5 HCLF Vegan Meal Plans: Deliciously Quick And Easy

There are several ways to go about vegan dieting, depending on your own personal needs and goals. There are high-protein diets for those looking to pack on muscle, raw diets for those who want to embrace their inner caveman, and frugivore diets for those who can’t get enough fruit. 

Over the years, I’ve experimented with several different vegan diet plans. I’ve always been into self-experimentation, so I like to give diets a try and keep a journal on them to see how they affect me. 

One of the more interesting vegan diets I tried recently was the HCLF (High-Carb, Low-Fat) diet. It’s pretty simple – you eat LOTS of carbs and avoid excessive protein or fat. If you’re interested in trying the HCLF meal plan, then this is the post for you! 

Below, I’ll outline some of the basic principles of the HCLF diet, along with some of the pros and cons that I noticed during my experiment. Then, I’ll give you some of the best HCLF vegan meal plan ideas on the internet. 

I guarantee you’ll have the munchies after reading this… 

The High-Carb Low-Fat Diet Simplified

The High-Carb Low-Fat Diet Simplified

Compared to some of the more popular diets on the internet, the HCLF diet is remarkably simple. Of course, if you want to be super-calculated about it, you can make it more complicated and challenging.

However, the principle that the diet is built on is straightforward: 

80% of your calories should come from carbs, 10% from protein, and 10% from fat

Just remember the 80-10-10 rule and you’ll be just fine. Basically, your meals will mostly consist of carbs with a side sprinkling of plant-based protein and fat. 

One of the best ways to do this is to consume a lot of filling, raw, nutrient-dense fruits and veggies. Just the other week, I wrote a brief post on the raw vegan diet.

The idea of the raw vegan diet is to consume only raw, uncooked, all-natural food. In many ways, the raw diet is, by definition, an HCLF diet. 

Whether or not you choose to go raw or not is up to you, though. 

You can just as easily follow an HCLF diet while eating cooked or minimally-processed foods like vegan bread, steamed rice, granola, and as much pasta as your heart desires! 

Advantages of an HCLF Diet

Advantages of an HCLF Diet

The next question is usually something along the lines of, “What’s the point of an HCLF diet and should I try it?” 

Proponents of HCLF diets usually mention the following benefits:

  • It will give you more energy
  • It’s good for your heart
  • It’s easier on your digestive system
  • Weight loss

The reality is, carbs are important. Carbohydrates are one of the most basic sources of energy for our body and are readily available in almost every plant-based food.

Fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and starches are all great sources of healthy complex carbs. 

Of the three macronutrients (carbs, fat, and protein), carbs are the easiest to digest. This means that our body can convert them into energy quicker than protein or fat, which can lead to higher energy levels throughout the day. 

Additionally, since carbs don’t require as much effort to digest, they can be a lot easier on your stomach. This is why crackers or toast are often the only things that people with an upset stomach can handle. 

The next thing to consider is that too much fat and protein can clog your arteries, especially as you age and become less active.

Consuming a low-fat diet is a great way to ensure that your cholesterol stays in check and your heart doesn’t have to work too hard

Last but not least, an HCLF diet could help you lose weight. Protein and fat-rich foods tend to be very high in calories. For example, a small palm-full of nuts can contain up to 150 calories, while a palm-full of fresh fruit may only have 50 or 60 calories. 

By replacing high-fat, high-protein foods with nutrient-dense complex carbs, you may find that you consume fewer calories. This, in turn, creates a calorie deficit leading to fat loss. 

Complex Carbs > Simple Carbs

Complex Carbs Simple Carbs

It’s important to consume more complex carbs than simple carbs. If you violate this rule, then your HCLF diet could easily cause you to gain weight

Complex carbs are more nutrient-dense and require a little bit more effort by your digestion, which stimulates your metabolism. Additionally, complex carbs also contain fiber, which makes them more filling and better for your digestion. 

Some of the best sources of nutrient-dense complex carbs include:

  • Whole grains
  • Oats or oatmeal
  • Peas
  • Soybeans 
  • Beans and legumes
  • Whole grain pasta
  • Ancient grain bread
  • Corn tortillas 

Simple carbohydrates are refined, processed carbs that your body absorbs immediately. The only benefit of simple carbs is that they give you a quick boost of energy. However, the downsides include blood sugar spikes (and crashes), fatigue, weight gain, and addiction. 

Some of the most common simple carbs you should try to avoid are:

  • Refined white sugar, brown sugar, cane sugar, molasses
  • Maple syrup, honey, agave syrup
  • Corn syrup or high-fructose corn syrup

A little bit of simple sugar here and there won’t kill you. Just keep in mind that it should only be consumed in moderation. The majority of your carbs should come from unprocessed, unrefined sources. 

Are There Any Disadvantages To HCLF? 

Are There Any Disadvantages To HCLF

The main disadvantage that I noticed during my HCLF diet was that I didn’t feel as “full.” Protein and fat take longer to digest and therefore keep you feeling full for longer.

However, carbs are burned quicker and can stimulate your metabolism, triggering your hunger pangs. 

After the first week of the diet, though, I found that my body acclimated and the hunger pangs weren’t as strong. It helps to have some pre-made snacks laying around! 

Another disadvantage to an HCLF vegan diet is that it can hinder muscle growth and development. If you’re a vegan bodybuilder or you’re following an intense training regimen, then your body will need protein to help your muscles recover and grow

However, if you prefer a leaner physique or value endurance over size, then HCLF should suit you just fine! 

5 HCLF Vegan Meal Plan Ideas 

During my experiment, I followed the HCLF vegan meal plan for thirty days. Since I like to cook most of my own meals, I had to get a bit creative in the kitchen!

Here are 5 HCLF vegan meal plan ideas that are simple, delicious, and incredibly nutritious

1) Granola & Fruit

Granola & Fruit

Best Eaten As: Breakfast or a midday snack

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup of your favorite vegan granola
  • 1 cup of your favorite chopped fruit or berries

Why It’s A Great Vegan HCLF Meal:

Granola and your favorite fresh fruit are always a great combination. If you’re feeling fancy, you can mix them up in a bowl together and eat them with a spoon. If you’re in a rush, you can toss some granola and fresh berries in a small container and take them on the go. 

One of the reasons I love this simple meal so much is that there are virtually countless variations. For one, there are tons of great granola flavors.

You can get simple unsweetened granola or you can find naturally-sweetened granola that’s mixed with oats, seeds, cinnamon, or other tasty bits. 

Next, you can change up the fruit you eat with your granola every day. Granola tastes good with just about every fruit, and some of my favorite fruits to eat with granola are:

  • Sliced banana
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Sliced strawberries
  • Cantaloupe (or honeydew melon)

If you’re feeling extra fancy, you can add a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg over the mixture to give it some earthy undertones. 

Another option is to pour them in a bowl of your favorite vegan milk and eat a combination like cereal! 

2) Vegan Burrito Wrap

Vegan Burrito Wrap

Best Eaten As: Lunch or dinner

Ingredients: 

  • 1 vegan burrito wrap
  • 1/2 cup of rice
  • 1/3 cup of beans
  • 1/3 cup of cubed, cooked sweet potatoes
  • A dash of your favorite hot sauce

Why It’s A Great Vegan HCLF Meal:

This meal is incredibly simple. First, warm your main ingredients however you choose; the rice, beans, and sweet potatoes (cut into small cubes).

Next spread out your vegan wrap and layer the freshly cooked rice, beans, and sweet potatoes in the center of the wrap. 

Finally, fold the wrap around the ingredients and lightly toast the folded overlap on a warm pan to seal the burrito shut. If you like it hot, dip it in your favorite hot sauce! 

This meal is simple, high in complex carbs, and contains just a little bit of protein and fat from the beans. Rice, raw vegan wraps and sweet potatoes are all excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and will leave you feeling full and satisfied. 

3) Savory Rice & Beans

Savory Rice & Beans

Best Eaten As: Lunch or dinner

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup of your favorite rice
  • 1 cup of your favorite beans
  • A dash of soy sauce or coco aminos

Why It’s A Great Vegan HCLF Meal:

A bowl of rice and beans is super-simple, takes just a few minutes to cook, tastes delicious, and aligns perfectly with your HCLF vegan meal plan.

Simply cook 1 cup of rice and 1 cup of beans (make sure you strain the beans after cooking so they’re dry) and combine them in a bowl. 

I like my rice and beans savory, so I always add a light dash of soy sauce or coco aminos (a sweet-and-savory Indonesian sauce brewed from coconut blossoms) to my mix.

Hot sauce or a dash of cayenne pepper is also a good choice if you want to give it a spicy kick. 

4) HCLF Pea Protein Smoothie Meal Replacement

HCLF Pea Protein Smoothie Meal Replacement

Best Eaten As: Fast, on-the-go snack, workout recovery 

Ingredients: 

  • 1.5  cups of fruit
  • 1 cup of soy milk, oat milk, or almond milk
  • 1 spoonful/serving of pea protein (or your favorite vegan protein powder)
  • 1 cup of ice
  • Blender 

Why It’s A Great Vegan HCLF Meal:

Sometimes, you don’t have time (or energy) to sit down and cook a whole meal. If you’re looking for a fast, delicious, and incredibly nutritious vegan HCLF meal replacement smoothie, then this will hold off the hunger for a few hours. It’s also great for recovering after a workout!

Simply throw all of the ingredients in a blender and blend it into a delicious smoothie. 

The fruit provides ample vitamins and minerals along with some all-natural carbs. The soymilk and vegan protein provide a moderate amount of protein to keep you full but are low-fat, so they won’t slow you down.  

Plus, there’s nothing better than an ice-cold fruit smoothie on a hot summer day! 

5) Vegan Sushi Roll or Burrito

Vegan Sushi Roll or Burrito

Best Eaten As: Lunch or dinner

Ingredients: 

  • 1 sheet of seaweed paper
  • 1 cup of sticky white rice
  • 1 cup of freshly-diced vegetables
  • 1/2 cup of tempeh or tofu

Why It’s A Great Vegan HCLF Meal:

Although sushi is traditionally made with fish, you can make vegan sushi by using tofu, tempeh, or just plain old-fashioned fresh veggies.

Although they look fancy, making your own sushi roll is actually pretty easy! Check out this simple tutorial to see how to get the perfect vegan sushi roll:

If you don’t feel like going through the hassle of rolling, you can also just use the seaweed wrap as a type of burrito roll and roll your ingredients inside. 

Conclusion – Should You Try A HCLF Diet? 

If you enjoy carbs and you’re looking for a simple, easy-to-follow, mostly-natural diet, then you should give the HCLF vegan diet a try! Ultimately, I prefer a balanced diet.

However, sticking to an HCLF diet for one month did help me lose a couple of pounds and taught me a whole new way of eating and cooking! 

If you’re still hungry for dessert, then there are tons of delicious, nutritious, vegan cookies to choose from as well. These cookies are the perfect late-night treat on an HCLF diet

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Author Bio
Im Emma and I’m the creator of Vegan Calm. When I became a vegan seven years ago, I mainly did it for health and ethical reasons. To my surprise, it had another amazing benefit; I became a much calmer and peaceful person. This change inspired me to create Vegan Calm. Whether you’ve been a vegan for a long time or just want to learn more, this website will have something for you.

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