Can you imagine the impact the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge would have had if only it would have included these two videos from Dr. Greger (NutritionFacts.org). I highly recommend watching and sharing them.
For Best Results – What Is/Isn’t On The Menu? (Part 2)
What to avoid:
Processed Foods (TV dinners, mixes, white rice, etc.)
Processed Sugar (in all its forms: high fructose corn syrup, etc. )
GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms)
NOTE: If you must, keep it to a minimum, or look for healthier alternatives
What not to drink:
Soda (regular and diet)
Fruit Flavored Drinks
Caffeinated Beverages (coffee, tea)
NOTE: If you must, keep it to a minimum
What to drink:
Water (always the #1 answer, 16+ oz per meal, any time you’re thirsty)
100% Fruit/Vegetable Juice/Smoothie (the fresher, the better)
Almond/Soy Milk (other nut/seed milks), keep to a minimum
What to eat:
The more fresh fruits and vegetables, the better.
Include avocado, keep it to a minimum (it’s high in fat)
Include nuts and seeds, keep them to a minimum (beware of added oil)
Include grains, keep them to a minimum
Include beans and legumes, keep them to a minimum
Include pasta, keep it to a minimum (serve al dente)
Pasta Sauce, keep it to a minimum (no sugar, no oil, hard to find, but it’s out there)
Dry fruit is alright, beware of added ingredients, keep it to a minimum
Herbs and seasonings:
Fresh herbs and seasonings are best
Dry herbs and seasonings are fine
No chemical ingredients (MSG)
No mystery ingredients (“spices”, natural flavors, these could be anything)
Salt is alright in moderation (restricted salt diets, listen to your doctor)
A typical day menu for Mr. P (warning – I am very picky and not the healthiest of eaters):
Breakfast: fruit/vegetable smoothie – (may or may not include, but not limited to) kale and/or broccoli, cucumber, celery, apple, lemon, ginger, carrot, banana
2nd Breakfast: oatmeal – raisins, banana, cocoa powder or cinnamon, raw nuts (almond, pecan, walnut), freshly ground flax seed (no added oil or milk added to dish, sweetened with fruit)
Lunch: organic corn pasta, pasta sauce (sauce free of sugar and oil, no oil added), nutritional yeast
Dinner: beans, brown jasmine rice, quinoa, nutritional yeast (no oil added to dish), hot sauce (aged cayenne red pepper, distilled vinegar, water, salt and garlic powder) or Cajun seasoning (salt, red pepper, black pepper and garlic)
Snacks: banana, apple, grapes, dates, nuts (raw and/or roasted/salted, no other ingredients)
Drinks: water (16+ oz per meal or when thirsty), almond/organic soy milk on occasion, more water 😉
Other important tips:
Keep track of your progress
Don’t hurt yourself
Make sure you are getting enough calories (eat when you are hungry)
You can diet away weight and bring about better health, and the same can be said for exercise, but for the best results, I recommend both. Don’t worry, I’m not expecting a marathon out of you at the end of 30 days. I just don’t want you resorting to coach-potato tactics. If you already have an exercise plan you routinely do, good enough.
What I’m hoping for, bare minimum, is 15 minutes a day, three times a week, or 10 minutes a day, five times a week. If you’re used to doing more, keep up the great work. If my expectations are too high for you, do your best on a regular basis and your best will continue to get better. Progress is progress no matter the amount. 🙂
What kind of exercise should you be doing? I highly recommend doing something you enjoy. Walking, jogging, running, hiking, biking, swimming, exercise videos, parkour, free running, aerobics, calisthenics, weight lifting, yoga, tai chi, pushups, situps, jumping jacks… Just as long as it gets you moving.
No time for a workout? How about a work-in? Every time your phone rings, do a few squats. While cooking dinner, do some soup can curls. While standing in line, do some calf raises (stand on your tiptoes, up, down, up, down…) and/or do some shopping cart curls. Park on the outskirts of parking lots for a little jog, in and out. Jumping jacks during TV commercials. Pushup poker! You get the idea. No excuses, there’s always time for better health. 😉
Final thoughts: anything is better than nothing. If you can only do one pushup, just do one. Sooner or later you’ll be able to do two. Challenge yourself, push yourself, but don’t over do it. Some day you may surprise yourself. One day you may even amaze yourself. Last but not least, don’t forget to consult your doctor before starting any new diet or exercise plan. 😀
On the days leading up to the challenge, what should you be doing to prepare???
Consult your doctor before starting any new diet or exercise plan. While there you can have some blood work done to give yourself some great before data (blood-sugar, cholesterol…) to compare with your post 30DVC results. Make note of your blood pressure as well.
Did I mention an exercise plan above? Don’t worry, I’m not expecting you to join a gym. My next 30DVC post will focus on exercise. 😉
Start planning your meals and snacks. Being prepared will aid in your success.
Start reading labels. Know what you are putting in your body. You may be surprised to see how many items contain non-vegan ingredients.
Look into vegan/vegan friendly restaurants in your area. While you may be a salad lover, it’s nice to know there are other options available.
Check your local grocery stores to see what vegan options they have (mock meats, nut/seed/soy milks, information, suggestions…). Become familiar with your local health food stores for more options.
Don’t forget your before and after photos. Don’t expect miracles in 30 days, but be prepared. You may decide 30 days is just the beginning. 😉
On day one be sure to weigh in first thing in the morning, before eating or drinking anything, and preferably after any bodily eliminations. The same should be done on the 31st morning. As for the mornings in between? Put your scale in the closet for that period of time.
Make a list of your health issues, whatever they may be, and note their severity. This list can include, but not be limited to: acne, asthma, allergies, diabetes, fatigue, depression, aches, pains, heartburn/acid reflux, head aches, migraines, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, sciatica… On day 31 see how your list compares to how you are feeling then. Again, don’t expect miracles, but it’s always good to be prepared. A vegan diet isn’t a magic-bullet-cure-all, but it can make a world of difference. 🙂
Ask around, see if anyone else wants to join you in your adventure (friends, family, coworkers). There is strength in numbers, not that you can’t manage just fine on your own. 😉
If you’re not ready to start your 30DVC on the first of the month, you can always start on the second, or the third, or the first Monday of the month, or the second, or the third—or whenever you are ready. You want your 30DVC to be a success, so be ready and give it your best shot. 😀
Why 30 days? Some people like three weeks, while others prefer four. Myself and others like 30 days. For me, 30 days is what most people think of as a month. 30 is a nice round number. It worked for me and Bunny (and Bunny’s parents), and I hope it works for you too.
As with pretty much any new diet, the first week will be the hardest. There will be some irritability and crankiness. This is perfectly normal. You are going to be putting good stuff in, bad stuff will be coming out and you will experience mild withdraws (headache, irritability, sluggishness).
Week two should be much easier. The withdraws should be gone, your energy should be on the rise and your cravings for animal products will be subsiding. You will be over the first hurdle and making great strides.
Weeks three and four should be smooth sailing. At this point there’s nothing to it, but to do it. After that, only two more days to complete your 30-day-vegan-challenge. Time to look back, reflect and decide where to go from here. I’m hoping forward, not back.
If you get to three weeks and want to quite, congratulations on getting to the three week mark, and I’m sorry it wasn’t for you, but thank you for giving it a try. 🙂 If you make it to four weeks, the same goes for you, only more of it. 😉 If you make it two more days than the others, a whole 30 days, you are awesome! 😀 Where you go from there is up to you.
What’d You Say???