One small step for (wo)man, one giant leap for me!

While I am  not walking on the moon, today embarks a journey I never dreamed of taking ever before. Today marks day one of my 28-day challenge to eating a plant-powered diet with mostly fruits and vegetables along with whole grains, legumes, nuts an seeds. The diet is called the Engine 2 diet created by firefighter and professional athlete Rip Esselstyn. I will meet up with my fellow challengers once a week at Whole Foods to share our experience along the way and learn new cookies techniques.

Now, while I may be acting slightly dramatic comparing this to the first time a human stepped on the moon, this is a big deal for me because I loooooove animal products. So what exactly does “no animal bi-products” mean?

Here is what I can’t eat:

  • No dairy products – milk, cheese, butter, cream, yogurt or cottage cheese
  • No animal bi-products – red meat, pork, chicken, turkey, fish, or eggs, Anything that has a face or a mother is off-limits.
  • No oils – olive, canola, or corn.
Soooo, what can I eat?

  • Milk substitutes – soy, rice, almond, multi-grain and oat milk. I can also use applesauce, prunes, smashed bananas, fresh fruit, fruit juice or coffee in place of milk, oil, butter and eggs for cooking.
  • Meat substitutes – tofu, tempeh, wheat gluten, seitan, and veggie burgers
  • Oil substitutes – cooking spray (0 fat) water, juice, vegetable broth, beer or wine (Whew, at least I can have my wine!)
We had our kick-off dinner last night at the Whole Foods Market in Lincoln Park where all the bloggers got to meet each other, we got to meet Rip, we got to try out some vegan food and go home with some awesome goodies!

All of the participants

Rip and I are besties!

28 Day Challenge

My first all vegan meal!

My loot!

I am doing this for several reasons. First, I am always up for trying something new, especially if it can positively affect my health. Second, I want to see how my body reacts, positively and negatively. Third, I’m curious! I want to see if I can actually make it 28 days. Stay tuned to follow my journey along with some very new-to-this-blog recipes.

Question of the day:

1. Have you ever tried vegetarianism or veganism? If so, how/why did you get into it and how long did you stick to it? Was it an easy transition?

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33 responses to “One small step for (wo)man, one giant leap for me!

  1. Very interesting!! I’m curious how this will go! I’ve never tried anything like this before. I’m too much of a chicken (was that a pun?) lol. I just eat a ton of meat. But I wish you the best of luck, and I know you can do it!!!

  2. This seems awesome! I’m anxious to hear your experience. I’ve been thinking of going (kind-of) vegan for a while, so hopefully this will be motivation!

  3. Whoa, that is so cool! I’d love to do something like this, but I keep stumbling over the “how do I make it work with a husband and kids who aren’t interested in doing it” issue. I love animal products, too. What I’ve been doing lately is trying to eat about 80% vegan… vegan breakfast and lunch, vegan snacks. But dinners, which I enjoy with my family, are not always vegan. Last night we had shrimp. We eat a fair amount of fish. Sometimes we eat chicken. Sometimes I cook vegetarian or vegan. Just cutting back makes me feel much better. I dont’ feel the need to do it 100%.

    I’m really looking forward to your response to this challenge and how it makes you feel.

  4. Good luck Jessica! I could NEVER do this. I was vegetarian for a year and that was fine and good, but no eggs or meat? Wow! Just make sure you take really good care of yourself. You have to be so strict on vegan diet to make sure you get all your nutrients. Best of luck!

  5. this is awesome! good luck on your challenge!

  6. Good luck on your challenge, it’ll be tough but you can do it!

  7. That looks difficult! I had a vegetarian February this year – out of animal love – but I couldn’t quite to vegan. That would be such a hard switch for me. Good luck with the challenge!

  8. No oils? That one seems difficult, particularly in regards to cooking. Good luck with your challenge quest, you’ll definitely have to post updates of how it goes!

    I’m vegan. Have been for four years. Was vegetarian for 4 more years before that. Each transition was easy, but it went in some pretty large steps. I love being vegan, as I feel healthy and fit, and don’t see it ending any time soon.

    • Yeah, it all honesty, I’m not too worried about the no meat part, I think it will be easy after a few days (or so that is what everyone says) but your right, oil is in everything! I was told it’s just as easy as using substitutes….we’ll see. Stay tuned, should be interesting!

  9. Nice to meet you last night! The apple chips were good, but maybe there could have been about 3x as many in the bag, right?

  10. I wanna do it!! The thing is I have a hubby to cook for and I really don’t want to cook two meals haha plus I love my eggs! I’m excited to follow your journey though!!

  11. I can’t wait to see how this goes! Why no olive oil?
    I really want to try this but I LOVE cottage cheese and egg whites and chicken. I have at least two of those everyday. None the less my parents would hate if I did that! Possibly when I get out on my own I will give myself a little challenge!
    Good luck, so excited for the updates on it!

  12. That sounds really interesting! I can’t wait to see how you like the diet and what kind of recipes you enjoy 🙂

  13. Yay for you! I’ll be curious to watch your progess/thoughts on everything as you go. I did a trial that I called “No Meat November,” back in, well, November, and I haven’t really gone back to my old ways. I eat chicken maybe once every two weeks, but otherwise, have pretty much led a veggie lifestyle since. It has done wonders for our food budget, but also, I just feel good – and that is really all that matters to me! Good luck with your challenge!

  14. Best advice I can give a newbie Vegan lady!? Focus on protein, but stay light on the soy… it’s an easy option, but not *super* healthy as a main protein source. Have fun and experiment! I LOVE eating vegan!

  15. I’m so interested to hear about how you feel and how your body reacts to the change. I always hear that people who “go vegan” always feel so much better (i.e. more energy, etc). I think I could definitely give up meat, as we don’t eat very much of it as it is, but I’m not so sure about dairy products. When I actually think about how much of it I actually eat, it’s pretty minimal. How did you find about this? I would love to see if there is anything like that around here.

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  17. I have never tried either fully, but I do try to limit my meat consumption. I fear if I tried to give up those things I would end up replacing it with worse quality foods. That’s just me though. I think its great you’re doing this. You can certainly do it!

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