changing my plate.jpg

Changing my plate – to go from vegetarian to vegan

changing my plate.jpgThis post is part of a regular series focusing on making small changes to improve our health. I shared my journey with changing my diet and moving to a clean eating approach which you can read here. I also had the lovely Katie Rainbird from Katie 180 undertake an analysis of my food intake for one day in that post, which was another step in the right direction.

Together we also offered the same opportunity to readers of Planning With Kids. We were blown away with the response and while I can’t guarantee will get to all of them this year, Katie has been busy working on many of the submissions already and we will publish as many as we can.

It is not possible for Katie to cover off everything in these posts. The aim is for her to find some small things you can change to what you are putting on your plate to help you achieve your current goal for your eating habits. You can read previous Changing my plate posts by clicking here.

Changing my plate – Kylie’s day

image_katieKatie Rainbird (AKA Katie180) is a Sydney-based Nutritionist who is just as likely to be found jogging as she is baking. She is a mother to two, a keen home cook, prefers to get around in her workout gear and has a major passion for the written word. You can learn more at

Katie reviewed what a reader Kylie submitted that she ate in a 24 hour period. This is what Katie had to say about her day:

What is your current goal with your eating habits?
To go from vegetarian to vegan. I’ve already cut out a lot of unhealthy foods from my diet but can’t seem to lose any weight. (I have two kids and I’m not very active which doesn’t help). Would also like to go gluten free.

Four weetbix, full cream milk and honey about 10am at home

Nix the Weetbix and rather make a brown rice porridge: toast dry brown rice in a heavy bottomed saucepan (no oil or anything) and remove once it smells toasted and is beginning to colour. Transfer it to a blender and pulse into a finer meal/flour then use at a ratio of 1:5 (rice to water) to cook into a porridge. You can cook it with a mixture of water and coconut milk or cream for and sweeten with maple syrup and/or fresh fruit.

Smoothie- 1 litre made at home
Handful of spinach, one banana, cup or frozen mango, cup of frozen blueberries, teaspoon of barley grass powder, half a litre of pineapple coconut fruit juice. This is either for breakfast or lunch.

Your smoothie is good.

Cup of roasted potatoes cooked in olive oil, salt, pepper and bush spice. Boiled carrot, broccoli, cauliflower and a corn cob. Served with gravy made from gravy powder.

Nix the gravy powder and rather use a mustard vinaigrette. You need some protein! Perhaps a serve of quinoa, Cannelini beans, four bean mix, French style green lentils.

Snack 1
Bag of salted popcorn as an afternoon snack. Usually eat most of a big bag and share a little bit with the kids.

Buy kernels and pop it yourself using coconut oil this way you can control the ingredients and the seasoning. Mix it up with some raw nuts for additional protein.

Snack 2

Snack 3

Snack 4

Homemade banana ice-cream. Two cups of frozen banana, half a cup of milk, tablespoon of cacao powder, tablespoon of chocolate topping. Usually have this about twice a week instead if a tub of ice-cream.

Switch milk to a nut butter and a little coconut milk to thin out to desired consistency. Make your own chocolate sauce by melting a good quality 70% chocolate in a little pot then pour straight over.

Nutritional supplements

Daily fluid intake
A litre of water. A cup of fresh coconut water. Two glasses of sparkling wine.


Any further information you’d like to share or special dietary requirements to factor in?
I’ve been vegetarian for a year now. I feel better but my weight hasn’t changed even though I’ve cut out soft drink, junk food and I’m not eating much chocolate. I don’t have the energy to be active with three year old twins and I feel tired all the time. I’ve had blood tests done and I’m a little low in iron but everything else was fine.

Vegetarian diets can be carbohydrate heavy and difficult to implement a higher protein/lower carb approach to weight loss particularly with little children under foot! Aim to snack on nuts and seeds, coconut oil for frying, baking and spreading if you’re OK about the flavor. Use coconut milk where you’d usually use milk or cream. When eating grains ensure they are whole in their form, i.e. minimally processed and mix them up to provide complete protein across the day. For iron I suggest Ethical Nutrients Iron Plus.

Further reading and recipes


Katie is a qualified nutritionist (Adv. Dip. Nutr. Med.).

Any diet or lifestyle changes that you implement as a result of reading this blog are your own responsibility.

This blog does not provide medical advice, any particular health conditions must be managed by your own health professional.

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.