The number of people who follow a vegetarian diet is rising in the UK and across the globe. With environmental and ethical motivations, more and more people are turning to plant-based diets.
When following a vegetarian diet (or vegan diet), it’s essential to ensure you’re eating enough protein and building balanced meals that keep you full and provide all of the essential nutrients your body needs.
This is possible but requires slightly more thought than a non-vegetarian diet. Healthy eating is about balance, and the vegetarian diet is no different.
How to build a balanced vegetarian meal
Many plant-based Second Nature members, like Sarah, have achieved their health and weight loss goals whilst enjoying delicious and nutritious vegetarian recipes.
Our team of registered nutritionists have put together this 7-day vegetarian meal plan to give you an idea of what vegetarian members eat on the Second Nature programme and what a healthy diet looks like.
All the recipes are lower in sugar and refined carbs but rich in fibre, plant-based protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats from whole foods. They’re tailored to keep you feeling fuller for longer, so they’re the perfect weight loss meal plan.
The weekly meal plan is also rich in calcium, vitamin B12, and iron – all essential nutrients sometimes lacking in vegetarian meals.
If you’d like access to personal support from a registered nutritionist or dietitian to help you reach your health and weight loss goals whilst following a plant-based diet, take our free health quiz here.
Now, onto the good stuff.
7-day vegetarian meal plan
The following week’s plan shows how to use Second Nature recipes to successfully begin your weight loss journey. Complete recipes and instruction videos of the example meals are available by clicking on the meal you want to make.
This meal plan includes some simple ‘quick meal prep’ sections throughout the week that shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes. To save time, you can pre-prep the courgette frittata slices and lemon salad dressing (olive oil and lemon juice).
Making a shopping list ahead of time will save you time and money, and you’re less likely to give in to cravings in the shop and buy fewer unhealthy options.
|MONDAY||200g plain, unsweetened Greek yoghurt
(Optional toppings: berries and any nuts and seeds)
|Courgette Frittata slice +
Salad (2x handfuls of baby spinach, 1 tomato, ¼ cucumber, ½ chopped red pepper, pre-prepped lemon salad dressing)
Second Nature tip: Swap in black beans, chickpeas, or other legumes if you don’t have lentils in the cupboard
Quick meal prep: put any leftovers in containers for the fridge and freezer and reheat when you need it
|TUESDAY||Eggs your way +
Avocado (Slice or mash ¼ avocado on 1 slice of wholegrain toast)
|Lentil loaf (leftovers)||Mediterranean quinoa
(Optional topping: 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt)
Second Nature tip: Choose the best quality feta and balsamic vinegar in your budget, it’ll make the recipe sing.
Quick prep: put leftover servings into containers for lunch on Thursday.
|WEDNESDAY||Very berry smoothie
Quick meal prep: make a salad similar to Monday and put it in a container with a serving of Frittata vegetable slice (leftover) for lunch.
|Courgette frittata slice (leftover) + Salad||Coconut Dahl
(Optional toppings: 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt and 2 tbsp roughly chopped parsley)
Serve with brown rice.
Quick meal prep: Put leftover dahl into a container in the fridge for dinner Friday.
|THURSDAY||Mushroom omelette (2-3 eggs) with 30g grated cheese
(Optional: serve with a slice of wholegrain bread)
|Mediterranean quinoa (leftover)
(Optional topping: 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt)
|Warm halloumi salad
Second Nature tip: Bake some sweet potatoes to have on the table for the whole family
Quick meal prep: Put leftover halloumi salad into containers for lunch and prep overnight oats (40g) for tomorrow’s breakfast.
|FRIDAY||Pre-prepped overnight oats
(Optional toppings: 200g Greek yogurt, a handful of berries, or a handful of nuts)
|Warm halloumi salad (leftover)||Coconut dahl (leftover)
(Optional toppings: 2 tbsp Greek yogurt)
|SATURDAY||Blueberry oat pancakes
Quick meal prep: defrost a serving of tomato soup if you’re eating lunch at home today.
|Eating out (opt for a meal with lots of non-starchy vegetables and a good source of protein)
Lentil loaf (leftover)
|Cauliflower pizza + Salad
|SUNDAY||Scrambled eggs (2-3 eggs)
(Optional: 1 grilled tomato, 1 handful baby spinach, 2 rashers of back bacon)
Quick meal prep: double the recipe and leave half in the fridge or freezer to make them another day.
100g Greek yoghurt with a handful of berries and chia seeds
Homemade muesli and Greek yoghurt
Fruit and peanut butter (or another nut butter)
½ – 1 blueberry oat pancake
½ – 1 courgette frittata slice
Veggie sticks with 60g hummus
Handful of roasted cashews
1-2 hard-boiled eggs
1-2 slices of grilled halloumi