Everyone's needs are different, but for me, getting plant based nutrients from whole foods is the best option. I don't seem to absorb supplements well, yet experienced a surge in energy and health when I started eating this way. It may be too early to tell if the effects of my vegan and gluten-free diet are sustainable (I feel I must emphasize that I'm genetically obliged to eat vegan and gluten-free. It's not a choice). I do know my hair and nails are growing twice as fast now- my friends tease me about my Tony Montana pinky nail- and my skin cleared up. That's good enough for me! The table below started out as only the stuff I actually eat, which is why whole grains don't figure in much. I eventually added things like tempeh or soy. Note: Some people need supplements no matter what they eat. Common examples include vitamin D2 from yeast or Vitamin D3 from lichen, fortified nut and seed milks, and phosphorus.
Sample Meals: What I Eat
One whole roasted beet (skin on- I love the tail)
Half an avocado
A roasted sweet potato- if my stepfather's cooking, sweet potato hash cooked in olive or coconut oil
A handful of cherry tomatoesCollard greens or spinach and mushrooms sautéed in olive oil
A giant salad (225 grams) with carrots, hummus, probably avocado, and garbanzo beans
Homemade balsamic and olive oil vinaigrette
A vegetable curry with squash, green beans, onions, garlic, peas, chili, lentils, and coconut milk
A pint of berries
Two cabbage steaks
Beans sautéed with celery, mushrooms, and onions
Roasted cauliflower and potatoes
A chickpea burger with tomatoes on a bed of arugula with pesto
Homemade zero waste vegan peanut butter cup, which is just melted chocolate, coconut oil, and natural peanut butter. Somehow I always make them as big as my hand so I can only eat one at a time
I don't understand how girls can live on just a smoothie for breakfast. Smoothies are beverages, not breakfast! If my grandma is Vitamixing it will have an avocado, two kiwis, an apple, a bag of spinach, and maybe cabbage or something random like that. If I'm going to the juice press down the street it usually has radish, pear, cucumber, fennel, and some other tasty things.
The nutritionist's main concern with me is that I eat too much, but I've gradually gained strength and muscle tone and my feet are no longer always freezing cold since adopting this diet. For the liver, milk thistle and mulberry work great for me, and white willow bark eliminates my pollution-related migraines. But this is my own experience. Everyone is different, and I'd never want anyone to risk their health in the name of zero waste, so please consult a physician before discontinuing or adopting a new regimen. If there are any nutrients I missed please let me know- I'll try to find a vegan, unpackaged supplement alternative. For zero waste medicine, click here.