Kick start your healthy lifestyle

The free and easy app 21-Day Vegan Kickstart gives you tasty recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack. The health benefits are yours for the eating.

Looking to lose weight? Lower your cholesterol? Control your diabetes? Prevent cancer? These are among the proven benefits of a vegan diet--meaning one free of all animal products (meat, dairy, etc.). However, starting such a restrictive plan can be a bit of a challenge.

Enter 21-Day Vegan Kickstart, a free app that provides three weeks' worth of meals, complete with recipes. According to experts, that's enough time to drop a few pounds, lower your blood sugar, and just generally start feeling better. And, hey, anybody can manage 21 days, right? At the end, it's up to you to decide if you want to continue.

The app couldn't be easier to navigate. Each day starts with a brief tip on healthy eating, followed by recipes for that day's breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack. The recipes include check boxes next to each ingredient, so you can check off items as you toss them in your grocery cart.

If there's a recipe you especially like, tap the star icon to add it to your bookmarks for easy reference. There's also a search option and a list view for all the recipes. Only a smattering of the dishes have accompanying photos; a few more would be nice. Also, a kale recipe on the very first day? Not a best-foot-forward approach, as that particular breed of roughage can be a bit tough for newcomers to choke down green.

One small point of confusion: the app appears to give you only the first seven days' worth of recipes. But, as explained in the help screen, more will appear on the eighth day (and again on the 15th).

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