So last night I attended the first of five sessions of the Healthy Eating Challenge hosted by Whole Foods. The class was sold out at 23 participants and was held in a small room at my local Whole Foods. When we walked in the room, each person received a bag filled with Whole Foods goodies!
I’m really excited about the red lentils. I’ve eaten lentils before, but bought the pre-made kind, so I’ll need to do some experimenting with actually cooking them. The other items are always good to have on hand and I can always use another reusable bag and kitchen utensils! We also got a suggested meal plan with tons of recipes.
The class began with a short introduction on what the “challenge” would entail. I quickly learned that the class was more geared to the common person, which unfortunately, does not have a lot of knowledge of what it means to eat healthy, whole foods. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but hoped it went a bit deeper, but it did give some good information for someone who is just getting started on their healthy eating endeavors.
This 28 Day Challenge included a daily food intake of vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, beans, and whole grains/starch vegetables with recommended portions of each. They suggested limiting fish, eggs, poultry, and meat and eliminating dairy, oils, white bread/pasta, processed foods, and sweets. They did stress that each choice is a personal one and every person can decide how they want to attack this challenge. Personally, I don’t necessarily agree with completely “restricting” particular foods such as dairy and oils and I don’t feel the need to limit eggs when I am eating mostly eggwhites. (I usually consume two yolks a week which is fine.) Dairy is not a category I typically eat a lot of anyway as I prefer almond milk to cow’s and I do keep cheese out of the house because I know it’s just not a super healthy choice.
Then we toured the store and I learned a couple of things. For one, I did not know that the seasonal and on-sale items were kept in the front of the store in the produce section. Also, Whole Foods is really trying to develop their “Health Starts Here” initiative, so they have placed that label on a lot of products to make shopping easier for those with specific goals in mind.
When we got to the meat department, I noticed a label on the glass which was a 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating. This provides a rating on all of the meat on a 1 – 5 scale. I do appreciate how Whole Foods stresses the importance of treating animals humanely and maintaining good relationships with their farmers.
I don’t buy or cook with a ton of meat, but if/when I do, I’ll be sure to check out the rating first. After the tour, we went back to the room for a cooking demonstration. The room was neat in that there was a slanted, hanging mirror, so we were able to see what was going on in the front of the room.
They made two “Bowls of Goodness” for us which includes a whole grain or starchy veggie, beans, greens, veggies, herbs & spices, and condiments or sauces. Oftentimes I find myself making a bowl similar to this though I never named it. It is a good basis for where to start in preparing a healthy dish using whole foods. In fact, I made one for my lunch tomorrow! You’ll have to wait for WIAW to see it though. The first bowl they made included a greens mix of kale, spinach, and one other leafy green that I can’t remember, quinoa, peppers, onions, carrots, olives, and a Health Starts Here salad dressing with no oil.
The second dish was similar, but had chickpeas, avocado, brown rice, and a different Health Starts Here dressing. A bit creamier due to the chickpeas and avocado and very tasty. I love the simplicity of these bowls.
All in all it was a very good class and I am looking forward to delving deeper into some of the upcoming topics. I’ll definitely be trying some new recipes, so be on the lookout!
My new goals of going to bed earlier, waking up, and working out are two days strong! I typed furiously last night to complete this blog post in order to get in bed by 10, and I made it! It makes so much of a difference if I get to bed before then in terms of waking up and getting to the gym. Another circuit was on the docket today:
Week 11 Day 2: Back, Abs, & Cardio
- Circuit: 20 reps each
- Barbell Deadlift: 40 pounds
- Bent Over Barbell Row: 40 pounds
- Wide Grip Lat Pull Down: 45 pounds
- Seated Cable Rows: 20 pounds
- Hyperextensions: 25 pounds
- Knee/Hip Raises
- Complete circuit 3 times
- Cardio: 30 – 40 minutes
Due to morning time constraints, I must save my cardio for soccer practice this evening with my girls. It’s not the best cardio, but I try and do as much as I can with them and it’s better than nothing!
Have you ever taken any sort of “healthy eating” class?