The 22 Day Vegan Challenge starts today and I’m excited to try it!
“Why?” My partner asks, knowing that I lived on a cattle station for two years and enjoy eating meat. Well, veganism is not just for people who are very passionate about animal rights (although this is a fantastic reason as well!). The benefits of a healthy and balanced vegan diet can help our nutrition and prevent a range of major diseases. A number of studies also suggest that a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle can even increase our lifespan by an average of three to six years.
My reasons for undertaking this challenge are to:
- Experience a different range of foods.
- Feel good. Meat and dairy products contain large amounts of saturated fats and eliminating consumption of these can improve your health and help you lose weight. Increasing intake of fruits, veggies, grains, nuts, beans and soy can improve levels of fiber, antioxidants, phytochemicals, proteins (which are healthier for the body than animal proteins), and vitamins – including magnesium, folate & potassium. All this helps to fight diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, macular degeneration & cataracts, high blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Eat consciously. Most of the time, we don’t think about where our food comes from – often because it’s so neatly packaged in the supermarket, we don’t pause and reflect that meat was once an animal. Reducing consumption of certain products (such as palm oil and meat that is not free-range) sends a message to food suppliers that we don’t want animals and the environment to suffer for our food.
So, returning to the original question of “Why?” my question in response is “Why not?”
I invite you to sign up for this challenge at the Challenge22+ 2017 website. There is fantastic support on the Facebook page for this challenge – including recipes, shopping lists, inspiration, advice from dietitians and encouragement from mentors.
Even if you’ve missed the first day(s), you can still join in. If you slip up, don’t worry, it happens. It’s your journey!
Check out the Daily Challenge Schedule below!