Once you decide to eat a plant-based diet, whether that’s eating 100% vegan or reducing your intake of animal-based foods to boost your intake of plants, inevitably the questions will start rolling in. You likely will be asked how you’re going to get enough protein, calcium, iron and feel full! Perhaps you’ve even wondered these questions yourself. The good news is you can feel full and meet all of your dietary needs by eating mostly plants and without relying on animal-based foods. In fact plants are superior in many ways due to their high levels of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients and fiber – which are often lacking in animal based sources of food.
In today’s post we’re going to focus on keeping you full when snacking and that starts with nourishing meals! Having your breakfast, lunch and dinner be nutritionally balanced will help you avoid feeling ravenous a few hours later and will make it easier to feel satisfied with your snacks. The key to feeling full is to make sure your meals and snacks contain either a protein or fat source, or both! Protein and fat are two macronutrients that take longer to digest, compared to carbohydrates, and therefore help you feel full longer.
If your meal or snack is mostly carbohydrates such as only eating fruit, chips, crackers, toast or plain oatmeal, you’re likely to burn through that meals quickly and feel hungry soon after. Below are some examples of plant-based proteins and fats to add to your meals and snacks to keep you feeling full.
Nut Butters: Almond, Cashew, Peanut, Walnut etc
Seed Butters: Pumpkin, Sunflower
Nuts: Almonds, Pecans, Walnuts, Pistachios
Seeds: Hemp seeds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds
Legumes: Black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans,
Grains: Quinoa, Oats
Nuts & Seeds
Nut & Seed Butters
Coconut Meat & Coconut Butter or Oil
ARE YOU EATING ENOUGH?
If you’ve finished your meal and find yourself still hungry 20 – 30 minutes later, chances are you’re not enough enough or your meals are not nutritionally balanced. When we are hungry our body needs real nutrients, not just calories to feel satisfied. So if you’re hungry, don’t be afraid to eat a little more avocado or another scoop of hummus or nut butter. These foods are nutrient dense, will nourish your body and can help you feel full.
Below is a list of plant-based snack recipes that will keep you feeling full! Click on each title to visit the original blog post to view / print the recipes.
Chia seeds contain fiber, Omega 3 fats and a little protein. Chia seeds also expand in liquid, helping to create a feeling of fullness. Top chia pudding with nuts, seeds and fruit for a boost of protein, fiber and energizing carbohydrates.
Avocados are an amazing fruit! Their healthy fats are good for brain, heart, skin and hormone health. Technically a serving of avocado is a 1/3 of an avocado. Personally, I don’t worry about serving sizes. Instead I eat the amount that I need to, to feel full. Plus avocados can really vary in size! I usually eat either half a medium avocado or an entire small avocado when making avocado toast & it keeps me full for hours! Top avocado toast with veggies, greens and seeds for extra nutrition!
3. YOGURT WITH FRUIT AND SEEDS
There are so many great dairy-free yogurts available today! Some of my favorites include So Delicious, Kite Hill, Forager and Daiya. Top yogurt with a low-sugar granola, nuts, seeds and fresh fruit. These toppings will add protein, fiber and fat to your yogurt bowl which will help you feel full longer.
Hummus is made from chickpeas or garbanzo beans and beans contain protein and fiber! A standard serving of hummus is 2 tablespoons, which is not very much. If you live an active lifestyle – feel free to enjoy more hummus! Fresh, sliced veggies and whole-grain or seeded crackers are great with hummus. Feel free to eat as many veggies as you like!
Smoothies can be filling if they are made with protein and enough fiber and fat to satisfy. However, it’s totally understandable if you just don’t feel full from a liquid meal or snack. A smoothie bowl is a great alternative. It’s made with less liquid so your smoothie is thick and creamy. Then top with crunchy and flavorful ingredients such as nuts, seeds, granola and or fruit.
MORE SNACK IDEAS
Apple + Nut Butter
Homemade Trail Mix with Nuts, Seeds, Unsweetened Dried Fruit and / or Dark Chocolate Chips
Brown Rice Tortilla with either nut butter, avocado or hummus
Oatmeal topped with nut or seed butter, nuts, seeds and fruit
Brown Rice, Black Beans, Avocado & Salsa
For nutritionally balanced plant-based meal plans, check out the Healthy Grocery Girl Membership here!
Healthy Grocery Girl’s “Plant-Based Guide To Protein”, “Plant-Based Guide To Calcium” and “Plant-Based Guide To Iron” are wonderful educational resources available to HGG Premium Members. Learn more here!
WHAT ARE YOU FAVORITE SNACKS?
What Are Your Favorite Plant-Based Snacks That Keep You Feeling Full? Share with us in the comments below!