Welcome to I Tried It Month, where we'll be publishing a new fashion, beauty, or wellness article every day in January that features a first-person account of shaking up an old habit, pushing beyond a comfort zone, or simply trying something new. Follow along for 31 days of storytelling, including everything from going without a cellphone for 40 days to trying the polarizing low-rise pants trend.
Weight has always been an aspect of my life that I've struggled with, and I would do just about anything for a body like Queen Bey. I've been a fan since forever and have followed everything she's done since Destiny's Child. When she gave us an inside look at her Coachella diet, that was all the motivation I needed to get up and really dedicate a month to follow this eating plan. I was committed to losing weight, feeling confident, and feeling good.
The diet was created by trainer, exercise physiologist, and Beyoncé's friend, Marco Borges. He's written a book about the eating plan, The 22-Day Revolution Diet, so I bought the book, made a trip to Trader Joe's, and decided to just do it! The diet is typically 22 days long, but Beyoncé stuck with it for a whopping 44 days in the lead-up to her iconic Coachella performance. I decided to meet her in the middle and try it for 30 days straight leading up to my 25th birthday.
It's essentially a 100% plant-based diet that cuts out bread, carbs, sugar, dairy, meat, fish, and alcohol. Each day was dedicated to eating a new plant-based meal. With this transition, I was now on a very strict diet when I was used to tacos, Subway cookies, and pie as my safe haven. The diet was going to be an extreme sport for me but I was determined to try it out and see what it was all about.
I found the book quite insightful. Borges's motto is, "If you want to change your lifestyle, if you want to change your life, you have to start with your habits," with the idea that it takes 22 days to build a habit.
What Happened During the Diet
The first day wasn't that bad. For breakfast, Borges recommends steel-cut oats and he encourages readers to add fresh fruit for flavor, so I added blueberries. A little too plain for my liking, but there is only one Beyoncé in the world, and that was all the motivation I need. For dinner, Borges suggests a tomato and avocado salad, which is actually quite delicious, but I was still hungry that first day.
Of course, Beyoncé didn't get that bangin' Coachella bod from solely eating oatmeal. So there was also fitness involved. Borges recommends exercise every day. Each day is different, but he recommends 30 to 45 mins of cardio each day, or a strength-training exercise involving lifting weights.
The only downside to this diet for me was how time-consuming it was. Between the diet and exercise alone, I felt swamped, not to mention having to cook every single meal for 30 days straight. It would take me an hour to an hour and a half in order to prep all of my meals for the following day.
While that may not seem hard, my roundtrip commute is about four hours in L.A. traffic (fun, I know). So the thought of cooking and going to the gym after spending two hours in traffic wasn't that appealing to me, but I made the commitment and I refused to give up, so I dedicated 30 minutes a day to running on the treadmill. I felt amazing after I completed each workout, which was the only reason I continued to go back to the gym at least five times a week while on the diet.
Before I started the diet, I always had a reason why I couldn't try it. One of my favorite ones to use was, "I don't have enough money to eat healthy," which I learned couldn't be further from the truth!
At the end of the experiment, I calculated and compared how much I spent on food monthly before I started to eat plant-based and after. Before, it would cost me about $540 a month for food, which included going out to eat and grocery shopping. When I was on the diet, I actually saved money—I spent $467 on groceries and eating out. Queen Bey saved me $73!
If you want to know more about what happened when I was eating like Beyoncé, take a look at my food and mood diary below:
My Food Diary
Day 1: Oatmeal in the morning gave me energy, but these lentils suck. I feel my energy rising, but I'm still going to go to bed soon.
Day 2: I had chia pudding for breakfast. Feeling good, feeling great.
Day 3: I'm eating a cauliflower salad for dinner while everyone here has Ono's Hawaiian BBQ and cookies for dessert. HELP! SOS! Mind over matter, Kia, mind over matter.
Day 4: I woke up feeling tired as hell. But I did manage to wake up earlier and didn't feel sluggish. Today's dinner assignment was to make walnut tacos and they were absolutely gross. Hated them!
Day 5: Woke up feeling lighter and on fire! I'm subbing my breakfast of the day (quinoa porridge) for a spinach, kale, and blueberry juice! This will be a great day.
Day 6: The hunger is starting to die down as my body is getting used to eating very minimal food throughout the day. The no-snacking is killing me though. Stay tuned.
Day 7: Today's breakfast is toast with nut butter and blueberries. I think I got this. I'm coming for you, Bey!
Day 8: I think I've caught a cold. It's also that time of the month where my back is killing me and my cramps feel like contractions. Oh, and it's Queen Bey's birthday. Beyoncé, if you are anywhere near, please do notice how big of a fan I am for the things that I endure for your diet!
Day 9: I definitely caught a cold, but I'm still trying to be positive about this newfound vegan lifestyle.
Day 10: My body misses sugar… I'm currently dreaming of cookies. On the bright side, this avocado and cherry tomato salad is pretty delish!
Day 11: I'm eating chickpeas and quinoa, but I want cake.
Day 12: I'm making vegetable curry from the book today. Let's see how this turns out. Later: Vegetable curry is my absolute favorite dish from the book. The recipe makes enough for about four to five people, therefore it lasts me about four days.
Day 13: I do not need cookies from Sprouts (or any grocery store) even though they're on sale. Let me get my onions and leave the store.
Day 14: Almost halfway there and I'm starting to enjoy chia pudding. Also, my back pain is completely gone.
Day 16: I woke up at 5 a.m. this morning to work out, and I'm not even tired. Who am I? I'm actually more energetic than ever, and I just made beet and celery juice. I also made lentil soup for dinner and it's actually delicious. I am shooketh!
Day 17: It’s 6:39 a.m. and I just finished my workout. I've officially reached the peak of my 30-day challenge having completed 17 days of nothing but plant-based foods. That said, I'm on a road trip to Concord, California, and all I'm snacking on during the six-hour drive are pumpkin seeds and lentil soup for dinner. This shall be fun and interesting…
Day 18: On a road trip and I can't drink or get junk food. SOS.
Day 19: On my way back to L.A. and I'm snacking on a pear. Eleven more days!
Day 20: Whole-wheat pasta is on the menu today. Can you tell I'm excited?!
Day 21: I'm replacing all breakfasts with juice this week to see how I feel. So far, so good.
Photo:Dobranska Renata/Getty Images
Day 22: My energy is so low in workouts. I need protein other than lentil soup.
Day 23: I've officially exhausted all of the meals in the book, so now I can go back and eat the ones I like.
Day 24: It's 11:53 p.m. and I'm taking screenshots of chicken and waffles. Help. Please.
Day 25: I'm eating a chickpea sandwich for lunch and I must say, I'm not a fan.
Day 26: Lunch today is a quinoa salad with lentils, and I honestly never want to see quinoa again in my life. I've had it.
Day 27: I can't believe I've made it this far.
Day 28: I have a work happy hour tonight and I can't eat or drink anything there. Jesus, take the wheel.
Day 30: 1:12 p.m. I am so close to the finish line…
Day 31: At midnight, my first thought was, "Hi. Can I get three cookies, please?"
The After Results
At the start of this diet I weighed 156 pounds, and a month later I weighed 141. I lost a total of 15 pounds in 30 days. That's never happened to me before, So thank you, Beyoncé and Marco Borges; this diet has not only given me a boost of confidence but a whole new perspective on eating clean.
My old clothes don't fit, which gives me an excuse to go out and buy new ones. My old habits are done for now, as weird as it sounds. I still start my day off with a green juice and matcha, and I eat beans and rice with avocado for the majority of my week for lunch and dinner. I also go to the gym by choice now four times a week. Who would've thought?
This diet was extremely challenging, not even going to lie to y'all, but it is so worth it! My skin was poppin', dresses fit better, my hair got stronger, and I lost weight.
The only downside to this diet is the cooking part. If I were to do this again, which I would love to, I would definitely purchase the plan where Borges's meals are delivered to your house. This diet requires more time than anything, and if you work two jobs, like myself, it really becomes your life and it's hard to find time to do anything else.
Editor's note: Keep in mind that this is a very restrictive diet, and you should always consult with a healthcare professional first before you try it.
This article was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.