Hats off to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) for encouraging people to consider a test-drive of a vegan diet! So often, there are folks who are interested in changing their behavior and their consumption patterns, but they lack the support system to effect this change. Well, give it a whirl, folks: PCRM makes this test-drive short and sweet! Only 21 days long and powered by an on-line support community of thousands of other vegan test-drivers, this chance to try a new diet couldn’t be easier! Registering for the program also helps you learn about how to eat out at your favorite restaurants, how to vegan-ize recipes, and how to just plain make that change!
While switching to a 100% vegan diet might be the ideal goal of this 21-day Kickstart program, it would seem to be just as effective if people partook in this behavior more often than not. Quitting smoking just because it’s the New Year and the new decade might sound like a great idea, but is often difficult to implement. For smokers who try to cut out the cigaretttes, physical cravings sink in and the nicotine addiction can stymie the process. Similarly, Dr. Neal Barnard, the President of PCRM, might also say kicking the meat and dairy habit might be slowed-down by the same addictive properties of these should-be-banned foods of the vegan diet. Thank goodness for the support system. It’s human to be imperfect, and that’s okay! As long as the goal is there and the overall steps are successfully taken to change, 100% vegan or most of the time vegan, it’s much better than not making the change.
While this Kickstart is just a foray into the world of vegan eating, some might find it to be limiting. Some vegans certainly eat healthy foods almost all the time, including cutting out processed products, fat and sugar. However, people are human. We need to be happy and that requires fulfillment. Accept the consequences of your decision but also don’t deprive yourself of some small joys. If this means occasionally eating some dark chocolate (Fair labor, organic… preferred) and using Daiya vegan cheese on your white-bread sandwich, it’s okay! Don’t beat yourself up for not being perfect!
Incorporating change takes time for it to become complete. All people change in different ways. Some people can tolerate replacing old foods more so than others, while some people can cut it all out without a blink of the eye. What’s most important is to realize who you are, set your goals, and make the path to success a surefire one! I have no doubt that along the way, people who embrace the move towards a more vegan lifestyle will feel the benefits and benefit the earth.
Here’s to a New Year and a new decade!