? Welcome to Day 3 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 week we will introduce 1 key nutrition strategy to you from our Sleekgeek Nutrition Guide.
- ? 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:
Today’s ? Task:
This is what you need to do in order to successfully complete today’s challenge task.
- ✅ Identify healthy foods to stock up on that will help you to further design your environment to support you. Stick to foods that you like and which are within your budget.
- ✅ Expand your choices by choosing 3 foods from each section (Quality Protein, Colourful Vegetables, Smart Carbs, and Healthy Fats) that you don’t normally eat but would like to experiment with over the next 30 days.
- ✅ Share with us in the Sleekgeek 30-Day Nutrition Challenge Support Group on Facebook which staple foods you plan to stock up on and which new foods you would like to experiment with.
⚠️ 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.
Yesterday, we talked about Designing Your Environment so that healthy habits come easily and less willpower is required to stay on track.
Today, we’re focusing on how the Sleekgeek Food List can help you stock up on healthy food that you like, expand your choices, adjust according to your needs, and save money at the same time.
This is really important because many people just wander around the shops waiting for something to catch their eye so that they can put it in their basket. The problem with this is that you’re likely to end up with more unhealthy rather than healthy choices, and also likely to spend a lot more money than you meant to.
But, with a pre-planned shopping list full of nutritious foods, you can hit the grocery store, get in and out quickly, and leave knowing you’ve bought all the things you need to be prepared in the days ahead and nothing more.
With a clear system to follow, staying on track (for both budget and healthy food choices) becomes just about effortless!
Figuring out what to put on your shopping list:
In the upcoming weeks of this Sleekgeek 30-Day Nutrition Challenge, we’re going to help you actually put together and plan your very own healthy meals so that you can easily figure out exactly which healthy foods you need to shop for.
However, in the meantime, you should revisit the foods that you highlighted on Day 1 and see which of them are missing from your kitchen.
For example, some of the foods that I personally like:
- Quality Proteins: beef, lamb, chicken, eggs, hake, salmon, tuna, calamari, milk, cottage cheese, yoghurt, protein powder, and lentils.
- Colourful Vegetables: onions, peppers, tomatoes, carrots, sweet corn, cauliflower, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, green beans, lettuce, and sugar-snap peas.
- Smart Carbs: potatoes, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, oats, quinoa, rice, sprouted grains, beans, chickpeas, and most fruit on the list.
- Healthy Fats: coconut oil, olive oil, walnut oil, almonds, cashews, pecans, chia seeds, sesame seeds, avocado, butter, olives, and peanut butter.
These are foods that I like and will actually eat.
These are likely to be much better choices for me to buy than unhealthier foods not on the Food List, or healthier foods that I simply don’t like and won’t end up eating.
Work within your means:
Some of the foods on the Sleekgeek Food List may be out of your budget or be more of a once-in-a-while luxury.
Some may even simply just not be available where you live.
That’s 100% OK.
This is quite a broad and all-inclusive list. We’ve tried to offer options for everyone.
For example, when it comes to protein, there is:
- More expensive options like oysters and wild game.
- Cheaper options like chicken, fish, and beans.
- Meat-based options like beef, lamb, and pork.
- Plant-based options like beans, chickpeas, and tofu.
- More intricate prep-intensive options like duck and kingklip.
- More quick-and-easy options like protein powder and yoghurt.
It’s 100% OK to not be able to afford (or like) some of the foods on this list.
There is absolutely NO food that you must eat to be healthy.
There’s such a wide variety of healthy foods out there that you don’t need to create even more stress around eating foods that you don’t like or can’t afford.
This is why we suggested above that you first focus on what you actually like. There are more than enough healthy foods out there that you can take your pick and make healthy eating an enjoyable experience with foods that you enjoy rather than a chore of eating foods that you hate.
It’s also great to have a “minimum” and a “goal” to work towards because success is not an all-or-nothing / perfect-or-failure kind of state. It’s a wide range of possible outcomes that looks different for everyone.
With all of that said, there is something to be said for trying new things and deliberately expanding your choices.
Our taste preferences tend to adjust based on exposure. In other words, sometimes you have to try a thing a few times (in some cases many times) before you develop a liking for it.
For example, almost no one likes the taste of coffee, beer, wine, olives, sushi, etc the first time they taste it. But, over time, with enough repeated exposure we grow to absolutely love the taste.
This holds true as well for things like bitter vegetables or more unusual foods such as barley, sweet potatoes, lentils, seeds, healthy cooking oils, and so on. If this interests you, check out 3 Reasons you might not like vegetables and 3 things that you can do about it.
TRY 3 NEW FOODS FROM EACH FOOD GROUP:
This is where things get exciting! As we grow up we come across less and less new experiences. Finding something to try for the first time can be rather hard, so here we go!
Keep in mind that this is not about success or failure.
If you try golf for the first time, watch a ballet for the first time, or go watch a new movie, it doesn’t matter what the outcome is. If you enjoy it, great! If you don’t, that’s OK too, you didn’t fail. You can decide if you want to give it another try in the future to see if it will grow on you, or you can decide then and there that this is definitely not for you. We all have different preferences when it comes to sports, movies, music, and hobbies… food is no different.
So, when ready, identify 3 new foods from each food group in the Sleekgeek Food List to try over the next couple of weeks.
For example, for me it might look like:
- 3 Quality Proteins: ostrich, crab, and tofu.
- 3 Colourful Vegetables: rhubarb, eggplant, and artichokes.
- 3 Smart Carbs: amaranth, chickpeas, and persimmons.
- 3 Healthy Fats: Avocado oil, brazil nuts, and coconut milk.
I’ll then decide which of those I absolutely hate, which are worth trying again, and which I could see quite easily being part of my regular diet.
These “new foods” don’t even have to be completely new to you. It could just be foods that you forgot about or don’t find yourself buying very often. For example, I know that I love prawns, but I only end up having them like 4-5 times a year. This is something I would like to change, as it would benefit me in expanding my variety of protein options and making some of my meals more interesting.
Adjust according to your needs:
Again, there is absolutely no food that you must eat.
Nutrition is personal, so adjust it according to your needs and preferences.
- If you are already following a specific diet like Banting or Paleo (and it’s working well for you) then that is fine, scrap whatever on the list doesn’t fit.
- If you are vegan or vegetarian then leave out the meat, stock up on legumes and vegan protein powder, and consider eggs, fish, and dairy as a supplemental source of protein.
- If you have other special dietary requirements around religion, allergies, or you absolutely do not like some of the foods on this list then simply focus on whichever foods you can eat.
Four of our most important tips for shopping are:
- Always shop with a list. Whether that’s ours or your own is up to you. If it’s not on the list, you don’t buy it. That saves you time AND money.
- Know supermarket geography. Most supermarkets are laid out the same way: The healthy stuff is generally around the edges while most of the stuff to avoid is in the inner aisles and at the checkout points. Stick mostly to the perimeter and be cautious when venturing deeper down the aisles or when checking out (waiting in the queue is the perfect time to pull out your phone and browse Sleekgeek for a bit as a distraction from tempting, well-positioned sweets).
- Try to avoid shopping on an empty stomach. When you are hungry or simply haven’t eaten in a while, you are significantly more likely to make impulse food choices and spend money unnecessarily.
- Get in and get out. All three of the above points will likely help you to speed things up, but a bit of intention and focus on getting your shopping done as quickly as possible rather than browsing can go a long way to reducing your impulse buys.
Learn to read labels:
Perhaps one of the most valuable shopping skills out there is the ability to read food labels correctly.
The best-case scenario is that you are mostly single-ingredient foods that do not even come with a food label or more than one ingredient, however, there definitely will be exceptions to this from time to time.
- The packaging: The first thing people normally look at when buying foods is what it says on the front of the box. This is a bad idea, as marketing is all about appealing to consumers by putting bold words on the front of the packaging. In fact, most foods marketed as healthy are often exactly the opposite, whereas foods that build the foundation of health (such as in The Sleekgeek Food List) tend to be sold as they come and don’t need to convince consumers that they are healthy.
- Nutrition facts label: The next place where people often get confused is they look at the nutrition facts label on the back that shows the amount of calories, protein, fat, carbohydrates, and other possible stats such as vitamins and minerals. This is great when you are trying to watch your calorie intake or get extra protein, but keep in mind that things like zero-calorie sweeteners or nutritionally sparse foods can skew your perception of a product’s nutrition and don’t necessarily mean that it is healthy.
- Ingredients list: The best thing to do is to look beyond the marketing buzzwords and macronutrient / calorie nutrition label to examine the list of ingredients closely. This will tell you exactly what you are putting into your body. Then, you can use that knowledge along with the nutritional information and your own personal beliefs or trusted guidelines around nutrition to make an educated decision.
You can read more about How to Read Food Labels here.
? Coming up next tomorrow:
Tomorrow we will dive into the specifics of nutrition, starting with good quality protein sources and why / how to get more of it in your diet.
? 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.