We’re so excited to have Danielle from HealthyGirl Kitchen on the blog today. She caught Lauryn’s eye because her trainer in San Diego, Kim Kelly always makes and shares Danielle’s plant-based recipes.
Recently Lauryn has been talking a lot about how introducing meat back into her diet is really working for her right now. However, we always want to keep the conversation going around all different ways of doing things. Meat-based is working for Lauryn right now, it may not for you. That’s why we’re so happy Danielle is here to talk about building a healthy, satisfying plant-based meal and sharing 3 of her favorite recipes.
Danielle gets into it, but building a healthy plate is important no matter what your food philosophy is. It’s all about getting nutrients, eating fresh, eating clean and being satiated. With that, let’s welcome Danielle to the blog.
A Beginner’s Guide to Plant-Based Eating and 3 Easy Recipes To Keep You Satisfied
Hi! I am Danielle Brown, CEO + Founder of HealthyGirl Kitchen, Certified Holistic Health Nutritionist, and New York Times Best Selling author. I teach women the secrets to eating more plant-based meals that not only nourish your body but also taste AMAZING.
It is a common misconception that if you eliminate animal products and eat a plant-based diet, you won’t be able to get enough protein or that you’ll end up becoming nutrient deficient. I have been vegan for 8 years and counting and I’ve never felt healthier.
After adopting a plant-based diet my freshman year of college with limited resources and living out of a dorm room, I knew that I wanted to share my knowledge of plant-based eating with everyone who would listen. When I first learned that a plant-based diet meant eating a vegan diet, this seemed unfamiliar and foreign to me.
Didn’t vegans smoke weed all day and eat tofu?
I couldn’t imagine meals without dairy, I was a cheese-a-holic. From feta cheese to soft-serve ice cream, to cheesy pizza, I was scared to give up my favorite foods. In my college dorm, I had to get creative. I was microwaving sweet potatoes in my dorm room; I made the salad bar my best friend and I kept a huge bowl of fruit that didn’t need to be refrigerated on my desk for easy snacking. Four months into plant-based eating, I lost 20 pounds, my skin was clearer, I had so much more energy, and my chronic heartburn disappeared (and I didn’t miss the cheese).
I want to be clear – there is a RIGHT way to go about eating a plant-based diet (just like there’s a right way to about any type of dietary lifestyle).
I understand that healthy eating and building a healthy, well-balanced meal can seem majorly daunting. However, when it comes to making a healthy vegan meal, it can be even more intimidating. Let’s break it down.
No matter what diet you are on, whether you eat meat or not, it is important to include all three macronutrients in your meals: protein, complex carbohydrates, and fats.
It’s easy to rely on carbs when you cut out animal products, but I can’t stress enough how imperative it is to include protein at every single meal.
Plant-based Protein Sources:
+ Lentils (18 grams per cup)
+ High Protein Tofu (35 grams ½ block) I get this one at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods
+ Soy-Free Tofu (32 grams for ½ block) this is in a hot pink box and I get it at Sprouts!
+ Tempeh (31 grams per cup)
+ Seitan (25 grams per 3.5 oz)
+ Edamame (17 grams per cup)
+ Protein powder (20 grams per scoop on average)
+ Others: nuts, seeds, quinoa, beans, etc.
When paired with complex carbohydrates (quinoa, sweet potato, brown rice, chickpeas, whole grain pasta), and healthy fats (olives, avocado, coconut, nuts, seeds), protein is going to keep you FULL, and satiated. It is also essential to building muscle, aiding in healthy weight loss, optional hormonal functioning and keeping your blood sugar balanced.
Supplements: with a well-planned plant-based diet, it is still important to take a vitamin b12 supplement. In the winter months, it wouldn’t hurt to take a vitamin D as well. I love throwing in a probiotic too.
Moral of the story: You CAN be healthy on a plant-based diet if it is well thought-out and balanced with protein, fats, and complex carbohydrates. It can be as simple as a bowl with rice, tofu and veggies.
Sample HealthyGirl Plant-Based Meal Plan:
♡ Breakfast: Raspberry Chia Pudding
This 5-minute breakfast is perfect for the busy girl. Pro tip: make a big batch for the week and divide into mason jars for grab-and-go breakfasts all week long. (This really good if you suffer from constipation.)
This adzuki bean farro salad is packed with protein, fiber, veggies, and healthy carbs. I used to get this salad from Whole Foods all the time but found out they use nasty ingredients in it like “caramel color,” so this is a copycat of that salad and it’s DELISH. Farro is such an underrated grain that is a great alternative to rice. It is much more nutrient dense.
♡ Snack ideas:
+ Apple and almond butter
+ Carrots + hummus
+ air-popped popcorn
+ edamame with lemon + sea salt
+ quick protein shake: I LOVE Wellious protein– it has simple and minimal ingredients.
♡ Dinner: Sheet Pan Fajitas
This mess-free dinner is so filling, nourishing and tastes AMAZING if you like Mexican flavors. I use Daring vegan chicken it’s super high in protein and tastes like real chicken.
I am here to inspire you every day to fall in love with cooking (without meat, dairy, and eggs) and taking care of yourself. It feels SO good to eat foods that fuel you and nourish you. For more recipes check out my cookbook, it is going to be your new healthy eating bible. The HealthyGirl Kitchen Cookbook: 100+ plant-based recipes to live your healthiest life.
x, The Skinny Confidential team
+ stalk the best vegan quinoa bowls here.
++ check out these tips for a vegan BBQ.