Wednesday, December 26, 2012

21 Days of Vegan

It's that time again! My restless inner self is calling for another change, and after stumbling upon the Netflix documentary Vegucated, i've decided to go Vegan for 21 days. Last time I went 'Raw', the results were fantastic, leading to some permanent dietary changes. As a nutritionist, and out of sheer curiosity, i've tried almost every diet in the books (even the "Lemonade Diet" - and no, I do not recommend it) - but i've never gone vegan... until now.

As an enthusiastic lover of chicken and chocolate - two central staples of my weekly (everyday?) diet, this new challenge of mine will test my will-power to say the least. Aside from the moral reasons Vegans have for their lifestyle, there are a number of health benefits associated with this plant-based diet.

Health benefits associated with a Vegan diet include:

  • Vegans have a lower risk of developing the following:
    • Heart disease
    • Various cancers 
    • Diabetes
    • Obesity
    • Hypertension (high blood pressure).
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Healthier skin, hair, and nails
  • More energy
  • And a longer life (among others)!

Ok, so how hard can it really be? Well, here are the rules...

How to be a vegan (at least in the dietary sense):
  • No meat (yes, this is the obvious one - and probably the most difficult for me!)
  • No dairy (no prob - i'm lactose intolerant, so my dairy intake is quite low to begin with)
  • No eggs (geeez, first no meat and now this?! Egg whites are a part of my daily protein fix!)
  • No sugar/honey (... i don't really get this one, but ok, i think i'll survive)
  • No meat (yes, we're listing this one again because it is so difficult to accept, we need to hear it twice...)
And by "chikin", they mean "tofu"

There are 2 notable (pre-planned) exceptions to the next 21 days:

1) I have a tapas date night planned with my boyfriend in 2 days - it's important that I don't let my diet and fitness get in the way of romance and quality time with the one I love!

2) New Years Eve sushi night! We've planned to ring in 2013 with some friends and some sushi :)

What is probably going to be the most difficult for me over the next 3 weeks?
mmmmm chicken, i'll miss you!
  • Chicken, chicken, chicken. Anyone who knows me knows that i loves me some chicken - especially my boyfriend's chicken (he's quite the chef!)... i will have to remind myself it's only 3 weeks!
  • Eggs. I love egg white omelettes and I love scrambled eggs (when I have time to make them!).
  • Chocolate. Most chocolate contains some sort of milk product (and sugar), making it off limits for the purposes of my little vegan experiment. That said, first thing tomorrow i'm on the hunt for dairy-free, whey-free, and casino-free chocolate (yum?)...
Finally, I feel a cold coming on - my throat is a bit sore, i'm getting a bit stuffy, and i feel as i'm teetering on the edge of a full-on flu... that said, this vegan thing can go one of two ways for me: 1) I get really sick, and this whole vegan thing gets that much harder; OR 2) Completely changing my diet shocks my body into recovering quickly and not getting worse!

Stay tuned - i'm not above sharing all my dietary frustrations over the next 3 weeks, no matter how hormonal chocolate deprivation makes me!

...Said the American girl living in a diary nation...

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