What’s Nutrition Got to Do with It? Take the 21 Day Challenge!
You’re probably wondering why a professional motivational speaker is bothering to talk about nutrition in her blog…
Well I’m going to let you in on a secret – eating well is one of the best anti-depressants that exists! The right food can give you the energy you need to get everything done, plus keep you in a good mood while you’re doing it.
With that in mind, I’d like to challenge you to eat healthy for 21 days, following a few nutritional guidelines. And yes, I have tried this challenge myself! At first I thought it would only be possible if I was asleep, but then I decided I had nothing to lose taking it on.
The first few days were very challenging for me (and don’t be discouraged if they’re hard for you too!). It took about three days to come off sugar, but after the third day my sugar cravings decreased. Then, I started to feel the difference and noticed a number of positive changes: I had more energy, had minimal bloating, and slept more soundly.
As a result of those positive changes, I have instituted many of these guidelines in my life beyond the 21 day challenge.
Like me, you may find that you will want to change your eating habits once you see how good you feel eliminating or reducing some of the foods that are listed in the challenge.
Without further ado, here is the 21 Day Eating Challenge:
Energize Yourself: 21 Day Eating Challenge
- No Dairy:
Humans are the only species to continue to drink milk after infancy. After age 2 we lose the digestive enzyme renin, which is responsible for allowing us to digest milk. Dairy is an immune system stressor, and everyone is allergic to cow diary to some extent. This includes milk, butter, cream, yogurt, ice cream, and cheese.
If you’re concerned about calcium, here are some other sources of calcium: almonds (almond milk, almond butter, etc.), sesame butter (tahini), tofu, sardines, leafy green vegetables, sunflower seeds, and flaxseed.
- No Starches:
No corn products, no white potatoes, no rice, and no breads. Try cauliflower (process it and spice it up) instead!
- No Processed Foods:
If it comes from the freezer section or in a box – don’t eat it. Whenever a food is refined or processed, the natural fiber is taken out. Fiber is what balances our blood sugar.
Avoid all nitrates, especially in bacon and sausage. Grass fed and without nitrates is best.
- No Grains:
Not even corn. Wheat has gluten and all grains have a very high glycemic index – which means that these foods carry sugar too rapidly into the bloodstream, causing a spike and a crash.
- No Alcohol:
Avoid booze completely during the challenge. When you are done, you may opt for organic red wine or aim to only have alcohol once or twice a week.
- Eat Meat:
Try to focus on moderate to high animal protein. Eat a variety of poultry, seafood, red meats, and eggs –grass fed if possible.
- Eat Vegetables:
Eat as many and as much fresh or frozen vegetables as you want! Go organic if you can.
- Eat Fruit and Fruit Juices:
Eat fruits and drink juices. Go for organic juice and non-blends with no added sugars. In fact, it’s better if you juice it yourself! If you are trying to lose weight, limit your intake of this category.
- Cook with High Quality Oils:
Coconut and organic olive oil are both good, healthy oils to cook with. Avoid corn, cottonseed, peanut, soybean, rice bran, and wheat germ oils. Avoid any foods made with these oils (such as chips and mayo).
- Use Sea Salt:
Do not use iodized salt; go for unrefined sea salt instead. A good sea salt should be coarse and grey in color.
- Eliminate Artificial Sweeteners:
Eliminate diet pop and artificial sweeteners. I added this to my 21 day challenge after consulting a professional nutritionist and looking into the research done on the subject.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Victor Frankl
After taking on the 21 Day Challenge, I changed many of my eating habits and incorporated a greater variety of vegetables (like kale) into my diet.
Some things I could not give up on a permanent basis were good cheese, chocolate, and wine – life didn’t seem as much fun without them! However, it was a good experience to cut them out for 21 days and see how I felt.
If you want to be healthier and fight fatigue, this eating challenge is the perfect project to tackle! After the first few days of detox, you’ll have more energy and motivation to take on the stressors of everyday life.
Meg Soper is a motivational humorist speaker who can help you learn to take on daily stressors, create balance in your life, and laugh along the journey. Get in touch with Meg today!
See Meg’s speaking for yourself! Watch these clips.
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