NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Are you thinking about pursuing a vegan lifestyle? The 21-day Vegan Kickstart program gives participants the opportunity.

The Kickstart began today and Ofelia Hernandez is participating for the second time. When Ofelia did it the first time she said she, “Had more energy. I felt positive about myself.”

For the next three weeks Ofelia won’t eat meats, animal products, eggs or dairy products.

Some question whether the diet offers the necessary nutrients. But experts, like Plano dietitian Karin Hosenfeld, say vegetables have tons of nutrients. “You can get calcium from plant-based sources such as broccoli, bok choy, kale and collard greens.”

With shopping list and recipes in hand Karin set out with Ofelia by her side. “The vegan diet is based on plant foods so this is mostly vegetables, fruit, whole grains and legumes — like beans and also nuts,” explained Karin.

Look for signs in your local grocery store to find out the amount of nutrition density in foods. At Whole Foods Markets they use the ‘ANDI score’.

If you are considering a vegan diet there are health advantages. Experts say you can lower cholesterol, blood pressure and reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

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