Vegan diet plan for beginners

A vegan diet can be as interesting, delicious and easy to implement as any meat-based diet. Thanks to hundreds of plant-based food brands and innovation in the vegan space over the past few years, it’s easier than ever to embrace a vegan diet that leaves you feeling full, satisfied and feeling refreshed. feel your best.

And don’t worry about protein. With dozens of vegan protein sourcesincluding the best vegan protein powder, there are many ways to reach your daily protein goals. You will also eat a lot of alimentary fiber, vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables. These will support a healthy immune system, digestion and general well-being.

Whether you’re new to the vegan lifestyle or just looking for inspiration to eat more plants, use this seven-day vegan meal plan to enjoy new plant-based meals throughout the week.

What to eat on a vegan diet

When following a vegan diet, the key is to avoid anything made with animal products (our guide to veganism vs vegetarianism has further analysis). This includes meat, poultry and fish. But that also means no dairy, eggs, and in some cases (depending on how strictly you follow the diet), honey.

But don’t be afraid. The list of what you box following a vegan diet is longer than what is prohibited. Just think of the vast and delicious world of plants, seeds, nuts and legumes that you can enjoy.

The first question most people new to vegan eating will ask is “how do you get your protein?” And the good news is that there are plenty of delicious plant-based protein sources to pile on your plate – no animal necessary!

These include beans and legumes, as well as the many products made with them. For example, tofu and tempeh are two meat substitutes soy-based. Black, kidney, white, and pinto are all vegan protein sources. These days, you can also find plenty of meat look-alikes made from plant-based sources. Nuts, such as cashews, almonds, walnuts, and peanuts, are also great sources of vegan protein.

Besides protein, a vegan diet consists of a variety of fruits, vegetables, seeds, and grains. If it grows from the ground, it’s fair game on a vegan diet.

Many adventurous vegan cooks like to think outside the box when it comes to preparing their favorite dishes without animal products. For example, there are dozens of milk substitutes and nut and seed-based yogurt options. You can find delicious spreadable butters and sauces made with soaked cashews or silken tofu.

Vegan Diet Meal Plan: Day 1

  • Breakfast: Whisk ¼ cup of chia seeds and a scoop of almond butter into a cup of almond milk. Let sit for an hour (or up to overnight), then garnish with fresh berries and enjoy.
  • Lunch: Prepare a vegan sandwich with pan-fried tofu, cabbage, grated carrots and mashed avocado.
  • Dinner: Make a hearty butternut squash soup with roasted squash and garlic, coconut oil and red curry paste.

butternut squash soup with a swirl of vegan cream

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Vegan Diet Meal Plan: Day 2

  • Breakfast: Crumble extra firm tofu in a skillet with chopped tomatoes, peppers and onions. Serve on toast with hot sauce.
  • Lunch: Serve a veggie burger on a seeded bun with pickles, ketchup and mustard.
  • Dinner: Make fried rice with green onions, peppers, tofu, and soy sauce.

Vegan Diet Meal Plan: Day 3

  • Breakfast: Cook old-fashioned rolled oats with almond milk, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and chopped nuts.
  • Lunch: Enjoy a wrap filled with hummus, roasted red peppers, spinach and vegan cheese.
  • Dinner: Prepare roasted cauliflower tacos with refried beans, salsa and guacamole.

Cinnamon rolled oats with nuts, banana and blueberries

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Vegan Diet Meal Plan: Day 4

  • Breakfast: Sprinkle your favorite granola over coconut yogurt with chopped fruit.
  • Lunch: Mix a grain salad with quinoa, fresh corn, chopped bell pepper and black beans. Season with olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper.
  • Dinner: Prepare a vegan pesto with basil, pine nuts, nutritional yeast and olive oil and toss with pasta.

Vegan Diet Meal Plan: Day 5

  • Breakfast: sauté chopped potatoes on the stovetop until crispy. Add the black beans and serve with the salsa.
  • Lunch: Prepare an open sandwich with a vegan “tuna” salad made with avocado, chickpeas, hearts of palm and chopped celery.
  • Dinner: Prepare roasted cauliflower tacos with refried beans, salsa and guacamole.

vegetable roasted cauliflower tacos

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Vegan Diet Meal Plan: Day 6

  • Breakfast: Make fluffy vegan pancakes with oats, mashed bananas and almond milk. Serve with maple syrup and a dollop of coconut yogurt.
  • Lunch: Toss chilled lentil pasta with fresh tomatoes, basil, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and chickpeas.
  • Dinner: Enjoy a pizza topped with tomato sauce, roasted eggplant and vegan cheese.

Vegan Diet Meal Plan: Day 7

  • Breakfast: Make a smoothie with frozen berries, banana, almond milk, and vegan protein powder.
  • Lunch: Crumble tofu into a skillet with taco seasoning and serve with rice, guacamole and salsa in a burrito.
  • Dinner: Make a quick stir-fry with cubed tofu, mushrooms, and broccoli seasoned with soy sauce, hot sauce, and sesame oil, served over brown rice.

stir-fried tofu with brown rice and vegetables

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tips for following the vegan diet

Erin Kenney, Registered Dietitian and CEO of Nutrition Reimagined (opens in a new tab)recommends that anyone new to a vegan diet “start by slowly incorporating more plant-based foods on their plate, rather than going cold turkey.”

For many people, starting with a plant-based food for beginners (rather than a strict vegan diet) is a great way to progress. This way, you can gradually reduce your consumption of animal products. Doing it slowly is a great way to avoid getting overwhelmed or feeling deprived of your favorite foods.

And if the health or weightloss is a priority, keep in mind that many vegan alternatives to animal products can be high in unhealthy refined fats, oils and starches. “It’s important to focus on less processed plant proteins like lentils, soy, seeds, nuts, whole grains, and beans instead of looking for highly processed alternatives,” Kenney says.