Vegan Diet Plan for Beginners
by Freya •9 minutes read
Last updated: 24 Nov, 2022
Veganism is a lifestyle which seeks to avoid the exploitation of animals. A vegan does not consume, or use, any animal products including: meat, dairy, eggs, honey, leather, wool, animal-based ingredients, and products tested on animals.
Going vegan is one of the best things you can do for animals, the environment, and your health!
Benefits of a vegan diet
There are endless potential health benefits to adopting a vegan lifestyle:
Helps with weight loss
Lowers blood pressure
Lowers cholesterol levels
Lowers risk of heart disease
Reduces risk of diabetes type 2
Reduces pain from arthritis
Reduces risk of certain cancers, including colon cancer
What to include in your plant-based diet
As a vegan diet excludes animal products, it’s a common misconception that you cannot have a healthy diet that relies solely on plant-based foods. There is a whole new world of delicious food and flavours for you to try, which you can get all the necessary nutrients from - as long as you eat a varied and balanced diet!
|Fruit and Vegetables||Make sure to eat 5 portions of various fruit and vegetables each day|
|Starchy carbohydrates (preferably wholegrain)||Bread, rice, white or sweet potatoes (with skin) , oats, noodles, and pasta|
|Good sources of calcium||Fortified dairy alternatives such as dairy-free milks and yoghurts (low-fat and low-sugar where possible) - soya, pea, and oat|
|Meat substitutes - Tofu, tempeh|
|Green, leafy vegetables - Cabbage, okra, broccoli|
|Dried fruit - Raisins, figs, apricot, prunes|
|Good sources of protein||Beans - Chickpea, kidney|
|Pulses - Lentils|
|Meat substitutes - Tofu, tempeh|
|Good sources of iron||Pulses - beans, lentils, peas|
|Meat substitutes - Tofu, tempeh|
|Seeds - pumpkin, hemp, and chia|
|Wholemeal flour and bread|
|Fortified breakfast cereals|
|Dark green, leafy vegetables - Spring greens, broccoli, watercress|
|Dried fruits - prunes, figs, apricots|
|Omega-3 fatty acids||Seeds - Chia, shelled hemp|
|Oil - flaxseed (ground linseed), vegetable (rapeseed)|
|Nuts - walnuts|
|Fortified Foods or Supplements for Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D||Yeast extracts - nutritional yeast, marmite|
|Fortified breakfast cereals and dairy-free alternatives|
|Fluids||Make sure to drink 6-8 cups of water each day|
Remember: A vegan diet does not equate to weight loss. Regardless of which type of diet you choose to follow, weight loss and weight gain can only be achieved with the right amount of calories. Individuals should be consuming around 2000 calories a day, but this number varies depending on age, gender, weight, height, and how physically active you are. Using a BMR or TDEE calculator can be helpful when figuring out your optimum daily calorie intake.
It’s important to remember that this article is for informational purposes only - if you are specifically looking for a vegan weight loss meal plan, you should consult a registered dietician or healthcare provider for a more accurate assessment of your dietary needs.
To help make things easy for you, we’ve crafted a weekly meal plan which is both delicious and packed full of nutrients! Below you’ll find plant-based ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, including recipes for our favourite dishes.
Breakfast - Overnight Oats
½ cup rolled oats
½ cup non-dairy milk of your choice
Fresh or frozen fruit (blueberries, strawberries, banana, apple)
Nuts (walnuts or almonds)
Dates or raisins
Hemp or flax seeds
Combine the oats and non-dairy milk into a container of your choice and cover.
The oats can be either eaten cold or heated in the microwave for 1 minute.
Top with any of the optional toppings of your choice! It’s as easy as that!
Lunch - Moroccan Couscous Salad
Dinner - Pulled Jackfruit Burger
Snack - Salt & Chilli Edamame Beans
Breakfast - Tofu Scramble
Lunch - Lentil Bean Salad
Dinner - Vegetable Curry
2 medium potatoes
1 large carrot
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp curry powder
1 x tin chopped tomatoes
½ cube of vegetable stock with 300ml hot water
100g frozen peas or two large handfuls young spinach leaves (or a mixture)
Vegan plain yoghurt, to serve
Mango chutney, to serve
Peel the potatoes and carrots, cutting the potatoes into 2cm chunks and the carrots diagonally.
Fill a saucepan halfway with cold water and add the potatoes and carrots, bringing to the boil and cooking for 8 minutes.
Cut and halve the cauliflower into small florets, adding it to the saucepan and cooking for a further 2 minutes.
Drain the vegetables into a colander and set to the side.
Chop the onion finely.
Heat the oil in a large pan, adding the onion and cooking for 8 minutes until soft and lightly browned. Stir regularly.
Add the curry powder, continuously stirring and cooking for a further 30 seconds.
Add the tin of chopped tomatoes to the onions, cooking for 2–3 minutes, continuously stirring.
Add the stock into the pan, bringing to a gentle simmer.
Add the potatoes, carrots, and peas or spinach.
Simmer for 5 minutes, continuously stirring. If the sauce gets too thick, add a small amount of water
Serve hot with yoghurt and mango chutney.
Snack - Baked Kale Chips
Breakfast - Avocado on Toast
Lunch - Baba Ganoush
Dinner - Chickpea Tacos
Snack - Nutritional Yeast Popcorn
⅓ cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt (or more to taste)
3 tbsp coconut oil
½ cup popcorn kernels
Add the nutritional yeast and salt to a large container and cover. Place to the side.
Heat the oil in a saucepan, placing 3-4 individual kernels in the pan.
Once the kernels start popping, add the remaining kernels until they form a single layer on the bottom of the pan.
Cover the saucepan and shake it so that the kernels are coated with the oil.
Once the popcorn kernels start popping, shake the pan every 15-20 seconds to ensure the unpopped kernels fall to the bottom and prevent burning.
Once the popping has begun to slow down and the time between pops becomes longer, transfer the popcorn to the prepared food storage container.
Cover the container and shake for 10 seconds so that all the popcorn is covered in seasoning.
Serve warm and enjoy!
For those following a vegan diet, nutritional yeast needs to be a staple in your household cupboard- if you’re curious about other ways you can add nutritional yeast into your diet, check out our article!
Breakfast - Breakfast Potatoes
Lunch - Zucchini Corn Fritters
Dinner - Three-Bean Vegan Chilli
1 red onion
1 red pepper
3 cloves garlic
2 large carrots
1 large courgette
2 400g chopped tomatoes tins
3 tbsp tomato purée
1 400g tin borlotti beans
1 400g tin kidney beans
1 400g tin black beans
1 cup vegetable stock
2 tsp mixed herbs
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 325g tin sweetcorn
1 cup brown rice
Fry the onion and pepper in a large pot with some olive oil for 3-4 minutes.
Add the garlic, carrots, and courgette, continuing to fry for 2-3 minutes until it is soft.
Add and mix together the chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, beans, vegetable stock, mixed herbs, and spices.
Leave to simmer over a low heat for about 90 minutes, until it is thick.
Prepare the rice by mixing it in a saucepan with 6 cups of water, bringing to a boil. Leave uncovered for 30 minutes and then drain any excess water. Cover the pot, off the heat, for 10 minutes before serving.
Add the sweetcorn and continue simmering for a further 5 minutes.
Serve with brown rice and sliced avocado.
Snack - Tomato Bruschetta
Breakfast - Smoothie Bowl
Lunch - Smoky Maple Tofu Sandwich
Ingredients for the marinade:
Firm or extra-firm tofu
Soy or tamari sauce
Ground black pepper
Optional - hot sauce
Bread of your choice
Thousand island dressing
Cut the tofu into equal slices.
Soak the tofu in the marinade.
Bake the marinated tofu
In the meantime, coat your bread with spread.
Add the tomato and lettuce.
Take the tofu out of the oven and layer the crispy slices on top of your sandwich.
Top with avocado, cucumber, and sprouts.
Dinner - Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
Snack - Vegan Sausage Rolls
Breakfast - Hash Bowl
Lunch - Bean Burrito
Dinner - Vegan Pepperoni Pizza
Snack - Carrot and Cucumber with Hummus
Breakfast - Chickpea Flour Pancakes
Lunch - Vegan Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Dinner - Peanut Butter Noodles with Tofu
Snack - Vegan Jerky
We aim to always give appropriate credit to our reference sources and image authors. Contact us if you think a credit may be incorrect or you're an author and would like to request removal.