Thursday, February 3, 2011

Oprah Goes Vegan for 1 Week & Dinner Peace Goes Oprah for 1 Week!

On Monday, Oprah detailed her experience going vegan for one week with her Harpo staff, colorfully relating the cravings, the weight loss, the anxiety, and the bowel movements. Oprah challenged her staff to give up animal products for one week with the help of best-selling vegan author Kathy Freston, and 378 Harpo employees took her up on it. Spoiler alert! 300 people successfully completed the challenge, and collectively lost 444 pounds. I love that Oprah is directing her considerable resources to the vegan cause; without Oprah, thousands of people would be as unfamiliar with veganism as they previously were with Charles Dickens. Thank you, Oprah!

Because Oprah gave the vegans a week, I’m going to give Oprah’s show a week of thought. I’d like to start with the good, specifically the success stories. Oprah’s video editor, Rich, lost 11 pounds in 1 week...11 pounds! Rich is the first one to point out that along with giving up animal products, he also gave up bad-for-you foods. He wholeheartedly embraced the vegan diet, filling himself with vegetables and whole grains instead of junk food. Along with his extraordinary weight loss, Rich told the audience that he’s no longer popping 6-8 antacids a day, or suffering from crippling migraines.

Oprah highlighted several other staffers who experienced weight loss, increased energy, not to mention overcoming junk food withdrawal symptoms. I think this is a good moment to remind my readers of my own vegan transformation. Since embracing a whole-foods, plant-based, vegan diet last June, I have lost 22 pounds. I feel better every single day, more comfortable in my body, more aligned with my values of compassion and respect, and more content with my impact on the animals and the planet. While I used to carry aspirin with me everywhere due to my frequent headaches, I can’t remember the last time I had a headache. Becoming vegan has changed my life, and I’m grateful to Oprah for bringing her substantial influence to an ideal I believe in so deeply.


  1. Great post, Colleen, and congratulations on this huge accomplishment. I'm not a vegan but I've not eaten red meat or poultry for about 20 years. For me, the biggest influence (other than my own discomfort in general with the concept of meat), was viewing footage from a slaughterhouse when I was young. I was happy to see that Oprah was able to score such a tour to present in this episode. It's going to affect a lot of people deeply, especially in regard to how they eat and think about meat.

    Here's my story about how watching a similar program in my youth affected me:

    And yay, Oprah!

  2. P.S. From one vege-centric Bay Area-ite to another, I am loving this blog!

  3. Thanks for the positive comments!