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My Plant Based 30 Day Immersion: Beginners Primer

September 5, 2017

Okay…Here. We. Go! After years of feeling convicted to give this a shot I’m finally going to give the Plant Based Whole Foods way of eating a proper go. Only one way to do it. Full immersion for 30 days!

Immersion Is The Way

Back when I was in grad school I decided I really wanted to learn more about my Mexican heritage (my Dad was born and raised in Mexico). Throughout my life I had taken a bunch of vacations to Mexico, yet because it was just a vacation I never fully immersed myself into Mexican culture. So in 2009 that all changed when I did a six week Mexico City Immersion program. I lived in a homestay, took my regular counseling grad school courses plus a slew of other courses that taught me about Mexican culture, heritage, and everything in between.

After every vacation I felt like I knew Mexico. But, after the six week Immersion I REALLY felt like I knew Mexico on a whole new level. Not overstating it one bit, but that immersion changed my life and it was easily one of the best things I have ever done for myself from a personal growth standpoint.

My Mexico City Immersion Cohort

My relationship to plant based eating is pretty similar to my relationship with Mexico. I have always felt a deep calling to it, and while I have done a couple short plant based vacays I have never fully immersed myself into that way of eating.

Like many, I saw Forks Over Knives a number of years ago and immediately felt convicted. There was no sales pitch for me. The concept, the data, the testimonies, they all appealed to some deep truth inside me. I just knew that I was called to adopt this way of eating into my life in some greater capacity, at some point and time.

Like my many vacations to Mexico I have made numerous trips to the land of plant based eating. Just like vacations the stay was often shorter than I would have liked (or hoped for) and I was left wanting more. While those plant based vacations were satisfying and affirming they were never the full immersive experience. Mexico taught me that in order to fully experience something there is only one solution–Full immersion.

My 30 Day Plant Based Immersion Plan

So, here’s the deal. Starting Monday, September 11, 2017 I am going whole foods plant based exclusively for 30 days.

While I may have Dr. in front of my name I am NOT A MEDICAL DOCTOR, nor am I a dietician, personal trainer, plant based expert or anything remotely close. If you are a frequent reader of my blog you know that I am a Licensed Psychotherapist and Academic Researcher and I research and provide counseling to people who are going through weight loss transformations.

Most people are accustomed to visiting my site for the blog articles on the psychology behind the emotional journey of a weight loss transformation. To date we’ve sent hundreds of folks through the first of it’s kind online program that helps you Re-Write your Story and Re-Negotiate your relationship with food. But, starting September 11 www.DrMondo.org is going to add another layer to what it provides as I will be tracking my 30 day Plant Based immersion.

In my online program I stress the importance of being vulnerable, sharing and having compassion for your story, and the vitality of community. So, for the next 30 days I am going to do the best to lead by example. I will be frequently blogging and video logging my journey. I’m not going to hold anything back. I’ll tell you how I am feeling, what’s working, what recipes I am in love with, what’s been the biggest challenges and everything in between.

Now, before I get to the more details on the 30 day immersion let’s be clear on a few things…

This is NOT about…

  • Starting my own weight loss challenge.
  • Starting my own nutrition program.
  • A Licensed Psychotherapist replacing your gym, your nutritionist, or your personal trainer (I believe in collaboration BIG time. It takes a village!)

This IS about…

  • Improving my blood test results.
  • Improving  the way I feel.
  • Improving the way my clothes fit.

I am sharing my journey with you because just like in my Mexico City immersion I found that community and immersion go hand in hand. Not only will blogging about this experience help hold me more accountable, it might also inspire others to try this way of eating or at the very least exploring it!

Meet Sharon McRae: My Plant Based Certified Health Coach

Where do you find a Plant Based Coach? I seriously typed that in Google over a dozen times the past few years before recently finding Sharon. The stars aligned, and God am I thankful to have found her!

Sharon McRae – My Plant Based Certified Health Coach

Sharon has been plant based for 30 plus years after seeing her parents and nearly every one of her relatives die with cancer of one variety or another. With years of experience and training Sharon has established herself as a Plant Based Certified Health Coach. While based out of Maryland, Sharon is a key member of the Forks Over Knives community–helping organize national events and conferences designed to help further the Plant Based Movement.

Okay, so again, I am not a certified health coach or expert–Sharon IS. And, Sharon is going to be the one doing all the advising on what to eat, what to avoid, how to make the easiest transition, etc. Each week I will be passing along Sharon’s tips and guidance that she’s giving me so you can follow along (Okay, not ALL the tips–for that you can consider hiring her to be your coach too).

Want to join me? Here are the things you MUST do before starting

The Essentials

  • Watch Forks Over Knives: This documentary will change your life. It literally was every bit of inspiration I needed to begin this journey. I have watched the film 5 times. It’s incredible.  
  • Check out the Forks Over Knives website: Here you will find tons of free recipes, testimonials, articles, and much more. Consider signing up for their meal planner too!

  • Follow Me on Social Media: To make sure you don’t miss any of my updates bookmark this blog (www.DrMondo.org), Follow my Youtube channel (Search Dr. Mondo) for all the latest Videos, and Like my Facebook page.


  • Join the Private Facebook Group: Go to my Facebook page and see the recent post I made about the private FB group. This closed group is where we will share recipes and stories. In addition I will answer questions and post plant based articles. 


  • Sign up for the Free Vegan Kickstart Plan: Sign up and a bunch of great recipes and articles emailed to you for inspiration and guidance. 


  • Sacramento Vegan Meetup: Most cities throughout the country have Plant Based Meet Ups. I plan to check out the Sacramento chapter, and if you’re local you should too!

Additional Resources