New challenges for the new year


New ImageIt’s a new year, a new beginning, and time for new challenges.

As part of my working to make myself fitter and healthier, I have decided to commit to a “Real Food” challenge, in particular, the 14 weeks of mini pledges set out at 100 Days of Real Food.

The challenges are as follows:

  • Week 1: Two fruits and/or vegetables per meal – Eat a minimum of two different fruits or vegetables (preferably organic) with every breakfast, lunch, and dinner meal.
  • Week 2: “Real” beverages – Beverages will be limited to coffee, tea, water, and milk (only naturally sweetened with a little honey or 100% pure maple syrup). One cup of juice will be allowed throughout the week, and wine (preferably red) will be allowed in moderation (an average of one drink per day).
  • Week 3: Meat – All meat consumed this week will be locally raised (within 100-miles of your hometown). Meat consumption will also be limited to 3 – 4 servings this week, and when it is eaten meat will not be presented as the “focal point” of the meal. Instead meat will be treated as a side item or simply used to help flavor a dish.
  • Week 4: No fast food or deep-fried foods – No fast food or any foods that have been deep-fried in oil.
  • Week 5: Try two new whole foods – Try a minimum of two new whole foods that you’ve never had before.
  • Week 6: No low-fat, lite or nonfat food products – Do not eat any food products that are labeled as “low-fat,” “lite,” “light,” “reduced fat,” or “nonfat.”
  • Week 7: 100% Whole grain – All grains consumed must be 100% whole-grain.
  • Week 8: Stop eating when you feel full – Listen to your internal cues and stop eating when you feel full.
  • Week 9: No refined sweeteners – No refined or artificial sweeteners including (but not limited to): white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, sucanat, splenda, stevia, agave, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, brown rice syrup, and cane juice. Foods and beverages can only be sweetened with a moderate amount of honey or maple syrup.
  • Week 10: No refined oils – No refined or hydrogenated oils including (but not limited to): vegetable oil, organic vegetable oil, soybean oil, corn oil, canola oil, organic canola oil, margarine, and grape seed oil.
  • Week 11: Eat local foods – Eat at least 1 locally grown or raised food at each meal. This includes, but is not limited to: fruits, vegetables, eggs, grains, nuts, meats, and sweeteners like honey.
  • Week 12: No sweeteners – Avoid all added sweeteners including, but not limited to: white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, honey, maple syrup, date sugar, maple sugar, sucanat, splenda, stevia, agave, fruit juice concentrate, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, brown rice syrup, and cane juice.
  • Week 13: Nothing artificial – Avoid all artificial ingredients including, but not limited to: sweeteners, flavors and colors.
  • Week 14: No more than 5-ingredients – Avoid any and all packaged food products that contain more than five ingredients no matter what ingredients

I’ll be starting from Monday 30th December.

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SGS_logo2One of the easiest ways to boost your intake of those healthy leafy greens is to incorporate green smoothies into your diet. With that in mind, I’m taking part in the 30-day green smoothie challenge set out by Simple Green Smoothies.

I took part in a daily green smoothie challenge for a month last year early in my pregnancy and found I enjoyed them, but then fell out of the habit when I had horrendous morning sickness (I actually suffered hyperemesis gravidarum – the same as Princess Kate had!). When I saw this challenge, it just made sense to give it another try and help kick start the new year with the best intentions.

It’s the easiest thing in the world – just chuck a handful of leafy greens into your smoothie every morning, and reap the benefits!

There are four challenges:

  • January 1 – 30
  • April 1 – 30
  • July 1 – 30
  • October 1 – 30

I’ll be starting on 1st January 2014 and taking part in all four challenges.

If you’d like to join me in either of these challenges, please do leave a comment below with a link to your blog if you have one, so we can all cheer each other on to success!

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