To get enough nutrients on a plant-based diet, it is pretty important to get enough leafy greens in. This is how I accomplish that.
I make sure that my body never misses out on the rich supply of nutrients these two meals have in them, so I eat these every day for breakfast and lunch. This also helps me eat a raw-till-4 diet which provides me with a majority of my calories from raw, uncooked plant-based foods during the day while giving me a deliciously comforting cooked meal to enjoy at night.
Blueberry Kale Smoothie
4 cups kale, 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1 cup frozen banana, 1 tablespoon flaxseed or chia seeds, overnight oats (1/2 cup dry, soaked in 1/2 cup water), 1 scoop vegan protein powder
Tastes great. You can easily see the reason I choose this recipe from its high nutrient content; most importantly are the antioxidants: 174% of omega 3 fatty acids, nearly 100% calcium and magnesium, over 100% vitamin C, iron, significant amounts of B vitamins vitamin K, potassium, zinc
551 calories, 34 g protein (68% of recommended daily requirement), 98 g carbohydrates, 20 g fiber (100% daily requirement), 8 g fat (175% RDA Omega 3, 11% RDA Omega 6), 0 g cholesterol, 0 g transfats, 0 g saturated fat
Minerals – 99% Calcium 594 mg (plant-based calcium is more absorbable and, therefore, counts for double), 96% Magnesium 307 mg, 125% iron 10 mg, 174% manganese 3 mg, 100% copper 0.9 mg, 43% phosphorous 300 mg, 39% potassium 1,825 mg, 22% sodium 332 mg (based on the healthiest guidelines), 17% zinc 2.1
Vitamins – 486% Vitamin C 364 mg, 61% vitamin A according to the true retinol activity equivalent (RAE) 424 mcg (plant-based vitamin A in RAE that is recommended for women is 700 mcg), 43% Vitamin K1 39 mcg, Vitamin Bs: 36% B1 0.4 mg, 33% B2 0.4 mg, 41% B5 5.7 mg, 80% B6 1.2 mg, 7% choline 32 mg, 30% folate 121 mg, vitamin 9% E 1.3 mg
My reason for eating a tossed salad is because salads are so filling and satisfying. It also helps me to get more leafy greens and raw vegetables into my diet. I use 3 cups of romaine lettuce, one tomato, half a large cucumber and green pepper, some croutons, and Italian dressing.
My biggest problem here is finding a salad dressing that doesn’t have too much fat or sodium. My favorite dressing also has a few other bad things in it, like cheese and vegetable oil, but it is the only one that makes my salad the most enjoyable. So, for a time I was putting up with it (Olive Garden Lite Italian). That was, until I ate it before bed and got a raging case of acid reflux! I was surprised by that. Too spicy, maybe? I am still in the process of finding a good salad dressing.
240 calories, 34 g carbohydrates, 11% protein 5 g, 8 g fiber, 9 g fat, 18% omega 3, 6% omega 6, 1.2 g saturated fat, 1 g transfat
Minerals – 20% calcium 120 mg, 34% copper 0.3 g, 39% iron 3 mg, 23% magnesium 75 mg, 44% manganese 0.8 mg, 44% phosphorous 160 mg, 24% potassium 1105 mg, 75% sodium 1123 mg (at the healthiest levels of 1,500 mg/day), 10% zinc 1 mg
Vitamins – Vitamin A retinol activity 690 mg (almost 100%), 164% vitamin C 124 mg, 186% vitamin K 167 mcg, vitamin Bs: 24% B1 0.3 mg, 17% B2 0.2 mg, 17% B3 2.4 mg, 23% B5 1.2 mg, 27% B6 0.4 mg, 67% folate 269 mcg, 10% choline 42 mg
Lots of Different Approaches
Do you have to eat a high number of your calories from raw foods if you go plant-based? No. That isn’t necessary. Lots of people eat a muffin or oatmeal in the morning, a veggie hoagie and chips for lunch, and pasta for dinner and popcorn for a snack a night. But without the addition of some vegetables and fruit, you will be missing out on very important nutrients. So that is why, as a bare minimum, I’d at least try to get a green smoothie in every day. Add to that some cooked veggies and a couple more servings of fruit and you will be good to go. Otherwise, those foods that tend to satisfy our mouths will keep us full enough to skip out on the nutrients. I don’t think you’ll have a problem getting in enough of those!
Here are some suggestions for easy, no-recipe, plant-based meals:
Go here to learn more about intermittent fasting, another strategy I use for weight loss:
To understand how to get a good ratio of raw to cooked calories, check this out:
Copyright Tracey Porter Nelson January 17, 2017
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