Diane David

Building a better tomorrow!

28 Day Whole Food Challenge Guidelines

Vibrant Produce

28 Day Whole Food Challenge

Welcome to the 28 Day Whole Food Challenge!   The objective of this challenge is to provide like minded people with some positive resources to make healthier nutritional changes.  I want to encourage people to come together to provide support for one another as we work towards a common goal: a healthier lifestyle!  This will push participants to examine their current state of health, observe what nutritional choices they are currently making, and provide strategies and resources for making healthier decisions.

This challenge will consist of 28 days of eating a diet purely of whole foods (what our bodies were actually made to eat!).  Whole foods to us means foods that are from this beautiful Earth!  I want to challenge everyone to eliminate all processed foods for just 28 days (THAT’S IT!)  You will never regret making healthier choices, but you will regret not taking this challenge!

Before beginning this process, it is highly encouraged to examine your current state of health.  Details to make note of include current weight, body fat percentage if you have access to an analyzer, blood pressure and cholesterol (what the most recent values were), BMI (http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/english_bmi_calculator/bmi_calculator.html), and clothing size.  If you currently take prescription medication to control blood pressure, cholesterol, depression, or anxiety now is the time to make note of your dosage as well.  This information will provide a good starting point so you can see just how far you’ve come in those 28 days!

Despite all that valuable information, sometimes a picture speaks a thousand words!  Taking a before photo, during, and after is another reinforcer to help you stay on track!

As with any nutrition or exercise program, if your health is compromised it is best to consult physician’s approval before engaging in any new activities!

What Can I Eat?

As mentioned before, I want you to think about unprocessed foods from the Earth.  For some time I think we’ve let convenience dictate our decisions when it comes to what to eat.  Look at where those decisions have gotten us!  America is currently facing an obesity epidemic which includes rising healthcare costs.  The reality is we CAN change the outcome of our own story and we absolutely have the power to do so!  Let’s start here with healthier food choices!

If I had to prioritize food groups for this challenge, here’s what it would look like (in this order):

1) Vegetables (LOTS of fresh veggies [are best], frozen, canned [I hesitate to list canned as I believe the nutritional value in canned vegetables is almost nonexistent — so buy FRESH!)  If you have ever seen the food pyramid (please stay away from the USDA one — a base full of processed carbs…YIKES!), vegetables should comprise the base of your pyramid.

2) Fruits (Yes!  I said fruits!  Same thing applies here —  fresh is best, and then frozen)  Choose fruits that are lower on the glycemic index if possible.  If you are unfamiliar with the glycemic index google it!

3) Beans and legumes, raw nuts, seeds, avocados

4) Potatoes, quinoa

5) Lean protein (skinless chicken, turkey, fish, eggs — red meats sparingly if at all!)

If you notice on this list there is an absence of any dairy products.  Dairy has been known to be a source of inflammation in the body.  There are a few different schools of thought on this and I happen to agree with the inflammation response to dairy which is why I have chosen to eliminate it for these 28 days.  Again, this is a challenge!  The idea behind it is to weed out any and all foods that could have potential negative reactions on our systems.  If you choose to keep dairy, stick to fat free skim milk, low fat cottage cheese, and or, fat free greek yogurt.

EVOO should definitely be a staple to have on hand in the pantry!  This will come in very handy in the preparation of different foods in combination with fresh herbs and spices!   (Load up on those spices!) Coconut oil can be used for cooking as well!

You may not like all of these foods I have listed, but do your best to try new things and choose what works best for you.  Variety is the key here so try to incorporate a variety of different veggies and fruits.  To save money and support your local economy I highly recommend searching out local farmer’s markets and fruit stands!

Shopping: How to do it and what to shop for!  

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Piss, poor planning leads to poor performance”?  Well, that holds very true here.  It is essential to plan out what you’re going to purchase before going into that grocery store!  Plan your meals ahead of time, whether you find recipes on this page, online, or in books, this will prove to be an essential component to this process of change.  Once you’ve planned your meals you can then create a list so you’re ready to shop!  DO NOT DEVIATE FROM THAT LIST!  Stick to your plan!

Grocery stores are interesting places.  I often find myself choosing to go at times when there’s not a lot of people in there because I like my space, I like to be in a good frame of mind, and I don’t like to be rushed.  Have you ever paid attention to the layout of your grocery store?  Shopping the perimeter will be the key to this 28 day challenge.  Most of your time should be spent in the produce section where you can select all of the healthy veggies and fruits on your list.  Next stop can be the meat department to stock up on chicken, turkey, fish, etc. and then head down to get your cage free organic eggs.  Even better would be to find a local farmer who sells his/her own.  They are indeed out there and the internet/facebook are great tools for finding them!

If you are purchasing nuts, make sure they are raw.  These can sometimes be located in the “whole foods” section where you will also find gluten free choices as well.  You may also be able to find gluten free quinoa and gluten free steel cut oats.  If you’ve noticed there are no processed grains on our list above, but I am permitting these two options if you choose.

Mock Shopping List:

VEGGIES & FRUITS

*Kale

*Spinach

*Mixed greens

*Green and yellow beans

*Beets

*Bok choy

*Cabbage

*Carrots

*Chile peppers

*Collard greens

*Radish

*Endive

*Eggplant

*Escarole

*Fennel

*Ginger, fresh

*Jicama

*Leeks

*Mushrooms (shiitake and other varieties)

*Parsnips

*Rutabaga

*Sprouts

*Squash

*Turnips

*Watercress

*Water chestnuts

*Zucchini

*Broccoli

*Cauliflower

*Asparagus

*Avocados

*Artichokes

*Red and green peppers

*Cucumbers

*Celery

*Onions

*Garlic

*Sweet peas

*Tomatoes

*Sweet potatoes

– – – – – – – – – – – –

*Clementines

*Oranges

*Apricots

*Lemon

*Lime

*Grapefruit

*Raspberries

*Star fruit

*Nectarine

*Watermelon

*Honeydew melon

*Blackberries

*Strawberries

*Blueberries

*Pomegranate

*Pumpkin

*Pears

*Peaches

*Apples

*Cherries

*Grapes

*Canteloupe

*Kiwis

*Mangos

*Pineapples

*Papayas

*Bananas

*Cranberries

BEANS

*Dried red

*black beans, red kidney

*Chickpeas (Garbanzo)

*Adzuki beans

*Lentils

*Lima beans

*Navy beans

*White beans

*Raw nuts and seeds (almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, flaxseeds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts

*Extra-virgin olive oil & vinegars

*SPICES!!!  -No salt mixes are ok, choose a variety

*Organic free range chicken breast (skinless)

*Ground turkey (extra lean)

*Gluten free quinoa and gluten free steel cut oats

*Unsweetened coconut milk and/or unsweetened almond milk

What to avoid:

*Avoid all refined and processed carbohydrates and any excess sugars (no breads, no pastas [whole grain or not], no sweet treats or donuts!)

*Avoid excess alcohol (balance here!)  Excess alcohol increases inflammation so less is better here!

*Reduce tobacco smoke exposure if possible

*Avoid any ingredients that are not whole foods (high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, stevia, artificial colors, hydrogenated oils, canola and peanut oils, caffeinated beverages: sodas, coffee, tea,

This may seem like a big challenge for some, but if you can try your best to stick to it as much as possible it’s better than nothing at all!

AND REMEMBER, YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT!!  GOOD LUCK!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: