Planning your plant-based meals
When switching to a plant-based diet—or simply making an effort to cut back on meat—one of the first things people ask is: “What can I eat?” While we aren’t nutritionists, we do know some handy resources from the experts that can help you during your transition.
And the best part? They’re all free.
Lighter is a meal planning website that “helps the world eat better.” Their Exploring Membership option includes personalized meal recommendations, grocery lists, and grocery delivery (in select locations). Plus, the meal plans’ recipes were designed to meet the specifications of medical and dietary professionals—including Dr. Michael Greger, M.D., physician and New York Times best-selling author of How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease (a great read for those taking the plant-based plunge!)
While Lighter’s introductory membership is free, they offer upgraded experiences through paid subscriptions. These premium plans include access to cooking videos, nutrition information, one-on-one support, and more.
Actually, Lighter is behind many popular meal planning services in collaboration with athletes and celebrities like: 22 Days Nutrition, a partnership with Beyoncé; Engine 2 by Rip Esselstyn; and The Plant Power Meal Planner by Rich Rolls.
2. Plant-Based On a Budget
One common misconception about plant-based eating is that it’s
too expensive to be practical. While non-seasonal, tropical fruit can certainly increase your spending, replacing your everyday meat purchases with plants doesn’t always have to break the bank. Plant-Based On A Budget has free meal plans which can help keep your weekly spending under $25 per person per week!
The available plans are categorized by the number of people you need to feed within your household. Living the bachelor/ette life? Their 1 Person Plan may be more your speed. Feeding a spouse and an army of youngsters? Check out their Family Plan. The meal plans range from three to four weeks, so it’s a great resource for those that are looking for longer-term inspiration.
3. Forks Over Knives
Forks Over Knives provides weekly, 5-day plant-based meal
planners that are fully customizable, family-friendly, and with recipes ready in 35 minutes or less. While the company offers a paid subscription service, you can request a free 5-Day meal planner without even having to put in your credit card!
The service curates grocery lists to make shopping a breeze, and a weekend preparation guide to help you get ahead of your weekday meals. There are plans for individuals, couples, and families, and you can switch it up at any time.
4. One Green Planet
Are you an endurance athlete? Do you eat low sugar? Only eat
whole foods? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of those questions, fear not—One Green Planet has the meal planner for you.
With 12 weekly meal planners to choose from, you’ll have a variety of recipes and meals at your fingertips. Who knew there were so many ways to Eat Plants for a Change? And the best part: Their plans include recipes for snacks and desserts! Yum.
Looking for more of an in-depth look into plant-based meal
planning? Nutriciously has the tips and tricks you need to do it right. Plant-based diets may be one of the most nutrient-dense diets out there, but that doesn’t mean you can’t slip up and miss a few. Luckily, their beginner’s guide discusses which foods to incorporate into your meals and the nutrients to keep in mind!
As a bonus, if you’re looking to educate yourself even further, Nutriciously offers a free 6-part course on beginning a plant-based diet! Learn about the benefits to switching, explore foods to help you through the transition, and get access to a 3-day meal plan of delicious plant-based recipes.
6. Whole Foods Market
Even grocery stores are starting to see the power of plants!
Whole Foods Market, which was among the first food businesses to commit to meaningful improvements in the lives of chickens, has also made it super easy to plan out a more plant-rich diet with their Plant-astic Plant-Based Meal Plan.
The meal plan is designed for individuals, so you’ll either have to double the batches to feed another person or check out some of the other resources above. However, every recipe contains ingredients you can find in-store and each day’s worth of meals comes in at a health-conscious 1,800 calories.
We hope these user-friendly meal planning resources will help you along your journey into plant-based eating! Know of some other awesome plant-based meal planners that we missed? Let us know @CompassionUSA on Facebook and Instagram or @CIWF_USA on Twitter!