Join The AlumniWellness #Whole10 Challenge
I’m a vegetarian who has been pretty honest about the challenges I’ve faced adopting a proper diet (ref. The Life and Times of a Carb-o-tarian). Basically I’ve kicked meat off the menu, but I’ve added way too many breads to fill the calorie gap.
Knowing this, the ever cynical Mr. Be Moore decided to issue me a challenge designed to inspire me to reach toward my potential. Seeing the challenge online many readers and friends asked to join in (very cool). So here it is:
What is the #Whole10 Challenge?
It’s pretty simple. Just eat NO LESS THAN 5 cups of veggies per day, AND avoid ALL processed carbs for 10 days.
What is a processed carb?
Although this is not a complete list, refined processed carbohydrates are such things as:
- all sugars
- all products containing sugar
- foods containing corn syrup
- sugary drinks
- ice cream
- corn chips
- most desserts
- store bought cooked meats/cold cuts (when they have added sugars and additives)
- sausages/hot dog frankfurters (when they contain carb fillers, additives, or sugar)
I chose to begin my challenge with a detoxing beverage. I piled 1 cup of chopped cabbage, 1 cup of chopped carrots, and 2 cored apples into my Vitamix. I added cold filtered water until the mixture had an “orange juice-like texture.” I was a little hesitant to drink juiced cabbage, but all I could taste was the sweetness of the carrots and apples. Delicious.
I made 2 cups of Kale, sauteed with onions and garlic topped with vegan “chicken.” I’ve made this meal in the past, so I knew how to make it tasty. I’ll give you a tip – use a little Adobo and a lot of black pepper. Throughout the day, I drank a cup of unsweetened oolong tea and 1.5 liters of spring water. I felt pretty full most of the day. At around 6 p.m., I knew it was time to eat again.
Unfortunately I got off work super late, and didn’t feel like cooking. I ate an avocado, some sunflower kernels, and a banana.
Today was pretty easy.
I started my day with organic old fashioned oatmeal. Just whole oats with no processing. I added a chopped up banana to replace the half pound of sugar that I would normally put in there.
I decided to go to out for lunch. I thought it was going to be hard to find something that was covered or smothered in some kind of carb but a simple Google search lead me to Chop’t Creative Salad Company – 3 blocks from my job. I ordered a Vegetarian Powerhouse: Broccoli, edamame, carrots, sunflower
seeds, walnuts, raisins, spinach and romaine lettuce with a sugar/syrup free vinaigrette.
I went to an “invite only” office happy hour. Good news is I was on this challenge so I didn’t drink. The bad news is there was free food and it all contained carbs. I ate an avocado when i returned home after, and went straight to bed.
I woke up late and got to work on time – meaning I had to improvise breakfast. I borrowed a couple of Boca veggie patties from a co-worker. They should call them water and soy patties because those are the main ingredients. I’m going to count them as a cup of veggies but I know I’m reaching. Here are the ingredients: water, soy protein concentrate, Parmesan cheese, oven roasted tomato, rolled oats, textured soy protein concentrate and basil
As you can imagine, by lunch time I was starving. I went to Harris Teeter hoping to get some veggie chilli but they were all out. I wandered over to the sushi bar and was elated that they had brown rice California rolls.
I didn’t want to lose the challenge on a technicality, so I went hard on the veggies for dinner. I juiced a celery, carrots, a sliver of ginger and an orange. Then, I made some vegan “chicken” with broccoli and a whole sauteed onion.
Scrambled eggs. Easy, cheap, quick, tasty and nutritious. Today I realized something. I would rather eat a ton of eggs than all the sides that come with breakfast. Pretty sure I’m going to be eating a lot more eggs in the future.
Like I said above, I really like eggs. I think I forgot how much until I cleared all the bread from my diet. I guess I’m back to being a Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian.
I learned a lesson today. Never order non-hood food at a hood eatery. I was in a low-income neighbor for work and thought I’ll just pick up a Greek salad from the neighborhood carry-out. Bad idea. This is by far the worst salad I’ve ever encountered. Where do I begin… the lettuce was iceberg; the olives had pits in them; the onions were crudely chopped; they used mozzarella cheese instead of feta; and the dressing was Italian.
Clearly, I need to pack a lunch when I’m going to unknown territory.
I missed breakfast, so I elected to go to Eggspectations with friends. I ordered the veggie omelet – califlower, broccoli, spinach, and mushrooms. I also ordered a side of oven roasted potatoes with grilled onions, and told them no toast please. Yay me.
While museum hopping, I walked by a place called Teaism. I fully intended to go home and cook, but this place seemed interesting. I think I found my new “spot.” They had great food and teas. Moreover, they sell loose tea and accessories. I ordered the curry spinach and sweet potato salad.
After grocery shopping on an empty stomach, and impulse buying as if I’m rich. I went to the Wholefoods hot bar for lunch. I picked up some grilled tofu in a spicy sauce, brown rice, spicy kale, and sweet potato wedges. I took it home and enjoyed it with the tea infuser I picked up from Teaism yesterday. Today is a good day.
I made some homemade guacamole in my Vitamix, and used celery as tortilla chips. The celery has more of a crisp than a crunch, but it was more than satisfactory. I also made a vegan Torfurky Italian sausage with grilled onions. I’m definitely making the guac more often. It was delicious.
I really need to start bring my lunch to work. Today’s lunch was mediocre at best. I went to the hot bar at the Harris Teeter across the street from my job and picked up “spicy” tofu and mixed veggies – green beans, broccoli, and carrots.
After work, I went to a Wizards game (best game of my life) and walked around Chinatown aimlessly looking for food. I met up with a friend, and we went to some Thai spot near the arena. I ordered the pineapple rice with mixed veggies and tofu. Today, I had an epiphany – I don’t have to eat the half pound of rice that comes with my meal if I don’t want to.
I juiced! 1 apple, 1 carrot(peeled), 1 cucumber(peeled), 1 lemon(peeled), and 1 celery stalk. Apple skins have pectin, which helps remove harmful substances from the colon. Cucumbers have an enzyme called erepsin that is useful in digesting protein.
Back to Chop’t Creative Salad company. This time I ordered the Santa Fe with tofu – Avocado, tomato, corn, pepper
jack cheese and fried onions with romaine lettuce and a sweet & smoky chipotle vinaigrette. Delicious, nutritious, and expensive.
I kept it simple and made the rest of the Tofurky sausage pack with grilled onions. I added a little Havarti cheese to make it different.
I thought I’d give the eggs a break and eat some organic whole oatmeal with mashed bananas instead of sugar. I think I might do this from now on. Next time I’m going to throw some strawberries in the blender and add those too.
I wish I could’ve cooked more for this challenge, but life tends to get in the way. Luckily, I was able to score some veggie sushi (avocado, carrot, cucumber, and brown rice) from Harris Teeter. Believe or not, the sushi wasn’t that bad. I also bout some roasted sunflower kernels. I ate them for a midday snack instead of the wide selection of carbs available in the vending machine.
I made roasted root veggies for dinner – Butternut squash, turnips, carrots, sweet potatoes, rutabaga, and garlic. Sorry no picture. I took one but didn’t actually check to see how it looked. Unfortunately my thumb was partial in the picture. I guess I was hungry. In any case… it was delicious. You can see the recipe and a picture of when I made it previously on my post The Vital Ital Resolution.
Pro: This challenge changed the way i think about food. Processed carbs are everywhere. Most likely because they are cheap to manufacture and don’t take as much care as whole natural food. Since I’m a cusp Generation X/Millennial, I’m accustomed to sacrificing quality for convenience.
Moreover, I feel lighter and more energetic. I’ve been pigging out on veggies and proteins, but I never get that “I need a nap” feeling. I like that! In the future, I might indulge in a slice of pizza every now and then, but I don’t see myself going back to the carb-o-tarian life.
Cons: Temptation is everywhere! Over the 10 days of the challenge I passed up FREE cake, cookies, pizza, pasta, cupcakes, milkshakes, and donuts. Plus, it sucks being in a bar drink water with lemon and eating a salad. Not the manliest image, know what I mean?
Feel free to join us in this 10 day challenge. 5 cups of veggies/day and no processes carbs. Post meal pics on Twitter with the tag #WHOLE10