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If you had asked me a year ago if I would ever go on a Vegan diet I would have said “oh hell no.” This probably would have been followed up with an “I love cheese and bacon too much.” That was until about a week ago.
About a week ago I looked at my husband and said we are cutting down our meat consumption because it’s really bad for the environment. He was on board and all was good. In my mind though I was freaking out.
I wonder how cutting so much meat from our diet will affect how we function. Will we be getting enough iron and protein?
So I decided to watch a documentary or two on food and health in our country. I was not prepared for the rage that overtake me for the injustices I was seeing. I made my husband watch the documentaries and we both started doing our own research.
Sure enough we were finding the claims in “What the Health?” and “Fork Over Knives” to be mostly true. The information was damning enough that we looked at each other and said, “no more animal products.”
Listen this post isn’t meant to change your mind if you are a meat eater or a milk drinker. I’m not here to lecture. The information is out there, it’s legit, and you can make your own decision.
I wanted to explain how this former meat eater who suddenly went from “bacon all the things” to throwing out all animal products in a fairly short period of time.
Between the health benefits, the societal benefits, the climate change benefits, and the animal benefits, I knew that a plant based whole foods and vegan diet were the right step for me and my family.
The First Vegan Shopping Trip
With my husband on board and a child we hoped to slowly switch from his normal Chicken Nuggets and Eggs to a diet rich in fruits, veggies, beans, and grains, we were ready to get started.
Lucky for us we were already on our way into a plant based diet as my husband and son are both lactose intolerant. This means cutting out dairy wouldn’t be as much of an issue for us.
I went through all of my cabinets and took a look at all of the food that already fit into this diet. I had plenty of beans in the house and some fresh fruits and veggies that I would need to restock.
I had two large bags of white rice which I would go through easily enough. I had non whole grain pasta but I knew we could eat that up over the next few weeks too.
The things I was missing were frozen and canned veggies like corn and canned tomatoes. I needed to get nutritional yeast so I could make sauces easily enough. I also needed Quinoa.
So I had to map out my shopping trip to avoid certain areas of the store now. No more eggs, yogurt, cheese, butter, milk, cream cheese, sour cream, ect. No more meats of any kind. Suddenly half the grocery store was completely useless to me.
The Vegan Diet Savings
Luckily though I actually found that my shopping trip was so much cheaper than a normal shopping trip. Who knew Meat added that much to my budget?
To feed a family of four my normal monthly budget is around $500. When I add up how much money I was spending on meat every month it was close to $150. Dairy was another $50.
Here’s the thing, we ate all the foods that are in a vegan or plant based diet anyways. So to cut out meat and dairy isn’t much of a difference to our normal eating habits.
How To Get Enough Protein
One question for you, have you ever heard of someone having a protein deficiency? I haven’t and I would be thrilled to hear a story of someone who did.
The average sedentary male needs 56 grams of protein a day and the average sedentary female needs 46 grams of protein.
1 cup of diced chicken breast has 43 grams of protein. If you watch how much protein you consume in a day I bet it’s way more than you actually need. I found we were consuming anywhere from 60-80 grams of protein every day, that’s almost double what we should be eating.
List of Plant Based Foods High In Protein
- 1 cup kidney beans has 43 g
- 1 cup black beans has 39 g
- 1 cup quinoa has 8 g
- 1 cup brown rice has 5 g
- 1 cup of soy beans has 68 g
- 1 cup of chickpeas has 39 g
- 1 cup of tofu has 20 g
This is a short list of plant based foods that have a good amount of protein in them. With enough research you can create an entire comprehensive list of protein rich foods to add to your diet.
75 + Plant Based Whole Food Recipes
I set up and asked all my blogging friends to send me their best Vegan and Plant Based Whole Food recipes. The response was completely overwhelming and in less than 2 hours I had over 75 recipes from the best of the best in Vegan and Plant Based bloggers.
In order to make this easier for you I’ve organized the recipes into categories.
- Spinach Pancakes
- Raw Cereal Bowl Recipes
- Tofu Scrambled Eggs
- Dark Chocolate Cranberry Almond Smoothie Bowl
- Blueberry Overnight Oatmeal Parfait
- Tofu Scramble Recipe
- Matcha Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Smoky Beans on Toast
- Fluffy Vegan Pancakes
- Vegan Blueberry Muffins
- Taco Buddha Bowl
- Spinach Strawberry Salad with Basil Dressing
- Token Kale Salad
- Vegan Thai Meatball Wraps
- Thai Kale Salad
- Sweet Potato Buddha Bowl
- Peanut Crunch Salad In A Jar
- 10 Minute Coconut Yogurt Chickpea Curry
- Vegan Burrito Bowls
- Teriyaki Tofu Quinoa Bowls
- Vegan Pesto Tofu Buddha Bowls
- Roasted Beet, Squash, and Black Bean Quinoa Salad
- Vegan Spaghetti Squash Mac-N-Cheese
- Vegan Pho Noodle Soup
- Vegan Lentil Stew
- Sweet Potato Vegan Tacos
- Lentil Spinach Soup
- Ginger Sesame Teriyaki Burgers
- Lentil Sweet Potato Chili
- Mushroom Stew
- Vegan Chicken Burgers
- California Style Vegan Sushi Rolls
- Vegan Eggplant Cannelloni
- Curried Butternut Squash Soup
- Easy Red Lentil Soup Vegan
- Tofu Eggplant Curry
- Easy Vegetarian Chili
- Butternut Squash Gnocchi
- Vegan Burrito
- Vegan Meatballs
- Peanut Tofu Satay Curry
- Vegan Instant Pot Beef Shells
- Instant Pot Split Pea Soup
- Baked Tofu with Dill and Mustard Sauce
- Two Bean and Lentil Chili
- Noodle Free Lasagna with Pumpkin and Vegan Kale Ricotta
- Vegan Cheesy Broccoli Vegan Burgers
- BBQ Chickpea Walnut Burgers
- Spicy Southwestern Vegan Chowder
- Roasted Red Pepper Lentil Burgers
- Vegan Meatloaf with Gravy
- Ginger Coconut Lentil Soup
- Vegan Stuffed Peppers
- Rustic Mung Bean Shepherd’s Pie
- Vegan Cauliflower Lentil Loaf
- Sweet Potato Quinoa Chili
- Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup
- Zucchini Watercress Soup
- Crockpot Three Bean Chili
- One Pan Cauliflower Curry
- Creamy Chickpea Soup
- Spinach Dandelion Mushroom Pasta
- Vegetarian Lo Mein
- Ukrainian Borscht
- Vegan Squash Rosettes
- Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese
- Baingan Bharta
- Pressure Cooker Vegan Lentil Chili
- Lentil Vegetable Soup
- Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
- Creamy Healthy Vegan Pasta
- Vegan Lentil Soup
- Easy Tomato Soup
- Red Lentil Dahl
- Instant Pot Lentil Soup
- Paleo Eggplant Meatballs
- Beet and Sweet Potato Soup
- Vegan Skillet Zucchini Parmesan
- Slow Cooker Vegan Split Pea Soup
- Vegetarian Shepherds Pie
- Ensaladang Talong
- Low Carb Vegetable Soup
- Cabbage Recipes Cabbage Salad
- Instant Pot Ratatouille
- Chocolate Mousse Cake with Strawberries
- Fig Newtons
- Chocolate Orange Espresso Brownies
- Vegan Chocolate Tarts
- Nutella Pistachio Vegan Raw Cheesecake
- Vegan Mini Fruit Tarts
- Zucchini Chocolate Cake
- Cut Out Star Cookies
- Vegan Peach Crumble
- 3 Ingredient Vegan Chocolate Mousse
Snacks, Side Dishes, and Appetizers
- Quinoa Tabbouleh
- Vegan Cauliflower Kernels
- Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
- Instant Pot Refried Beans
- Quinoa Spring Rolls
- Chickpea Nuggets
- Vegan Cuban Black Beans
- Zucchini Chips
- Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Recipe
- Pineapple Fried Rice
- Avocado Egg Rolls
- Refried Black Beans
- Sweet Potatoes With Cinnamon and Tumeric
- Oven Baked Beet Chips
- Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Carrots
- Blistered Shishito Peppers
What Happens When The Meat Eater Goes Vegan
Just a couple days into this diet and I already feel so much better. Not just how I feel but I’m making healthier choices too.
I think the biggest issue I’m going to have with this diet is that I can literally eat as much as I want guilt free. No counting calories, no fasting, no watching my numbers.
While this doesn’t seem like it should be a problem the reality is it’s difficult to recondition your brain to basically not watch those numbers. It’s a matter of training yourself to eat when your hungry instead of at set times during the day.
Are you on or have you tried a plant based whole foods diet? Let me know your biggest struggles and successes in the comments below. Follow me on Pinterest for more like this and be sure to pin this to your favorite food boards.
- The First 21 Days On A Plant Based Whole Food Diet
- 21 Easy Muffin Recipes For A Quick Breakfast
- 20 Healthy Snacks To Add To Your Diet
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