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Gemma’s 22 Days Vegan Success Story

This person participated in a 22 Days Vegan Challenge, in this specific case, the program outlined in The 22-Day Revolution book. The 22-Day Revolution consists of 22 days of carefully planned meal plans and recipes along with 30 minutes of exercise each day. While this consumer actually experienced the results below, individual results may vary based on starting weight, diet and exercise implemented during the course of a 22 Days Vegan Challenge. 

Gemma’s 22 Days Vegan Success Story

This week’s 22 Days Vegan Success Story comes from Gemma, a magazine editor who also describes herself on her blog www.foodfashfit.com as a full time foodie. In Gemma’s commitment to her 22 Days Vegan Challenge, she blogged almost daily, sharing inspiring photos and talking about the ups and downs of her challenge. Read more about her 22 Days Vegan Success Story.

22 Days Nutrition: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Gemma: I am a magazine editor, and work full time. This is a job that includes plenty of stress, regular deadlines, and a lot of sitting around at a desk for hours on end! I try to keep active and have recently completed the Southampton Half Marathon (at a pitiful time, but I still finished!).

22D: Which 22 Days Vegan Challenge program did you follow?

G: I followed the 22-Day Revolution plan, and tried to keep as true to the recipes outlined in the book as I possibly could. That was part of the fun of the challenge for me, and kept me motivated throughout!

22D: How did you hear about us?

G: I followed some fashion photos to an article about Beyonce’s diet, discovered the book and recipe plan, ordered the book for next day delivery, and started the day after the book arrived!

22D: Why did you choose to try a 22 Days Vegan Challenge?

G: I wanted to try something radically different, which had a day by day plan for recipes that I could rigidly stick to. The nice thing about the book is that it’s full of ideas and general principles you can try out alongside your existing diet, but it also provides you with a very clear and easy to follow template for the entire plan. No guesswork, no decisions to be made – just three meals a day with recipes included.

22D: How long have you been following the 22 Days Vegan principles?

G: I followed the 22-day plan all the way to the end, and since have been continuing to include whole foods, fruits and vegetables into my diet. My diet has definitely changed in a positive way since I completed it, but I am in not following a strictly vegan or gluten-free diet now.

22D: Tell us a little bit about your average day now that you’re following a plant-based diet.

G: Recently I’ve been enjoying morning smoothies made with banana, spinach, 22 Days Nutrition Plant-Protein Powder, avocados or peanut butter, and rice milk. Then I have gazpacho soup or tomatoes and avocados for lunch, followed up by a protein, carb and veggie meal for dinner. Since completing The 22-Day Revolution, I’ve realized I don’t actually need to eat starchy carbs with every dinner, and I also eat meat less. However, I’ve replaced some of my animal protein with eggs and yogurt. Fitness wise, I’ve also just started doing Jillian Michaels’ Body Revolution – I listened to her podcast interview with Marco and I’ve always been a fan of hers anyway, so it prompted me to get stuck in again! I also do yoga once a week with a class, and try to get in at least one 5k run, as well as exercise bike sessions in front of the TV!

22D: How has following a 22 Days Vegan Challenge impacted your life?

G: It’s changed the way I think about food, and what constitutes a meal. Before I started the diet I looked at a few of the recipes and wondered if I’d ever actually feel full or satisfied after eating them. A salad of avocado and tomato seemed like a starter, not a complete dinner! But having finished the challenge, I realized that your body really does good work with plant-based foods. I was also very much a ‘calories in-calories out’ person, but after losing weight on this relatively high calorie count, I started to really concentrate on the quality of the calories too. There’s definitely something to the research that suggests that things like almonds, for example, take more energy to digest than chocolate bars, meaning that the total number of calories used by your body is probably less than the total number of calories we thought were available. I can only go on my own personal experience and I know the research is still controversial, but I think next time I’m offered 200 calories of almonds and dried fruit versus 200 calories of chocolate – especially on a limited calorie allowance – I’ll be much more likely to pick the almonds and fruit, knowing my body will a) make better use of them, and b) the calories might not stick around on my hips for as long!

22D: How much weight have you lost? What other health improvements have you seen?

G: I lost 12lb in total on the plan, and feel happier about myself and the food I am eating. You definitely get a better feeling after eating a plant-based meal (especially if it’s something delicious like walnut tacos or aubergine with pico de gallo) – maybe it’s just better digestion, maybe it’s good karma, or maybe it’s just the good feeling you get when you know you’re treating your body properly, to the right foods. We all know what we’re ‘supposed’ to eat, but making sure we do that seemed so easy on The 22-Day Revolution.

22D: What words of encouragement do you have for others who are getting started or are considering a 22 Days Vegan Challenge?

G: I’d say to throw yourself into it – don’t overthink it, or worry about how you’ll feel, don’t worry about cravings, etc. – it all has a way of working itself out. Get your first week’s shopping ordered, always read ahead for the next day’s meals to see if you can prepare in advance, and then go for it! Don’t let anyone talk you out of it, or try to derail you – I had some surprising opposition from people I thought would be more supportive. I just ignored the negativity. Also, make sure you hop on those scales daily – the constant weight loss really makes you realize you’re moving in the right direction, and gives you more incentive to keep going! And, if you know you’re weighing in tomorrow, you might be less likely to steal a bite of something that’s not on the plan. To sum up – just try it for the first week, if 22 days scares you. If you’re anything like me, the results will convince you it’s definitely worth completing the full 22 days!

22D: Anything else you’d like to share?

G: I never experienced any real cravings or a desire to break my diet during these 22-days, because I knew it had a definite start and end, and that I could eat things I craved after I’d finished, if I still wanted them. I didn’t miss meat at all during the challenge, which was surprising. Thank you so much Gemma for sharing your Success Story and your blog posts! It serves as inspiration for many more who are looking to try a 22 Days Vegan Challenge. To read about Gemma’s entire 22-Day Revolution, start on her blog here. If you’d like to share your Success Story with us, we’d love to hear from you! Just send an email to success@22daysnutrition.com to let us know you’d like to share your story.