Full Day of Eating - Healthy, Balanced Diet

Alyssa Atkinson

Nutrient dense meals to stay fit and fueled.

Photo of the author and some of her meals.Alyssa Atkinson

I have been fueling myself as a vegan endurance athlete for about five years now. For almost three of those years, I was still competing as a division one cross-country and track athlete. My shift to a more minimally processed plant based diet brought with in increased energy, a boost in overall health and happiness, better sleep, and faster race times.

I know how difficult it can be to create healthy, simple, plant based meals when you have little to no experience doing so. Fortunately, I have been cooking tasty plant based dishes for years now.

Today, I am going to go through a full day of eating as a healthy, balanced vegan. I love doing these types of posts to provide examples of simple and tasty meals that everyone can enjoy (this is not a meal plan!).

Now, let’s dive right into the rundown of what I ate on a typical workday just a few days before Christmas. I did include a few fun festive treats that go with the holiday theme, which you will see very shortly.

Disclaimer: The resources and information shared in this article are solely for entertainment purposes and aren’t intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition or disease or provide any professional advice.

Breakfast: 5–6 AM

For breakfast, I started the morning off just as I always do. I woke up around 5 AM and immediately walked (or rather, stumbled groggily) over to the coffee maker and brewed myself a fresh cup of coffee. I added a splash of almond milk and a dash of cinnamon to my coffee, and sipped on that while doing about an hour of work.

Photo of morning coffee.Alyssa Atkinson

Then, I made my breakfast. About four to five times per week, I enjoy a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. This day was no different. I made a delicious high protein apple peanut butter microwave oatmeal. To make my breakfast extra festive, I cut my apple slices into little christmas tree shapes. I love having oatmeal for breakfast because it is quick and easy to make, budget friendly, and packed with nutrients.

Photo of oatmeal breakfastAlyssa Atkinson

Snack #1: 10 AM

For my first snack of the day, I enjoyed a snack platter of healthy baked French fries, roasted Brussels sprouts, hummus, avocado, tofu, and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast seasoning. I love to eat smaller meals with snacks throughout the day, and this little snack platter was both tasty and packed with plant based nutrients.

Photo of snack platter.Alyssa Atkinson

Lunch: 1 PM

For lunch on this day, I went with a quick and simple meal since I did have a super busy work day. I first toasted two pieces of Ezekiel bread. Then, I mashed up some fresh avocado and spread it on both pieces of bread. I topped both pieces with some tofu for extra protein. I also added a side of broccoli topped with marinara sauce and nutritional yeast seasoning.

Photo of avocado toast lunch.Alyssa Atkinson

Snack #2: 4 PM

My second snack of the day was a super delicious high protein peanut butter and "jelly" roll up. All you need to make this is a soft flour tortilla of choice, big spoonful of peanut butter, and fresh fruit of choice. I spread out my protein peanut butter spread all over my whole wheat tortilla, added a row of fresh sliced strawberries, rolled up my tortilla, and then cut it up into bite size pieces. This snack was sweet, healthy, delicious, and held me over until dinner.

Photo of peanut butter and jelly roll up.Alyssa Atkinson

Dinner: 6 PM

For dinner on this particular evening, I had some of my homemade "cheesy" broccoli and potato soup. I served it up with some sourdough bread and extra vegan cheddar cheese shreds. This dinner was super satisfying because it was super chilly outside, and the soup was very warm and cozy.

I love trying out new soups during the winter time especially. I also enjoy cooking with ingredients that are in season. Some of my favorite fall / winter time staples include squashes like acorn, spaghetti, and butternut, fruits like apples and bananas, and greens like spinach and kale.

Photo of soup dinner.Alyssa Atkinson

Dessert: 7:30 PM

For dessert on this day, I decided to get festive and enjoy some miniature gingerbread cookie cereal. I made these mini gingerbread cookies for a blog post recipe, which is coming soon (I will link it here when it is up).

This was the perfect sweet treat to end the night with. I think it is so incredibly important to have balance in your diet, and that means something different for everyone. For me, that means eating minimally processed plant based meals and snacks throughout the day with a few less nutrient dense / more processed foods thrown in there, like the occasional sprinkle of vegan cheese or some sweet homemade gingerbread cookies!

Photo of gingerbread cookie cereal.Alyssa Atkinson

Always remember that everyone is individual and has different needs and preferences. What is most important is that you find what works for you.

I focus on eating minimally processed plant based ingredients for the majority of my meals and snacks, but I also try to listen to my body and eat whatever I’m craving as well. This helps me strike a healthy, sustainable balance.

Fill your body with enough high quality fuel, and you’ll quickly notice how great of an impact doing so can have on the quality of your life.

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Ohio U XC/Track alum. I love to run. I blog about food, health, fitness, lifestyle, etc. Personal Blog - nomeatfastfeet.com | Electrical and Computer Engineering Grad.

Raleigh, NC

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