I recieved an awesome response from the 30 day food challenge that kicked off last week. Have you been keeping up with the recipes? If not, you can find days 1-9 listed on my Instagram and YouTube channels.
Typically when I see patients that have diet-oriented goals the conversation starts with “what do I cut out” or “I want to eliminate dairy (for example).” But we need to reverse that thinking.
Whether you’re striving to overhaul your diet or just want to make small changes, you should start with adding new foods before you eliminate. Why? When we eliminate we abruptly cut something out that will need to be replaced anyway. When you focus your actions on adding in, the elimination piece happens more naturally.
Mental Health Tip:
So what do we add, and where do we begin? The 30-Day challenge has been an addition-based challenge focused on an intake of 9 cups of fruits or vegetables daily: 3 cups colorful, 3-cups leafy green, and 3 cups sulfur-rich.
Fun fact: I personally am not a big salad person, which is a bummer because they’re a great way to take in a good amount of vegetables. Here are my two favorite ways to meet my 9 cups of fruits or vegetables daily intake:
- Smoothies are a go-to for my morning meal. They are delicious and you can pack them full of all sorts of goodies—even vegetable bits left over from cooking (I put these in a plastic bag in the freezer and then put in my smoothies). I’ve really expanded my smoothie boundaries this week with a Green Chard and Golden Beet Smoothie – both turned out amazing and were packed full of leafy greens and sulfur-rich vegetables.
- Sauteing is another great, simple way to load up on vegetables by cooking them down. I typically don’t add any salt or pepper, just add a little lemon juice or white vinegar. Leafy greens are bitter, but adding an acid will cut down the bitterness and make it tasty :-). Here’s how I sauteed my spinach down to pair with eggs.
Take out your pen and paper and write down the 5 new fruits and vegetables you’re going to try this week. If you need a place to start, these are the 9 ‘credit’ vegetables and fruits I’ve had so far in the challenge:
Blueberries, Collard Greens, Broccolini, Red Chard, Green Chard, Golden Beets, Parsley Mushrooms, and Spinach.
My 30-day challenge was modeled after the Wahls Protocol, specifically the daily intake of 3 cups colorful, 3 cups leafy, and 3 cups sulfur-rich vegetables. You usually hear about colorful and leafy greens, but I’m learning more about the benefits of sulfur-rich.
This article is basically a sulfur-rich veggie 101 resource. There are hundreds of physiological processes that sulfur is involved in, hence the importance of keeping it a consistent asset of our diets. You can read more about sulfur-rich vegetables and recommendations on how to prepare those foods here.