One thing I have been wishing for my family is to rely less on processed foods...with the ultimate goal of being on a zero processed foods diet by the end of 2015. This means lots more learning for us as a family, and lots more prepping also!!
One of my favorite blogs that I have been learning TONS from is 100 Days of Real Foods. For 2015, they have come up with a 14 week mini pledge series to help cut out processed foods in just 14 weeks! Each week you will receive an e-mail with the following weeks mini challenge. The goal of the 14 week challenge is to help you gain a new perspective and encourage you to make some positive long term changes!
You can read all about the pledge and sign up here. Here is quick overview of the program though:
- Week 1: Eat a minimum of two different fruits or vegetables (preferably organic) with every breakfast, lunch, and dinner meal.
- Week 2: Beverages will be limited to coffee, tea, water, and milk (only naturally sweetened with a little honey or 100% pure maple syrup). One cup of juice will be allowed throughout the week, and wine will be allowed in moderation (an average of one drink per day).
- Week 3: All meat consumed this week will be locally raised (within 100-miles of your hometown). Meat consumption will also be limited to 3 – 4 servings this week, and when it is eaten meat will not be presented as the “focal point” of the meal. Instead meat will be treated as a side item or simply used to help flavor a dish.
- Week 4: No fast food or any foods that have been deep-fried in oil.
- Week 5: Try a minimum of two new whole foods that you’ve never had before.
- Week 6: Do not eat any food products that are labeled as “low-fat,” “lite,” “light,” “reduced fat,” or “nonfat.”
- Week 7: All grains consumed must be 100% whole-grain.
- Week 8: Listen to your internal cues and stop eating when you feel full.
- Week 9: No refined or artificial sweeteners including (but not limited to): white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, sucanat, splenda, stevia, agave, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, brown rice syrup, and cane juice. Foods and beverages can only be sweetened with a moderate amount of honey or maple syrup.
- Week 10: No refined or hydrogenated oils including (but not limited to): vegetable oil, organic vegetable oil, soybean oil, corn oil, canola oil, organic canola oil, margarine, and grape seed oil.
- Week 11: Eat at least 1 locally grown or raised food at each meal. This includes, but is not limited to: fruits, vegetables, eggs, grains, nuts, meats, and sweeteners like honey.
- Week 12: Avoid all added sweeteners including, but not limited to: white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, honey, maple syrup, date sugar, maple sugar, sucanat, splenda, stevia, agave, fruit juice concentrate, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, brown rice syrup, and cane juice.
- Week 13: Avoid all artificial ingredients including, but not limited to: sweeteners, flavors and colors.
- Week 14: Avoid any and all packaged food products that contain more than five ingredients no matter what ingredients.
The best part? They are offering all of this for free! I think this is a great opportunity to learn more about reading labels and cutting out processed foods!