Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Whole Foods Challenge 2015

The Whole Foods Challenge

For 6 weeks beginning January 1 and ending February 12, challenge yourself to a completely whole foods diet. You will be surprised at your results. There will be prizes, and they will be given out based on a points system. Keep up with your points daily, add them all up at the end, and get them back to me by February 14. 

The points system (per day):
4= perfect day, no refined foods
3= 1 small refined food (condiment or chip)
2= 1 large refined treat (cookie, beer, slice of refined toast)
1= whole meal of refined food (pizza dinner, pancake breakfast, ice cream dessert)
0= more than 1 refined food throughout the day
Bonus points:
+1= 1 workout 
+2= 3+ cups of non-starch vegetables throughout the day
+3= dairy free and gluten free all day (ghee and grass fed butter are okay!)

1st place: 6 week personalized meal plan + 1 training session
2nd place: 3 training sessions + 1 training session for a friend
3rd place: 1 training session + 1 training sessions for a friend

Strongly encouraged but not required:
Before and after pictures
Measurements including weight, body fat, waist, and hips
Strength or time recordings (depending on your skill and goals)

Now, what are whole foods?

Whole foods are foods that are eaten very close to their original form. These are foods that have not been depleted of their nutrients. Think corn on the cob vs. tortilla chips, or grapes vs. grape fruit snacks. You shouldn’t find any ingredients in the label that you cannot pronounce, and there shouldn’t be many ingredients at all. Whole foods nourish your body and make you feel better, allowing you to perform at your optimal level. If you eat a diet rich with whole foods, you receive all the vitamins and minerals your body needs.

Refined foods are the opposite. Refined foods have been stripped of their vitamins and minerals in the process. This includes white rice, as opposed to long grain brown rice. Refined foods, since they are depleted of nutrients, strip your body of nutrients that you need to feel good. So besides just causing weight gain, refined sugar can not only throw off your hormonal balance, but also weaken your immune system and cause allergies.

More examples:
Whole Food:                            Refined Food:
Pure maple syrup                    Aunt Jamima’s pancake syrup
Unrefined Rapadura sugar      Cane sugar
Dried fruit                                 Fruit snacks
Steel cut oats                           Instant oatmeal
Ezekial sprouted grain bread   Wheat bread
Apples                                      Apple fritters
Butter                                       Margarine

Each meal should contain carbohydrates, fats, and protein, as all three are required by your body to function at it’s best.

Sample meals:
A. Veggie omelet cooked in olive oil or ghee
B. Oatmeal with peaches and honey
C. Strawberries and yogurt (no added sweeteners)
D. Boiled eggs with banana
A. Rotisserie chicken, brown rice, and spinach
B. Tuna, mixed green salad with olive oil
C. Salmon, broccoli, and quinoa
D. Ezekial bread sandwich with turkey, lettuce, and tomato
A. Steak, mixed greens, and sweet potato
B. Quinoa and bean chili, and mixed green salad
C. Baked chicken, asparagus, and brown rice
A. Boiled eggs and pear
B. Apple and cashews (nuts)
C. Ezekial sprouted grain toast with almond butter and apple
D. Greek yogurt (no added sweetener) and blueberries

Frequently asked questions:

1. What about dairy?
Dairy can be nourishing, but should be free of any additives, and from grass fed cows. Alternatives are great, such as almond milk, flax milk, cashew milk, hemp milk, or coconut milk (all unsweetened).

2. Are grains okay?
Many people have intolerances to grains, but they should be eaten in their whole form. Think barley, brown rice, buckwheat, millet, oats (not instant), quinoa, rye, and whole wheat.

3. What sweeteners are healthy?
Honey, 100% pure maple syrup, molasses, and 100% fruit juice are all great sweeteners.

4. Do foods have to be organic?
No. However, organic foods are better as they are grown naturally and without chemicals, so they are full of micronutrients.

5. What about energy drinks?
Coffee and tea are fine.

6. How can I eat whole foods at restaurants without just getting a salad?
You can always order broiled fish or other meat with a side of vegetables such as sweet potatoes and spinach.

7. Is alcohol allowed?
Alcohol is depleting of nutrients, so the it’s best to forego the alcohol until the end of the challenge, to get the most from your challenge.

8. What if I live out of the area for training? Can I still participate?
YES! You are greatly encouraged to participate. You will still get a reward equivalent to the one listed.

9. Does this cost money?
No. This challenge is purely for your benefit!

So in a nutshell, whole foods include:
Nuts and seeds
Eggs/grass fed dairy
No more than 5 ingredients in the label.

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