It’s amazing how quickly people give up on their vision for a healthier lifestyle. Avoid this happening to you by committing 100% to the 21 Day Challenge.
This is where it all begins. Day One. And this is where a lot of people think about starting fresh with a challenge like this, but by noon time, they give up.
To assure your success, decide what you want to accomplish over the next 21 days. Do you want to release weight, feel more energized, minimize your health risks, or let go of your addiction to processed sugar? Decide right here, right now, what you want to accomplish.
You get to set the rules, but one rule is for sure; absolutely no animal or dairy product consumption during the 21 day. Also, the closer to whole foods you are the better.
You Set the Rules
This is about a reset of your body. Most people have heard that it takes 21-28 days to form a new habit. This 21–Day Whole Food, Plant Based Eating Challenge is a commitment to making your eating and physical health a priority.
You do this by being conscious of what you are putting into your mouth (thus, your body) and by committing to moving a minimum of 15 – 30 minutes a day for 21 days to form new habits.
A few things that will help
- You decide what you will do over the 21-day period. You set the rules. But… If you are new to plant-based eating, commit to eating as close to 100% plant based as possible. Eliminate temptation by getting rid of your “trigger” foods like candy, cakes, donuts, breads, sugary foods, salty snacks like potato chips, etc. The more you prepare your environment for success, the better.
- Announce your challenge to those who will support your endeavors. This is what the Plant Based Eating for Health Facebook Group can do for you. There are nearly 1,000 people in the group at various levels of their plant-based journey. Let others know what your goals are.
- Keep a daily log of your food consumption, water intake and movement. Document what you are doing in order that you can see your progress real-time.
- Weigh yourself on Day One and then put your scale out of sight for the remainder of the challenge.
- Take a picture of your face, front view and side view of your body. This is simply to give you a point of reference of changes that are likely to occur over the next 21 days.
Not a Diet
Although you will likely release weight over the next 21 days, this is NOT a diet. It is a lifestyle change. Maybe you don’t need to release any weight and you simply want to minimize joint inflammation, have more energy, sleep better, and reduce your risk of common diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and some cancers. Changing from the SAD (standard American diet) to a WFPB (whole food, plant based) diet can have a dramatic effect on your health.
Of course, you want to let your health care provider know about your change. Many people have had dramatic effects in as little as a week when they change from the SAD diet to WFPB. It is not uncommon for those who need insulin when they begin a plant-based diet to minimize their need for insulin within a very short period. Therefore, it’s important that your healthcare provider be able to monitor changes to your medications. To not let them know what you are doing could be detrimental to your health and well-being.
To assure the greatest results, there is some preparation you need to do such as fill your cabinets and refrigerator with foods that support this way of eating. Again, get rid of foods that are not part of the protocol. The foods that are triggers and may derail your success.
If the thought of throwing food out is a difficult one, give trigger foods away to friends, family or even a food bank. But whatever you do, get rid of the foods that will set you up for failure.
It’s your responsibility to set yourself up for success.
When you commit to this way of eating, you are likely going to lose weight and fat, become healthier and you are going to teach your body to desire what it needs; you’ll create long-lasting, easy to maintain lifestyle habits that will not interfere with your family or social life.
Foods to Have on Hand
The healthier the foods you have on hand, the better. Having the right foods available makes it much easier to stick with this way of eating. Some of the basics are:
- Fresh and frozen fruits
- Grains e.g. quinoa and rice (brown, black, red preferred)
- Dried or canned beans
- Nuts (pumpkin seeds, walnuts, almonds) (eat these sparingly)
- Prewashed baby greens, arugula, spring mix
- Root vegetables (try different colors of sweet potatoes, parsnips)
- Avocado (eat sparingly)
- Lemons and vinegar
- Whole grain pasta
Starting your day off with a morning routine to include journaling is one of the best ways to assure success.
Two that I really like are Hal Elrod’s, The Miracle Morning SAVERS process and Robin Sharma’s 20/20/20 routine.
Hal Elrod coined the acronym “SAVERS” to help us remember each aspect of the ideal morning routine. Perhaps you do a few of these already, but why not try them all? Here is the list:
20/20/20 as part of the 5 a.m. Club.
The 20 + 20 + 20 Rule is a great way to increase awareness and productivity. It comes directly from Robin Sharma’s book, The 5 a.m. Club.
- First 20 minutes of your day in exercise.
- Second 20 minutes review your goals and daily plan.
- Last 20 minutes reading something inspiring or listening to audiobooks so you are inspired early in the day.
Implementing either of these into your morning routine will amaze you when you stick with it consistently for 21 days.
Having done both the Hal Elrod and Robin Sharma morning routine for extended periods of time, I created one that fits for me. I call it the YAW process.
Y – Yoga
A – Abundance process
W – Writing in my journal
To prepare myself for the YAW process, I immediately brush my teeth upon rising. This is a given for many people, yet many others start their day with a cup of coffee before even brushing their teeth. Brushing your teeth is an ideal opportunity to set your intention for the day. In the time it takes to do a thorough brushing, you can decide how you want your day to go.
From there, drink a big glass of water. This is yet another way to set yourself up for a great day. As you drink the water, repeat your intentions for the day.
From there, begin the morning YAW routine.
Yoga: With the availability of thousands of Yoga videos on YouTube, there’s no reason not to be able to find something that supports a simple, easy to do, yoga routine to start your day. I enjoy the works of Jen Hillman and Adrianne. Each offer everything from beginner level, 20 – 45-minute processes on up to very advanced.
Abundance process: I have been a fan of the works of John Randolph Price for many years. His book, The Abundance Book contains a 40-day process that is great for focusing on what we do have rather than what is lacking. As you will discover in his book, abundance is a state of mind, more than a state of condition. And, the more we focus on our blessings, the more blessings we have.
Doing the 40-Day process first thing in the morning (after some nice centering, stretching and conscious breathing from the yoga) is a great way to set the tone for the day.
Writing: There’s nothing quite like clearing your head than journaling. What I love to do during my journaling time is write about my goals, my blessings and my intentions. Something that helps with this is to write, “I am so happy and grateful for….”
I am so happy and grateful for whole foods.
I am so happy and grateful for the 21-day challenge that allows me to be very aware of my health and well-being.
I am so happy and grateful for a roof over my head.
I am so happy and grateful for the blessings in my life.
I am so happy and grateful for the love of my life sharing my life with me.
I am so happy and grateful for all our animals.
I am so happy and grateful for a cozy home.
I am so happy and grateful for… you decide what you want to write.
Ready, Set, Start
There you have it. The foundation for a successful start to the 21-Day Challenge. Be sure to join the Facebook group and share your goals. Get involved, post on a regular basis, share your favorite recipes and get ready for a life changing experience.
Now off to get my breakfast of oatmeal topped with unsweetened almond milk, frozen mangoes and blackberries, chia and flaxseeds, and a touch of cinnamon. Yum. A great start to another great day of plant based eating.
Thank you so much for these tips. I find great encouragement in community. Looking forward to the next 3 weeks.
Great to have you in the community Ginnie. Our Facebook group is growing by the day with men and women who are moving into healthier habits. https://www.facebook.com/groups/PlantBasedEatingforHealth/