This food challenge is not about removing foods from your diet, but adding the right things to it. I took on this challenge and adapted the rules below after reading The Wahls Protocol: A Radical New Way to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles by Dr. Terry Wahls, who beat progressive multiple sclerosis with diet and functional medicine.
The food we eat fuels the trillions of cells that live in the body with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. They create the energy needed to keep the body functioning and protected against environmental toxins and other harmful things around us. And yet the majority of us don’t consume nearly enough fruits and vegetables to keep our bodies functioning at an optimal level. I had to more than triple my daily vegetable intake, a task that proved far more challenging than I had anticipated! I realized that it’s not enough to swear off bread and ice cream. We have to put the right things into our bodies.
*Eat 7 to 9 cups of fruits and vegetables every day. Vary the types of fruits and vegetables you eat, including:
*Colorful fruits and vegetables (the more colors, the better), such as berries, peaches, citrus, beets, and carrots
*Sulfur-rich vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, garlic, mushrooms, and asparagus
- Shop frequently. You’ll need a lot of space for your leafy greens and the vast variety of fruits and vegetables you’ll be consuming.
- Make soups, purees, and smoothies. They’re easier to consume, especially if you don’t like the texture of vegetables. You can also use vegetable purees as sauces or toppings.
- Make a big, colorful chopped salad. I like to chop my leafy greens and colorful vegetables and mix them together in a large bowl. Over the next day or two, I’ll grab handfuls of greens to either make a salad or a smoothie.
- Invest in a spiralizer and turn your vegetables into “noodles.” From squash to zucchini, carrots to beets, the options are vast. You can also buy pre-spiralized veggies at Whole Foods Market.
- Eat vegetables at breakfast. Whether you make a green smoothie, add spinach to your morning omelet, or add broccoli to your bacon and egg platter, you’ll need to incorporate greens into every single meal.
- Eat your veggies first, then allow yourself to eat whatever else you want. Don’t make the mistake of filling up with pasta or meat first.
- Have fun with new recipes
- WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, HOW OFTEN – list the details of the challenge on the Accountability Tracker.
2. DOCUMENT IT ON THE CHALLENGE CALENDAR:
3. THE REWARD – don’t forget to document your reward on the accountability tracker! How will you reward yourself? Do you respond better to milestone rewards or are you holding out for the big daddy upon completion? What will it be? What motivates you?
4. KEEP TRUDGING FORWARD – don’t give up. If you fall off the wagon, keep moving forward! Ask for help. That’s what family and friends are for!
5. REFLECTION – reflect on the challenge – what went well, and what could be better. Learn from this and use this to improve on yourself and your future challenges!
What’s your Challenge? Get started today!