced coffee topped with Alpro almond milk (or both if I’m working from home).
For me, there’s no better breakfast food than OATS – they keep me full throughout the day, they’re easy to digest and the flavour combinations are endless. Here I cooked 1/2 a cup of oats in 1 cup Alpro almond milk, 1 teaspoon raw cacao and 1 teaspoon honey until the milk was completely absorbed then topped my bowl with a couple of tablespoon of Alpro Greek style yoghurt, Green Origins cacao nibs and 1/2 a banana.
I know this may sound like a lot of work first thing in the morning, however it takes no more than 10 minutes to put together and enjoy.
If you’re not a morning person and you’d like to have something ready to go in the morning, you can try overnight oats, I’ve shared many of my favourite combos and methods here Overnight oats – Five ways 😋. If you’d like even more breakfast ideas, have a look at this – Five Healthy Breakfast Recipes – sweet edition!
Here are some super easy, delicious, healthy snacks to choose from (left to right):
On the go fruit packs (these are from Clearspring, all organic and contain nothing but fruit), yoghurt topped with fruit and chia jam (recipe here Delicious Chia Jam – two ways!), yoghurt with berries and nut butter, medjool dates stuffed with nut butter, Alpro coconut yoghurt with nuts and fruit puree and finally, apples with almond butter.
Lunch is often something carb dense for me because I certainly need a little boost of energy to get me through the afternoon – this creamy dreamy pasta is definitely a new favourite! Get the recipe here: Farfalle with Mushroom Cashew Cream 🍄
I’m also a big fan of pasta, quinoa and rice salads. They’re incredibly versatile and really easy to put together and take on the go! Add some beans, roasted and/or fresh veggies, some nuts or seeds, olives or hummus or anything you fancy and you’re good to go!
After lunch, I often have another snack, normally that’s just a few handfuls of nuts or any fruit I have on hand. This depends on the day for me. It’s really easy get caught up in a ‘this is how I should eat’ way of thinking – perhaps for you that means eating every 3 hours, or having a light meal in the evening. However keep in mind that our days differ from one to the next, as does our appetite. You don’t have to have snacks in between your meals if you’re not hungry and likewise, you don’t have to stop eating at a certain hour or omit carbs for dinner if you’re hungry!
Oftentimes, dinner at home is a salad – but not a ‘just add some lettuce to a plate’ kind of salad. That would NEVER in a million years be satisfying to me. So I like loading mine up with avocado, olives, grains, (this time it was fine bulgar) and my all time favourite salad topper – Green Vie Vegril. It’s a vegan version of halloumi and I personally prefer it to it’s dairy alternative!
If you’d like some salad dressing idea, check out this blog post Summer salads – how to dress them 🤤
There are countless ways to incorporate more plant foods into your diet – these are simple some easy meals I put together very regularly which are loaded with both nutrition and flavour! I hope you’ve found this helpful and that these tasty dishes inspire you to add more plants to your meals
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Until my next post, be well xXx