Have you been toying with the idea of a clean eating challenge to kick off 2016? Here are 5 things you should look for as you are making your decision!

clean_eating_challenge

5 THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN YOUR NEXT CLEAN EATING CHALLENGE

Raise your hand if you’ve done some kind of detox or cleaning eating challenge? <raises hand> How many of you have started out strong, only to decide to quit a few days in? <raises hand> Anyone ever successfully completed the challenge/detox, only to go back to their old eating habits within 1-2 weeks? <raises hand>

I once decided to do a juice fast for 3 days. I had everything ready to go and was excited for it. And made it to dinner. True story. I did a 30 Day Challenge earlier this year with The Hubs and went back to my sweets within a couple weeks. Another true story.

What gives? Why is it so hard to either stick with a challenge or use the principles we learned to help guide our eating habits for the long term?

[bctt tweet=”5 Things to Consider for Your Next Clean Eating Challenge #cleaneating”]

When it comes to not sticking with the challenge, a big obstacle is our mindset. Why the heck are you doing the challenge in the first place? Is it because you want a quick fix? Is it because someone else is doing it? Is it because you think you can do it, but when you realize that it’s not easy in the slightest to cut out sugar, you give up? Or, is it because you see the importance of fueling your body properly. Because you realize that all the sugar and processed foods you are eating do more harm than good?

When I think about why my first 6 month elimination diet and my first candida detox were so successful, I know it’s because I needed switch up the way I was eating to allow my body to function properly and not be in constant pain. I kept the end goal in mind and I remembered what eating unfavorable foods did to my body.

The reason a couple subsequent detoxes/challenges did not go well was due to the fact that I did them because I felt like I should. I wasn’t really invested and in some ways wanted a reason to tell myself that I shouldn’t eat sugar treats.

You gotta own your choices and goals.

With January just around the corner, it’s likely that many people are deciding whether or not to embark on a detox or clean eating challenge. Personally, I’m doing a modified candida detox, along with the 21 Day Fix (again, modified because this girl is not about 1,200 calorie plans, which is what my calculated intake should be). My guts have not been happy the past few weeks, especially the past few days. I’m starting January off with my guts as a top priority.

[bctt tweet=”Doing a clean eating challenge in January? Check out these 5 considerations. #cleaneating #sweatpink”]

Here are 5 things to consider as you decide on a clean eating challenge:

1. Is the importance of eating whole, nutrient dense foods stressed?

If a challenge or detox recommends liquid meals or pills or meal replacements for a majority of meals, it might not be the best plan to follow. Whole, nutrient dense, real food is packed with vitamins and minerals that help to not only fuel your body, but support the liver and immune system. Living off a diet of meal replacements and pills cuts out some of these essential nutrients.

2. What foods are cut out and does it give a reason behind cutting them out?

It’s easy to create a plan that cuts out gluten, dairy, soy, processed foods, etc. But why? Does the plan explain that gluten, dairy, soy and processed foods can cause inflammation? What’s the reason? And speaking of cutting out, does a plan recommend you only consume a handful of foods? Why? Be sure to fully understand what foods are cut out, included and why.

3. Is it a holistic approach or just nutrition focused?

I’ve found in coaching clients, that more often then not, stress plays a big role in their lives. Unmanaged stress. We can provide the best nutrition plan possible, but if there are underlying stressors or hormonal imbalances, the root issue is never going to be fully resolved. Does the challenge recommend any stress management techniques? Does it share details about proper sleep? Does it recommend a fitness plan that compliments the nutrition plan?

4. Do you cut out foods cold turkey? 

For some, cutting out things cold turkey works just fine. Some people thrive on that and with my competitive nature, sometimes I like the challenge. For beginners, cutting out certain foods cold turkey can only cause more stress and make it way easier to give up mid way. Sometimes a more simpler approach is to replace the problematic foods with healthier options. Rather than just cut everything out right away, take a week to make healthy swaps before cutting out things completely. Now, there are times to cut things out asap, but unless there is a big food allergy, a slower approach might be more beneficial in the long run.

5. Are you equipped with the tools you need to be successful once the program is over?

What the heck do you do once the program is over? EAT ALL THE THINGS!! One aspect I find lacking in many of these programs are the tools to be successful once the program is over. How do you incorporate the principles for the long haul? How can I still enjoy the occasional sweet treat, while still eating healthy most of the time?

One final point, does the program include a cheerleader? Someone that will come alongside you, meeting you where you are at and help ensure you have all you need to be successful? Someone that will push you to go outside your comfort zone but be there with you, every step of the way? Having a coach can make all the difference when it comes to successfully completing a program.

All these points have been taking into consideration and been included/addressed in the 4 Week Healthy Living JumpStart Program.

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The importance of fueling the body with whole, nutrient dense foods is highly stressed. The first week and a half is dedicated to REPLACING common inflammatory foods with healthier options (think: zoodles instead of noodles). The following week and a half is dedicated to REMOVING common inflammatory foods completely (gluten, dairy, soy, corn and sugar). The final week, while still in the REMOVAL phase will focus on REPAIRING the gut. Incorporating probiotic rich foods and stress management techniques can help to ensure the gut is as strong as it can be.

Other fun program details include: weekly challenges; daily post covering various health topics; 2 One-on-One Consults with me; a virtual grocery store tour; a kitchen makeover and more. This approach makes things fun and enjoyable, while providing an atmosphere that fosters learning, all while giving participants the tools they need to be successful.

[bctt tweet=”4 Week Healthy Living JumpStart Program starts Jan 3. Get your spot today! #nutrition”]

If this sounds like a program that fits your specific needs, leave your email in the comments or click to fill out this form.

I wasn’t joking about gut trouble the past few days. I have a feeling all the treats I ate over Christmas decided to catch up with me. Maybe I’m fighting a stomach bug? Either way, I’ve not been feeling hot and it’s put a damper on all my grand plans to get #allthethingsdone this week! I’m slowly pushing through a anti-productivity slump.

Today, I have nothing big scheduled with means working all day and getting ready for the office makeover tomorrow with my mama!!

What is your experience with doing a clean eating challenge?

XOXO,
Jen

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