If you’ve been looking into going vegan or just veganism in general, you may have come across The 7 Day Vegan Challenge.
But what is The 7 Day Vegan Challenge? What is it, how does it work, what’s the point, what are its benefits…??
These are all important questions that should be answered before getting into it, and in this short post I’m going to tell you all you need to know about this challenge.
It’s completely free to do and just takes a little bit of willpower on your part.
What Is It Exactly?
Well first let me point out that there are many different variations to this challenge. But, on the official website (7dayvegan.com) it is described as a “easy challenge for the planet, for compassion, for your health”, but of course that really doesn’t tell you much.
In a nutshell, The 7 Day Vegan Challenge is a fun and easy way to get into veganism. Becoming a vegan is often seen as being complicated and overall just too darn difficult to do. This challenge is a simple way to immerse yourself with an all vegan diet.
But you may be wondering, what’s the point of all this? Why create a challenge around becoming a vegan?
What’s The Point?
There our a lot of different points to going vegan. Everyone has their own reasons, but generally speaking it seems that there are 3 main reasons that people decide to go this route… Environmental reasons, for better health, and for the love of animals.
- Environmental Reasons – There are lots of ways veganism is good for the planet. One of the most notable being that you aren’t supporting the ridiculous amount of cattle being raised throughout the world for beef. Cows produce a greenhouse gas called methane that is actually more of a problem than carbon dioxide and is increasingly a concern in the fight against global warming.
- For Better Health – Veganism isn’t necessarily healthier than regular eating, but generally speaking it is. Vegan diets are associated with lower levels of diabetes, heart problems, some forms of cancer, obesity and more. You just need to make sure you eat a well-balanced vegan diet.
- Love of Animals – And then of course a lot of people go vegan because they are animal lovers. Cows, pigs, chickens, goats… they all have feelings. Sure, some animals’ brains are a lot more ‘evolved’ and the pain can have a bigger impact on some, but pain is still pain. There is no doubt that (especially in the US) livestock is grossly mistreated. Factory farms offer animals little to no space to even move around before getting killed and sold for their meat. When you go vegan you obviously aren’t eating animals or contributing to their mistreatment.
For many people veganism is more than just a diet, it is a lifestyle. However, with this challenge, it is only about your diet. You do not have to change your entire lifestyle around. This is good because it is intended to give beginners an easy way to get started. A way that isn’t too intimidating.
The challenge part of it all is to spread awareness.
How It Works Is Simple
So how does the challenge work?
Well… It’s pretty simple. For the most part you just simply do not eat any meat, poultry, seafood, dairy or eggs for 7 days in a row.
Simple as that!
And yes… They don’t want you to be eating any eggs. I know this is a bit of a controversial topic amongst vegans, some eat eggs and some don’t. But here, for this challenge, eggs are not to be eaten.
It’s a Challenge
And besides the eating part you are also supposed add your name to the list of challengers and to announce this challenge to your friends, to get as many people to do it as possible. This is what makes it more of a challenge and a little more fun to do.
You can add your name to the list of challengers here.
Should You Stop Wearing Leather Shoes and Sell That Leather Purse/Wallet?
As mentioned above, this challenge is only dealing with a vegan diet. It is nothing too crazy and you don’t have to stop buying leather products and other animal based things, although you should still think about it.
How Do The Challenge Without Killing Yourself
It is no secret that being a vegan makes it more difficult to get a well-rounded meal. While a lot more restaurants and stores are starting to accommodate for vegan diets, it still can be a pain, especially when it comes to getting good sources of protein.
And… As we all know… Protein is absolutely essential for living.
So to help you out, if you do think you’re going to give the challenge a try, below is a list of some good protein sources that you will be able to eat…
- Legumes – These include chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, black-eyed peas and more. They are excellent sources of protein and can be used in many different tasty dishes.
- Chia seeds and flax seed – Throw em in a smoothie, in yogurt, bake them into bread, etc. These seeds are good sources of well balanced protein.
- Quinoa – Quinoa is a great source of protein because you can make tons of different dishes with this as the base ingredient. It can be used as somewhat of a rice substitute, and is higher in protein.
- Spinach – Pop-eye was a strong mean, but spinach might not have as much protein as you would think after seeing a picture of him. That said, it is still a good and healthy source.
- Peanut and almond butter – Do you like PB & J sandwiches? Then you are in luck. Peanut butter as well as almond butter provide good amounts of protein. Almond butter is going to be the healthier choice of the two.
- Seeds and Nuts – I know I already talked about some seed and nut foods. Both seeds and nuts (think pumkin seeds, almonds, sunflower seeds, cashews, etc) are generally very high in protein… and they make for a nice snack.
- Seitan – Made from cooked wheat gluten, this high protein source is popular among vegans and vegetarieans alike.
- Tofu – This is often used as a meat substitute in many dishes. It provides a whole source of protein and is made from bean curds.
There are also a lot of meal plans out there to help you get through the challenge. If you don’t feel like coming up with your own meals multiple times a day, then following a simple meal plan makes things a lot more easy.
There is a list of a bunch of different recipes you can take a look at on the main website here.
Also, there are 3rd party sites that have some good meal plans as well. There is a pretty tasty looking 7 day meal plan on eatingwell.com that you can use for this challenge if you want to lose some weight in the process.
You can also Google vegan meal plans and you will find tons of good results.
Just to reiterate, The 7 Day Vegan Challenge is a free challenge that was created to help people go vegan and spread vegan awareness. It is simple, easy to follow, and makes things a little bit more fun so that you don’t end up quitting after only a couple days. Participants are encouraged to spread the word and get others to join.
So if you were ever thinking about going vegan but didn’t really feel like it, now is the time. Take the challenge and see how you like it. After all, it is only 7 days.