Suzie’s 22 Days 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. Suzie M. was already on the path to reaching her healthy living goals when she discovered The 22-Day Revolution. Within the 22 days, she found a solution that eliminated her migraines, improved her skin tone and helped her shed 7 pounds in the process! Here is her Success Story along with her inspiring tips to help you get started with your own 22 Days Vegan Challenge.
22 Days Nutrition: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Suzie M: I'm 25 years old, Irish, ex-dancer and current PR professional. I've been through a lot the past few years without going into detail I gained well over 30lbs with my confidence and body image at an all time low. Prior to this I was a dance teacher and very fit and healthy so the downward turn I took really spiraled my mood down. A year ago I decided to make a change, I signed up for a team marathon, running 7.6 k and that was my first step. I overhauled my nutrition and embraced fitness and felt good about myself once again. I've now completed 3 10k races. My ideal weight (from my dancing days is around 115 / 120 pounds) so I still hadn't reached this and wanted a new challenge. However, more than that I wanted to continue to be healthier, to feel better, to get that glow and get my abs back! I know the positive effects and wanted a new challenge - step forward The 22-Day Revolution! I'm a bit of technophobe (I don't even have Facebook!) but recently I joined Instagram. Health and fitness are my main interests so I followed these type of accounts, I of course follow Beyoncé too! I saw all these posts about The 22-Day Revolution and downloaded the book as my first step. I'm a big believer in small steps mounting into bigger change. I read it in a matter of days and I thought it really made sense and ticked all my boxes. Health and fitness is a way of life and the book really echoed that - the positivity just oozes from it!
22DN: Why did you choose to try a 22 Days Vegan Challenge?
SM: Primarily, for health benefits. I wanted to feel good and try something different. It's very easy to get stuck in a rut and I wanted a new challenge, I went in with an open mind to see how I would feel. The overarching principles of the challenge made sense to me. Plant power is powerful - simple. What you choose to put into your body has a colossal effect on your life - I'm not just talking weight here; everything from your mood, skin, to overall sense of well-being and of course fighting off colds, flus, headaches, etc. too!
22DN: Tell us a little bit about your average day now that you’re following a plant-based diet.
SM: What I loved about the book was that it made everything so easy - if you want shopping lists, easy to follow recipes, motivation, it's all here - there really is no excuse why anyone couldn't follow it! My diet has changed for the better - there are so many recipes. However, make sure you plan ahead and put yourself in the best position to do it i.e. buy local, fresh produce, prep your food, read the recipes for the week prior, think strategically - can I make one big pot of quinoa to use for the week, what healthy snacks do I want to have in my arsenal etc. Breakfast for me during the week tends to be gluten free, organic oats (there are some gorgeous Irish brands out there!) with helpings of raspberries, blueberries, banana and nut butter alternated with juices. Don't give up if you struggle with the juices - some weren't to my taste but I adapted - everything is fluid! As a cardio girl at heart I did worry if juices would give me enough energy but they really fill your body with goodness and make you feel great! At weekends, I'll make vegan pancakes (I make my own blueberry baked ones which are to die for!) or gluten free bread with various nut butters. Lunch is when I get my carbs in, so anything with quinoa or sweet potato based is a winner. I make my own quinoa with mushroom and spinach which yummy. I also love veggie curries, gluten free pasta dishes, soups - I make a mean coconut, butternut squash and chili soup. Use the book as a starting point and then adapt from there. I often use Marco's recipes to begin with then make my own tweaks or add my own twist. Dinner is when I tuck into colorful salads filled with avocado, tomatoes and other delicious veg. I'm also a fan of veggie stir-frys and the baked aubergine [eggplant] recipe from the book plus the walnut tacos! Sometimes I go for chickpea burgers - I went out for dinner with a friend recently and had the most amazing falafel and beetroot burger (yes vegans can eat out in Ireland too!!) There's room for experimentation too, I made delicious vegan brownies the other week and vegan hot chocolate too (all in moderation though!). It's all about adapting, as you are using powerful ingredients, instead of five brownies you only need one of the vegan versions, which is laced with rich antioxidants like cacao! Similarly, one square of 90% cocoa solids dark chocolate will kick any craving to the curb! I make a lot of vegan treats for my office - power balls made with oats, nut butter, cocoa, dried cranberries, coconut, banana baked bars and heaps of others - they love it (especially one of our directors!). I love fitness and it stems from my dance background. However, now I'm in better shape than back then as I'm healthier and stronger as I'm filling my body with goodness. I do circuits once a week, weight training once a week and run two-three times per week for around 5k or slightly longer if I have a race. Fitness goes hand in hand with the regime - as you are eating so well you naturally want to work out and do something positive.
22DN: How has following a 22 Days Vegan Challenge impacted your life?
SM: I'm so thankful that I did the challenge and saw it through. I didn't realize how much it would impact my life, you feel stronger and healthier almost immediately. The only thing I can liken it to is your body operating as a well-oiled machine, when you're plant based everything works better, more efficiently and you turn look, and more importantly, feel better.
22DN: What health improvements have you seen since you did your 22 Days Vegan Challenge?
SM: My primary goal wasn't weight loss but I reached my goal weight in the 22 days, shedding 7 pounds in the process. What I think is more important than weight loss and dress size is how it impacts your overall well-being. I used to suffer from migraines without fail every month and since I changed my diet I haven't had any! Within days I noticed a change, I started to glow and my skin was brighter and I had sparkly eyes! As the weeks went on more and more people commented on how well I was looking. More than that, I felt good. I'm even dating now - I joke that I get more dates as a vegan!
22DN: What words of encouragement do you have for others who are getting started or are considering a 22 Days Vegan Challenge?
SM: Just do it. Don't be a victim of circumstance anymore, whatever your goal may be just try it and be committed. I’m a big believer in positive actions bringing positive things - and Marco and his team have created something really positive here - so join in!! Thanks to the team for allowing me to share my story and I hope I inspire others to do the same! Check out my Instagram if you want some inspiration! Thank you Suzie for sharing your Success Story! We want to hear from you! If you have a 22 Days Success Story that you’d like to share, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.