It’s time for New Year’s resolutions, so what about trying to eat better? If you need a little help, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has developed a free 21-day vegan kick-start program. The next program kicks off January 2, 2012.
First of all, let me share a little about PCRM. According to its website, “Since 1985, PCRM has been influencing advancements in medicine and science. We advocate for preventive medicine, especially good nutrition, conduct clinical research, and advocate for higher ethical standards in research. More than 125,000 health care professionals and concerned citizens are dedicated to creating a better future for animals and people.” The group has lobbied for reform of the federal nutrition policies and has sponsored clinical research programs to develop breakthroughs in diabetes, cancer and other illnesses. PCRM also recommends a diet focused on “The New Four Food Groups,” which is comprised of the following food groups: three or more servings of fruit daily; two or more servings of legumes daily; five or more servings of whole grains daily; and four or more servings of vegetables daily.
So how hard is the program? My friend Inez already has participated in the PCRM kick-start program and agreed to share her experiences. Although her initial decision to participate was based on research purposes (she’s a journalist), she hoped this program would offer some other benefits. “It promised to kick start weight loss and while I am fine with my body, I don't want to gain any more weight so I thought this would help stall the ‘slow creep,’” she explained. “I also had been exercising more since the summer -- it was my way to deal with stress on the job -- and healthier eating seemed to make sense.”
Inez also believed the program would allow her to make better food selections. “I don't like additives, antibiotics, etc., in food, and I am too cheap to buy organic, grass-fed meat, and this seemed a way to eat healthier and save money,” she said.
After 21 days, Inez has been converted. “This kick start makes what you eat positive,” Inez said. “You're not giving up food you love, you're eating different food you love and gaining health. Plus, you might be helping the planet. It is surprisingly easy. I only messed up once when I ate eggs and another time w/cheese.” And the combination of the exercise program that she started in July and the kick-start program helped Inez lose approximately 12 pounds.
She believes that this program has helped her significantly change her eating habits. “I really do not miss meat,” Inez said. “After I was done, I decided to eat eggs and a little cheese and that is working. I eat cereal and almond milk; salad and soup for lunch; whatever vegetables my mom makes and more salad for dinner. We eat a lot of beans anyway and I get a grilled cheese if I am out so I think I get enough protein. I eat fruit and nuts for snacks. I still like sweets, but I might dump sugar for good next year!”
Inez isn’t alone in praising PCRM’s kick-start program. Boston.com columnist John E. McDonough also participated in the 21-day kick start. His experience mirrored Inez’s. “First, no exaggeration, my new diet is the most flavorful, interesting and delicious of my life,” McDonough said. “Second, I have more energy and experience far fewer energy peaks and lows during the day. Third, I easily get all the protein I need, no problem, and take multi-vitamins to get enough D and B-12. Fourth, it’s not always easy out and about, though not as hard as you might imagine, as more and more restaurants are becoming quite vegan friendly these days.”
So if you’ve been looking for a plan to help you make the transition to a lifestyle that focuses on more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, the 21-Day Kick-Start may be for you!
Published On: December 30, 2011