I did it!!!
I officially completed the 21-day plant-based challenge on Sunday. I knew I’d have a ton of questions, so I decided to write a blog post about it.
In this post, I’ll cover these points:
- Why I did it
- What does plant-based even mean? Rules of the challenge (what you can & can’t eat)
- My results (outside transformation and more importantly, what changed INSIDE me)
- My takeaways from this challenge
I’ll also add more resources at the bottom if you’re really serious about doing the challenge!
Just a little background about myself: I love love love meat.
I ate somewhat healthy here and there, as in: I ate salads, tried to opt for whole-grain as much as I can, didn’t really eat sweets.
But meat? I LOVED it.
I would often treat myself to all-you-can-eat buffets at Korean BBQ and go to TOWN- no sides, just straight meat.
As a matter of fact, I used to roll my eyes when anyone said they were a vegan!
I mention all of this because if I- the carnivorous, slather cheese, butter, and anything that clogs my arteries- could complete the 21-day Plant-Based Challenge then you can too!
Why Did You Do It?
I did the challenge because a group of my friends from church were doing a fast- you choose something to give up (i.e. soda, social media, caffeine, etc)- and we collectively decided to give up meat products & go completely plant-based.
I’ve also been wanting to take my health more seriously, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to start.
What is Plant-Based?
A plant-based diet consists of foods derived from plants, including vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and fruits. No animal products- this means NO dairy.
I made these graphics for you to keep! 😉
Of course there are a ton of other plant-based meal options, but these were the ones I loved the most. I found all of these recipes on Pinterest, just type in the name of the dish and a ton of recipes should pop up!
Note: You’ll be hungry more often during the challenge, so pack a LOT of snacks and prepare to eat every 2 hours or so!
My Results (in just 21 days!!)
(And I swear I’m not pushing out on the left either, that’s really how my stomach was- bloated ALL the time)
Going plant-based for 21 days has:
- Given me more energy: I didn’t feel sluggish and had more energy throughout the day
- Improved my immunity: I have not gotten sick ONE time throughout this challenge. Before this, I was sick A LOT and I thought it was because I worked with kids (& when a kid got sick, I would get sick), but after the challenge I realized it was because of my poor diet
- Saved me money: I did the math on the receipts I collected during the challenge, and I saved an average of $50 every time I went shopping. (If we’re gonna do the math, based on those numbers I would be saving $2,600 per year switching to plant-based)
- Saves the environment: Giving up meat & dairy saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 20 feet of forested land, 20 pounds of CO2 equivalent, and 1 animal’s life- all of this- PER DAY yall.
& lastly, this is the most important of them all. Going plant-based for 3 weeks has dramatically changed:
Yes, you read that correctly.
At first, I didn’t think anything of it. I simply thought I was just dancing around and smiling more often these days.
But then I thought about it more, and I was like- wait… this period of my life is NOT what I (or any other human being at that) would call a jolly time.
Background info: I have Depression and General Anxiety disorder. Additionally, I am currently going through a breakup of someone I thought I was going to marry (4 years!) & whom I lived with for 2.
The challenge started 3 days before I moved into a new place and was sleeping on an air mattress & had no furniture (I decided to leave all my furniture at my old place, and my mattress got lost in the mail somehow so I was fully sleeping on an air mattress for a solid week and a half until it came in).
Anyways, back to my mood- you would think that my current situation would have me down in the dumps for a good chunk of my time, but my diet actually HELPED with my mood.
I did some research and found that:
- eating more carbohydrates provides a boost of serotonin (a neurotransmitter that elevates mood and alleviates depression)
- Whole grains (good source of B vitamins) helps the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, among others, all of which help to regulate mood
- Eating breakfast regularly is associated with fewer depressive symptoms (during this challenge, I had to eat breakfast consistently instead of skipping it, because I was hungry more often eating clean)
After reading up on it, it made total sense to me. Because I literally felt happier.
& the most shocking thing about it is that all these results happened in a matter of 21 days. That’s only 63 meals (& snacks in between)!
- I saved money
- I lost some inches in my waist- sis is lookin snatched these days!
- I improved my mood
- I am not NEARLY as bloated as I used to be
- I’m saving the environment sweetie
- I am actively and consistently reading labels & more conscious/picky about what goes in my body
I really really encourage everyone to at least try the challenge out. I swear- it is LIFE CHANGING. As a matter of fact, the challenge ended on Sunday and I am STILL plant-based. That should say a lot about how I feel about this lifestyle change!!!
I honestly wish I would’ve taken my diet more seriously before, but it’s never too late to start!
Health is wealth you guys. Take care of your body- it’s the only place you have to live!
If you’re serious about it, I wrote an additional blog post [Tips When Going Vegan/Plant-Based: How to Stay the Course as a Newbie].
Thank you guys so much for reading!