If you're someone who regularly consumes a lot of meat and dairy but thinking about going plant-based, or maybe you're already trying to go plant-based but still not feeling satisfied - this is for you!
One of the biggest roadblocks that comes with transitioning your diet in this way, is that many people find they just don't feel full or satisfied. And understandably so, who wants to live their life without feeling satisfied from their meals?!
The good thing, is that it's not a problem inherent with a plant-based diet. The problem comes from simply not having the knowledge to create the proper meal which you feel satisfied from. And we're going to break that down for you today.
In order to start making meals that help you feel full & satisfied, we have to understand why we're not feeling that way currently. The two biggest problems are:
1. Not getting enough protein & enough kinds of protein: Protein is one part of your diet that helps you feel full. When switching from eating meat to more plant-based sources of protein, it's important to realize that not all protein is created the same. You can dive deep into doing research about which plants have which amino acids and trying to create the perfect balance - but that's not necessary. I'll tell you from experience that the key is creating a meal that incorporates different plant-based proteins. A few of the major players (high in protein):
Beans (including lentils)
Think about it this way. If you took an average dinner that consists of chicken, rice, and broccoli, and you swapped the chicken out for one protein source - say, beans. Yes, you'll still be getting your protein in but if you added some tofu, mushrooms, and kale (seasoned to your liking, of course... ) you'll find yourself much more satisfied & full!
You might be thinking "Of course I'll feel full I'm eating 3 more foods than I would if I just ate the darn chicken!" - which brings me to my next point...
2. Not eating enough: Great news, everyone! Eating plant-based means you can actually eat a lot more throughout the day. Plants are much more nutrient-dense, meaning you get more nutrients than other foods with similar calorie count. Compare a chocolate bar to an orange. They may be similar in calories, but the orange has more nutrients, less sugars/fats. Eating foods that are less calorie dense, and more nutrient-dense are not going to fill you up as quickly as what you were likely eating before. So, go for it... Eat more! You know you're choosing fresh, whole foods that are full of nutrients and low in fats & sugars so it's okay to eat more than you normally would.
As always, listen to your body and make sure you are fueling it with the best ingredients and giving it enough!
Check out these protein-packed plant-based recipes:
1. Vegan Breakfast Burrito (Love and Lemons):
We love a good breakfast burrito! The best thing about breakfast burritos USUALLY is that you can add whatever you have on hand, and it always tastes good. But the best thing about THIS recipe, is she shows you how to prep and freeze them for a speedy, plant-based breakfast whenever you need it.
2. Roasted Chickpea Avocado Toast (Two Peas and Their Pod):
I literally cannot get enough of this avocado toast. Pick a nice sourdough (Trader Joe's has a great one that isn't crazy expensive!) and top with your favorite protein packed toppings. Chickpeas are soooo good. You can roast the chickpeas days in advance, or TBH I sometimes use them straight from the can! Use that spice rack, ladies & gentlemen to give it your favorite flavors.
3. Vegan Baked Oatmeal (The Conscious Plant Kitchen)
Make this on sunday, enjoy for the week. I pop a piece into the microwave and top with coconut yogurt, *chefs kiss*. This is absolutely one of my favorite breakfasts. Delicious, nutritious, super easy to make a big batch and have it ready to go.
Chickpea 'Tuna' Sandwich (The Simple Veganista)
This recipe is so versatile, you can make the chickpea 'tuna' salad and use it in sooo many ways! Mix into a salad, lettuce wraps, on crackers for an appetizer... But if I was making the sandwich I would DEF suggest some avocado spread on one slice of bread, hummus on the other.
2. Thai Noodle Salad with Peanut Sauce (Feasting at Home)
Boost the protein in this lunch by adding some roasted tofu (or baked or grilled, you decide!). Toss in any veggies you like! I like to save time by buying the pre-shredded veggies from Trader Joe's.
3. Lentil Salad with Tahini Dressing (Ela Vegan)
Again, you can really make this one your own. Lentils are packed with protein so start there, and add any greens, veggies, and toppings you like! More protein options: tofu, almonds, chickpeas.. The best part and essential part of this recipe is the tahini dressing, obv.
1. Walnut & Lentil Bolognese (The Modern Proper)
I am such a sucker for a plant-based, "meaty" pasta sauce! With the right spices, you'd never know the difference. Plus, the walnuts & lentils give this recipe all the protein. Whenever I make this sauce, I like to start by chopping & sauteeing some baby bella mushrooms, too. YUM!
2. The Ultimate Vegan Chili (Nora Cooks)
Topped with some vegan cheddar & sour cream, this chili is sooo good. My secret ingredient, once again, is adding sauteed mushrooms! They have a meaty texture & add even more protein.
3. Teriyaki Tempeh Stir-Fry Bowls (The Wellness Walnut)
This is your inspiration to start cooking with tempeh, if you haven't already! So hearty, filling, & delicious. I'm thinking this needs some baby corn, or avocado!
I hope you were inspired by some of these recipes! Will you give any of them a try? I'd love to hear how they went for you (pictures welcome!!) Get in touch with me any way that works for you:
Facebook: Stephanie Lee Genco
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You are worthy of living and capable of creating a healthy lifestyle you love. 🤍