Are you ready to try out a plant based diet, or simply decrease the amount of animal protein you consume and don’t really know where to start?
Welcome to the third of several more to come 28 Day Menu Challenges! I do not believe that one diet is right for everybody, but I do believe that there is one right diet for everybody. See the difference there? Just because it’s good for you, does not mean it’s good for me and visa versa – but it could be life changing for either of us! And how will you know the right diet for you if you don’t try? That’s the entire premise of this series of menu plan challenges I plan to release over the next few months.
A little back story on the 28 Day Menu Plan Challenges
We started in July with the 28-Day Gluten Free Menu Challenge. We had a lot of interest and a lot of successes. People learned that they felt better if they removed gluten containing grains from their diet or if they didn’t. But now they know. Last month we tried the 28-Day Paleo Meal Plan Challenge, which was particularly interesting to me because I knew very little of the diet. Again, there was a lot of interest, which I’ll consider success. Now its time for new challenge! Talk about totally shifting gears from the paleo diet, where just over half of your calories come from animal protein, let’s try out plant based or vegetarian!
The 28-Day Plant Based Challenge in a Nutshell
- 28 days of RD approved Vegetarian or Vegan menu plans so you know exactly what you CAN eat
- 28 days of healthy and balanced menu plans to avoid any nutritional deficiencies
- Weekly shopping lists that making shopping quicker and complete
- A weekly tracker that allows you to track and understand how your body is responding
- You have a few calorie levels to pick from ranging from 1250 to 2000.
- The full 4 week challenge is reasonably priced at just $28.00!
What you’ll learn if you read this entire post
- The difference between the vegetarian and the vegan diet
- Proposed benefits of a vegetarian or vegan diet
- Potential nutrient deficiencies of a vegetarian or vegan diet
- How the 28-Day Plant Based Meal Plan Challenge works
- What happens after the 28-Day Vegetarian or Vegan Meal Plan Challenge is over?
What is the the difference between the vegetarian and the vegan diet?
- Vegetarians don’t eat any animal protein (meat). Not read meat, fish, chicken, pork, ducks, rabbits…essentially anything that ever had a beating heart and a mother. But vegetarians still consume animal products in the form of dairy and eggs.
- Vegans prefer to consume absolutely no animal products what-so-ever and enjoy a 100% plant based diet. This means all dairy and eggs are off the table along with some slightly less obvious ingredients like gelatin and honey.
- Note: you may have a friend who is a “vegetarian who still eats chicken and fish.” Let’s be clear, she’s not really a vegetarian, she’s simply choosing not to eat red meat. There is also the pescetarian, who will not consume land animals, but fish and shellfish are on the menu.
Proposed benefits of the vegetarian and/or vegan diet
Beyond the obvious fact that you spare animal lives, there are some medical benefits associated with both the vegetarian and vegan diet. As with any extreme diet that excludes entire food groups, there will always be a certain amount of controversy and I’m not here to reign my radically charged opinion on the matter so much as I am here to provide simple options to help you expand your dietary experiences.
That said, while I’m not a vegan, strict vegetarian or even pescetarian, I have tended to lean towards the plant based diet since I watched the film Forks Over Knives oh so many years ago. It is a very well done documentary that follows the research of two medical doctors and their findings as it relates to the medicinal benefits of plant based (vegan) diet. But if you don’t have 96 minutes to watch the flick right now, here are a few perks of the vegetarian and vegan diets.
Because a diet free of animal protein is typically higher in fresh fruits and veggies, the diet is naturally lower in saturated fat and cholesterol and higher in heart healthy, monounsaturated fats and fiber. Not to mention that when your plate is full of color (from fresh fruits and veggies), your consumption of vitamins, minerals and potent phytochemicals goes up as well. This helps fight degenerative disease, manage weight, increase life span and energy as well as maintain a healthy GI tract. Because you’re not consuming animal products, your risk of food borne illness decreases, as does your environmental impact. And the last bonus, it can be less expensive.
Potential drawbacks of vegetarian or vegan menu plans
The largest concern typically stems from consuming enough protein, and complete lean protein at that. It is by no means impossible, but it does take a little extra planning. It is also very easy to create a vegetarian or vegan menu plan that is very nutrient void, lacking in many essential vitamins and minerals. This is part of why this challenge is such an important way to “test out ” the diet to see if it’s right for you. These menu plans are RD approved, ensuring your nutritional needs are being met by giving you plenty of plant based variety.
How the 28-Day Vegetarian or Vegan Meal Plan Challenge works
- You make a commitment to yourself that you’re going to try this. You are going to commit to the Vegetarian or Vegan Lifestyle for 4 full weeks and pay attention to how you feel, sleep, what your energy is like and so on.
- You join the 28-Day Vegan or Vegetarian Menu Plan challenge by purchasing the menu plan right for you. Because my blog has a large emphasis on weight loss, and based on previous sales, 1250 calories is available for both Vegan or Vegetarian. I have also loaded 1500 calories for Vegetarian and 1750 for Vegan. Other calorie levels are available upon request, so just shoot me a message and let me know what you would like. Whatever you choose, remember it is your decision and you are 100% responsible for it.
- You will immediately receive an email with 4 weeks of menus, shopping lists, and a printable journal to track how you’re feeling throughout the challenge.
- You follow your menu making swaps when necessary, but you follow the basic rules of the diet.
- It’s ok to eat out and/or off the menu plan, just follow the rules of your menu plan when you are in or out of your kitchen. You’ll find you can still enjoy dinner at many of your favorite restaurants — you just need to be mindful of all the ingredients used.
What happens after The 28-Day Plant Based Menu Plan Challenge is over?
This is the BEST part!! You know if you feel better when you follow the Vegan or Vegetarian diet! You now know if it’s worth the trouble to stick with it from here on out. You’re also an expert now on how to shop, prepare and eat vegetarian meals because you just did it for 28 straight days. You made it through the tough stuff and you’ve already put in some serious work towards building healthier habits!
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