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I just completed a 7-day vegan challenge (which I actually extended to 11 days because truthfully, I felt amazing). It was about five times easier than I ever could have expected, and the food was delicious. I ate according to how my body felt, and for the first time in ages, I didn’t binge once during the course of those eleven days.

Truly mindful eating, fueling my body with only plants, for eleven days. Is this even real life? Yes, my friends, yes it is.

I wrote about the experience here. One of the biggest surprises was the significant decrease in inflammation. I was getting private messages on Instagram daily from people saying how much thinner my face looked. Over the course of my wellness journey, I’ve learned how much my face shows what I’ve been eating – gluten, dairy, and sugar – all inflammatory foods – show up immediately in my face as bloating and puffiness.

I created a 7-day vegan meal plan to make it a bit easier for anyone who is interested in trying a short vegan challenge. These are simple recipes that don’t require strange ingredients or trips to Whole Foods. I had the same thing for breakfast every day 1) because it’s what I had every morning before the vegan challenge, and 2) it’s easy as all get-out and I like to simplify as much as possible.

Some of these recipes do include honey, which is not vegan. I will be completely transparent and tell you that I ate honey during my vegan challenge, but full vegans would not have done this. You can omit the honey or substitute maple syrup – or live on the edge and just have the honey as I did.

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Day 1
Breakfast: Vegan superfoods smoothie mix with 1 cup almond milk, 2 handfuls spinach, 1 banana
Lunch: Grilled zucchini hummus wraps
Dinner: Mexican quinoa bowls

Day 2
Breakfast: Vegan superfoods smoothie mix with 1 cup almond milk, 2 handfuls spinach, 1 banana
Lunch: Chickpea curry (omit honey for true vegan curry)
Dinner: Thai noodle salad (omit chicken, sub maple syrup for honey)

Day 3
Breakfast: Vegan superfoods smoothie mix with 1 cup almond milk, 2 handfuls spinach, 1 banana
Lunch: Black bean wrap
Dinner: Essentials power bowl with tahini lime drizzle

Day 4
Breakfast: Vegan superfoods smoothie mix with 1 cup almond milk, 2 handfuls spinach, 1 banana
Lunch: Portobello fajitas
Dinner: Buddha bowl

Day 5
Breakfast: Vegan superfoods smoothie mix with 1 cup almond milk, 2 handfuls spinach, 1 banana
Lunch: Smashed chickpea and avocado sandwich
Dinner: Stuffed sweet potatoes

Day 6
Breakfast: Vegan superfoods smoothie mix with 1 cup almond milk, 2 handfuls spinach, 1 banana
Lunch: Mexican chopped salad
Dinner: 30-minute vegan chili

Day 7
Breakfast: Vegan superfoods smoothie mix with 1 cup almond milk, 2 handfuls spinach, 1 banana
Lunch: Teriyaki cauliflower rice bowls
Dinner: Vegan zucchini meatballs & pasta

Once I started eating vegan, I was shocked at how easy it is. Going forward, I’m trying to incorporate at least two plant-based dinners a week for my family, and eating vegan meals as much as I can. Not only is it incredibly healthy for your body (when done correctly, because let’s face it, Oreos are vegan too…), but it’s great for your budget.

For more of my personal column, Heather Gets Healthy, click here.

vegan-meal-plan-ideas

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