Monday, October 3, 2011

Healthy Eating Challenge

Two times a year, my coworkers are all invited to take part in a 28 day healthy eating challenge, commonly referred to as "The Challenge". The last one was right as I started working there, so I heard other people talking about it, but didn't participate myself. Joe and I both think of ourselves as pretty healthy eaters most of the time, but we're always up for a challenge in terms of making our diet healthier. So this year we're both on board, and as of Friday we started The Challenge for ourselves. 

Everyone has different plans for exactly how they're going to do the Challenge, ranging from eliminating cheese or sugar to all out strict vegan diets. We decided to make our challenge focus on a few of our usual vices, and to eat a mostly vegan diet for the next 28 days. Here's the specifics of our challenge:

- no coffee (drinking tea for now, hoping to cut out caffeine completely by the end)
- no drinking during the week, limited drinking on the weekends
- vegan diet, with the occasional exception of eggs
- limiting oil and salt
- reducing sugar intake

Last night, I was looking at vegetarian cookbooks and references I usually use, and I had a hard time finding many recipes that didn't include some kind of dairy product. One of the things I'm really trying to limit is cheese, because I really really really love cheese, and know how unhealthy it can be. I'm sure I'll be eating cheese again once the challenge is over, but I think it's good to try to cut back. I ended up getting online, and finding tons of great sounding options on vegan blogs. Last night we made these fantastic delicata squash with quinoa and cranberry stuffing, inspired by a recipe from the Vegan Yum Yum cookbook. This was one of the more delicious dishes I've made recently, vegan or not!

We've also made lentil chili from the Whole Foods Market website, and have a bunch of recipes from online picked out for this week. I think Vegan Dad will be one of my favorite sources of inspiration, starting with his Indian Style Potatoes and Greens. I'll keep you guys posted on recipes I really enjoy!

Lentil Chili. Not pretty, but tasty and filling!

So far missing coffee is probably the biggest challenge! I have a feeling it'll get easier as this process goes on, and maybe by the end I'll stop drinking it quite so much. Expect a progress report in a week or two :)


  1. Good luck to you ~ this sounds extremely difficult, especially the coffee part!

  2. that stuffed squash looks amazing!