Today is the last day of the 7 Day-Junk Foods to Super Foods Challenge.
Congratulations! The finish line is in sight and I hope you are feeling full of energy.
On DAY 7 you want to consume the following:
- 3 Tbsp. of nuts/seeds
- 3 Tbsp. dried fruit
- 1 cup of beans
- 3 fruits
- 1 pound of non-starchy vegetables
On DAY 7 you want to avoid the following:
- Refined Foods or Sugars
- Red Meat
- Dairy Products
On DAY 7 you want to limit the following:
- Limit whole grains and starchy vegetables to 1 cup (combined total).
- Limit poultry, eggs, fish & shellfish to 4 ounces.
Why cut out Dairy?
Dairy products are one of the most confusing foods. Wonderful marketing – “Got Milk” and “Milk it does the body good” – contribute to the confusion.
Yet when milk and other dairy products are put to the research test they perform poorly, especially in bone health.
The Nurses’ Health Study, which has studied over 120,000 women since 1976, showed that those who drank three or more servings of milk a day had a slightly higher rate of bone fractures compared to women who drank little or no milk.
Surprising, I know.
Research has shown that increased urinary excretion of calcium occurs when you eat animal protein – meat and dairy products.
Eating or drinking animal proteins results in high acid levels in your blood, this causes calcium to leach out of your bones to help neutralize the acid.
And guess what?
Research shows that Super Foods protect you from osteoporosis.
Plant foods contain protein, but plant protein is not acid-forming and therefore leaves your bones alone. In addition fruits and vegetables buffer the acids formed from animal proteins and reduce calcium loss.
So today milk, cheese, even yogurt is out.
You will get plenty of calcium from your Super Food consumption. In fact, all green vegetables are high in calcium and many have calcium absorption rates over 50%, milk comes in at only about 32%.
Here is my recommendation for finishing strong on DAY 7.
Breakfast: Start your day with mixed fruits and berries topped with flax seed. This will get you started off right.
Lunch: Any leftovers from the week will do, but to really benefit your body whip up a super quick stir fry with cooked chicken, frozen veggies and some low-sodium soy sauce.
Snack: If you need a snack anytime today, grab a favorite piece of fruit or have a small salad.
Dinner: I recommend ending your week with one of my families favorite meals, Kickin’ Red and Black Bean Stew. This great meal can be made in your crock pot for added convenience.
This recipe is an ideal choice for DAY 7 because there is no red meat or dairy in the recipe. This will satisfy any remaining Veggie requirement as well as the Bean requirement for the day.
DAY 7 is Done! Now What?
Following a challenge like this is not easy. We all fall into patterns of eating and those patterns are hard to change.
Hopefully this challenge shows you that eating healthy is possible. For some of you that will be enough. This may have been an interesting experiment that made you think and that is fine; you got another piece of the puzzle to fit.
For others, you might feel that with a little extra instruction, you could have the healthy eating life you always wanted and you don’t want to lose your momentum. If this is you, then stick with my site or, if you are ready, download the 0,1,2,3 Diet Plan and keep going.
As a university professor of Health and Nutrition, I take students through a similar process that you just completed with the 7 Day Challenge. Of course students are enrolled for nine weeks and pay about $1,500.00. :-)
My students come from many different backgrounds and all have different starting points. Some are overweight, some are facing diabetes and all of them are leading very busy lives. I would say the majority of my students work full-time and have families on top of their college work.
Yet, by the end of our nine weeks together some of the transformations are truly inspiring.
I had one student who really took the course to heart. He lost 49 pounds over the nine weeks and sent me a before and after picture. Keep in mind the course is in no way designed to be a weight loss program. He accomplished this through healthy eating and exercise.
This demonstrates how much better the body runs when it is feed Super Foods and not refined foods.
Please pass this 7 Day Challenge on to your friends and family by clicking the ‘Like’ Button. It will help your friends eat healthier and it will also make it easier on you to continue your trend toward a healthier lifestyle if those around you are doing the same.