Real Food Challenge Prepwork Day 2

You’re now a full day in and if you followed the steps in yesterday’s message you’ve cleaned out the pantry and stocked your kitchen for success!

Today we’re covering a topic that may or may not be a REALLY big deal for you: Beverages

One of the biggest ways folks derail their health is via beverages — things that aren’t chewed, but are swallowed just the same — frequently slurped through a straw. The number one culprit here is soda (yes even diet soda is problematic), followed by the always tasty, sugar laden, high calorie blended coffee drinks. For some folks, asking them to ditch their daily soda (or 6 pack as the case may be) is equivalent to a prison sentence. If you’re in that category all I ask is that you give it a shot. Yes, you’re likely to feel terrible for a few days. Yes, there may be headaches, and yes, you absolutely will feel better once you get through all that.

Now, there are far too many items to put on a “do not drink” list (sodas, juice, and every blended drink on the Starbucks menu would just be a start), so instead we’ll focus on the things you can drink.

Water

Good old fashioned H2O. The plain stuff. Cherry flavored water with aspartame is not water. If it’s been adulterated in any way and is on sale at the local pub it doesn’t count as water.

That said, you CAN do some of your own modifications to mix things up a bit.

Add a some fresh lemon juice, lime juice, heck even cucumber slices or sprigs of fresh mint. The key is that you’re adding real food items that are not sugar filled or contribute caloric content to your beverage.

Coffee

There’s no need to give up your caffeine fix each morning…if you drink it black. If instead your coffee drink is more akin to a cup of sugar with a few tablespoons of coffee on top….well…yeah, you’ll need to ditch that. Coffee should be consumed black. No added sugar, no added hazelnut flavored creamer, no packets of sweeteners of any kind.

When we add sugar and sugar filled creamers our daily cup of coffee becomes a key way that we derail our health and weight loss goals.

Tea

As with coffee, you’ll want to take your tea without added sugar, honey, or milk. Now, I’m not saying you’ll never be able to add honey or dairy to your tea ever again — once you reset your palate, reduce your inflammation, and drop any weight you’re looking to lose, you can begin to play with adding back small amounts of these items. In the beginning, however, it’s best to eliminate them entirely.

What about alcohol?

I know, that question was on the tip of your tongue! Going into the food challenge doesn’t mean you need to give up wine and booze forever more. However, during this 7 day prep work and for the 30 days of the food challenge I ask you to give it up completely. Remember, you can do ANYTHING for just 30 days. At the end of the 30 days you can reintroduce and see how you feel. If you have a lot of weight to lose or a significant amount of inflammation, you might leave alcohol off the menu for quite some time.

Tomorrow we’ll tackle the topic of eating out and help you navigate restaurants and social situations — events that can lead to mild anxiety for folks really trying to make a positive health transformation.

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