What is WFPB Vegan? And Recipe for Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oats

Whole, plant-based foods!



Whole Food, Plant-Based or WFPB Vegan…you may have seen me use this phrase or abbreviation a time or two in my posts, but what is it and what does it mean? Today I’m talking about it and other variations, such as WFPBNO and WFPBNOSOS. And I also have an awesome breakfast recipe at the end for Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oats that is not only delicious but a fast and easy make-ahead breakfast to get you and your family going in the morning.

Whole Food, Plant-Based Vegan Eating

WFPB is the abbreviation for Whole Food, Plant-Based. It is eating foods in their unrefined state, i.e. whole, and made of plants. This doesn’t mean that you don’t cut or cook your foods, it simply means minimizing processed or refined foods. And by processing, we mean foods stripped of fiber and other nutrients or supplemented with refined oils, sugars, or flours. Additionally, it is vegan, that is, does not include animal products, such as beef, poultry, eggs, dairy, seafood, etc.

Does this sound restrictive? Well, that leaves thousands and thousands different edible plant species available to eat! The list includes:

Fruits & Vegetables: Over 30,000 different options, including avocados, bananas, apples, potatoes, broccoli, winter squashes, jackfruit, etc. Does it matter whether a fruit or vegetable are botanically classified as a fruit or a vegetable in this case? No. And eat fruit, it’s good for you!

How Much Fruit Is Too Much Fruit?

Cutting down on sugary foods may be easier said than done (see Are Sugary Foods Addictive? http://nutritionfacts.org/video/are-sugary-foods-addictive/) but it’s worth it. New subscribers to our e-newsletter always receive a free gift. Get yours here: https://nutritionfacts.org/subscribe/ This video is part of an intermittent series on the dangers of high levels of fructose in added sugars.

Whole Grains: Thousands of whole grains and pseudo-grains, both with and without gluten exist, such as wheat, oats, quinoa, buckwheat, corn, pasta, etc.

Whole grains

What differentiates whether a grain is whole or not? A whole grain contains all parts of the grain, including the bran, germ, and endosperm, that it had while it was growing. The bran is the outer covering, germ is the embryo, or where a new plant sprouts from, and the endosperm is the starchy food supply that supports the growth of a new sprout. There are lots of nutrients and fiber in the bran and germ, which are stripped in refined grains, leaving only the starchy endosperm. Go here for some great information on whole versus refined grains from the Whole Grains Council.

Looking for different options in your grain repertoire? Check out the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council for some great ideas!

Beans/Legumes: Beans, beans, the musical fruit…includes garbanzo beans, black beans, soy products, kidney beans, miso paste,  tempeh, lentils, peanuts, etc.

Variety of canned beans. You don’t need to can your own, you can use store-bought canned beans or even cook them up from dry.

Protein Products to Substitute for Meat: Such as tempeh, tofu, jackfruit.

Jackfruit is a great WFPB meat substitute!

Nuts & Seeds: Flax, chia seeds, hazelnuts (filberts), almonds, pepitas, hemp hearts, etc.

Pepitas, sunflower, flax, and sesame seeds

Nut, Legume, or Grain Milks, Creams, and Yogurts: Plant-based substitutes made from almonds, soy, oats, rice, coconut, etc.

Westbrae Soy Milk Made from Only Non-GMO Soybeans and Water

Herbs & Spices: Full of beneficial antioxidants, herbs and spices do more than just flavor our food.

Assorted spices

Whole Sweeteners: Things such as dates, coconut sugar, maple syrup. These do not have nutrients or fiber stripped away in a refining process. Many WFPB vegans eliminate honey as an ethical choice.

Dates are a whole, plant-based sweetener

WFPB Shopping List

To make it easier for you, here’s a handy Trimazing! WFPB Shopping List that may come in handy. It’s full WFPB foods you can find at your grocery store. It also contains the 2019 Environmental Working Group‘s Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 List to help you choose produce with lower risks of pesticide contamination.

WFPB Variations

You’ll often see variations in abbreviations of WFPB eating. Really, they are the same thing. Here’s an explanation.

WFPBNO means Whole Food, Plant-Based, No Oil. While WFPB really does mean eliminating all refined foods, including oils, one of the most highly refined substances, many people use the abbreviation WFPBNO to emphasize they are not using refined oils at all. This means not cooking or sautéeing foods in oils or using them in dressings or baking.

No Oil — Not Even Olive Oil! – Caldwell Esselstyn MD

Caldwell Esselstyn Jr MD of Cleveland Clinic has shown heart disease can be reversed 100% of the time, using a plant-based diet. Olive oil — and ANY oil — increases heart disease, the same way butter does. If you want to avoid heart disease and cancer, ditch all oils, which are in any case just highly processed (i.e., junk) food.

WFPBNOSOS or WFPB no SOS is Whole Food, Plant-Based, No Sugar, Oil, or Salt. Again, emphasizing not using refined oil, but also refined sugars and salt. Processed foods often contain a huge amount of added sugar and sodium, which is not health-promoting. In addition, some people with salt-sensitive hypertension avoid adding salt to their WFPB foods and use this abbreviation. This does not mean you can’t add a pinch of salt or a drizzle of pure maple syrup to your food at the table when you’re eating, just that you avoid refined, processed foods with their high content of added refined sugars, salt, and oil.

SALT-OIL-SUGAR with Dr. Klaper

Dillon Holmes with Dr. Michael Klaper More from Dr. Michael Klaper https://doctorklaper.com/ —- Purchase our cookbooks today (bundle discount available): https://wellyourworld.com/cookbooks Order my SOS-Free Products here: http://wellyourworld.com/store Sign up for my Live Cooking Show! http://wellyourworld.com/cookingshow Download my FREE 5-Day Meal Planner! http://wellyourworld.com/mealplanner Follow me on Instagram!

Why Eat Whole, Plant-Based Foods?

Eating WFPB is considered a health-promoting diet. It is high in fiber, free of cholesterol, packed with beneficial antioxidants, and nutritionally-dense while lower in fat and calories. Plant foods are full of protein, complex carbohydrates, calcium, iron, and more, without saturated fats and cholesterol of animal foods.

No Oil? Why?

Oil is simply a highly refined substance made by pressing an ingredient with such high pressure that it expresses the fat from the fiber of a fruit, vegetable, nut, grain, or bean, by rendering it from an animal, or made synthetically from other substances. Oils are empty calories at a whopping 4,000 calories per pound! That’s 120 calories per Tablespoon—the equivalent to a giant bowl containing over a pound of a veggie salad with balsamic vinegar! If I’m going to eat 120 calories, I want to feel like I ate something!

Besides being high in calories, there’s significant peer-reviewed science showing oil of all types, plant- and animal-based, interferes with arterial function.

Olive Oil and Artery Function

Does extra virgin olive oil have the same adverse effect on arterial function as refined oils and animal fats? New subscribers to our e-newsletter always receive a free gift. Get yours here: https://nutritionfacts.org/subscribe/ Fatty Meals May Impair Artery Function (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/fatty-meals-may-impair-artery-function) so much that a single high-fat meal can trigger angina chest pain.

And…it has also been found to lead to insulin-resistance!

What Causes Insulin Resistance?

Prediabetes and type 2 diabetes are caused by a drop in insulin sensitivity blamed on “intramyocellular lipid,” the buildup of fat inside our muscle cells. New subscribers to our e-newsletter always receive a free gift. Get yours here: https://nutritionfacts.org/subscribe/ If this video sounds familiar, it’s because it’s a redux of a video that I put out last year.

Eating WFPB is a change from what most people are used to with the Standard American Diet, however, its not insurmountable, is delicious, and with a few tips and tricks, becomes a sustainable, health-promoting lifestyle. You’ll be surprised, you can still eat your favorite foods, like pizza, chili, mac and cheese, and more, just with a healthy twist! Contact me today and I can show you how!

In the meantime, try these awesome overnight oats! If you love anything Pumpkin Spice, then these are for you! And, you don’t have to wait until Fall to enjoy them—make them year-round if you want! Your body will thank you for all the fiber, antioxidants, protein, and carbohydrates without any added refined oils, sugars, or salt (and I promise you won’t miss that)!

Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oats

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5 from 7 votes

Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oats

Love pumpkin spice anything? This makes a great make-ahead/batch cooking breakfast for your busy week. Make on Sunday and eat well all week long! Great for those busy mornings getting yourself and your family ready and off to work or school.

Course Breakfast/Brunch, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Kids, Nut-Free, Soy-Free
Keyword Pumpkin, Winter Squash
Prep Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes
Servings 5
Calories 282kcal
Author Cindy Thompson, MS, NBC-HWC | Trimazing! Health & Lifestyle Coaching


  • 2 cups Pureed Pumpkin or other winter squash
  • 2 cups Unsweetened almond milk or other unsweetened plant-based milk of choice
  • ½ cup Maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice or cinnamon
  • 2 cups Old-fashioned oats use gluten-free if sensitive
  • 2 tbsp Chia seeds
  • ½ cup Raw Pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds) or hemp seeds or other chopped raw nuts, like pecans.


  • In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, almond milk, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice.
  • Add the oats and chia seeds and mix well to combine.
  • Divide into 5 1-cup jars. Cover and store in the refrigerator overnight or until set. Store covered in the fridge up to 5 days.
  • Enjoy cold or heat in the microwave for 1 minute before eating. Top with pepitas or other chopped nuts, if desired.


Try some other winter squashes for this besides pumpkin. Kabocha squash is my absolute favorite! Look for it at your grocery store or farm stand—it is delicious!

To Roast Pumpkins and Winter Squash in the Oven

Cut in half, remove seeds, and roast, cut-side-down, on a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet at 400˚F for about 45 minutes until soft. Scoop out pulp and puree.

To Cook Pumpkins and Winter Squash in the Instant Pot

  1. Wash the outside of your squash.
  2. Put 1 cup water in your Instant Pot and insert trivet/steamer rack.
  3. Put whole squash in your Instant Pot. If it's too big, trim and put pieces in. No need to peel or otherwise cut. Yes, you're leaving the seeds in!
  4. Put on the lid, set to pressure, and cook on High pressure 25 minutes.
  5. Do a quick release when done and then carefully remove your squash.
  6. When cool enough to handle, cut in half, scoop out seeds, and then scoop the cooked pulp out of the skin to puree.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

Don't have pumpkin pie spice? Simply make your own! Mix together:
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon  
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
Store in a tightly sealed container.


Calories: 282kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 13g | Sodium: 72mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 6.4g | Vitamin A: 14660IU | Vitamin C: 4.8mg | Calcium: 336mg | Iron: 4mg


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  1. Lisa Picklesimer on December 13, 2022 at 12:36 am

    Try a North Georgia Candy Roaster squash or a Carolina Candy Roaster. They are absolutely fab. I grow mine. Sometimes they show up at farmers markets.

5 from 7 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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