Are you contemplating adopting a whole-food-only lifestyle and eliminating toxic processed foods from your life? Fantastic! You’re already on the right path.
A lot of people find it hard to make the first steps into a real-food lifestyle and wean themselves from the tasty yet harmful treats they’ve become accustomed to eating. Instead of going “cold turkey,” below is 10-week program for easing into your new way of life and eating behavior. You’ll be more successful in the long term, with a slow & steady approach.
Feel free to change and adjust this outline as you wish: perhaps you can take on multiple “pledges” in one week, or need an extra week to get accustomed to a particular pledge. No problem. Any progress in the right direction is admirable. And, if you fall of the wagon – don’t give up. Get back on track and keep going.
This 10-week pledge program will not only make you healthier – it will make you more conscious of the types of foods you’re eating and what is contained in them.
14 Whole-Food Pledge Program
Week 1: Eat two different fruits and/or vegetables during every meal. Commit to eating all of them, at the expense of whatever else is part of the meal.
Week 2: Eliminate all beverages from your life that are not “whole.” Whole beverages include coffee, tea, water and milk (non-dairy is even better). Use only natural sweeteners like organic honey, maple syrup or stevia. One cup of fresh squeezed juice per week and one glass of wine (preferably red) are acceptable.
Week 3: Say good bye to fast food and frying. Period.
All meat consumed from here on in will be organic, hormone and antibiotic free and grass-fed. Meat will no longer be the “main dish” of any meal but a side option.
* Make sure that all this time you are trying and introducing new whole-foods to your diet.
Week 4: Eliminate all packaged, commercial foods labeled as “low-fat,” “lite,” or “nonfat.”
Week 5: From here on, eat only 100% whole grain – this applies to bread, pasta, etc.
Week 6: Eliminate all refined and unnatural sweeteners from your diet: white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, sucanat, Splenda, stevia, agave, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, brown rice syrup, and cane juice. From now on, foods and beverages can only be sweetened with a moderate amount of honey or maple syrup. You will discover a whole new world of tastes.
Week 7: Eliminate refined and hydrogenated oils: vegetable oil, organic vegetable oil, soybean oil, corn oil, canola oil, organic canola oil, margarine, and grape seed oil. Instead, use olive oil.
Week 8: Visit your local farmer’s market and start discovering which foods are grown locally. Begin incorporating them in your diet.
Week 9: Eliminate sweeteners from your diet, including previously acceptable ones.
Week 10: Eliminate all artificial ingredients form you diet: sweeteners, flavors and colors in any food product. Additionally, do not buy any packaged food that has more than 5 items in the ingredient list.