I've been vegan for over four years, so I really don't need to learn how great it is. I'm sold! But over the past few months, with lots of unusual stressors in my life, I've slipped into some rather unhealthy eating habits - like way too regular doses of cupcakes and french fries! Comfort food, right? I know better, but I ignored what I knew in favor of high fat treats I was craving on an emotional level. Truth is, they made me feel happy for about three minutes. Then they went to work adding fat I don't want or need to my waistline. Little stinkers. When I realized I'd gained ten pounds in the course of four months, I gave myself a mental slap across the face, with a good Snap out of it! thrown in to get my own attention. It worked, and along with the inspiration I soaked up in DC last week, I came home ready to re-kickstart my own diet.
Some people think that just because you're doing the vegan diet thing you can do no wrong food-wise. Not so. There's plenty of vegan junk food out there, and let me assure you, much of it is quite delicious and alluring. The same over-processed fat/salt/sugar combinations that keep us undernourished and overfed in "regular" junk foods do the same thing in their vegan offshoots. Most of us slip up in "what we know" from time to time. The key is to get a grip and get back on track before a snack or a treat becomes a lifestyle. The four main vegan food groups are as simple as can be - vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains. Stick to those and you'll discover an endless variety of delectable dishes that will keep you healthy and satisfied without weighing you down.
I have a feeling the 21 Day Kickstart will be one of my favorite classes to teach. It's a simple, fun, high-fiber, low-fat way of eating that doesn't count calories or serving sizes. Just eat real food and enjoy it! To me it's a no-brainer, but I realize how kerbobbling such a recalibration can be to someone who's used to having a slab of animal flesh at the center of their plate at every meal. I really want to help people get over the fear and into the fun!
However, if you're a good self-motivator, you can begin the Kickstart yourself with all the wonderful, supportive tools offered on the 21 Day Kickstart Website. It generally starts over at the first of each month, so this is short notice if you want to hop in for July. I decided to start early, and have been kickstarting since Monday. In the first four days I lost two pounds, and I feel clear headed and energetic again. My cupcake cravings are already gone, and french fries just smell yuck. What am I eating? Beautiful bowls of grains, greens, and beans, oatmeal with wonderful toss-ins, smoothies, soups, wraps, spreads, dips... everything that's whole and real, and comes from plants. It's so simple, and I'm so happy to finally be making friends with my new kitchen (which was part of the problem.)
So, if you're interested, the online 21 Day Kickstart Program is a well thought out tool, free for you to use. There's also a book, by Dr. Neal Barnard, available on Amazon, and many other places. (Yes, I do get a commission if you buy it through the above link.) Everything PCRM presents is based on extensive research, with no need for opinion, popular "logic", or fad "nutrition." They've been around for 13 years, and they do amazing work. Check out the PCRM website and the 21 Day Kickstart for yourself. It might be just what you're looking for.