Sunday, April 10, 2011

Challenge: 3 Week Vegan Diet

I drifted back and forth from vegetarian to ravenous meat eater for the past 4 years.  Is going vegan really that big of a stretch?

I used to think that vegans were just birkenstock wearing, dreadlock sporting, PETA-freak, granolas.  That's not to say a lot of vegans aren't that way, but my research made me realize going vegan is also for environmentalists, health nuts, and feed-the-hungry types (I fall into the latter category). I was pretty much hooked on the idea of becoming a vegan, if only for a little while, when I read that:
“Nearly half of the world's grains and soybeans are fed to animals, resulting in a huge waste of food calories. The extent of waste is such that even a 10% drop in US meat consumption would make sufficient food available to feed the world's starving millions.”

A word of caution: Before starting any diet its important to do your research! I picked up Jack Norris' Vegan For Life, which includes all the info you'll need to do a vegan diet right.

The Motivation: My motivation to complete this challenge is going to be the thought that by avoiding animals products, I am reducing animal suffering, and in my small way possibly helping someone not go hungry.

The Goal: Save some animals, green up the earth, get healthy, and reduce world hunger!

The Challenge: Consume no animal products for 3 weeks
This includes meat, animal milk, cheese, eggs… if it comes from an animal, it’s stayin’ out of my mouth. 

Oprah went on a vegan diet for 3-weeks in 2008, and in February Oprah and her staff went on a 1-week vegan diet, so I’ll be using a lot of her recipes, as well as some additional ones I find on my own.   And lets face it, if Oprah can do it, I can do it.

Difficulty Level: When I was in my first year of university and I watched “Fast Food Nation.” There is a graphic scene in a cow slaughterhouse which really turned me off eating meat. I don't really cook red meat for myself, but will occasionally make chicken if I start to crave it.  Remember, cravings are your body trying to tell you something, and you should always listen to your body! I will eat a burger once and a while, and my dad makes a mean steak I just can’t refuse. For these reasons I don’t call myself a vegetarian, I simply don’t eat a lot of red meat. Since I don’t eat a lot of meat to begin with, and I am a big fan of tofu products, that part of the challenge should be relatively easy. I do, however, love bread, cheese, milk, etc. I also love going out for dinner but hate to order salads when I go out.  So that 'vegan option' is out the window. 

Overall Difficulty Level: 8.5/10

Start Date: Monday, April 11
End Date: Sunday, May 1

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