Welcome to the 50-Day Challenge

Your final diet program

Educating yourself and creating new lifestyle habits that support your metabolic health means you’ll never need another diet ever again.

Heal your metabolism

We will be learning and practicing nutrition that supports a healthy metabolism. A healthy metabolism is about what you’re made of (your body cells) and supplying yourself with the nutrients you need to keep your cells healthy.

Your body is not a machine; it is an ever evolving, constantly changing, continually healing, living organism, and a healthy life comes at a great cost. To live, you must constantly use up your body cells. The more active and productive you are, the more cells you will burn up in the process.

As your body cells get used up and die off, you metabolism chugs along, hour after hour, day after day, replacing them. Your metabolic health, and ultimately you body composition, depends upon the supplies you eat to replace those cells. The saying, “You are what you eat,” is literally true.

There is no way around it, if you want to have a healthy body you must have a healthy diet. Excess body fat isn’t a symptom of eating junk food, it’s a symptom of not eating enough healthy food.

Prevent Metabolic Disease

Excess body fat is the outwardly visible sign of an unhealthy metabolism, which, over years of neglect, becomes metabolic disease, such as high blood pressure, high triglycerides, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and much, much more. Preventing metabolic disease, restoring your metabolic health, and restoring your body composition to being healthy and lean, is as simple as eating right.

Change your behavior

Hunger signals and food cravings are part of your metabolic system and the strongest drivers of your behaviors. In June 2014, the symposium on the obesity epidemic at Harvard University stated, “What we feel is not what we eat, rather, what we eat is what we feel and what we do.”

The one and only way to change how you feel and what you think about what you want to eat is by first filling your body with the nutrients that drive your hedonic pathway – the metabolic system that controls how you feel and what you think.

The Schedule

Saturday, February 7th

Your first challenge email will arrive, explaining a healthy, balanced diet. It will explain what you need to do for the week. You will have Sunday to get prepared, and the challenge starts on Monday.

Monday, February 9 to Friday, February 13

Every morning you will receive a page of information in your inbox that will help support your challenge for the week.

Saturday, February 14

Your second challenge’s email will arrive, explaining how to eliminate food cravings that sabotage your food choices. You will have Sunday to get prepared, and the challenge will start on Monday. By the end of your second week, you will have eliminated sugar cravings, leaving only your hunger signals, so you will be able to distinguish when you’re hungry and when you’re having cravings.

Monday – Friday during the challenge

Every morning you will receive a page of information in your inbox that will help support your challenge for the week.

Each Saturday, February 14 – April 11

Your email will arrive with the next challenge that pertains to your metabolic health, and the healthy lifestyle choices that help you stick to it.

April 17

Your 50-Day Challenge will end, but your healthy lifestyle will not. Stick to each challenge for five of seven days of the week.

Learning balance will allow a disciplined, moderate amount of cheating on the weekend. As you clean up your diet, therefore, clean up your cravings, it’ll be easy to not go overboard, and it’ll be easy to get right back on track.

Your balanced diet, paired with a balanced lifestyle, will create your ability to stay on track. 50 days of discipline out of 70 days is all you need to be healthy, feel great, and achieve a lean body.

April 20

Appointments for your second body composition test and metabolic analysis will begin. During your second consultation you’ll see a measured change in your body composition and you’ll learn how your change in nutrition has changed your metabolic health.

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Artichoke Chicken

ImageOur pal Virginia has been on the prowl for recipes. Thanks for this one, Virginia!

It’s from AllRecipes.com and it’s very simple. Don’t fear the mayo! Use one that doesn’t have any sugar in it. Pair it with a vegetable medley, as pictured, or a large salad with lots of variety, like different greens, tomatoes, red onions, pumpkin seeds, and a simple olive oil and lemon dressing.

1 15-oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 pinch garlic pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C)
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the artichoke hearts, Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, and garlic pepper. Place chicken in a greased baking dish, and cover evenly with artichoke mixture.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until chicken is no longer pink in the center and juices run clear.

Emeril’s Kicked-Up Mufaletta Olive Salad for Mardi Gras

ImageIt’s Fat Tuesday and Lent starts this week for a lot of people. We all jumped the gun and gave up sugar and starchy carbs for the week! But that doesn’t mean we need to deny ourselves something delicious.

In New Orleans, olive salad is traditionally served atop a stack of sliced deli meats and cheeses sandwiched inside a large sandwich roll. However, it is a very versatile and flavorful vegetable mix that is wonderful served with tuna, salmon, chicken, on top of a salad of fresh tomatoes and greens or even with eggs at breakfast. I have even put it on top of some Applegate Farms Great Organic beef hot dogs, served in romaine lettuce leaves.

1 quart large pimiento-stuffed large green olives, drained and slightly crushed
1 1/2 cups large Greek black olives, drained and pitted
1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
1 cup pickled cauliflower, drained
1/4 bunch celery, sliced diagonally
2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced diagonally
1/2 cup pepperoncini, drained and chopped coarsely
1/3 cup cocktail onions, drained
1/4 cup small capers, drained
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seeds

Mix all ingredients together in a non-reactive bowl, cover and place it in the refrigerator. It’s best to let it sit in there to let the flavors marry overnight.

Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore

chicken cacciatoreCrock pots are a wonderful thing, but mine hides in the garage. I don’t have enough space in my kitchen to keep all my cooking equipment in there, so I put it out there to get it out of the way. And then I forget about it. But after reading through this recipe, I wanted to bring my crock pot back in the house. TODAY!

3 lbs chicken, cut up in pieces
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 6-oz. can tomato paste
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
6 ounces sliced mushrooms
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
2-4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, chopped coarsely
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Place onions in bottom of crock pot. Add chicken pieces. Stir all the other ingredients together and pour over chicken. Cook on low heat 7 to 9 hours or high heat for about 3 to 4 hours. Top with grated parmesan. Can be served over spaghetti squash if you’re avoiding starchy carbs.

Sunday morning food prep

Breakfast asparagus

Prepping breakfast for the family, for the whole week…three bags of asparagus from Costco @ $2.99 ea. for a total of $8.97. I arranged them on two foil-lined cookie sheets, dressed them with olive oil and sea salt. They were broiled for 10 minutes, then wrapped them in the foil they were cooked on and put the two packages in the fridge.

Tomorrow we’ll scramble a dozen eggs, add some asparagus and some feta.

Comparing animal proteins and vegetable proteins

ImageEarlier in the week we had a question from one of our participants regarding non-meat sources of protein. She said, “I need some plant-based ideas. Won’t tofu or other non-meat protein sources work?”

While we are not restricting our challenge to animal proteins and you are certainly allowed to choose non-meat sources of protein, understand that not all protein is created equal.

Lean meat proteins are the most efficient source of protein that we can eat. It’s the only source of vitamin B12, creatine, vitamin D3, carnosene, and DHA, all of which are very essential nutrients for human cognitive and regenerative function. If someone chooses to get their protein from non-meat sources, it’s crucial to supplement these nutrients in some form in order to maintain health.

Our main mission for this challenge is to steer ourselves away from developing metabolic syndrome, which is a collection of risk factors (high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and abdominal fat) that can lead to serious diseases like heart failure, stroke, diabetes and cancer, to name a few. What research has shown recently is that a diet that increases and maintains blood sugar levels at a high level is what contributes most to those risk factors.

So what foods and conditions create and sustain the higher blood sugar levels? Overeating of any nutrient does, especially sugar and starchy carbohydrates.

When we look at plant-based proteins, what we find is that the proteins come with additional nutrients, like carbohydrates and, if they’re not processed out, varying amounts of fiber. Let’s look at a portion of skinless roast turkey breast vs. a portion of firm tofu vs. cooked lentils vs. cooked quinoa. All have the same amount of protein, about how much you need at a meal.

 

Roast   skinless turkey breast

Firm   tofu

Cooked   lentils

Cooked   quinoa

 

3 ounces

11 ounces

10 ounces

20.5 ounces

Calories

125

220

329

704

Protein

25.6   grams

25.6   grams

25.6   grams

25.6   grams

Fat

1.8 grams

13 grams

1 gram

11.2 grams

Carbohydrate

0 grams

5.25 grams

56.4 grams

124.9 grams

Sugar

0 grams

2 grams

5 grams

10.4 grams

Fiber

0 grams

2.75 grams

22 grams

16.6 grams

 

Calorie per calorie, the turkey protein is more more efficient in getting the protein you need without the excess calories. The same nutrition values apply to all types of animal meats. If you want to choose vegetarian sources, by all means, do so. But when choosing non-meat protein sources, you need to be careful about the amount of carbohydrates and fats because both will elevate your blood glucose to unhealthy ranges.

Breakfast salad

scrambled salad

Scrambled eggs on salad

We got an email from one of our participants today. She said that over the weekend when visiting her daughter, they ate their scrambled eggs on top of the leftover salad from the previous night’s dinner. She said it was delicious!

This sparked our interest, so we found some colorful pictures of breakfast salads on the Internet.

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Bacon and poached egg on salad

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Hard-cooked egg with jicama, spinach, peppers and tomato

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Poached egg with smoked salmon on salad

TunaAvocadoSaladBowl

Tuna, olives and avocado salad