This post is part of my ongoing Reader Questions Series.
I’ve boarded the plant-based struggle bus, and I’d really like to get off at the next stop. I’m hoping you can help!
I started to slowly transition to a WFPB diet in April for health reasons, and at this point, I’d say my diet is on point around 60%-70% of the time. When I started this journey, I was overweight, and the weight was slowly coming off. I am very short, so my calorie requirement to lose weight is low compared to a lot of other people I know. It’s been a juggling act to figure out how to make sure I’m getting all the nutrients I need without going over what I know I should have in a day. I am now very active. I just increased my running to 4 days a week, three miles per day.
I am a working wife and mother with kids in sports, and my family is still eating a Western diet. Because I shop and cook for them, I don’t really have a lot of time to cook for me, so I have been focusing on quick meals like salads and wraps. I buy chopped salad kits and stir fry kits from the produce section because they have a plethora of veggies I would never buy separately and assemble myself. For protein, I eat a lot of beans and chickpeas or hummus.
I am reaching out because I’m really struggling with no oil or sugar in condiments. It would be a huge help if there were condiments I could buy that are WFPB. A lot of products claim to be plant-based, but there is oil and sugar in nearly everything. Do you know of any salad dressings or Asian stir-fry sauces I can buy that don’t taste awful and are actually WFPB-compliant?
Since I cook for my family, I don’t really have the time to make homemade for myself. Secondly, I’ve found that I cheat less if I eat my meal before cooking theirs. This is another reason I need quick meals for myself. Perhaps I’m looking for the impossible, but I’d like to fully transition, and this seems to be a big hangup for me.
Any help you can provide is appreciated.
Plant-Based Cooking Answers:
Thanks for reaching out. I always enjoy hearing from readers. 🙂 First, I want to say congratulations on the progress you’re making! What you described sounds fantastic, and while I know you want to fully transition to a plant-based diet, I wouldn’t stress over it, given how well you’re doing. I do understand that it’s difficult to find condiments, salad dressings, and sauces, and you’ve made me realize that I need to do an article on this topic.
Unfortunately, I don’t know of many condiment brands that have no oil or sugar. There are many no-oil salad dressings, but I usually make my own, so I couldn’t endorse any, so far.
Here are a few condiment ideas that may help. I’ve also listed companies that offer meals or other oil-free foods.
Discover more in this in-depth article about oil-free condiments.
INDIVIDUAL FOOD PRODUCTS:
Dr. Fuhrman: Dr. Fuhrman offers a large line of whole foods that are made without oils or processed sugars and are very low in salt. Products include salad dressings, sauces, pasta, vinegars, and more.
Well Your World: Pizza and pasta sauce, salt substitutes, herbs & spices, dressings, BBQ sauce, and more.
Oil-free pasta sauce 365 Brand Whole Foods Market brand
Annie’s Mustard: Enjoy the mellow flavor of organic mustard seed, tangy white vinegar, and spices. It has salt
Primal Kitchen No Soy Teriyaki (the nutrition label says no fat, but the ingredients list sesame oil)
PRE-MADE FOOD DELIVERY:
LeafSide Meals: 100% whole foods plant-based meals with organic ingredients, ready in minutes with almost no effort — just add water to prepare.
MamaSezz Meals: MamaSezz is a meal delivery service that delivers ready-to-eat, whole food, plant-based meals to your door. Their goal is to make it easier for people to eat healthy. MamaSezz offers a variety of meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.
Plant-Strong Foods: Plant-Strong Foods also has a large offering of 100% plant-based, vegan foods, free from processed oils, refined sugar, and excessive sodium, including pizza, cornbread, chili, and more.
Perhaps at some point, you can take time to prepare your own, but until then, you should be very proud of how well you’ve done. You are still gaining all of the benefits of eating a whole-food, plant-based diet.
Keep up the good work!! Please let me know if you discover any products that work for you. I’ll gladly add them to a list as I prepare to write an article about this topic.