Frequently Asked Questions

1. Plant Based Meal Plans

Of course! We happily welcome vegetarians and anyone who wants to try a plant based diet. You won’t find shamers on LottaVeg because we won’t tolerate it. Derogatory comments of any kind will be removed.

If you still eat dairy and eggs, you can adjust our recipes accordingly. However, we hope you’ll give our vegan recipes a try before altering them. You may find you don’t need, and won’t miss, the animal ingredients. Please check out Dairy Is Scary on YouTube to see why you should make the switch to the plant based diet and vegan lifestyle.

Yes. Unless you’re a junk food vegan (which you won’t be if you follow our meal plan), dessert is perfectly acceptable.

In fact, desserts are often part of a healthy plant based diet because they contain healthy ingredients like fruit, and they don’t contain unhealthy ingredients that are terrible for you, like cream, butter or eggs. You can even substitute gluten-free flour to make it easier on your tummy if you have a gluten issue.

Some of our recipes were created by us, like Amelia’s Roasted Broccoli with Garlic and Lemon Juice and JP’s Spaghetti Sauce on Spaghetti Squash.

We also get recipes from plant based and vegan cookbooks and websites, and we give credit where credit is due with a link to their website or their cookbook on Amazon. We may get an affiliate commission from these links, but we only recommend things we’ve tried and like.

We prepare every recipe that we share and do a thorough taste-test to make sure it’s worthy of being in our plant based recipes list and in your meal plan.

You most certainly can do it yourself.

However, the plant based diet can be difficult to transition to correctly, especially if you’ve never cooked without animal products before. Many people fall into a rut and eat the same things over and over with very little variety. Sometimes they’re afraid to try new recipes so they stick with the old tried and true, or they don’t plan ahead so when they go to the grocery store they don’t get everything they need to cook healthy vegan recipes.

The key to a delicious plant based diet is to eat a variety of different things each day, and we make that easy with our plant based meal plan. We do all the thought and research for you so you can spend your time with your family or doing some other rewarding activity.

And by planning out the week ahead of time, you’ll eat a much wider range of foods, and you’ll have a grocery list with everything on it so you won’t forget key ingredients at the store.

Feel free to share your LottaVeg experience with your friends, but please ask them to signup for our email list so we can communicate with them and so we know who’s using our meal plans. Thanks!

Here’s the link to share with them:

We designed our plant based meal plan for 2 people so each meal assumes 2 servings. However, many recipes make 4, 6, 8 or more servings, which are used as leftovers. You can adjust the serving size of each recipe if you need more or less.

Most people lose weight when they switch to a plant based diet. In fact, I lost 7 pounds in the first 2 months after switching, and it had NOTHING to do with the food tasting bad. I ate great tasting food that Amelia and I cooked, and I ate a lot of it.

If you eat a balanced plant based diet with lots of variety and colors, you’ll feel fuller and have more energy. The fullness comes from eating high fiber foods that take up more room in your stomach than meat, dairy and eggs, while also containing fewer calories.

And with the extra energy, you’ll burn more calories because you’ll feel like being more active. Not once have I felt like laying on the sofa in a food coma after stuffing myself with plant based food. It just doesn’t happen.

Our meal plan is geared toward the typical healthy vegan who doesn’t need to watch every calorie they eat. That’s why we include desserts and snacks that are high calorie, as well as breads and pastas. If you’re eating a balanced plant based diet and you’re active, eating higher calorie ingredients won’t have much of an impact on your weight or health (unless you’re allergic or have specific health issues with food, but that’s different).

With that said, you can easily modify your plant based meal plan to remove desserts or high calorie snacks, and replace recipes with lower calorie options. We make recommendations for low-calorie alternative ingredients when we can.

Our meal plan is not specifically designed to facilitate weight loss, but many people do lose weight eating a plant based diet and our wide variety of recipes will allow you to customize your diet so it works for you.

2. The Plant Based Diet

If you’re hungry on a plant based diet, you’re doing it wrong. Because most plant based foods have far fewer calories than their animal counterparts, you may have a hard time getting enough calories.

Of course, if you eat high calorie foods without exercising to burn them off, you might consume too many calories. That’s why it’s so important to eat a balanced diet with a wide variety of plant based foods and a wide variety of colors. Our free plant based meal plan attempts to make that easy for you.

Absolutely. The protein deficiency myth was created by accident and used by the animal ag industry to justify addiction to meat, and to continue their highly profitable businesses. There’s a lot more money to be made from a cow than from the plants the cow eats.

Cows are the most popular source of meat, yet cows are 100% herbivore. They only eat plant based foods and they have no problem growing all of the protein consumed by meat-eaters.

Humans are biological herbivores, but we’ve adapted to be omnivores, meaning we can eat pretty much anything. However, we’re perfectly capable of getting all the protein we need from plants, especially now that we understand the plant based diet so much better.

Here’s a great article on the topic of protein and plant based diets: The Protein Myth.

Absolutely not! In fact, a plant based diet is full of flavor and color. Once you’ve been off of meat, dairy and eggs for a week or two, you’ll start to notice an increase in your taste bud sensitivity. Almost everyone who makes the switch reports this experience.

Once you give up animal products, you’ll need to find replacements for your traditional main course. These veg-based replacements are often full of new flavors and spices that make the dishes taste new and amazing. And to make your conversion process easier, several food companies have developed meatless “meat” that taste a lot like the real thing.

With our plant based meal plan, your tastebuds will have new and exciting experiences on a weekly basis!

Yes. Some vegetables have calcium, and most non-dairy milks like soy, oat, almond milk and the other nut milks are fortified with calcium. In fact, the cashew milk I prefer has 40% more calcium than dairy milk.

You should get your levels tested by your doctor if you’re concerned about it, but most people need far less calcium when eating a plant based diet than those who consume dairy. It seems counterintuitive thanks to the decades of false and misleading diary ads, but it’s true.

Dairy leaches calcium from your bones due to its high protein (casein) content, so you need more of it to offset the calcium loss it creates. Eating a whole-food plant-based diet means you need less calcium than the dietary recommendations, which were heavily influenced by the dairy industry in their attempt to increase our dairy intake (and their corporate profits).

You might. B12 these days mostly comes from animal products, but it’s also found in some fortified foods like Nutritional Yeast and Vegan Yogurt. B12 is an important vitamin for your overall health so it’s not good to be low on it.

Animal products are high in iron, but so are the heartier vegetables like spinach, beans and lentils so you might not need an iron supplement. D3 is made by our bodies when the sun hits our skin. If you wear a lot of sunscreen or don’t go out much, you might need a D3 supplement.

The only way to know for sure is to go to your doctor and get your blood tested. Tell your doctor you’re eating a plant based/vegan diet (listen to the lecture about why you’re wrong) and ask if you need to do anything special to make up for not eating meat, dairy or eggs. Just remember that most general practitioners have ZERO training in nutrition. It’s ok to question their advice or to get a second opinion from a doctor who is educated on the healthy, plant based way of eating (WOE).

3. General Stuff

We sometimes get a referral fee for sharing recipes from cookbooks and other websites. This helps us earn a little extra money so we can continue to afford running LottaVeg.

We will NOT share or recommend something that we haven’t tried or don’t believe in so if you see it on our blog or a meal plan, rest assured that we’ve vetted it thoroughly (although we’re not responsible for your experience with them or any 3rd-party service).

This doesn’t apply to banner ads on the site. We don’t have complete control over those so you’ll see things we’ve never heard of, let alone tried. You may even see disgusting animal products on occasion. If you do, please let us know so we can attempt to block them.

Please refer to our FTC Disclosure for more on this.

Category: 3. General Stuff

Come on. You know we can’t do that and we wouldn’t even if we could. It wouldn’t be ethical.

We can’t guarantee anything diet related because no one agrees on anything. There’s so much corporate junk science out there that it’s hard to tell the good science from the bad.

We can’t promise any sort of health-related results from switching to a plant based diet. You may feel better mentally, but maybe not physically. Everyone reacts differently to dietary changes so be sure to speak with your doctor before changing your diet. Even though I changed overnight, that may not be what’s best for you.

Read our Medical Disclaimer for more on this.

Category: 3. General Stuff

4. The Vegan Part

The vegan diet is a plant based diet, but there’s more to being vegan than just the diet. Veganism is an ethical worldview that seeks to do the least amount of harm by avoiding the use of any food or products that caused the pain and suffering of animals. We’re trying to make it so easy to eat a plant based diet that adopting it is a no-brainer.

Technically, there is no “vegan diet” since veganism is an ethical stance. However, if you choose not to eat animal products, whether it’s purely for the animals, or for your health or the environment, that makes it a vegan diet even though you may not be a full blown vegan. Dietary changes are how most people start their journey to becoming vegan. Veganism may not be a diet, but diet is a huge part of being vegan.

Category: 4. The Vegan Part

Where to start… Eating a plant based diet benefits your health while living a vegan lifestyle benefits the environment, and most importantly, it means you’ll no longer be contributing to the abuse and torture of sentient animals who feel pain, know what’s happening to them, and fear for their lives.

In terms of health, you may have been told that a “vegan diet” isn’t healthy and you can’t get all the nutrients you need from it. That may have been true in 1982, which is the study most meat-eaters cite to support their argument, but times have changed. We now know what vegans need to eat to get the balanced nutrition they need to be healthy.

That’s why we see so many famous vegan (or plant based) athletes, like Serena and Venus Williams, Carl Lewis, Mike Tyson, Tom Brady, Novak Djokovic, NFL Defensive Lineman David Carter, and many others. You can’t claim these world-class athletes are unhealthy or don’t get enough protein. If you haven’t yet, we highly recommend watching The Game Changers on Netflix. It features many of the world’s top athletes who eat a plant based diet.

In terms of the environment, some estimates suggest that meat-eaters use 3,000 gallons of water per day in the production of their resource-intensive diets. Vegans, however, use about 300 gallons per day, or 10% of the meat-eater’s diet. That means a typical vegan would save nearly 1 million gallons of water every year!

In addition, eating organic, plant based foods requires far less land, deforestation, pesticides, fossil fuels and every other natural resource to produce, making the overall environmental impact of going vegan HUGE!

Finally, eating meat isn’t a sustainable diet. That means more and more people will be forced to go vegan as our natural resources are further depleted. Those of us who have already made the switch won’t notice a difference. We’re prepared.

Eating a plant based diet and living a vegan lifestyle is a guilt-free, healthy way to live. You’ll be thankful you went vegan.

Category: 4. The Vegan Part

The most common objection by vegetarians about going vegan is that they’ll miss dairy and eggs. However, thanks to some very creative people, we’ve found ways to substitute those ingredients so you may not notice they’re missing.

If you’re an ethical vegetarian, meaning you can’t eat meat because it grosses you out, eating dairy and eggs should be just as gross. It can be argued that dairy cows and chickens are treated worse than animals raised for meat because their abuse and torture goes on for years before they’re brutally killed and used for meat. For a 5-minute breakdown of why vegetarians should consider going vegan, check out Dairy Is Scary on YouTube.

Category: 4. The Vegan Part

Unless you want to be the stereotypical scrawny (or overweight), unhealthy vegan, the vegan junk food diet is not for you. This basically means you eat a bunch of highly processed foods, potato chips, soda, candy, etc. If it has color, you avoid it.

Food with color is where most of your nutrients come from so if everything you eat is a shade of white, you’ll be missing key ingredients to a healthy plant based diet.

The nice thing about being vegan, however, is that you can eat white foods without feeling guilty, but eat lots of colorful foods, too.

A lot of vegans think diet doesn’t matter, but they’re not looking at the whole picture. If you’re an unhealthy vegan, chances are good that you’ll need to take more medications and require more healthcare down the road. Both of these generate byproducts that are harmful to the environment (air, land and water), which directly affects the lives of animals who live in the environment.

Medications are also tested on animals, so if your poor diet requires the use of more medications, that’s not very vegan. It’s impossible to be a perfect vegan and it’s impossible to avoid all medical needs, but we should all do our best to minimize our impact on the environment and reduce our need for medications tested on animals.

Category: 4. The Vegan Part

We live in a meat-eater’s world. Vegans make up about 1% of the population and vegetarians add another 3 or 4 percent. That means over 95% of the population eats meat. And society has been built around that population.

Amelia and I do our very best to live in our vegan bubble, but some things are non-vegan that you wouldn’t expect, like jelly. You may not know this, but they use Gelatin to make jelly, and Gelatin is made from collagen obtained from various animal by-products. It’s basically disgusting fat squeezed from animal goo.

Palm oil is another one. It’s in almost every processed food you buy at the grocery store. Restaurants sneak meat and dairy into almost everything and if you don’t tell the server you’re vegan, chances are you’ll get something non-vegan in your meal.

Bottom line is, do your best and don’t beat yourself up if something sneaks by.

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No. We live in a meat-eater’s world so it’s challenging to avoid all non-vegan things.

If you eat out a lot, it’s easy to accidentally eat meat or dairy. Amelia likes to call this “the meat sneak.” Restaurants put meat, dairy or eggs into things that don’t need them, and conveniently leave it off the menu.

At a business lunch, Amelia ordered what she thought was a vegetarian salad without the cheese. After taking a few bites, she realize the strange shaped objects mixed in with the salad were little pieces of processed meat. She did her best to pick the rest out, but it wasn’t easy.

At another business meeting, someone brought toffee, which Amelia loves. After eating a piece, she found out it was made with bacon bits inside.

Meat, dairy and eggs are everywhere, as well as animal products used in clothing, and beauty products tested on animals. It’s impossible to escape. Just do your best and if something sneaks by, complain about it, educate the vendor, and move on. You don’t need to reset your vegan clock.

Category: 4. The Vegan Part

When Amelia and I went vegan, I did it cold tofurkey (hehe). I simply couldn’t stand the thought of eating meat, dairy or eggs anymore and haven’t since. If I have a meat sneak like Amelia did, I would probably throw up. I have a hard enough time walking through the meat section (aka morgue) at the grocery store. The thought of putting it in my mouth makes me physically ill.

Amelia has a hard time throwing away food, especially food that had its life brutally taken to be in our refrigerator. However, since I wouldn’t eat it, we threw the meat out. Amelia did finish some of the dairy and eggs we had purchased, but we haven’t bought any since.

The non-food items are a different story. I had a car with leather seats. I have leather shoes, leather belts, and a leather football that was given to me as an award years ago. We have health and beauty products that were tested on animals. Once you go vegan, you realize we use animals like toilet paper! It’s shameful!

However, we bought those things (or were given those things) before our blinders were removed. Some people would argue that we should throw it all out and torch our cars, but that’s very wasteful in our opinion.

Part of being vegan is environmental (destroying the environment also destroys animal habitat, air and water) so throwing perfectly good non-vegan things out and replacing them with vegan things not only creates trash, but also requires more resources to create the replacements.

Another part of being vegan is to do the least amount of harm. The damage has already been done for the things you already own so it’s better to take care of them so they last as long as possible to honor the animal who had its life taken, as well as prevent the needless use of additional resources to create new items.

Most sensible vegans recommend using what you already have, but don’t buy any more of it. That seems like reasonable, environmentally and financially friendly advice.

Category: 4. The Vegan Part

We suggest watching the National Geographic special, “Years of Living Dangerously.”

Most of the palm oil comes from Indonesia where they’re burning rain forests to plant the trees that make palm oil. In the process, they’re releasing millions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere and they’re killing all of the wildlife that gets in their way.

The cultivation of palm oil is an atrocity and it’s in nearly all packaged and processed food in the grocery store. Read the label and if it has palm oil, don’t buy it.

With that said, if you can find sustainably farmed palm oil, some argue it’s actually better for the environment because it produces more per acre than other oil alternatives. I’ve yet to find any sustainably farmed palm oil, though. Hopefully it’ll be more widely available soon. However, it’s still not considered healthy.

Category: 4. The Vegan Part