Jay-Z, a.k.a. Shawn Corey Carter, turned 44 this week and he’s celebrating by going vegan. The rapper/record producer/entrepreneur announced on his website that he is accepting a challenge from his trainer, Marco Borges, to go on a “plant-based” diet for 22 days. They say it takes 21 days to break a habit, so Hova will go one day ova’ to make it 22 days for good measure.
Since it’s always easier to stick to a diet when you’re significant other does it with you, Beyonce will also be participating. You know what else makes following a strict diet easier? Have an entire team of people dedicated to helping you succeed. While I applaud Jay and Queen B (we’re close) for accepting this challenge, I had to laugh when he wrote that eating a plant-based breakfast every day “was surprisingly easier” than he thought. Of course it was – you have the money and resources of royalty! Following a vegan, organic and gluten free diet can be difficult for those of us with limited resources; strict diets like this can be expensive as well as time consuming until you get it down.
In addition to being a trainer (I’m sorry, “exercise physiologist”) to celebrity couples like the Carters, Marco Borges is also peddling a line of protein bars and powders called “22 Days Nutrition.” Are we seeing a connection here? This is like Gwyneth Paltrow recommending “The Food Program” by Tracy Anderson.
I do think Borges is onto something with referring to the diet as “plant-based” rather than vegan. If you’re going to own something that’s already in existence, you’re going to need to rebrand it and Jay-Z and Beyonce know a good deal about that. Jay-z does a nice job of making it sound like a very personal decision on his website, citing the significance of the number 22 (because he’s turning 44, get it?) and the fact that the challenge will end on Christmas. He even asks for help from “any professional vegans out there” (see, stars really are just like us).
As someone who has never tried a diet and certainly never done a cleanse, perhaps I’m just being a bit hard on ol’ Hova. After all, he does acknowledge that this 22-day trial period might just wind up being “a spiritual and physical cleanse.” I find this realistic attitude to be refreshing and I wish him and Beyonce luck. Hopefully Blue Ivy is exempt from this eating experiment.
Would you try to a “plant-based” diet?