What Does A Vegan Diet Look Like?

May 4th, 2010 - filed under: The Food » Food and Health


There’s a bit of a meme floating about the internets right now, with vegan bloggers posting mini food diaries. Anyone who’s been vegan for more than a few days has faced the question, “So what DO you eat?!” (by the way: answer). These little 3-day food diaries are a great way of de-mystifying veganism. The truth is, we eat the same ol’ stuff as all of you omni’s out there. No biggie.

At this very moment I’m on a crazy elimination diet for breastfeeding, in hopes that it may help relieve the Wee Mr. Rebhal of some of his gas pains. So my current diet is not very balanced, or interesting. And last weekend we celebrated Damian’s birthday (we do birth weekends – sometimes entire birth weeks – instead of piddly birthdays), which was also not at all reflective of what I normally eat. So I’m going all the way back to last week. And actually, I was away from home visiting family, so even this is not my standard fare (it’s much more carb-heavy, and MUCH more sugar, than I usually eat). But oh well, so you get to see how a vegan eats when traveling!

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

  • Breakfast – Kasha (buckwheat groats) with Earthbalance™, salt, and agave.
  • Snack – Whole wheat toast with peanut butter and agave.
  • Lunch – Tomato soup with olive oil + rosemary + sea salt crackers. Side salad with tomato, cucumber, and avocado, with Goddess dressing.
  • Dinner – Split pea soup. Sourdough with dipping oil (lemon olive oil + balsamic vinegar). Big salad with black beans, corn, tomatoes, black olives, hearts of palm, and pepitas, tossed in vinaigrette.
  • Dessert – A couple squares of dark chocolate. Peach herbal tea.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

  • Breakfast – Sourdough toast with peanut butter + agave (2 pieces). Earl Grey tea with almond milk +agave.
  • Snack – 2 blood oranges.
  • Lunch – Big salad with brown rice, tomatoes, carrots, guacamole, and grilled tofu, with tahini dressing. Fresh made veggie juice with carrot, beet, and celery.
  • Snack – Coconut chocolate chip cookie.
  • Dinner – Half an artichoke. Moroccan lentil soup. Vegan cesar salad.
  • Dessert – Apple pie.

Friday, 30 April 2010

  • Breakfast – Oatmeal with almond milk + agave. Peach herbal tea.
  • Lunch – Veggie sammich with roasted red pepper, onion, tomato, cucumber, green onion sprouts, and avocado, on whole grain bread. Small green salad with balsamic. Side of grilled fingerling potatoes with ketchup.
  • Snack – Peanut butter chocolate chip cookie. Decaf frapuccino, from Starbucks (*had* to try the new vegan fraps!)
  • Dinner – Thai food! Panang curry with tofu. Yakisoba noodles with mixed veggies.
  • Dessert – 2 chocolate chip cookies.

Here’s ‘the assignment’ from Vegan.com. For other 3-day food diaries, check out the girl who started the meme, and this response, and also this one, and this one. And of course, there’s always the Livejournal community, vegan_foodblog.

Are you veg*n? What does a typical day of eating look like for you?

  • http://www.creativeanomalie.com sarah

    SOOO glad you’re back!! I was just thinking yesterday how much I missed your posts!

    And that little dude is seriously adorable. So happy for you guys ;)

  • Meghan

    To you happen to know if one can use a reusable cup to acquire a Starbucks frappuccino?

  • Meghan

    To actually answer your question… I’m sick and it’s the end of the semester, so nothing about my current diet is typical, but this is what I ate today (way less than I normally eat…)

    Breakfast: Two mixed berry scones that my husband made a few days ago, jasmine tea

    Lunch: whole wheat pasta with peanut sauce and scallions, peach-green-decaf tea

    Snack: white tea and homemade granola bar (wooo!)

    Dinner: Whole wheat pasta with marinara sauce and green beans

    I was using my livejournal as a blog o’ eating, but I got lazy. I may get back to that at some point, I like having a place I can send people when they ask me what I eat.

  • Kat

    @Meghan – I see people handing personal thermoses to the baristas all the time at Starbucks. They take it in stride.

    As for food…I’m vegetarian, not vegan but my diet is pretty similar to that pyramid you posted – vegetables are the bulk of what I eat, with plenty of whole grains, some beans and lentils, a little cheese or an egg here and there and then things like nuts, oils, sweets sparingly. I’d say my average “dinner plate” is 1/2 salad, 1/4 vegetables and 1/4 grain of some kind. Protein is mixed in somewhere – beans on the salad or tofu with the vegetables.

  • Minna

    Hehe, funny that you eat kasha as a sweet thing with agave! Cause it’s quite a traditional food for us and we have it with gravy as a side dish. And, well, some people like it with butter or milk (I used to eat it with milk). I’ve totally forgot about buckwheat cos it’s not that popular over here. But it should be really healthy, right? Now I’m really craving buckwheat! Nom.

    Anyway. My typical day looks something like this:

    …dark rye bread with avocado (+sea salt, pepper & ground cumin), multigrain toast with peanutbutter and jelly. Tea.
    …oatmeal with seeds, sea salt and dates.

    …decaf soy latte, a vegan cookie =) (but usually a piece of fruit)

    …falafel salad with rocket, hummous and tabouli
    …a wrap with all sorts of different stuff (I get it from a local salad bar called “Nourish”), for example today I had mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, roasted pumpkin and salad dressing in it.

    Today I had red lentil dahl with fried onions and brussel sprouts+carrots with herbs in white wine and garlic sauce +fresh tomato

    Chamomile tea and almonds!

  • http://www.heathers-perspective.blogspot.com Heather

    Welcome back to posting! Hope that little bundle of joy is doing well :)
    TRYING to be vegan….on and off the wagon, so to speak.
    Being gluten intolerant and living in a house of hardcore carnivores makes it difficult, but I do what I can.
    Baby steps,no? :)
    Have a great day!!

  • http://www.femgeek.co.uk Han

    thank you for posting this! I’m not vegan but am intolerant to pretty much everything (and I can’t afford meat!) so I’ve ended up eating a mostly vegan diet but I find it so difficult to come up with meals that I end up eating normal food and having to put up with the pain!

  • Kelly

    Gosh this makes me want to eliminate dairy. I mean, why do I need that? I don’t. I just like how cheese tastes. The worst part is that I’m lactose intolerant and shouldn’t eat it anyway. Love the pyramid :)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com Sayward

    @ Sarah – Thanks! It’s so good to be back.

    @ Meghan – Mmmm, homemade granola bar! I’ve always wanted to do that. =)

    I’m pretty sure Starbucks would be fine doing the frap in a reusable cup. They do cold drinks like that , right?

    @ Kat – Sounds pretty close to how I eat! Although I’m pretty heavy on the beans/lentils. I <3 my legumes. =)

    @ Minna – That was my first time having kasha! I was served it by my godmother, and I loved it. Definitely will be eating more.

    Also, damn girl, your diet sounds YUMMY! (and very healthy!)

    @ Heather – Yes! Doing *something* is always better that not trying at all! It’s awesome that your making the effort, and baby steps can go a LONG way, over time. Congrats and keep it up!

    @ Han – I’m sorry, that must be really hard. Food intolerances are such a difficulty! I’m glad you’ve gotten some ideas here. Maybe you could pick some vegan cookbooks for inspiration. It can be overwhelming at first, but once you figure it out it becomes second nature and it’s not too hard to eat at any restaurant or make do of any situation. You shouldn’t have to just settle for ‘normal’ food and then suffer!

    @ Kelly – Yay! Although I do know how difficult it is for some people to quit cheese, I also think getting rid of dairy is one of the greatest things you can do for your health (and the animals!). It’s really not so bad once you get over the hump. Maybe try going 21 days without dairy and see how you like it. You can always go back when it’s over if you hate it! If nothing else, it’s a good way to challenge yourself. =)

  • Kate

    Yay, I’m so glad you’re posting again! Waits is SO cute!

    I’m a vegetarian who tries to avoid dairy, this is what I ate today:

    Two eggs and a slice of whole grain toast

    1 mango

    Vegetarian chili and a slice of sourdough toast

    2 pieces dark chocolate

    Green monster smoothie (mango, strawberries, blueberries, plums, spinach, flax seeds, fresh ginger) and baked potato wedges


  • Kelly

    Challenge accepted. Today I got chili sauce on my falafel instead of yogurt…stuff. Most of my diet is vegan anyway, my favorite cookbooks are all vegan, I just end up putting cheese on top of my veg chili! Maybe I could get creative with yeast flakes or something. Hmm.

  • http://www.mamamonique.blogspot.com Mama Monique

    I wish I could say: Yes I am! .. But I am stil learning. Me and my son have to eat like a vegan, because we both have alergic reactions on a very lot fooditems and ingrediënts. So No… I’m not a veggie, but love to become one! ;o)

  • http://binaryvegan.com Trish

    Thanks for linking to my entry! I didn’t realize anyone would ever come across it. :-)

    Based on your mini-diary, I’d say your diet is definitely interesting! Well, more so than mine, anyway. I’m working on it, though.

  • Kimmi

    just wondering if you’ve read up on agave much….i, myself was using until reading this: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/03/30/beware-of-the-agave-nectar-health-food.aspx i realize you may be opposed to the use of bees to make your food, but it is what they do!

  • Kelly H.

    I’m Vegan! :o) But I have no typical day/way of eating unless I’m following an eating plan or fasting. Sadly, my regular diet is too carb and sugar heavy, especially during the colder months…and this is a battle I struggle with daily. I really need to start using Fitday.com again! Thankfully, with summer on the way with a membership to my friends CSA, things should improve dramatically.

  • rea

    Vegan here!

    Oatmeal + 2 Tbsp. peanut butter, coffee with a dash of soy milk

    Peanuts with sea salt or granola

    Hummus and lettuce sandwich on whole wheat bread and baby carrots, usually with fruit juice

    Varies, but usually some combination or TVP and veggies.

    Almost always a fruit smoothie.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com Sayward

    @ Kate – Sounds yum! Especially the smoothie, mmmm.

    @ Kelly – Hooray! Good luck with it – I know it can be very difficult. I like my chili with thick slices of avocado!

    @ Mama Monique – Hey, every little bit counts! Sounds like you’re doing great. =)

    @ Trish – Yay! Veg*n blog love all around!

    @ Kimmi – Yes! I actually have phased out agave in my own home, but since I was on a trip I was at the mercy of my hosts. =) Thanks for the link though! I’m still parsing out the truth on agave, but I do plan to write an article on it some day.

    @ Kelly H. – Well don’t feel too bad – we all go comfort-food-crazy in winter. Thank goodness for warm weather and fresh veggies coming our way soon!!!

    @ rea – That sounds great! I’m a HUGE peanut fan, hee hee.

  • Barbara

    I’m so excited that I found your blog. I’ve just started on my journey to become vegetarian and ultimately a vegan. I woke up one morning and thought – wow I’m fat and unhealthy, this can’t be the way we are supposed to live. I’ve been a hard core meat eater my whole life. Generally speaking I would eat at least 2 burgers a day – seriously, every day. For the last month I’ve eliminated red meat from my diet- I honestly didn’t think I would be able to go a day much less a little over a month w/out eating red meat. It has helped that I left white meat in my diet however, I’m now at a point that I would like to eliminate all meat and am having a hard time trying to find well, what to eat. (I’m not ready just yet to give up cheese but I’m sure I will be soon – right? LOL) – I happily stumbles across your blog and am so glad that I did. I’m devouring it your recipes, thoughts and ideas. :) I’m learning so much and can’t wait to try out some of your dishes. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com Sayward

    @ Barbara – Hello! Welcome to the blog AND to your veg journey! Good luck with everything. I’m always here to help! =)

  • Barbara

    Hi Sayward,

    Thank you so much! I do have one question. As of the 23rd :) I haven’t eaten any meat (yay me – hehe) and I’ve sorta had this weird thing happen. I don’t personally know any vegetarians/vegans yet so I’m hoping you won’t mind answering my Q for me. My stomach has been cramping and knoting something fierce? Is that normal? – Thank you!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com Sayward

    Hi Barbara! YES, totally normal. It’s one of three things:

    1) You’re eating a ton more ‘bulk’ ruffage, ie fiber, and your system is not used to that. A lot of people experience a period of acclimation that, unfortunately, includes some gas and discomfort. But I promise it’s not permanent! Try to eat plenty of protein and fat rich foods and not just all veggies. Fruit is especially gas-making because of the fiber plus sugar.

    2) You’ve replaced meat with dairy (like cheese) and you’re a little lactose intolerant. If you’ve been super relying on dairy, try cutting back and going for other protein sources like legumes, nuts, and seeds.

    3) You’re not eating enough calories. Plant foods are nutrient-dense but not calorie-dense, so you’ll need to get used to eating what visually looks like ‘more’ food. a lot of people go veg and just replace meat with the same sized servings of plant foods. But you’ll be getting a lot less calories if you do this! And empty bellies can cause gas and cramping. So make sure you’e eating enough!

    Does one of these sound like it may be the culprit?

    CONGRATS on going meat-free, by the way. What an accomplishment! =D

  • Barbara

    OMG thank you! Yes, actually all 3 sound like me lol – Thank you so much. I thought I was doing something wrong, I couldn’t figure out why it was doing that. It’s def. getting better. Thank you so much for all of your help. :)

  • http://livecompletely.blogspot.com/ kory

    Pregnant, hungry, and reading your blog… oh the drool, lol. Anyway, I’m eternally thankful for your inspiration!

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