Posted January 17, 2012 - 5:29pm by Tracy
Healthy eating is a frequent topic of conversation among Well Community’s staff. We have discussed the protein content in Chobani Greek yogurt, healthy slow cooker recipes and the nutritional benefits of chia seeds and dragon fruit. The list goes on.
These casual chats often serve as inspiration for Well Community articles, and also as reminders to be more conscious about what we eat. You might say that we tend to bandwagon on nutrition trends (i.e. nearly everyone in our office now eats Chobani yogurt).
And yet, despite the great information and good intentions, most of us still regularly eat processed foods like pasta, bread, canned soups, salty packaged rice mixes and sugary snacks. We know we shouldn’t, but there hasn’t been a good reason or incentive to stop — until now.
Last week, our Community Relations team told us about the Health Starts Here 28-day challenge hosted by Galter LifeCenter and Whole Foods Market Sauganash. So we jumped on the newest bandwagon and agreed to give it a try. We spent a few days hemming and hawing over questions like, “What constitutes a whole food?”, “Do dairy products count as processed?” and “Can I honestly make it a month without chips?” then hashed out the rules of our at-home challenge.
We opted to do a modified version of the official challenge event (no blood work or weekly meetings, and starting a week earlier) as it fit better with our schedules. But the basics are the same — processed foods are out and whole, healthy, unprocessed foods are in for eight members of our team. (If you'd like to join us, the guidelines are detailed here, along with information on how to sign up for future Whole Foods/Galter LifeCenter challenges.)
Although the strictness of enforcement and what is considered a “whole food” is up to each individual, collectively we are only eating foods with 10 ingredients or less and made with items we recognize as food — no partially hydrogenated soybean oil for us. We will keep food logs (some are using fitness apps, others are sticking to good old pen and paper) to record our meals and recipes, and stay accountable to ourselves and each other.
“Cheats” are bound to happen, craving will no doubt gnaw at us and lots of lessons about eating, cooking and meal planning are coming our way — so we decided to bring you, our readers, along with us to share in the excitement over the next four weeks through Northside Reaction.
Look for blog posts on our progress, reactions and advice from Swedish Covenant Hospital doctors and registered dietitians, go-to recipes and updates from participants in the formal challenge who will take part in cooking demonstrations, fitness courses and health screenings at Galter LifeCenter and Whole Foods Market Sauganash.
We invite you to try it out for yourself as well.
You can sign up for the formal challenge, which starts on Wednesday, February 4, by clicking here, or you can take on the challenge from home on your own or along with our team. Please share your thoughts, questions and revelations with us along the way through Well Community’s facebook page or in the comments section of the articles.
Happy healthy eating!