Lifetime 90 Challenge Part 1: The Change can be found here.
I fully intended to post Part 2 the day after Part 1… but as you can see #momlife got the best of me. Nonetheless, here are my ideas, guidelines,and “must-haves” for succeeding at eating clean.
When I started the Lifetime 90 Day Challenge I was given a list of food to eat and not to eat. It’s intimidating, beware! 🙂
Anything with a bar code
Anything low-fat or no fat
No soy, tofu or edamame (estrogen)
No bread, pasta/noodles
No cereal, breakfast bars, snack bars, granola bars, oatmeal
No deli meat
Anything fried or breaded
No pastries, cookies, cakes, pies or candy
No agave nectar or honey (unless raw)
No white potatoes
No chips, crackers, corn, popcorn
No waffles or pancakes
No soda pop, sweetened drinks, or fruit juice
No fake butter or margarine
No canola oil, vegetable oil, hydrogenated oil
FRESH vegetables (7-9 servings a day): limit beets, carrots, peas and sweet potatoes
Meat- fish, chicken, pork (BACON), turkey, beef. Wild caught, pasture-raised, nitrate/nitrite free, grasss-fed respectively, if possible. Broil, grill, bake or braise.
Eggs- organic, pasture raised if possible. No more than 10/week.
Dairy- plain Greek yogurt, cheese, sour cream, cottage cheese, whole milk, butter. NO low-fat or no fat.
Nuts/Seeds- raw almonds and walnuts. 1-1.5ounces/day.
FRESH fruit- 1 to 2 servings per day. Only 1 banana per week.
Fats and Oils- Coconut Oil for high-heat cooking, EVOO for low-heat cooking and cold as a dressing. Butter, ghee, macadamia nut oil, flax seed oil, sesame oil, avocados, olives, hummus, nuts
BUY THESE ORGANIC: The Dirty Dozen
Apples, Bell Peppers, Blueberries, Celery, Cherries, Grapes, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Potatoes, Spinach/Lettuce/Kale, Strawberries
When I looked at this list, I was shocked and pretty positive I would never survive the first week… let alone 90 days! BUT, I was determined to see a change in my life. So, I decided to look at it as an opportunity to try new and intimidating foods. Brussels sprouts, jicama, and kale were all in my basket after my first grocery trip. None had I ever tried!
After the first week of the new “diet”, I realized that I was eating all the time- trying to satiate my cravings for carbs. I missed feeling full after a meal, but little did I know how sluggish that feeling was. As the second week closed, Josh asked me how I felt…. I took a step back and realized I felt GREAT. I didn’t crave carbs and I really felt like “food is fuel.” Eating gave me energy and kept me going throughout the day. It was a whole new take on food for me!
Need a few ideas?
Breakfast: I personally am not the biggest fan of breakfast and/or eggs so this was the hardest part of the diet for me to implement. I usually grab a coffee right away, and then finally reach for a granola bar around 11 to keep me alive til lunch. 🙂 Nonetheless, I had to learn to adapt to healthier habits. These are my go to foods for breakfast:
1. So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer- dairy-free coffee creamer. Yummy!
2. Fage Plain Greek Yogurt- mix with a half scoop of protein powder and a little almond butter for a delicious super easy breakfast. Add berries as available.
3. Optimum Nutrition Double Chocolate Protein Powder: Mix with plain Coconut Milk/Almond Milk, ice, plain Greek yogurt, and a little coffee grounds for an amazing morning smoothie!
4. Lifetime Fitness Vanilla Whey Protein- I’m not really a fan of vanilla protein powder, but this is super yummy with Coconut Milk/Almond Milk, ice, plain Greek yogurt, spinach and strawberries.
5. Justin’s Almond Maple Butter- this is my favorite almond butter. It’s definitely a “cheat” because it has added sugar… but, it’s amazing. Sometimes, I just eat a spoonful for breakfast when I can’t convince myself to eat anything else.
6. Apples- this was the easiest way to ease myself into eating breakfast because I could eat it in the car or on the go.
7. Eggs- if I’m feeling motivated, I scramble one up and heat up the bacon 🙂
8. Bacon- Nitrate/Nitrite Free with eggs! I bake a package of bacon every week and then just keep it in the fridge.
Lunch and Dinner: The main advice I can give is to keep food prepped. Bake or grill a bunch of chicken once a week so that you can reach for good foods instead of sandwiches/frozen food/etc. at meal times.
1. Organic Herb Mix- salads are a great summer meal- just mix it up so you don’t get bored! I like this salad mix with carrots, cucumber, a little goat cheese, sesame seeds, EVOO/Balsamic dressing… and add chicken/steak for protein.
2. Cauliflower- My new favorite food! Seriously, you can make it into so many comfort food favorites! Cauliflower “Fried Rice“, Mashed Potatoes, Pizza Crust (I haven’t tried this yet, but heard it is great!), Tortillas.
3. Organic Spinach- my favorite salad! Mix with berries, apples or grapes. Add feta cheese, chopped almonds or pecans, chicken and I usually cheat with Poppysead dressing. 🙂 If you’re feeling more diligent, try this.
More Ideas not pictured:
Honey-Mustard Bacon-Wrapped Chicken– this is a go-to meal in our house. Ingredients that we always have on hand, easy to make, and delicious.
Zoodles– Zuccini “pasta”. I just use a vegtable peeler and fry with a little butter, garlic, mushrooms, bacon and balsamic. Add chicken- or try the meatballs from this recipe!
Lettuce Wraps- Use that chicken you keep on hand and wrap with iceburg lettuce. Add tomatoes, avocado, olives and anything else you have on hand.
Lettuce-Wrap Burgers- pretty self explanatory. This is a great option at Red Robin or when you are out to eat too!
Stuffed Bell-Peppers- a great recipe to have in your pocket for company. Looks way harder than it is and tastes amazing!
Spaghetti Squash– fill those Italian food cravings!
Snacks: the best
worst part of this diet…
1. Nuts- My favorite thing is Pistachios because they take a long time to eat and are great for those times that I want a snack just to keep my hands busy.
2. Carrots and Hummus- protein and fresh!
3. Dark Chocolate- organic is best, but really I just love any kind of dark chocolate. Dark chocolate covered nuts for variation.
4. Kale Chips– yummy! But let’s be honest, they don’t taste anything like real chips.
These are just my ideas and I know there are a million more. Pinterest is filled to the brim with Paleo/Gluten-Free living ideas.
If you aren’t feeling up for a huge lifestyle change, but want to eat and feel better, give Gluten-Free living a chance. Organic grocers (Whole Foods, Sprouts, Trader Joes) carry everything from bread to crackers to chips in gluten-free options! There are lots of choices- you just have to look for them!
Feel free to email if you have any questions! I am by no means an expert and mostly just did what I was told, but I love to see other moms succeed at their goals!
Part 3: Exercise… coming soon!