Going green is a trend that’s catching on, and quickly.
In 2017, a report into Top Trends in Prepared Foods found that 6% of US consumers now claim to be vegan, up from just 1% in 2014 — that’s an immense increase in just 3 years.
For many of us though, going vegan seems scarily restrictive and, well, a lot of effort. We decided to speak to one of our ambassadors, Miles Kasiri, to get some insight into how he sticks to a plant-based diet, and how to vegan meal prep in a way that’s easy and enjoyable.
You’ll find in this article:
About Miles Kasiri
Miles is a former professional athlete, registered nutritional therapist, and has a successful YouTube channel, ‘Healthy Crazy Cool’, through which he promotes the benefits of following a plant-based diet. He offers advice, support, and vegan recipes for people to follow — he really knows his stuff.
Miles says that he initially became very interested in plant-based diets because of the link between animal products and health diseases like cancer and diabetes. For him, the ethical reasons came secondary to this, but they “sealed the deal” for his decision to go vegan.
In one of his YouTube posts he says, “I came to the understanding that there was only one diet that had been scientifically proven to prevent and reverse chronic diseases, as well as prevent destruction of the planet, and prevent unnecessary harm and murder of animals. That was veganism. That’s why I decided that I was 100% vegan, and from that moment I never went back.”
So, whether you’re only just thinking about ditching the dairy and need some help starting, or you’re a veteran of the plant-based lifestyle and want new inspiration, here’s the lowdown on how to vegan meal prep from the man himself.
What Does A Vegan Eat In A Day?
A typical day of eating for me is usually very simple — I like to focus on eating a variety of whole foods, whilst at the same time making sure to eat enough plant-based protein and healthy fats to fuel my body.
I do practice intermittent fasting — I have done this since I was in professional sport, and it’s just something that comes naturally to me. I usually workout in a fasted state and my typical post-workout meal will be a green smoothie.
Vegan Breakfast Meal Prep Idea: Superfood Green Smoothie
Greens are full of important antioxidants and magnesium, which is very beneficial for energy production and muscle recovery.
To make my green smoothies tasty, nutrient dense and filling, this is what I usually add:
- A couple of frozen bananas
- Frozen mango or some dates for healthy carbs and sweetness
- 2-3 tablespoons of hemp seeds for healthy fats
- 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed (these seeds are naturally high in good quality protein and also omega-3 fats)
- A scoop of Pea Protein Isolate or Soy Protein
- A huge amount of spinach and/or kale
I like to blend my smoothies with coconut water because it’s very high in potassium, which we lose via sweat — coconut water is almost like nature’s sports drink!
Vegan Lunch & Dinner Meal Prep Ideas: Dense & Colorful Salad Bowls
For lunch and dinner, I like to create huge, nutrient-dense salad bowls. A complete meal for me is one that includes lots of colorful veggies, a healthy whole carbohydrate source, protein, and always some healthy fats.
I always base my meals on a lot of greens (raw or cooked) such as spinach, kale, broccoli, rocket, fresh herbs etc. because it’s important to focus on foods rich in micronutrients, rather than focusing on macros alone.
- Protein — I always try and add some sort of plant-based protein, such as chickpeas, butterbeans, lentils, or tofu.
- Carbohydrates — For carbohydrates I’m a big lover of sweet potatoes or quinoa (quinoa is very high in protein and contains all essential amino acids). I always focus on “whole” carbohydrates, rather than refined ones that have had most of their fiber, vitamins and minerals stripped from them!
- Healthy Fats — For healthy fats I will add a whole avocado or a sprinkle of hemp and flaxseeds, which are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids. I’m also known as the “Tahini King” on YouTube because I add a good drizzle of tahini (sesame paste) to most of my savory meals. Tahini is rich in protein and calcium.
Healthy Vegan Snack Ideas
I generally don’t snack in between meals as my meals are so satiating, but if I do snack then I will eat fruit such as apples or berries, or a vegan protein bar.
I if I were to advise a great healthy vegan snack it would be raw nuts or seeds. Walnuts, for example, are high in protein and essential fatty acids.
Do Vegans Need To Count Macros?
I personally don’t count calories or macros. After so many years in professional sport I know my body so well and I know what works for me, so I eat very intuitively. I eat a high-fat vegan diet because this is what works for me and has enhanced my sports performance and stamina.
When I had to quit professional tennis at a young age due to a severe injury, my body went through many stages of exhaustion and illness. I managed to re-build my health and re-gain my strength and fitness by feeding myself an abundance of whole foods without worrying too much about macro goals.
Now that I’m back to vigorous training I do make sure I’m eating a good balance of protein, carbs and fats but I don’t have “exact specific” amounts I force myself to consume daily.
If my physical goals change in the near future, of course I would make necessary adjustments and pay closer attention to macro targets based on what the end goal is.
How To Vegan Meal Prep To Boost Protein
When you’re eating a well-balanced whole foods diet, it’s pretty easy to get all the protein and healthy fats you need without overthinking it.
However, I find it really easy to bump up my protein just by adding an extra cup of beans or lentils to my meals, or adding a scoop of Pea Protein Isolate to my smoothies.
Although I don’t track my macros daily, I have noticed I thrive more when I add healthy fat sources to all my main meals, such an avocado, nuts or seeds. Even just adding a few spoons of hemp, flax or pumpkin seeds to any meal (sweet or savory) can really bump up your protein on a vegan diet without having to prepare anything.
A great tip to anyone who is feeling unsatisfied and always hungry on a vegan diet is to try adding more protein and healthy fats to your meals.
Both protein and fats help to satiate the brain and body, and keep you fuller for longer. They give you a long lasting supply of energy that carbohydrates alone don’t provide (although carbohydrates are also of course a very important part of a healthy diet).
How To Vegan Meal Prep – 6 Easy Ideas
1) Steamed Greens
Meal prep for me is very simple. Every couple of days I always steam up a huge load of greens, such as broccoli, green beans, leeks, kale etc. and keep them in the fridge so that I have them on hand to add to my meals.
2) Tofu Fry-Up Mix
I also like to fry-up blocks of tofu with onions, garlic, herbs and spices so I have this on hand for a few days to add to my meals when I’m in a rush.
3) Sweet Potatoes
Every few days I also roast a large batch of sweet potatoes so that I have a sweet and delicious carbohydrate ready to add to my lunch and dinner.
4) Quinoa & Other Grain Blends
Another thing I have been prepping recently is quinoa mixed with chickpeas and edamame beans. This in itself provides lots of protein and also healthy carbs.
5) Black Rice Salads
I’ve been loving black rice salads recently. I make a large mix of black (or wild rice) which is a great carb source, tossed with chickpeas, lots of colorful veggies, fresh mango chunks and avocado. It’s even nicer cold, so perfect to take for a lunch on-the-go.
6) Salads, Salads, Salads
I always add a large, colorful fresh salad to my dinner, full of leafy greens, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, carrots, beetroot, celery, onions etc. This ensures that I am taking in an abundance of essential micronutrients on a daily basis.
I’ve noticed that eating more raw, colorful vegetables with my main meals has drastically improved my endurance and recovery times.
When we push our bodies and train hard we create a lot of inflammation in our muscles — this is why eating a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, which are so highly anti-inflammatory, is so beneficial for muscle recovery.
Vegan Fitness Goals
My fitness goals are to keep increasing my strength whilst also maintaining my endurance.
I have been intensively training since the age of 8! My training as a teen in professional tennis (off-court) was a mix of weights, kickboxing, swimming, and sprints — I would even train in heated rooms till exhaustion.
Now that I have no specific goals towards a certain sport, I really just enjoy a wide variety of sports and training methods. I still love boxing, swimming and cycling on a regular basis, and in the last year I have really been focusing on lifting more.
My goal isn’t just to be able to lift extremely heavy weights, but rather to be able to use my own body to do things like pull ups, parkour and callisthenic work. From a very young age I’ve also trained in gymnastics — I really love using my flexibility, and moving my body as a tool to have fun and do extreme things with.
How To Stay Vegan & Not Give In
I honestly believe the key to sticking to any kind of diet or lifestyle long term is to make sure you are feeding yourself nutrient-dense foods that serve a purpose in the body. I find it extremely easy to stick to my healthy lifestyle because I never feel deprived.
Eating an abundance of whole foods daily helps to dampen any cravings for ‘quick-fix’ junk foods because your body always feels satisfied. I also find that eating high-protein foods with lots of fibrous greens keeps me satisfied both mentally and physically.
Of course I eat vegan “junk” foods occasionally because I don’t aim to be perfect and I firmly believe that it’s what you do 90% of the time that builds your health and fitness. I truly never actually crave sugary foods because I eat so much whole fruit, which not only satisfies my sweet tooth but it also gives my body the nourishment it needs.
Having said that, I think that eating a bit of whatever you want sometimes is a good thing for your mentality.
Vegan Meal Prep Essentials – The Secret Ingredients
I couldn’t live without sweet potatoes, tahini and avocados! Mixed together they are a match made in heaven.
Also, when it’s hot I have to have lots of fresh fruit. You’ll catch me eating watermelon on a daily basis in the summer, especially after a really good sweat out in the gym — it’s hydrating, sweet and refreshing!
Oh… and I also can’t live without ketchup.
So there you have it, we think that Miles is a thriving example of just how fulfilling it can be to follow a healthy, plant-based lifestyle. In fact, when it comes to how to vegan meal prep, he almost makes it sound easy…