29 December 2009

Celebrities and doctors launch 21-Day Vegan Kickstart weight-loss program

As the holiday season draws to a close, many people are looking forward to the New Year with thoughts of weight loss on their minds. To help individuals succeed, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has teamed up with actress Alicia Silverstone, basketball superstar John Salley, best-selling author Rory Freedman, and celebrity chef Tal Ronnen to launch the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart program.

Based on research by Dr. Neal Barnard, founder and president of PCRM, the free online program will provide all the support and essential information for those wishing to move toward a plant-based diet.

“Losing that spare tire has never been easier,” says PCRM dietitian Susan Levin, M.S., R.D. “People who try a vegan diet typically lose about a pound a week, without limiting calories. Our Kickstart program offers a step-by-step guide to eating habits that will shrink your belt size, lower your cholesterol level, and improve your overall health.”

Those participating in the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart program will have access to vegetarian recipes, cooking tips, an interactive vegan restaurant guide, and a 21-day meal plan. Additionally celebrities will share personal stories about their eating habits and offer advice on food choices and grocery shopping.

Registered dietitians and physicians such as Neal Barnard, M.D., Dean Ornish, M.D., and John McDougall, M.D. will be available through online videos and discussion boards.

PCRM states that, “adopting a vegan diet is surprisingly easy, according to a recent study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Study participants lost weight, lowered their blood sugar, and reduced their need for medications used to treat diabetes and other health conditions. Other studies have found that vegan diets can lead to significant weight loss sustained over several years. Plant-based diets also reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.”

A full list of the celebrities involved with the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart includes Nanci Alexander, Dr. Neal Barnard, Brendan Brazier, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Kris Carr, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Rip Esselstyn, Rory Freedman, Kathy Freston, Bob Harper, Marilu Henner, Scott Jurek, Dr. John McDougall, Victoria Moran, Dr. Dean Ornish, Tal Ronnen, John Salley, and Alicia Silverstone.

The 21-Day Vegan Kickstart goes live on January 1, 2010 at 21DayKickstart.org. Website visitors are welcome to register now for emailed tips and recipes. At signup an option is available to receive celebrity phones calls.

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is a nonprofit organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research. Follow me on Twitter