It’s weird because I absolutely love food; I love creating recipes, trying new dishes, experimenting in the kitchen, etc. yet I get confused when I’m not following a meal plan or tracking my food. Sometimes I think this may be a sign of some slightly obsessive behaviour. Am I too scared to simply trust myself to chose what I feel like in the moment? Am I too focused on making progress and getting where I want to be? Is this weird habit I have of knowing exactly the macros and nutrients I’m eating taking away the “fun” and joy that should come with food and eating? I don’t really know, but to be honest, I don’t think it’s taking the fun away at all. I kind of see it as a game. I love setting up my meal plan to match my current gym routine and seeing how it affects my energy, my body, how I feel etc. (yes this is my idea of fun, yes I have accepted that it kind of makes me lame as F. C’est la vie). After having followed a high-carb diet during my marathon training to give me the energy needed to do lots of running, I have now switched to a slightly lower-carb, higher-calorie and higher-protein meal plan to match my new weight lifting gym schedule. I am currently in love with it; gives me so much energy, I feel like it’s helping me recover from workouts, it’s filling and satisfying etc. Of course everyone is different and what’s most important is finding a meal plan that fits you, that satisfies you and makes you feel good.
Breakfast is the classic oatmeal cuz literally i’ve had oatmeal every morning for over a year now and no way in heeeeell is that gonna change any time soon. I have to say though, this is probably the plainest I’ve every had my oatmeal (I usually always have fruit in there, but cut it out to keep the carb-count lower), but damn is it just me or is plain oatmeal F-ing tasty?!!?! Like I always end up mixing so much into my oatmeal I hardly even taste the oats, and now it’s like a whole new world. That being said, this is the base recipe, of course I can add in ANY spice I want!!! (I know, how flexible and versatile, like wow Vic you’re so easy going damn). I usually just sprinkle some cinnamon in there but if I’m feeling funky I go for some ginger or all-spice, wild days may even call for some cardamom.
- 70 grams oats
- 1/2 cup soy milk
- 8 almonds
Protein shake after the gym is literally the single best thing ever and probably my favourite meal (it’s written as snack but has like almost triple the amount of calories as my lunch hehe so preeeetty hefty snack). I don’t make protein shakes because I feel the need to use supplements have enough protein on a plant-based diet. A lot of people ask about how I get enough protein and if I take supplements. And okay yes I do have a scoop of protein powder a day, but this is in no ways necessary, you can get enough protein without any supplements at all, I just have it because I looove a good thick shake post-workout (plus if it’s got banana, cacao and peanut butter!??! like gimme gimme gimme).
- Handful of raw spinach
- 30 grams Sun-Warrior vanilla protein
- 1 tbsp. raw cacao
- 10 grams chia seeds
- 100 grams soy yogurt
- 30 grams peanut butter
- 100 grams banana
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
My lunch is pretty small since I usually go to the gym mid-morning, have my hefty protein shake right after and then my lunch only about 2 hours after that (obviously I’m already hungry though because I get hungry after 2 hours regardless of the size of the previous meal). Even though it’s light in terms of calories, the amount of fibre really serves to keep you nice and full regardless. It’s true that there’s no sauce on this salad (Stef made it pretty clear to me that that was kinda weird), but i’ll sometimes squeeze some lemon juice on there (it mixes in with the nutritional yeast and makes a think dressing and OMG SOOO GOOD).
- 1 cup raw spinach
- 100 grams steamed zucchini
- 100 grams steamed green beans
- 1/2 cup cook quinoa
- 10 grams nutritional yeast
I’ve had an apple every day for as long as I can remember, and I just can’t get bored em. It’s like the ultimate convenience food. It’s also the only thing I can actually buy with my F&B student card (which has so much bloody money on it since I don’t eat the food at the cafeteria, and were actually obliged to put an obscene sum on it at the beginning of the year), so totally down to FINALLY have something to spend that money on (I do also drink a looooot of tea despite my school charging almost 3chf FOR HOT WATER).
- 1 medium apple
Dinner’s actually a pretty big meal on this plan as well. I usually like eating more throughout the day and less at night, but I’ve been eating my dinner pretty early these days around 6:30-7pm so I guess that works as well. I have my lentils pre-cooked and ready to go, I usually put them in a pot with the chick peas, a handful of spinach, a bit of water at the bottom and WHAT EVER SPICES I WANT (here comes that wild, tons of choice, free-as-the-wind feeling again like do I want to throw is some chilli and make it spicy or some ras-el-hanout and go moroccan or some curry and get all Indian up in here?!?! To many choices!!!!), and let simmer with the lid on. I cut my tofu in about 4 slices and put it in the oven (also allowed to top my tofu with spices if I want, I know, I know, I’m pushing it a bit here, like is this even a set meal plan or some type of carnival buffet?!?!)
- 150 grams cooked lentils
- 1 cup cooked chick peas
- Handful of spinach
- 200 grams silken tofu
This is basically what I eat every day. About twice a week i’ll do some meal prep where I cook the quinoa and lentils and store in tupperwear in the fridge. I also steam the green beans and zucchini, keep them in the fridge and cut up a ton of bananas to make little 100 gram ready-to-blend baggies in the freezer (yes my roommates probably hate me for taking up all the room in the fridge, thank god I’m the only one that does this). All is kept track of using the MyFitnessPal app (my full review on the app here).
So do I stick to my meal plan to-the-dot 100% of the time? Mmmm pretty much. I usually give myself a day or meal off once week for variety (I prefer calling it a “variety meal” or “treat meal” rather than cheat meal, cuz let’s be real if it’s still vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, non-processed food, it’s hardly a cheat). Usually on Sundays I’ll have a different breakfast; a big smoothie bowl or some pancakes, and then follow the rest of the day with my meal plan. This is really just to allow for a change, to try a new recipe, take advantage of some different in-season produce etc. But sign of a good meal plan is one you can stick to easily without needing that day off.
So all in all, I’m loving this meal plan for several reasons:
- It’s delicious, allows for some variety, I don’t get bored of it
- It saves me a lotttt of time. Since everything is pre-cooked and ready to go, I can literally just throw together my meals in seconds
- I actually end up saving money. Food in Switzerland is f@$%ing expensive, especially produce, but lentils, oats, canned chick peas, all of that is pretty cheap so YAY!
- It keeps me full and satisfied, so I don’t feel the need to snack on anything else
- The macros/nutritional profile are awesome, and even though it doesn’t meet exactly my 40/30/30 breakdown, it’s pretty close and LOOK AT THAT NUTRIENT COUNT. Like you totally need dairy for calcium and meat for iron right?!?! A plant-based diet can’t give you all the nutrients you need right??! pssshhhhhhh