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[Day 2] Sleekgeek 30-Day Nutrition Challenge

? Welcome to Day 2 of the Sleekgeek 30-Day Nutrition Challenge!

Each day, for 30 days, we’re going to help you improve your nutrition and build healthy habits that will serve you for a lifetime.

  • ? Each day we will challenge you to take action with a daily task that you need to complete. 

Best of all, we will be with you every step of the way in our dedicated Sleekgeek 30-Day Nutrition Challenge Group on Facebook.

Here’s a quick snapshot of what Week 1 looks like:

Remember to download and print out the FULL 30-Day Calendar here: PNG or PDF.

Today’s ? Task:

This is what you need to do in order to successfully complete today’s challenge task.

  • Take stock of your kitchen and identify whether the foods that you keep around you are making this journey easier or harder for you.
  • ✅ Design your environment by making healthier foods more noticeable, visible, accessible, and convenient to eat while making unhealthy foods less noticeable, less visible, less accessible, and less convenient to eat.

⚠️ Click here if you need a reminder about how this challenge works and what the rules are.

❓ Got a question? Feel free to ask it in the Sleekgeek 30-Day Nutrition Challenge Support Group on Facebook.

More ? Info:

Week 1’s Key Nutrition Strategy is all about the Sleekgeek Food List.

Today we’re focusing specifically on how to use it to Design Your Environment so that healthy habits come easily and less willpower is required to stay on track.

At Sleekgeek, we have found that the foods you choose to keep around you and your loved ones at home, at work, at school, and at social events are one of the biggest environmental factors that are within your control when it comes to your health and fitness.

Which foods will you eat?

Simply put, you are more likely to eat whatever food is around you.

Good or bad.

  • If you choose to keep lots of junk food around… You are more likely to eat it.
  • If you choose to keep lots of healthy food around… You are more likely to eat it.

This is not about how much willpower you have, whether you feel motivated or not, or what kind of genetics you have.

It’s environment design, and whether you are setting yourself up for success or failure by default.

You eat the food around you2

The power of your environment:

Your environment (like your kitchen) plays a much bigger role in your success than things like motivation, or willpower, or talent, or genetics, or luck.

Those things do matter, especially in key moments throughout life… But it is your environment that affects you every minute of every day, for better or for worse.

If you don’t put any attention into what kind of environment you design around yourself then you make achieving your goals so much harder than it needs to be.

The power of your environment

The smoking analogy:

Who do you think is more likely to become a smoker?

A kid who grows up in a house full of smokers, or a kid who grows up in a house where no one smokes?

Sure, there are exceptions, but research suggests that kids who have parents that smoke are at least 2 times more likely to become smokers themselves, and I’m sure you can understand why.

Again, this is NOT about willpower. Those kids AREN’T weak!

It’s because smoking for them is hard to avoid. It’s part of their daily norm. It’s accessible and in their face 24/7.

I only smoke when my dad is around

How to Design Your Kitchen Environment:

In an ideal world, we would all have squeaky clean kitchens stocked full of healthy food and absolutely no junk food around.

This would certainly make our lives simpler… But, life isn’t simple.

We can’t always get rid of all the junk food because we have families, kids, and guests who we may need to provide for. Plus, there’s definitely place for a little bit of unhealthy food in a generally healthy diet as long as it’s done within moderation and we accept the tradeoffs.

While it is up to you to fight to raise the quality and standards of what “food” is in your household, often a more agreeable first step among household members is to make small tweaks to your environment as opposed to taking giant leaps where you completely overhaul what everyone eats overnight.

To be more practical, we suggest designing your kitchen environment with these tips:

  • Put healthier foods at eye level. Make them noticeable.
  • Put healthier foods in transparent containers. Make them visible.
  • Put healthier foods at the front and within easy reach. Make them accessible.
  • Do the opposite for less healthy foods. Either get rid of as much of them as possible, or at least make them less noticeable, less visible, and less accessible.

This is a more “always something” or “best effort” approach where you just do your best, as opposed to an “all-or-nothing” approach where your house either has to be perfectly healthy or there’s no point in trying.

Above all of this, it is essential you have healthy foods that you enjoy and are convenient, portable, and ready to eat right away. It’s a lot easier to say “no” to some tempting junk food when you have something healthy that requires minimal effort to prepare and eat.

Some ideas from the Sleekgeek Food List that I use personally on just about a daily basis include:

  • Protein: Tins of tuna, hard-boiled eggs, protein powder, biltong, and left-overs (mince, chicken, braai meat, beans, etc).
  • Veg: Carrots, bell peppers, cucumber, baby tomatoes, sugar snap peas, and pickles (all ready to eat in seconds, no prep requires).
  • Carbs: Fruit, rolled oats (microwave for 4 mins with double the amount of water), left-overs like potatoes, rice, or quinoa, etc (re-heat and eat).
  • Fats: Nuts, nut butters, avocado, coconut, olive oil, etc.

With this list of protein, veg, carbs, and fats, I can put together a healthy meal or a work lunch box in less than 3 minutes flat.

Stocking up on healthy food like this, while reducing or eliminating junk food ensures that your environment works with you rather than against you.

Be sure to learn from past failures by identifying which situations you “gave in” to unhealthy food or “went off plan” because you did not have healthy food on hand.

Plan ahead for upcoming challenges that you might face (meetings, travelling, short on time, etc) and stock up or prep accordingly.

The end goal is to have a supportive environment that steps in to take care of you, even on your worst days. Those days when you lack time, lack energy, or lack willpower.

? Coming up next tomorrow:

Tomorrow we will talk more about Upgrading Your Shopping List so that you can continue to keep your house well stocked with healthy food while avoiding all of the less healthy temptations (to save you both money and calories).

? Remember to check in with us in 30-Day Nutrition Challenge Support Group on Facebook to let us know how this challenge is going for you.