In the documentary “What the Health?” everyone interviewed said they saw dramatic results by going completely plant-based for 14 days. My first thought….LIARS!! Don’t get me wrong, I wholeheartedly believe in the healing properties of a plant-based diet, but the idea of a miraculous healing in 14 days sounded too good to be true. Some of those people were on what looked to be about 10+ medications! You mean to tell me in 14 days...poof...you’re cured? I’m skeptical, to say the least. So I decided to do 14 days of strictly plant-based eating to see how my body would respond. The goal was a diet free of meat, dairy, and anything that did not have a plant parent - 100% plant-based for 14 days while journaling the process. Want to know how it went?
Let me start by saying 100% plant-based is very hard to do, which I’m sure you already know. It’s why you’re here, on this site, reading this blog. Even while living in a major city, I still find it hard to find truly 100% plant-based food options, especially options that taste good. I say all the time ‘food is fuel’, and while that remains true, I still have taste buds. 100% plant-based food options that actually taste good too are worth gold. I often think while eating plant-based meals, “if only I could sprinkle a little bacon or chocolate on this, it would be so much more appetizing. Better yet, a dash of both would be great.” Anyway, I say all of that to say, 100% plant-based is hard and sometimes not that appealing. So I made sure to arm myself properly for my 14 day journey. That included grocery shopping for meal prep, having plant-based snacks and chucking all of my non-plant-based temptations. Armed and ready to go, I was prepared to start my 14 day journey.
Day 1: My plan was to do a juice cleanse to help detox and all. I tried to do the “Suja 1 day cleanse.” I’ve tried cleanses before and failed miserably. But this time was different! Ha, just kidding, this time was exactly the same! By juice 3, out of 6, I was ready to flip out! I was so hangry, yes hangry, I couldn’t even stand myself! So I broke down and had some “light” food, but still plant-based. I didn’t manage to finish the cleanse but I did maintain my plant-based diet. Day 1 was a win!
Day 2: Cleansing was not even a thought. For the record, I've had success with juice cleanses before, but as of late they don’t agree with me. So I will be following The Jealous Vegan’s mantra of listening to your body. No more cleanses for awhile, but they are not completely off the table. Anyway, day 2 was a success! 100% plant-based “real food” all day. It helps that I work next to a Whole Foods Market. Some hot bar for lunch, veggies for a snack, and a protein shake for dinner.
Day 3: Ha! It didn’t take long for my winning streak to come to an end. 3 days people, that’s as far as I got, technically 2. Day 3, I had chicken. Yep.... chicken. Le struggle. I was craving meat. I wanted chicken. I’m an adult, no one was there to tell me no, so I ate chicken! And it was delicious.
What I learned: Maybe outstanding results are possible in 14 days. I wouldn’t know. I couldn’t get through the 14 days! But why couldn’t I get through the 14 days? I find going plant-based to be especially difficult because it goes against everything I’ve ever known. To think “BAM! I’m going plant-based” is a completely unrealistic expectation! I have learned the road to plant-based is a hike. It’s steep and slow and sometimes you want to retreat, turn around and run back to the safety of foods and habits that we know well. But you keep climbing. And every so often you look back to see how far you've come. I haven’t given up on the 14-day “free” trial, but I have changed my approach. Baby steps. My new plan is to try 1 day of plant-based in a week then 2 days then 4...next thing you know...14 days then 30 then 80! I’ll try again and I’ll keep trying. As I progress through the journey to 14 days, I’ll make sure to keep you posted. Until then remember, slow steady climb until you get to your goal, and that applies to anything that we want to accomplish in life! Be patient with yourself.