Today marks the 6th day you have been adding Super Foods to your diet and the 2nd day you have been avoiding refined foods and sugars.
I hope your body is starting to experience some positive effects and that you notice that your body is working and feeling better.
Eating a diet of mostly Super Foods makes it easy to control your health and your weight because these foods are nutrient-dense, not calorie-dense. For example…
A cup of spinach has about 7 calories, yet has many more vitamins and minerals than a 1.55 ounce Hershey Chocolate Bar at 210 calories.
Now I totally get that most people who are trying this 7 Day Challenge might be thinking trading a chocolate bar for a bowl of spinach seems like a bit of a stretch.
But, what if following this challenge changes your perception of how to eat. For example, what if in the future you ate both the spinach and the chocolate during your day instead of just the chocolate? Wouldn’t you be better off?
This challenge is all about opening up new possibilities for you and seeing first hand how good your body can feel when it gets what it needs.
There is no need for perfection here, just progress. Having said that, if you need a little more of a nudge, you might want to consider the fact that Super Foods also contain cancer-preventing phytonutrients and antioxidants.
In a nutshell: The diet you are following today not only controls your weight, but it also prevents cancer as well as other chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
On DAY 6 you want to consume the following:
- 3 Tbsp. of nuts/seeds
- 3 Tbsp. dried fruit
- 1 cup of beans
- 3 fruits
- 1 pound of non-starchy vegetables
On DAY 6 you want to avoid the following:
- Refined Foods and Sugars
- Red Meat
On DAY 6 you want to limit the following:
- Limit whole grains and starchy vegetables to 1 cup (combined total).
- Limit poultry, eggs, fish & shellfish to 4 ounces.
The only two things that change from DAY 5 to DAY 6 are the removal of Red Meat and the limit placed on other meat-like foods.
Why you want to remove red meat from your diet for the last two days of our challenge is explained further down this post, but for now, let’s take a look at how to make your diet work today.
How to meet your DAY 6 requirements:
At breakfast try having fruit along with a whole-grain cereal. This can be a cereal with fruit added, but keep in mind all cereals are not created equally.
Only a few are a fairly good source of whole grains. A cereal box off the shelf is technically a processed food, so this recommendation is walking a fine line. Still, I know that many of you are working to find better options. If you do better, but not perfect, then you are at least making progress.
We can use a few rules to locate a 7 Day Challenge Approved cereal.
- Look for a cereal with no more than 5 ingredients.
- Look for a cereal with at least 5 grams of fiber.
You may know that food manufacturers started fortifying some sugary cereals with fiber. So, if the cereal company fortifies Super Sugar Puffs with at least 3 grams of fiber, then they can claim the cereal is “a good source of fiber”.
This may be so, but at the end of the day it is still Super-Sugar Puffs and it still contains many undesirable ingredients. Thanks for the fiber, but I think I will pass.
The cereals that contain at least 5 grams of fiber are not sugary sweet, addictive cereals. So, sprucing up the flavor with a serving or 2 of fruit and a handful of nuts makes for a good breakfast. Try the cereal warmed with Almond Milk or Coconut Milk.
I have a few recommendations for boxed cereals that meet our criteria. If you would like a complete list, then let me know in the comments below and I will add a post to the website with approved cereals listed.
For now, let me just give you one example. Post Shredded Wheat contains one ingredient (Whole Grain Wheat) and a preservative Bht, which is an antioxidant, but don’t get too excited about that word.
As a preservative it basically means that oxygen reacts with the Bht before reacting with the food, thereby protecting the food from spoilage. Visit this link if you would like to read up on Bht.
For lunch, I recommend once again getting busy meeting your Veggie requirement. Today is a good time to start looking at a salad as your main meal. You can use a cup of black beans or some chicken to add flavor.
Fruit for a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack will satisfy any remaining fruit servings you need to meet for the day.
At dinner try salmon on the grill or in the oven. Costco and similar stores have great prices on salmon and fish. For a side dish, you can have any leftover veggies you might have in your refrigerator or try the Baked Zucchini for a great option that goes nicely with fish.
Why remove red meat?
For DAY 6 you are asked to avoid red meat. I wanted to give an explanation as to why this is recommended for the 7 Day Challenge.
If you want a quality source to get the whole story on eating meats, then I recommend The China Study, which is one of the most comprehensive studies done on the connection between diet and disease. It is a fascinating read.
The reason we are taking red meat out of your diet during the 7 Day-Junk Foods to Super Foods Challenge is that animal products contain very few, if any, nutrients that protect you against heart disease and cancer, such as fiber, antioxidants, phytochemicals, folate, vitamin E, and plant proteins. On the other hand, they are high in substances said to promote heart disease and cancer, such as saturated fat, cholesterol, arachidonic acid, and IGF-1.
So these last two days of the 7 Day Challenge we will be weaning you off red meat and dairy (also an animal protein). Having noted that, it is not my intention to convert anyone to a vegetarian lifestyle.
I believe a diet that consists mostly of fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and some whole grains is the healthiest diet, yet I am not a vegetarian.
About the Author
Dr. Becky Gillaspy, DC graduated Summa Cum Laude with research honors from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1991.