Below is an example of one of the daily lessons participants will receive either through email or the free app we use during the challenge. This one is the first lesson in a series of lessons about Proteins, Fats and Carbs.
This challenge is all about real vs processed foods.
Undoubtedly, we are going to get the question. You can’t find a “steak” in nature. Yes, this is a true statement. There is no “steak tree” and we are not suggesting you resort to cannibalism. The invention of cooking was a breakthrough for humans and you should continue to employ its powers.
If we were to take a fine tooth comb to our diet, most of the foods we eat are processed in some way. An orange gets picked from the tree, our steak gets cut from a cow and typically cooked, or the butter gets separated from the cream.
This is not what we mean by processing. Mechanical processing like putting something into a jar is much different than chemical processing. If we mechanically process something it’s still real food.
Chemical processing combines lots of substances to create “food.” Things like…
- artificial colors, dyes
- refined ingredients (wheat, soy)
- low-quality oils (vegetable, soy, canola, cottonseed)
- just take a look at the ingredient lists of most packaged goods
The purpose of this challenge is to eat real, single ingredient foods as much as possible. You can combine foods to create combinations but opt for combining from single ingredients. Try and stay away from the chemically processed foods.
Today, we are going to separate the protein that is real from the protein that is processed.
Real protein is going to be food with nothing more than a little salt added to it.
Examples of real protein
- Hamburger meat
- Lean cuts of beef, poultry, lamb, pork
- Plain yogurt (no added sugars)
- Whey protein (without any added artificial anything, stevia is ok)
To highlight how one food can have both compliant and non-compliant options let’s take a look at yogurt. Option one is a great choice where option two gets a little sketchy. Notice the length of the ingredient lists and also the amounts of sugar and protein.
Option 1 (good choice):
Option 2 (poor choice):
Did you notice that option one had half the amount of sugar and twice the amount of protein?
Here are some examples of processed proteins (meats) you are going to want to stay away from:
- hot dogs
- ham / bacon
- corned beef
- beef jerky
- canned meat
Also, we suggest staying away from soy, unless it has been fermented like tempeh or natto and not combined with other not so stellar ingredients.
If you need some additional convincing we found this great article “9 ways processed foods are killing people” from a great site called Authority Nutrition.
The moral of the story is…… Just Eat Real Food.
If it comes in a package with a long ingredient list most likely it’s not real food. Opt for 1-2 ingredient foods and make sure to check-in tomorrow with how you did.
A resource section is included at the bottom of the lesson with links to healthy recipes, a bunch of guides to help with food prep, meal mapping and clean eating as well as links to all of the included workouts.
Have questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org