Want to make some healthy eating changes in the new year? We've got your back!
Want a sneak peek at what's to come? Check out the menu below!
1. The challenge starts on Monday, Jan. 1, and we recommend going grocery shopping one or two days beforehand.
2. Before beginning a new eating regimen, you should consult your doctor and/or registered dietitian to determine what is right for your body.
The most important thing is to be safe, because no single meal plan is universal.
3. This is a flexible eating plan, and you should feel free to adjust according to your goals and needs.
We've calculated all the nutrition for you (courtesy of Verywell.com!) and left some wiggle room for unplanned snacks, drinks, etc. The calorie amount provided might be too low for some people, and if you need to increase or decrease, you should do so.
Example: Looking for more protein and calories at dinner? Try adding more chicken or beans. Need more fat in your morning breakfast? Add a little more avocado or peanut butter to your dish. The point is, this meal plan should be used as a guideline, but you are free (and encouraged!) to be creative and make any adjustments that better fit your lifestyle.
4. All meals and snacks are homemade; the less processed food, the better.
More whole foods = more nutrition! 🥑🍌🍎
5. Some meals/snacks will have more than one portion. If that's the case, feel free to freeze/refrigerate leftovers for another time (or share!).
This is especially the case for dips and dressings (which will last about a week in the fridge). If you want to save them for a snack with veggies or something, please do so!
6. We recommend following the meal plan in order so you can best utilize ingredients and save more $$$.
7. Stay hydrated!
If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Just remember to drink your H2O throughout the day — it's good for you!
To help track your water intake, you can download the Plant Nanny app.
8. Aim to eat every three to four hours.
This is especially important for someone who is transitioning to a more nutritious diet that's richer in whole foods, and has trouble with cravings or making impulse snack decisions. According to RD Albert Matheny, this helps with controlling your hunger (and blood sugar) while also keeping your metabolism up.
9. Be mindful of your alcohol intake.
While we don't explicitly recommend drinking on this plan, we understand that social events come up. Just keep in mind that alcohol does in fact count as calories (calories that don’t provide satiety or nutrition). Same with coffee if you add sugar or get flavored syrups.
10. Depending on your schedule and lifestyle, some meals may require some meal prep.
We suggest looking at the menu ahead of time and determining what you should make in advance. The more organized you are, the better prepared you'll be!
11. We are not guaranteeing weight loss, nor is that the primary goal of this challenge.
The point is to make healthier decisions and maybe even pick up some cooking skills. Everyone has a personal definition of health, and we want you to feel comfortable and satisfied. This is not a diet.
12. Ultimately, this is an eating guide, and you do NOT have to make every single recipe to be healthy.
At the end of the day, this is YOUR lifestyle and YOUR choice. If you don't like everything on the menu, don't force yourself to make it. We do think it's good to embrace new things and maybe cook some meals you wouldn't have dared to before. (Spaghetti squash is amazing, you guys!)
13. All recipes have been developed and tested by Goodful and BuzzFeed Food.
We promise these are AH 👏 MAZ 👏 ING 👏.
We’d love to see how it goes if you take the Challenge! Post your photos to Instagram or Twitter and tag them #GoodfulHealthyEating.
READY?? You've got this! 💪
Special thanks to the following amazing humans who helped make this project possible!
Produced by: Arielle Calderon
Recipe development and food styling: Jesse Szewczyk
Recipes edited by: Alexis deBoschnek
Copy edited by: BuzzFeed Copydesk
Photographs: Taylor Miller
Art and design: Andrew Richard
Nutrition guidance: Albert Matheny
Nutrition calculation: Leyla Shamayeva at Verywell.com