vegan burrito bowl recipe

A few weeks ago I was considering doing Whole30 again this month (you can see all my posts on Whole30 here).  After watching What the Health, I decided to challenge myself to eat plant-based for a month instead (this means eliminating meat and dairy from my diet)!  When I shared this on Instagram, you guys said you’d be interested in weekly check-ins, recipes, etc., so here we are.

I’ve been buying only organic, free range/cage free meat and dairy products since I watched Food Inc. many years ago.  It changed the way I grocery shop.  I’ve said it before, but one of the most impactful parts of the film was when the narrator said “every time an item goes across the grocery scanner, you’re voting.”  That means I’m voting for the treatment of animals, the handling of my produce, the employees who work at these farms, etc.

First thing first, I do feel the need to share that I don’t have a problem with people eating meat, and my father-in-law even owns a cattle farm.  I just want the animals to roam around on grass, live normal lives and be treated kindly while they’re living.  I would happily eat any dairy from my father-in-law’s farm if they were dairy cows!

Food is a touchy subject for many, so I just wanted to be honest that I am doing my best to eat plant-based, but I’m not going to beat myself up if I find out a product has a non-dairy ingredient I missed.  This isn’t an allergy, therefore it’s not an emergency.  Everyone makes the choice that is right for their bodies, and I completely support that.  I’m doing my best to read ingredient lists and use helpful sites like this one that list all the vegan foods at Trader Joe’s (this Instagram account is great too).

I will be sharing any inches or weight loss at the end of the month (note: I’ve already seen the numbers go down which is kind of crazy).  That being said, weight loss is not the reason I decided to do this… but it’s a welcomed result, let’s be real.  I’ve chosen to adjust my diet for a month to see how it makes me feel, to help me recognize where my food comes from, and to push me to explore more vegetarian recipes.

So basically, I am a full Californian now (said in this accent).

making a burrito bowlsoy cheesefresh cut limesmacKenzie-childs tea kettlehow I meal preprice burrito bowlvegan recipemacKenzie-childs cookwarevegan cheddar cheesebelize hot saucemake your own burrito bowlmake your own rice bowlvegan mexican bowl

Some great vegan food blogs I’ve been stalking:

Minimalist Baker

Pinch of Yum

Oh She Glows

Thug Kitchen

Faring Well (located here in Orange County!)

Last week’s recipes:

Mexican Rice – I used half of this in the recipe above!

Veggie Fajitas

Vegan Parmesan Cheese

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

Veggie Burgers – used soy cheddar cheese and a vegan egg

Veggie Burrito Bowls – This is what’s featured in this post! I used Trader Joe’s soy shredded cheddar cheese and it tasted great.  I also added onions, cilantro, hot sauce, etc. You can totally use this recipe as a base and make it your own!

Brussels Sprouts Salad (with no cheese or bacon)

Kale Salad (without cheese)

When I’m doing a specific food “challenge,” I’ve found it’s vital that I make a loose weekly meal plan. Life is busy and when you’re hungry, you’re hungry, so looking at a piece of paper to remember some of your options is mega helpful!

Once a week I pull up several recipes I want to try, I write down the ingredients I’ll need for the grocery and I sketch out a little meal plan (you can see a picture of this above).  I’m only going to be sharing what I actually ended up eating because I thought it would be more realistic for what a week attempting plant-based looks like.

plant meal planDining out:

Eating out has been NO big deal which is huge for me. I love to have lunch with the ladies and eat out on the weekends with Christian (I’m a new mega fan of Loving Hut).  While I was on Whole30, eating out felt overwhelming and honestly, a little sad. Grocery shopping has also been really simple and I found everything I needed in one stop. AND my grocery bills have been less expensive that my usual runs – even with loads of avocados, nuts, vegetables, etc.

How I’m feeling:

I feel great. I am having no trouble waking up in the morning or concentrating during the day. I’ve have zero stomach aches and my body is functioning extremely regular and consistent.

I’ve had a few people ask if I’m tired without eating meat, and contrary to what many assume, it’s actually really easy for vegans to meet dietary protein recommendations.  Almost all vegetables, beans, grains, nuts and seeds contain protein, and I’m eating these daily.

vegan mexican recipe

photos by Christian Barnes

dress (size down) | similar earrings | bowls | pan with lid | tea kettle | middle finger ring | evil eye necklace | “B” necklace | gel nail polish in Lace Me Up with Top Coat

Let me know if you have any questions or if you’d like to see anything specific in next week’s update! Thanks so much for reading and sharing – XO –

28 Comments|See Comments

28 thoughts on “Plant-Based Diet Meal Plan: Week One

  1. Girl! Was literally just diving deep into Pinterest for some healthy plant dinner ideas to whip up for my growing (as in pant size) family tonight. This veggie burrito bowl is callin my name. Thanks for the post!

  2. Kathleen, these dinners sound amazing! I love the meal plan! I’ve been looking at going plant based (at least try trial) for a while now after going vegetarian last year, I might give this a go!

    I hope you’re having a great Monday!

  3. Kat, I have been waiting for this post ever since you posted about the vegan parm cheese on Insta. I’m so excited to finally read it and see all the awesome resources you’re using. Hoping to slowly start a more plant-based diet myself and this info is so helpful!!! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Good for you lady! Being an avid cook and a health conscience one, I’ve tried many different diets over the years including vegan, whole 30, etc. My energy levels felt great on the vegan plan, but unfortunately other parts of my health didn’t seem to appreciate the diet. Now I lean towards a balanced diet of lean meats, veggies, fruit, nuts, and occasionally cheese went I want to splurge. I think these types of cleanses definitely help set the stage on how you want your everyday diet to look. Good luck on the journey!

  5. Thank you for sharing this!! I love following along on food adventures like this. I also am always on the hunt for new healthy recipes so I will enjoy this series greatly! 🙂

  6. Love this girl. I think it’s so awesome what you’re doing and love all the recipes you shared, I might just have to try them out myself. They look so amazing! Enjoy

  7. YES!!! My husband and I are also switching to a vegan and plant based diet after watching What The Health. Now we are addicted to health and food documentaries on Netflix. Try wastching Forks Over Knives next. You’ll love it! We just can’t believe everything we were taught growing up about food and nutrition was not accurate. I’d love to see your Trader Joe’s grocery list next week!

  8. Thank you so much for sharing! Really inspired me to take a second look at what food I’m buying and what it’s doing for my body.

  9. I’ve been a long time reader and have never left a comment before, but just had to share. I’ve been eating pretty much vegan for a couple years now and it is just because I feel better eating that way. Also I’ve had to go gluten-free because my eczema completely went away after making that change. If you haven’t checked out Thrive Market online, give it a look. It is like Costco but mostly organic products that are shipped to your house. They have dog food, beauty products, cleaning supplies, laundry supplies and food. At prices well below what you find in the stores. Two of my other favorite bloggers for recipes are and Thanks for sharing! Look forward to trying out your recipes! LOVE your blog and seeing your posts on Instagram!

    1. This is so great to know about – thank you so much for sharing, Sil! Love when we can all learn from each other. Definitely plan on looking into this!

  10. Great post! I agree that we need more awareness of what’s in our food and how the animals are treated. I personally do more organic and dairy free and it’s made a huge difference in my skin, hair, and energy. I wish more organic/cage free options were the norm rather than the exceptions at the grocery stores.


  11. Super interesting!! Can’t wait to see how you go with eating plant-based!

    Your newest breakfast obsession is easy, delicious and gourmet! Check out my newest post now… Blush & Bordeaux

  12. Loved all the links you provided as well as the week of meal planning! Would also love to know more about how you liked the individual meals you chose to make as well as if the meal prep / cooking preparation process was much different and how you felt on a daily basis (any cravings or being hungry etc)!

  13. I am on warfarin, a blood thinner, and have to restrict my vitamin k. How can I do this?

  14. What an awesome cumulative post! I watched what the health too, and I’m trying to limit eggs and dairy. I was already a pescetarian, so it hasn’t been too hard.

    I’m letting myself indulge when I’m eating at restaurants though!

  15. Hi Kathleen! Great post, thanks for sharing, love reading what you actually ended up eating too! Look forward to the next few weeks’ posts too. random question, what do you think of the Essie gel polish you’re wearing? How does it compare to getting gel done at a salon? Been on the fence about trying it!

  16. I was so excited to find out that you’re trying out a plant-based diet! Food Inc. was the starting point for me several years ago too, but it wasn’t until last year that I made the commitment to go full plant-based and I’ve seen such a difference in every aspect of my health! You’ve found some of the best vegan food bloggers- Minimalist Baker is my fave! I also love fooduzzi. com and If you liked “What the Health”, you may also enjoy Dr. Michael Greger’s book (and cookbook), “How Not to Die”. He was actually featured in the film! You mentioned that you’re getting an adequate amount of protein, but if you start feeling “off”, make sure you’re getting enough vitamin B12 as well- this is the most common deficiency in plant-based diets. B12 fortified nutmilks and nutritional yeast (vegan cheese) are great sources, or you can take a supplement! Looking forward to your update at the end of the month!

    Xo, Emily
    Epicurean Emily

    1. Thank you so much for all of this fantastic info! I actually bought some B12 at Trader Joe’s so I’m going to take that everyday. Appreciate you Emily!

  17. Thank you for this blog! The “voting” quote from Food, Inc. was one that also resonated with me and made me think about my buying choices. I also appreciate you spelling out how touchy food choices are for people and that we’re all just trying to find our best. I also appreciate you spelling out your reasons for trying plant-based: health and weight (cause yes! let’s be real!). By this time, you have already blogged the rest of your plant-based month and I look forward to reading those too. Thanks again, love the blog!

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