30-Day Plant-Based Diet Plan for Beginners

Start your journey to plant-based eating with this simple 30-day plant-based diet plan! Discover the foods you can eat, a sample meal plan, and tips.

When it comes to your diet, the best way to make a change is to have a plan. But creating a plan for exactly what you need to eat can be overwhelming! That’s why I’ve put together this simple 30-day plant-based diet plan to make it easier for you to transition to a plant-based diet.

Read on to get started with my 30-day plant-based challenge!

brunch laid out on a marble surface with oatmeal in bowls and a hand pouring maple syrup over one of the bowls

This plan is perfect for beginners, as it features simple recipes that require minimal prep. But it’s also perfect for anyone who’s already familiar with a plant-based diet and is looking for a 30-day plant-based diet plan to follow.

In addition, the featured recipes repurpose ingredients to help you cut back on food waste. Following this 30-day plant-based plan will make the transition to plant-based eating both enjoyable and delicious.

Why change your eating habits?

Changing your eating habits can be a challenge, but the health benefits that may come as a result of eating plant based are worth the time investment.

A plant-based diet that emphasizes minimally processed foods has shown to be beneficial for heart health, mood, and may play a role in helping to prevent certain chronic diseases.

The bonus? Eating a plant-based diet may help you save money at the grocery store. This is a win-win for your health and your wallet.

Variety of leafy greens in a grocery store

What can you eat on a plant-based diet?

Changing your diet might conjure up images of long lists of foods you can no longer eat. While there are foods to limit on the plant-based diet, it’s better to consider the even longer list of foods that you can eat!

By focusing on what you add to your diet, not what you take away, you’ll find the transition more enjoyable and sustainable.

Add these foods to your plant-based diet:

A plate is filled with fresh fruit and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables

Here are the fruits and vegetables you can eat on a plant-based diet:

  • Fresh: All are welcome on the plant-based diet!
  • Canned: You can eat all canned fruits and vegetables on the plant-based diet. Stick to no-added sugar varieties of canned fruit, and opt for low sodium versions of your favorite canned vegetables.
  • Dried: Choose no-added-sugar varieties whenever possible.
  • Frozen: Similarly to canned varieties of fruits and vegetables, skip those with added sugar or extra sodium from sauces or seasoning.
Variety of legumes such as beans and lentils in measuring bowls on a white marble surface

Beans, peas, and legumes

Here are the beans, peas, and legumes you can eat on a plant-based diet:

  • Dried: This is a great option if you’re looking to cut back on sodium in your diet, but they take longer to prepare. Plan ahead if using dried beans, peas, or legumes in a recipe, since many require soaking overnight.
  • Canned: This is the most convenient way to add beans, peas, or legumes to your diet. Choose no-salt-added options if you’re looking to reduce total sodium intake.
Almond milk in a clear glass

Plant-based milk, yogurt, and cheese

The varieties of plant-based dairy alternatives continue to grow on store shelves. Follow these simple guidelines for choosing the best option for you. Here are the plant-based milk, yogurt, and cheese you can eat on a plant-based diet:

  • Plant-based milk: Opt for those without added sugar. Soy and pea milk tend to be higher in protein than almond and oat milk, so be sure to choose what works best for your needs.
  • Plant-based yogurt: Many varieties of plant-based yogurt have minimal protein. This doesn’t mean they’re not worth a try, but be sure to include an alternative source of protein when choosing as part of a meal or snack. Avoid plant-based yogurts with excess added sugar whenever possible.
  • Plant-based cheese: These alternatives are ultra-processed and may be high in saturated fat and sodium, so check the labels. If you’re looking for a cheesy alternative that’s plant based but not found amongst the dairy alternatives, consider using nutritional yeast in recipes.

Whole grains

All whole grains are allowed on the plant-based diet, so stock up! Try these varieties to make adding whole grains to your diet a little bit easier. Here are the whole grains you can eat on a plant-based diet:

  • 90-second whole grains: Look for these alongside traditional whole grains. Be sure to check the ingredient lists and skip those with added sodium.
  • 10-minute whole grains: Many stores stock varieties of grains that cook in 10 minutes, making it easy to add a whole grain to your plate.
Assorted nuts and seeds laid out on a wooden surface

Nuts and seeds

All nuts and seeds are encouraged when eating plant based, as they are a good source of unsaturated fats, fiber, and protein. Here are the nuts and seeds you can eat on a plant-based diet:

  • Nuts and seed: Look for unsalted varieties whenever possible.
  • Nut and seed butters: Try nut or seed butters, but skip the types with added sugar.

If you’re looking for a more detailed grocery list, check out this article for more details on what to pick up the next time you’re in the store.

Your 30-day plant-based diet plan

Eating a plant-based diet should be both delicious and nutritious. It’s also important that the diet plan you choose is easy to fit into your daily life, so simple recipes are a must when making the transition to eating plant based.

Every day of this 30-day plant-based diet plan features vegan recipes using a combination of fresh ingredients and nutrient-dense prepared foods. Following this plan means trying new recipes daily while also repurposing ingredients in thoughtful and creative ways to cut back on food waste.

This sneak peak of the plan gives you seven days of recipes. All recipes below are pulled directly from the 30-day plant-based diet plan so you know what to expect when you download your copy. 

Download your 30-day plant-based plan here!

30-Day Plant-Based Meal Plan

Name(Required)

Sample Day 1

Chia pudding topped with blueberries and sliced almonds

Breakfast

  • 1 cup soy milk, unsweetened
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ½ tsp agave syrup
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • ½ cup blueberries

In a small bowl, whisk together milk, juice, and agave syrup until well combined. Add in chia seeds, and mix. Pour mixture into a jar, cover, and let sit in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight. Top with blueberries.

Lunch

  • 2 cups broccoli, chopped
  • 2 cups carrots, shredded
  • 1 apple, diced
  • ¼ cup vegan mayonnaise
  • ½ Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ½ Tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ cup edamame, unshelled, steamed

In a small bowl, mix broccoli, carrots, and apples. In a separate small bowl, whisk together mayo, vinegar, maple syrup, and edamame; pour over veggie/fruit mixture and stir until well coated.

Snack

  • 1 cup soy milk, unsweetened
  • 2 Tbsp powdered peanut butter
  • 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ Tbsp flax seeds
  • ½ Tbsp almond butter
  • 3 ice cubes

In a blender, blend all ingredients until smooth.

Dinner

  • 1 cup light canned coconut milk
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup canned no-salt-added chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup white onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup brown rice, cooked

Heat a pot over medium heat. Add coconut milk and seasonings; use a silicone whisk to combine. Add chickpeas, onion, and bell pepper; stir. Cover with a lid, and let simmer on low-medium heat for 15 minutes. Occasionally mix every 5 minutes or so. Enjoy over rice.

Vegan chocolate avocado mousse in a while ceramic bowl

Dessert

Sample Day 2

Breakfast

  • 1 ½ cups soy milk, unsweetened
  • 1 cup frozen tropical fruit blend
  • ½ banana, sliced, frozen
  • 1 Tbsp hemp seeds

In a blender, blend all ingredients until smooth.

a-vegetarian-rice-bowl-is-your-answer-for-simple-meals-throw-together-a-vegetarian-power-bowl-with-veggies-and-toppings-of-your-choice-this-vegetarian-protein-bowl-is-also-gluten-free-easyhealthy-ricebowl-vegetarianmeals-proteinfoods-easymeals

Lunch

Snack

  • 1 ½ cup soy yogurt, plain
  • 1 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • Dash salt
  • Dash black pepper
  • 1 tsp Everything Bagel seasoning
  • 1 ½ seedless cucumber, sliced

In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, dill, parsley, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle with Everything Bagel seasoning. Enjoy as a dip with cucumbers.

Dinner

  • ½ cup vegan ground sausage
  • ½ cup edamame, unshelled and cooked
  • 1 cup cucumber, chopped
  • ½ cup mango, chopped
  • ¼ cup lemon juice 
  • Dash salt
  • ⅓ cup Israeli couscous, cooked (if gluten free, substitute sorghum)

Cook sausage according to package instructions. Place in a small bowl, and mix together with edamame, cucumber, mango, lemon juice, and salt. Enjoy on top of couscous.

Dessert

  • 1 cup strawberries, chopped
  • ⅛ cup walnuts, chopped
  • ⅛ cup vegan dark chocolate morsels
  • ⅛ tsp coconut oil

Add strawberries and walnuts to a small bowl. In a separate microwave-friendly small bowl, add chocolate and coconut oil. Microwave for 30 seconds, remove, and stir. Microwave for an additional 15 seconds, if needed. Mix, then drizzle on top of fruit and nuts.

Sample Day 3

yogurt topped with chia seeds and berries

Breakfast       

  • 1 cup soy yogurt, plain
  • ⅛ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ Tbsp chia seeds
  • 3 Tbsp almonds, chopped
  • 1 cup blackberries

In a bowl, combine yogurt and vanilla. Top with chia seeds, almonds, and blackberries. 

Lunch

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • ½ zucchini, sliced 
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup seitan grounds
  • Dash black pepper
  • 1 whole-wheat pita (gluten free, if necessary)
  • ¼ cup hummus
  • 3 kalamata olives, pitted and sliced

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add zucchini, bell pepper, seitan, and black pepper; sauté for 3 minutes or until soft. Meanwhile, cut pita in half, and toast. Spread hummus inside pita and add sauteed vegetables, olives, and seitan.

Snack

  • 1 peach, halved
  • 1 tsp avocado oil
  • ½ tsp cinnamon, divided
  • ¾ cup soy yogurt, plain

Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Brush peach halves with oil, then sprinkle with ¼ tsp cinnamon. Place peach halves side down on a pan; cook for 3 minutes. Top with yogurt, and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon.

Dinner

  • 1 cup broccoli, chopped
  • 1 cup purple cabbage, chopped
  • 2 tsp olive oil, divided
  • ½ tsp salt, divided
  • ¾ cup canned no-salt-added white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ¾ cup quinoa, cooked

Preheat oven to 425° Fahrenheit, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange broccoli and cabbage on the sheet, and drizzle with 1 tsp oil and ⅛ tsp salt. Bake for 25 minutes, tossing halfway through.

Meanwhile, heat a pan over medium heat and heat remaining oil. Add beans, remaining salt, and cumin to the pan. Stir occasionally for 8-10 minutes or until crispy. Serve over quinoa.

chickpea cookie dough in white bowls on a pink marble surface

Dessert

Sample Day 4

Breakfast

  • 1 ½ cups soy milk, unsweetened
  • ½ banana, sliced, frozen
  • ½ avocado
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup spinach

In a blender, blend all ingredients until smooth.

Lunch

Snack

  • 2 kiwi
  • ½ cup shelled pistachios, unsalted

Dinner

  • 1 ½ Tbsp vegan butter, divided
  • ½ cup broccoli, chopped
  • ¼ cup frozen peas, defrosted
  • ½ yellow squash, sliced
  • ¼ cup red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup chickpea pasta, cooked
  • 1 Tbsp dairy-free Parmesan

Heat a pan over medium heat, and add 1 Tbsp butter. Once melted, add broccoli, peas, squash, and bell pepper. Cover with a lid, and mix occasionally for 5 minutes. Add cooked pasta, and mix until well combined. Top with Parmesan.

Dessert

  • 5 rye crackers (such as Wasa; gluten free if necessary)
  • ½ Tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 cup raspberries, mashed

Lay crackers flat on a plate. Spread peanut butter evenly over each cracker. With a fork, mash raspberries in a bowl use as a dip for peanut-butter-covered crackers.

Sample Day 5

Pancakes topped with sliced bananas

Breakfast

  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour (gluten free, if necessary)
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • Dash salt
  • 1 tsp grapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • ¼ cup soy milk, unsweetened
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter
  • ½ banana, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp sliced almonds

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, maple syrup, and milk. Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients; mix gently until combined. Do not over mix.

Grease a heated pan, and drop 3 Tbsp batter into pan at a time. Cook each pancake side for 1 minute. Top with peanut butter, banana, and almonds.

Lunch

  • ½ tsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup soy chorizo
  • ½ cup firm tofu, crumbled
  • ¼ cup canned no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 corn tortillas
  • ⅛ cup salsa
  • ¼ avocado, sliced

In a pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook soy chorizo for 2 minutes. Add in crumbled tofu; mix until it turns orange. Let simmer for 2 minutes, then stir in beans; cook for an additional 2 minutes while stirring constantly. Heat tortillas in a pan over medium heat. Fill tortillas with tofu mixture, and enjoy with salsa and avocado.

Snack

  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp almond butter

Dinner

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • ¼ cup red onion, diced
  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup canned no-salt-added pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
  • ¾ cup quinoa, cooked

Heat ½ tbsp of oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onion, and cook for 2 minutes. Add remaining oil, and stir in Brussels sprouts. Cook for 2 minutes, while stirring occasionally. Stir in beans, lime juice, and cilantro. Serve over quinoa.

Roasted apples with cinnamon in a large white baking dish

Dessert

Sample Day 6

Breakfast

  • ½ bagel (gluten free, if necessary)
  • ⅛ cup dairy-free cream cheese
  • 3 Tbsp avocado, mashed
  • 1 Tbsp Everything Bagel seasoning
  • 2 tsp hemp seeds
  • ½ cup raspberries

Toast bagel. Spread cream cheese, layer mashed avocado on top of cream cheese. Sprinkle seasoning and hemp seeds on top. Enjoy with raspberries.

Lunch

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 2 cups broccoli, chopped
  • 1 cup chickpea pasta, cooked
  • ½ avocado, diced

In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, maple syrup, salt, pepper, and mustard. In the same bowl, mix in broccoli, cooked pasta, and avocado.

lupini bean salad in yellow bowl

Snack

Dinner

  • ½ cup peas
  • ½ cup edamame, unshelled
  • ½ cup carrots, shredded
  • 1 orange, chopped
  • 1 ½ Tbsp miso ginger dressing, divided
  • 1 cup soba noodles, cooked
  • ½ Tbsp sesame seeds 

In a small bowl, combine peas, edamame, carrots, and orange. Add 1 Tbsp dressing, and toss until coated. In the same bowl, add noodles and the remaining dressing, then continue to mix until coated. Top with sesame seeds.

Dessert

Sample Day 7

high-protein vanilla smoothie on a red cloth

Breakfast

Lunch

  • ¾ cup coconut milk, canned
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ⅛ cup tapioca flour
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • Pinch smoked paprika
  • 1 cup chickpea macaroni, cooked

Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Using a silicone whisk, combine coconut milk, nutritional yeast, tapioca flour, onion powder, salt, and paprika. Simmer for 1-2 minutes. Add macaroni to saucepan, and stir until well covered.

Snack

  • 2 cucumbers, sliced
  • ¼ cup hummus

Dinner

  • 1 cup vegan refried beans, heated
  • 2 tostada shells, toasted
  • ¼ cup dairy-free Cheddar, shredded
  • 1 cup tomatoes, diced
  • 3 Tbsp guacamole

Spread ¼ cup beans on top of each tostada. Sprinkle with Cheddar and tomatoes, and top with guacamole.

Dessert

Download your 30-day plant-based plan here!

30-Day Plant-Based Meal Plan

Name(Required)

Tips for using this meal plan

Transitioning to a plant-based diet can feel overwhelming, but when you have the support you need to get started, taking the first step is that much easier. This 30-day plant-based diet plan can help you make plant-based eating a part of your daily life in both a sustainable and enjoyable way.

Remember that the 30-day plant-based diet plan is just that: a plan. There may be recipes you don’t enjoy, ingredients you want to swap, or days when the planned recipe doesn’t sound appealing to you. It’s OK to switch it up—it’s even encouraged!

Rigid diet plans are often hard to follow and could lead to giving up on the attempted diet change. Instead of being strict about following the plan exactly as written, allow yourself the flexibility to customize it to your needs.

oven baked tofu on a white plate next to chop sticks

For example, many fruits and vegetables are interchangeable in the recipes. Choose the ones you both enjoy and have on hand. Additionally, plant-based proteins like tempeh and tofu can often be used interchangeably in recipes.

You may even consider swapping in beans or an alternate plant-based protein if you’re not a tempeh or tofu fan. Finally, dairy alternatives like plant-based milks and cheeses can easily be swapped. Just be sure to check the labels to ensure you’re getting the best option for your nutrient needs.

If you’re new to plant-based eating, then this 30-day plant-based challenge may be filled with unfamiliar ingredients. If that’s the case, I encourage you to give them a try at least once. You may be surprised by what you enjoy!

The bottom line

Making plant-based eating fun, delicious, and simple is the recipe for success in the transition to a plant-based diet.

This 30-day plant-based diet plan helps you take the guesswork out of your diet transition by offering easy and flavorful recipes that will also help you cut back on food waste. Grab your copy of the 30-day plant-based challenge today!

Download your 30-day plant-based plan here!

30-Day Plant-Based Meal Plan

Name(Required)

Sources

  • A 2018 study in Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine
  • A 2021 study in BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health
  • A 2021 study in Nutrients
Start your journey to plant-based eating with this simple 30-day plant-based diet plan! Discover the foods you can eat, a sample meal plan, and tips.
Plant-Based Eating |

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