First off, can you believe the year is almost over?!?! I mean we were just saying Happy New Year like 10 minutes ago.
I don’t know about you but 2016 has been pretty much a shitty azz year. I don’t have much control over all of the nonsense going on but I do have control over my health! My oldest daughter has been obsessed with watching documentaries on Netflix and now she’s anti-Seaworld and anit-Circuses. SMH I swear she gets one thing stuck in her head and she goes full force with it. Now on the flip side, she’s decided that she wants to eat healthier and even mentioned becoming a vegetarian. One of my good friends mentioned they were doing a 21-day vegan challenge in January and wanted some other folks to join along. I figured this would be a great way for us to kick start off our healthy eating habits.
If you’re like 99% if the people I’ve told that we’re going to be doing a vegan challenge, then you might have some questions AKA think we are bat shit crazy! Here are my 5 tips on how to be successful and start a vegan challenge:
- Start with simple food replacements: One of the first things that I switched out was our milk. I’ve been using almond milk for a while with stuff so that was an easy fix. I’m allergic to soy so I’m limited with a few things and can’t have tofu, which isn’t really bad because that stuff is just gross…LOL! Another thing that we’ve been trying out our the “meatless” chicken fingers and black bean burgers. The chipotle lime chick’n fingers from Gardein are actually pretty good! And I’m planning to make some black bean burgers from scratch with the help of my Nutri Ninja® Nutri Bowl™DUO™ with Auto-iQ Boost™. I tried a few different frozen brands and they tasted a hot mess! And at least by making them from scratch I can add all of my favorite seasonings and veggies!
- Find a tribe: I don’t care what anyone says, but trying to avoid dairy, eggs, meats…anything with animal products in it can be hard. You don’t realize how much of it you eat until you can’t have it. For me, having a tribe is going to make a world of difference. It’s so much easier when you have people going through the challenge with you or those that are already vegan. Such a wealth of information and I’ve gotten so many tips on ways to stay on track. Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites are a great place to find others just like you on this same journey.
- Don’t forget your vitamins: A lot of animal based foods also have vitamins that we all need such as Vitamin D, Iron and B12. I personally know that this time of year my Vitamin D is pretty much non existent so I always make sure and stay on top of it. Make a point to try and get a good balance of your vitamins naturally and also invest in a good supplement if needed.
- Keep your pantry stocked: One of the easiest things to do to stay on track is to be prepared! I’ve been getting plenty of staple items like quinoa, beans and other non-perishables so that I’ll have the base for whatever meal we have in mind. Since it’s winter time I’ve also stocked up my freezer with some of my favorite fruits like mango, strawberry, pineapple and peach. A lot of the foods we prepare will be made with fresh veggies so I’ve also been adding more spices too. Nothing worse than a bland meal!
- Enjoy the journey: It won’t be easy but keep in mind the amazing health benefits and how great you’ll feel. I’m not sure if after our challenge is over if I plan to only eat vegan meals, but I will definitely be more conscious of what I put in my body. Don’t be hard on yourself. It takes time to get over some of the withdrawals and trying to decipher what all the ingredients actually mean. And remember…oreos are considered vegan too! LOL