1.13.2011

Eat Right America 28 Day Challenge

I've been slowly evolving my diet toward the healthy end of the spectrum over the past few years. I LOVE fast food (McDonald's fries, Burger King's burgers, Wendy's chicken sandwiches, Taco Bell's...well, everything, you get the picture). I used to be able to eat all that crap like every day and never gain a pound, but now, things are a little different. I'm not just changing the way I eat because I don't want to be fat, though. There are also tons of health concerns that arise when you eat a diet full of sodium, fat, sugar, etc. I have a family history of many things, like heart attacks, blood clots, cancer, diabetes, the list goes on, and I want to do what I can to try to keep myself and my husband healthy.

Since we're off to Hawaii in 3 short (but painfully long) weeks, I've decided this is a great time to take the Eat Right America 28-day Challenge.  You can read more about it and join it for free by going here, but basically, you take a survey and then based on the survey, you're given a personalized health prescription and a meal plan for 28 days. The style of eating is based on a concept called "Nutritionarism" - simply put, a person who naturally gravitates toward a supremely healthy diet. The cornerstones are pretty basic - don't eat fried foods, barbecued or canned meat, or full fat dairy - but some other main focuses are on lowering your sodium intake dramatically and increasing your consumption of beans, nuts, fruits and vegetables. It uses the ANDI system to determine which foods are the best for you and gives you tons of recipes that help you incorporate as many of them as possible, daily. I found that a noble endeavor, and so we decided to embark on the journey of Nutritionarism on Monday, January 10th.

We set out for our preparatory grocery shopping trip on Saturday, and quickly found that this was no joke. About $300 later and more vegetables and fruit than I had probably consumed in the last month, we were ready to get started. Monday dawned bright and hungover (for me, since Sunday was my birthday and I thoroughly enjoy pink champagne), and I dutifully cooked up the breakfast in our plan. As I was making everything, I realized that the "Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal" I was making had two entire chopped apples and a quarter cup of blueberries in it. That's a LOT of fruit for two people. But, I made it according to the recipe and we noshed on bowls full of apples with a tiny bit of oatmeal :) By lunch, I was realizing the full extent of what we had gotten into.
 
Keith's Facebook status on Tuesday morning.


He actually forgot mushrooms in his above list, and he's not participating in the lunch portion. So, I had all of the above, plus avocados, pears, and spinach. To be sure, I felt great about eating all of these fruits & veggies. The recipes are actually quite flavorful and filling, and it's nice to know I'm doing the right thing for my body.

Today was the first day I cheated at all, and by cheating, I mean I had a Spinach, Feta & Egg White Wrap from Starbucks for breakfast and yellow curry with brown rice for lunch. I was running late this morning and didn't have time to pack anything. This is day four, and EVERYTHING TASTES SO SALTY. It's incredible. I've drank about 48 ounces of water already today and I'm still drinking water like crazy because my mouth tastes like salt. I'm actually craving a salad. So, I'd say the diet is working.

I'll keep you posted on it as things progress, but I wanted to explain the lack of recipe posting. I am cooking what's in the program and I don't have the rights to redistribute the recipes. Don't want a lawyer coming after me! But you can access all the recipes and get your own plan here. One last quick note, you definitely don't have to spend $300 on groceries to do the plan. I just went a little crazy, plus I bought everything at Whole Foods, PLUS, I live in Seattle, and things are pretty pricey here as the nationwide average goes :)  Just had to throw that out there!

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