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Monday, 6 July 2015

Day 2 - Eating Clean Mini Challenge



Day 2: “Real” beverages – 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 a week and for the duration of the challenge, and wine will be allowed in moderation (an average of one drink per day).


As you can see this means no Splenda (or sugar) in your coffee and tea and it also means no soda pop or diet soda. Can you (and your family) do it for the duration of the challenges? Each day it will be up to you to decide if you want to take the challenge for one day, the rest of the week, or the rest of the challenge and this is definitely one of those pledges where I encourage everyone to do for the rest of the challenge! The lessons learned will be much more valuable if you do this for more than a day. Here is the reasoning behind this particular Challenge.
Sweetener Choices: The moral of the story is that all sweeteners (sugar, honey, maple syrup, raw sugar, brown sugar, etc.) are high in calories and low in nutrients. The artificial sweeteners that have no calories are just chemically created imitations invented in a lab somewhere…how’s that for appetizing? So no matter what kind of sweetener one uses I hope that it is, first of all, not an imitation and second of all, used in moderation. For todays mini Challenge I ask that you stick to honey and/or 100% pure maple syrup for your beverages for two reasons…

    1. They are both (mostly) made in nature and slightly higher in nutrients than other sweeteners like refined white sugar.
    2. It is hard to find highly processed foods or beverages that have been sweetened with honey or maple syrup, and if you sweeten items yourself chances are you will put in a lot less than the factory. In my opinion, sugar is way overdone in our society (seriously it's in everything!!!) so while you can still have sugar in your food during todays challenge, I hope you can commit to at least keeping it out of your beverages (baby steps!).
    Please note: Honey and pure maple syrup are more concentrated sweeteners than white sugar so you can use a little less.
    Juice Restriction: Just like the sweeteners mentioned above natural fruit juice contains a concentrated amount of (natural) sugars, which again should be used in moderation. And while 100% natural fruit juice offers a great deal of nutrients and is highly recommended over a soda, it is not nearly as nutritious as eating the natural, raw, whole fruit itself. There is certainly nothing “wrong” with drinking fruit juice (as long as it is 100% real fruit juice and preferably organic), but I believe it is best used in moderation. Try displacing some cups of juice with something else like water, which most of us can never seem to get enough of. Plus drinking less juice and pop can help you reduce your overall calorie consumption and there is a good chance you could lose some weight too!  Bonus!
    Moderate Wine Consumption: In his book Michael Pollan suggests, “Have a glass of wine with dinner,”  But some nights one glass can turn into two (or more…), so  try to make sure your consumption averages out to one glass a day. But Pollan does go on to say, “Drinking a little every day is better than drinking a lot on the weekends.” He also says “alcohol of any kind appears to reduce the risk of heart disease, but the polyphenols in red wine appear to have unique protective qualities.” So let’s take to heart Pollan’s research showing “abundant scientific evidence for the health benefits of alcohol” and not be afraid to enjoy a glass of red wine (in moderation!) with dinner this week.
    Here are some beverage alternatives to consider during this pledge since most people like to cure one addiction with another…
    • Try a naturally sweetened mocha or coffee
    • Make flavoured water using, lemon, mint, raspberries, cucumber or a combination to add flavor to your water. 
    • Eat a few juicy grapes or oranges to help quench your thirst with something naturally sweet
    • Try offering your kids some naturally sweetened cold or hot chocolate milk
    • Mix a half a cup of juice with some water to help stretch your juice consumption throughout the week
    • Or just put a splash of juice in your water to add some flavor and make it last the whole week (grapefruit juice is great for this!)
    • Check out the recipes at the bottom of this post for Refreshing your water!
    If you are addicted to Pop just think how much money you will save if you give it up since water (a far superior alternative) is free! My husband used to love pop and we would purchase a flat of it from the Superstore every few weeks!  Once we started eating only Real food we gave up pop completely and we only occasionally get a natural ginger ale from phillips brewing company!  Last summer while camping he wanted a rye and coke to drink in the evenings, so he asked me to pick up a bottle of coca cola... well I hadn't purchased POP in so long that it felt so strange.  I was almost embarrassed walking it up to the til and paying for it.  He didn't end up using the whole thing and came home with two full bottles of it. On his own he dumped the rest of it out when we got back!  I was floored but proud!

    Join our Eating Clean Mini Challenge Event on Facebook and let us know how you plan to commit to today's challenge!  Are you committing to drinking clean beverages just for today or will you do it all week or for the rest of the challenge?


    5 Refreshing Recipes to Flavor Your Water

    Blackberry Mojito Water

    Ingredients:
    1 cup ice
    ½ cup fresh blackberries
    3 slices fresh lime
    4 fresh mint leaves
    1¼ cups cold water
    Preparation:
    1. Place ice in a tall glass. Set aside.
    2. Combine blackberries, lime, and mint in a large cocktail shaker. Mash well with back of a wooden spoon or muddler.
    3. Add water; cover and shake.
    4. Strain into ice-filled glass and enjoy.

    Orange Vanilla-Cinnamon Water

    Calories: 3
    Ingredients:
    1 cup ice
    3 slices fresh orange
    ¼ tsp. pure vanilla extract
    1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
    1¼ cup cold water

    Preparation:
    1. Place ice in tall glass; set aside.
    2. Combine orange, vanilla, and cinnamon stick in large cocktail shaker. Mash well with back of a wooden spoon or muddler.
    3. Stir in water; cover and shake.
    4. Strain into ice-filled glass and enjoy.

    Blueberry Vanilla-Lime

    Calories: 5
    Ingredients:
    1 cup ice
    ½ cup blueberries
    3 slices fresh lime
    ¼ tsp. pure vanilla extract
    1¼ cup cold water
    Preparation:
    1. Place ice in tall glass; set aside.
    2. Combine blueberries, lime, and vanilla in large cocktail shaker. Mash well with back of a wooden spoon or muddler.
    3. Stir in water; cover and shake.
    4. Strain into ice-filled glass and enjoy.

    Minty Watermelon-Lime Water

    Calories: 6
    Ingredients:
    1 cup ice
    ½ cup diced watermelon
    3 slices fresh lime
    4 fresh mint leaves
    1¼ cup cold water
    Preparation:
    1. Place ice in tall glass; set aside.
    2. Combine watermelon, lime, and mint in large cocktail shaker. Mash well with back of a wooden spoon or muddler.
    3. Stir in water; cover and shake.
    4. Strain into ice-filled glass and enjoy.

    Honeydew-Basil Water

    Calories: 8
    Ingredients:
    1 cup ice
    ½ cup diced honeydew melon
    4 fresh basil leaves
    1¼ cup cold water
    Preparation:
    1. Place ice in tall glass; set aside.
    2. Combine honeydew melon and basil large cocktail shaker. Mash well with back of a wooden spoon or muddler.
    3. Stir in water; cover and shake.
    4. Strain into ice-filled glass and enjoy.

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