How to Eat Plant-Based and Not Go Hungry
Plant-based but your stomach still growls?
Picture this. You’ve been on a plant-based diet for several weeks. For the first time ever, you’re refusing fast food and chomping on spinach, instead. Your family says you’re glowing… and you’re, well–HUNGRY!
While your new lifestyle is the talk among friends, you wonder if your leafy green journey is sustainable.
Arriving home to no food is getting old. And, of course, you haven’t trashed the cardboard box of processed junk in your pantry. So there’s that temptation. When you do eat, meals don’t stick to your belly.
You’re too busy.
Tired of spinach leaves.
And the hungry cow tummy rumbles.
Want to stay full, already? Need some easy solutions for extra busy days? With these hacks, I maintained my sanity and became a plant-based foodie. So can you!
Eat Nutritionally Dense Meals
In a busy world, it’s easy to cut corners and eat one-sided meals. These meals hit the spot for a sec, but aren’t balanced. A big
The body thrives on a balanced and varied intake of whole foods, from the rainbow of vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, tubers, unrefined grains, and fruit.
A Word about the Excess Carb Trap
While carbs are excellent and provide the body with energy (glycogen), they’re also the fastest food option for many. If this is all you eat (bread binging anyone? Been there!) you’ll do more harm to your body, than good. Starch overload can promote weight gain, constipation, and spike blood sugar levels, leaving you in a slump. Stay clear of this easy plant-based newbie pitfall.
As with all things, moderation is the name of the game. Carbs are good! But too much of a good thing can hurt you.
For the most nutritionally dense satisfaction, eat whole carbs versus refined carbs. Examples of whole carbs include vegetables, whole fruit, tubers, legumes, and whole grains (organic when possible).
Examples of refined carbs include white rice, pastries, or even “whole grain” cereals that are doused with added sugar and preservatives.
Also, eat healthy portions of protein and fat. These two macros keep you fuller for longer and send satiation signals to your brain. Protein is an essential building block of our bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. It also stabilizes blood sugar so you’re not in a slump after a meal. High-quality fats like omega 3’s promote a healthy heart and brain. Some of the latest research also suggests increasing healthy fats while reducing carbs, for even faster weight loss.
So, if we re-did a bowl of pasta for a more nutritionally dense meal, we’d:
- switch to a bean or high quality, whole carb pasta (e.g. red lentil pasta, quinoa, or brown rice)
- add more protein (e.g. tempeh, black beans, or hummus)
- add more fat (e.g. avocado or nuts)
- add antioxidant-packed veggies (e.g. broccoli, purple cabbage, or spinach)
This meal is a lot more nutritionally dense and will keep you full longer, versus a stand-alone bowl of pasta.
The next time you eat a meal, pay attention to variety. Be intentional. If you know you won’t have time to cook beans, freeze several batches when you do (check out this free bean fact sheet for more ideas). Combine selections from the rainbow of whole foods. Don’t skimp on protein and healthy fats. Satisfy your needs, and keep the growls at bay!
Stash A Smart Snack
When the unexpected comes up, fall back on a smart smack. Aim for snacks high in protein, that include
And totally make your own bar, by mixing up some dates, nuts, and seeds in a food processor! Roasted chickpeas, or an epic trail mix with coconut shreds, are also awesome options–and portable.
Pack Your Kitchen With Hungry Cow Staples
Arriving home to an empty fridge is stressful. The next time you shop, grab some fast, belly-moo relieving bites:
- Hummus with Siete Cassava Wraps or cucumbers (quick and easy)
- A yummy trail mix with nuts, seeds, dates–things that thrill plant-based warriors 😉
- Smoothies. Freeze fruit in ziplock bags for a delicious blend. Or turn it into a smoothie bowl, and top with fresh fruit, coconut shreds
- Speedy Guacamole. Chopped onions, cilantro, salt, lime, and avocado will do the trick. Love tomato? Throw that in too.
- Organic Lentil Pasta and Marinara Sauce. Top with chopped veggies and nutritional yeast flakes. Viola!
- Salad, topped with nuts and a crazy-good dressing. A mean salad paired with an amazing dressing will easily hit the spot (if you’re not on day three of salad that is ;)!
- Home-cooked meal. Freeze one (or more) of your home cooked meals, for a hungry cow day. You’ll be thankful you did!
Don’t be a hungry cow! Jump on over to greener grass and chow down on nutritionally dense, satiating meals, portable smart snacks, and low-prep belly growl essentials. You CAN do this!
Next time you’re at the store, stock up on quick and easy food options.
Think of some ways to incorporate more healthy fats into your meals.
What do you eat when you need something quick and healthy, to hit the spot? Comment below.
Tomorrow’s Game Changer–What to Do When You’re Seriously Craving Cheese! This was my biggest struggle and I’ll tell you exactly what to do about it.
Hey friend, I'm Mel!
I'm a certified holistic nutritionist, certified health coach, plant-based food instructor, and a certified personal trainer. My passion is helping people like you transition to a plant-based diet, with easy step-by-step strategies that work. I'm committed to empowering you to heal through a plant-based lifestyle so you can freely live out your God-given purpose and thrive. Let's start today!
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