Last updated on October 3rd, 2019 at 07:10 am
New month, new challenge! Start fresh and join the 7-day challenge, healthy meal plan for a week and meal ideas included!
Now it’s a thing, it’s a tradition! Here’s to the second month this year I’m making a clean eating challenge and sharing a healthy meal plan.
Recap On The Last Clean Eating Challenge
The last challenge became very popular very quickly, I guess we’re all on the same page: we know resolutions aren’t over after January and we all need a little bit of a reset and challenge every month.
For me, the first clean eating challenge definitely made me more conscious of what and how much I’m putting into my body. I still didn’t eat extremely healthy, but I felt good about it. I mean, I was invited to some events and birthdays and I’m don’t say no to a piece of cake because I’m doing a challenge.
The biggest goal for me was to snack less and to really let myself feel hungry before I eat. And I achieved that goal. It involved lots of water, but already by day 2, I felt like I have this snacking under control. I started having 2 real meals that were really healthy and indulged in small desserts here and had one smoothie a day (lately I’m not much of a breakfast eater).
About This Challenge & Healthy Meal Plan
For this month’s challenge, we’re going to try something a little different.
We’ll be again eating as healthy as possible, but also trying to eat lower carb after 2 pm. Look, it doesn’t mean keto, but just lower carb.
So if you’re vegan, don’t make yourself crazy trying to make this happen, strive to make your meals a little bit lower carb. Maybe instead of 1 cup quinoa, you use 1/2 cup quinoa and add more avocado, vegetables or nuts.
Also if you cheat, cheat. Life happens. Try not to make a big deal out of it because that can lead to overeating. If you’re craving something, have it and promise yourself you’ll be okay with it, let go of the guilt.
Benefits Of Eating This Way
If you’re trying to lose weight or fat, eating fewer carbs later in the day might help. It has helped me in the past.
There are a few theories why eating less carbs in the afternoon might work. One is that we tend to be less active during the evening, so it gets harder to burn off the carbs if you eat them at 8 pm and they get stored as fat.
To be honest with you, I am not sure this is the truth, I haven’t found any good paper on this, although it does make sense,
As I said, I have seen it work for me 4 years ago, my stomach was flat in the morning which never happened before.
I personally think that when you consciously limit your carbohydrate, fat or overall calorie intake at a certain time of the day, the thing that happens is that you end up eating less OVERALL. I don’t mean to undermine the power of the circadian rhythm, it does influence our biology a lot. This is simply my observation and
Eating Healthy For Beginners
If you’re just
And second, take it one day at a time. You do need to eat more foods that contain antioxidants (fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds) and you do need to limit processed and fried foods, sugar, pastries, probably dairy, but try to be gentler with yourself, so you don’t get overwhelmed.
I highly recommend reading my post on how to start eating healthy when you aren’t motivated, rich or famous, you can find it here.
How To Make It Happen
So I don’t know about you, but I can’t stick to a structured meal plan for a week to save my life. It just doesn’t work for my schedule and my mentality(!).
I like to have a loose plan, more like a vision of what I want to have during the day. But I also want to be able to switch things up when something unexpected comes up. So no, you don’t have to stick to this exact meal plan.
If you get invited to a dinner or an event, go, enjoy it and make the best choices for that time. (here’s how I usually do that)
If you don’t have time to go grocery shopping, but still want to do the challenge and cook more at home – you can also order your ingredients and recipes to be delivered by Sun Basket, and you can get $35 off all meal plans here.
If you do have the time and want to give the recipes below a go, that’s awesome! If you don’t that’s good too – choose your option and make this challenge fit your lifestyle!
7 Day Healthy Meal Plan
Below you’ll find some healthy recipes for breakfast lunch and dinner. For this healthy meal plan, it’s completely your choice how you mix and match them.
Many of the lunch and dinner recipes have leftovers that you can eat the next day. Another option to make this easier is to meal prep some meals for the week.
Option #1: Overnight Oats With Banana & Cherries
Option #3: Healthy Apple Pancakes
Option #4: Simple Avocado Egg Toast
Lunch & Dinner
Option #1: Delicious Low-Carb Chicken Salad
Option #2: Mediterranean Salmon Bowl
Option #3: Tomato, Basil and Chickpea Salad (vegan)
Option #4: Anti-Inflammatory Chickpea Wraps (vegan)
Option #5: Coconut Shrimp Curry (serve with less rice or, if you like, cauliflower rice)
Option #6: Garlic Shrimp Zucchini Pasta
Option #7: Chicken Shawarma Salad
Option #8: Tomato & Garlic Squid Recipe
Snacks / Desserts
You can snack on your favorite raw nuts, berries, hummus, or vegetables.
Here are also some options that need some preparation:
Make sure to drink a lot of water. Whenever you crave something sweet or coffee, always drink some water to make sure those cravings aren’t in fact thirst. (90% of the time, it is for me!)
If you do need a change, try these other healthy options as well:
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