FOODS TO AVOID:Meats, poultry, fish, eggs (both whites and yolks), and all dairy products (regular and non-fat), including milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream, cream, sour cream, and butter.
Added oils, such as margarine, salad dressings, mayonnaise, and cooking oils.

Fried foods, such as potato chips, french fries, onion rings, tempura, and donuts.

Avoid orange juice and all concentrated juices, they are little better than sugar water.
Avoid all foods that are GM, (genetically modified) as the health effects could be very detrimental to your health. GM corn has been shown to produce huge tumors in laboratory rats. This warning includes all GM foods including tofu.
Avoid trans fat products such as margarine. Trans fats are fats that are normally liquid at room temperature but become solid by combining them with hydrogen.(hydrogenated)
Avoid energy bars which contain excessive amounts of sugar and chemicals.
Avoid soft drinks and sodas which again have excessive amounts of sugar and artificial sweeteners (aspertain etc).
One can of soda can have 220 calories alone.
Avoid canned soup as it is usually loaded with MSG and sodium, which is very unhealthy.


BREAKFAST—Often breakfast can be similar to the one you are accustomed to with a few simple modifications.

Hot cereals: oatmeal, cream of wheat, creamy rice cereal, grits, or Irish oatmeal with cinnamon, raisins and/or applesauce (no milk)
High-fiber cold cereals: wheat or oat bran cereals with non-fat soy or rice milk and berries, peaches, or bananas
Melons, such as cantaloupe and honeydew, or any other fruit
Whole grain toast topped with cinnamon or jam (no butter or margarine)
Bagels (no cream cheese) topped with apple butter or hummus
Oven-roasted “home fries” plain or smothered with roasted mushrooms, peppers, and onions

LUNCH—Whether you dine in or out at lunchtime, there are lots of healthy and delicious options to choose from. Here are some ideas to get you started.


Garden salad with lemon juice, fat-free dressing, or soy or teriyaki sauce
Legume-based salads: three-bean, chickpea, lentil, or black bean and corn salads
Grain-based salads: noodle, couscous, bulgur, or rice salads

Vegetable-based soups: potato-leek, carrot-ginger, mixed vegetable, or mushroom-barley.
Legume-based soups: black bean, vegetarian chili, spinach lentil, minestrone, or split pea.
Instant or prepared soups (as long as they are low-fat and free of animal products).

CLT: cucumber, lettuce, and tomato sandwich with Dijon mustard
Hummus sandwich tucked into whole wheat pita with grated carrots, sprouts, and cucumbers
Sandwich made with fat-free meat alternatives such as barbeque seitan or veggie pepperoni slices with your favorite sandwich veggies
Black bean dip, peppers, tomatoes, and lettuce wrapped in a whole-wheat tortilla
Italian eggplant sub: baked eggplant slices, pizza sauce, and mushrooms on a multi-grain sub roll
Black bean and sweet potato burrito with corn and tomatoes

DINNER—Emphasize vegetables and grains in all your meals. The evening meal is a good place to try new items. You might start with a bean, rice or other grain, or potato dish and add a couple of vegetables.


Grains: Use generous amounts of grains.
brown rice
boxed rice dishes (e.g., pilaf, curried rice, etc.)
Potatoes: Enjoy them baked or mashed and topped with steamed vegetables, salsa, ketchup, Dijon mustard, black pepper, or black beans.
Breads: Whole-grain is preferred. Avoid sweet breads that contain oil, eggs, or milk.
Try any vegetables you like.

Greens (broccoli, spinach, kale, Swiss chard) topped with lemon
Corn (note: corn is technically a grain, but works as a vegetable)

Pinto beans, vegetarian refried beans, baked beans, black beans, garbanzos, kidney beans
Main Dishes:

Pasta marinara: Choose commercial brands that are free of cheese and are low in fat.
Beans and rice: Try black beans with salsa, vegetarian baked beans, or fat-free refried beans.
Soft tacos: Prepare this dish with whole-wheat flour tortilla, beans, lettuce, tomato, and salsa.
Chili: Vegetarian boxed versions are fine.
Veggie lasagna: Made with low-fat tofu to replace the ricotta, layered with grilled veggies.
Rice pilaf, Spanish rice, or packaged rice dinners: Try packaged rice dishes and omit butter.
Steamed rice and stir-fried vegetables: This meal can be seasoned with soy sauce. Be sure to use a non-stick pan.
Fat-free vegetarian burgers: Make your own lentil burgers or try soy-based commercial brands.
Fajitas: Lightly sauté sliced bell peppers, onions, and eggplant in a non-stick pan, with fajita seasonings.


Fresh fruit
Fat-free chocolate or fruit sorbet
Baked apples

Bagels (plain or flavored; no cheese, butter, or margarine)
Fruit, carrots, or celery sticks
Vegetarian soup cups (split pea, lentil, etc.)
Toast with jam (no butter or margarine)
Baked tortilla chips with salsa or bean dip



Explore new recipes, new books, new products.
Fat-free meat substitutes can ease the transition.
Be strict with yourself. This is easier than teasing yourself with small amounts of the foods you are trying to leave behind.
Focus on the short term. Three weeks is a short time.
Frozen vegetables are fine.
Canned beans and vegetables are okay for convenience.
If you have trouble finding recipes you like, explore our recipe database or try a healthy, vegan cookbook.

Use a non-stick pan.
“Sauté” vegetables in water or vegetable broth.
Steam vegetables.
When you can’t avoid oil, use a cooking spray instead of poured oils.
Use non-fat, non-dairy coffee creamers.
Read package labels to check grams of fat per serving. It is best to choose products that have less than 2 grams of fat per serving.

Dining Out: Look for ethnic restaurants, especially Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Mexican, and Italian, as they normally have many vegetarian dishes.
Japanese: vegetable sushi
Chinese: lots of rice with smaller amounts of vegetable dish; request oil-free and sauce on the side
Mexican: bean burrito, hold the cheese, sour cream, and guacamole; Spanish rice. Ask the waiter to bring out warm corn tortillas to dip in the salsa and to take away the fried chips.
Italian: pasta e fagioli (soup); pasta marinara. Ask that oil be kept at an absolute minimum.
Thai: vegetarian selections with lots of rice; avoid coconut milk
Indian: rice dishes or breads (beware of curries—very fatty)
Middle Eastern: couscous; baba ganouj and hummus with lots of pita bread
American: vegetable plate; salad bar; baked potato; baked beans; spaghetti; fruit plate. For salads, ask for no dressing, or try lemon or lime juice or soy or teriyaki sauce. Ask that fatty toppings, such as cheese, bacon, eggs, olives, and avocados, be left off.


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