Have you been thinking about going plant-based but don’t know where to start? Transitioning to a plant-based diet can be challenging when you’re unsure of what to eat and how to prepare balanced meals. That’s why we’ve put together this dietitian-approved 7-day plant-based meal plan for you. For the next week, you’ll enjoy delicious and satisfying plant-based breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks that provide all the nutrients you need.
No more guessing or worrying about whether you’re getting enough protein or certain vitamins and minerals. Just follow this plan and you’ll feel confident you’re eating healthy, delicious, and sustainable plant-based meals. Ready to give it a try? Let’s get cooking!
An Introduction to a 7 Day Plant-Based Meal Plan
A 7 day plant-based meal plan is the perfect way to try out a meat-free diet. Here’s an introduction to get you started:
To begin, stock up on plant-based staples like beans, lentils, nuts, and whole grains. These provide protein and healthy fats to keep you full. Next, load up on fresh produce like leafy greens, broccoli, tomatoes, and mushrooms. Aim for 7-10 servings of fruit and veggies per day for essential vitamins and minerals.
For breakfast, try oatmeal with bananas and nuts or a smoothie with greens, fruit, and nut milk. At lunch, have a hearty salad, veggie wrap, or lentil soup. For dinner, choose from options like veggie fajitas with rice and beans, mushroom risotto, chickpea curry over rice, or black bean burgers with sweet potato fries.
Snack on hummus and veggie sticks, trail mix, fresh or dried fruit, nut butter with apples or rice cakes. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and consider plant-based milk alternatives like almond or oat milk.
With some simple swaps and new recipes, you’ll discover lots of delicious meat-free meals. A balanced plant-based diet can reduce your risk of disease and promote health and well-being. Give this 7 day plan a try – you might just find yourself sticking with it long after the week is over!
Benefits of Following a Plant-Based Diet
A plant-based diet has some major benefits for your health and the planet.
Improved Heart Health
Eating more plant-based foods and less meat has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. A diet high in fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes can help lower high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, two major contributors to heart disease.
Lower Risk of Disease
Following a plant-based diet can help reduce the risk of other chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, stroke and some cancers. Plant foods are high in fiber, antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds that can help reduce inflammation in the body and may have anti-cancer effects.
Better for the Environment
Choosing a plant-based diet is better for the environment because industrial meat production strains natural resources and contributes to deforestation. In contrast, plant foods require fewer crops and less land, water and fossil fuels to produce compared to meat. By following a plant-based diet, you can reduce your carbon footprint and help create a sustainable food system.
Plant-based diets tend to be high in fiber and water, yet moderate in calories, which can aid weight loss and maintenance. Plant foods give you more volume and satiety without excess calories. Studies show people following vegetarian and vegan diets tend to have lower body weights and risk of obesity compared to those following non-vegetarian diets.
A balanced plant-based diet can provide all the nutrients you need to thrive. Give it a try – your health and the planet will thank you!
Plant-Based Proteins to Include
To get enough plant-based protein in your diet, focus on these sources:
Beans and Legumes
Beans like chickpeas, black beans, and lentils should be staples in your plant-based diet. They’re packed with protein and fiber to keep you feeling full. Aim for 1 to 2 cups of beans or legumes per day. You can add them to soups, and salads, or eat them as a side dish.
Tofu and Tempeh
Made from soybeans, tofu and tempeh are excellent meat substitutes. Tofu can be grilled, baked, or stir-fried and added to many dishes. Tempeh has more protein and nutrients. Look for extra-firm tofu and tempeh to use as meat replacements. About 1/2 cup of tofu or tempeh contains 10-15 grams of protein.
Nut butters like peanut butter, almond butter, and cashew butter are perfect for spreading on whole-grain bread, fruit, or eating by a spoonful. Two tablespoons contain 8 grams of protein. Choose natural nut butter with no added sugar.
Nuts and Seeds
Snack on nuts like almonds, walnuts or pumpkin seeds for extra protein. A 1/4 cup of nuts or seeds contains about 10 grams of protein. You can also add them to yogurt, oatmeal, salads or blend into nut milks and nut-based sauces.
Protein Powders (Optional)
For an added protein boost, you can use plant-based protein powders made from pea protein, rice protein or hemp protein. Look for powders with minimal added sugar. Add 1 to 2 scoops to smoothies for 10 to 20 grams of protein per scoop. But whole foods should make up the majority of your protein intake.
Following this plan and including these plant-based protein sources in your meals will ensure you get enough protein in your diet without relying on meat or dairy. Let me know if you have any other questions!
7 Day Plant-Based Meal Plan Overview
To help get you started, here is a suggested 7-day plant-based meal plan with healthy, delicious recipes to try. The plan focuses on whole, unprocessed plant foods including fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
This plan provides a good mix of nutrients to keep you satisfied and energized. Feel free to swap out recipes based on your tastes and what you have on hand. Most recipes can be found by searching online or in vegan and plant-based cookbooks. Enjoy your plant-powered week!
Day 1: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Snacks
For the first day of your plant-based meal plan, start your morning off right with a hearty breakfast.
A hummus and veggie wrap or bowl is a perfect light, nourishing lunch option. Spread hummus on a whole wheat wrap or pita and load it up with veggies like spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, and sprouts. You can also add extras like avocado, bean sprouts, or grilled tofu.
A stir fry over rice or noodles is a delicious plant-based dinner. Sauté loads of veggies such as broccoli, bell peppers, cabbage, and mushrooms in a wok or skillet with garlic and your favorite spices and sauce. Add in edamame or tofu for protein. Serve the stir fry over rice, quinoa, or whole wheat udon noodles.
Keep snacks like fresh or dried fruit, nuts, and dark chocolate on hand. You can also make a snack mix with nuts, seeds, coconut, and dried fruits. Smoothies made with plant-based milk, greens, fruit, and nut butter are also satisfying.
Following a balanced plant-based diet with the right portions and combinations of whole foods will give you energy and help you feel your best. Focus on eating more whole grains, fruits and vegetables, plant-based sources of protein and healthy fats at each meal. Staying hydrated and watching your portion sizes are also key. With some simple swaps and additions, you’ll be well on your way to a healthy plant-based lifestyle.
Day 2: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Snacks
Rise and shine! Start your day with a hearty bowl of oatmeal. Mix rolled oats, and plant-based milk like almond or soy, and top it with fruit like bananas, berries or peaches for a balanced breakfast.
For lunch, a Buddha bowl is always a good option. Fill your bowl with greens, grains like quinoa or brown rice, roasted or steamed veggies, and a plant-based protein such as tofu, beans, or nut-based meat alternative. A simple lemon or lime juice and chili dressing will add lots of flavor.
For dinner, veggie fajitas or burritos are delicious and satisfying. Sauté peppers, onions, zucchini and mushrooms, then fill whole wheat tortillas with the veggies, black beans, salsa and avocado or guacamole.
Top the day off with snacks like:
•Hummus and veggie sticks
•Dark chocolate and almonds
•Fruit smoothie with plant-based milk and greens
Following a balanced plant-based diet with the right portions of whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables will give you energy and help you feel great. The mix of nutrients in this day’s meals and snacks covers all your bases to keep you going from dawn till dusk. Here’s to another delicious day of plant-powered fuel for your body and mind!
Day 3: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Snacks
Start your day with a delicious banana berry smoothie. Blend one banana, one cup of mixed berries, almond milk, and a scoop of plant-based protein powder. Pour into glasses and top with granola and fresh berries.
For lunch, make a hearty bowl with quinoa, black beans, salsa, and avocado. Cook one cup of quinoa according to package directions. Mash half an avocado and mix with salsa. Add quinoa, black beans, salsa, and avocado to bowls. Top with cilantro, lime juice and hot sauce if desired.
For dinner, stir fry veggies and tofu over rice or rice noodles. Heat oil in a skillet or wok and stir-fry diced tofu, broccoli, bell peppers, cabbage and snap peas. Season with soy sauce, rice vinegar, grated ginger and garlic. Serve the veggies and tofu over the rice or rice noodles.
Snack on hummus and veggie sticks, trail mix, or fresh fruit with nut butter. The hummus provides protein and healthy fats, the trail mix gives you energy and the fruit with nut butter is filling and satisfying.
Staying hydrated is key, so drink plenty of water and herbal tea throughout the day. Getting enough rest will help your body adjust to the plant-based diet. Sweet dreams! Tomorrow, we have pancakes for breakfast, lentil soup for lunch, and veggie fajitas for dinner.
Day 4: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Snacks
For breakfast on day 4, start your morning off right with a bowl of oatmeal topped with fresh fruit like bananas, berries or peaches. Mix in plant-based milk like almond or soy and drizzle with maple syrup for some sweetness.
A healthy lunch option could be a hearty chickpea salad sandwich. Mash a can of chickpeas and mix with vegan mayonnaise and diced veggies such as celery and carrots. Spread the mixture on whole grain bread, lettuce leaves or in a pita. Serve with a side of baked potato chips or a fresh salad.
For dinner, make veggie fajitas with bell peppers, zucchini, mushrooms and onions. Sauté the veggies and serve them with guacamole, salsa, refried beans or black beans and warm corn or whole wheat tortillas. Add cilantro, lime wedges, vegan cheese or vegan sour cream for extra flavor.
To satisfy your snack craving, try hummus and veggie sticks, trail mix, fresh or dried fruit, roasted chickpeas, peanut butter and apple slices or vegan yogurt with granola. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated as well as unsweetened beverages like tea.
Following a balanced plant-based diet with the right mix of whole foods, lean proteins, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates will give you energy and help you feel your best. Mix up your meals with new recipes to keep things exciting. You’ve got this! Stay focused on your goal and keep going. The rewards of better health and wellness will be well worth it.
Day 5: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Snacks
For day 5 of your plant-based meal plan, start your morning off right with a hearty breakfast. A bowl of oatmeal made with plant-based milk and topped with fresh fruit, nuts and a drizzle of maple syrup will give you energy to power through your day.
For lunch, a bean and veggie burrito bowl hits the spot. Fill a bowl with rice and black or pinto beans, then pile on salsa, grilled veggies like zucchini and bell peppers, avocado and lettuce. Add hot sauce for some kick. A piece of fruit on the side rounds it out.
For dinner, a stir fry with tofu over rice or quinoa is a perfect plant-based option. Sauté extra-firm tofu with broccoli, bell peppers, carrots and cabbage. Add soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil and chili garlic sauce for lots of flavor. Serve the stir fry over a whole grain for a balanced meal.
If you get hungry in between, snack on:
• Hummus and veggie sticks: Carrots, cucumbers and celery are great for dipping in hummus.
• Trail mix: Look for a mix without chocolate chips, which often have dairy. Nuts, seeds and dried fruit are filling and satisfying.
• Guacamole and tortilla chips: Mash a ripe avocado with lime juice, chili, cilantro and salt. Whole grain tortilla chips are the best dipping tools.
• Peanut butter banana smoothie: Blend a banana, plant-based milk and a few spoonfuls of peanut butter for a creamy treat.
• Rice cake with nut butter: Top a rice cake with peanut or almond butter for the perfect sweet and salty snack.
Following a balanced plant-based meal plan for the week will leave you feeling energized and nourished. Mixing up your meals with different grains, proteins, fruits and veggies ensures you get all the nutrients you need to thrive without the use of any animal products. Let us know if you have any other questions!
Day 6: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Snacks
Day 6 is all about hearty, comforting meals to power you through the last half of your week. Start your morning with a classic oatmeal bowl packed with nutritious add-ins. For lunch, a burrito bowl will satisfy your craving for Mexican flavors without the excess carbs. And a veggie pot pie is the ultimate cozy dinner.
Breakfast: Blueberry Banana Oatmeal Bowl
Oatmeal is a perfect plant-based breakfast. Mix 1 cup rolled oats, 2 cups water or non-dairy milk, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 mashed banana, 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, 2 tbsp chopped walnuts or almonds, and a drizzle of maple syrup.
Lunch: Southwestern Burrito Bowl
A burrito bowl with rice, beans, salsa and guacamole hits the spot. Start with 1-2 cups cooked brown rice or quinoa. Top with 1/2 cup black beans or pinto beans, 1/2 cup corn, 1/2 cup salsa, 1/2 mashed avocado, and sliced scallions. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the top.
Dinner: Veggie Pot Pie
A homemade veggie pot pie is comfort food at its best. Sauté 2 cups chopped onions, carrots and celery, then add 1 cup vegetable broth, 2 cups chopped potatoes, corn and peas. Simmer until veggies are tender, about 10 minutes. Pour into a baking dish and top with pie crust. Cut a few slits in the top, brush with non-dairy milk or melted coconut oil and bake at 400 F until the crust is golden brown, about 25 minutes.
Snacks: Hummus and veggie sticks, trail mix, fresh or dried fruit
Round out your day with healthy snacks like hummus and veggie sticks, trail mix, or fresh fruit to keep you satisfied in between meals. You’ve got this – the end of your plant-based week is in sight! Tomorrow we’ll finish strong with delicious brunch, lunch and dinner recipes.
Day 7: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Snacks
For the final day of your plant-based meal plan, you’ll enjoy a hearty breakfast, a classic veggie sandwich for lunch, and a protein-packed dinner. Start your morning with a bowl of oatmeal topped with fresh fruit like bananas, blueberries and strawberries. Oats provide fiber to keep you full, while the fruit adds natural sweetness and vitamins.
For lunch, have a veggie sandwich with hummus, cucumbers, tomatoes, spinach and avocado on whole grain bread. The hummus provides protein from chickpeas, while the veggies and avocado make it creamy and satisfying.
For dinner, whip up a one-pot curry over rice. Sauté onions, bell peppers and broccoli, then simmer in coconut milk with curry spices like turmeric, cumin and chili powder. Add chickpeas or tofu for protein and serve over rice. A side of mango chutney adds a touch of sweetness.
If hunger strikes in between meals, snack on:
•Fresh or dried fruit with nut butter: Apples and almond butter are always a good combo.
•Veggies and hummus: Carrots, celery and cucumber pair well with hummus.
•Trail mix: Look for a mix with nuts, seeds and just a touch of chocolate or coconut.
•Smoothie: Blend bananas, berries, leafy greens like spinach and non-dairy milk for a filling smoothie.
Your 7-day plant-based meal plan is complete! Eating more plant-based foods is a great way to boost nutrition. Keep exploring new recipes and vegetarian protein sources to build tasty, balanced meals. And don’t forget that moderation and portion control are key. With the right balance of grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables and plant-based proteins, you’ll feel satisfied and energized.
Tips For Following The Plant-Based Diet Meal Plan
Following a plant-based meal plan for the first time can be challenging. Here are some tips to help you stick with it:
Take time each week to plan out your meals and prep ingredients. Wash and chop veggies, cook grains and beans, and portion out snacks to grab on the go. Having everything ready will make sticking to the plan much easier.
Keep Healthy Snacks On Hand
When hunger strikes, you’ll want to have good options available. Stock up on snacks like fresh or dried fruit, nuts, veggies and hummus, granola, trail mix, and protein-rich choices such as nut butters with whole grain bread or crackers.
Learn Some Go-To Recipes
Find a handful of simple plant-based recipes you enjoy and can easily make for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Things like oatmeal with fruit, a hearty salad, veggie tacos, or a stir fry over rice or quinoa. Once you have the basics down, you can start experimenting with new recipes.
Aim for 6-8 glasses of water per day to stay properly hydrated. Dehydration can sap your energy and motivation. Herbal tea, fruit-infused water and plant-based milk alternatives also count toward your daily needs.
Watch For Nutrient Deficiencies
While a balanced plant-based diet can provide all the nutrients you need, pay extra attention to key areas like protein, iron, calcium, zinc, vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids. You may want to track your intake for a while or speak to a dietitian. Supplements or fortified foods can help address any gaps.
The key is to prepare, keep healthy options on hand, stay hydrated and watch your nutrients. Sticking to a plant-based meal plan does take effort, but the rewards to your health and the planet are well worth it. Stay positive and focused on all the benefits this sustainable way of eating provides. You’ve got this!
7 Day Plant-Based Meal Plan FAQs
A plant-based diet can lead to some great results, but changing your eating habits so dramatically may lead to some questions. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about following a 7-day plant-based meal plan:
Will I lose weight?
Many people do experience weight loss on a short-term plant-based diet. By cutting out high-calorie animal products and processed foods, you may find the pounds melting away. However, the key is to eat a balanced diet with plenty of whole foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. If you consume too many high-carb and high-fat plant-based foods, you may not lose much weight.
How much weight can I expect to lose?
On average, people lose 3 to 5 pounds in a week following a balanced plant-based meal plan. However, weight loss will depend on factors like your starting weight, calorie needs, and activity level. The more excess weight you have to lose and the more active you are, the more you can expect the pounds to drop. But losing 1 to 2 pounds per week is a safe rate of loss.
Will I get enough protein?
As long as you eat a variety of plant-based protein sources, you can easily meet your needs. Aim for 3 to 5 servings a day of foods like beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds. Meat alternatives like tofu, tempeh and seitan also contain protein. Quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat are whole grains with protein.
What about other nutrients?
A balanced plant-based diet can provide all the nutrients you need. Focus on a variety of fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens and citrus. Choose a plant milk fortified with calcium and vitamin D. Consider a vitamin B12 supplement. Limit high-fat, sugary vegan junk food.
A week of healthy plant-based eating can do wonders for your body and the planet. By following this meal plan and FAQ guidance, you’ll feel satisfied, and energized and may even lose a few pounds along the way! Stick with it and you’ll be well on your way to a greener lifestyle.
So there you have it, a balanced, nutritious, and delicious plant-based meal plan to power you through the week. By focusing on whole foods, healthy fats, and lean proteins, this plan will fill you up, satisfy your taste buds, and fuel your body and mind. The variety of international flavors will keep things interesting and the meal prep tips will save you time so you can enjoy your evenings. Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, or just want to add more plants to your plate, this dietitian-approved plan is a great way to boost your health and embrace a sustainable way of eating. Give it a try – your body and the planet will thank you!