New vegan program promotes healthy dieting

April 22nd, 2010

According to a few of its 11,700 Facebook fans, the “21-Day Vegan Kickstart” online program has been worthy of the buzz it has been getting lately.

Based on studies by the clinical researcher, Dr. Neal Barnard, the “21-Day Vegan Kickstart”  is a community-based program  offering  support for beginners exploring the idea of  a vegan diet, while helping the original vegans add a little life and spice to their ritual and their recipe books.

With its quick sign-up, one is able to discover and gain full access to what the Web site claims is the “easiest way to trim excess weight, prevent diabetes, cut cholesterol, lower blood pressure, prevent and reverse heart disease and reduce cancer risk.”

With support from other vegans in the community forum to the daily messages, tips and recipes from registered dietitians, to the motivational Web casts from Barnard (the main contributor to the site), the program provides vegans with all one needs to  keep on the path to weight loss and improved health.

Despite its buzz, many John Carroll students are unfamiliar with the program, or with the vegan diet in general.

A vegan diet excludes any and all food, material, clothing, in relation to animals (meat and dairy). Sophomore Jevon Page, like others on John Carroll’s campus, feels the vegan diet is a good thing to try.

“It has its own great health benefits, but can be very hard,” he said.

“If you [become a vegan], you have to have the discipline to give it your all.”

For Page, that is something he said he doesn’t have. “I love chicken too much.”

It can be hard for anyone, not just Page, to commit to the vegan diet, especially on the Carroll campus. On the other hand, for senior Sasha Wallace, the lack of vegan variety on campus is no problem.

“I stopped eating meat when I was 11, and now I just do it out of habit; so if something has meat in it, I just move past it and find something else to eat,” she said.

Although Wallace doesn’t officially consider herself a vegan, she does not eat meat, consumes soy instead of dairy products, and tries to adhere to clothing not made from animals.

“Still, I do have a love for egg whites and leather purses,” she said.

For those on the fence about whether or not to become a vegan, the “21-Day Kickstart” program is a new way to test your potential.  Not only is it free, but also there’s still plenty of time, the next session begins this September.