#fiveorless Challenge

by - 8:33 AM

Last week I posted this picture of my totally swollen hand and my go-to-detox fix, hot water with lemon:

Fitgirlskitchen on instagram

I truly woke up feeling like garbage. I was SO bloated and gained almost 4 pounds overnight. Now, I knew it was mainly water retention but worse than that was how I felt. The feeling was all too familiar. 

I used to feel like that ALL. THE. TIME. Meaning I constantly felt cloudy and bloated almost every morning. I didn’t realize that I felt like shit until I discovered what it felt like to actually feel GOOD in the mornings. Energized. Light. Clear.

My first taste of this out of the clouds feeling came after I did my first cleanse several years ago. I’ve posted on this before, but I did one of the GNC cleanses called “Be Well”. Not a crazy pants all juice cleanse - this involved some supplements and eliminating processed foods. Only whole foods were allowed. And I could not believe the difference it made.

Slowly, I began buying less and less of my old standbys at the grocery store, avoiding packaged foods and staying away from processed junk when I was eating outside my house. It did take time, but I truly have never felt better in my life.

After chatting with my friend Julia over at Tartan & Sequins, she asked if I had ever thought about sharing what I ate on my blog. (She has also been on a kick ass route to revamping her health, which she has documented over the past year.) I told her that honestly, I just cut out as many processed foods as possible - and our challenge was born.

Processed Food

So how do you define 'processed food?' There are varying interpretations, but Julia and I are focusing on this one: Nothing out of a box, can, bag, bottle or package that has more than 5 ingredients listed on the label. Each ingredient should be a “real” food - no chemicals, preservatives or something that you couldn’t buy individually.

Now, there are some grey areas - like if an ingredient is something called “kale powder”. Theoretically, you could powder kale if you had the right instructions and tools. I let things like that slide, mainly because if something has an ingredient like kale powder in it, there probably aren’t any preservatives in there anyways.

And so, as we embark on this quest, we invite you all to do the same, because well, isn't everything more fun with your friends?

Here are the details for our challenge:
Eliminate processed foods from your diet by eating Foods with 5 Ingredients or less on the label

#fiveorless challenge

Our Goal 

  • To promote the eating non processed foods, local foods or foods with five ingredients or less 

How it Works 

Each week of the challenge will have a new theme:
  • Week 1 - Mind your labels 
  • Week 2 - Pantry purge 
  • Week 3 - Cook 
  • Week 4 - Find your balance 

How to Participate 

  • Check the @fitgirlskitchen and @tartanandsequins Instagram and Facebook accounts every Monday for more on that week’s theme and how to participate in the challenge.
  • Share pictures of how you are incorporating the theme into your week by using the tag #fiveorless. At the end of each week, we will select one winner* and share how they best completed that week’s theme. *At the end of it all, you will all be winners because you should be feeling pretttttty amazing. 

So to get started, let’s tackle Week 1.

Week 1 - Mind Your Labels

Start paying attention to foods you buy frequently or eat repeatedly during the week. What are you REALLY putting into your body?
  • Do: Start to slowly eliminate or find substitutes for foods you eat frequently (ie, switch to natural or freshly ground peanut butter instead of your normal Jif, try a sprouted bread instead of your normal go-to.) 
  • Share: Show us your most shocking foods that you thought were healthy (also any scary food label) or a smart substitute* you are making for something you eat frequently. 

*General rule of thumb is you should be able to pronounce everything on the label and purchase each ingredient outright if you wanted to. (Do you know where to buy monosodium glutamate or red40? Neither do we.) 

Best of luck and happy eating!

Kat & Julia

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