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10 Ways The Vegan Challenge Inspires Change

10 Ways The Vegan Challenge Inspires Change

We double dog dare you to a 30 day veg pledge. Are you wo/man enough? Do you think challenging yourself to a veg pledge would only change the way you feel and look physically? Not so, says recognized expert and thought leader on all aspects of living vegan, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, an award-winning author of seven books. She is an acclaimed speaker and host of the inspiring podcast, “Food for Thought.” Colleen is a regular contributor to National Public Radio and has appeared on The Food Network and PBS – plus she’s a friend to GGA and a brilliant chef and nutrition expert. The lady knows her plant based living – Colleen is the grand dame of veganism. So when she invites omnivores and carnivores to challenge their thinking and eating to see what results – giving you every tiny piece on information you could possibly want or need on the way – we urge naysayers to take the challenge! The 30-Day Vegan Challenge: The Ultimate Guide to Eating Healthfully and Living Compassionately, is officially out, and we couldn’t recommend it more whole-heartedly. This is the book gives readers everything they need for the transition process while Colleen holds your hand and answers every question you’ve ever had. Simply put – this is the encyclopedia of vegan living and needs to be on your bookshelf and/ or given to anyone ready to get healthier and spiritually happier than they’ve ever been before.

Boxes dispersed throughout most of the pages of Colleen’s The 30-Day Vegan Challenge call on the reader to “Challenge Your Thinking” and “Change Your Behavior.” Containing Colleen’s signature practical common sense that cuts right to the core of what’s really going on, all of these sound bites can be characterized as “Colleen-isms” that over the years have empowered so many people to go vegan and so many vegans to use as part of their advocacy.

There are many, but here are Girlie Girl Army’s Top 10.


10 Ways The Vegan Challenge Inspires Change

  1. From the chapter Welcome to Positive Change

Challenge Your Thinking: Whatever compels you to become vegan, the transition process is the same for everyone: it’s a matter of undoing old habits and creating new ones.

Change Your Behavior: Because our habits are so ingrained, you don’t know how much meat, dairy, and eggs you’re eating until you stop eating them. The 30-Day Vegan Challenge helps you recognize and change your habits during a 30-day period so that by the end of 30 days, you have created new habits and have a strong foundation on which to stand.

  1. From the chapter “Vegan” is Not a Separate Food Group: Demystifying Plant Foods

Challenge Your Thinking: “Vegan food” is not a separate food group. It’s food everyone eats and loves but doesn’t necessarily call “vegan.” In fact, “vegan food” is simply vegetables, fruits, legumes, lentils, mushrooms, grains, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices.

Change Your Behavior: Take these familiar foods out of the box called “vegan.” You wouldn’t say “vegan apple” or “vegan banana.” You know it’s “vegan” by virtue of being a plant food! When we remove the “vegan” label, we recognize that it’s just food.

  1. From the  chapter Keeping it in Perspective: Intention Not Perfection

Challenge Your Thinking: Although vegans do their best to avoid using or buying anything that came out of or off of an animal, it’s neither practical nor possible to avoid animal products completely. There is no such thing as a certified vegan. If perfection and purity is what you’re trying to attain in this imperfect world, then you will be gravely disappointed. Being vegan is a means to an end—not an end in itself.

Change Your Behavior: Don’t do nothing because you can’t do everything. Do something. Anything.

  1. From the chapter Eating Healthfully Affordably

Challenge Your Thinking: The problem isn’t that organic, locally grown, ethically produced foods are expensive; the problem is that unhealthful, ethically problematic products — such as meat, dairy, and eggs — are subsidized and thus artificially cheap. We’re not paying the true costs of these foods directly, but we — the humans, animals, and the earth — are all paying the high costs of cheap food.

Change Your Behavior: Make whole plant foods the foundation of your diet and understand that there are costs beyond dollars to the choices we make.

  1. From the chapter Celebrating the Holidays and Honoring Your Values

Challenge Your Thinking: Just because we are capable of doing something doesn’t mean we should do it. Just because we’ve always done something doesn’t mean we have to keep doing it. Once we know better, we do better. Ethics and traditions need not be mutually exclusive. We can care about both at the same time.

Change Your Behavior: Demonstrate to your loved ones that our food choices aren’t about rejecting their traditions but rather about manifesting our own values.

  1. From the chapter Making the Time to Cook

Challenge Your Thinking: Our threshold for chopping vegetables has become completely distorted so we think we “don’t have the time” to spend preparing healthful food.

Change Your Behavior: Create a new measuring stick. Decide that spending 15 minutes a day is a reasonable amount of time to spend preparing food that nourishes ourselves and our loved ones. If we don’t have time to be sick, then we have to make time to be healthy.

  1. From the chapter Finding Abundant Food Options While Traveling

Challenge Your Thinking: It’s not the fault of being vegan that it’s challenging to find nutrient-dense food on the road or when we travel to less vegan-friendly areas. The problem is that — individually and as a culture — we have not made eating healthfully a priority. The fact that we can’t find vegetables in certain towns is a larger problem that has nothing to do with being vegan.

Change Your Behavior: We know how important food schedules are for infants and children, but at some point as adults, we stop making this a priority. Parents never leave the house without having snacks for their kids, and we should honor this for ourselves, as well. Take some time to prepare for being on the road by bringing food with you and know where to go once you arrive at your destination.

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  1. From the chapter The Power of “Cravings”: Fat and Salt Taste Good

Challenge Your Thinking: When we say we’re “craving meat,” we’re misguided.  We don’t crave the flesh of another animal, but we do crave flavor, texture, salt, fat, and familiarity.

Change Your Behavior: Identify the “craving,” then meet that craving with plant foods. If you’re “craving” fat, eat an avocado, nuts, almond butter. If you’re “craving” something chewy, eat mushrooms. If you’re “craving” something creamy, eat guacamole, cashew cream, or hummus. You get the idea.

  1. From the chapter Baking without Eggs (It’s Better!)

Challenge Your Thinking: To create delicious, decadent, successful baked goods, you do not need animals products. You need binding, moisture, richness/fat, leavinging.

Change Your Behavior: Seek out the ingredients that meet these criteria. It might be pureed banana, applesauce, oil, coconut butter, bakind soda, or ground flaxseeds mixed with water.

  1. From the chapter Cutting out the Middle Cow and Getting Calcium Directly from the Source

Challenge Your Thinking: What we’re doing right now is going through the animals to get to the nutrients that the animals get because they eat plants.

Change Your Behavior: Skip the animal and get your nutrients from the plants. When you skip the middle animal, you get all the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants you need, and you don’t get the animal-based saturated fat, dietary cholesterol, animal protein, and lactose. You get everything that enables you to thrive, and you skip what’s harmful.

Buy the book here ASAP:


Purchase Collen Patrick-Goudreau’s Books & The 30-Day Vegan Challenge at Amazon as a physical book or Kindle or as a Nook or iBook. Check out more of Colleen’s work at

 A recognized expert and thought leader on all aspects of living vegan, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau is an award-winning author of seven books, including the bestselling The Joy of Vegan BakingThe Vegan TableColor Me VeganVegan’s Daily CompanionOn Being Vegan, and The 30-Day Vegan Challenge. She is an acclaimed speaker and host of the inspiring podcast, “Food for Thought.” Colleen is a regular contributor to National Public Radio and has appeared on The Food Network and PBS.