Wellness Wednesday: Book Review- Vegan Challenge and book Giveaway

Vegan Challenge by Lisa Montgomery MIAbites

With another new year inching closer, we often prioritize our health and diet as the first thing to address. Gym memberships have “New Year, New You” specials and everyone goes on diets and tries new things. Veganism is on the rise and for good reasons. According to a report by research firm GlobalData, there’s been a 600% increase in people identifying as vegans in the U.S in the last three years.

There are numerous studies on the positive effects of eating less to no meat and increasing our vegetable and fruit intake. Not only will you feel healthier physically, but you also see improvements in your energy, mental clarity and focus.

I recently had the chance to interview Lisa Montgomery, the author of Vegan Challenge, for MIAbites. This recipe and cookbook is simple and easy to follow, especially if you are new to veganism. It offers a 30 Day Vegan Challenge that outlines specific recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and desserts. This takes out all the guess work and planning for what to make and cook next.

AND we have a copy of the Vegan Challenge to give away for the holidays. Just LIKE the book cover image on Instagram, FOLLOW MIAbites and in Comments tell us your favorite VEGAN DISH.


MIAbites: What do you recommend someone must do first before starting this challenge?

Lisa: Like any new eating and/or health change, I would recommend getting a physical if you haven't done so recently. Make sure you are in a good place emotionally and time wise, etc. as well to start something new. If you have too much on your plate to start with you won't have time to even start.

Q: What's the most common reason people aren't successful with this challenge?

A: They don't even start it. They come up with a million excuses without even opening the book.

Q: How can they prevent themselves from not going through with this challenge?

A: If the person isn't disciplined or a self-starter, they may want to do this with a friend and/or family member so they can all hold each other accountable. I just read last week that the reason people fail at anything is because they give up after just one try. Good thing Mary Lou Retton, first American woman to win a gymnastic gold metal didn't give up!

Q: What's the most important mindset tip for someone starting this challenge?

A: I've said the hardest thing about making any change is your mind. Your mind will say it's too hard or this food won't taste good. You won’t really know until you try. You are missing out.

Q: What's your favorite recipe in this book for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

A: Breakfast is by far my favorite meal of the day and I’ve been making my Every Day Green Drink for years and drinking it daily. For lunch and dinner, I really like the Three Nut Basil Pesto Pasta.

Q. What made you create this book after Raw Challenge?

A. A lot of people, after reading Raw Challenge or attending my lectures/workshops, etc., have said they can do raw in the summer when it warm and light out with easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables, but couldn’t see themselves doing so for the rest of the year. They think it's too hard. So Vegan Challenge was a way for me to provide raw and cooked recipes—all simple and easy. And even then, there are still people who want to eat healthy, but think they can’t make it, so I’ve also shared resources where they can buy pre-made, healthy, and delicious food. It's a win-win.

Q. Where do you find recipe inspiration

A. It comes in different ways. It may be as simple as learning of a new ingredient or taking an older recipe and coming up with a new twist to it because of an experience. Foe example, I went to Bali, Indonesia the other year and when I came back it seemed everything I made had a Balinese twist!

Q. What other vegan pages/chefs/influencers do you recommend?

A. Actually, I have asked some of my favorite vegan chefs/influencers to contribute to Vegan Challenge so you will see them incorporated in the book. I’ve always asked special contributors to share in each of my books.

Q. What's your favorite/go-to fruit?

A. Banana! It's my base fruit in every smoothie. Plus it's great in fruit salads and you can eat it on the run. And that’s another myth broken! Eating raw/vegan/healthy is so hard? It’s as easy as eating a banana.

Q. What's your favorite/go-to vegetable?

A. All sorts of greens! There's such a huge assortment of greens which add versatility of flavors and creations of dishes, etc. Literally can’t pick just a specific one.

Q. What are your top 10 MUST-HAVE vegan food staples?

A. Get ready for this… Bananas, greens, wheat grass (juice it before my morning smoothie), sprouts, dandelion leaves, raw almonds, blueberries, sauerkraut, pickles and Peruvian olives. Also Treeline cashew cheese, celery, zucchini and cucumbers. Okay, that was more than 10!

Q. What would you say to someone who is a big meat eater and thinks this challenge is too difficult to encourage them to try this 30 day challenge?

A. What I would say to anyone, not just meat eaters, is that I have provided 30-days worth of breakfast, lunches and dinners. If they can’t do all 30 days, they can still easily jump in at any time or pick out a few recipes. Why not add one new thing like a smoothie for a month. Once they have that under their belt, they can then add something else, then another and another. The key is to never look at what you are taking away or can't have. Instead, focus on this exciting new dish or drink you are adding to your diet. Before you know it, the more they keep adding dishes, they will have transformed their life and worked through all of the recipes in Vegan Challenge.

Q. What's your favorite part about veganism?

A. Physically you feel better and have more energy. You also sleep better, no weight issues, and glowing skin. Everything just works better in my body as I can attest from my good physicals results from my doctor annually. Plus once you feel better physically you can more easily tackle more aspects of your life—mental, emotional, spiritual, etc.

Q. Do you have a morning routine or ritual?

A. I juice wheat grass every morning and then I follow it up with my Every Day Green Drink.

Q. What workouts or exercises do you like to do?

A. I love to walk and ride my bike. I also do Zumba, spinning, pilates, free weight class. I mix it up!

Q. What are your favorite spiritual practices?

A. Prayer and meditation. I love going to the shore and just walking, breathing, sitting quietly at the water's edge, being still and enjoying nature.

If you don’t want to cook and meal prep every day during this 30 Day Vegan Challenge, don’t worry! MIABites has you covered with our top 10 Vegan Restaurants in Miami. These plant based spots range from casual cafes to upscale culinary cuisine. There is something for everyone here, even your meat eating friends would love!

L to R: Soul Tavern, Planta South Beach, Plnthouse at 1 hotel, Plant Miami

L to R: Soul Tavern, Planta South Beach, Plnthouse at 1 hotel, Plant Miami


2324 N Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33127

Della Bowls at the Wynwood Yard

56 NW 29th St, Miami, FL 33127

Full Bloom

1670 James Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

GLAM Vegan

3301 NE 1st Ave Suite 103-1, Miami, FL 33137

Love Life Cafe

2616 NW 5 Ave, Miami, FL 33127

Manna Life Food

80 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33132

Plant Miami

105 NE 24th St, Miami, FL 33137

Planta South Beach

850 Commerce St, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Plnthouse at the 1 Hotel

2341 Collins Ave 6th floor, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Soul Tavern

1801 West Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139