Lifechangers: Learn the Benefits of Being a Vegan

Former model Kathy Freston, bestselling author of "Veganist," is turning "Extra" Lifechanger and explaining how becoming a vegan can help more than just your waistline.

In her book, Freston points out that choosing a vegan lifestyle does not mean sacrificing the foods you love, and gives vegan alternatives for some of your favorites. "Extra" talked with the author to get the lowdown. Watch!

Here are Kathy's suggestions for a week of delicious vegan food:

Breakfast: Steel-cut oatmeal, sliced bananas, walnuts, rice milk
Lunch: Whole grain pasta with veggie sausages, sun-dried tomatoes, broccoli; salad
Dinner: Seitan Parmesan with tomato sauce, green beans, mashed potatoes

Breakfast: Bagel with Earth Balance butter
Lunch: Sandwich with vegan cold cuts, non-dairy cheese, avocado, pickles; tomato soup
Dinner: Tacos with "meat" crumbles, non-dairy cheese, guacamole; salad

Breakfast: Bagel with almond or peanut butter
Lunch: Split pea soup with tempeh bacon, (non-dairy) cheesy toast; salad
Dinner: Stuffed butternut or acorn squash with tofu; sautéed collard greens

Breakfast: Frozen waffles with Earth Balance butter, maple syrup
Lunch: Black bean and soy cheese quesadilla with guacamole; salad
Dinner: Pan-seared Gardein fillet with shiitake mushroom sauce; mashed potatoes and braised Brussels sprouts

Breakfast: Brown rice (I make several days' worth at a time), chopped dates, almonds, non-dairy milk poured over
Lunch: Cabbage, thyme and meatless ground beef soup; 7-grain garlic bread
Dinner: Coconut curry tofu with whole grain wild rice and green beans

Breakfast: Brown rice with blueberries and almonds; hemp milk
Lunch: Smoked paprika pinto beans with quinoa and sautéed kale
Dinner: Charred seitan skewers, wheat berries; chili broccoli

Breakfast: Whole grain pancakes and blueberries; tempeh bacon
Lunch: Chili with pinto beans, tomatoes, peppers, and onions, soy sour cream; salad
Dinner: Seitan Parmesan (seitan fillets with melted non-dairy cheese, tomato sauce), collard greens, mashed potatoes

Excerpted from "Veganist: Lose Weight, Get Healthy, Change the World" by Kathy Freston. Available from Weinstein Books, a member of The Perseus Books Group.

For more information on Kathy Freston, go to her official website or check out her book at!