Going For The 21-day Kickstart

I have had Neal Barnard’s book, 21-Day Weight-Loss Kickstart, for several weeks now. I am about halfway through reading it, in part because its intended audience is the vast field of omnivores who know very little about plant-based diets. Those of us who are well along in veganland will know most of this stuff, of course, so I am not reading it as ravenously as I might otherwise. I find that this way of eating really does take off the pounds, though, so I joined the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM)’s daily kickstart emails, as suggested in this post.

The 21 days started Sept 5 but if you are interested, you can join any time. Go here to read today’s message (as well as the previous days’ messages) and sign up here.

Tofu scramble with tomatoes and basil, sandwich of white bean hummus, tomatoes and lettuce

Tofu scramble w/tomatoes & basil, Sandwich w/hummus, tomatoes, lettuce


One of the meals I made for myself was based on the recipes in the book, which tend to be easy and fresh and delicious (most are by chef Jason Wyrick). The recipe for hummus is so simple that I memorized it immediately and will make it often. This time I made it with white beans.

I followed a suggestion in the book to make the tofu scramble and save leftovers for other meals. This one, which includes fresh tomatoes and basil, I used in a sandwich on another day.

One point made in the book is that while there is a lot of flexibility in what you eat and how much and when, to make this a true trial you need to commit to following the principles for the full 21 days. (The reason behind the 21 days is that it is long enough to feel a difference but short enough that just about anyone can commit. Of course after 21 days Barnard’s hope is that we will simply continue eating this way.) For me this was a critical point. I have followed this or similar plans before but let higher-fat foods slip in there from time to time, perhaps rather too often, and therefore did not see the results I wanted to see.

The principles:

  • Eat no animal products. Only plant-based foods.
  • No added oils. Keep it very low-fat.
  • Choose low-glycemic index foods (generally those high in fiber). If you are a serious athlete you may need some high-glycemic index foods as well.

The PCRM website and its related sites, including the Kickstart site, offer a wealth of information to answer any questions about this plan or about vegan nutrition in general.

Have you embarked on this plan? If so, how is it going for you?

3 Responses to Going For The 21-day Kickstart

  1. “The recipe for hummus is so simple that I memorized it immediately and will make it often.”
    NICE! I love it when things like that happen :)

  2. Yes! I should mention that when I have made hummus without oil before it has tasted too watery. This one tastes just right.

  3. What a great plan! Hopefully, it will make a lot of positive changes in people’s lives.


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