One day, all of sudden, Alexa Tucker, the great admirer of bacon, Greek yoghurt, cream in coffee, and pizza, decides to modify her eating habits in favor of veganism.
She wasn’t a save-all-the-living-creature hippie, but she couldn’t accept most farming practices of keeping in animals we consume. To this end, she started to dwell on how that animals’ meat affects her health. Also, she had to accept that modern livestock makes a “great contribution” to the greenhouse effect, since keeping such amounts of cattle is by no means environmentally friendly.
In changing her eating habits, Alexa employed more scientific approach rather than just cutting out all meat, diary, and the like. She wasn’t going to step on the lifetime meatless track, either: inspired by The 22-Day Revolution and The 22-Day Revolution Cookbook by Marco Borges (and Beyonce), she decided to do the 22-day plant-based challenge. The author claimed that vegan diet guarantees better sleep, a ton of energy, better skin, weight loss, and better sex – all in addition to the environmental contribution.
So, what’s it all about? The principle of this ‘vegan challenge’ is straightforward and as easy as a pie: you give the sack to all animal products as well as gluten, soy, alcohol, and processed food for 22 days. Why 22 days? According to Borges, at that point, your body adjusts to the plant-based nutrition. How not to starve? The trick is the optimum ratio of macronutrients: 10 % of calories should come from protein, another 10% – from fat, and 80% – from healthy carbohydrates. The end-goal is to reset eating habits to more plant-based food choices or keep going as a 100% vegan. Anyway, it is a win-win for your body and environment.
First, let us say that Alexa (with the help of Borges) developed the modified eating strategy, which didn’t exclude alcohol, gluten, and soy (and her social life as well). Also, her dietician suggested seeking out high-protein vegan options and healthy fats along with vitamin B12 (responsible for cognitive function), Calcium, Vitamin D, and iron – all plentiful in animal-based food. Thus, Alexa ended up taking appropriate supplements, just in case. With all shifts from the initial strategy taken into account, the girl planned to get 20% of calories from protein, 30% – from fat, and 50% – from carbs.
And finally, she set the ball rolling with zucchini noodles and vegan pesto. The first couple of days gave the solid start along with the false sense of security. However, on day three, the furious hunger got in the game. No matter how hearty her portion of salad and grains was, the feeling of emptiness didn’t go away.
During the second week, as she added more fat and protein, the ice started to move. Alexa grew more thoughtful as she picked ingredients and her body acclimated to her vegan nutrition plan. Finally, she acquired that promised feeling of “lightness”. The newfound ton of energy let her crush workouts as if she’d been an ironman.
Even though that furious hunger went away, Alexa was still struggling for a sustainable balance between feeling perfect and almost passing out. But it happened at times when her gap between meals exceeded 3-4 hours. And there is another pitfall: it is extremely easy to eat unhealthily as a vegan, fueling up with Oreos, popcorn, or coconut ice cream.
Nevertheless, by the time the 22-day period was up, Alexa has acquired new eating habits. Though she gave up her veganism, she doesn’t really crave for dairy and eggs. Moreover, when it comes to purchasing meet, she gets it from the trusted sources only. And what’s more, she got rid of that emptiness after the vegan meal. It was useful experience and Alexa doesn’t mind taking this challenge again.