2017 flew by and it’s still hard to believe I’m sitting here putting together a welcome email for our 2018 challenge!
The past year was definitely one of learning and growth — both personally and professionally for us. We really buckled down on Sweet Simple Vegan at the start of the year and wanted to be able to push more content for you all. There were ups and downs and a ton that we needed to and have learned along the way, and we are so proud to see how far we have come.
For the start of 2018, we want to challenge ourselves to eat healthier and treat our bodies better — and we figured why not invite you all to join us?! Doing this with our community will help all of us stay accountable, feel supported and not have to do this alone!
So what is this challenge all about?
This isn’t intended to be a drop everything and attempt to change your lifestyle overnight type of thing, but rather a way for all of us to make an impact on our eating habits and create positive ones for the future. Chris and I have been eating a lot of processed junk food over the holidays and we are looking to make a fresh start with the new year.
Our January healthy eating challenge:
- Eat a primarily whole food, plant-based diet (more info below) — aiming for at least 85% of your daily intake. I also would like to mention that we are designing this challenge to be one that is 100% vegan!
- Be more aware of just how many processed foods you are consuming — Chris and I are guilty of being snackers and grabbing a lot of on-the-go type foods. Consuming whole plant foods in their place and actively trying to stay away from those foods is really going to put into perspective just how much we rely on them!
- Eat out less often but also still allow yourselves to indulge in some decadent vegan foods every so often. How often? This will be up to you and how firm you want to be with this challenge. Chris and I are going to allow ourselves to eat out with friends about 2 meals a week. We see it that 2 out of the roughly 21 meals that we are consuming each week will be just fine.
What is a Whole Food Plant-Based Diet? (source: Forks Over Knives)
A whole-food, plant-based diet consists of whole, unrefined, or minimally refined plants. This doesn’t just mean you can only eat vegetables– it also includes fruits, tubers and starchy vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. We are focusing on excluding highly refined foods (such as bleached flour, refined sugar, and oil) and all animal products of course.
We know that seems like a lot, but trust me, you will be eating in abundance! Once you start to focus on all of the foods you can eat rather than the ones you are excluding, things will seem much easier.
- Vegetables: lettuce, collard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, carrots, etc.
- Fruit: mangoes, bananas, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, oranges, cherries, etc.
- Tubers and starchy vegetables: potatoes, yams, yucca, winter squash, corn, green peas, etc.
- Whole grains: millet, quinoa, barley, rice, whole wheat, oats, etc.
- Legumes: kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, lima beans, cannellini beans, black beans, etc.
How to participate:
- All you have to do is make the effort to eat healthier this month and try your best to incorporate as many whole foods as possible! Anyone and everyone is welcome to join — the goal is to make a positive impact on your eating habits!
- Chris and I will be sharing recipes every single week on our blog, Youtube channel AND the Facebook group (below) for you to either try out or draw inspiration from!
- We encourage you to join our Facebook group created specifically for the challenge. In the group, share your meals, thoughts, questions, etc. and work with others in the community to rock this challenge together!
- You can share your meals with us on Instagram and Facebook using #SSVHealthy2018, we would love to see your creations!
- Have fun 🙂 We want this to be a positive experience for you and that way it will be easier to keep up with!
Some resources for recipes:
We have a ton of recipes on our blog, but to make this more versatile and to provide more options, below is a list of sites with recipes to check out.
- Our blog Sweet Simple Vegan of course 😉
- From My Bowl
- Forks Over Knives
- Feasting On Fruit
- One Green Planet
- Nutrition Studies
- If you have any more recommendations, let us know!