PREVENT THE PUDGE CHALLENGE

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Commandment #3: You Need To Clean Out Your Pantry

Start by going through your pantry, fridge and freezer and read your food labels. Can you pronounce all the ingredients? Notice that the foods that come from the ground do not have an ingredient lists at all! Your goal is to eat foods with 5 to 6 ingredients or less most of the time or follow the 80/20 rule. Intentionally selecting foods that are more nutritious and filling will result in consuming fewer calories overall and keep your stomach from rumbling for longer periods of time.

What is the 80/20 rule? There are many interpretations to this rule, but for the most part the 80/20 rule, basically means to eat clean wholesome foods 80% of the time and eat the “dirty” foods 20% of the time.

What are “dirty” foods? “Dirty foods” includes restaurant foods/carryout food, alcohol, processed foods (includes the organic foods too – snack bars, protein shakes/bar, chips, etc). Pretty much anything that is processed. If you follow the 80/20 rule most days of the week and are consistent, you will see a change in your body – physically and mentally. If you are looking to lean-up and drop body fat, try changing up your diet to 90/10 (90% clean wholesome foods/10% processed foods). For most people, their eating habits change from season to season. For example, during the summer months it’s easier to eat less processed foods, because fresh fruits and vegetables are available, their diet may look like 90/10. However, during the holidays, especially from November to December, your diet may look more like 70/30 or 60/40 with all the family get together and holiday parties. Your goal is to BE CONSISTENT with the 80/20 rule. Allow some indulgences as long as it’s in moderation.

A few tips on how to clean out your pantry:

  • Start by saying goodbye to a few main evils: all white stuff (including sugar, white flour, etc.), caffeine, alcohol. This doesn’t mean you can’t detour every now and then – you decide what works for you. Choose whole grains that are full of fiber and minerals.
  • You don’t have to go toss everything and start from scratch in one day. Switching to 100 percent clean foods can be challenging and even costly at first. Give it time, don’t’ be so hard on yourself. Try replacing one food item at a time. Sub in raw zucchini noodles for plain white pasta, or skip the Snickers and make your own “healthy candy treat”.  As you continually add in the good, your taste buds will change, and you will naturally want good, clean, whole foods.
  • Less IS more. The fewer ingredients an item has, the “cleaner” it is, as in less processed. Try to purchase items with five or six ingredients at the most.
  • Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. This is where you’ll generally find fresh clean healthier foods. The middle aisle is were you’ll find the ready to eat food that are processed, most often filled with ingredients you should avoid. Try avoiding foods that contain high sodium, trans fat, MSG (monosodium glutamate), food preservatives, unnecessary food coloring and other food chemicals that are unhealthy for your body.
  • Learn to create meals made with just a few items on hand. Try mixing and matching the foods from what you have in your pantry/fridge. For example, boil some whole grains, such as quinoa. Add some roasted vegetables, such as carrots, asparagus, or butternut squash. Add some protein, such as hard-boiled egg or a veggie burger. Be creative, add 1/2 sliced avocado for healthy fat or drizzle with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, a splash of balsamic vinegar for dressing. To add some crunch, sprinkle with seeds/nuts, add some chopped fresh herbs or a pinch of cayenne. Simple, fresh, fast and delicious!

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