Food seems to be the centre of many vegan’s worlds. I know it is the centre of mine. My Parental Unit once said to me, “I eat to live, but you live to eat!”. She wasn’t wrong! Of course, this whole Cape Town Vegan gig is centered around the best of what Cape Town has to offer, and boy – I am seldom disappointed! This brings me to the big problem (the word “big” is a pun FYI). There is a common misconception that if you’re vegan, you’re healthy. I COULD call myself a vegan and live on raw smoothie bowls and only eat organic kale OR I could call myself vegan and have a slice of vegan rooibos tart from a vegan bakery, an ice cream from Kloof Street, a pie from Grabouw or a waffle from Dunkley Square. These things (whilst mind-blowingly delicious) are NOT healthy. You may be healthier because you are not consuming meat, dairy, and eggs, but it’s what you are replacing it with that really matters – as anyone with an ounce of common sense will tell you.
I have been reviewing eateries in and around the Western Cape (and beyond) since 2016, and whilst the food has always been amazing it has often been heavy on oils, (bad) fats, heavily processed flours and (the worst of all) sugar. These things are all fine in moderation: we have to live a little! But over time they start to take a toll on one’s body when consumed in excess! Don’t get me wrong: I will ALWAYS have a treat (or two or three), but I need to start slowing down.
I’ve just had the most amazing trip to London where I ate out for 20 days straight – breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with at least one to two desserts a day. Whilst some of these meals were organic, gluten-free, sugar-free, raw, most were not. I had vegan macaroni and cheese as a side five times, countless burgers, four vegan pies, six vegan milkshakes, cookies, cakes, pizzas, etc. etc. etc. Feeling ill yet? I am. I had an INCREDIBLE time and don’t regret sampling some of the most exciting vegan dishes I have seen to date but now, it’s time to undo some of the damage. Say hello to 100 Days to Health – a programme developed by Mary-Anne Shearer, a pioneer on the South African vegan frontier.
I met with Mary-Anne and her husband Mark when I reviewed their absolutely outstanding restaurant earlier this year in Gordon’s Bay and the food that I ate was virtually unparalleled: a vegan buffet of the most exquisite food I had had in ages.
I later attended a talk that Mary-Anne was hosting where she introduced the 100 Days to Health. So what is it exactly?
The principle is simple: it’s designed to take control of your health one day at a time. You simply sign up (for free!) and receive daily emails containing the following:
- Tip for the Day
- A Motto for the Week
- Recipe for the Day
- Meal Guidelines
- Video Interviews
This is my kind of vibe! What’s the catch? There’s none whatsoever.
Each week urges you to add something to your diet (that is wholefoods plant-based/vegan) and each week asks you to begin to avoid certain harmful foodstuffs (artificial sweeteners, etc.).
Who is it aimed at – actually people who aren’t necessarily vegan but will (through the process) eventually move towards a (by-default) vegan diet. Out of the first three weeks, one recipe contains eggs and another one cream – the rest is 100% vegan. This is PERFECT for people looking to gradually transition which is something I have always recommended. There is little value in going “cold turkey” overnight and then really battling. This programme slowly introduces far more fresh fruit and vegetables into your diet without overwhelming you. Does it have any value for those that are already vegan? Hell yes! This is why I am going to do it!
Starting on Monday the 16th I am going to commit to 100 Days to Health under the following conditions:
- I will stick to the plan 100% when I am at work or at home
- When I eat out (of my own accord) I will make the best possible choices that adhere as closely as possible to the plan
- If I am asked to review a restaurant and I am given the option of any menu item, I will choose items that adhere as closely as possible to the plan
- If I am given a certain product/food item that might not adhere to the plan within the 100 days, I will eat it and then be remorseful but not beat myself up about it – life goes on.
- I will stick to all the recipes and omit the non-vegan items (although there are hardly any) for the obvious reason that I am already vegan and I don’t need to transition.
- I will still not eat avocados, mushrooms or bananas as I might die, and I really don’t want to.
There are three supplements that are recommended (which I plan on taking):
All three sound great to me!
What are the benefits of 100 Days to Health?
1. It rewires your taste buds, so you stop craving the bad stuff without feeling deprived
2. After a few weeks, without realizing it, you start eating less
3. It is easy and you see results quickly (within 3 days to 4 weeks)
4. It is uncomplicated with on-going support
5. The changes are small but permanent – hard to go back to your old way.
6. Energy will increase
7. Rid you of depression, mood swings and feel inspired & motivated
8. You will sleep better
9. Bowel function will improve – become more regular and comfortable
10. Get rid of gastric reflux, bloating and discomfort
11. Gets rid of sinusitis, post nasal drips and snoring
12. Results in hormonal health
13. Improves brain function – clearer thinking, no more fog brain
14. Balances weight – excess weight goes slowly and stays off – not weight seesawing – this is a LIFE changing way to live permanently!
15. Gets you pain-free – no more arthritis, growth, and fibromyalgia
16. Improves skin, hair, and nails
17. Put you on the road to avoid cancer, heart disease, and diabetes
18. Improves overall quality of life
19. Radical health improvement – allows your body to heal & repair itself
20. Will save you thousands in medical bills
21. Will save you thousands of hours of wasted time
22. No weighing of food
23. No giving up because this is genuinely not a diet!
And what I am going to do is document each day, and share some of the insights I’ve gained along the way.
I am doing this for a number of reasons:
- I am ready to start reversing the aging process – lol!
- I am ready to lose some weight
- I am ready to feel full of energy again
- I am ready to not have a body that constantly aches
- I am ready to start feeling full and satisfied but never bloated
- I am ready to start addressing my very serious addiction to sugar
Anyone keen to join me?
All I need is your email address. Once I’ve collected a couple, I will forward them to Mary-Ann and Mark and we’ll all start receiving the emails at the same time. Let’s tackle this all step-by-step and day-by-day. Easy peasy.
There really is nothing to commit to except gradual small changes, but if you want more information, check out the 100 Days to Health website.
Would love to do this with some of you.