My best wishes for this brand new year 2020! I’m kicking it off with a new plant based meal plan for weight loss 1 [ my ON / OFF diet ] which you can follow along, always including new easy recipes. You find the meal plan on the bottom of this post.
I’m planning on making one of these meal plans a week, a year round, incorporating the produce, feelings and foods of the season. In this series I am also introducing you to my what I call ON / OFF diet. A lot of subjects will be covered these upcoming months like how to stop dieting when you reached your ideal body weight without regaining the weight, more on intermittent fasting, the principles of calorie density and what easy habits can enhance weight loss and weight maintenance.
What does a day of plant based eating for weight loss look like?
The days are filled with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, most veggies are raw, some cooked, steamed or oven baked. We also add gluten free whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds to complete the nutrition profile. Lower calories don’t have to mean less nutrition.
I am planning to make mostly very basic, easy meals that can be prepped up front or made quickly when you are also cooking for others who don’t eat 100% the way you do. I will also link to other recipes using the same main ingredients to give you some options.
My ON / OFF diet
Rotating intermittent fasting, amount of protein, grains/seeds/legumes.
In my ON / OFF plant based meal plan for weight loss 1 rotate the days including grains, seeds and / or legumes in order to make digestion and detoxing even more easier. On OFF days we also start eating later and eat lower amounts of protein to let the body do it’s cleaning out of old proteins. Intermittent fasting also seems to enhance autophagy, that’s when the body eats, detoxifies and recycles its own damaged cells and toxins, an important part of longevity. Totally fascinating. [ Yoshinori Ohsumi was awarded with a Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy ]
One day ON, one day OFF.
This system works great, most don’t feel deprived because the amount of delicious food you get to eat is substantial on both days. On days without grains / legumes we focus 100% on vegetables, fruits and some healthy fats. If you feel that you overeat on in between fasting days it could be better to do only 12 hours fasting per day, for example from 8AM to 8PM, very doable right!? On ON days there is more choice food wise on the menu. Vegetables and fruits make up the main part and we add grains and seeds like quinoa, millet, also beans and lentils.
How to do Intermittent Fasting …
Intermittent fasting can also aid in weight loss, weight management and it increases the secretion of HGH, human growth hormone, a hormone that helps to maintain, build and repair our tissues. HGH lessens with age and it’s very much needed for a youthful body, health and appearance wise.
Intermittent fasting means no food or calories for at least 12 to 16 hours from the 24 per day. This sounds harder that it is, 16 hours fasting falls for the most part during the night and it leaves you with an 8 hours window for feeding. Eating between 10AM to 6Pm or from 11AM to 7PM and the remaining time drinking water, tea or black coffee. I sometimes add some low calorie foods like a splash of almond milk in my dandelion coffee, as long as it is low in carbs, has no fiber or more than 50 calories in every few hours your body stays in fasted state.
I am not planning on adding the exact caloric amounts to these meal plans. We need to learn how we can freely eat keeping in mind the foods we focus on and how our meals should be constructed instead of the calories. Calories do matter. Even if they come from healthy whole foods. It is very hard not to lose weight if you are eating a well balanced plant based diet.
With these new meal plans I add in intermittent fasting and protein cycling to enhance the rejuvenating effect autophagy can have on our bodies.
The days average between 1500 and 1700 calories. If you are taller, younger or very active person you probably need more calories. Eat more snacks and larger portions. If you are trying to lose weight this is about the amount what you need to make a slight caloric deficit and create weight loss. I am quite small and not a very active 25 year old, my caloric needs are lower then 15 years ago. I stay the same weight on this amount and that is also my goal. To lose weight I would have to increase my level of activities, decreasing my food to much would sarcifise my nutrient intake. I don’t keep track of my daily energy intake and try to eat when I’m hungry until full. I do keep track of my nutrients as I also do creating these plans.
Day 1 is what I call an OFF day, only vegetables, fruits and some healthy fat.
Today’s focus foods are,
- wild blueberries
- brussel sprouts
Starting this plant based meal plan for weight loss 1 with a big glass luke warm lemon water.
Breakfast is a dark blueberry smoothie with greens and chia seeds for omega 3’s. Blend until smooth.
- 1 cup frozen wild blueberries
- 2 medium bananas
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp barley grass powder
- 1 cup water, coconut water or orange juice
- big handful of fresh baby spinach, lambs lettuce, arugula or another leafy green
- sometimes I also add 1 cup of frozen mango
an easy, green blended soup made with …
- 1 cup vegetable broth, more or less according to the thickness you desire for your soup or 1 cup of water [ 240ml ]
- 1 cup steamed green asparagus, frozen asparagus is much cheaper and if it gets blended you don’t taste the difference or another steamed vegetable of your choice like broccoli
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- half lemon, peeled, de-seeded
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley or another fresh herb
- 1/2 avocado
- pinch of sea salt & black pepper to taste
And a handful of medjool dates, pitted and halved wrapped in a crispy romain leaves. Sounds crazy but it is so good!
The main meals are pretty basic, I want to keep it simple and doable. For the recipes in the meal plan I give exact amounts of the ingredients, but with a dinner like this you can eat as much as you want, until full. You can hardly overeat cauliflowers, salad and potatoes.
Dinner on day 1 is roasted cauliflower rice, click on the link to read how I make it. If you are following along you can also substitute plain baked cauli rice with the salad you find through the link above or with this cauliflower tabbouleh, as long as the cauliflower is one of the main hero’s of the meal.
Potatoes are nothing to be afraid of, they are total comfort food, rich in nutrients. 1 cup of potatoes has only 200 calories, also 26% of my daily iron, 11% of calcium, 10% protein, 49% copper and 25% of magnesium. Filling, choose sweet & regular, preferably organic and with the skin on.
Plus a basic thinly sliced tomatoes, red onion and fresh basil salad with a little sea salt and pepper.
Zucchini Herb Dressing, 2-3 servings
- 1 medium zucchini, peeled and cubed
- up to a 1/4 cup of water
- 2 celery sticks, sliced
- 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt to taste & black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. dulse powder
- 1 lemon, peeled
- 1/2 large orange or red bell pepper
- piece of cayenne or red pepper, optional, to taste
- 1 Tbsp. lucuma powder, optional, it thickens the dressing
- 5 regular pitted dates, soaked or 2 – 3 medjool dates
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp. of each, dried thyme, oregano and rosemary
Blend in a small blender until creamy. I added the onion and herbs after blending for some texture.
Leftover steamed vegetables like broccoli, brussel sprouts, green beans etc. make a great, filling and nutrient rich snack. You can add a tbsp. of sauce lik hot sauce or ketchup for the taste. Fresh fruits are the easiest snacks, delicious in combination with celery sticks and / or leafy greens. Golden milk is heavenly good, especially with hot, foamy almond milk. I use my milk frother every day at least once … I use a different one, have been for many years but it is no longer available, my new one will be this one when the old stops working.
You find my Full Plate Meal Plan & Anti-Inflammatory Meal Plan HERE through the link.