So here's what you need to do before you start…
1. Wean yourself from processed foods, caffeine, soda, sweets, alcohol, etc.
If you're a coffee drinker or a soda drinker, you'll need to give up those things in the next few days. I'll show you how to slowly introduce healthier alternatives to coffee, soda and sweets in the next lessons, but you need to decide to give up those things for this challenge.
You can also try drinking herbal teas or matcha green tea to help you with the cravings.
The best strategy that I've known to help yourself out is to simply throw away these processed foods from your cupboards and fridge. If you don't have them readily available, you'll be able to wean them out easily rather than when you're tempted to grab a bite, when you know it's just a few steps away.
2. Relax, Meditate and Keep a positive attitude
Too many times that when we go into a “detox” mode or “diet” mode we feel pressured, stressed and deprived. That's the reason I don't like the word “diet” because it creates a negative feeling.
Going on a “diet” is synonymous to “restriction, deprivation”.
And who wants to be deprived? No one. That's why it's hard to go on a “diet” and keep it off permanently.
What you're doing is you're taking responsibility for the food choices that you're taking in. Instead of processed foods, you're getting more fruits and vegetables in your body. And these fruits and vegetables are much healthier than any “processed health product” out there.
3. Exercise and Stay active
Now's the time to understand your body. You want to move, and enjoy life, and since you have more energy it's now time to get up, move around and exercise.
The funny thing with exercising and staying active is that the more you do it, the more energy you'll have. Our muscles will atrophy (or shrink) if we don't use them.
So start using those muscles. Even a one hour walk can have a huge impact in our health.
4. Stock up on fresh goods the night before
If you want to be able to get started on day 1 without too much hassle, you should be preparing for what you need the day before.
So if you plan to start tomorrow, it's time to go to the grocery store and stock up on fruits and vegetables that you'll need for this challenge.
Ideally, you'll want fresh and organic ingredients. But if it's too expensive or unavailable then choose local whenever available. You can also grow your own fruits and vegetables depending on your location.
*There might be some ingredients that are not available in your local area (I'm in Canada). Don't worry you can substitute it with another alternative or personal favorite.
Another tip is to pack each drink in individual “Zip Locks”. This can save you a lot of time and it will be an easy way to create your daily drinks.
5. Have a plan when going on a restaurant or dining out
Expect that you'll encounter temptations to skip the challenge and dine out with family and friends. While temporarily avoiding dine-outs and meals with friends is going to help you avoid eating processed foods, it's not a long term solution.
Going out with family and friends will be a part of our lives. So what's the best plan if you want to choose healthier choices?
1. Eat at home before you go.
If you have already eaten, you'll crave less because you're already full and satisfied.
2. Order healthier alternatives.
Going for a soda? Why not just ask for lemon + water or just plain water. Skip the sugar, calories from the soda and that's one step towards living a healthier lifestyle.
3. Try smaller portions.
If you really need to “cheat”, order small portions only.
4. Tell your family and friends about your journey.
They should be supportive about your journey. And hopefully the changes in your lifestyle will be an inspiration to them as well.
5. Get back in the game immediately.
If you've felt that you've “cheated” in your plan more than enough, just move forward and continue the challenge. The key is not to give up because you can do it if you put your mind and heart to it.