On December 3, 2013, the eve of his 44th birthday Jay Z announced on his Life & Times blog that he would go vegan, along with his wife Beyonce, for 22 days. He states that he was inspired by good friend, exercise physiologist, and fitness guru Marco Borges to take on this challenge. Although, he is not the first celebrity to embrace a plant-based diet (for example: Alicia Silverstone). His assertion that “you can call it a spiritual and physical cleanse” may have some of you curious as to what exactly this 22 day diet entails and how you can participate.
According to Marco Borges, founder of 22 Days Nutrition and the man behind helping Beyonce maintain her trim physique, “it takes only 21 days to make or break a habit…with 22 days you’ve found the way.” Whether you are looking to jumpstart a vegan lifestyle or simply give your body a much needed cleanse Borges believes consistency is the key to success.
As easy as it may sound, for all of you meat lovers out there, this challenge may test your patience and discipline. However, the benefits you will gain, listed on Borges’ blog, provide encouragement. In addition, Borges and a team of nutritionists are available to help you stay the course as you embark on this plant-based diet. There is no guessing work, each day a detailed meal plan and recipes are posted online.
What are the benefits?
- Cancer Prevention
- Lowered Cholesterol
- Reduced Blood Pressure
- Prevent and reverse diabetes
- Lower risk of heart disease
- Bonus…increased metabolism (body reduces calories 16% faster)
You don’t need to become a vegan for the rest of your life to experience the benefits listed above…but you should pay attention to what you eat. Good health is all about balance and all meat and no greens could take a toll on your body in the long run. With any diet it’s important to remember your body is a beautiful living organism that needs to be nourished. Adding a lot of fruits and vegetables into your daily consumption shouldn’t be just a matter of choice, but necessity. The main benefit of this 22-day vegan initiative is that it will force you to think before you eat. It may also demonstrate that good meals exist on a vegan’s dinner table.
Here is an example of day one:
Breakfast: Vanilla chia pudding with 1 cup fresh berries
Lunch: Crunchy red cabbage and green apple sesame slaw with 1 cup steamed, cubed sweet potato (or 1 small sweet potato, baked)
Afternoon snack: 1/4 cup hemp hummus with fresh vegetables (carrots, celery, romaine leaves, bell pepper, etc.)
Dinner: Black bean and quinoa salad with quick cumin dressing
Dessert: Dark chocolate
(via Beyonce's instagram)
Jay Z concludes his blog by saying he is not sure if this plant-based diet will be long term. This may hold true for you as well and that’s okay. Hopefully, on day 22 you will feel recharged and discover that you are stronger than you think; you just have to put your mind to it. You may also decide to incorporate vegan food options in your diet on a regular basis or go entirely vegan. Find the perfect balance that works for you your body will love you for it.