Since I’m not likely to do another Pinterest blog for a while, and I’ve got a whole month of doing special things with food, and because someone told me I should blog about it, and since I won’t be watching my 5 movies until next month, I’m gonna blog about my work health challenge! I’ll do one blog each week until I’m done with it. But first, let me explain what this challenge is.
I joined a 30-Day Challenge from my work health incentive program; it is called “Eat This, Not That”. It goes from July 13-August 9, and I’m on a team with 4 other co-workers. I’m at the beginner level, which means I need to: eat 3 servings of Nutrient Dense foods every day, and substitute 3 unhealthy foods with healthier options each week.
I couldn’t tell you exactly what Nutrient Dense means if you asked me to define it, but from the paperwork they gave me it looks like it means fruit, veggies and nuts. Basically just anything that is super dense of nutrients. (Because that is the scientific way to say it.) So since my paperwork emphasizes fruit, veggies and nuts, that is what I’m gonna eat!
As far as the weekly substitutions, that will require some extra thought since it’s not as straightforward as just “eat veggies”. I almost only drink water, I don’t eat out every week, and there’s not any specific dessert or dish I’m always munching on. If I say to myself, “I need to substitute something… I feel like going and buying a milkshake, but I’m gonna drink some lemonade instead!”, does that count as actually substituting it? I don’t know! But I guess I’ll figure it out as I go! 🙂
The challengers were given a list of fruits and veggies and how they rate on a nutritional scale; the higher the number, the healthier they are. Most of the fruit and veggies you would find in our house are in the bottom 3rd. The highest vegetables are Kale, Watercress and Collards at 1000. I’m gonna be making Kale with a friend the week after this challenge, so I intend to try both Watercress and Collards in the following month. I also have discovered that I like asparagus fairly well, so I’m going to try to be creative with that, too, since I’ve only eaten it one way.
My plan is to make my meals of experimental veggies on the weekends, when I’ve got more time to shop and be at the stove and everything. Plus it works best for any meals that need
to be eaten hot. I may make a few meals to refrigerate and take to work the next day, but I’m mostly going to try to have things to snack on or to have as side dishes during my work week.
On the Saturday before the challenge started, I spent the morning finding recipes for Watercress, Arugula, Collards and Asparagus, and while I did I also found some good recipes for Strawberries. (It was all on one particular site, so you’ll probably see recipes from there a lot.) But since I couldn’t start counting the healthy eating until Monday, I just stocked up on some basic snacks for the first week and will do some more meal cooking as the challenge goes on.
I bought almonds, cashews and mixed organic nuts and divided them into 21 single serving bags for snacking on at work. (A serving of nuts, according to this challenge, is 1/3 cup.) I also bought carrots, added some celery, and made 4-5 bags of 1 cup of veggies (a serving size for veggies). These are in my work fridge.
Then, I got some strawberries and made some delicious strawberry bread. I used 4 cups for 3 loaves of bread, and although eating a few slices isn’t even a serving of strawberries (1 cup), it is healthy and awfully good. I brought some in for work and it was all eaten up before I left. I like how mild the strawberry flavor is. You can find the recipe here: (http://www.marthastewart.com/282508/strawberry-bread#Strawberry%20Recipes|/275333/strawberry-recipes/@center/276955/seasonal-produce-recipe-guide|282508).
I also bought asparagus, scallions, mini peppers, several frozen bags of vegetables, 2 frozen pasta-veggie meals for lunches, and I also have a gallon of 100% orange juice in my work fridge. One glass of legit juice counts as a serving size of my Nutritional Density, so yay for variety!
I’ll post next week about my first 2 weeks of the challenge and how it went. I know that I have the habit of starting out on these things all strong and excited, and then kind of petering out, so we’ll see how it goes. Feel free to throw snack or veggie or recipe suggestions my way, and I’d always love getting together and cooking with someone to give me better motivation, and of course to share the food. 🙂 Enjoy the blog!