One of the most difficult things for people just starting out on a plant-based vegan diet is knowing what to eat, especially if you're also gluten-free. We understand and we're here to help you figure it out. Our daily meal plan will take you from breakfast to dinner, so you can be sure that you're getting enough protein, fiber and nutrients.
We belong to numerous closed vegan Facebook groups that are made up of long time and brand new vegans. One of the most common complaints that we hear from those who are just starting their vegan journey is that they're feeling lethargic and sick, and they're gaining weight.
None of these things should happen if you're eating a whole food plant-based diet, and, you're consuming enough calories and a wide variety of food.
HOW TO KEEP YOUR ENERGY UP ON A VEGAN DIET
Start your day with a healthy breakfast.
There are numerous studies that prove that eating breakfast is important to ensuring that you are at peak performance, both physically and mentally. However, a bowl of sugary cereal or frozen waffles doused in maple syrup will not contribute to a successful day.
Eat that type of breakfast and you're going to crash and burn and gain weight.
Anything with whole foods that digests slowly and prevent a sugar rush is optimum, and that's why we love overnight oats.
Our Healthy Pineapple Coconut Mango Overnight Oats are not just delicious, they're packed full of the nutrients that your body needs to begin the day.
They're also great because you can prepare them the night before, so you'll always have a meal that's ready to go. Make a weeks worth at a time.
Health Benefits of Gluten-Free Overnight Oats
Here are just some of the health benefits that you'll get from eating a serving of our healthy overnight oats. Click on the names of the ingredients to read all about their nutritional benefits.
Pineapple - An excellent source of vitamin C, manganese (energy production), copper and B vitamins, and antioxidants.
Coconut - Great for the immune system, as coconut is antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial and anti-parasitic. It's a great source of fiber, amino acids and antioxidants and vitamins.
Mango - Not only delicious, it's a good source of vitamin C and A, and it can help to lower cholesterol. It's also great for the skin and eyes
Chia seeds- Are a complete protein, which means that they have all of the essential amino acids that your body needs to stay strong and healthy. They're also high in fiber and phosphorous and magnesium, which help to make your bones strong.
Rolled Oats - Aside from having lots of vitamins, antioxidants and fiber, oats are a good source of protein. They also help to prevent cardiovascular disease, aid in digestion and keep blood sugar in check.
Here are a few more overnight oat recipes for you to try:
Another Aspect of Feeling Great as a Gluten-Free Vegan?
Eat enough calories.
Plant foods digest much quicker than animal products and processed foods, so you need to eat more often to maintain your energy and focus. This is one of the benefits of being vegan. Just remember that you're going to want to eat WHOLE FOODS. Stay away from packaged foods as they often times are filled with fats and sugars that will contribute to weight gain and sugar crashes.
We suggest eating a healthy snack a few hours after breakfast to keep you energized. Our Raw Apple Cinnamon Energy Bites are perfect for a quick and portable mid-morning snack.
They're made with dried apples and cranberries, dates, pepitas, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, cinnamon, and sesame seeds. Eat a few of these with a tall glass of water and you'll be completely satisfied and alert until lunch time.
Nutrients from our gluten-free vegan cinnamon energy bites:
Dried Apples - A great source of fiber, good for cardiovascular health, and an anti-inflammatory.
Cinnamon – Can lower bad (LDL) cholesterol, anti-inflammatory, has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and even anti-viral properties.
Dates – Natural energy booster, prevents and relieves constipation (shouldn’t be a problem if you eat a whole food plant-based diet), lowers cholesterol, good for bone health.
Dried Cranberries – Anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular benefits, antioxidants, digestive tract benefits.
Pepitas – An excellent source of zinc and other minerals, antimicrobial benefits, high in antioxidants.
Raw Hulled Sunflower Seeds – Anti-inflammatory, good for cardiovascular health, helps lower cholesterol, excellent source of important minerals, such as folate, selenium, vitamin E, and more.
Chia Seeds – An excellent source of fiber, good fat, good carbohydrate (ENERGY), lots of protein, important minerals.
Sesame Seeds – These little seeds are the B.O.M.B.! If you only click on one link, this is the one.
- Great source of protein
- Reduces blood pressure
- Lowers cholesterol
- Helps with digestion
- Good for skin and heart health
Our 3 Favorite Energy Balls
YOU SHOULDN'T GAIN WEIGHT ON A HEALTHY VEGAN DIET
We believe in creating a healthy lifestyle that you can thrive on. Eating whole food plant-based vegan food for every meal is the best option. You'll get to eat more than you usually do, the food you put in your body will be filled with antioxidants and vitamins, and you won't have to worry about feeling sluggish and sick.
THREE THINGS TO AVOID IF YOU WANT TO FEEL GOOD AND YOU DON'T WANT TO GAIN WEIGHT
If you've suddenly gone vegan and you're not feeling well and gaining weight, it's likely because of one of three things.
- You're not eating enough calories. This is usually a problem for those who are eating only WFPB. If this is you, don't be afraid to eat more, more often. It's difficult to gain weight eating lots of green vegetables, fruit and some grains and beans.
- Avoid sugar. Definitely stay away from refined sugar. It will spike your blood sugar and then drop just as fast, leaving you feel tired and cranky. Limit non-refined sugars, such as maple syrup, coconut sugar and anything that claims to be a natural sweetener.
- Avoid processed foods. Try and avoid packaged food as much as possible. The only boxes and cans we open are filled with beans or grains. We never buy frozen prepared meals, cookies, or anything that has a long list of ingredients on the package. Those are the foods that are high in calories and low in nutrients, even if they're vegan.
We chose this Easy Chickpea Salad with Easy Lemon Dressing for lunch because it's something that we eat often. Like the name says, it's super easy to make. It's also delicious and nutritious.
There are chickpeas for protein, hearts of palm, tomatoes, basil and Kalamata olives. This salad is tangy, salty, fresh and yummy. The lemon dressing gives it some zip and vitamin C.
This salad should last you for a couple of days if you're the only one eating it.
Make this and let us know what you think. We love to hear from you! And, don’t forget to take a picture of your gorgeous creation and tag us @veganosity on Instagram.
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