Have you considered trying a vegan diet, but aren’t sure you can manage it? Both vegetarian and vegan diets have been growing in popularity not only as a way to improve personal health, but also to ease the strain that the typical Western diet puts on the environment.
However, going from omnivore to vegan isn’t always an easy process. Many who make the transition find it best to do so gradually. But if your diet needs drastic modification for health or personal reasons, the gradual route may not be an option. That’s where the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart comes in.
Hosted by the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine, the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart is a thrice-annual challenge for those wishing to switch to a plant-based lifestyle. PCRM is committed to compassionate medicine and the promotion of cruelty-free, effective health practices. The Kickstart echoes these principles. Through a series of e-mails, suggested menus, and recipes, the Kickstart helps walk new vegans and the veg-curious through the first steps of eliminating animal products from their diets.
Those interested in making the transition can sign up on the Kickstart website in winter, spring, or fall. Registration is free and gives access to a variety of resources to help during the three weeks of the challenge and beyond. Participants receive e-mail messages and weekly menu plan suggestions, with recipes available on the Kickstart website. There’s even an iPhone app to deliver recipes on the go. Grocery list suggestions help give new vegans an idea of the items they may want to stock up on.
The community forums offer a place for Kickstart participants to chat and support each other. You can ask questions, discuss recipes, seek out suggestions, and anything else related to the Kickstart. Being able to interact with others who are making the same changes you are can make the lifestyle shift that much easier. This support can help make the difference between sticking to your newfound diet or giving up halfway through!
Participating in the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart takes the guesswork out of going vegan. It demystifies the biggest question of all-what do vegans eat?-enough so that even the most die-hard omnivore can consider making the switch without a problem. It’s up to you whether you continue on the vegan path after the challenge is over, but if you choose to do so, it will be with a new outlook on your diet, lifestyle, and health.
If you’re looking to go “all the way vegan,” keep in mind that the Kickstart is only a preliminary program. Animal ingredients can hide in a lot of tricky places, and it’s up to you to do your research and reach a point you’re comfortable with. But the Kickstart is a great way to get yourself started on the road to better health and cleaner eating!