Every one can agree that eating whole foods is the healthiest choice of lifestyle. Vegans will argue the superiority of plant based diets and paleo fanatics will argue the importance of animal proteins and fats, but both sides can agree that natural foods are better than processed versions.  The plan sounds simple – eat whole foods, but the execution may be more challenging.  If you fail to plan your food for the day it is easy to fall back into the habit of eating from fast food restaurants and convenience stores.  So the challenge is to put my money where my mouth is.  The idea is to prove that the quality of food is more important than the quantity. The other goal is to prove that eating whole foods is a sustainable, long term approach to health.

The challenge will be to wean myself off of all packaged/processed foods over the next 4 weeks and continue to eat clean for the following 4 weeks. I will post a blog halfway through the challenge and at the end. Each week I will eliminate one thing until I am processed-foods free.

Week 1 – Sugar – this includes all the “healthy” sweeteners – agave nectar, evaporated cane juice/syrup

Week 2 – Artificial Sweeteners – studies show that artificial sweeteners can cause sugar cravings and even do some of the same damage physiologically as sugar

Week 3 – Dairy – Some people do well on dairy, others don’t (lactose intolerant) so I am going to cut it out to reboot the system.

Week 4 – Grains – grains are a processed food. The more we find out about gluten, the more we find out how unhealthy it actually is.

The challenge won’t be low carb as I will eat vegetables and fruits; it will just be higher quality carb.

Since most fitness enthusiasts work out for weight loss, specifically body fat loss, I will track my body fat and weight throughout the challenge.