Oprah Pledges 7 Days to Vegan Challenge

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Oprah Winfrey is taking her farewell season to new heights with her latest “Vegan Challenge.”

Only days after stunning her afternoon TV talk show audience with her highly anticipated revelation of a half-sister, Oprah Winfrey is once again making headlines. This time, it’s all about going vegan.

Recently Oprah announced that she and the rest of her 378-member Harpo staff would be taking a seven -day vegan challenge.  Promoting the new vegan diet book by author Kathy Freston, “Veganist: Lose Weight, Get Healthy, Change the World,” Oprah’s February 3, 2011 aired the results, including a shocking expose on a beef processing plant.

Her explanation for taking the Vegan Challenge- To raise awareness of animal cruelty and to demonstrate how living free of animal products can improve your health.

Kathy Freston’s book encourages getting your protein from whole grains, beans and lentils. Recipes featured on her show included a blueberry-banana-broccoli shake, Pumpernickel bread, veggie burgers and a new ingredient: Daiya, a cheese substitute derived from tapioca, arrowroot and peas.

And the results of the 7-day Vegan Challenge?

  • Out of the 378-crew, approximately 300 were able to complete the 7-day vegan diet.
  • Collectively they lost 444 pounds.
  • Many volunteers reported having digestive difficulties adjusting to the vegan entrees, being unaccustomed to following a diet rich in legumes.
  • Video editor Rich shared his success story- after 10 years of migraine headaches and chronic acid indigestion he has lost 11 pounds during the one-week challenge and has never felt better.

Unlike vegetarianism, which permits the eating of eggs, fish and cheese, the vegan diet is entirely plant-based; in addition to eschewing all foods which are even remotely derived from any animal source many vegans also shun leather goods and fur.

Considering going vegan? Proceed with caution; the typical vegan diet lacks Vitamin B12, a crucial nutrient which aids in red blood cell production and various neurological functions. A Vitamin B12 deficiency could lead to pernicious anemia, chronic fatigue syndrome, memory loss and increased risk of heart attack and stroke.