I am very excited--one week from today is the beginning of our 30 Day Challenge. February 1st--Let the journey begin!
A Whole Food Plant Based, (WFPB) lifestyle does not need to be complicated--it can be extremely simple. Now, with that being said, let me just say if you are eating a Standard American Diet, (SAD), fried chicken, cheese burgers, pizza smothered with cheese and dripping with oil, doughnuts, pastries, french fries, chicken wings, etc., transitioning over to a WFPB "diet" may be slightly "challenging" in the beginning. However, this is a CHALLENGE after all.
Why will this be challenging? Because your taste buds are "used to" those highly addictive substances--when you eat a SAD, the foods are loaded with salt, sugar and fat--ingredients our taste buds "love", but wreak havoc with our body. These foods damage our health, (high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity), and pack the pounds on us easily.
However, once we get away from these types of food, our palate WILL CHANGE. It will not happen overnight...it takes a little time, but once we get over that hump, the cravings are gone and the whole foods taste delicious. The secret to success with this way of eating is to completely abstain from the foods that are making us sick--that means, don't let yourself take just "one bite" of that chicken or pizza or cookie--if you keep giving yourself "just one", you will never allow yourself to lose that "craving". Once you completely get rid of that food, the craving for it will disappear.
This way of eating can be as simple as you want it to be. We are choosing foods from Four Food Groups:
1. Vegetables--this group includes non-starchy vegetables as well as starchy vegetables (potatoes, squash, corn, etc.)
2. Fruits--all fruit
3. Whole Grains--oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice as well as many other whole grains
4. Legumes--chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, black beans, cannelini beans, white beans, red beans, etc.
A typical day of eating could look like this: Breakfast--oatmeal with cinnamon and fruit. Lunch-- veggie loaded salad with a giant bowl of soup. Dinner--salad, vegetable stir-fry, and fruit crumble for dessert. If you are truly hungry in between meals, have a piece of fruit or vegetables dipped in hummus (oil-free).
Batch cooking is another GREAT TIP to make this successful. Because we will be eating a lot of potatoes, rice, whole grains, vegetables and beans, by cooking these dishes in advance, putting meals together during the week will be easy! For instance, I roast cookie sheets full of potatoes once a week as well as making a batch of rice. I also make a big pot of soup once a week. By doing this, you are not spending hours in the kitchen preparing food everyday. Let's face it, no one has time to do that.
If you have your "staple" foods prepared and ready to go, you would be able to come home from work, take a cooked potato out of the refrigerator, stir fry some vegetables, (fresh or frozen, it doesn't matter), with a tasty sauce, microwave your potato just to heat it through and pour those vegetables on top of it and dinner is done! How long will that take you? About 10-15 minutes tops--talk about "fast food"!!
So, at this point, you should be starting to clean out your kitchen of all the foods we will not be eating during this 30 Day Challenge, and start stocking up on potatoes, rice, beans, all kinds of vegetables and fruits. I typically buy a lot of frozen vegetables and fruits this time of year because they are cheaper. I do make GIANT salads everyday, so I tend to stick to fresh vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, bell peppers, cucumbers, onions, etc., to make my salads. Also, the salads that I eat as a "meal" contain potatoes, rice, beans, etc. This way of eating is not just about eating vegetables, you MUST eat starches also to keep yourself feeling full and satisfied.
Foods to stock up on this week:
- Potatoes, white and or sweet
- Brown rice (Success rice has a boil-in-bag version which is fine but more pricey than bagged brown rice)
- Frozen vegetables--get a variety
- Frozen fruit
- Legumes--any kind you like--black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, white beans, etc.
- Whole grains--oatmeal, (the cooked kind, not instant), quinoa, barley, etc.
So, get that kitchen cleaned out and sharpen your knives--February 1st will be here before you know it!!
Fail to plan, plan to fail.......