What Do I Eat?
Many people ask me what I eat in a day while eating a plant-based diet and want to know what my typical day looks like in terms of food. The truth is, it’s always different but is pretty similar day-to-day. In short, I eat a plant-based diet full of nourishing plant foods and rich in nutrition. You can read my story here of how I got here by reading my health journey here.
I discovered this way of living through a period of 5-10 years–not overnight, and over the years my diet has changed significantly based on my body’s health needs and changes. I offer a variety of recipes here on this blog and simply hope to share with others the benefits of eating more plant-based foods in their whole, healthiest form with others no matter what type of diet they (you) may eat!
Plant-based diets have been scientifically proven for decades to reverse and prevent heart disease, many types of cancer, and type 2 diabetes. They’ve also been shown to treat Crohn’s disease, chronic inflammation, colitis, gastritis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), high cholesterol, depression, autoimmune disorders, lower the risks and symptoms of type 1 diabetes, and much more (See my Resources page for some of my favorite books and sources.).
In short, plants are amazing! The more we eat of them, the better off we are. Plus, they’re so full of color and life!
Plant-based food production can also help save our planet! It requires dramatically less land and water than animal production does, can help eliminate the need for deforestation due to the fact that animal agriculture is the leading reason for it, it emits fewer greenhouse gases, and even conserves the world’s resources for future generations.
Eating a plant-based diet has also done wonders for my focus, energy, skin, and overall health, unsurprisingly. It has truly transformed me emotionally and physically in ways I never thought possible, especially regarding my relationship with–and my appreciation for–real whole food, my health, my body, animals, and the planet we are so blessed to be able to call our temporary home.
Where I Shop and How I Budget:
There’s no truth to the myth that it’s hard to eat healthy and plant-based while maintaining a budget; I main a strict one every single week and still have a fridge, freezer, and pantry full of healthy, whole foods. I also clip coupons weekly, use savings apps, and I check store sales both in-store and online to save even more money. I simply prioritize buying and eating real food without chemicals, preservatives, and artificial ingredients.
Some of my staple foods are oats, wild rice, sweet potatoes, lots of frozen berries and other frozen fruits, frozen veggies, greens, fresh fruits such as apples, pears, oranges, and pineapple, yogurt, protein and iron-rich lentils, raw nuts and raw nut butter, chia and flax seeds for omega-3’s
I normally shop at Target or Walmart each week, online at Vitacost or Amazon (where dry goods are normally much cheaper), and I love to shop for organic foods as much as possible. Whole Foods’ 365 brand (naturally GMO-free and often organic) is often just as cheap as Walmart on many items, believe it or not, so if I get a chance to splurge for a trip to Whole Foods, I definitely will. Trader Joe’s and Costco are also great places to save money on healthy, organic, whole foods. I personally love Target’s Simply Balanced line of fruits and vegetables (especially their frozen options) along with Walmart’s organic Great Value line. I also shop online for dry goods where I can often get better deals and discounts.
What You’ll Find in My Kitchen Most Days:
- Wild Blueberries (frozen)
- Tomatoes (Grape and Roma)*
- Cucumbers (English, seedless)*
- Mixed Berries* (frozen)
- Frozen dark cherries*
- Frozen tropical fruit blends
- Unsweetened, frozen acai packs (in stores and online)
- Pineapple (fresh and frozen)
- Medjool dates
- Goji berries
- Romaine Lettuce*
- Green leaf lettuce/Butter lettuce*
- Frozen collard greens/kale*
- Baby kale*
- Artichoke hearts (frozen, I find these at Whole Foods or Walmart)
- Red Bell Peppers*
- Frozen Cauliflower
- Winter Squash (butternut, acorn, kabocha)
- Turnips (for soup, sometimes)
- Pumpkin (canned, unsweetened, plain pumpkin)
- Sweet potatoes*
Note: All items marked with * tend to be extremely high in pesticides in conventional form, so I try at all times to buy these organic and would advise others to do the same as they can afford them. Please see the Dirty Dozen list for more info.
Healthy Fats (moderate use)
- Flax meal/ground golden flax
- Chia seeds
- Raw hemp seeds
- *Raw* nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, etc.)
- *Raw* nut butter (Artisana is my favorite brand)
Note: *I don’t eat a lot of nuts or avocados for digestive reasons, but they are incredibly healthy sources of fats used in moderation. I do make sure to eat several tablespoons of raw hemp, chia, and flax seeds daily for plant-based omega-3 fats, though. All seeds are incredible sources of iron, protein, and magnesium not to mention great for the skin, hair, and nails; it’s just important to consume them raw since their healthy fats are delicate. The same goes with raw nuts and nut butter; use them raw whenever possible to preserve their healthy fats.
- Rolled oats (gluten-free and regular) – my favorite whole grain!
- Hot Buckwheat Cereal (grain-free, but cooks like a grain and has similar nutrition to grains but is a complete protein and high in antioxidants)
- Hot Kamut Cereal (Kamut is really easy to digest and is an ancient form of wheat that is high in nutrition if you tolerate wheat–always buy organic.)
- Oat Bran
- Wild Rice
- Brown Rice
- Quinoa flakes
- Barley flakes
- Whole grain rye flakes
- Farro (ancient whole wheat that is easy to digest)
My Favorite Protein Sources:
- For my smoothies: Vega One Nutritional Shake – (Mocha, French Vanilla, and Chocolate are my favorite flavors.) – This is my current favorite protein/nutritional product that I’ve been using for over 5 years because it’s made from whole foods, superfoods, plant protein, and has no harmful additives or ingredients upset my digestion. I use Vega One for smoothies, shakes, and smoothie bowls and just love it. Most of the ingredients are raw and organic, are all non-GMO, and are ethically and environmentally-sourced as well.
- Chia seeds, flax, and hemp seeds (great sources of complete protein, magnesium, iron, and omega-3 fats!)
- Whole grains/Ancient Grains/Seeds (Oats, Millet, Barley, Rye, Quinoa, Buckwheat, Kamut, Amaranth, etc.)
- Red split lentils, other lentils, and split chickpeas (I like and tolerate these better than beans)
- Organic soy yogurt (various varieties/brands) – also a great source of probiotics for gut health
- Vegetables and Greens (yes, they have protein!)
- applesauce or chopped apples
- No added sugar apple butter – or my homemade version!*
- 100% Just Fruit jam
- Medjool dates, organic figs, raisins, and/or plums (prunes)
- Mashed banana
- Any fruit!
- Vanilla bean powder
- Pure, organic maple syrup-(in moderation) in oatmeal/porridge, smoothies, desserts, baking, etc. * This is my favorite plant-based, whole food sweetener of choice aside from fruit!
- Blackstrap Molasses- (for holiday baking)- Blackstrap molasses is a great source of iron, calcium, and potassium, so I use this sometimes in small amounts in baking during the holidays but not daily or on a regular basis since it’s still a source of concentrated added sugar.
- Pure Liquid Stevia– in moderation – I only use stevia without fillers and that is certified non-GMO and/or organic. I prefer the liquid variety due to the purity of the product (less processed and organic) and because it’s easier to use. Sweetleaf is my favorite brand since it’s alcohol-free and glycerin-free (glycerin is made from vegetable oil or animal fat).
Whole Food Egg Alternatives:
*These will work well in (most) recipes, especially for baking muffins, cupcakes, pancakes, bread, etc.
- *Psyllium husk powder– 1 tbsp. psyllium + 1 tbsp. water = same as 1 egg
- Flax meal= 1 tbsp. flax and 3 tbsp. water = same as 1 egg
- Canned pumpkin or butternut squash (1/4 cup will replace 1 egg)
- Mashed bananas (1/4 cup will replace 1 egg)
- Nut butter -1 tbsp. = 1 egg
- Chia seeds – 1 egg = 1 tbsp. chia seeds and 3 tbsp. water = same as 1 egg
Note: You can always add 1/2 -1 tsp. baking powder and a touch of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar to a recipe to make baked goods rise better, (just like egg whites do), too. The vinegar flavor cooks off and simply helps the recipe rise and bind together like eggs when combined with baking soda or baking powder.
- Simply Organic herbs and spices (cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, cardamom, coriander, cloves, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, sage, pepper, cilantro, parsley, oregano)
- Frontier Naturals/Organic herbs and spices (all!)
- Apple cider vinegar (raw, with the Mother) – I also use this as a health tonic; it can also be used as a healthy salad dressing or to help baked goods rise without yeast and/or eggs
- Fresh ginger root
- Fresh herbs (sage, oregano, mint, parsley, and cilantro are my favorites)
- Fresh lemon and lime
- Vanilla bean powder
- Peppermint essential oil
- Raw organic cacao powder (also a great source of minerals including iron and magnesium, vitamins, and essential amino acids)
- Organic Miso paste – Low Sodium varieties (Shiro Miso, Sweet White/Mellow Miso) – an excellent source of probiotics and adds a great flavor to foods – See my Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Miso Dressing, for example!
I *love* superfoods and use them every single day. These incredible foods have made such a difference in my health and skin over the last 10 years since I’ve been using them. They are by no means necessary for everyone, but for me, they are staples I use daily in small amounts. I’ve listed my favorites down below along with my favorite brands that I buy.
I’m always exploring new options and trying ones out to see which superfoods are worth adding to my routine. I use them daily in a smoothie and some of them I will use in oatmeal/porridge. Keep in mind, these last a long, long time because you only use so little of them at a time. I typically have to restock my supply every 60-90 days on a rotational basis.
- Raw acai powder (Navitas Organics is my favorite)
- Raw acai purée (Amafruits is my favorite brand and I order it online.)
- Raw maqui powder (Sunfood and Navitas Organics brand)
- Raw camu camu – Great for beauty (skin) and for mood health; high in vitamin C and antioxidants – (Sunfood and Navitas Organics brand)
- Raw cacao powder – Great source of iron, highest amount of antioxidants of all foods, incredible source of fiber, zinc, copper, and mood-boosting components, great for heart health and brain health
- Sun Potion Tocos – Excellent source of vitamin E, a great source of fiber and healthy lipids that nourish the skin, hair, and nails along with the brain and heart – Tocos is short for tocotrienols and is made from stabilized, raw rice bran solubles. It contains no added oil, sugar, or other ingredients.
- Raw maca powder (Navitas Organics is my favorite brand)
- Vega Chlorella – Helps with daily detox, total body cleanser, great source of iron, high in chlorophyll, excellent for combatting sugar cravings
- Amazing Grass Green Superfood Powder (plain,berry, and chocolate) – I’ve been using this product for over 10 years and love it so much! Amazing Grass is one of my favorite brands and this superfood powder is excellent for digestion, healing, and overall skin health.
- Vega One (as mentioned above) – Full of all the top superfoods along with plant-based protein, digestive enzymes, and vegan sources of probiotics. I use this every single day (normally 1/2 a scoop) in smoothies.
- Raw chia seeds – Highest source of omega-3 fatty acid of all plant foods, a great source of iron, calcium, and magnesium – Excellent for skin, hair, and nail health, plus they’re packed with fiber!
- Raw hemp seeds – Great source of iron, magnesium, omega-3s and 6’s that support hormone and brain health, easy to digest source of plant-based protein
- Spirulina powder – I only use Nutrex-Hawaii brand. Their spirulina is the highest-quality on the market and they’re the only company I trust with this type of product. I’ve been using this for 10 years for optimal skin, brain, and digestive health.
- Goji Berries – (Navitas Organics)
- Sunfood Bee Pollen – Great for skin, mood, and digestive health, high in amino acids and immunity-boosting properties – Sunfood is the best brand of bee pollen on the market, in my opinion.
Miscellaneous: Beverages, Baking Items, Etc.
- Unsweetened almond milk (Silk and So Delicious brands) – Unlike many people, I actually prefer storebought to homemade almond milk for flavor, convenience, and price, but when I have time, I will sometimes make homemade just for kicks–or if I have some raw almonds lying around the house. You can also see my raw oat milk, quick and easy raw cashew milk, and raw sunflower seed milk for more homemade non-dairy milk recipes. 🙂
- Unsweetened or light soy milk (I love Silk brand since it tastes great and is non-GMO; they also offer organic options.)
- Coconut flour, oat flour (homemade), quinoa flour, and buckwheat flour for baking
- Herbal tea (varies)
- regular green tea
- Crio Brü roasted cocoa beans- This is one of my favorite products ever! It’s simply roasted cocoa beans (no sugar) that you brew just like you do/would coffee! You can also use it to make your own homemade cocoa. I use Crio Brü daily with my organic coffee and use a mixture of 1/2 Crio Brü and 1/2 coffee grounds before brewing to make my own homemade mocha. 🙂
- Puroast Organic Coffee (Low-Acid, High Antioxidant Coffee)
- Organic Matcha Green Te
- Organic Yerba Maté tea – excellent source of energy, antioxidants, and is great for digestive health
See all my recipes here where I use many of my favorite kitchen items.
What about supplements? I don’t recommend a public list here on my blog for legal reasons and because I feel supplements are very individualized and often overused although very useful when appropriate. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like personalized help/direction with supplement advice.
Got questions? Leave a comment below, or email me, I’d be happy to help!
*This page contains Amazon affiliate links to products I love, use, and recommend. This list is not endorsed by any company but based off my own personal favorite foods. Please see my disclosure policy for more.