Making huge changes to your diet and lifestyle can be exciting, but, more often than not, it’s daunting and, unfortunately, unsustainable. Of course it seems like a great idea to announce you’re cutting all sugar (and dairy! and caffeine! and also alcohol!) out of your life entirely, but making so many huge changes at once is a lot to handle, both in terms of your body and your mind.
Kathy Freston, a two-time New York Times bestselling author (whom you might have seen on Oprah, challenging the staff to go vegan), has just (as in today) come out with a new book designed to help you make sweeping lifestyle changes in a gentle, almost automatic way. The Lean: A Revolutionary (and Simple!) 30-Day Plan for Healthy, Lasting Weight Loss takes you through 30 days of small (and a few not-so-small) changes.
Some are really simple, like Day 1: “Drink water. Lots of water,” and Day 19: “Have a little fun.” I mean, who can’t handle that, right? Others, like Day 18: “Take animals off the dinner plate,” and Day 21: “Connect the dots about where your food comes from” will pose a bit more of a challenge to those who are used to chicken or steak taking up much of their dinner-plate real estate. In fact, even though I don’t eat meat (but still eat seafood, dairy and eggs), those are toughies for me, but I have to say, I’m totally inspired to give it a go. Freston is kind of persuasive like that.
Each of these daily tips build upon one another, so by the end of 30 days, you have 30 new healthy habits, which, of course, is far easier than deciding to do it all in one day. Another way Freston aims to make this lifestyle upgrade easier? She doesn’t take things away without giving you a very reasonable alternative. For example, when she tells you to take animals off the dinner plate on the 18th day, she also explains why protein is important for weight loss and gives you the lowdown on lots of other forms of protein to add. Plus, the book has an 88-page “What to Eat” appendix filled with recipes, sample menus and helpful resources.
Freston’s goal is to help people “lean” into a healthier lifestyle, and I’ve got to say, I think she’s onto something. If you’ve been contemplating going vegan or are just interested in how to live a healthier life while incorporating more vegan foods into your diet, I encourage you to pick up a copy.
Oh, and you know how changing your diet and adopting a healthy lifestyle is so much easier when you have support? Freston has taken that into account as well. There are badges for all the steps (found right here) that you can post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. And you don’t have to follow the diet to do it—if you support these steps in your daily life, brag about it. Know someone who’s trying to follow the steps? Send them a badge as encouragement! Use that social network of yours for good!
Have you ever considered going vegan? Or eating fewer animal products? Tell us about it! — Kristen