All you need for the vegan Winter 2022 Healthy Diet Plan
Everything you need to follow the vegan winter 2022 Healthy Diet Plan. Find the menu chart, all the recipes for the week, handy shopping lists and more.
Welcome to BBC Good Food’s Healthy Diet Plan for winter 2022! This page contains everything you need for the whole week. Scroll down or click the links below to get started. Looking for a different plan? Discover our meat eater’s menu or try our vegetarian plan.
With colourful fruit and vegetables, minimally processed foods and recipes loaded with healthy fats, plant-based proteins and slow-release carbs, our vegan diet plan is all about enjoying good-for-you food.
The food we eat not only affects our physical health and how we look, it also impacts how we feel as well as our mood and outlook. Providing your body with the right nourishment through a healthy, balanced diet can improve mood, support energy levels and help you think more clearly.
Cutting meat and dairy from your diet, however, can mean you miss out on some essential vitamins and minerals. Our vegan diet plan helps you optimise your intake of these nutrients. We’ve done this by including some handy kitchen hacks, like finishing a lentil dish with a dash of lime juice to boost iron absorption, using rapeseed oil to support omega-3 fatty acid levels, and stir-frying carrots to make beta-carotene easier to absorb.
If eating like this is new to you, add a couple of the recipes to your diet the week before you start the plan to help your system adjust to the new foods and the additional fibre. Click here for more information on following a healthy, balanced vegan diet.
We’ve focused our vegan diet plan on wholegrains, vegetables, fruits and nuts and seeds, and with good reason. These foods have been associated with a number of positive health benefits, including better digestive health, stronger immunity and improved mood. As a result, by following our plan, you can expect to feel more energised, improve your digestion and feel brighter and sharper.
The secret to success is preparation and planning, which is why we suggest using the Saturday before you start the plan to shop for ingredients and do a little food prep. What’s more, to help free you up during a busy week, we’ve cut down on time spent in the kitchen by ensuring leftovers for some meals.
For this plan, we’ve highlighted recipes that are especially good to enjoy post-exercise. For resistance training, protein is key for muscle repair, and for cardio and endurance training, you’ll need some energising carbs to replenish glycogen stores, as well as protein. Muscles are most receptive in the 30-minute window following exercise, so eat in this timeframe if you can. Remember to drink plenty of hydrating fluids and, if necessary, include a small amount of sodium to replace any lost through perspiration.
How to use the plan
Use the chart below to see your weekly menu at a glance. Eaten in this order, each day will deliver a balance of protein, fat and carbs, helping you manage hormonal and blood sugar levels, as well as optimal nutrient levels each day. You’ll also achieve all five of your five-a-day (or more) and keep within the recommended Reference Intakes (RI) for fats, protein, sugar, salt and calories while following the latest guidance on your intake of ‘free’ sugars. As with any lifestyle or diet change, if you have any concerns or health issues, we would encourage you to check with your GP before embarking on our plans.
If this is a new way of eating for you, we suggest that you begin by introducing some of the recipes a day or two before starting the full seven days. This will allow your digestive system time to adapt to the more fibre-rich foods we’ve included. To help you supercharge your results, read our six tips to make the most of the plan.
Your shopping list for the week
To help you get organised, we’ve designed a handy shopping list so you can buy everything you need in one shop – just remember to check the packets for sell-by dates to make sure they’ll last until the end of the week.
Start the day off with a low-GI option for keeping you sustained yet energised through the morning. This yeast-free wholemeal loaf requires no kneading or proving. Instead, the bicarbonate of soda reacts with the acid of the lemon to make the bread rise. We’ve used oat milk, but feel free to use the non-dairy milk of your choosing. This meal also offers a good source of carbs, which is great after exercise.
1 of 5-a-day, vitamin C, calcium, low fat, fibre, gluten-free
High in protein and gluten-free, millet is a grain that, once cooked, has a nutty texture, almost like chopped almonds. We used fortified almond milk for this recipe, but feel free to use your preferred non-dairy milk.
2 of 5-a-day, low calorie, folate, vitamin C, fibre
Cashew nuts and dried mushrooms create a deliciously creamy base for this speedy pasta supper with garlicky mushrooms and spinach. Spinach is rich in many nutrients including iron, folate, potassium and vitamin K which assists with clotting of the blood.
This can easily be made ahead on Sunday if you have a hectic week ahead. We used a coconut yogurt, fermented with dairy-free cultures – check labels and if possible choose a product which is also fortified with calcium and vitamins.
Packed with 4 of your 5-a-day, this delicious paella makes a satisfying yet low-calorie supper. We’ve included broad beans, a valuable source of plant protein which also contribute some iodine – a mineral which can be hard to achieve on a vegan diet.
5 of 5-a-day, calcium, iron, folate, vitamin C, fibre
Made from fermented soya beans, tempeh is a nutrient-rich plant protein. Choosing fermented soya products, like tempeh, provides numerous benefits, including being gentler on digestion, making nutrients like calcium and magnesium easier for us to absorb.
Following a vegan diet needn’t mean missing out on some all-time favourites: these enchiladas are finished off with a fresh tasting guacamole. Choose ripe and ready-to-eat avocado for their delicious creamy texture, but prepare it just before eating for the best results.
How to customise the plan
Everyone has different needs and lifestyle requirements, which is why our plans are easy to adapt. If you find you’re hungry or would like to increase the daily calories, try adding our healthier snacks and sweet treat suggestions. These recipes are all based around whole foods and keep the processed ingredients to a minimum.
If you want to mix up the menu so you can follow the plan in the longer term or you don’t like a particular dish on the menu, you can swap it for one of our extra Healthy Diet Plan dishes that all follow the same nutritional guidelines as the recipes in this plan. Please bear in mind that adding snacks or swapping recipes will alter the overall calories and recommended daily intakes for the day.
About the Healthy Diet Plan
The calories you need on a daily basis vary depending on your age, height, weight, sex and activity levels. There are numerous calculators you can use online to determine your optimum calorie intake. Our plan aims to provide between 1200 and 1500 kcals per day. For the average female who is moderately active, this should generate a shortfall, allowing for steady and controlled weight loss. For those who are hungry on the plan, require a higher calorie intake or are happy with their weight, take a look at our healthier snacks and sweet treat ideas or try our brand-new snacks below. As with any lifestyle or diet change, if you have any concerns or health issues we would encourage you to check with your GP before embarking on our plans.
If you’re looking for a healthy and delicious snack to add to your plan, this sweet dip works really well with savoury crisp veg. Use coconut yogurt to make this vegan.
A note on fat
Fat is in a variety of the foods we eat, including nuts, seeds and grains as well as dairy alternatives. Obtaining fat from whole foods is a healthier way of getting this essential macronutrient. We need fat for healthy skin, to boost our mood and improve concentration and to support a well-functioning immune system. Our recipes include healthy fats – nuts, seeds, olive and rapeseed oils – rather than refined ones. That’s because all fats are not equal – we should avoid processed, refined fats and oils and limit (but not exclude) our intake of the saturated variety. We’ve also included sources of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, such as flax and chia seeds.
A note on dairy alternatives
We recommend choosing fortified versions of your favourite dairy-free milk and yogurts. This is a good way to include nutrients such as calcium, B12, iodine and vitamin D, which can often be challenging to achieve on a vegan diet.
A note on sugar
We’ve used naturally sweet ingredients where possible, like fruit, dried fruit and certain vegetables to slash the amount of added ‘free’ sugars in our recipes.
A note on vegan diets
Following a vegan diet can make it harder to obtain some essential nutrients; these include vitamins B12 and D, iodine and omega-3 fatty acids as well as calcium, iron and selenium. Fortified foods, such as fortified plant milks, help contribute some hard-to-get nutrients, but, depending on your circumstances, you may wish to complement a varied, balanced vegan diet with a suitable supplement. Click here for more information.
All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other healthcare professional. Any healthy diet plan featured by BBC Good Food is provided as a suggestion of a general balanced diet and should not be relied upon to meet specific dietary requirements. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local healthcare provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.