I recently watched an Oprah episode on living a Vegan lifestyle. In fact, Oprah challenged 378 of her staffers to try a Vegan diet for one week (would you say “no” to Oprah?!). I was intrigued by her challenge, as well as the fact that she has more than 378 people working for her on set! Until this episode, I always thought of being Vegan as just some sort of eating regimen I could never do. But, I was willing to watch because of my interest in food and how I think about food differently now. Kathy Freston, a New York Times bestselling author, has been Vegan for over 7 years and led the staffers through the daunting task. If you want to read more about Oprah’s Vegan Challenge and how a Vegan diet can benefit your health and our environment, click here.
Naturally, some of the staffers enjoyed the challenge and some didn’t. Just to fulfill my numbers- crunching side, 300 of the 378 staffers successfully completed the one week challenge, and 444 pounds were lost while 84 pounds were gained. Both of these statistics are startling to me. First of all, if almost 80% of people could complete the challenge, it couldn’t be that hard, could it? Also, the numbers of pounds lost, although distributed over 378 people, demonstrates that there are health benefits to this lifestyle even after just one week.
Now, I am not going to go give up eating all animal products today. I love a good steak too much. However, this episode really got me thinking about all the different ways to enjoy a meal. Before my food allergies, I was eating the same meal for breakfast and lunch almost everyday, and always being loyal to my favorites in restaurants. Now, I realize that there is such a variety of foods that I don’t even know about or enjoy! Quinoa? I can barely say the word, nonetheless eat it. So, instead of being in a food rut, I think my own Vegan challenge (among being dairy, egg, and mostly fish free), is to try to incorporate a greater variety of food in my diet. I guess you could say I am Vegan… ish. Or Vegan-trying.