Aug 08

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Healthy Habit Challenge Week 3 – Eliminating Processed Foods


This week’s challenge is to eliminate as many processed foods from your pantry and refrigerator as possible.

eat real food

Processed foods are frequently made primarily of refined grains, sweeteners, refined salt, low quality and artificial fat, and food additives. The labels are often lengthy, containing words that we cannot pronounce, or know what they are. Processed foods can contribute to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other illnesses. The list includes, but is not limited to, white and refined flours as in crackers and white pasta, cake and cookie mix, pizza mixes, frozen dinners, ravioli, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, fish sticks, cheese slices, most lunchmeat and kid’s cereals.

Replace these products with whole foods and whole-wheat grains such as whole-wheat pasta and bread, brown rice, fresh and frozen vegetables and fruit, whole grain cereals, fresh fish or low sodium canned tuna or salmon, eggs, chicken, and lean steak. A good rule of thumb is if it can be plucked, picked, shucked, fished or hunted – you can eat it. If it comes from a box – leave it alone.

Now, I am not saying you can never have a treat or sweet or a cracker; there is nothing wrong with the occasional treat! But for the sake of this challenge, try to reduce the amount you have to once or twice a week. The goal is not to have these items on a daily basis. If you can eliminate these foods from your regular diet, after a couple of weeks, you will feel a difference in your body. It will no longer feel sluggish or bloated.


Next – Do you eat breakfast?

It’s always a debate – will eating breakfast help you lose weight? Everyone is different. I cannot eat immediately upon awakening. I usually have coffee, first, then breakfast. I’m a creature of habit – my breakfast always consists of oatmeal with flaxseed and blueberries, along with a protein smoothie. Personally, I believe that if you eat breakfast, it helps you to keep from binging later in the day.

So this week, if you don’t usually eat breakfast, try having some yogurt or oatmeal for breakfast. Try these Blueberry Cottage Cheese Muffins!



Food Group Color: Blues and Purples

Foods that are blue-purple contain anthcyanins and phenolics, which fight against free radicals that cause aging. Purple skinned vegetables also contain nasunin, which can help fight against cancer.


Foods to try: Blueberries, blackberries, black currant, elderberries, plums and prunes, purple grapes, purple cabbage, purple eggplants, purple bell peppers, purple asparagus, purple sweet potatoes


Try a new recipe this week! Grilled Purple Asparagus, Purple Detox Smoothie, Purple Sweet Potato Chips, Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette


Add a salad to your dinner at least two days this week, using a dressing that contains some good fat, such as olive oil, to make the nutrients more readily available for your body to absorb.


Resistance Band and Weights isolated on a white background

Fitness Challenge:

Beginners, add 2 days of resistance training to your workouts this week. This is in addition to walking 5 days per week. Begin with bodyweight only exercises, such as push-ups, squats, triceps’ dips, lunges and crunches. Do 10 reps of each exercise.


Advanced: Perform circuit training this week. Choose 1 exercise per body part, totaling 8-10 exercises. Perform 1 set of 8-12 reps of each exercise with no rest between exercises. Completing 1 set of all exercises equals 1 round. Rest 1-2 minutes between rounds.


Here is this week’s challenge recap:

Eat breakfast at least 4 times this week, no – or very limited, sugary drinks, continue adding fresh fruit and vegetables to your meals, eat salads at least twice this week and begin eliminating processed foods from your kitchen.


Beginners Fitness: Add resistance training to your walking schedule, twice this week


Advanced Fitness: Perform circuit training 3 days this week, leaving 48 hours between sessions.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.get-fit-naturally.org/2016/08/healthy-habit-challenge-week-3-eliminating-processed-foods/


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  1. Shauna

    I like how blue and purple are good colors to eat. I agree, that eating real food is important. Too much processed food is not good at all. It’s something we are working on. I need more exercise in my life too.

    1. getfitnaturally

      Processed and package foods offer so much convenience, I think it’s something we all need to work on!

  2. Lisa Jones

    Such great tips love if it comes from a box LEAVE IT ALONE!! LOL! i will be changing my diet and way of thinking after this article.

    1. getfitnaturally

      It’s so easy to reach our hand in for a little “something” right? Think “mini carrots”! LOL

  3. Helene Cohen Bludman

    I have tried to eliminate most processed foods from my diet. I feel much better without them.

    1. getfitnaturally

      They really do make me feel sluggish, I always feel much better when I’m not indulging!

  4. Ashley

    We do not eat many processed foods. I follow the clean rule, if it has more than 6 or so ingredients than I won’t eat it.

    1. getfitnaturally

      That’s a good rule to follow!

  5. maria @ close to home

    I need to be better about the foods I buy for convenience and make more food for the freezer etc. These are some really great tips.

    1. getfitnaturally

      Once you remove them from your pantry, you really won’t miss them! It just takes a little time to get used to it.

  6. Amanda

    This is something I’m awful at! Its been a busy summer, and I’ve relied way to much on processed food.

    1. getfitnaturally

      I understand! When we’re busy, it’s the convenience factor that we reach for!

  7. Milena

    We don’t normally eat a lot of processed foods, but I need to get them all out for sure! We just got back from vacation so we need to eliminate things for sure.

    1. getfitnaturally

      Vacations are for relaxing, right?

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