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Healthy Vegan Meal Planning: How to Plan Nutritious & Delicious Meals | Soul in the RawVegan meal planning is absolutely essential to eat a healthy plant-based diet. While you can choose to pick meals based on the “vegan” criteria alone, this will not necessarily mean that your meals will have optimal nutrition or great flavor.

This post is all about why it’s so important that you plan your vegan meals, and two important steps to doing so: considering all the nutrients you need to eat daily and choosing the types of meals to eat that will include those nutrients, and taste great to you.

Get started easily by downloading the 2-week whole food, plant-based meal plan, and grocery list. It is packed with delicious recipes you can try out, allowing you to choose favorites to experiment with.

Get Started with the 2 Week, Whole Food Plant-Based Meal Plan and Grocery List

Make vegan meal planning super easy by trying out these delicious and nutritious vegan meals:

Vegan Meal Planning: Two Important Points

When approaching vegan meal planning, there are two things I want you to know first. They may seem very contradictory, but they actually go together well. They are:

 Eating plant-based does not mean that you need to pay extra attention to what you eat, just because it is plant-based food.

 Eating requires paying extra attention what you eat.

Let me explain.

Vegan Meal Planning: Why You Shouldn’t Just Eat Vegan

There is a common myth that a vegan diet is inherently deficient in vital nutrients and that if you are to choose a vegan diet, you have to make absolutely sure that you are getting all those nutrients. According to this myth, making sure of this requires being insanely meticulous about what you eat. It also requires spending many hours planning out your meals, a number of hours that is not even feasible for most people.

This is a myth.

A plant-based diet has been scientifically proven to be superior to any other way of eating, and eating plant-based has been shown to raise vitamin intake and overall nutrition, as compared to a standard diet, which includes animal products.

At the same time, if you are not well-versed in nutrition, and eat everything, as long as it is vegan, this will not necessarily make for a healthy diet.

If you eat anything and everything that is considered “vegan” without actually having a plan, you can run into a few important issues:

 You can be nutrient-deficient (but not more than any other diet, if you follow the same practice of eating without planning…)

 The food bill may turn out to be very expensive (but again, not more than for any other diet).

 You may not like the flavor of your meals so much.

But there is a way to get the best of all worlds: eat a very healthy diet, save money, AND enjoy your food. And that is by choosing to eat plant-based, and actually following a plan when doing so.

The following are a few things to consider when you are putting your vegan meal plan together.

Vegan Meal Planning: Nutrients to Consider

There are many important nutrients to pay attention to when you are vegan meal planning. Try to incorporate these every day, but don’t stress about it too much. Remember that our bodies are adaptable and very smart – therefore, it is sufficient to get most of your nutrients daily (and not every single one, every single day).

Some of the nutrients to consider when doing your vegan meal planning, and some the foods you can get them from, include:

 Iron – legumes like lentils, whole grains like quinoa, pumpkin seeds and other nuts and seeds, collards, Swiss chard, and blackstrap molasses.

 Calcium – low-oxalate dark leafy greens like collards, mustard greens, kale, bok choy, and many other vegetables, whole grains, and beans.

 Iodine – easily found in seaweed, such as nori, dulse, and wakame, but make sure not to overdose on it.

 Zinc – it’s pretty easy to get zinc on a plant-based diet; sources include tempeh, legumes, nuts, and oats.

 Fats and Omega-3 – flax seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. It’s important to avoid eating oils, and stick to whole sources of fat, in order to get enough omega-3’s in your diet. Don’t forget to also include other whole fats to make sure you are absorbing fat-soluble nutrients. I love these pure nut and seed butters in my salad dressings (grab them for 10% OFF with code SOULRAW10 here; my favorites are the cashew butter and sprouted almond)!

 Vitamin A – many orange-colored vegetables, like carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and more.

 Selenium – very easy to get by eating 1-2 Brazil nuts a day.

The most important thing to remember with regards to getting all your nutrients is to stick to whole, plant foods. This includes foods that are not refined or processed (or very little processed foods), and of course, removing animal products from your diet.

If you’re feeling intimidated by this, just remember that plant foods include a massive variety of delicious, colorful, and exciting foods, many of which you probably have not even had a chance to discover yet! So get excited, and start exploring!

Vegan Meal Planning: Supplements

Be sure to also spend an ample amount of time in the sun (this depends on your skin tone and location in the world), or take a vitamin D supplement, as well as always take a vitamin B12 cyanocobalamin supplement suitable for vegans.

I teach the exhaustive and in-depth list (as well as the food sources) in my online program, Deliciously Planty, which you can download here.

Now, let’s explore the next step of actually putting together a list of meals that include all of these foods and nutrients.

Vegan Meal Planning: Types of Meals

Once you are more aware of the nutrients to incorporate into your daily meals, you can move on to the second step: considering the types of meals to make.

Meal choices will be very individual because each of us has his or her own preferences for meal types.

On a high-raw vegan diet, here are some meal types I recommend:

 Breakfast: smoothies, smoothie bowls, chia pudding, fruit mono meal

 Lunch: same as above

 Dinner: salads, Buddha bowls, pasta, pizza, wraps (including sushi, collard wraps, lettuce wraps, and more), soups, stews, and more!

Discovering which meals you love and which meals are your favorites in texture and flavor takes practice – and this is the fun part! You can easily cover the majority of your daily nutrients with these healthy, delicious meals.

You can also choose to do some meal prep for your meals – meaning, preparing parts of these meals ahead of time during a given day, for the whole week. This makes preparing meals during the week a breeze!

Check out my in-depth to meal prep here, and a practical example here.

Get Started on Vegan Meal Planning Easily

A great way to start with exploring your favorite meals and flavors is with Deliciously Planty.

In this 1-month meal plan, I provide weekly grocery lists, meal prep guides, and whole food plant-based meal plans that are nutritionally balanced – so you don’t have to worry about doing all the in-depth planning!

I also provide you with a 4-week video mini-course, where you can learn the in-depth details of ultimate meal planning for nutrition and flavor. The mini-course includes lessons on all nutrients you must include in your diet, food sources of those nutrients, and how to put together meals that include those foods.

Deliciously Planty makes the whole food plant based diet so easy – all you have left to do is enjoy delicious food!

Do you meal plan? What are some of your favorite meals to make? Comment below and share with the Raw Souls community! 

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Marina Yanay-Triner is a wellness coach and recipe developer through Soul in the Raw. Marina creates easy and delicious vegan recipes and writes about the health benefits of a plant-based diet, focusing on evidence-based nutrition information. She loves to help clients go and stick to plant based eating through her powerful coaching program, combining nutrition and cooking education along with transformational mindset work. Marina adopted a whole food, plant based lifestyle over 7 years ago, inspired by her mother's incredible healing story of reversing a crippling bladder disease. She has reversed PMS symptoms and encourage emotional healing from trauma as a result of this transition. Marina is incredibly passionate about the vegan diet for human health, animal welfare, and the well-being of our planet, all of which she envisions as co-dependent.