The Vegan Way: 21 Days to a Happier, Healthier Plant-Based Lifestyle That Will Transform Your Home, Your Diet, and You

The Vegan Way: 21 Days to a Happier, Healthier Plant-Based Lifestyle That Will Transform Your Home, Your Diet, and You

by Jackie Day


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“Writing in a playful and upbeat fashion, Day guides her readers through a day-by-day approach to living vegan… For those interested in becoming acquainted with “the vegan way,” this book marvelously succeeds.”

Publishers Weekly

"I only wish I had had this book decades ago!" - Moby

"This goes well beyond diet ... This book is a comprehensive guide to anyone looking to switch to a plant-based life." - Booklist

"The Vegan Way is like having a friendly non-judgmental vegan friend by your side to help you every step of the way as you blossom into a happier, healthier being. So inspiring!" - Pamela Anderson

The Vegan Way is a book filled with everything Jackie Day has learned as a happy vegan, a health educator, and author of the popular vegan blog, My Vegan Journal. A lifestyle guide that’s a real game-changer, The Vegan Way is for those who are intimidated by going vegan overnight, but don’t want the transition to stretch out for months or even years. In a 21 day plan that emphasizes three core reasons for going vegan—being as healthy as you can be, being compassionate to animals, and respecting our planet—Jackie provides inspiration along with a specific goal to achieve with all of the support you need to accomplish it. It might be something as simple as switching out your coffee creamer for vanilla almond milk or kicking the cheese habit. Readers will learn where to dine and what to order when eating out, the most vegan-friendly places to visit, how to avoid clothing made from animals, and how to decipher those pesky ingredients lists. And throughout, Jackie will be providing glimpses into the finer points of vegan living, giving readers something to aspire to as they get past Vegan 101. Readers will also find a handful of easy and delicious recipes sprinkled throughout. The Vegan Way is a road map that puts positive thoughts about health, the environment, and animals into action, transforming your life into a vibrant, healthy, and compassionate one.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250087713
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 10/25/2016
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 356,675
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Happily vegan for over 28 years, JACKIE DAY is an award winning health educator and the former head of PETA’s Education Department, where she fought for the health and rights of humans and animals. In 2010, Jackie began her influential blog My Vegan Journal. Jackie has been recognized for her successful advocacy work by the California State Senate, the National Education Association, TIME Magazine, CNN, The CBS Evening News, NPR, and many others.

Read an Excerpt

The Vegan Way

21 Days to a Happier, Healthier, Plant-Based Lifestyle That Will Transform Your Home, Your Diet, and You

By Jackie Day

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2016 Jacqueline Day
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-250-08772-0


Finding YOUR Muse

GOAL FOR THE DAY: Discover and memorialize what inspires you to become vegan.

Fifteen years ago when Twitter Cofounder Biz Stone took his wife to visit Farm Sanctuary in upstate New York for her birthday, he "stared right into the eyes of one of these big beautiful cows" and said, "Whoa, you're like a real life earthling." He made the connection and from that moment on, he and his wife have been "happy vegans." She cooks their vegan meals while he reads the classics to her in the kitchen. They're in it for the animals.

Titanic and The Terminator series director, James Cameron, and his wife Suzy Amis Cameron, transitioned to a plant-based diet after watching the documentary Forks Over Knives. Suzy said the "major eye-opener" for them was "the connection between food and the environment." They had always felt strongly about protecting the environment, but after watching the film and learning how much water, grain, and land it takes to produce animal products, they realized "you can't call yourself an environmentalist if you're still consuming animals. You just can't." They're in it for the environment.

John Robbins, whose uncle cofounded Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream, went vegan after seeing the results of eating lots of, you guessed it: ice cream. He noticed that his family was neither healthy, nor happy, and this inspired his desire "to find a different way of living that was more respectful of his body." Robbins walked away from his inheritance and his family's ice cream cone–shaped swimming pool, moved to the mountains and decided to enjoy a healthy vegan lifestyle instead. He leaped in for the health benefits.

No matter what you're in it for, being vegan is more important now than ever before. As the global population balloons toward a predicted 9.1 billion people by 2050, the consensus is that the Standard American Diet, appropriately abbreviated SAD, is not sustainable. We, as a species, simply cannot survive on our current course. Even the United Nations is urging a "substantial worldwide change, away from animal products" to save the world from hunger, poverty, and massive environmental destruction.

The USDA, historically known for supporting the meat and dairy industries via billion-dollar subsidies, recently ditched the antiquated food pyramid and replaced it with a food plate, which recommends that people eat less animal products, and more food from plants in order to promote wellness. It's no surprise considering the state of our nation's health. Approximately 12.7 million kids and 78.6 million adults in the U.S. are obese. Not just overweight, but obese. Much of this excess weight is caused by gorging on a daily spread of saturated fat–filled, cholesterol-laden animal products. Folks have been suckered in for decades by manipulative and misleading ads that bombard our TVs, billboards, radio stations, Internet, grocery stores, fast-food joints, and magazines at each and every turn. Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and many cancers also flourish with our SAD diet, but all of these killers can be reduced and often reversed by eating a whole foods plant-based diet.

And if avoiding an environmental catastrophe, or preventing an early trip to your final resting place isn't enough impetus to go vegan, compassion most certainly is. The most comfortable pillow is that of a clear conscience. We can live a happy, healthy life without causing harm to others. And there's certainly nothing humane about needlessly taking the life away from someone who doesn't want to die. The knife in the open meadow is just as sharp as the blade on the factory farm. Other animals feel pain and love just as people do. As extra incentive, researchers are now finding that being compassionate doesn't just improve the lives of others; it helps our own well-being, too. The secret to lasting happiness doesn't lie in the things we buy or achieve, but rather in what we give of ourselves, quite simply: the gifts of time, love, and thoughtfulness. Caring about others distracts us from intense self-focus. When we think of the suffering of animals and strive to help them, it puts our bad day in traffic or long wait at the post office into perspective. When we focus on living a life in a way that eases the pain of others, we become energized and our attention is diverted to helping those in need, rather than festering on the little thorns in our side.

Everyone needs a source of inspiration when they embark on a life goal, and going vegan is no exception. In this chapter, you need to identify who, or what, will light that fire and keep you moving forward even when you want to abandon ship. Maybe it's a famous environmental activist who, against all odds, prevailed in their goal to create a better world, such as Julia Butterfly Hill. Julia lived in a 1,500 year-old, 180-foot redwood tree named "Luna" for over two years so that loggers wouldn't chop it down. Two years in the tree, to save the tree! Sure makes chowing down on a juicy marinated portobello burger to spare a cow seem rather easy in comparison. Or perhaps a vegan celebrity, such as Mayim Bialik aka "Amy" from The Big Bang Theory, can inspire you. Did you know that the blueberry pies in Season 6's hysterical pie-eating contest are all vegan? Or perhaps strong and steadfast vegan, TV journalist Jane Velez-Mitchell, who knows peace for the world starts "on your plate." Or maybe funny guy Steve-O floats your boat. He's one fearless vegan! And there's the incredibly fit world champion ice-skater, Meagan Duhamel. Did you know she wears non-leather ice skates, too?

Perhaps someone closer to home provides that drive, a special loved one who is already vegan, or someone who you want to stay healthy for (although your good health might be motivation enough by itself!). Or maybe someone you're dating can inspire you. I remember years ago, when I was studying for the Law School Admissions Test, I was dating a supersmart law student named Kenny, who my friend referred to as "out of my league," because he was "JFK, Jr. hot!" I was such a procrastinator and wiggle worm when it came to studying, and then I got to thinking, "What would Kenny do? He'd study!" And that became my mantra; I put it everywhere! I had a big sign taped to the inside of my front door that said, "What would Kenny do?" so I wouldn't keep running out to the coffee shop, a "What would Kenny do?" sticky note on my computer so I wouldn't surf the Internet, and a "What would Kenny do?" on the fridge and bathroom mirror so I wouldn't dillydally! And you know what? It worked. I aced the exam! As for Kenny, he just up and quit being a powerhouse attorney last month, sold all his belongings, moved to Brooklyn and bought a bar. That's what Kenny did! I'm not doing that.

Need help finding your muse? That's the first item up to bat. Don't worry, we'll be talking food and fun in no time; we just have to fill up with a bowl of vegan brain food first. Trust me — it will help make your journey easier, so take a look at the menu and pick whatever sounds good to you. Ready? Let's do this....

1. Find your inspiration: Here are five sources of inspiration that will put a little pep in your first vegan step. Pick those that sound good to you and jot them down. Here we go!

* Look to the Future: Envision something far into the future that you really want to do or see. Perhaps it's finding true love, or growing old with someone you've already met. Maybe it's that carefree trip to Europe with your best friends, or starting that supercool business you've always dreamed of. Or maybe you simply look forward to enjoying quiet sunsets on your porch, with your thinning gray hair and a face well wrinkled from a lifetime of laughter. Well, you'll have a far greater chance of reaching your goal if you eat a healthy vegan diet. Some folks, like record mogul Russell Simmons, strive to be vegan — not just for their own well-being but also because they feel responsible for leaving the world a better place for their kids, "I am a father. I want my children and their children to have a healthy Earth to live on for many years to come." So, hop in that nifty tele-porter, flash to the future, and take a moment to gather your thoughts. Did you think of something you're really looking forward to? If so, write it down.

* Get a Checkup: I'm not a medical professional, so I can't give medical advice, but I think it's pretty obvious that everyone should get a checkup now and then just to make sure everything in your body is A-OK, even if you feel great. Your doctor can check your blood pressure, body mass index, heart rate, and a huge range of vital body functions and elements with a full blood panel. Not only are blood tests a great way to figure out what's wrong when you're not feeling well, they also give a solid "baseline" for doctors to go back to for comparison if you ever feel sick. Let's say you go vegan, and a few months later, you get a blood test result that indicates you're low in iron. How would you know if you're low in iron because of something new you're doing now, as opposed to some underlying problem that started long ago? If you're flat broke and don't have health insurance, do a little research online to find a free health clinic; they're out there. It's good to get a clean bill of health before starting this adventure, but if by chance you find out you're not in great shape due to your poor diet, you know what to do with the new information: write it down.

* Read a Book: Where to begin? Oh my goodness, there are so many fantastic books out there. John Robbins's Diet for a New America sealed the deal for me in 1987. It's filled with so many compelling reasons to enjoy a vegan lifestyle; you'll have no problem finding an example in there that you can look back on to keep you on track. It covers the full gamut: animals, health, and the environment. Or you might want to consider reading a book that focuses on one aspect of being vegan that you don't know much about. For example, if you're already committed to going vegan to help the environment, consider reading a book that focuses on the health benefits of a plant-based diet. If you're already jazzed about improving your health, then perhaps read a book that focuses on the animals. Expanding your knowledge base will really help you stay the course. If you're interested in reading about everything all at once, Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Diet, Alicia Silverstone's The Kind Diet, and Kathy Freston's Veganist, all focus on diet and nutrition, but also do a good job exploring our impact on animals and the environment, too. Check out the books I've listed in the resource section. If you choose to read a book, and find your golden nugget of inspiration splashed on a page, write it down in your journal.

* Watch a Film: Again, so many great ones to choose from, however, one does seem to stand out from the crowd. When I ask folks what film helped them make the transition to being vegan, many say Earthlings was the kicker. Earthlings, narrated by fellow vegan Joaquin Phoenix, documents the abuse of animals for food, pets, research, clothing, and entertainment. It's only about ninety minutes in length, and you can watch it for free on YouTube. No need to go to a theater and fork over the price of a movie ticket; watch it at your convenience whenever and wherever you want to; just make sure to have tissues handy. If you really want to go vegan, this film seems to pave the quickest and clearest path to compassionate living.

Another film, executive produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, that's changing quite a few minds and hearts these days, is Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret. The film follows Kip Anderson, an environmentalist, on his quest to find out what's accelerating global warming, dead zones, water depletion, deforestation, and the destruction of species, and he finds an illusive, but certain, culprit: animal agriculture. I'd have your journal nearby for this one, as it's packed with hard-hitting information you'll likely want to jot down. And thanks to Leo, it's now streaming globally on Netflix. Start the popcorn and cue it up.

Like James and Suzy Cameron, Russell Brand switched to a plant-based diet after watching Forks Over Knives in 2011, and I can certainly understand why: the hard facts uncovered are extremely powerful, and really pack a punch for those who need an extra nudge when it comes to improving their diet. When Russell finished watching the film, he tweeted: "I'm now vegan. Good-bye eggs, hello Ellen." After many years of being a vegetarian, he gave animal products the big boot! Forks Over Knives traces the personal journey and research of two doctors: Dr. T. Colin Campbell, a nutritional scientist at Cornell University, and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, a surgeon and head of the Breast Cancer Task Force at the Cleveland Clinic. Campbell conducted research on how to go about producing "high-quality" animal protein to give to malnourished people in the third world, but when he went to the Philippines, he was shocked to find that the wealthiest people, who ate the highest amounts of animal-based foods, were more likely to get liver cancer, and instead, those who ate more plants were healthier! After studying 6,500 adults, and hundreds of variables, the conclusion was clear: "People who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease" and "people who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest." Dr. Esselstyn came to a similar conclusion from his independent nutritional research on coronary artery disease in severely ill patients. Many of the diseases he routinely treated, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers were virtually unknown in parts of the world where they ate mostly plants. These two docs know their stuff!

Although a lot of folks who watch Forks Over Knives go vegan, and stay vegan, flash forward a few years, and here we are: Russell Brand is eating eggs and cheese again (whoops!) and pleading to his YouTube fans for "advice from vegans on how to do it well." Well, Russell, I've said it before and I'll say it again: most folks seem to stay vegan when they think about things from the animals' perspective. Sure, we care about our health, but we don't have an ingrained image in our brain of our chest being carved open for a pulmonary bypass surgery, nor have we ever seen ourselves lying dead in a coffin (creepy, I know!), so although we totally get that good health is important, the "come hither" of that ooey-gooey melted dairy mozzarella stick can get the best of us. If you're looking for your muse in a film and choose Forks Over Knives (top-notch when it comes to nutrition — seriously, watch it!) just follow it up with a quick video or film that reminds you why being vegan is good for the animals and environment, too. Short on time? Check out Meet Your Meat or From Farm to Fridge, both of which run around 12 minutes each and are easy to access on YouTube.


Excerpted from The Vegan Way by Jackie Day. Copyright © 2016 Jacqueline Day. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Title Page,
Copyright Notice,
My Road to Vegan: Discover the author's path to becoming vegan.,
Setting a Date: Figure Out the Best Time to Start.,
The 21-Days-to-a-Vegan Road Map: Understand how the 21-day process works, and that it's flexible, easy, and fun.,
Day 1: Finding Your Muse: Identify your source of inspiration.,
Day 2: Creepy Crawlies in Your Food, Oh My!: Evaluate your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. Identify, separate, and sort.,
Day 3: Finding Your Vegan Oasis: Research/list the best places to buy vegan groceries near you — stores, farmers' markets, etc.,
Day 4: Let's Get Nutty!: Substitute a plant-based milk for dairy.,
Day 5: Eggs Make Babies, Not Breakfast: Experiment with egg replacements while cooking and/or baking.,
Day 6: I Smell Something Fishy!: Select a meal that normally contains fish and transform it into a delicious vegan meal.,
Day 7: Mystery Meat: Replace meat with delicious plant-based options.,
Day 8: But I Love Cheese (Too Much!): Learn how to use and create delicious options in place of dairy cheese.,
Day 9: Fast, Cheap, and Easy: Practice cooking with limited time and a tight budget.,
Day 10: Culinary "Arts": Experiment with textures and colors while preparing meals.,
Day 11: Because Bunnies Don't Have Tear Ducts: Understand animal testing and cruelty-free options. Evaluate your cosmetics/toiletries.,
Day 12: I Spy with My Vegan Eye: Check all household items for animal products — from under the kitchen sink to bed pillows.,
Day 13: The Skeletons in Your Closet: Look at labels on clothes, shoes, and accessories-separate, donate, etc.,
Day 14: Excuse Me, Waiter, There's a Fish in My Beer!: Learn which beers and wines are vegan.,
Day 15: Keeping the Happy in the Holidays: Figure out where you'll be and what you'll eat in advance, while trying not to offend anyone.,
Day 16: Vegan Wanderlust: Plan ahead for when you're on the road-hotels, restaurants, fast-food places, etc.,
Day 17: Now, That's Entertainment!: Try out some cruelty-free entertainment such as a day trip to a fun vegan event, a sanctuary, bird watching, or animal-free circus, etc., instead of the zoo/animal circus/aquarium.,
Day 18: Adopt, Don't Shop: Learn how to make a compassionate choice when you want a companion animal — pet stores/puppy mills vs. shelters/rescue groups.,
Day 19: Help! Vegan 911!: Tips and tricks to stay on the vegan wagon.,
Day 20: Planting Seeds of Compassion: Learn easy, everyday ways to spread the word and make a difference!,
Day 21: Vegan for the WIN!: It's not just you; learn how the entire world is going vegan, too!,
About the Author,

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The Vegan Way: 21 Days to a Happier, Healthier Plant-Based Lifestyle That Will Transform Your Home, Your Diet, and You 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
BooksAndCoffeePlease More than 1 year ago
Perfect for those who want to live a compassionate lifestyle and it's written in an easy-to-read style. Great resource for everything from vegan travel and entertainment to vegan cheese and cosmetics! Packed with info! Sprinkled with yummy vegan recipes, too! With pretty watercolor pictures and photos!