Ready for challenge two?
I hope that you enjoyed Challenge One and will continue with your daily gratitude practice. The long term effects of gratitude are amazing so keep going if you can.
Challenge Two is focused on nutrition. Simply record your healthy meal upgrades using the Journal Tracker in the Health Storylines app every day this week. See below for more details.
Nutrition is a huge part of my life and when I first started dealing with my ankylosing spondylitis symptoms I played around with just about every diet out there. Vegan, Gluten Free, GAPS and Low Starch just to name a few. I had some reduction of pain but it was not until I found the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) and Paleo that I really saw massive improvements. Not sure if you are familiar with this diet or not but much of it’s focus is on adding in more nutrient dense foods and eliminating known inflammatory foods or foods that are commonly known to cause sensitivities.
The greatest thing I learned through Autoimmune Protocol and Paleo is to focus on nutrient density. I love this lifestyle and way of eating because you are focusing on adding in more amazing foods vs. focusing on what you can’t have. Many “diets” have a feeling of restriction and some people may feel the same way about the Autoimmune Protocol and standard Paleo (I eat this way 95% of the time) but if you think each day about how you can get a little more bang for your nutrition buck you are going to be doing so much good for your body and health. Paleo totally changed my perspective on food. Instead of focusing on what I could not eat I focused on how to “upgrade” all the foods I was eating and focus on the nutrients these foods were giving my body. If you consume a standard American diet or eat a lot of process foods the reality is you are probably lacking in vital nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy and to begin healing. When eating a healthy, whole diet if you think about what you can eat vs. what you can’t and work to upgrade each meal you will take massive steps to better overall healthy.
Ready for Challenge Two? This week my challenge to you is to see where you can add more whole, nutrient dense foods into each meal and also think about ways to upgrade those meals. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- If you are not already eating organic consider switching some, if not all of your fruits and veggies to organic. Need a place to start. Here is a list of the dirty dozen. These fruits and veggies have the highest levels of pesticides.
- Avoid GMO’s. If you are eating anything from a package if it’s not organic and contains soy, corn, canola oil or sugar it most certainly contains GMO’s.
- Read ingredient labels. I personally don’t focus much on the calories in food, instead I read the ingredients. If I buy anything with a label I want to make the ingredients are as clean and whole as possible. It’s not the calories that matter so much it’s the quality of the ingredients. Our bodies were never meant to consume all the artificial chemicals in processed food.
- Speaking of packaged foods instead of eating something from a package make it yourself at home.
- Instead of dining out at a restaurant think about the meal you are craving and how you can cook it for yourself and family using clean, whole ingredients.
- Switch from industrial vegetable oils high in Omega 6 fatty acids like Canola, Grapeseed, Corn, Soybean, Safflower and Sunflower. These oils are in almost all processed foods and many people use them for cooking at home. Instead use Avocado, Ghee and Virgin Coconut for cooking and roasting and Olive or MCT for topping salads or cold entrees. Oils have a smoking point and it is important to stay below that for cooking to avoid oxidation.
- Switch from Iodized Salt to Celtic or Pink Himalayan Sea Salt to introduce trace minerals into your diet.
- If you just have to have a little sweetness in your life instead of using processed Cane Sugar use Raw Honey, Dates or Maple Syrup instead. Your body still has the same response to these sweeteners however, they are a major upgrade from processed white sugar and contain trace minerals.
- If you love smoothies think about adding in as many vegetables as you can and only using a small portion of fruit. Berries are my favorite and give you the biggest nutrient bang for your buck. They are low in sugar and high in antioxidants. One of my favorite veggie add ins is frozen Cauliflower. It sounds a little crazy but don’t knock it until you try it. I also love Celery, Spinach, Kale, Avocados, Frozen Beets, Cilantro and Parsley.
- Add fresh herbs to everything. Fresh herbs are high in polyphenols which have antioxidant properties.
- Get more healthy fats in your diet from Coconut, Avocados, Raw Nuts and Seeds, Grass Fed Beef, Pasture Raised Eggs, MCT Oil, Wild Salmon or other Fatty Fish and 85% or higher cacao Dark Chocolate (eating the right chocolate is good for you!).
- Upgrade your morning coffee with Healthy Fats, Raw Cacao, Pasture Raised Collagen, Turmeric and Coconut Milk. And if you are hooked on those store bough creamers make your own. Simply blend together a can of coconut milk, a few teaspoons of either raw honey or maple syrup, a vanilla bean or a splash of vanilla extract and a bit of pink hymelian sea salt.
- Use organic vs. conventional coffee. Conventional coffee has high amounts of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides which are used during growing. If you are a daily coffee drinker switching to organic is so important.
- Replace you morning drink with a Matcha Tea. Matcha is crazy high in antioxidants and a wonderful substitute for coffee.
- Add Turmeric to EVERYTHING. I love sprinkling this super spice on everything and adding it wherever I can. Turmeric is amazing at reducing inflammation.
- If you consume animal products switch from conventional to Pasture Raised. There is a massive difference in the nutrient profile of pasture raised vs. conventional. Not to mention the humane treatment of the animals.
- Add lemon to your water each morning to jump start digestion.
- Consume apple cider vinegar either in a glass of water each morning (can add to your lemon water too) or in the foods you eat. Braggs is my favorite brand.
- Make your own salsa or blend up a delish green sauce and eat on everything. Here are a few of my favorite recipes. Detoxifying Parsley Cilantro Sauce, Chimichurri, Dandelion Walnut Pesto, Peach Salsa, Simple Mango Salsa, Pepita Pesto
- Buy at least 7 different vegetables at the beginning of the week an pre-cook or prepare them for the week ahead of time so they are ready to go. This way it will be easy to have a number of veggies added to each meal.
- Replace farmed seafood with wild.
- Shake up how you eat your veggies. One of my favorite ways to get a ton of veggies into a meal is to make a blended soup. They are so easy. Just saute things like onions, garlic, leeks or shallots in a healthy fat in a large pot. Then add any veggies of your choice. Fill to cover the veggies with either filtered water, veggie broth or bone broth, bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Allow to simmer until veggies are soft. Cool on your stove top and then blend in a high speed blender until smooth. To make it creamy add in coconut milk or grass fed cream. Here are some of my favorite recipes. Butternut Squash Cauliflower Soup, Smoked Cauliflower Soup With Brussel Sprouts + Bacon, Asparagus Blood Orange Soup, Paleo Cheesy Broccoli Soup, Purple Cauliflower Soup With Garlic Sage Olive Oil
- Replace at least one alcoholic beverage with sparkling water either plain or with a splash of your favorite fresh squeezed fruit juice. I love adding tangerine and grapefruit to my sparkling water. Kombucha is another great option. Oh, and drink it in a fancy glass. It makes all the difference.
These are a few ideas to get you started. If you have additional ideas please share!
Ready, Set, Go…. Challenge Time
The first step is to set up your free account on healthstorylines.com if you have not already.
Challenge Two Instructions:
1. Use the ideas above to upgrade at least one of your meals each day.
2. Record how you upgraded your meal in Health Storylines app in the Journal section.
3. If you feel comfortable and want to share how you upgraded you meals or got more nutrient dense foods into your diet take a screen shot and post on your Instagram, Instagram Stories or Facebook and hashtag #wholelovelylifeupgrade so we can engage with each other’s posts. And, if you are ok with it (I will get your permission before sharing) I will repost on my Instagram Stories.
Let’s continue to inspire each other!
If you need any help using the Health Story Lines app check out this amazing video!
If you missed my earlier challenges you will find them here!