Prepare for success with advance planning for the No Junk Food Challenge! No General ever went to battle without a plan of attack, right? Which means for us to achieve our goals, we’ve gotta set things up prior to the No Junk Food Challenge’s January 2nd start date.
Here is your day-by-day schedule:
By December 27th
Ready your house for the production of home cooked meals. Cooking healthy meals can be a challenging task without the right ingredients or recipes. Though this 30 day program is NOT limited to vegan or vegetarian meals, I strongly suggest including at least a few meat-free meals over the course of the month. They’re less expensive, highly nutritious, and take you just one step closer to maximum health.
Browse cookbooks like WHY VEGAN IS THE NEW BLACK, and online sources for recipes like Food Network, SkinnyTaste.Com and Cooks.Com. Seek out recipes that focus on healthy ingredients like vegetables, fruits, lean meats, legumes (beans), and whole grains. Select seven recipes, make a list of the required ingredients and head to the grocery store. Stay focused on your list, avoid the snack aisles. and leave with only the ingredients required for the meals you want to make. Repeat this process when you run out of ingredients and recipes to prepare. Save recipes you particularly enjoyed during the challenge — having personal favorites makes cooking and eating healthy meals more rewarding.
By December 28th
Register yourself on the Discussion Forum set up for the No Junk January Challenge. If you are a Facebook user, we also have a group over there where things will be posted pertaining to the challenge No Junk 30 Day Challenge by BlacksGoingVegan.Com. Tell those close to you what you are doing. Enlist their aid and get their support. If loved ones are unclear about your goals, or kept in the dark about what you’re doing altogether, they may unintentionally sabotage your success. Share what you’re doing and why, and ask them to help you cross the finish line. You never know, they may decide to join you!
Stock your house and desk drawer at work with the replacement items I’ll be posting towards the end of December. You need to prepare for No Junk Food Challenge success. You probably won’t be eating them yet (unless you want to start early), but you need to begin the transition by making space for the healthier choices in your life.
By December 30th
If you’re lucky, you hinted around and got one of these vital kitchen tools as a holiday gift. If not, hit the post-holiday sales and pick up a good sized crock pot (4-6 quarts depending upon size of your family), an immersion or stick blender (or regular blender) if you don’t already have one, and maybe even a pressure cooker. You are going to be making lots of smoothies and preparing your food at home at least 70% of the time this month. A stick or immersion blender will come in quite handy because they are easy to throw in a tote and take with you wherever you go. Also make sure you have a nice large pitcher with a top… you are going to be making fruit infused water.
By December 31st
Set up an online journal OR buy a paper tablet thing to chronicle the 30 days. Popular sites are Penzu, Good Night Journal, and LiveJournal. You don’t have to write a book in a month, but it is important to chronicle what is going on and how you feel about it. Starting the day before the challenge (January 1st), you can note your fears, feelings about yourself, what you did to get mentally ready, what you did to get your house and fridge ready, and the motivation for accepting this challenge. As you go on, you can note cravings and how you fought them, eating patterns, exercise, and family reactions to the changes in diet. Will make for interesting reading in a few months.
Remove all the stuff that may tempt you from the house, give or throw it away on or before January 1st. Review the No Junk Food January Clean Eating Challenge list of “NO!” items carefully, and check the list of ingredients if you aren’t sure about what’s in any product you buy. Let family know you will not be purchasing any junk food treats the entire month, so if they insist on having some they’ll have to do it away from home. If you can’t stand throwing it away, give unopened boxes and packages of food you won’t be eating to a charitable organization, church, or food bank. Get rid of junk food at your place of work, in your car, in your purse, and anywhere else you have a secret stash. Removing junk food from easy access is the first step to beating your addiction. If it’s difficult to get, most people won’t bother.
Morning of January 2nd
Take vital measurements – scale weight, blood pressure, body fat (if possible at your gym), blood sugar, and measurements with a tape measure of your bust/chest, waist, hips, each thigh, each upper arm, and each calf.
- Refer often to the No Junk Food Challenge list of swap foods which recommends substitutions for junk foods.
- Create a daily menu plan with recipes in advance for the coming week.
- If you start running low on approved snacks, fruit for your infused water, etc. hit the store IMMEDIATELY. Do not give yourself the space to sabotage your success.
- Remember, recipes are just suggestions. When you cook a meal, taste it as you go and adjust the seasonings to your preferences. Enjoying healthy food is an important element of switching your diet. If you do not like the taste of what you’re eating, you’re more likely to revert to old habits.
- Store leftovers in zip style bags or containers, and refrigerate them for next day lunches. Having healthy home cooked leftovers on hand is always better than junk food snacks. Bringing food from home that meets your program goals will keep you away from the vending machine and out of the drive-through as you commute home.
- Avoiding junk food doesn’t mean you must turn your friends or family down when they invite you out to eat. Remember – Prepare for Success With Advance Planning… that phrase should become your mantra. However, you should plan your meal before you get to the restaurant.
- Log onto the restaurant’s website and pick the healthiest meal option to avoid making impulse decisions. When you find yourself in front of the menu, set it to the side and stick to your pre-selected choice.
- Since most restaurants serve portions that are twice the size of the USDA recommended serving size, you can confidently split your meal with another diner, or have your waiter place half in a to-go box. Leftovers make a welcome next day lunch or dinner. It’s nice to take a break from cooking every now and then, as it keeps you from getting burnt out.
For more than 15 years I’ve been watching, reading, and listening to the comments my clients, friends/family, and complete strangers make about their health and bodies. Most people are sick and tired of being sick and tired, and looking for a way out; the No Junk January Clean Eating Challenge is the map to freedom.
Glad you opted to take that step with me.
#nojunkchallenge #nojunkJanuary #letsdothis #winningthebattle #realfoodonly
Category: Veganism and African Americans