Diane David

Building a better tomorrow!

Four Week Meal Plan Ideas

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The best way to ensure success with anything is to have some sort of a plan to give you specific direction.  The 28 Day Whole Food Challenge is no different – your success is contingent upon how good of a plan you have before you start.  While I am providing this four week plan, I do encourage participants to explore and research their own meal and recipe ideas.  I truly believe through the process of individual research one will learn better than if information is just spoon fed.  What you see below is by no means set in stone and it is not what I recommend for everyone.  I just went through some sites to find recipe and meal ideas which will eliminate any guesswork along the way for me personally based on my own preferences.  You are still on target with meals so long as you stay away from anything processed!  Good luck and don’t forget to enjoy the planning process! :O)

Week I Meals

Crock Pot Egg and Veggie Casserole http://thecleanplatechef.com/2012/02/02/crockpot-egg-casserole/

Crock Pot Whole Chicken  http://wellnessmama.com/3308/how-to-slow-cook-a-whole-chicken-and-make-broth/

Grilled veggies  http://drhyman.com/blog/2012/08/01/grilled-summer-vegetables/

Leftovers in salads

Southwest quinoa salad  http://livefromlaquinta.com/2012/07/03/southwest-salad-with-black-beans-avocado-and-quinoa/

Week 2

Baked Egg in Avocado  http://wellnessmama.com/5637/avocado-breakfast-bake/

Gluten free steel cut oats and berries

Grilled salmon http://drhyman.com/blog/2012/08/01/grilled-salmon-with-cilantro-mint-chutney/

Left overs in salad

Black bean and quinoa burgers  http://www.wellsphere.com/healthy-cooking-article/best-quinoa-black-bean-burgers/1666853

Sweet potato fries http://wellnessmama.com/1882/savory-sweet-potato-fries/

Roasted Asparagus  http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/05/18/recipe-asparagus-with-roasted-garlic-olive-oil-and-red-onions-2/

Left overs with salad

 

Week 3

Breakfast shake  http://drhyman.com/blog/2012/07/31/rice-protein-shake/

Vegetable egg muffins  http://www.thefoodieaffair.com/2013/03/16/egg-muffins-cups/

Sweet potato sliders http://thebettyrocker.com/sweet-potato-sliders/

Grilled summer veggies

Stuffed hot peppers http://ditchthewheat.com/paleo-stuffed-hot-peppers/

Left overs with salad

Week 4

Mexican breakfast  http://ditchthewheat.com/recipe-index/?recipe_id=6035059

Quiona with summer low sugar fruit and nuts

Avocado and egg salad   https://dianedavid.wordpress.com/recipes-2/

Vegetable salad

Grilled chicken with spices

Left overs with salad

Turkey meatloaf  http://paleofoodiekitchen.com/2013/04/bacon-turkey-meatloaf/

SNACK IDEAS

Hard boiled eggs

Roasted nuts and seeds  http://drhyman.com/blog/2012/07/31/roasted-nuts-and-seeds/

Trail mix

Paleo snack mix  http://cookeatpaleo.com/paleo-snack-mix/

Raw veggies and hummus http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/05/18/raw-veggies-and-hummus/

Smoothies (water, almond butter, frozen berries)

Kale chips

Low glycemic index fruits

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You are what you eat!

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Every day our body tissues and cells go through regenerative and rebuilding processes.  Far too often we take for granted what exactly is going on in the inside, but trust me there’s a lot!

Thankfully, due to science and research we now have a better understanding at just how much of a significant role nutrition plays on overall health as well as gene expression.  Nutrigenomics is the study of how certain foods and nutrition interact with our genes.  This is especially significant information when it comes to understanding that certain foods can turn on genes for different diseases.  On the flip side, this type of information can also provide us with the arsenal we need to combat chronic illness while improving immune function.  

The foods that we eat daily supply us with energy, vitamins, minerals, proteins and fats that provide the building blocks for life.  When we provide our bodies with a diverse nutritional eating plan (eating predominantly plant based [nutrient dense] and whole food sources [non-processed], we are giving our bodies the most optimal conditions for cell and tissue regeneration as well as disease fighting.  On the contrary, when we pump processed crap into our bodies (laden with sugar, fat, salt, and toxic chemicals to name a few) what kind of a chance do you think we are giving our bodies at restoring balance and keeping us healthy?  Hopefully if you know where I’m going with this you answered “Not much!”  

Daily we are exposed to so many toxins both externally (environmental) and internally with the foods we eat.  The reality is, our bodies are not a toxic waste dump; we cannot continue to dump crap into them expecting to remain at a healthy body weight or in good health.  It is only a matter of time before our lifestyle choices catch up to us.  The great thing today is that we have a much better understanding at just how much our food choices can impact our health.  Knowing this allows us the opportunity to take control and make healthy changes (like participating in the 28 Day Whole Food Challenge).

Food can either work for us, or against us, but the only way it can get there is our brain’s decision to ingest certain foods.  Do you have anyone in your life now who currently eats a healthy diet?  What sorts of positive characteristics do you notice? Does their skin look great?  Do they have even energy throughout the day versus the highs and lows you may encounter?  Are they at a healthy body weight?  Every time we eat, we should ask ourselves, “is this going to help my body?”  What we put into our bodies will be a direct reflection of how we look and feel!  Remember, it is very true what they say, you are INEED what you eat!     

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Speaking of progress…

detour

While my own progress with the 28 Day Whole Food Challenge itself was fantastic (yes, I’m not ashamed to be proud of myself for that accomplishment!), my blog progress, however, has been a little on the cold side!  The detour has been the result of a busy schedule mixed with a lack of understanding when it comes to using the blog itself (I’ll get there in time!).  I find it much easier to post relevant information on our Facebook community page which is where you can find all of the juicy goodness (informative articles, recipe ideas, tips, etc.).  I encourage any reader to “Like” the community page so you can get up to date and immediate posts!  You can find that by following this link:  https://www.facebook.com/28DayWholeFoodChallenge

I would like to apologize to my readers for taking so long to get on here to make my next post, but I assure you there’s some great ideas and future posts on the way!  So stay tuned and challenge on!  :O)

 

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Progress, not perfection!

Work In Progress

Progress, not perfection!  Now that we are a week into the 28 Day Whole Food Challenge you may be thinking to yourself one of four things:

1) I am doing awesome with all of my changes!  The results are incredible and that’s all I need to keep going!

2) I’ve been making better decisions and look forward to the day when I can achieve my goal of making all whole food choices

3) It’s just too hard to keep up with all of these changes — I like the taste and convenience of what I was eating before — this is way too much work!

4) I tried, but it’s just not going to work so I’m giving up!  BRING ON THAT PIZZA, CHIPS, & SODA!

Now if you find yourself at numbers 3 and 4 STOP RIGHT THERE!  Progress, regardless of how big or how small is still progress.  Even though you may not be at the point where all of the foods you eat are whole foods, maybe you’ve thought a little differently about what you put in your mouth from time to time; that is what you need to celebrate!  Don’t beat yourself up for not being there 100%!  The key to success does not necessarily lie in the food themselves, rather it lies within our thinking.  If we make the decision to change the way we think/look at things, the outcome all of a sudden becomes different!

If you feel yourself struggling, release any and all of those negative thoughts.  By holding on to negativity it only takes up room where positive thoughts can grow.  Give yourself a break!  Try commending yourself on the positive changes you are making here and there and I guarantee in no time your little changes will yield big results!    And remember, it’s progress, not perfection!

 

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Need Some Motivation?

If you haven’t watched this video, it is definitely worth the watch!  For over ten years I have spent countless hours working with people who are trying to achieve specific health and fitness goals.  Although I thought having a degree in Exercise Science would help me do this (and it certainly has to an extent), I have realized that there is more than just telling people the simple equations of diet + exercise.  If change was that easy, nobody would struggle with weight loss, or eating healthier.  If change was that easy obesity would not be an epidemic along with it’s related diseases (heart disease, diabetes, cancer rates, etc.).

So how does change become reality?  Well, very simply put, when a decision is made.  The gentleman in this video did not take a pill to walk — he made a decision!  He made a decision that being able to walk was more important than anything else.  On top of this, he put in the work – over and over and over again!  (THIS TRANSFORMATION DID NOT HAPPEN OVERNIGHT)

The only thing stopping you from achieving your goal is a simple decision.  Have you made your decision today?

Kudos to the guy in this video for not listening to doctors and most importantly for believing in himself.  Every time I watch this it brings tears to my eyes.  We are all human, we are all vulnerable, from time to time we struggle, and we fall down — BUT the key is to make that decision and get back up!

Your health and wellbeing are worth more than anything else in this world.  — MAKE THE DECISION!

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Keys to Success

Success key

 


Below are a few strategies to ensure success on your 28 Day journey!

1) Clean out the cupboards! If you have foods in the house they will only tempt you to stray from your plan! Donate them to a local food bank which I’m sure could use them!

2) Take a little time to plan your meals for the week — this will also help compile a grocery list

3) Keep track! With the amount of technology we have today there’s no excuse for not doing this! There are so many great applications for smart phones and online resources as well. One of my favorites is Lose It! I’ve also seen people have great success with My Fitness Pal. These two apps allow you to enter in your current weight, set goals, set limits for fats and sugars. I love Lose It! because I find their online page very user friendly plus you can add buddies to help you stay on track.

4) Keep a photo food log/journal — photograph your meals, post them, send them to a buddy, or create a journal to help you stay aware of healthy choices

5) Get a buddy! Find someone who will support your goals and help hold you accountable for your decisions. Studies show people have higher success rates when working with partners or groups!

6) Have fun! Embrace the new changes you’re making and have fun researching recipes and experimenting in the kitchen!

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Numbers, numbers, numbers!

measuring tape

 

Although it is not a mandatory piece of this 28 Day Whole Food Challenge, it is recommended to get some pre-challenge data!  Numbers are just that: they are numbers, but they can give us a reference for where we are at in our current state of health and also indicate the improvements we are making.  Below is a list of some measurements I would recommend you take before the challenge begins.

 

What to measure:

*Weight

*Girth measurements including:

  • Waist
    • narrowest part of waist above umbilicus and below xiphoid process
  • Hip
    • maximal girth of hip, or buttocks
    • Above gluteal fold
  • Thigh
    • maximal girth of thigh
    • below gluteal fold
    • legs slightly apart
  • Chest
    • Upper Chest
      • around upper lats, below armpits
    • Lower Chest
      • at nipple level

*Current clothing size

*Blood pressure

*Cholesterol

 

Another tool would be a pre-challenge photograph.  This can serve as motivation, but will also be gratifying when you see the amazing results you will have in just 28 days by sticking to this plan!

 

journalPurchasing a journal is highly encouraged as well.  This can serve as a record book for all of our pre-challenge measurements, a place to compile notes during the challenge as well as ideas and other relevant information.  Here is where I would also make note of current medications and dosages as the necessity may change when positive health changes are made over the course of time.  Remember, this is for your personal reference.  The more information and detail you include the better it will help you in figuring out exactly what changes need to be made and areas for improvement!

 

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28 Day Whole Food Challenge

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!

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