Game Changers broke records as the most-watched documentary of 2019! You’ve probably seen it, or if not, you’ve likely have heard people talking about it. It shares stories of high-profile athletes who have gone from a heavily meat based diet to a completely plant-based one. Game Changers shows how a plant-based diet can change your life for the better; both physically and mentally. Our crew at Raglan Food Co loved watching Game Changers, and it inspired us to create our own ‘Game Changers Challenge’.
What is the Game Changers Challenge?
Raglan Food Co challenged three couples who usually ate meat & dairy to go plant-based for 1 month. We provided each couple with all the tools and resources to do so, and tracked their progress along the way with lab tests and nutritionist consults. Contestants shared their updates along the way with photos and videos, and reported on how they felt at the month’s end!
Meet the Game Changers Contestants!
These three Kiwi couples were chosen out of hundreds of applicants across the country. Did going plant-based for 1 month make a difference to their health & happiness? Follow their journey with updates here and on our social media channels — Facebook and Instagram #gamechangerschallenge, and get some plant-based meal inspiration with our vegan meal & vegan recipe ideas here.
Talia & Jesse
This lovely pair have been together for 15 years and have a beautiful wee boy called Navy. It had been a very tough year for them, as when Navy was only 10 weeks old, Talia was diagnosed with breast cancer and has since been through 6 rounds of chemo, a single mastectomy and reconstruction, and multiple hospital stints. The stress this had put on their family led to takeaway meals and not being able to make the healthiest choices. They were really excited to see if going plant-based would help with Talia’s recovery and if it had a positive impact on their family’s wellbeing.
Nadia & Mousheen
An adventurous pair based in Hamilton, Nadia & Mousheen have been married for 4 years and love trying new things and eating out together. Mousheen described himself as a carnivore who would happily eat meat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and Nadia was a little bit in love with cheese, so this challenge was a big change for them! They were keen to make the switch to plant-based for ethical and environmental reasons as well as seeing benefits for their health.
Mary & John
Lovers of life and each other, Mary & John were your classic Kiwi couple who would enjoy a pie, roast casserole, and a glass of beer or wine in the evenings. Now in their 50’s and 60’s, they were wanting to make some changes so they can have a long & happy retirement. Mary had high blood pressure and John struggled with high cholesterol, and they both wanted to lose some weight and get healthier for their golden years together.
Nutritionist & Naturopath Alena Winter from The Herbal Dispensary worked with our Game Changers Challenge contestants throughout their month of eating plant-based. Although a month is often too short a time to see large changes, we still witnessed some very exciting and positive trends suggesting an improvement in metabolic markers:
- One contestant now has all of her Lipid results back within reference ranges! This decreases risk of cardiovascular disease or needing to go on statins.
- Another contestant had a noticeable decrease in the liver enzymes GGT and ALT, suggesting an improvement in liver function and decrease in liver damage or inflammation.
- A couple of contestants had an improvement in HbA1c, which is a marker for glucose dysregulation or diabetes.
- And finally, we also saw a significant decrease in CRP, which is a marker for inflammation!
After a few more months of sustaining these changes we are sure the results would be even greater. It’s amazing to see how dietary changes can make such a difference to how you feel, and how your body is working on the inside, too!
Talia & Jesse
We’ve had a really tough time and doing this challenge was exactly what we needed. Not only to detox our bodies and nourish them but also to reconnect as husband and wife and not just have our world focused on the cancer which is what it’s been like.
I tick all the boxes of your general “blokey bloke” but I’ve been given the tools and knowledge to change my lifestyle and continue this journey of a plant-based diet. It’s not only doing good for my health but also saving the animals and having a good effect on the environment.
Nadia & Mousheen
I recommend anyone who is thinking of going plant-based to try this challenge, it was very helpful. Plant-based meals don’t have to be boring and plain. And you don’t need to be 100% plant-based if it doesn’t fit with your lifestyle. Being only 80% or 90% plant-based could also help with your health and the environment.
This was a great experience for me and it has really opened my eyes to how good you can feel in your day to day life just by cutting out meats and milk products. I think I will be sticking to this diet as close as I can especially since I know that it’s not so hard once you have the right recipes and knowledge.
Mary & John
I feel like a renewed person and am grateful. It feels like an internal change has happened and that a lot of negativity has gone.
I feel a sense of pride and accomplishment that we as a couple succeeded and thrived. I know we are an older couple and if we can change and enjoy the process then there is hope for all of us.