January 2021 Wellness Food Challenge (Your Food Guide)!
If you have been following us, you know we started a Wellness Challenge this month! This week we are focusing on food and I wanted to share more of the details here for those who want to still join in! You can follow us on our youtube channel and facebook page to stay updated and see tons of tips and swaps.
What's the challenge for food?
We are doing a non-inflammatory food challenge. What does this mean? Dietary choices have a dramatic impact on inflammation! At the right time and place inflammation is good and necessary (like a physical injury, or life and death situation), but when our body gets stuck into a place of a constant cycle in it, it wears it down and creates other health problems. A lot of foods in our world now are inflammatory. They have been altered, processed, grown with pesticides, animals pumped with antibiotics and hormones, and more.
Our food just simply isn't the way it used to be. Ideally getting organic, non-gmo, homegrown, or locally grown food is best. Although not everyone can switch to that right now, we can still make healthy choices with the types of food we eat and the nutrition we get from it. Start somewhere, even if it's with one food. You only get one body, its time to take care of it. If you want to flourish in life and be there for your family, you got to start with yourself. Remember to be patient. Implementing all this doesn't happen in one day. Daily we can make a better choice as we learn.
Among the worst food for inflammation is sugar and gluten. They can cause inflammation in any organ and cell in your body.
In this challenge we are avoiding: cow dairy (milk, cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, ice cream, butter), corn, soy, canola and vegetable oil, gluten (grains like wheat), white and brown rice, and sugar (all the processed foods including breads, sweets, and cereals, and cane sugar). Other food to avoid are ones that you are allergic to, remember this causes inflammation!
Guess what?! You get to have all of these:
Good fats- raw cacao butter, olives, cod live oil, fish oil, avocados, avocado oil, coconut, ghee (clarified butter without casein protein), coconut cream, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, extra virgin olive oil, nuts and seeds, grass-fed beef tallow, organic or pasture raised bacon fat, duck fat, nut butters, etc.
* Avoid oils like canola & vegetable oil.
2. Clean Proteins- grass-fed and finished beef, bone broth protein, lamb, buffalo, pastured pork and bacon, wild caught fish, free range poultry & eggs, wild meats (venison, elk, caribou, pheasants, etc). Eat proteins first in meals.
* avoid soy meat alternatives! If you are going to choose one food group to buy organic, make it your meat.
3. Vegetables- kale, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, spinach, lettuce, arugula, micro greens, sprouts, peas, carrots, turnips, beets, cucumber, tomato, onions, garlic, green beans, sweet potatoes, potatoes, zucchini, squash, chives, radishes, herbs, etc.
*If your goal is weight loss, also avoid :sweet potatoes & potatoes as they are higher in natural sugar.
4. Other foods- lentils, chickpeas, beans, wild rice, quinoa, mayo( no added sugar, soy, or canola oil), gluten free oats.
* If your goal is weight loss avoid oats!
5. Fruit- blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, black berries, gooseberries, apples (green Granny Smith are best as they are lowest in sugar), currants, melons, etc.
* If your goal is weight loss or lowering blood sugar avoid ALL fruits except berries and green apples as these are the lowest in natural sugar. Have fruit in small amounts and ideally with a protein or fat.
6. Sweeteners- stevia, birch xylitol, monk fruit, raw honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar.
* If your goal is weight loss or lowering blood sugar then avoid honey, coconut sugar, and maple syrup!
7. Drinks- Water (make sure to drink enough!), zevia, carbonated water, kombucha, kefir water, green tea, herbal tea, organic coffee, homemade sugar free lemonade, etc.
* If your goal is weight loss stay away from fruit juices and drink plenty of water!
* Flours-Almond, coconut, walnut, pecan, cassava flours. These are great replacers! If your goal is weight loss, avoid or limit your cassava intake.
* Sweeteners- sweet luv (stevia granules), and monk fruit are great alternatives! Swerve also works ( this has sugar alcohol which we do not recommend but is better than cane sugar).
Other items for cooking and swaps:
* Coconut aminos instead of soy sauce- this is a yummy alternative to soy and takes better in my opinion for a stir fry or marinade!
* Primal kitchen mayo or follow your heart vegenaise- you can find great organic options without canola or soy for mayo or vegan mayo if allergic to eggs.
* Sea Salt & Pink Himalayan salt- say goodbye to your iodized toxic salt! Get some great Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt and flavor your food deliciously!
* Noodles- Trade in wheat and egg noodles for lentil, bean, quinoa, or chickpea noodles! These taste great and you won't even know the difference! Great for cold pastas or warm noodles.
*Milk-instead of cow milk try goat, almond, coconut, macadamia, walnut, flax, etc. If your goal is weight loss stay away from rice and oat milk!
*Cheese- trade cow cheese in for goat, sheep, coconut, or some vegan cheese. If you do get vegan cheese make sure to get one without canola oil, soy, or other bad ingredients.
* Stevia brands- sweet leaf, omica organics, sweet luv, pure mountain botanicals.
*Chocolate - yes you can have it as long as it is raw with no added sugar. Lily's brand is great, just make sure to get the one without milk in it. Cacao nibs are great for smoothies, smoothie bowls, and more!
Remember to KISS (keep it simple stupid). If this seems overwhelming to you, start with one thing at a time and keep it simple! No need to get stressed. Remember to eat plenty of veggies (more than fruits), clean proteins, enough fats, limit fruits, and have plenty of water!
May this year of 2021 be a year of restoration and transformation for you and your family. Remember, you will get out of it what you put into it. You got this!