I’ve always wanted to try a vegan diet, so I thought why not start a 10 day vegan detox challenge. I’m always looking for the next step , I love to experiment on my own body to see how I feel, how my body reacts; if I can gain more energy, improve digestion or sleep better. These are all questions I ask myself on a continual basis throughout my never ending search for optimal health.
One way is not the best way for everyone
I don’t believe in cookie cutter programs, ones that say if you do this and exactly this everyone will get the results they are after. We’re all entirely different beings. We have different lifestyles, different habits, different metabolisms and more than anything different starting points.
It’s worth trying if you want to get different results in your journey to health. You need to keep trying different methods to see what is best for you. Only you can determine what ‘diet’ or ‘lifestyle’ is best for you.
The issue around Vegan or even Vegetarian diets
There are two main issues when it comes to Vegan and Vegetarian diets. The first one is Soy (which I’ll talk about below) and processed food.
Now I understand there is a wide array of people that believe (even vegans and vegetarians) just because they don’t eat meat, they’re healthier. I’m going to tell you what vegans/vegetarians may not want to hear. Many of them choose to eat a lot of processed food just to avoid meat. Now if you ask me in many cases processed food is worse than meat.
I understand it can be hard to find food if you aren’t eating animal products, especially when it comes to protein (I’ll talk about that in the next segment). It can be difficult and time consuming to prepare but that certainly doesn’t mean it isn’t possible to avoid highly processed and refined ‘food like substances’ that are detrimental to our health.
For the animals
I also understand many vegans decide to avoid animal products not for their health but for the sake of animals which I personally don’t have a problem with. Truthfully I’ve always been an animal lover. I’ve mainly had dogs, but growing up I wanted to live with dolphins and be a marine biologist, that was until I failed biology in high school (which just happened to be the only class I’ve ever failed).
I should be clear though, as much as I love animals the main reason I am starting this program and putting together this challenge is for health. Personally I believe you can eat meat products from animals that are treated properly.
For example I enjoy eggs and have the opportunity to live in a rural area where I know the farmer and the chickens, I know how they’re treated and what they are fed.
Again at least in this case, this is an experiment for health. I want to know what it’s like not to have any meat products in my diet. I want to know if I’ll be able to feel clear benefits, how much I’ll have to change my diet and how creative I’ll need to be.
Improving your health
Without a doubt, going Vegan can certainly improve your health. Think about the by products in animals you’ll be avoiding in a 10 day vegan detox challenge: we have hormones and antibiotics, we have saturated fat, chemicals and preservatives in ‘treated meat’. We have dis-ease from animal products and that’s not even getting into how animals are treated as mass produced slaughter houses, dairy farms and more.
When we get into wholefood, nutrients that comes from plants, I’m not sure if you can find more nutrients anywhere else. Then of course we have nuts, seeds, fruits and more that have been improving our health for centuries.
Only recently have we started stuffing our faces with processed food, marinated in toxins, refined sugar and more. And only recently has our health as a society decreased drastically. So going Vegan doesn’t just mean we’ll be avoiding meat, it will also mean we’ll be paying attention to the quality of nutrients and products we’re putting in our bodies.
What about Protein!?
Of course this question always comes up. If you’re not eating meat, where do you get your protein from? The truth of the matter is there is protein in most food. You find plenty of protein in green vegetables, roots like sweet potatoes and even grains. Then of course you have not only protein but fibre, healthy fats, minerals and more from nuts and seeds (you can even find complete proteins in seeds like quinoa and hemp).
I know most of us have been brought up to believe that the only place to get protein is from meat. This simply isn’t true. There have been vegans and vegetarians living on this earth since the first sighting of man and you may even find less major dis-eases in those that do not consume meat.
What we won’t be doing in this 10 day vegan detox challenge is consuming soy products of any kind. I am entirely against soy in any way, shape or form. Personally I choose to stay away from soy mainly because I do my best to avoid GMO’s.
Soy products are one of the top 3 GMO crops produced (along with corn that ranks high on the GMO list). Now sure soy is controversial and so is GMO’s; we all have the opportunity to make our own decisions, and we all live with those decisions.
I understand many conventional vegans use soy products for their protein source so I’ll say again this won’t be the case in this 10 Day Vegan Challenge. I promise there are other quality protein sources we can find and use to make sure we are getting enough protein in our diet throughout the 10 days.
Why go Vegan?
I understand this would be a common question and natural thought from someone who eats meat regularly so let’s go over some reasons as to why we can detox with a vegan diet.
As stated earlier soy is one of the top GMO crops we have which is why I personally stay away from it. Even if you get into organic soy there is so much controversy around any type of soy that I feel it’s best to stay away from it. I will say, being that fermented foods (which I highly recommend in your daily diet) started with soy products like miso. For that reason my only exception to soy products are fermented which changes the entire chemistry of the food. If you’d like more details about why to avoid soy products you can do so here.
Eggs remain near the top of any list, when you type in ‘top food allergies’ into any search engine (seriously check out any post regarding allergens in your favorite search engine). Many of us in North America grew up with eggs as a staple in our breakfasts, which means many of us don’t know what it’s like to not have eggs in our daily or weekly diets.
This is a great time to ‘detox’ eggs out of your diet and see if you feel better or ‘magically’ see allergy symptoms disappear.
Side note: it just so happens that soy is on most lists regarding top ‘food allergens’
As stated earlier, it’s difficult to avoid hormones, antibiotics and other by products like saturated fat when it comes to eating meat. Over short term it’s difficult to see instant results by not consuming hormones and antibiotics that animals are dealing with. However, you could very well see a change in your weight by reducing the saturated fat in your diet.
Meat can also be hard on the digestive system. In fact one of the worst things you can do for your energy levels and digestive tract is to eat a giant steak right before bed. Much of your energy will be working towards breaking down that food instead of healing your body.
This is a reason many of us have digestion issues, store fat – given that we don’t burn off any of that meal if we go right to bed after eating and wake up unrested.
We all know or have heard of horror stories from slaughter houses, mass chicken farms, dairy farms and more of how animals are treated. Now I’m not saying this hasn’t changed but I am saying there is a large majority of our meat from regular grocery stores getting meat from mass producers that likely have little concern for the well-being of animals.
I understand this isn’t a concern for much of our society but it is for me. So although as of this date of publication, I’ve not gone entirely vegan, it will certainly make me feel better knowing a few less animals won’t be treated inhumanly knowing I won’t be consuming meat products.
Something you may be interested in know is, not only is your meat affected by stressed out animals but it’s very possible that humans take on the stress of stressed out animals with consumption. Given that a large majority of us are stressed out in our day to day life, there’s a good chance many of us haven’t even considered the source of a stressed out animal we’re consuming that is contributing to our own stress levels.
Grow your own food
Most of us don’t have the means or resources to raise our own animals for consumption but we do have the resources to grow our own food. It’s always important to know where your food comes from, what better source than to grow it yourself.
Growing your own food saves you money, it gives you a chance to understand more about food and where it comes from, it will give you a chance to be outside more often and breathe fresh air and lastly garden food (or locally grown food that you can find at a farmers market) tastes much much better than food grown and shipped from half way across the world.
How do I sign up?
As usual, at least for now, like our other detoxes this is by donation only. After you make your donation you will be added to a private facebook group and further instructions will be placed there.
You will have a supportive group atmosphere to talk with, create discussion, share pictures of your food, ask questions and more than anything, have the support of others that are with you throughout the 10 days.
There will be a meal plan set out for you so you’ll know exactly what to buy before we start, along with a grocery shopping list and recipes for everyone to use.
And to listen to a podcast with further details about this 10 day vegan detox challenge you can click here.