By now you’e probably read a bit about my journey on my 2016 100 Somethings Challenge, and how I successfully walked 1 million steps in just over four months. Because I am SO HAPPY with the positive lifestyle changes that resulted in my making a long term goal (doing something 100 times in a specific period of time makes it a habit), I have decided to embark on a new 100 Somethings Challenge in 2017- and it’s something that I NEVER thought I would even consider doing (hint- it involves vegans!).
Between January 9 and May 25, 2017, I am going to complete 100 days of eating a vegan diet.
Yep, you read that correctly. I am going to adopt a mostly vegan diet. For 100 days.
A total carnivore
In case you are still getting to know me, let me just tell you this- I am the grandchild of Nebraska beef farmers, and a lover of (eating) animals. I love meat. I love cheese. I love butter. I also love diet soda- and towards the end of 2016, I was drinking between 2 and 6 sodas a day. And even though there are diets out there that say that eating all of the meat in the world is not bad- I wasn’t feeling good about my diet. There were lots of cravings- drink a diet soda, crave sugar. Drink another one, crave salt. Hit repeat.
The Vegan Inspiration
Cue our trip to Costa Rica- one of my husband’s dear friends had become a vegan almost a year ago in response to extensive research he did about the effects of diet on the life span of cancer patients. (To be honest, last year when he told us about his veganism I thought he was straight-up crazy.) But spending time with Carlos, Jessica and their children during our trip, I noticed that not only did they look awesome (thin, glowing skin, tons of energy!), but that their life did not revolve around food like mine did. Carlos had mentioned that the human body can tolerate up to 20% of it’s diet from animal byproducts, but much more than that can wreak havoc on the digestive system. So I decided to make the 20% of my diet from animal products a goal.
I came home and thought seriously about how, exactly to:
1. Track the 20% of my diet from animal products as a goal
2. Make my change in diet sustainable knowing that the rest of my family would not embrace veganism and
3. Make sure that I don’t “fall off the wagon” and give up on the challenge all-together.
So- here’s the deal- for 100 days between now and May 25th, I will commit to a vegan diet until dinner. This is because family dinner is important and I don’t have the bandwidth or the willpower to create totally separate meals for me. I believe that this plant-based approach to my diet will satisfy my goal of 20% of my diet, maximum, coming from animal, and will help me to still be able to eat some of the foods that I love- just less frequently.
I’ve completed 11 vegan days thus far, and here’s what I’ve learned:
- I FEEL so much better- and lighter. On the very first day of the challenge, I ate vegan all morning, and then tried to drink a diet soda in the afternoon for a caffeine pick-me-up. I immediately had diarrhea (TMI, I know- sorry), and have since given up the habit completely.
- I love green juice, and I am craving less sugar.
- I feel full because I am getting so much fiber through the fruits and veggies, and on the days when I don’t follow a vegan diet, I eat more food and feel less satisfied.
- Most of our family meals have been vegetarian- we are down to eating actual meat (fish, chicken, beef or pork) only twice a week. This has saved us a ton of money at the grocery store.
- So far, I’ve been able to modify a ton of my favorite recipes to vegan recipes (and, at least to start, chips and salsa have gotten me through the REALLY tough times.)
So… will you join me in a 100 Somethings 2017 Challenge?
Comment below with what commitment you are willing to make between now and May 25- and join me in creating a new healthy habit for your life!
I’m using the same tracker as last time- and you can download it for free here!