I’ve made New Years resolutions in the past and they’ve rarely stuck since a few months into the year I completely forget what they are. To me – doing something everyday for a month is a more effective way to form good habits.
For the month of January 2017, I will be doing two separate challenges.
Challenge 1: Social Media Detox (which I blogged about here)
Challenge 2: Becoming vegan for one month
My decision to try a meat free diet arose after reading a book titled How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Gregar. In the book, references are made to The China Study (one of the largest comprehensive studies of cancer ever completed) whose research suggests a plant based diet is the most optimal diet for health and that consumption of meat increases risk to various cancers and cardiovascular diseases.
This book, along with a Netflix documentary titled ‘Forks over Knives’ made me hopeful that a vegan diet may help with my psoriasis- an auto-immune disease I developed in 2016. Many psoriasis related blogs I have read also encourage a plant based diet to treat this disease. I will blog about it sometime in the future, if I find that it has improved with a vegan diet.
Why vegan, and not simply vegetarian?
I’m actually lactose intolerant and have been avoiding dairy for the latter half of 2016. Even though I no longer drink milk or cream based beverages, trace amounts of dairy still find its way into my diet via candy, sweets, sauces, and ice cream. During this challenge, I want to be more vigilant about my dairy consumption to improve my digestive health. The hardest part will be avoiding eggs, as it’s currently a source of protein in my diet – I will have to replace them with tofu and legumes.
The rules I’m setting for myself during this challenge are:
1. No alcohol
2. No meat, fish, or dairy
3. As little added sodium and sugar as possible
4. Avoid processed foods and simple carbs
5. Continue drinking min. 3L of water a day
I will allow myself 4 cheat meals this month, namely one per week. By cheat meal, I don’t mean to eat a whole steak or binge on sashimi, but rather I want to give myself more flexibility socially and when dining out with others.
I don’t plan on eating plain pasta with tomato sauce for dinner simply because it’s vegan. My goal for the month is to eat 80% plant based foods. Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes and beans.
Even though I’m calling myself a vegan for the purposes of this challenge, I feel a little apprehensive doing so. To me, vegans are passionate advocates for animal rights while I’m simply switching the a plant based diet for my own health. I simply don’t know enough about the issues surrounding animal welfare.The small glimpses I’ve had into the treatment of animals while I’ve researched this diet has been appalling, and in the future I hope to become more educated on the matter. (Does this mean I’ll have to sell all my leather handbags?)
I hope to post weekly with updates on both challenges. Since I won’t be able to creep friends on Instagram, I should have no trouble right? Are any of my readers vegetarian or vegan? Do you have any tips for me?
Have a wonderful new year, and may you all be safe and spend it with loved ones.