I’ve been busy this week, consumed with yet another challenge. I joined a virtual group of 40 plus, started by friend Michelle Grandy, to eat a plant based diet for 21 days.

Vegan for three weeks.

“Why are you doing this?” people have been asking. “Because it’s healthy; I love a challenge; and just to see if I can do it” has been my answer.

I actually have another reason.

Photo courtesy of Prayitno

Photo courtesy of Prayitno

Several years ago, I read “The Power of Full Engagement” by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz. Their book changed my perspective on how to get more done. Instead of looking at time management, squeezing more into each day, I now look for ways to increase my energy to boost performance.

According to Loehr and Schwartz, you increase energy by tapping into four energy sources:

  • Physical – Getting the proper exercise, nutrition, and sleep. The key muscles fueling positive emotional energy are self-confidence, self-control, interpersonal effectiveness and empathy.
  • Emotional – To perform at our best, we must access positive emotions. The key muscles fueling positive emotional energy are self-confidence, self-control, interpersonal effectiveness and empathy.
  • Mental – Having appropriate focus and realistic optimism. The key supportive mental muscles include mental preparation, visualization, positive self-talk, effective time management and creativity.
  • Spiritual – Understanding, your purpose. Why are you here? This is derived from a connection to deeply held values and a purpose beyond your self-interest.

“Energy, not time, is our most precious resource.”

Ever since reading “The Power of Full Engagement,” the first questions I ask my clients, whether they be entrepreneurs, Generation Y/Millennials, CEO’s, Generation X, sales professionals, Boomers, or high potentials, are:

  1. How much sleep do you get each night?
  2. What is your exercise routine?
  3. What are you stuffing down your pie hole?

If these three areas aren’t in balance, I don’t get care how good you are at what you do, you won’t be able to get much done.

The last few years, I’ve been eating what I would call, a Flexitarian diet. Translation? Consuming more fruits and vegetables. Meat is more of a condiment (can’t tell you the last time I had a steak.) Processed foods are kept to a minimum.

My transformation has been a slow and steady process. More like a tortoise vs. a rabbit.

My biggest concern was will a vegan lifestyle give me the energy I need to function on a day to basis. I’m a big boy. 6’5″, 260 lbs.

Then I learned former “Bad Boy,” 6’11” John Sally of the Detroit Pistons, went totally vegan shortly after hanging up his sneaks. If this lifestyle is good enough for Spider, I can try it for a few weeks.

Here are my Vegan thoughts in week one:

  • Day one was a piece of cake. Pun intended. It’s easy for anyone, to do anything, for one day.
  • Day two, I spent lots of time walking up and down the supermarket aisles wondering, “How will I survive on a plant based diet?”
  • Day three I almost gave up. I ate something called a Quinoa Burger that was free of soy, wheat, nut, egg, dairy, and corn. It’s also free of taste!
  • I was disillusioned. Lethargic. My thinking was cloudy.
  • I discovered soy hot dogs! They’re delicious. I think I could survive for 21 days on these alone!
  • The key to eating vegan is to instill layers of flavor.
  • If the directions say to put the food in a toaster, other than a waffle, to cook it, that’s a red flag. Aforementioned Quinoa Burger.
  • I miss eggs, salmon, yogurt, and tuna fish.
  • Discovered I’m not a fan of vegan pizza. Never again.
  • I miss Neapolitan pie.
  • Day four I sensed the challenge was getting easier.
  • Vegans are not weird. They’re intelligent and intentional about what they eat.
  • I love my fruits and veggies. All of them!
  • Sprout Burgers made of organic soy, millet, quinoa, and amaranth is a wonderful burger substitute. I top them with sauteed onions and mushrooms. (Five Guys, we have a date for lunch, June 24th.)
  • I ate a vegan chocolate cupcake that was off the hook!
  • There are lots of vegan foods to keep me full and content.
  • Fell in love with Tofurky Gourmet Sausages. Try their Sweet Italian with Tomato and Basil with Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta and organic tomato sauce.
  • Day seven, I’m highly certain, I’ll make it through week two.

Eating vegan has increased my energy.

Wish me luck as I head into week two.

What are your thoughts on going vegan?

Tell me in the comment section below.

Learn more about me here.




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