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You don't need to buy exotic ingredients to create healthy weight loss food

You can fix simple vegan weight loss food using familiar ingredients. Don't buy packaged drinks or powders. They are expensive and most of them are not healthy. Instead of buying packaged vegan foods, buy unprocessed whole plant foods. Begin with your local supermarket. You will find the right foods in the produce section, the frozen food area, and among the canned and dry goods.

Here are some examples of low calorie foods to get you started:

Foods from the supermarket

  • Buy fresh fruits and vegetables in season. Don't forget the root vegetables like sweet potatoes and potatoes. Frozen vegetables and fruits are good too.
  • Keep canned and dried beans on hand. Look for salt-free varieties.

  • Buy old fashioned rolled oats and brown rice.

  • Frozen corn, peas, and lima beans are staples for the freezer.

  • Stock cornstarch, baking soda, vanilla, mustard, ketchup, pickle relish, salsa, hot sauce, canned tomatoes and tomato paste.

  • Keep assorted vinegars on hand, especially cider, rice, and balsamic.

Foods from natural food stores

Support your local natural food store. Find a store that carries grains, beans, and flaxseeds in large bins. Look for raw nuts in the refrigerated section. Don't shop in a vitamin pill store; find a store that sells whole plant foods. When we travel, we love to visit the local natural food stores. They can tell you a lot about a town. Some Trillium natural grocerystores are upscale, and others are straight out of the 60's. 

This is a cute little natural food store we found on the Oregon coast. They had soy milk, healthy cereals, vegan bread, and organic produce. They also directed us to a local restaurant that had good vegan food. 

bell peppers

In bigger cities, look for natural food supermarkets like Whole Foods, Wild Oats, Sunflower, or New Seasons. We found this gorgeous pepper display in a Whole Foods Market in San Francisco. Whole Foods always has a huge salad bar too.

Many people adore Trader Joe's. They do have great prices on soy milk and whole grain breads. Their no-salt marinara sauce and no-salt salsa can be staple weight loss foods in your pantry. However, Trader Joe's sells too many specialty foods and not enough basic bulk foods. 

When you visit a natural foods store, here are a few products you might look at:

  • Edamame are young green soybeans. They are a little high in fat, but they make a nice snack late in the afternoon or before dinner. They are also good in rice salads.

  • You will find many vegan recipes that use tahini. Tahini is sesame seed paste. It has a similar consistency to peanut butter. It is very high in fat, just like peanut butter. Save it for special recipes.

  • Nutritional yeast is one of the more unusual vegan foods. It comes in a flake form. It is high in protein, fat-free, and has a mild, cheese-like flavor. If you miss the taste of cheese, this is one weight loss food you will want to try. It is different from bakers yeast and brewers yeast. 

  • Miso is a fermented soybean paste that has an intense salty flavor. The Japanese use it to make soup. It is very high in sodium.

We always buy our seasonings from natural food stores. Most good stores sell herbs and spices in bulk from big glass jars. Just measure out the amount you want. In some stores, a clerk measures them for you. The seasonings are super inexpensive compared to the ones in tiny glass jars in the supermarket. Also try 
no-salt seasoning mixtures like Mrs. Dash.

Food from farmers' markets

If you are fortunate enough to have a farmer's market in your town, be sure to support them. They usually have fresher produce and better prices than any grocery store.  Buy produce that is grown locally, not food that has traveled across the country in trucks. As fossil fuels are depleted and gas prices rise, this is one way we can help conserve fuel.

Consumer Supported Agriculture

Another great way to support your local farmers is by participating in Consumer Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs. You buy a share in a farm's harvest, and the farm packs a box of food for you each week. The produce is fresh and seasonal, so you will get different foods at different times. It is like opening a gift box every week: a box full of weight loss food.

Organic foods

Of course, it is always best to eat organic plant foods:

  • If they are available

  • If you can afford them

If organic produce is not available or you can't afford it, do not panic. It is still highly beneficial for your health to follow a whole food vegan diet. All plants contain many special components that help our bodies detoxify chemicals. Buy conventional produce and wash it well. Many of the studies that show benefits from eating plant foods were done on people who ate conventional produce.

Organic meat, eggs, and dairy products are another story. They are still harmful to our health because they are high in saturated fat, high in cholesterol, contain no fiber, and contain no healthy phytonutrients. Avoid them all. Create healthy weight loss food from plants instead.

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