I stay satisfied the way most omnivores stay satisfied—by balancing carbs, fat, and protein in meals. While protein is the most effective way to suppress hunger for an extended period, you need a proper meal interaction of protein, carbs, and fats to stay fully satisfied. Just because vegans don’t eat meat or other animal fats doesn’t mean we can’t create well-rounded meals. On the contrary, vegans are probably more conscientious about eating balanced meals because we have to be.
For breakfast, I create a balanced meal by making a green smoothie, which combines the carbohydrates of fruits (usually banana and berries) and greens, such as spinach, kale, and chard, with almond milk and vegan nutritional powder. My favorite vegan nutritional powder is Vega brand because it tastes great and, with fifteen grams of protein, is very filling.
For lunch and dinner, I like to combine greens with beans and/or grains. I’ll mix quinoa into a salad or top a bowl of rice with sautéed veggies and tofu. The key to staying satisfied is mixing and matching different types of food, just like one would do when eating an omnivore diet.
Besides staying satisfied hunger wise, I stay satisfied taste wise by eating food that contains the same flavors I enjoyed when I was an omnivore. If anything, I have a more varied pallet now than I did when I ate animal products. A few flavors, such as pesto and barbecue sauce, have endured from my omnivore childhood to my vegan adulthood, just with some minor adjustments. Now, I make sure the pesto I eat now is made with nuts rather than cheese (or I make it myself) and I always check the ingredients list for any sauces I want to use to flavor my dishes.
Another way I stay satisfied is by finding vegan version of foods I enjoyed as an omnivore. For a recent Foodie Tuesday, I veganized some of my favorite foods from childhood. These meals not only satisfied my stomach, but my nostalgic soul. Tons of comfort foods can be easily veganized, even ones like mac and cheese.
With a little imagination and creative cooking, I truly believe there’s no limit to what one can do in a vegan lifestyle. In my opinion, with any diet, you’re as satisfied as you want to be. Though I can’t speak for all vegans, I’m certainly satisfied.