food for thought | the clean eating challenge

In participation with Pressed Vibrance, we are hosting a three day Clean Eating Challenge between Monday, March 26th and Wednesday, March 28th, 2018. Interested in joining us? Keep reading to find out WHY we are participating and WHAT the challenge entails. 

The winner will receive a full week's worth of goodness from Pressed Vibrance. If you haven't tried their products yet, check out some of our favorites on our Product Page

xx, The Blondes

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Mindfulness - a hot topic these days. And rightfully so! Let’s dive into how we can be more mindful in regards to the foods we eat.

You probably have heard the phrase “you are what you eat”. And I’ll agree - our bodies are composed of the raw materials that come from the food we eat. You may also have heard that food is “fuel” used to support our bodies in day-to-day activities. This is also true... but food is so much more than just fuel or raw material. What you choose to eat is providing an extensive amount of information to your body and triggering all sorts of chemical reactions that can change everything from your mood to your weight to your risk of chronic disease.

The issue at hand: we are constantly losing ourselves in the patterns of our day! Going through the motions as we've done day after day after day. The simple act of being mindful is both the quality and the practice of becoming and staying fully present to our lives in this very moment. Especially when it comes to food.

Let me define what I believe food is: food is information, food is nourishment, food is fuel, food is medicine, and food is love.

When looking over the ecosystem and landscape of the food industry, it’s really quite sad how we define and consume our foods today. The industry has completely hijacked the term “food” to make it last longer and look better. They've pulled the wool over our eyes in convincing us that certain ingredients are “healthy.”

Today, our food is loaded with preservatives, sugars, processed “ingredients” / chemicals that play a leading role in how we feel everyday. Most of these foods are inflammatory and do not communicate well with our own bodies. They do not fall into any of the definitions of food as I’ve described above.

Mindful eating will mean different things to each and every one of us. For me, taking a super anti-inflammatory approach to what I eat is my main goal. Having an autoimmune disease, it’s important for me to eliminate all inflammatory / processed foods as they don’t make me feel great, nor do they provide the fuel my body needs. Most importantly, inflammation also can activate my autoimmune disease, which attacks body parts of which I can’t afford to lose (been there, done that)...

With so much misinformation out there, everyone seems to be an expert. This fad, that fad, what’s in trend, what’s the next kale… We really need to be more mindful about how food ultimately makes us feel. We know through research that taking an anti-inflammatory approach is the most ideal for our bodies and ultimately, for longevity.

Here are a few tips on being more mindful with the foods you’re consuming:

Meal Prep. One of the best routines we can do for ourselves. We know that when we plan the meals in advance, we eat better, have better portions, and make better choices as to where our food comes from. Make sure to have all appropriate containers, and be able to store your prepared meals properly. 100daysofrealfood.com has some great resources for meal prep.  

My challenge for you: On Sunday afternoon, plan the next 3 days worth of meals. Breakfast, snacks, lunch, and dinner. Try and consume more plant-based items. More details about the Clean Eating Challenge are below.

Slow Down. Chew your food; be present in the tastes, the texture, and the overall experience. Try chewing 20/30 times before swallowing.

Trust Your Source. When buying foods, try to get as local, organic, and fresh as you can find.

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Get in the Kitchen. Another great way to eat mindfully is to make your own food! We’re going too fast at times, and one way to slow down a bit is to make your own food. I live by the idea that if the food I’m eating is from a box, I’ll be that much quicker in my own box, 10 feet under.

Questions I like to ask myself when I’m meal prepping: why am I eating these foods? What is the purpose – outside of feeding my body? Is it for post-workouts, clear skin, energy, to overcome or prevent a sickness? 

When looking at food in this way, we can maximize our potential and utilize our bodies for the greatest benefits. Food has such a profound impact on our lives that we should always be practicing and refining our mindfulness when it comes to eating.

There are plenty of online resources on how to be more mindful and meal prep, and I’m sure we all know someone who’s doing it well. The main idea here is to expand your mindfulness practice to an important touch point – food.

We know through the science of nutrigenomics that food can influence our genes. We also know that consuming more vibrant plant-based meals is one of the only ways to maximize potential and longevity.

With that being said... anyone up for a Clean Eating Challenge?

"Clean eating" entails consuming mostly plants, some fish and little-to-no meats. You'll eliminate dairy, red meats, sugars (fruit is okay), white flour, gluten and other processed foods, as well as caffeine [this one is tough - but so worth it!

Think you can do this for 3 days? How about 5 days?

The idea is that by doing the elimination part of this challenge, one should find themselves being more mindful in regards to what ends up at the bottom of your fork. In return, your body might just lose a few pounds, your skin might clear up, you might sleep more soundly, have a clearer mind, have more energy... the list goes on.

Please remember: food is something to LOVE, not to fear or get stressed about. All you have to do is eat foods that are a vibrant as you are!

- Eric Cooper, founder and CEO of Pressed Vibrance

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