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Original photo by Julia Cloppse
Life

Plant Based Mealspo

 

We all know that eating more plant based foods is great for the environment, but sometimes as college students, it can be hard to know where to start. So, in addressing this little dilemma I’ve compiled a little day of meal options. Going vegan “cold turkey” (NO PUN INTENDED) isn’t exactly realistic for all, but the more we incorporate more of these plant centered meals into our days, the better. There’s a way for us all to do our part and decrease our overall animal consumption! 

Before I get into the meals, an overall tip which I have found so helpful is prepping at the start of the week. Every Sunday, I try to throw some fruit into the freezer (mostly bananas in zip-locs), cut and wash some fruit in tupperwares in the fruit (mostly berries), and roast some vegetables. 

Overall, I’ve found this way of eating not only to be more sustainable but to have helped my skin GLOW and to just make me feel so much better in general. Nothing like some good fruits, veggies and plant based proteins to help your body feel nourished, fueled and satisfied. :)

 

Breakfasts:

To start with my favorite meal of the day, here are some of my go-to’s. I’ve included sweet and savory options, although I’m partial to sweet, and they are all super quick to whip up before a Zoom class or before running out the door. 

  • Sweet and Savory Toast- Any sort of bread (I love the Ezekiel sprouted grain English muffins) with peanut butter and banana or berries for the sweet side and avocado with some everything but the bagel seasoning from Trader Joe’s. Best of both worlds! 

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  • Oats- Always a go-to. Any quick-make oats (I like to just put mine in the microwave), with some almond milk and cinnamon, topped with peanut butter or almond butter (RX VANILLA ALMOND BUTTER IS A GAME CHANGER) and some fruit always (I like banana, fresh strawberries and frozen blueberries).

  • Smoothie- Something about drinking a smoothie in the morning just makes me feel so energized and ready to take on the day. I LOVE a green smoothie. Mine includes frozen banana and mango, fresh spinach, cinnamon, almond milk, and ice. After blending, I top with granola (purely Elizabeth has great options) and some fresh fruit (usually blueberries). Mine are usually thick enough to eat with a spoon, and it quite literally feels like you’re eating ice cream. 

Awesome TO-GO Snack Option:

Just to add in one of my favorite little snacks, Go Macro Bars are AMAZING. I love to just always have them in my bag in case I get hungry throughout the day. The oatmeal chocolate chip and peanut butter chocolate chip flavors are delicious. So quick, so easy and super satisfying, enough to hold you over!

Lunches/Dinners: 

Compiling these together since you can make them for either! 

  • Burrito bowl- Put some brown rice, black beans, crumbled up tortilla chips, and avocado into a bowl and you will feel like you’re eating chipotle MINUS spending 10 dollars on your meal. 

  • Pasta with veggies and pesto -  I like to use chickpea or brown rice pasta for some added protein and fiber, but this is always an easy meal to just throw in some pesto and some veggies you have prepped. If you’re feeling extra crazy, I like to add in some vegan parm or mozzarella, too.

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  • Quesadilla- I love to just heat up a tortilla with vegan cheese (preferably cheddar, violife has a great one), black beans and roasted diced little sweet potatoes. This probably sounds a little strange but believe me, this combo is fire and makes for a really fulfilling meal. 

Lazy Girl Moments: 

Happens more often than not :) Always good to have some backup options!

 

  • Amy’s frozen meals- Throw these bean and rice burritos in the microwave for 2 minutes, and BAM, you have your little plant-based meal. 

  • Daiya mac n cheese- This comes in a box exactly like Kraft and is probably one of my favorite things ever invented. I love a little dairy free mac n cheese moment because it really does take me back to my childhood.  

 

Sweet endings:

Being that I quite literally cannot go to bed without eating something sweet, I always keep the Parade cookies (the birthday cake and chocolate chip flavors are great) to have with almond milk or So Delicious little ice cream sandwiches on deck. 

 

Now that I’ve provided some inspo, put these into your notes app, incorporate some of the ingredients into your grocery list and make your eating habits just a tad bit more sustainable :) 

 

My name is Julia Cloppse, I am a third year at UVA and I'm from Staten Island, New York!
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