Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Day 46: Join a 21-day Vegan Challenge!

If you have been at all curious about what it would be like to try veganism on for size, the Physician's Committe for Responsible Medicine has put together a 21-day vegan challenge that takes all the guesswork out of what to eat.  They've got daily mealplans with recipes, tons of info and inspiration delivered to your inbox and vegan celebs hosts such Alicia Silverstone, Iron-Man Brendan Brazier, Marilu Henner, Kris Carr, Dr John McDougall and Dr. Dean Ornish.

Here's the meal plan for the coming week:

And here are Alicia Silverstone's tips for the day and some great looking recipes from her new book The Kind Diet, plus a slightly (cough) motivating picture of Alicia in her birthday suit:

Alicia Silverstone, star of the hit film Clueless and many other popular movies, television shows, and Broadway plays, has followed a vegan diet for more than 10 years. She says it is the single-most important decision she has ever made. Alicia went vegan because of her love for animals, but she soon realized that her new lifestyle also made her feel lighter and more vibrant. She began to learn more about the wide-ranging health and environmental benefits of following a plant-based diet, and she never turned back. Alicia just wrote her first book, The Kind Diet, to help others explore the difference of a plant-based diet and learn how eliminating harmful foods can have amazing benefits for your health, your appearance, and even the planet.   Learn more about Alicia and her new book at

1.  As your body adjusts to the new sense of fullness and satisfaction from plant-based foods, eat hearty protein dishes, especially those containing tempeh or seitan and prepared with generous amounts of seasoning. This will help your body recognize a new type of fullness and satisfaction that isn’t doing damage to it.

2.  Whole grains are your new best friend and will be an essential part of your daily diet—ideally at every meal. These amazing little seeds are literally full of life and contain a pure, essential energy that we don’t get from most other foods. Grains will keep you balanced, centered, energized, and focused.

3.  No matter where you're at in life or on this journey, you are sure to encounter a few bumps in the road. Don’t worry! This is normal. We can all support each other on this passage to healthier and happier living. Don’t forget to use the Kickstart message board when you have a question or need support.

4.  Sometimes we think about food because we’re bored or just stuck in a habit. As you make these big changes in your eating, it’s helpful to have a few activities up your sleeve to give you satisfaction: calling a friend, walking your dog, taking a bath, or reading more about this lifestyle can help occupy a wandering mind.

5.  When planning meals, re-create dishes you love, like spaghetti with meat sauce or your favorite Chinese dish, with new ingredients. Use a sauce you love on meat (like a barbecue or teriyaki) and serve it over rice, seitan, or vegetables. You may love it!

6.  Short on time? Soups are great for quick meals because you can empty the fridge into a leftover soup! Start with water or a good vegetable stock, then add grain or sweet potatoes or beans and any vegetables you haven’t gotten around to using. Eat with a slice of toast. Quick, yummy, and satisfying!

Alicia Silverstone's Recipes

Crocodile Crunch
This chunky, funky festival of fruit is colorful and nutritious. It’s especially fun for kids because it includes a bright green sauce made with spirulina, which has a tendency to get all over teeth, lips, and little hands.

Makes 2 servings

2-3 cups of bite-size pieces of fresh fruit, such as kiwifruit, strawberries, bananas, avocados, apples, pears, or mango
2 teaspoons spirulina
1 1/2 tablespoons any nondairy milk
2 teaspoons almond butter (for this recipe, Alicia likes to use raw)
1 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons shaved fresh or dried coconut
1/2 cup kamut flake cereal

Divide fruit into two serving bowls. Use a fork to stir together the spirulina and soy milk in a small glass. Add the almond butter, and mix again. Stir in the syrup and orange juice, and give it a final stir. The sauce should be smooth and neither too thick nor too runny.  Pour the sauce over the fruit, and sprinkle with the coconut and cereal. Serve immediately.

Sweet Potato-Lentil Stew
Served on its own or as a soupy stew over brown basmati rice or couscous, this dish is hearty and filling.

Makes 4 to 6 servings
1/4 cup safflower oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 small tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
Fine sea salt
2-3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾” cubes
7 cups vegetable broth
1 cup brown lentils

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, deep pot. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, for two minutes or until the onion starts to soften. Stir in the tomatoes and ginger and cook for three minutes. Stir in the turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne, and a small pinch of salt. Cook and stir for two minutes, then taste for seasonings; try to use only enough salt to heighten the flavors.

Add the sweet potatoes, broth, and lentils. Stir well, and bring to a boil over high heat. When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes or until the lentils and sweet potatoes are soft.

To join the challenge beginning on January 1st, register here:
Plus, I'll be here to cheer you on and support you all the way!  Come on, you can do it!!!

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