What’s Your 30 Day Food Challenge?

I am hoping that everyone has been thinking about something they want to change (food-wise) in a positive way over a period of 30 days. As many of my constant readers know, I’ve selected a Food Challenge to follow a more Paleo diet – which includes the exclusion of wheat products and all those junky processed foods.  Many Paleo followers also exclude dairy from their diet – but I’m not going to do that.  I don’t eat a huge amount of dairy anyway – so I’ll just make sure the dairy I do eat is healthy and not processed!

Currently reading….

I have started to read another book called The Paleo Solution, by Robb Wolf (click on the pic to check out his site). I’m only a few chapters in, but I like the writing style of the author so far – he’s sort of funny, and relate-able. I’m glad that I read a book on the whole no-wheat thing, because it definitely helps me have a better understanding of some of the principles behind eating more Paleo style – it all overlaps and comes together. I still feel like a bit of a novice because there is so much information out there – but I hope as I go through this next month or so, I’ll be learning it as I’m living it and able to share my ups & downs – and hopefully my success with you!

As a brief reminder – Paleo isn’t really a “diet.” It’s more of a way of life – returning to our roots and eating more like our ancestors did – natural, unprocessed food. It doesn’t involve counting calories, which is a big plus for me because I’m really tired of doing that. It encourages you to eat when you are hungry but isn’t forcing food down your throat 6-7 times a day. And while there are some things you aren’t supposed to eat – the reasons behind it make sense to me.

For example, I shouldn’t eat this giant piece of cake from the store because it’s all processed and junk. I can ask myself, WWCD? (What would CaveMan Do) – and if he wouldn’t have had that around to snack on, I should probably think twice about indulging. 🙂

I do believe there is a place for dessert and sweets, so I’ll be exploring ways to still indulge occasionally but I’m placing my bets that it will take a bit more preparation on my end. But like anything else, results are usually so much better when you put the effort into getting there, right?

As I’m wrapping up my first week of really spending time THINKING about the foods I normally eat and making some changes to see if I would die or not – I’m glad to say that not eating wheat hasn’t been THAT big of a deal this week. The biggest change is about what I snack on – and trying to be more aware of the ingredients in products that I buy like are they filled with unpronounceable ingredients? That is a red flag!

Starting next week, I’ll be moving more towards total integration of the Paleo diet – and this will mean a pantry renovation to get rid of products that don’t meet the primal eating standards! And really pushing myself to prepare more healthy snacks for during the day so I don’t ever feel like I’m starving myself – because that is NOT the point of this diet change. And i’ll say – I haven’t felt starved this week – the only times I’ve  been super hungry is when I didn’t plan my day out right and didn’t have time to eat a snack I’d prepared and that’s really my own fault.

Some of you have said you want to do a 30 day Food Challenge but you aren’t sure what you should pick. Here are some ideas for you:

1) Eat more local veggies & fruits (like buying this stuff from a farmer’s market vs canned items or at the grocery store)
2) Eat better meat – this means grass fed vs. grain fed – and try to buy from humanely raised organizations.
3) Maybe you just need to cut out the processed foods in general – too many 100 calories snack packs and breakfast from a box? This might be good for you.
4) Don’t eat out any fast food this month.
5) Cut caffeine out of your diet.
6) Reduce processed sugar in your daily nutrition (this will happen naturally if you do #3)
7) Drink only water!

So maybe these give you some ideas of things you can change up over the next 30 days – and maybe it will change your life. Maybe it will push you outside your comfort zone and you’ll learn something new about yourself. Maybe it will re-set your palate and you’ll discover you enjoy new foods (I’m hoping this will help expand my palate regarding fruit!).

Maybe it will just remind you that you have the power to make positive changes in your life – all you have to do is commit. I’d love to hear your 30 day challenges and how you are doing with them. You don’t have to start next week, or maybe you have already started….either way, I’ll be here for you along the way – whatever you decide. And by default, you’ll be here for me. Gee, thanks! 🙂

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7 Comments

Filed under Challenge, food, goals, health, Life, motivation, Real Food, resources, what i'm eating

7 responses to “What’s Your 30 Day Food Challenge?

  1. Great to see you encouraging others to eat well and clearly pointing out the difference between diet (aka nutritional depravation) and healthy choices…the 7 get started tips are a great start. Glad to find your blog.

    • Thanks! I think it’s so important to get healthy vs. just trying to “be thin” – so i try to push people to go about it in a healthy and educated way.

      I appreciate your like and your comment! 🙂

  2. Good for you for getting on the bandwagon! I’ll tell you, it’s really challenging. I’ve been attempting to do a Whole30–no sugars/grains/legumes/alcohol/dairy (I know!), but I can’t seem to make it past 15 days (and this last time I only lasted 7). Argh. With paleo, if you slip up, you just get back on the wagon the next day. The point of the Whole30 is to completely clear out your system of any inflammatory foods which takes time, so having a “slip” is the same thing as starting over. It’s so frustrating, and yet I still want to prove to myself I can do it! It’s ALL about being prepared. Even if you’re tired, always have some tuna in the pantry or hard boiled eggs or something in the freezer. You can’t just go “on the fly” and expect to make it through the rough patches. And prep everything early. But the socializing is the hardest part (at least for me as a single person). BBQs, picnics, nights out at the bar…they’re all ripe with problems. I’m going to keep plugging away at it, one day at a time! I feel better when I eat paleo, and I’m almost never hungry, and I like the food–it’s just a challenge to stay on the straight and narrow when there are terrible foods surrounding us!

    I requested the Robb Wolf book from the library through interlibrary loan, but haven’t gotten it yet. Glad it’s good! But I just put in an order for a few paleo cookbooks, and they should be here Saturday!

  3. Hi Dre! I’m so excited to see how this goes for you. The Paleo way of life is so intriguing to me. I have a couple of questions. Can meal planning count as my 30 day challenge? I’ve always WANTED to do it like you and RJ do, but talk myself out of it before really trying!

    My second question is what dairy products are not processed? Are there some that’s less processed than others? Can you elaborate on this one? For some reason, I thought if I was trying to avoid processed foods, I should also be avoiding dairy (which I’m not, yet). Ok, so that was several questions, but I’m fairly new paying attention to unprocessed v. processed foods, so it’s not very clear to me (yet).

    Anyways, we haven’t gone Paleo by any means, but about a year ago, I really started to focus on eating more fresh vegetables and less processed foods (haha the ones I can figure out, like raw foods). I feel like it’s finally more of a habit than an internal battle to put down the swiss cake rolls.

    Also, some of the best chocolate chip cookies I ever had were some paleo friendly cookie recipe. I have no idea what was in them…but they were awesome :-).

    • Hey Chrissy – i hope my blog today helps to answer some of your questions – you aren’t the only one asking them, i promise 🙂 Keep them coming because it helps me become more knowledgeable when I’m researching all the facts so i can properly answer! 🙂 And YES – you can absolutely count the make your meals in advance your challenge. Great idea 🙂

  4. WHOO HOO!!! This is going to be so exciting. I cannot wait to read more on what you do. I have currently been reading Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr… so one of my goals is to start cutting back on meat. Omg, this is going to be so hard for me…but hopefully it will pay off!

  5. Pingback: New Appreciation for Flavors | thirtystory

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