I have an amazing community in a Facebook group who are positive, motivational, inspirational, supportive, and all striving to become a better version of themselves. I started the group 4 years ago and it is one of my favorites groups.
It’s a safe place to share struggles and triumphs and we always encourage every member to be open and honest. We also don’t judge or discriminate as we are all such different people.
Since health and weight loss are highly affected by nutrition, every week we run a nutrition challenge as a group. There are 8 challenges that run a total of 9 weeks. And then we repeat. The best thing about this process is that you can see progress from one challenge every 9 weeks.
For example, one of the weeks is AVOID DAIRY. When I first started the group, I wanted to be dairy-free, but was still having it 2-3 times each week. Even though my goal was always 7 days dairy-free, I would still have it a few times a week. After a few 9 week rounds, my dairy started going down to 1-2 times a week, and then to once a week. I eventually succeeded with my goal of 7 days without dairy!! Baby steps (of course) but in the end I accomplished what I set out to do. And as most of you know, I am now 100% dairy-free and have been since the beginning of the year.
Now if you don’t WANT to do all 7 days, you can set your OWN goal. For example, one of our weeks is AVOID SUGAR. I for sure want to cut down on sugar, but I like to have a treat now and then, and I love oatmeal with PB and Grade B Maple Syrup. So my goal is for sure to cut down, but not necessarily to cut it out. So I look at my week ahead and my activities and decide how many days I want to aim for. It’s usually 5.
I like to do the challenges from least to most difficult for most people so that we see some successes before the struggles set in.
Today we will talk about WEEK #3: EAT MORE VEGGIES
Our EAT MORE VEGGIES challenge is designed to help you become aware of how many servings (1 cup) of veggies you eat each day and work on increasing it. Our general goal is 5 a day. But if you have only been eating 1-2, I would start with a goal of 2-3. Then next round you can move up to 3-4. Baby steps!
I chose this as our third challenge because it’s the one that helps me lose weight the quickest. When I focus on eating 5 servings of veggies a day, I am full of energy, my cravings are minimal, and I don’t have room in my belly for extras. So naturally I will lose weight. WIN WIN WIN!!!
We ALL know we need to eat our veggies, so why don’t we?? Here are the 3 excuses I hear most often…
1. I don’t like veggies. COME ON! There is not a single veggie you like? I don’t buy that. But if you truly hate ALL veggies, there are some sneaky ways to mix veggies into the meals you love. The book DECEPTIVELY DELICIOUS (http://amzn.to/1KBV1t0) is a great place to start. Check it out!
2. I forget to eat them. Now this one I believe. Only because that is my “excuse”. I actually love 99% of veggies and if given an option (like at restaurants) I always choose meals with tons of them. But for some reason when I am just grabbing food or throwing a meal together, if I am not purposely thinking about veggies, I forget. For example today I got home from a long swim and I was starving. I was planning to make cheesy rice…YUM!!! And that would have been my lunch. Since I had no veggies for breakfast or snack, I would have had to pile in 5 servings for dinner. Luckily we are currently doing the challenge so IN ADDITION to my cheesy rice, I had my famous cucumber/garlic salad (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7S3doltU9ok). It took care of 2 servings of veggies AND I definitely ate less cheesy rice!! BONUS!
3. They are too expensive and they go bad too quickly. That is CRAP!! Frozen veggies are like $2 a bag and last forever! Get over it! And frozen are just as nutritious as fresh. BOOM!
But honestly the ONLY ways I get in my 5 servings each day is to PLAN IN ADVANCE so I’m not cramming in 5 servings at 8pm, keep LOTS of easy to grab veggies on hand (right now I have those mini red/orange bell peppers in the fridge…had a handful for snack today), or make a smoothie in my Vitamix for one of my meals and put in a couple handfuls of kale, spinach, beets, etc.
AND…for the days I either forget, I am out of veggies, or I just haven’t planned well, I am always covered because the nutritional shake I drink every single day has the nutrient equivalent of 5 servings of fruits AND 5 servings of veggies! Yep…you heard that correctly!! Check it out…
Here are a few words from our challengers…
“Used a veggie strip maker to make veggie strips from zucchini, and used the zucchini in place of noodles for spaghetti tonight. Even the kids approved.”
“Because of the challenge, I got 3 cups total for the day….not what I planned but it’s better than nothing.”
“Kale, yellow peppers, daikon, baby carrots, tomatoes. For dinner I will have cabbage and hubbard squash. Never thought I could be so excited about vegetables.”
AWESOMESAUCE!! And you will totally notice results in only 7 days so you have nothing to lose!
To join our VEGGIES CHALLENGE…
For a DAILY health/wellness tip, text your first name to 970-214-7745
See you SOON!