Will You Join Us? All About Our 2016 Food Day Challenge

Our Food Day Challenge begins Monday, October 31st!

I want to welcome all those who have signed up.

And for all of you who have not had a chance to get on board yet, here is the link to join.

Wondering what the Food Day Challenge is?

Vegetables: SpinachIt is a 100 percent complimentary journey where individuals from all over the world ‘dip their toes’ into a whole food, plant-based experience for 21 days.

Three weeks where we come together to learn exactly how to adopt a plant-based lifestyle.

A whole food, plant-based diet based solely on fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and nuts is probably one of the biggest gifts you could give your body.

Think of it as your very own nutritional revolution.

One that could change your health—and your life—forever.

And during the Challenge, we will be there guiding and supporting you every single step of the way.

We are so excited to get started!

A Few Basic Guidelines

Before we get into our new Menu Book (you are going to love it!), we will first share a few tips to keep in mind as we prepare for the Challenge kick-off next Monday:

1. Avoid/Reduce SOS:strawberry

  • Sugar: Dump the white stuff as much as possible. However, feel free to partake in nature’s natural sugars that you find in fruit.
  • Oils: If you eat 100 percent plant-based but add oil to your salads and meals, you may tilt your diet out of balance and cancel out your good work. Here are some tips on how to cook without oil.
  • Salt: Salt is another ingredient you should keep in check as it may contribute to hypertension and other chronic diseases. Put down the salt shaker and use herbs to spice up your plant-based meals instead.

2. Eat the Fab Four: The Fab Four —i.e. greens, beans, berries, and seeds are the most health-promoting plant-based foods on the planet. Make sure to fill your plate with greens and beans every day and eat berries and seeds (especially flax seed) often.

3. Enjoy! The Food Day Challenge is designed to be a fun, invigorating time to review and renew your eating habits. You will be amazed at all the delicious food you can eat.

4. Keep It Simple: Stick to a few ingredients and easy recipes. The simpler you keep the process, the more likely you will stick to it. And use recipes you know you enjoy.

5. Say No to Processed: Even if a packaged food is labeled ‘vegan’ or ‘plant-based,’ do your best to eat unprocessed or minimally processed plant foods. When shopping, make a beeline to the produce section and fill your cart with yummy whole foods!

Introducing a Brand New Menu Book

spoon of brown seeds or nutsThis year we have an exciting addition that you are really going to love—a custom-designed Menu Book for the 2016 Food Day Challenge!

Filled with everything you will ever need to follow a plant-based diet, it includes recipes, menus, shopping lists, resources, and much more.

Here is a recap of some highlights:

The Recipes

From the get-go, we supply you with enough recipes for the entire three-week journey.

To add some fun this year, we have divided each week into a culinary theme:

  • Week 1: Latin American Flavors
  • Week 2: Mediterranean with Italian Accents
  • Week 3: Middle Eastern and Asian Cuisine

Our recipes are both comprehensive and customizable:

  • Comprehensive: Each day will have its own lunch and dinner recipes, and we have included sections that will give you options for breakfast, snack, weekly salads and oil-free plant-based salad dressings.
  • Customizable: You can follow the menus in the order we are suggesting, or you can repeat any theme (or recipe!) you really love. Since each meal idea is brimming with wholesomeness, there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to do things.

Additions

To enhance the recipes and make the challenge even easier, we have included some great additions, like:

  • sep-21-_satfat-obesity_body8_-avocado_93231791_1Shopping Lists: Each recipe has its own shopping list. We also provide you with weekly lists to make your trip to the grocery store stress-free.
  • Batch Cooking: Batch cooking is a lifesaver for all of us who are short on time. In the Menu Book, we explain how to prepare in advance and batch cook for a variety of foods (e.g. dried beans, legumes, whole grains) so you can get most of the work done for the entire week in a single day.
  • Two Servings: This year we have scaled each recipe down to two servings each, allowing you to adapt no matter how many people sit down to eat. So if you are preparing a table for one, you will have a reasonable portion to eat. If you are a family, the two-serving portion can be doubled or tripled so there is plenty for everyone.
  • Calorie Density Information: Our recipes do not include calories per serving because we believe that ‘calorie density’ is a better way to keep track of nutrition. Remember that a whole food, plant-based diet is not about portion control or counting calories!

Calorie density is defined as the ‘measure of a number of calories in a food compared to its weight.’ It is essential to learn how to pick the foods, which give you the most nutrition for their caloric content. For example, fruits have 140-420 calories per pound and are rich in fiber and nutrients, while oils have about 4,000 calories per pound and have zero fiber and very few nutrients.

Being mindful of calorie density allows you to get the best bang for your caloric buck.

To help you know the calorie density of ingredients in each of the recipes, we have implemented a color-coded system as follows:

  • Green: Low-calorie density
  • Yellow: Medium-calorie density
  • Orange: High-calorie density
  • Red: Very high-calorie density

If you want to lose weight, here are two quick tips to lower your calorie density:Close-up of blueberries with water drops on white background

1. Think Salads: Start each meal with a salad or soup and make sure that half of your plate is filled with green leafy and/or non-starchy vegetables. Keep prewashed mixed greens, lettuce or baby spinach ready to go. On shopping day, buy non-starchy veggies that you can easily add to your greens, like asparagus, bell peppers, onion, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, snap peas.

Wash, cut and store them in separate containers. When you get hungry, you can prepare a huge salad in less than five minutes.  You may also add berries for sweetness or nuts for crunch, but if you are trying to lose weight, go light on the nuts (no more than an ounce per day).

And remember to keep your favorite ready-to-use oil-free dressing in stock – or even better, make your own at home! The Menu Book includes over 21 delicious and easy to make oil-free plant-based dressings.

2. Replace Ingredients: You can always modify recipes by taking out or replacing some of the ingredients, which have a high-calorie density. These are foods like avocados, seeds, and nuts. In the “notes” section of each recipe, we have indicated the ingredients you may want to eliminate or substantially reduce if one of your goals is to lose weight.

A Terrific Support System!

spoon of grainsLast but not least, our Menu Book is backed up by a very active support system.

Through daily emails and our private Facebook group, you will be able to ask questions, hear answers, receive advice, listen to stories, and get (and give!) emotional support.

This might be your own personal journey.

But with our 21-Day Food Day Challenge, you are definitely not alone.

So for those of you who have already joined, look out for an email with your very own copy of the Menu Book.

And if you have not signed up yet, what are you waiting for?

This challenge is 100 percent complementary, lots of fun, and will get you in great form for the holiday season.

Just go here now to join us.