The Daily Beet

03 Jan January focus: Simplicity

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This month we will be focusing on simplicity. The key to plant-strong success is making the change to plant-strong as simple as possible.

Often, we see people complicating plant-strong so much that it ends up to be a burden rather than a joyful experience. We want to help you make this transition one that is easy and requires little work on your part. Eating should be something that you enjoy, something that fuels you for the day, it should not be something that brings you stress and aggravation.

Let’s start with the basics. The biggest question we get at Engine 2 is “What can I eat?!”. Let’s simplify that down to the basics, you can eat the following: whole grains, beans, vegetables, fruit salt free spices and occasionally nuts as a condiment. If you simply wanted keep it to those food groups we are certain you would be content in your plant-strong life.

You can make shopping a lot easier this way as well, just ask yourself when you put something in your cart: Is it a whole grain? Is it a bean? Is it a vegetable? Is it a fruit? Is it a salt free spice?

The possibilities are endless with just sticking to those food groups, and we promise you will not get bored.

Let’s brain storm together – using just the food groups listed above, what would a day of meals look like? Remember let’s try to keep things in as whole form as possible, we don’t recommend things like smoothies, protein smoothies or juices. (for more info on why we’d rather people eating their food instead of drinking it, you can check out the FAQ on Dr. Esselstyn’s page)

Leave a comment and we’ll pick a winner for a signed copy of Engine 2!

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Engine 2 Team
Engine 2 Team

The Engine 2 Team is dedicated to helping you become plant-strong! Each of us are on the plant-strong journey right along side of you!

  • Sandra Leigh
    Posted at 12:01h, 03 January

    Breakfast: for me, porridge, at least nine days out of ten, with raisins, maple syrup, almond milk, and half a banana.

    Lunch: Leftovers from the night before — It might well be a bowl of cous cous topped with some chickpeas and cooked greens. On the side, cole slaw or green salad. OR: those same leftovers and salad greens, tucked into a whole wheat tortilla.

    Snack: Mandarin orange; dried apricots.

    Dinner: Whole wheat pasta with a tomato sauce and mushrooms; big green salad.

    Thanks for helping me plan today’s menu!

  • Krystle
    Posted at 12:06h, 03 January

    Breakfast: green smoothie: 1 banana, 1 carrot, handful of spinach, 2 tsp hemp seeds, 1 lemon, juiced and water

    Snack: mandarin oranges

    Lunch: 3 bean veggie chili, homemade

    Snack: cup of veggie leek soup, homemade

    Dinner: veggie stir fry with brown rice

    Snack: fruit or nuts, haven’t decided.

  • wendy (healthy girl's kitchen)
    Posted at 12:13h, 03 January

    Here’s how I keep it simple:

    I call it the 4S plan. Soups, Salads, Smoothies, and Sauteed Greens.

    Stick to those 4 choices in your everyday life. Find a few recipes for each that you love and make them time and again.

    Yes, there is an incredible, amazing world of no-oil plant-strong vegan recipes out there in cookbooks and on the internet. When you have time on the weekend or are making a special meal for entertaining, explore those recipes. But they are not for everyday. It can be too overwhelming and too confusing for busy people who are short on time or those that just don’t love cooking.

    Unless you love being creative in the kitchen. By all means, go for it if cooking is your thing!

    xoxo, Wendy

    • Engine 2 Team
      Posted at 12:16h, 03 January

      Just keep in mind that we don’t recommend smoothies 🙂 How about the 3 S plan?

      • Liz
        Posted at 13:06h, 03 January

        Just a question: why the blanket ix-nay on smoothies? I can understand not advocating the “milk shakes in disguise” at places like Jamba Juice or McDonald’s… But I know from reading Wendy’s blog that she favors green smoothies chock-full of leafy greens. And I find they’re an easy way for me to get more kale into my life, as well as an easy, portable breakfast if both of us in the house are going to have a hectic morning. My smoothies (serves 2) are usually a cup of frozen berries, a couple of huge handfuls of kale, some chia seeds and water to make it all whirl up nice.

      • wendy (healthy girl's kitchen)
        Posted at 13:14h, 03 January

        Am I kicked out of the contest?

        • Engine 2 Team
          Posted at 15:00h, 03 January

          no you are not wendy 😉

          And to quote Dr. Esselstyn: Avoid smoothies. The fiber is so finely pureed that its helpful properties are destroyed. The sugar is stripped from the fruit, bypasses salivary digestion and results in a surge of glucose and the accompanying fructose contributes to inflammation and hypertension.

          We would simply rather people to eat all of their food rather than drink liquid meal replacements. You do not need to try to get in a certain amount of greens a day – simply stick to the above food groups, eat what vegetables you enjoy and you are going to be just fine.

          • amanda
            Posted at 12:01h, 04 January

            if i am eating lots of pureed soup is that also destroying helpful properties? thanks!

          • Jeff
            Posted at 10:19h, 09 January

            In the same vein as amanda’s question, if pureeing destroys the fiber/etc in smoothies, how about pureed soups, hummus, etc?

  • Cecilia
    Posted at 12:14h, 03 January

    Breakfast: Steel cut oats with apples & cinnamon
    Lunch: Veggie & hummus wrap on a whole wheat tortilla
    Dinner: Split pea soup made with lots of veggies and vegetable broth, served with a big salad.
    Snacks: fruit, carrot sticks with hummus

  • Engine 2 Team
    Posted at 12:14h, 03 January

    Krystie – all good, except remember we don’t recommend smoothies, if people can avoid them – what about oatmeal with banana instead?

  • Rachel
    Posted at 12:16h, 03 January

    Breakfast – old-fashioned oats! I usually add nuts, maple syrup, raisins, or fruit
    snack: banana!
    lunch: brown rice, frozen veggies, curry dressing
    dinner: Taco night! (using corn tortillas)
    dessert: fruit with granola

  • Star Norris
    Posted at 12:18h, 03 January

    Breakfast: Fruit and cereal with almond milk
    Lunch: Kale salad and veggie burger
    Dinner: 3-Bean Chili from E2 book

  • Holly
    Posted at 12:26h, 03 January

    Breakfast: Oatmeal with fresh fruit and nuts, splash of almond milk. Lunch: Homemade whole wheat bread BLT with homemade veggie mayo and 1 slice tofu bacon a cup of veggie soup a small salad and a piece of fruit. Dinner: Black bean tostadas with corn tortillas and fresh veggies and salsa. Dessert: Cut up fresh fruit or a homemade vegan oatmeal cookie and almond milk. Holy cow yum!

  • Kim
    Posted at 12:28h, 03 January

    Breakfast: Grapenuts, soy milk and banana
    Lunch: Pinto beans, lettuce and salsa in a whole wheat wrap
    Snacks: apple or some other fruit
    Dinner: home made vegetable soup (beans and lots of veggies) and side salad

  • Nicole
    Posted at 12:37h, 03 January

    Breakfast: A banana with a slice or two of whole-grain toast spread with raw almond butter (and maybe a touch of juice-sweetened strawberry preserves)

    Lunch: A bowl of vegetable soup (I make mine in a base of homemade vegetable stock with a can of tomato sauce and plenty of herbs, with staples like carrots, onions, potatoes, cannellini beans, quinoa, kale, cabbage, green beans, or lentils.) served alongside sliced carrot, cucumber, and celery with hummus for dipping

    Dinner: My brown rice bowl: Cook black beans, diced sweet potato, onion, and garlic in some broth and season with cumin, oregano, pepper and Bragg Liquid Aminos; serve over brown rice and top with chopped green onion, salsa, chopped lettuce, and avocado

    Dessert: A square or two of dark chocolate!

  • Amanda
    Posted at 12:45h, 03 January

    Breakfast: Oatmeal with nuts and berries mixed in.

    Snack: Crackers and hummus.

    Lunch: Peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread.

    Snack: Cereal bar and a piece of fruit.

    Dinner: Coconut curried lentils with mixed veggies and brown rice

    Dessert: A nightcap 😉

  • Kathryn
    Posted at 12:47h, 03 January

    Breakfast:”loaded oatmel”: Irish oatmeal with chopped walnuts or pecans, a spoonful of chia or ground flax, dried fruit (raisins or dates), a bit of non-dairy milk.

    Lunch: whole sprouted grain tortilla wrapped around hummus, cukes, lettuce, carrots (or use whole romaine leaves to hold the fillings); steamed broccoli

    Snack: whole fruit ,or a small banana blended with water and some kale or spinach (yep, that’s a smoothie, but what is wrong with a whole-foods based smoothie that provides hydration as well as some fruit and greens?)

    Dinner: large salad with favorite lettuce (mine is romaine), mixed raw veggies, chopped olives or avocado (for healthy fats); 1/2 baked yam; mexican beans : mix chili beans–mixed pinto, black and kidney, for example–with some drained salsa (save the liquid to add to water when cooking rice or grains), heat, add fresh-chopped cilantro just before serving.

  • Jill
    Posted at 12:49h, 03 January

    Breakfast for me is usually either old fashioned oats OR quinoa with blueberries, banana, a very small amount of walnuts and flax.
    Lunch is Kale salad with a maple mustard dressing, and sometimes I add a portabello and pepper fajita (depending on how hungry I am) using a whole wheat tortilla.
    Dinner often is roasted root vegetables with a bowl of cream of broccoli soup (the creaminess comes from cashews and soymilk) with LOTS of veggies!!
    Snacks….fresh fruit or veggies with hummus or guac (homemade of course)…made without oil!!
    I made these almond/date cookies (RAW)…easy and the kids LOVE them! Almonds, Dates, vanilla….made into balls and keep in fridge.

  • Lani Muelrath
    Posted at 12:52h, 03 January

    Simplicity and consistency are the keys to success. They get you started and keep you going! And it’s true, for me each day pretty much looks like this:

    Brekkie: Whole grain cereal such as steel oats, rolled oats, rice cream, multi-grain with fresh fruit and sprinkles of flax seed

    Lunch: lentil and vegetable soup – crammed with just about everything – and tomato or hummus sammy on whole grain bread. Alternative is a salad with the sammy, either crunchy with lots of root veggies or leafy with lots of greens and beans.

    Dinner: half my plate piled with whole grains, potatoes, corn, sweet potatoes, yams, whole grain pasta – or some combination thereof – and the other half of my plate piled high with steamed or steam-fried veggies.

    At points in between: fruit, raw veggies, brown rice with salsa, cold baked taters

    Look at what we get to eat you guys!

    Lani Muelrath

  • Lynn M
    Posted at 12:54h, 03 January

    Breakfast: Oatmeal with a banana, kiwi, raspberries and walnuts

    Lunch: Potato soup (from fatfreevegan blog) and a huge salad with romaine, tomatoes, carrots, cooked mushrooms and black beans

    Dinner: Bean and vegetable chili and a spinach salad with diced apple, clementine and cashews

  • Jane Sarman
    Posted at 12:57h, 03 January

    I bought a Vita-mix 7 years ago and have been happily preparing and eating green smoothies ever since. I think I use about 60-70% fruit and the rest is cucumber and greens (collard, kale etc). I have a feeling I know the answer to my next question, but I’ll ask anyway. Do Dr. Esselstyn and the Engine 2 Team have problems/concerns with green smoothies, too?
    Jane — Austin, TX 🙂
    P.S. I made Engine 2’s Raise the Roof Lasagna for our Christmas dinner. It was fantastic!

    • Engine 2 Team
      Posted at 13:35h, 03 January

      We do not recommend them Jane 🙁 as an occasional treat they are just fine though. Here is the answer from Dr. Essestlyn: Smoothies – How about smoothies? I love them!
      Avoid smoothies. The fiber is so finely pureed that its helpful properties are destroyed. The sugar is stripped from the fruit, bypasses salivary digestion and results in a surge of glucose and the accompanying fructose contributes to inflammation and hypertension.

      • Liz
        Posted at 13:45h, 03 January

        Use a crappy blender like me, and your fiber doesn’t get finely pureed at all 😉

      • Minnie Diver
        Posted at 15:04h, 03 January

        This is the first time I’ve seen a good reason for not doing smoothies- the breakdown of the fiber. Thanks!

        • Engine 2 Team
          Posted at 11:12h, 04 January

          We just want people to stay away from liquid meals. We agree they are tasty – like milkshakes 🙂 but they are not the best option for a majority of people. They tend to be a very quick load of calories and sugar – because the sugar is separated it gives you more of a rush. We understand why people have a hard time giving them up, but we are wanting to help people make the best choices overall.

  • Jeff Hicks
    Posted at 13:00h, 03 January

    Simple Day
    Breakfast: Oatmeal, Banana
    Lunch: Black Beans, Rice, Salsa
    Dinner: Sweet Potato, Steamed Kale, Brown Rice
    Dessert: Apple

    Simple Brainstorm
    Simple depends on the target audience. It would be great to create the
    Engine2 version of “A Man, A Can, A Plan”
    ( http://www.amazon.com/Man-Can-Plan-Great-Meals/dp/1579546072 )

    Things I think this book does well
    * Picks a specific audience (Male with no cooking experience)
    * Has pictures of the food (As you would find it in the store in the packaging)
    * Removes ALL unneeded steps, ingredients that don’t resonate with target audience
    * Adds fun steps that resonate with the target audience (Like drinking beer in between steps)

    My brainstorm 2 cents

    • Winnona
      Posted at 13:57h, 03 January

      As a personal chef and new vegan, I would LOVE to see an E2 version of that book!

  • Kimberly Louis-Jean
    Posted at 13:01h, 03 January

    oats with almond milk blueberries and banana


    Salad with cucumber, carrot, mushrooms, onion, peppers, celery, quinoa


    spaghetti squash with cooked lentils with cayenne pepper on top (yum!)

    banana or grapes or baked oatmeal

  • Lisa
    Posted at 13:07h, 03 January

    Breakfast: Blue-apple nut oatmeal from Eat to Live by Dr Joel Fuhrman

    Lunch: Black beans cooked with tomatoes, mushrooms, and spinach with brown rice, topped with cilantro, salsa, green onions and a slice or two of avocado.

    Dinner: Same

    Snack: Air-popped popcorn and a clementine

  • Lynnette
    Posted at 13:13h, 03 January

    Breakfast: oatmeal (rolled with a little steel cut) with applesauce, frozen fruit, cinnamon mixed with hot water & baked while I get dressed; then sprinkle with some Grape Nuts for crunch
    Lunch: Frequently leftovers from dinner; or big salad with lots of veggies and some beans or grains; or sandwich with hummus & lots of veggies; or eat out- kids meal (right sized for me) @ Qdoba naked Burrito with black beans, rice, lots of veggies & cilantro, with natural applesauce side
    Dinner: Hearty soup or stew with vegetable broth or tomato base using fresh &/or frozen veggies with grains, beans &/or lentils and lots of seasoning & spices.

    • Mike
      Posted at 18:39h, 04 January

      Just a question about Qdoba. Before starting my E2 diet I ate at Qdoba 3 to 4 times a week. Don’t they use white rice which is not E2 approved and I am also wondering if they cook the veggies in oil which is also not E2 approved?

      • Lynnette
        Posted at 20:43h, 04 January

        It is white rice, which I don’t like as well as brown. And I keep filling out their survey with “GET BROWN RICE” comments in it. I get lots of the pico & corn salsas which are full of fresh veggies, and lettuce and also cilantro (which they have in back and can add on for you). That with their hot sauce is wonderful. I think for eat out options, it is still pretty good and the food is fresh.

  • Jeannine
    Posted at 13:16h, 03 January

    Breakfast – 1 slice whole grain toast with 1/2 tbsp almond butter, sliced apples dusted with cinnamon
    Snack – 1 orange and a bite sized black bean brownie (I use Happy Herbevoire’s black bean brownie recipe and cook in mini cupcake pans for bite sized pieces)
    Lunch – Left over Not so Mac & Cheese from E2 recipe, big leafy green salad with squeeze of lime or any E2 approved dressing
    Snack – low fat hummus & carrots, handful of grapes
    Dinner -sauteed black beans, yellow/red/orange bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, garlic, corn, veggie crumbles, tomato paste, & chilli powder served over brown rice with a side of salsa
    Dessert – hot cocoa: heat up almond milk and blend with 1tbsp cocoa powder and agave nectar to taste.

  • Happy Rehab Doc
    Posted at 13:18h, 03 January

    Simple is the only way I can function! Here is what I have planned for tomorrow (all cooked ahead):
    B: pumpkin steel cut oats (The Healthy Librarian’s recipe) with chopped apple
    L: Ann Esselstyn’s Bean & artichoke dip with rice crackers (I’m gluten-free), Healthy Girl’s Kitchen’s Sri Lankan Kale, a pear
    D: White Bean & Sweet Potato soup (Vegan Slow Cooker cookbook), the Sri Lankan Kale again! blueberries with oat milk
    snacks (not sure but usually fruit, small portions of leftovers)
    Yum! Love the blog! Keep up the good work!

  • Xanthe
    Posted at 13:19h, 03 January

    baked yam with cinnamon on top

    taco salad: black beans, pinto beans, mixed baby greens, tomatoes, corn, onions, jalapeños, cilantro, lime juice

    carrot sticks

    grain/veggie bowl: brown rice, toasted brussel sprouts, sweet potato, steamed squash, tomato, carrots, kale, bell peppers, serrano chili, green onions, garlic, red wine vinegar

    DESSERT/LATE NIGHT SNACK (if still hungry…)

  • Liz
    Posted at 13:31h, 03 January

    Here’s today’s plan (which is day 2 of my wife and I’s Plant Strong 2012 resolution)
    Breakfast: Rip’s Big Bowl, to go… I packed the cereal into a gladware container, and frozen berries into another, along with a tiny banana (I hate bananas, but trying to learn to like them. The baby one wasn’t bad). Unfortunately I didn’t pour my unsweetened almond milk into a jar to bring with, so I had to stop into the grocery store and buy some soy milk.
    Lunch: Leftover lentil soup (with tons of veggies). I threw all of this into the crock pot yesterday and we ate it for dinner … a bag of red lentils, some ginger garlic paste I picked up at the Indian grocery store (just pureed ginger and garlic with some citric acid as a preservative, no oil, no salt! It adds an amazing flavor punch), some leftover spinach and the end of a red pepper from lunch, and covered it with half low-sodium veggie broth, half water. Just let it cook until done. I need to get a bigger crock pot, though.
    Dinner: Going to make up a batch of vegan lasagna based on a marriage of the recipe on Fat Free Vegan and the lasagna you made in the kitchen rescue DVD … low fat tofu smooshed with spinach and nutritional yeast, no salt added jarred (no BPA here, thanks) tomatoes, whole wheat noodles, and sweet potato. With a side of garlicky sauteed kale. There should be enough leftover for dinner tomorrow when my wife works late.

  • Kyle Plattner
    Posted at 13:40h, 03 January

    Here is what works for me. Think broad categories and calorie density:

    Breakfast: Starch (like oatmeal) (around 400 cal/lb)
    Snack: Fruit (around 200 cal/lb)
    Lunch: Starch (like potato) (around 400 cal/lb) with vegetables/leafy greens (around 100 cal/lb)
    Snack: Fruit (around 200 cal/lb)
    Dinner: Starch (like rice) (around 400 cal/lb) with vegetables/leafy greens (around 100 cal/lb)
    Snack: Fruit (around 200 cal/lb)

    Throughout the day eat about 3 lbs of starches, 2 lbs of vegtables/leafy greens, and 1 lb of fruit.

  • Allison
    Posted at 13:45h, 03 January

    Breakfast: Oatmeal (make a big batch in advance on weekend and keep in fridge) with blueberries and banana chunks with ground flaxseed. And cooked greeens (I usually have a batch in the fridge already cooked, just warm in the morning).

    Lunch: Leftover E2 chili (I make a huge batch and keep in the freezer) over baked potatoes with a salad.

    Snack: Tangerine

    Dinner: Cooked pinto beans over brown rice (both made in advance and kept in the fridge or freezer). Add E2 approved salsa, green onions, bell peppers and anything else that sounds good. Serve with the leftover greens and baby carrots!

  • Lauren
    Posted at 13:52h, 03 January

    Typically for me:
    Breakfast: oatmeal with berries or bananas
    Lunch: a (big) microwaved sweet potato with hot sauce
    Dinner: brown rice or another grain with some sort of legume dish – might be black bean sweet potato chili, a lentil curry with vegetables, a Moroccan spiced garbanzo stew… I also love to make the black bean oat burgers from Caldwell Esselstyn’s book, and usually I serve those with sweet potato baked fries and some steamed greens. YUM!

  • Amy R
    Posted at 14:35h, 03 January

    I have to keep it simple until eating plant strong becomes more habitually easy for me!

    Breakfast: Steel cut oats with cinnamon and almond milk

    Lunch: box of vegetable broth (low sodium) with vegetables (today was sweet potatoes, onions, celery, carrots, kale, parsley, turmeric, lemon curry and lemon juice)

    Dinner: Whole grain bread/ pita/corn tortilla
    Veggies sliced or shredded on top
    Salad w/ lemon juice or balsamic vinegar

    (Lunch and Dinner are interchangeable)

    Snacks: Air popped corn, fruit, leftovers,crunchy veggies, herbal tea

    Discovering new spices in now a favorite pastime! It seems to be the secret to replacing the flavor from fats and sugar!

    • Amy R
      Posted at 14:37h, 03 January

      Oops, I forgot i throw a can of white kidney beans rinsed into the soup!

  • Kelly S
    Posted at 14:46h, 03 January

    Breakfast: Oatmeal with cinnamon, agave, and raisins. And, of course, my daily banana.

    Lunch: I just made vegan mac and cheese (a la Happy Herbivore). I threw in some frozen mixed veggies and some of my homemade salsa (in lieu of ketchup).

    Dinner: Salad with spinach and whatever other veggies I find in my fridge. I’ll top it with some raw nuts, seeds, and dried fruits and an oil free dressing. I also have some leftover vegan paella in the fridge, so I’ll likely have some of that.

    Snacks: An apple a day! Taste of Nature bar (www.tasteofnature.ca). Herbal tea. Carrot and celery sticks (I keep these prepared in my fridge for emergency snack attacks).

  • Lisa
    Posted at 15:07h, 03 January

    Breakfast: Diced Apple, 1/2 c frozen blueberries, 1/4 cup fresh frozen cranberries, 3/4 c oats, a few chopped walnuts or ground flax seed, 1 TBSP pure maple syrup – microwave for 1 1/2 minutes – yum!
    Lunch – a HUGE Kale salad with shredded carrot, red onion, a few red grapes, 1 TBSP sunflower seeds – dressed with the juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange
    Dinner – ‘Tortilla’ Soup – black beans, tomotoes, corn, serrano pepper, onion, garlic, green chili, veggie broth – all the good stuff!

    • lani
      Posted at 11:31h, 04 January

      my concern is where is your protein? Nothing substantial except for supper.

      • Lisa
        Posted at 11:52h, 05 January

        kale, blueberries, walnuts all have protein, lots of beans in the soup, and a daily glass of soy milk – quite enough protein 🙂

        • Lisa
          Posted at 14:26h, 05 January

          eek…not to mention the protein in my oats!

  • Leeah Cody
    Posted at 15:15h, 03 January

    Such great info on the doctor’s site! Thank you E2

  • Shay Cody
    Posted at 15:17h, 03 January

    This is such a great encouragement to have daily information and ideas available. Thanks!

  • Connie
    Posted at 16:19h, 03 January

    Breakfast for me is oats ( soaked, baked) and fruit or carrot & raisins.
    Lunch : veggies (cooked or raw ) and beans . It depends on what looks yummy in the market.
    To me it’s about planning and preparing. I prepare the weeks worth of lunches on Sunday and just grab as I go out the door.

  • Lisa
    Posted at 19:47h, 03 January

    Here’s what I ate today! I was rushing in the morning to go to physical therapy for my knee 🙂

    – Bowl of Alpen museli (no sugar added) with a banana on top
    – small mug of Good Belly (I feel a cold coming on and don’t like soy yogurt…)
    – mug of hot green tea

    big bowl of leftover vegan tortilla soup
    (hope that soups made in the vitamix are okay — I love this soup!)

    Kale chips (yum!)

    E2 black beans and brown rice (first time I made it, so good!)

    Honeycrisp apple with cinnamon and a cup of orange cranberry mint herbal tea

  • Bev
    Posted at 21:16h, 03 January

    Breakfast: overnight oatmeal…doesn’t even require cooking. Just dump a cup of oats (steel cut or oat groats) in a bowl (that has a lid), add cup of liquid (nut, soy, or rice milk), organic cinnamon, cover and place in fridge overnight. I add a cut up banana (and yes, I do cut it in the same manner Rip does on his new Kitchen Rescue DVD) after warming up the oatmeal in the morning (nuke or stove) and it tastes yummy like banana bread!

    Lunch: leftovers from previous dinners (what could be simpler?!)

    Dinner: a simple, plant-perfect recipe from E2, Happy Herbivore, or usually a simple, I never tire of it, mix of brown rice, black beans, hummus, salsa, and chopped greens.

    There you have it! So simple that now I have all the time in the world to read the E2 book, sooooo bring it!

  • Linda
    Posted at 01:54h, 04 January

    Simplicity…what a great word. I tend to over complicate things (translate…great excuse for not starting). I’m a newbie so I don’t have any meal plans to offer. I’m grateful for all these wonderful, simple ideas that will give me NO excuse to start tomorrow morning with a simple breakfast. Thanks to everyone who’s posted.

  • Vickie
    Posted at 05:37h, 04 January

    Breakfast- steel cut oatmeal (savory with greens or fruit)
    Lunch- black eyed pea and collard soup ( fat free vegan recipe) and salad
    Dinner- lentils, rice., kale, tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, red onion, with Prevent and Reverse heart Disease lemon sauce
    snack- apple, orange

  • Marsha
    Posted at 11:21h, 04 January

    Breakfast: Steel cut oatmeal with cinnamon and raisins
    Snack: Apple
    Lunch: Black eyed peas with snaps and brown rice.
    Snack: Pear
    Dinner: Salad with veggies and balsamic vinegar. Homemade veggie soup.
    Snack: Wasabi Roasted Seaweed

  • Rob
    Posted at 11:51h, 04 January

    Discalimer – I’m a newbie on day 3 of 28 Days but have 3 breakfasts I’m going between
    Breakfast 1
    – Almond Milk and Bite Sized Shredded Wheat nuked for 30 secs
    Breakfast 2
    – Almond Milk & Grape Nuts with Rasins or Cranberries
    Breakfast 3
    – 1 packet plain oatmeal & 1 packet brown sugar oatmeal mixed together with Hot water (plain oats is like eating cardboard for me!)

    – Sweet Potatoes have been a lifesaver for me. Eat with leafy greens, raw veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots

    – Has been a repeat of lunch so far but have some good ideas from above – Thanks guys – you are now officially my unnoficial support group!

    Snack on Fruits & Veggies throughout the day

    Observation: This food takes a long time to eat which is pretty satisfying in itself!

  • Laura Liston
    Posted at 12:38h, 04 January

    I’m trying to convince my husband to go Plant Strong with me. He’s vegetarian, but loves his eggs, cheese and milk in his coffee!

    Breakfast: Bob’s Red Mill 7-grain hot cereal cooked with 1 whole chopped apple and 1 tbsp peanut butter.

    Lunch: huge green salad (favorite is currently the Olivia’s 50/50 blend) + whatever fresh veggies we have (today: cukes, grape tomatoes, orange pepper, snap peas), sunflower seeds, and sprouts, 2 lumps baked falafel (leftover from last night’s dinner), and dressing made from tahini and lemon juice/zest.

    Tonight’s dinner: Tofu/veg fajitas with fresh avocado, La Marissa salsa (BEST salsa ever, also an amazing salad dressing), and whole wheat tortillas.

  • The Running on Veggies Mom
    Posted at 13:47h, 04 January

    Breakfast: Fruit Salad

    Lunch: Steamed edamame, fresh carrots, fresh broccoli, with some homemade hummus.

    Dinner: Black-eyed peas over brown rice

  • The Running on Veggies Mom
    Posted at 14:03h, 04 January

    B: fruit salad

    l: steamed edamame, fresh carrots, fresh broccoli with homemade hummus

    d: black eyed peas over brown rice

  • Carly
    Posted at 19:58h, 04 January

    Thanks for the site! Love the info, would also love a signed copy of the book 🙂

  • Micah
    Posted at 20:54h, 04 January

    Would love a copy of the book 🙂

  • Michelle
    Posted at 21:26h, 04 January


    -1 cup plain unsweetened soymilk, 1/2 cup dry oats cooked in water with vanilla extract, topped with chia, flaxseeds or sliced almonds & cinnamon with either berries, grapefruit sections or banana slices OR
    – 1/2 cup Ezekiel cereal with soymilk and berries sprinkled with cinnamon


    -Hummus sandwich served w/ celery, bell pepper and carrot sticks or a side salad
    -Happy Herbivore quick burgers with celery, bell pepper and baby carrots or a side salad


    -1 piece of fruit (typically an apple) with a small handful of almonds or with raw almond or peanut butter


    -Beans and Rice (or quinoa, barley or buglur) with leafy greens of choice and/or unlimited veggies
    -Greens, Beans and Sweet Taters


    -Vegan Extreme Dark Chocolate with frozen fruit


  • Kynette
    Posted at 14:12h, 05 January

    I use Stevia quite frequently as a sweetner. It’s a supplement and I’m curious why I’m not finding it on your lists. Can you enlighten? thanks

  • Katy
    Posted at 15:58h, 05 January

    This is a sample of my favorite go-to meals:

    Breakfast: 1/3 c old fashioned oats, 1/4 c organic pumpkin puree, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk. Add a dash of pumpkin pie spice. Cook and finish with a tbsp of chopped pecans and a chopped date, for sweetness.

    Lunch: Large salad with dinosaur kale, red onion, cucumbers, and other greens such as spinach or microgreens. Add some pre-made toasted chickpeas that were tossed with vinegar, avocado, a dash of braggs and garlic. Then top the whole salad with a dressing made of avocado, a touch of tahini, lemon juice, garlic, LOTS of fresh dill, and nutritional yeast. mmmmm!!

    Dinner: whole-grain pasta shells with wilted spinach, mushroom, red onion, garlic, and cannellini beans. Topped with a homemade butternut squash/roasted red pepper sauce.

    Snack/Dessert: 1-2 frozen bananas processed until creamy. Stir in about 4-5 chopped walnut halves and some organic, natural coconut flakes.

    I make all of these dishes pretty regularly! Never get tired of them and they are easy to tweak for different variations!

  • Anne
    Posted at 18:02h, 05 January

    A great snack to have on hand and very easy: Poke holes in several sweet potatoes and rinse them off. Leave them wet. Wrap each one in aluminum foil. Put them all in the slow cooker. Put a little more water in the bottom of it. Leave it on low for a few hours (7 maybe, in an older cooker). Take them out, leaving them in the foil, and put them in a container or two in the fridge. When you want to eat them, take them out, mash up as desired, put in the microwave. I top them with scallions, a little toasted sesame or sunflower seeds, almonds, plus some liquid aminos — or sometimes with beans or strips of kale.

    • Anne
      Posted at 18:04h, 05 January

      Oops! That was walnuts for the topping, not almonds.

  • Michelle
    Posted at 00:34h, 07 January

    On an ideal day….
    Breakfast, veggie stirfry with portabella mushroom. Takes about 10 minutes to make. I have a desk job, so eating lots of carbs first thing in the morning doesn’t work well for me.
    Snack, pistachios and a small banana
    Lunch, refried beans, sliced tomato and corn chips (baked?)
    Snack, raisin bran flake cereal with unsweetened soy milk.
    Dinner, pan-fried tofu slices (non-stick spray), steamed greens, corn, and a salad
    Desert, an apple or a frozen, 100% fruit pop
    And, of course, lots of water!!!

  • Susanne
    Posted at 21:08h, 08 January

    Thanks for the reminder to keep it simple. Got everything ready for the 28 day challenge.

  • Sharon
    Posted at 17:07h, 10 January

    Steel cut oats every morning, and sometimes again for lunch, with fresh fruit and almond milk. Mornings are simple.
    Soup for lunch – rich, hearty bean based soups. Greens added or on the side.
    Vegetables over quinoa or brown rice for dinner. A piece of fruit for dessert.

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