Nutrition Resources for a Healthy Plant Based Diet

Where To Shop for Groceries

Not knowing what to buy at the grocery store is one of the most common barriers for people who have a desire to transition to plant based living. Here at Compassion Champs we want to help you navigate toward a plant based diet while keeping you and your family healthy! For those lucky enough to have a Whole Foods, Thrive or Sprouts grocery store near your home, many of the specialty items will be super easy to find. Otherwise, you can make requests at your local grocer to try some new products or order many of these items from Amazon.com

Staples for a Plant Based Kitchen

Many are concerned about getting enough protein, iron and calcium on a plant based diet — but the truth is there is no reason to worry! With this list you easily meet your nutritional requirements for a happy and healthy body. Have fun with this list and try new foods you never have tried before.

Good quality protein sources

  • Hemp seed nut and flour
  • Field Roast Vegan Sausages (found at Whole Foods and Mothers market YUM!)
  • Tofu (just like Forrest Gump’s shrimp, you can sauté it, grill it, fry it, bread it, smoke it, boil it, scramble it, slice it, bake it; you get the point)
  • Beans (kidney, pinto, black, garbanzo, soy, adzuki)
  • Lentils
  • Peas
  • Soy, Pea, Hemp and Brown Rice protein powder
  • Cashew milk
  • Coconut milk
  • Hemp milk
  • Almond milk
  • Cashew Cheese (Miyoko’s Creamery cheese is TO DIE FOR and Tree Nut Cheese is also AH-mazing)
  • Dark green leafy veggies; like Broccoli, Spinach and Brussels Sprouts

Good quality fat sources

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Flax seed oil
  • Hemp seed oil
  • Avocado
  • Non-roasted nuts and seeds (raw)
  • Coconut oil

Calcium rich foods

  • Almonds
  • Beans
  • Dark, leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale)
  • Sesame seeds (more calcium than dairy per ounce! Yep, it’s true)
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Cashew milk (50% MORE calcium than dairy milk)
  • Kite Hill Almond Cream Cheese (at Whole Foods- will blow your mind!)
  • Leaf Cuisine Cashew cheeses with probiotics (at Whole Foods)

Iron-rich foods

  • Fortified cereals
  • Split pea soup
  • Cookies or other baked foods made with molasses (also high in calcium)
  • Dried peas and beans (kidney, lima, lentils)
  • Bran
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Soybean nuts
  • Prune juice, raisins
  • Enriched rice
  • Peanut butter
  • Apricots
  • Green beans
  • Walnuts, cashews, pecans, almonds

Plant Based Foods to Replace Common Meat & Dairy Foods

One of the hardest parts about going plant based is breaking old eating habits. Luckily, with the popularity of plant based diets surging in America there are several companies making plant based versions of all your favorite meals. Check them out! They will blow you away with how “meaty”, “cheesy” and savory they are. Yum!

 

Meat

  • Gardein Products (Crab Cakes, Chicken Tenders, Beef & Broccoli, Turkey Cutlets, Fish Filets, Burgers, and so much more!)
  • Field Roast (Ground Beef, Sausages, and more!)
  • Beyond Beef (Ground Beef, Burgers, Chicken Strips)

Eggs

  • Follow Your Heart Vegan Egg (scramble it, omelet it, add salt and pepper!)
  • Vegg (more for baking needs)

Cheese

  • Chao Cheeses
  • Follow Your Heart Cheeses
  • Kite Hill Cheeses
  • Leaf Cuisine Cheeses
  • Miyoko’s Creamery
  • Tree Nut Cheeses

Butter

  • Earth’s Balance Buttery Spread
  • Miyoko’s Artisanal Butter

Mayonnaise and other Dressings

  • Just Mayo (Plain, Lite, Chipotle, Garlic Versions)
  • Follow Your Heart Dressings (Ranch, Thousand Island, Bleu Cheese, Caesar and all the other classics!)

Snacks

  • Amy’s Dairy Free Mac & Cheese
  • Bold Vegan Pizza
  • Earth Balance Buttery Popcorn
  • Earth Balance Cheesy Crackers
  • Dr. McDougalls Ramen (and many other ramen type soups)

Sweets

  • Just Cookie Dough
  • Eat Pastry Cookie Dough
  • So Delicious Ice Creams
  • Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
Health Information

Going plant based is the greatest gift you will ever give your family in terms of health! The World Health Organization as well as renowned Universities like Harvard and Yale have all regaled plant based diets as the healthiest diet on the planet.

If you plan your meals well, chances are you are meeting all of your nutritional needs. As with any diet you may want to play it safe, especially while transitioning from a meat & dairy based diet to a plant based diet.

Supplements for a Well Balanced Plant Based Diet

Iron

Why supplement

Iron is plentiful in many plant based sources including green leafy vegetables, seaweed and beans. If you are a pregnant woman or have had anemia in the past, it is a great idea to take an iron supplement. If you take your iron with vitamin C, you will greatly increase the absorption of the iron.

Great Products

Mega Food Blood Builders.

B-12

Why supplement

If you only take 1 supplement, B12 should be the one. On a plant based diet the only real source of absorbable B12 comes from fortified foods therefore, a supplement is advisable.

Great Products

Nature’s Bounty B12 or NOW Foods B12 Lozenges.

Omega-3 DHA

Why supplement

You can easily meet your Omega-3 requirements by eating a handful of walnuts each day, or, if you prefer chia seeds, flax seeds they are also great options. Unfortunately, not everyone can convert these fats to maintain proper levels of DHA and EPA which is why you may want to supplement.

Great Products

Walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, Nature Made Omega 3 softgels.

Calcium

Why supplement

The really amazing thing about going plant based is that most brands of soy, cashew, almond, pea, hemp and flax milks contain more calcium than cow’s milk. So, by drinking these products you should be meeting your nutritional requirements better than your dairy drinking counterparts.

Great Products

Deva Calcium & Magnesium.

Multivitamins

Why supplement

It is a good practice, whether you are on a plant based diet or not, to take a multivitamin just to make sure you are meeting all of your nutritional requirements.

Great Products

Nature Made Multi for Her, Nature Made Multi for Him, VegLife Vegan Kids Multiple.

Prenatal

Why supplement

If you are growing a tiny human inside your womb, this is the time to supplement! You want to guard against deficiencies not matter how well you have planned out your meals.

Great Products

Deva Prenatal Multivitamin.

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