Vegan Kickstart

Yesterday, I became a vegan.

I passed GO (and vegetarianism), collected my $200 and went straight to VEGAN. I got the bright idea about 2 weeks ago when I stepped on the scale and the numbers didn't agree with me. Add the fact that I couldn't zip up my favorite jeans, I decided that I needed to do something drastic to change my lifestyle.

I need to do more of this, more often.

All of the sumptuous food I've been eating over the past 2 months has finally caught up with me. Not only have I been invited by friends and family to eat out most every night of the week, I've been participating at EVERY Fire in the Triad Competition Dining dinner and I cook fine dining and upscale cuisine for my client at work.

I don't like to use the word DIET, because I feel that it's a four-letter word. I'm going for more of the LIFESTYLE CHANGE route. I need a 'kickstart' or a kick-in-the-pants because I want to be as healthy as possible--I plan on living 'til I'm 100.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is the sponsor for the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart. Every day an email and a message is sent by a celebrity vegan. Monday it was Alicia Silverstone. Today, it was John Salley. I think Natalie Portman and Carrie Underwood are vegans too. I can't wait to get messages from them. That is, if they're not too busy being awesome.

In each email is the day's menu and a reminder about being healthy and making healthful food choices.

Yesterday (the first day), I ate a half a loaf of bread with Earth Balance on it and washed it down with some V-8 Splash. I was invited to a Labor Day cookout in the late afternoon. I hadn't broadcast my new 21-day lifestyle choice, but there was a veggie burger waiting on me. I begrudgingly had to pass up melted Swiss cheese on it, Doritos, cheese puffs, mayonnaise, potato salad (that I made & brought as entrance to the party), macaroni salad and pimiento cheese with water crackers. I loaded up on regular Ruffles potato chips, meat-free baked beans and handfuls of butter & bread pickles. My saving grace: beer--it made me a little less sad that I couldn't eat everything else.

Today's menu via 21-day Kickstart:
What Nikki ate:
  • Breakfast: Organic Multigrain Flakes, organic unsweetened Silk soy milk, banana and 10 raspberries
  • Lunch: Bean burrito, rice, lettuce salad (from Mi Pueblo)
  • Snack/Dessert: Wai Lana cassava chips, cherry limeade from Sonic (1/2 price Happy Hour!)
  • Dinner: Morningstar Farms Grillers 1/4 Pounder on Arnold Flax 'n' Fiber Sandwich thin with baby carrots and lettuce salad with raspberry vinaigrette
  • Dessert: Gala apple slices 
As you can see, I do what I want. And I take each day's menu as a suggestion. I plan doing just that for the next 20 days.

I'll keep you updated via Twitter on my progress & tenacity over the next 3 weeks. Until then...

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About the author

Nikki Miller-Ka

Nikki Miller-Ka

Ms. Miller-Ka is a classically trained chef with a BA in English from East Carolina University and a Culinary Arts Associate Degree from Le Cordon Bleu-Miami.

Formerly, she’s worked as a researcher, an editorial assistant, reporter and guest blogger for various publications and outlets in the Southeast. She has also worked as a catering chef, a pastry chef, a butcher, a baker, and a biscuit-maker. Presently, she is a food editor, freelance food writer, and a tour guide for Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours.

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  1. This sounds terrifying to me! I am so proud of you for having the strength to do this. I definitely need to make some changes myself. Keep us updated!

  2. Thank you, Pamela. I was scared beforehand, but not now. Eating cleanly has always been important to me and now that I've broadcast my intention(s) to the world, I have no excuse. You all will keep me accountable :)

  3. Nikki,
    Good luck! You're very brave. I would have thought one vegan day a week would be good, so this is amazing.

    Actually those recipes sound really good. I love sweet potatoes with beans. My problem would be doing without milk in my coffee. I just don't think those other milks steam well...


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