Whole Food Challenge

Meals below are grain-free, dairy-free and prepped using whole foods. Interested in trying a whole food based lifestyle? Use the tips below that I followed with my clients during a “Whole Food Nutrition Challenge”.  Some went for 7 days, other for 14 and some even went for 21 days!  Did you know it takes 21 days to create a good habit?!

Whole Food Based Nutrition Challenge
The intention in launching this challenge is to bring awareness to what we put into our bodies, experience the detox process (if any) then see how amazing you’ll feel in just a few days when your gut health begins to work at optimum level. We will primarily follow a whole foods based diet which include lean meats and fish, bountiful amounts of fruits & veggies, lots of healthy fats as well as fresh herbs and spices.
Acceptable Foods
Fruits of any kind – (frozen package is okay as long as the fruit is the only listed ingredient)
Vegetables of any kind – (frozen package is okay as long as the vegetable is the only listed ingredient)
Nuts of any kind – – – and their derivative butters (must be the only listed ingredient if buying packaged)
Seeds – – – and their derivative butters (must be the only listed ingredient if buying packaged)
Meats: beef, lamb, bison, elk, pork (preferably grass fed)
Poultry: chicken, turkey, eggs (preferably free-range or pasture raised and vegetable fed)
Fish: any fresh or frozen fish (preferably wild caught)
Cooking oils: Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil, Sesame, Toasted Sesame, Grapeseed (Cooking spray of the above oils are okay as long as no other ingredient is listed)
Herbs of any kind (rosemary, mint, sage, basil, parsley, cilantro, thyme, chives and more!)
Spices of any kind (cinnamon, cardamon, turmeric, cumin, paprika, garlic/onion powder, nutmeg, coriander, cloves and more!)
Beverages: water, sparkling water, mineral water, essence water and coffee (IN MODERATION, try half of normal consumption) (No additional listed ingredients, like added sweeteners)
Not Acceptable
Processed foods
Fast Food
Protein/workout specific powders
Salad dressings (try making your own!)
Butter & cheese
Tofu
Grains: wheat & flour products – bread, pasta, crackers, snack foods, baked goods as well as rice, corn, cereals, granola, oatmeal, etc.
Legumes: beans, lentils, peas
Bagged foods (unless listed in acceptable list)
Boxed foods (unless listed in acceptable list)
Sugars or added sweeteners
Sodas, juices, milks
Alcohol
After the Challenge
Keep it going! Okay, maybe not 100% or even 90% but stick to the general rule of thumb, 80/20. Strive to make 80% of your nutrition consumption based on whole foods while the other 20% can be some packaged items or dining out. Most of you have done well and completely cut out fast food, job well done!! If you haven’t already, CUT IT. Seriously. Dining out is different though. You can make excellent choices while dining out! Consider this transition a lifestyle change and not a diet.
Ease up on grains & legumes and processed sugar, they are not essential to the human diet! Sure they yield some nutritional benefits but those nutrients can be obtained from better whole food choices AND the potential cause of inflammation, digestion problems and hormone imbalances stomps the idea of consuming them. Take that into consideration. Know that there are tons of yummy alternative to grains in flour form for baking, vegetable starches instead of rice for high physical activity days and natural sweeteners like agave, honey and stevia leaf.

Please continue with your normal routine of prescribed medications and/or supplements

How to be prepared
Scroll down for meal and snack ideas. Check out “Paleo” websites like nomnompaleo.net, paleoleap.com, paleomg.com Write several ideas for each meal; breakfast, snacks, lunch & dinner. Write a new plan every two to three days and cook in advance BEFORE you run out of food. Share ideas with others!

Meals below are grain-free, dairy-free and prepped using whole foods.

grilled lamb patties

Ground lamb patty, grilled red & yellow bell peppers and avocado over a bed of baby spinach. Lamb and veggies simply marinated with olive oil, salt & pepper.

Grilled Portabello Mushroom caps topped with grilled yellow onions, purple bell peppers, basil pesto and pecan pieces. All marinated with Avocado Oil and a little sea salt & pepper. Served with baked sweet potato.

Italian Sausage over Acorn Squash, yum!  Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.  Cut squash in half, long ways and discard seeds. Drizzle with olive oil then sprinkle a dash of sea salt, pepper and cinnamon.  Place squash cut side down on foil lined baking pan and place in oven.  Bake for about 20-25min.

To make the sausage, I used ground chicken and mixed in
1 tbsp of fennel seeds
1 tbsp of granulated garlic
1 tbsp of died oregano
1 tsp of sea salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
Cook fully in pan on stove top.  When done, scoop sausage into acorn squash and enjoy it as a bowl!

Grilled Chicken thighs and Veggies!  Marinate chicken thighs (or breast) with olive oil, a little sea salt and pepper for a few hours. Separately, marinate your veggies of choice with olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Here, I used red bell peppers, crimini mushrooms and brussel sprouts. After a few hours, grill chicken first of med-high heat for about 3-5min a side.  Grill veggies and mushrooms for about 2-3min a side.  Let cool then chop it all up and place in serving size Tupperware for easy grab and go meals.

Protein Breakfast Smoothie – On mornings I’m short on time this is my quick go to meal:
1/2 frozen banana
1/2c frozen blackberries
1/8c homemade peanut butter
1 cup of egg whites (raw, consume on your own risk) egg whites will yield 24g of protein.  I buy fresh fruit and freeze it myself. Blend it all up and enjoy this thick beauty!

Homemade Peanut Butter!  Simply add a bag of unsalted peanuts into a powerful blender. I use a Breville Blender and give it 3 to 4 turns on setting #2.

Homemade Peanut Butter and celery sticks make a yummy snack!

Chop a whole cantaloupe and place into serving size Tupperware for an easy grab and go snack or to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders

Ingredients:
16oz boneless, skinless chicken tenders or breast cut into strips
2 whole eggs
1/4c olive oil

1c of almond flour
1c of pecan pieces
1 tbsp of garlic powder
1/2 tbsp of pepper
1/2 tbsp of onion powder
1/2 tbsp of paprika
1/2 tbsp of cayenne
1/2 tbsp of dried oregano
1/2 tbsp of thyme
1/2 tsp of sea salt

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a processor, blend pecan pieces and almond flour until fine. Place mix into a bowl big enough to dip the chicken then add all the spices and herbs. Mix thoroughly with fingers. In a separate bowl, mix eggs and olive oil together. Prep a baking sheet by spraying it with a non stick oil. Piece by piece, dip a chicken tender into the egg/oil mix then spice mix back into egg/oil mix and again in the spice mix. Do this for each piece and place on baking sheet.
Bake until golden, about 15-20min.

sauteed veggies with chard and protein

Sauteed purple potatoes, rainbow chard, zucchini, crimini mushrooms, green onions & red bell pepper.  Here, I’ve got the choice of mixing with ground chicken or sauteed shrimp.

strawberries

Beautiful Organic Strawberries

steak

Grilled steak topped with sauteed white onions and avocado.

simple salad

Simple Salad

portobella and salmon

Layered Protein Punch! This tastes waaay better than it looks! Grilled portabello mushroom, sauteed baby spinach, grilled salmon (skin removed, of course) and a fried egg!

okra

Sauteed chopped fresh okra, red bell pepper, and white onions. Seasoned with just a little sea salt and pepper/

fried plantain cakes

Fried “smooshed” Plantains

blackened tilapia

Blackened Tilapia and grilled garlic asparagus

coconut lamb over cauliflower rice

Lamb Stew and veggies over cauliflower rice

SONY DSC

Chopped Chicken breast with collard greens and bell pepper

These wraps are made of the flesh of a coconut!

The many other flavors are really good too. These can be found at Natural Grocers and other health food stores.

Collard Greens and Bacon
Cook a package of bacon. Chop and return to pan. Add onion and garlic and cook. Add 1/2c red wine vinegar, shakes of tabasco sauce, salt & pepper. Add collard greens, 1c veg broth, reduce heat and simmer. Meanwhile, chop and pan cook red 6 potatoes in a mix of butter and coconut oil. Serve the collards and bacon with potatoes then top with broth and shakes of tabasco sauce.

Grilled Baby Bok Choy. I marinated them in olive oil, salt & pepper.