Reaching My College Weight Goal: My Journey with Whole Food Plant-Based Meals

I’ve spent the last six months challenging myself to consume primarily whole food-plant-based meals, and it’s been a transformative journey of discipline, habits, lifestyle changes, and self-discovery.

Today, I’m sharing the benefits I’ve experienced and addressing the common question: “How do you get enough protein on a whole food plant-based diet?”

First and foremost, let’s talk about the positive changes I’ve noticed since adopting this lifestyle. One of the most significant benefits has been a boost in my energy levels. By nourishing my body with whole, plant-based foods, I’ve enjoyed sustained and consistent energy throughout the day.

Improved digestion is another noticeable change. Whole foods, especially those high in fiber like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, have helped regulate my digestion and promote a healthier gut. I no longer feel bloated or sluggish after meals, and my digestive health has dramatically improved.

Weight management has been a remarkable achievement on my journey to a whole food plant-based lifestyle. By prioritizing whole foods and minimizing processed options, I’ve successfully returned to my college weight and sustainably lost 35 to 40 pounds. Although it’s been exciting, it did require a wardrobe update!

Whole food-plant-based meals have played a significant role in this accomplishment. These meals are naturally lower in calories while being packed with essential nutrients. This combination not only supports weight loss but also helps with weight maintenance. I’ve found a healthy balance by fueling my body with nutrient-dense foods and sustaining my weight goals over time.

Exploring creative food choices is one of the most exciting aspects of this journey. Whole food-plant-based meals offer a wide range of options, from vibrant greens to hearty grains, flavorful beans, and various fruits. I’ve discovered new ingredients, spices, and cooking techniques that have added excitement and variety to my meals.

Now, let’s address the question of protein. Many people wonder how to get enough protein on a whole, plant-based diet. Fortunately, there are plenty of excellent options available:

  1. Legumes: Lentils, chickpeas, black beans, and tofu are fantastic protein sources. They can be included in soups, stews, salads, or delicious veggie wraps.
  2. Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, and hemp seeds are all packed with protein and healthy fats. They can be enjoyed as snacks, added to smoothies, or sprinkled over salads.
  3. Whole Grains: Quinoa, brown rice, oats, and whole wheat products offer not only carbohydrates but also a good amount of protein. These grains can be incorporated into meals as a side dish or as a base for grain bowls.
  4. Leafy Greens: Yes, even greens like spinach, kale, and broccoli contain protein. While the protein content may not be as high as in other sources, they contribute to your overall protein intake and offer a range of other health benefits.

By including a variety of these protein-rich plant foods in my meals, I’ve met my protein needs without any issues. It’s essential to focus on consuming diverse plant-based foods to ensure you get all the essential amino acids your body needs.

Let me give you an idea of how I structure my meals. I practice intermittent fasting until noon, so I don’t eat anything in the morning. I go for a nutritious green smoothie once it’s time for my first meal of the day. It’s filled with healthy ingredients like kale, chia seeds, flax seeds, carrot juice, almond milk, banana, blueberries, cherries, mango, and papaya. I also add vegetable protein, beet powder, ginger, and turmeric to the smoothie to amp up the health benefits.

For dinner, I like to keep it simple and wholesome. I start with a bed of mixed greens and then top it off with whole grains, legumes, tomatoes, carrots, beets, and cucumbers. It’s a refreshing and satisfying combination.

Throughout the day, I enjoy snacks to keep me fueled and satisfied. I opt for fresh fruits like grapes, plums, oranges, and nuts such as raisins, granola, and sunflower seeds. These snacks provide me with a good mix of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats to keep me going.

That’s a brief overview of how I structure my meals and snacks. It’s all about incorporating nutrient-rich ingredients and making choices that support my overall health and well-being.

Discipline has been the key to maintaining this healthy eating lifestyle. While my goal is to minimize my meat intake as the primary course and focus on leafy greens as the basis of my meals, I occasionally enjoy a serving of meat once or twice a week. It’s all about balance and moderation, and I believe in having a variety of food choices while respecting my body’s needs.


Author: Linsey Mills

Meet Linsey Mills, an accomplished entrepreneur, author, consultant, and philanthropist. With a passion for inspiring others, Linsey has received numerous awards, including the US Small Business Administration Entrepreneur of the Year and the Linetta Gilbert Service Award for his exceptional commitment to philanthropy. He is also the bestselling author of Your Business Venture and co-author of Teach Your Child About Money Through Play. Linsey believes in finding engaging work and enjoying Simply Outrageous adventures. With his experience as a licensed professional in health and life insurance, a financial coach, a game developer, and co-creator of The Colors of Why, Linsey is a wealth of knowledge. He is also a founding member of Next Generation of African American Philanthropists and a recipient of the Davidson College Alumni Service Award. Follow Linsey's blog for valuable insights and inspiration.

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