Once associated exclusively with crunchy hippies, the vegan diet is no longer as unconventional as it was a couple years ago. Still, being vegan often draws raised brows and weird looks from those who aren’t familiar with it. Some people think being vegan means eating salad three times a day, everyday. Others think it’s just plain crazy. But what exactly does “going vegan” mean, and why is it so great?

WHAT IS A VEGAN DIET?

A vegan diet focuses on plant-based foods and beverages and eliminates all and any animal byproducts. In other words, meat, poultry, fish, and dairy are replaced with veggies, fruits, beans, nuts, and grains. Plus, the health benefits are huge. A balanced vegan diet has been shown to decrease body mass index and lower your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and even cancer.

But a vegan diet isn’t just about eating a plant-based diet—it’s a conscious effort, a lifestyle, and an advocacy to help save the environment. Many people, in fact, apply its principles beyond their diet, avoiding clothes, makeup, and personal care items that exploit animals or use animal products.

WHERE DOES ONE START?

With that said, it’s not worth trying to convince anyone to become a vegan. For one, it’s a losing battle. And two, there’s no certainty a plant-based diet is ideal for everyone. But if there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s that even a part-time vegan diet can benefit human health, increase animal welfare, and reduce environmental impact.

So if you want to go vegan without sacrificing your love for big, juicy burgers, why not try it out for just a day? Scroll to see my one-day vegan meal plan to get you started!

BREAKFAST: ALMOND BUTTER OVERNIGHT OATS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 3/4 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup, coconut sugar, or stevia
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats

TOPPINGS:

  • Sliced fruit (I like strawberries!)
  • Almond butter

PROCEDURE:
STEP 1: Add almond milk, chia seeds, and maple syrup (or other sweetener) in a large bowl. Stir with a spoon to combine.
STEP 2: Add oats and stir a few more times, then press down with a spoon to ensure all oats have been immersed in almond milk.
STEP 3: Cover securely with a plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator overnight (or at least 6 hours).
STEP 4: The next day, open and garnish with sliced fruit and almond butter.

PRODUCT RECOS: The Superfood Grocer Chia Seeds 1/2 lb., P350, GreenLife Organic Coconut Sugar, P150, Seeds Of Life Pure Almond Butter (200g), P350

LUNCH: SPICY PESTO TOMATO PASTA

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup pasta
  • 1/2 cup pre-made pesto sauce

Optional:

  • Olives
  • Cherry tomatoes

PROCEDURE:
STEP 1: Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water until done. Drain.
STEP 2. Add pesto sauce onto pasta and top with olives and cherry tomatoes.

PRODUCT RECOS: 7Grains Company Yellow Soybean Protein Pasta, P125, The Good Seed Organic Black Olive Pesto, P350

AFTERNOON SNACK: CHIA GRANOLA PUDDING

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 3/4 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup, coconut sugar, or stevia

TOPPINGS:

  • Granola

PROCEDURE:
STEP 1: In a large bowl, whisk together almond milk, chia seeds, and maple syrup (or other sweetener).
STEP 2: Cover securely with a plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator overnight (or at least 6 hours).
STEP 3: The next day, open and garnish with granola.

PRODUCT RECOS: Manila Superfoods Chia Seeds (100g), P150, Natural Health Coconut Sap Sugar (250g), P120

DINNER: VEGETABLE STIR-FRY

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup carrot
  • 1/4 cup diced red pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced green pepper
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce

PROCEDURE:
STEP 1: Heat a pan on high heat with oil.
STEP 2: Add the broccoli and stir-fry for 1 minute, then reduce the heat.
STEP 3: Add the carrot, red pepper, and green pepper and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Keep the ingredients moving.
STEP 4: Add 1 tbsp. water, hoisin, and soy sauce and cook over a high heat for 2 more minutes or until all the vegetables are cooked but not too soft.
STEP 5: Serve with rice.

PRODUCT RECOS: GreenLife Organic Sap Aminos (150ml), P85, Fresh Start Organics Brown Rice (2kg), P331

Who knows, you might just keep it up for longer!

Photos by Arielle Faustino

To discover more about healthy living, visit our Wellness Tab.

For more cool stories and members-only perks, sign up for BeautyMNL!