How do I make the Fit Mother Meal Plan vegetarian or vegan friendly?

Answer from the desk of:

Dr. Anthony Balduzzi Founder, The Fit Mother Project 

Answer: The default Fit Mother Meal Plan is omnivorous (containing plant and animal foods); however, the meal plan can easily be adapted to fit a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Before getting into the specific food swaps, the first key point is that the meal timing schedules for the Fit Mother Meal Plan will apply for you regardless of whether you're eating exclusively plant products or not. Make sure to pick your meal timing setup.

By it's design, the Fit Mother Meal Plan is a higher protein diet, which is incredibly well supported by research to help support weight loss and control hunger while losing weight ( see summary of research here). 

That being said, one of the (potential) challenges with a plant-based diet is making sure you consume enough protein. So here are our solutions:

#1: A plant-based protein shake will be one staple for you (ideally use for your breakfast shake). 

I prefer you use a blended  plant-based   protein  (rice, chia, hemp, etc) as opposed to a pure single plant protein powder (i.e. just pea protein... or just rice).
  • Our very own Super Fuel is a great blended protein (link here). 
  • Jarrow is another brand that makes a very good-value blended plant protein (link here). 
  • No Cow bars are clean protein bars that are made from pea protein (link here). 
Here's the "trick"   with   designing a proper high protein vegan diet:
All plant foods that are packed with protein naturally also contain healthy carbs and healthy fats. Eating a vegetarian/vegan diet, you won't have as many pure "go-to" protein foods as I describe in the Fit Mother Meal Plan (i.e. animal proteins) - that simply  add  protein  to your meals without adding carbs or fats. 
Lean animal products that contain mainly protein make our Fit Mother Meal combination rule (protein + carb + fat) a bit more simple. This is because natural plant-based protein foods that are high in protein also (almost always) contain carbs and fats.
For you, we will use the following high protein plant foods (that also happen to contain carbs + fats):
  • Organic hemp seeds (very great protein source). 3 tablespoons = 14g fat, 10g protein
  • Tef (an awesome "ancient grain" like quinoa) - 1 cup cooked = 10g Protein, 50g Carbs
  • Quinoa - 1 cup cooked = 10g Protein, 45g carbs
  • Chia seeds (more of an "additive" than a go-to food). You won't really be eating more than 2 tbsp included   with   your meals.
  • Note: Greens like spinach/kale/chard etc are AWESOME for you (and they do have protein in them) - but not nearly enough to  be  a   main  contributor to your protein targets. 1 cup spinach has less than 1 g protein. You'd have to eat 10 cups to have an appreciable amount of protein. That said, spinach is still great to   add-in   for its many other health benefits.
For breakfast (  10:30am ):
  • Make a shake using   plant-based   protein powder & cacao - following the general Fit Mother Shake recipe - using   plant-based   protein powder (or Whey if you can tolerate it and are vegetarian and not vegan... there are a ton of benefits to using whey from a muscle building, immune strength, and metabolism standpoint).
For lunch (  2:30pm  ) have either:
  • A big salad with chia seeds, hemp seeds, and 1/2 cup of quinoa/tef/brown rice.
  • A "bowl" of sorts that starts with 1 cup of cooked grains (quinoa, rice, tef) and has the tofu and/or chia/hemp seeds sprinkled on top.
For dinner (  6:30pm ):
  • Follow the same structure as lunch.
Essentially: your "go-to" carbs (quinoa, tef, etc) are also some of your best sources of protein. We'll add   in   the nuts/seeds to augment the protein. Do not go overboard with too many additional fats (avocado/oils). Your nuts & seeds already have good "built-in" fats.
With this framework, your average lunch + dinner will come out to the following macronutrient stats: 30g P, 45g C, 25g F = 500 calories.
Here's An Average Day Calorie Breakdown:
  • Shake = ~350 calories
  • Lunch = ~ 550 calories
  • Dinner = ~550 calories
  • Incidentals: ~200 calories
  • Totals: ~1650 calories (which is a good starting point for most women looking to lose weight).
( And if looking for additional information, check out this video that shows even more Breakfasts, Lunches, Snacks, and Dinners.)I hope this document helps you with the vegetarian/vegan diet modification of the Fit Mother Meal Plan. Go forth and kick some butt on the program!

Dr. Anthony Balduzzi 
Founder, The Fit Mother Project
Creator, The FM30X Program (Phases #1-3)
P.S. In the future, we will be releasing an updated version of the Fit Mother Meal Plan that contains a bunch of vegan and vegetarian recipes. That is in development now.