The 7-Day Vegan Challenge
Are you a foodie who is adventurous and always down for a challenge? Do you want to improve your health through a plant-centered diet? You may be interested in trying the 7-Day Vegan Challenge. Now grab a shopping cart and head to the produce aisle, because we are going to get into the nitty-gritty of how to start your 7-day journey as a vegan.
What is the 7-Day Vegan Challenge?
The 7-Day Vegan Challenge was created by vegan bloggers, writers, and athletes who are passionate about reducing their carbon footprint, improving their health, and advocating for animal cruelty. The challenge was created for the sole purpose of spreading awareness for veganism and showing the world the impact that animal products can have not only on your health but also on the world around you.
What is a vegan diet?
You may already be familiar with the vegan diet due to its growth in popularity over the last two decades. The vegan diet excludes all animal products. That means no meat, poultry, dairy, eggs, or even honey. I know that sounds like a lot of strict and scary rules, but don’t go running for the hills quite yet. In the 7-Day Vegan Challenge, all you have to do is try the vegan diet for a week. That’s a little less scary. Get a taste of the vegan lifestyle — no long-term commitment is necessary.
Why do people eat vegan?
Many people begin following a vegan diet to advocate for the fair treatment of animals. The process of slaughtering, breeding, and harvesting food from animals is often inhumane. Some people choose to show their support for animal rights by refusing to eat, wear, and use products that come from or that have been tested on animals.
Another reason people become vegan is to reduce their carbon footprint. Studies have shown that greenhouse emissions could be reduced by 35% if half of the animal-based meals were replaced with vegan meals. Domesticated animals, particularly livestock, produce a large carbon footprint. Processing animal products in factories and transporting products through commerce generates a significant amount of greenhouse gases.
Lastly, some people choose to go vegan to improve their overall health and well-being. Eating a plant-centered diet is consistently shown to reduce one’s risk of developing chronic disease and some cancers. A whole-food, plant-centered vegan diet increases the intake of rich vitamins and antioxidants and reduces the intake of ultra-processed foods.
Contrary to popular belief, a vegan diet can be easy to follow and delicious. The 7-Day Vegan Challenge makes trying the vegan diet even easier by providing participants with meal plans, tips on how to get started, recipes, and answers to frequently asked questions. If you’re ready to get started, read on.
What is the best way to start the Challenge?
Starting a lifestyle change as drastic as becoming vegan, even if only for one week, can be intimidating. However, approximately one million people in the United States eat a vegan diet long-term. Therefore, there is a wealth of knowledge shared by other individuals in the vegan community who want to see you succeed. For example, The 7-Day Vegan Challenge outlines seven key points that will help you begin your journey as a vegan.
1. Make a commitment to yourself.
Commit to not eating meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, eggs, and honey for one week. Choose whatever day you want to start — that can be today, tomorrow, or six months from now. Choose whatever day and time work best for you. Put it on the calendar, and commit to it.
2. Share your commitment with the world.
Tell your friends and family about The 7-Day Vegan Challenge. Having people to support you and keep you accountable throughout this process will help you succeed.
3. Find recipes before you start.
Look through the variety of meal plans and recipes provided on the 7 Day-Vegan website. You can also turn to your favorite recipe blogger or vegan influencer for ideas. Even meal kit companies make going vegan easy with plenty of vegan options available to order. Create a grocery list ahead of time. The process is easier when you’re excited about recipes that will satisfy your sweet tooth or savory cravings for every meal of the week.
4. Sign-up for email reminders.
The 7-Day Vegan community sends out reminders to their mailing lists every day. Having subtle reminders, like thoughtful emails, sent to you throughout the day will help motivate you to reach your goals.
5. Dive into the vegan diet!
Dive into the 7-Day Vegan Challenge head first. Don’t be afraid to use this time to try new foods and expand your horizons.
6. Remember your “why.”
When the chicken tenders are tempting, focus on why you decided to brave the 7-Day Vegan Challenge, to begin with. Learn more about how your new eating habits are positively impacting your body and the world around you. Understanding your “why” is crucial to success.
7. Share your successes (and downfalls).
Tell your friends and family how the experience was for you. If appropriate, encourage them to try it, too!
I hope that you feel more prepared to start your journey as a vegan after reading these key points. Most importantly, have fun. There is no shame in making modifications to make the Challenge enjoyable for you. I hope that you can dive into this challenge knowing that you have support not only from The 7-Day Vegan Challenge team but from the bitewell family as well.
What to eat as a beginner vegan?
You might be nervous to eat vegan, but changing your eating habits doesn’t have to be as difficult as you think. You don’t have to give up your favorite meals. You don’t have to resort to eating like a rabbit, either. In order to make this challenge fun and enjoyable, we have come up with some tips and tricks that will help you make it to day 7 of eating vegan with a full and happy tummy.
Eat Familiar Foods
Eat foods that are familiar to you, just in vegan form. For example, if you like eating pizza, try a vegan pizza with non-dairy cheese. If you like spaghetti, try vegan spaghetti by reaching for olive oil instead of butter. You don’t need to eliminate your comfort foods, just modify and elevate them to fit your vegan criteria. Plus, small, incremental changes are more sustainable.
Go for Convenience
Convenience foods can be useful, especially when you’re just starting out on your vegan journey. When you have an extremely busy day and need a quick on-the-go lunch, don’t be afraid to grab a can of vegan chili or heat up a vegan freezer meal. Cooking your food yourself and eating whole foods regularly is better for your health in the long run, but there is nothing wrong with eating a pre-packaged vegan meal when you’re pressed for time.
Try your Local Vegan Restaurant
There’s no need to give up eating out at restaurants just because you’re eating vegan. Vegan restaurants often serve up delicious, inventive dishes that will leave your taste buds in awe and possibly even give you a little inspiration for your own vegan cooking. Not only vegan restaurants — many establishments have vegan options or even separate vegan menus. Call ahead or check the menu online ahead of time to make sure there are options for you. Sometimes, a simple adjustment, such as asking for no cheese on a salad, is all a meal needs to become vegan.
Expand your Palette
Don’t be afraid to try new foods. You’ll be surprised by how delicious plants can be with the right preparation. There are awesome, nutrient-rich vegan foods that soak up flavors like tofu, quinoa, jackfruit, seaweed, nutritional yeast, and flax seed. Take the 7-Day Vegan Challenge as an opportunity to expand your palette, try new foods, and explore new cuisines. Stick to your comfort food when you need to, but explore the endless options and possibilities that can be part of a vegan diet when you’re ready to try new and exciting dishes.
What happens to your body when you go vegan for a week?
You may be wondering how going vegan for a week will impact your body. You may be hoping that the 7-Day Vegan Challenge doubles as a weight loss program. Or the opposite — you may be scared of losing muscle when eliminating animal protein from your diet. Or neither — maybe you’re here to read up on all the health benefits, or potential harms, a vegan diet can cause. Let’s dive into some scientific studies that show how eating plant-centered diets impact the human body. Then, we will discuss changes you can expect or may experience during the 7-Day Vegan Challenge.
Eating Vegan Can Lead to Weight Loss
Research suggests that following a plant-based diet, like a vegan diet, can lead to weight loss while meeting individual nutrition needs. While weight loss naturally results in some muscle loss, consuming adequate protein and regularly engaging in resistance exercises will help maintain muscle mass. Compared with other weight loss approaches, plant-based diets tend to have better nutritional quality and are easier to follow. If you’re interested in reaching and maintaining a healthy weight through veganism, the 7-Day Vegan Challenge could be a low-risk intervention to get started.
Eating Vegan Can Improve your Health
Plant-centered diets are a low-risk, low-cost method to manage chronic disease. In one particular case study, a male participant who followed a vegan diet for sixteen weeks was completely weaned off his medications due to a healthy decrease in his blood glucose, cholesterol, and blood pressure. In comparison, the 7-Day Vegan Challenge is short-term, so you may not receive the same health benefits as the man in the study.
Changes After 1 Week Being Vegan
Eating vegan for an extended period of time, such as sixteen weeks or longer, has been shown to impact body composition and chronic disease risk. How can just one week of following the 7-Day Vegan Challenge affect you?
Here’s what you may expect after 7 days of eating vegan:
You may have more energy.
Vegan diets, particularly those consisting of whole, plant foods, tend to be higher in fiber, antioxidants, and magnesium. These three nutrients are shown to improve insulin sensitivity and stabilize blood sugars. When blood sugar levels are stable, energy levels are more consistent throughout the entire day. Within just a short period of following the vegan diet, you may experience higher, more consistent energy.
You may begin to experience healthy weight loss and less bloating.
Because vegan diets emphasize whole, plant foods, they tend to be more nutrient-dense and less energy dense than the Standard American Diet. This means you are consuming fewer calories while consuming more vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats. Exchanging energy-dense foods for nutrient-dense foods promotes healthy weight loss, the formation of lean body mass, and a healthier gut microbiome. After just 7 days of following a vegan diet, you can expect to experience these changes on a smaller scale. You may have more energy from eating nutrient-dense foods, your pants fit a little looser, and you may experience fewer stomach issues like constipation and indigestion.
You may experience more bloating.
While plant-based foods encourage a healthy gut microbiome, rapidly increasing your intake of high-fiber plant foods can actually cause excess bloating. Before starting the 7-Day Vegan Challenge, gradually increase your fiber intake via plant-based foods. Drink plenty of water, too, to keep your bowels moving.
For more information on the 7-Day Vegan Challenge visit www.7dayvegan.com.