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A Healthy Day in the Life…

I’ve been getting a funny question rather frequently lately… What does a typical day of meals/snacks look like for me?

I suppose it isn’t that funny since I’ve made no secret about the fact that I’ve transitioned to eating mainly whole, plant foods, and have also cut out pretty much all added sugar. Not exactly the Standard American Diet. But since I’ve been doing this for over a year now, it has become second nature and the question of what to eat seems rather obvious to me. What I’m realizing, though, is that many people know this is a “healthy” way to eat… and yet have no idea what it looks like to actually do it.

“There’s added sugar in ketchup? Well then what do you dip your tater tots in? You don’t eat tater tots? So you’re saying you pick those out of your Sonic breakfast burritos? Wait… HOLD UP… You make your breakfast every day? Lunch and dinner too? What the heck do you eat?”

That line of questioning is a pretty accurate representation of what I hear quite often. So I thought I’d shed some light! But before I do… If you’re new around here and already think I’ve gone off the deep end, go read this post! I wrote it earlier this year to answer some commonly asked questions about plant-based eating. (Questions such as, “Why in the world???”)

Ok, now that you’re back and you know ALL about how plant-based eating protects you from cancer, and lowers your cholesterol, and raises your energy, and fortifies your gut with healthy bacteria, and makes you look good to boot… here’s what it looks like in the Casey Household.

Breakfast might be:

>>All-Natural Granola (with raw almonds and sunflower kernels added in!)

>>Steel-Cut Oats (with lots of added seeds and a pinch of dried fruit)

>>Ezekiel Toast with Avocado and Chia Seeds

>>Green Smoothie (or Chocolate Green Smoothie!)

>>A “Flat-Out” Wrap with natural peanut butter and banana

>>A Mocha (this is a splurge!)

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Healthy vegan breakfast

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Some notes about breakfast… Y’all, Ezekiel bread is the bomb. It is so good for you!  Sprouted grains are much easier for your body to digest… and bonus: for some reason, Ezekiel bread makes the BEST toast!  Another breakfast tip, I consider myself a winner on any day I’m able to squeak some veggies into my breakfast. Make that a goal as much as possible!

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Common for Lunchtime:

>>A hummus/veggie “Flat-Out” wrap (Raw broccoli slaw is so quick and easy to use and it is thebomb.com for your gut health!)

>>Hummus + Carrots and a handful of raw almonds

>>Quinoa Greek Salad, or simply a “Random Quinoa Hodgepodge” (Quinoa with fixins’ like steamed frozen veggies, herbs, and maybe a dollop of pesto)

>>Leftovers! (With extra veggies from the freezer added in)

>>A BIG tasty salad!

>>Sometimes I eat a smoothie for lunch as well, if I didn’t have one for breakfast

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Healthy Plant-Based Lunch Ideas

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Notes about lunch… I make it my goal to base the entire meal around veggies.  For most people, this is the complete opposite of what they do (basing their meals around a meat and a starch.)  I consider meat, dairy, and anything processed to be more of a “condiment” to my larger meal, which I aim to construct from as big a variety of veggies as I can.  And they don’t always have to be fresh!! Frozen veggies are a regular go-to for me.  Today, for instance, I microwaved a bowl of frozen black-eyed-peas and frozen chopped broccoli, and mixed in a few spoonfuls of Black Bean & Corn Salsa to spice it up!  It was delicious and it was literally ready in two minutes.

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And for Dinner:

This is trickier because I’m cooking for our whole family.  Some days I’m able to set aside time to cook, and other days we’re just scrounging the cupboards.  That’s just the honest truth.  But regardless of the level of effort I’m able to devote, I keep it as healthy as possible!

On a busy night, I might pull the Quinoa HodgePodge, Hummus/Veggie Wrap, or Green Smoothie maneuver again.

On a night where I’m putting forth some effort…

>>Vegan Chili

>>Sarah Britton’s Big Comfy Sweet Potatoes

>>Lentil Shepherds Pie

>>Romesco Pasta Bake (Cheese Optional)

>>Quinoa Taco Bake (Cheese Optional)

>>Spaghetti Squash with Pesto

>>Cozy Vegetable Pasta Soup

>>Wild Rice, Kale, & Mushroom Casserole

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Healthy Plant-Based Dinner Ideas

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Some notes about dinner... First off, that gorgeous bowl of Quinoa, Kale, and Fried Egg was photographed by Natalie Borton, who blogs over at Thoughts by Natalie!  Secondly, I would strongly encourage you to go to my Cleansing Recipes Board on Pinterest and make those recipes!  They are amazingly delicious and so very healthy.  I never knew how delicious plant-based eating could be before!  And my husband agrees, which is saying something.  He grew up a typical, American, sugar-lovin’ kid who ate roast beef on Sundays.  And he LOVES the way I cook for our family!  (And I’ll also point out that he’s a body builder.  Eating this way gives him awesome energy!  He does use protein supplements after his workouts, although I’ve tried to convince him to drink egg whites mixed with pumpkin puree.  He hasn’t gone for that… yet.)

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Last but not least!

Dessert and/or Snack:

>>Black Bean Fudge Cookies

>>Tofu Chocolate Mousse

>>Popped Sorghum

>>Fresh veggies with hummus or Green Goddess Dip

>>Crockpot Pear Sauce

>>Decaf Mocha or Superfood Haute Chocolate

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Healthy Plant-Based Snacks and Desserts

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Notes about snacking… I am a major night-owl, so I almost always have a snack between dinner and bed.  But I do make a concerted effort not to go to bed with a full stomach.  I haven’t always been that way, but I think that because I’m truly happy with the way I eat right now (I enjoy it and I don’t feel deprived!)… it’s easier to avoid junk food binges.  I also take natural supplements which I believe help with that a great deal. I’m not going to list them out here, but you are welcome to message me via my Contact Form if you are curious to know more about those!

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I hope these ideas help you feel more confident that a healthy lifestyle IS within your grasp!  It can be delicious and it can even be quick and easy.  Most importantly, it is the best possible thing you can do to prevent and reverse disease and take care of your body.

Happy, healthy days ahead!

XO- Carissa

8 Responses so far.

  1. Michelle says:

    I would like to know more about the specific supplements you find helpful! Thanks!

  2. Debbie Baird says:

    Carissa, your meal plans and recipes look fantastic! I will definitely try some of them. I’m wondering if you use flax in your meal routine. If so, do you have any tips to share?

  3. Mandy says:

    I love this. I just feel overwhelmed on how to afford and fill up my three hungry boys. (Hubby bring one of them) also, I’m pretty certain my kids won’t eat the majority of this. I so want to change to this but it stresses me out!

    • Carissa says:

      Most of these foods my daughter loves, but we started with her very early in life. It is very hard to undo food habits in kiddos, but it CAN be done. I recommend checking out the blog teachinggoodeaters.blogspot.com for tips on getting your kids to eat healthier… it is such a helpful and practical blog!! As for cost- I have found that meat and dairy were some of the most EXPENSIVE items I was putting into my cart before. So trading those out for nuts, beans, quinoa, frozen veggies, whole grains, and other filling plant foods has not changed our budget much at all! That’s the only trick… you can’t do both (buy all the meat and cheese AND the fresh plant foods you want) or it WILL be too expensive.

  4. Mallory says:

    Is the broccoli slaw something you buy or make? Also do you feel like your appetite has decreased a whole bunch since starting this diet regimen? It seems to me like it would be hard to feel full from a meal mostly consisting of veggies! Is it??

    • Carissa says:

      I thought the same thing, but a plant-based diet can be very filling! And most veggies are already a perfect balance of carbs, protein and fat! (Oh and I buy this broccoli slaw already shredded in the kroger produce section.)

  5. Mila says:

    It kills me how people insist on all the benefits of vegetarian diet inspite of lack if scientific evidence, an how health-minded, wholesome omnivore diet is dismissed as a healthy choice.