In 23 days, I will be 23-years-old. What happened? I still feel like I’m 19!
random, silly pic of me. age 19.
Anyway, I wanted to do some kind of health challenge to ensure that I feel healthy and fit on my birthday. Obviously, I’m not going to be running half marathons or fitting into my skinny jeans in this short amount of time, but I can at least start getting back into my healthier habits, which I have been slacking on lately. Honestly, I kind of feel like a hypocritical healthy food blogger .
I tried to outline a “Spring Shape-Up” to do in April, and I kinda forgot about it. Whoops! This time I am repeating a challenge that I have already done…The Micheal Pollan Eating Challenge.
Here is how I described the challenge last time:
Pollan believes that most dietary related health problems come from over-consumption of processed foods. One of the guidelines he recommends is to avoid processed foods with more than 5 ingredients and that contain high fructose corn syrup. These tend to be markers for foods that are highly processed. He also says to avoid foods that your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food– Go-Gurt, breakfast cereal bars, non-dairy creamer — stay away!!
For five days this week (starting tomorrow) I am going to try eating Micheal Pollan style by not consuming anything with more than 5 ingredients or that contain high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, or artificial sweeteners. This shouldn’t be an extreme change from my normal diet because I generally try to eat whole foods rather than processed foods, but I will definitely be making some sacrifices.
I did this challenge in February 2009, and I felt great doing it. However, it was only for 5 days. Now, I will follow the same rules I set last time, but the goal is to do 23 days!
This Week’s (Partial*) Grocery List:
- Fruits and Veggies: You bet I am still taking advantage of summer produce! Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, bananas, tomatoes, red peppers, summer squash, spinach, avocado, etc.
- Beans: black beans and maybe some chickpeas to make hummus .
- Protein: cage free eggs, fish, non-processed meats, cottage cheese, greek yogurt
- Grains: quinoa, couscous, homemade bread (my dad has been making fresh sourdough bread non-stop for the past several months).
- Indulgences: dark chocolate, wine, homemade desserts, non-processed cheese
*Partial because I often eat with either my parents or my boyfriend, so I’m not planning out every meal right now. But I will make sure to stick to my rules!
There will be NO: Store bought bread, crackers, chips, frozen meals, boxed cereal, energy bars (except Larabars), or ice cream with > 5 ingredients. Basically, no processed foods.
And even though non-processed indulgences are allowing, I will try my best to follow the “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants” rule, so having homemade cookies for lunch in not allowed…and yes, that is actually something I could see myself being tempted to do .
The main thing that I liked about the challenge last time was that it prevented me from mindlessly eating. This is my main dietary downfall. When I really think about what I eat, I choose healthy, delicious, nutrient dense foods and feel satisfied. When I am not thinking about what I eat, I munch on anything (ice cream, granola, and nuts are common culprits) and I do not feel satisfied afterwards.
After the challenge ended last time I wrote, “I feel so much more satisfied eating real food…I prefer the way fresh and healthy food tastes to processed foods any day. Bowl of oatmeal > Clif bar.” I also said that I was enjoying eating mindfully. So I know that I can do it again! And maybe one day I can master intuitive eating. Baby steps…
Here we go…wish me luck! (And join in if you want!)
Have any of you blogged about a personal health challenge? How did it go?