Here are some guidelines to follow for the Facebook Health Challenge. I am also posting this on Facebook. Please click on the link to download or print a copy. I will post handouts here for those who don’t want to get on Facebook. I will use Facebook for posting pictures, tips, recipes, answering questions, and your participation. However, for those who prefer to do this in the quiet of your own home, posting and contributing on Facebook is completely optional.

Facebook Health Challenge

Facebook Health Challenge Guidelines

How to eat 3-6 cups of veggies per day

I am dividing the veggies into 4 categories to help:

• Greens – kale, chard, collards, spinach, beet, dandelion, mustard, watercress, arugula
• Cruciferous – broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, bok choy, kohlrabi, rutabaga, turnips
• Salad veggies (raw) – carrots, celery, cucumbers, peppers, radishes, jicama, pea pods, tomato, onion, fennel, sprouts, salsa, oh and lettuce if desired
• Other veggies (cooked) – green beans, eggplant, mushrooms, onion, zucchini, yellow squash, winter squash, beets, artichoke, asparagus, leeks, okra, radicchio

  • 1. Eat 1 cup of veggies from each category every day (total 4).
    •  Or eat 1 cup from the categories – greens, cruciferous and salad/raw, and add in other veggies as desired.
  • 2. For a simplified schedule, include greens for breakfast, raw veggies for lunch, cruciferous and other for dinner every day.
    • Or maybe you want to include greens for breakfast, cruciferous for lunch, other and salad/raw with dinner
    • Or maybe you want to have salad/raw and cruciferous for lunch, greens and other for dinner and none for breakfast!
    • Or mix it up if you like variety.
    • Or eat them all at one meal to get it over with!
  • 3. Choose a different veggie from each category, each day, to increase variety.
    • Or, cook/cut up a big batch of 1 veggie from each category and eat it for many days, then choose a different one from each category for the next few days.
  • 4. When cooking veggies I encourage you to keep it simple and easy. One of the obstacles we will be discussing is related to being limited by the belief that one can only eat what one likes. Another way to put it is being a slave to our taste buds, which have been conditioned by our beliefs. Yes, it is okay and important to enjoy your food, but it can easily cross over to it becoming an obstacle, saboteur, driver of craving/addiction. More on this topic to come! If you like cooking it is fun to try different recipes, go ahead! It is also okay to eat plain, simply prepared food – but we might need to change how we think. Before you worry too much about fancy recipes, try eating plain old vegetables!
    • Steam
    • Sauté/stir fry
    • Roast
    • Casserole
    • Baked
    • Go out to eat
    • Find a recipe. Some Facebook recipe sites (careful, many are full of sweets and alternative carb foods that I am NOT recommending):
  • 5. There is no right or wrong way to do this! You can follow along with the choices I make each day or choose your own. I encourage you to share your way!

I encourage you to buy and consume the freshest and cleanest veggies possible, but don’t get hung up on social pressure, should and shouldn’ts, or nutrition standards promoted by the media/ big business. Here is a guideline for purchasing

  1.  If you can grow your own – great!
  2. If you can afford and have access to organic/biodynamically grown – great!
  3. If you can get to a Farmer’s Market – great!
  4. If you get fresh veggies from the supermarket (any supermarket or food store) – great!
  5. If you get frozen veggies – great!
  6. I’m not typically a fan of canned food because of too many variables – salt/sodium content, additional ingredients, quality, BPA. However, when changing a habit, it is still better to eat what you have than to eat no veggies. Remember, this is a beginning, there is time later for addressing and improving quality.

How to eat organ meat

This one can stop some in their tracks. Consuming organ meat is not socially common any longer. However, it previously was the preferred part of the animal and often became the sacred food of a culture, highly prized and given to those most in need of nourishment (pregnant, nursing, elderly and ill). While each organ provides different nutrients, as a whole, they are the most nutrient dense foods of all. They are packed with vitamins, especially fat-soluble A, D, E, and K, minerals, CoQ10, fatty acids, amino acids, purines and more. All that I am suggesting is consuming one serving per week! Here are some tips:

  1. It is best to get organs from humanely, pasture raised animals. If not available, get what you can and soak it in milk, buttermilk or water with a tablespoon of lemon or raw apple cider vinegar for up to 4 hours, rinse and pat dry.
  2. The heart and tongue are actually muscles, just like ‘regular’ meat; they just look different and have a stronger flavor, kind of like dark meat compared to breast meat on a chicken.
  3. Chicken liver is milder and smaller than beef liver. It may be a good place to start.
  4. Once you try it, if you really can’t consume it on its own, try pate (Metropolitan Market or Whole Foods) or mix a small portion of liver into ground meat for a hamburger (easiest with a meat grinder). I’ve done this, and no one knew when it was served! Shhh!
  5. Also, it is very common in Mexican food. Go to a taco truck and order a lingua mulita. You’ll thank me later!
  6. Here are some sites with tips and recipes.

How to make broth/stock

First off, for ease of typing/reading I’m going to call this broth. You can choose if you want to boil just bones (bone broth) or just meat (meat stock) or a combination of both (my preference). There is some difference nutritionally and flavor, but all have benefits. Broth can be made with any bones or cuts of meat, from any animal. Often the less desirable parts make the best broth. Things like skin, cartilage, tendons and such provide more gelatin and collagen, making the broth more gelatinous and flavorful.

  1. Whole chicken
  2. Chicken or turkey backs, necks, wings
  3. Beef marrow bones
  4. Beef or lamb shank bones
  5. Fish carcass
  6. Shrimp shells
  7. Pig or chicken feet
  8. Oxtail

While it is preferable to get the bones/meat from pasture raised animals right from the farm or a Farmer’s Market stand, that is seasonal and not always available. So where can you get them locally? Here is a list:

  1. Marlene’s Market and Deli
  2. Metropolitan Market
  3. Dave’s Meat Market
  4. Harbor Greens Market
  5. Whole Foods Market
  6. Possibly Tacoma Boys
  7. Butcher Boys – Puyallup
  8. Most Butcher’s

It is possible to get premade bone broth, but it comes at a price. The stores I know of that carry handmade are Marlene’s, Whole Foods and Metropolitan Market. It is certainly fine and acceptable, but just pricey. Once you make it a couple of times, it really isn’t difficult, it just takes a little time. I often get it started when I’m cooking dinner and let the broth simmer overnight. You can make a large pot and make a batch of soup, use for the liquid when cooking grains or beans and freeze enough for another batch of soup later. I recommend you make a large pot of soup each week and consume it for one meal per day. Another option is to drink the broth with butter and lemon juice as a tea or coffee substitute and a great way to start your morning.

Directions for making broth:

• In a large stock pot place bones and/or meat, and about 2T vinegar (the vinegar helps leach minerals out of bones but is optional).
• Add filtered (if available) water to cover.
• Bring to a boil.
• As it is boiling, skim off any foam that rises to the surface.
• Optional – may add more water and bring to a second boil to skim off more foam.
• Turn down the heat to low.
• May add vegetables, seaweed, sea salt, pepper, herbs, or spices for flavor (will be discarded later).
• May leave on stove for or transfer to a crock pot for continuous broth:
• 2 to 4 hours for fish
• 12 to 48 hours for poultry
• 24 to 72 hours for ungulates (hoofed animals)
• Please remove any meat for consumption after thoroughly cooked (2-4 hours).
• When finished cooking, let cool.
• Strain liquid through cheese cloth or strainer for storage or use.
• When broth is chilled a layer of fat will harden on top, leave on as much as you prefer. May remove excess and use for additional cooking.
• Discard any vegetable matter.
• May add fresh water to the bones for a second batch or if spent and soft, may give to your dog.

Beans and Grains

These two foods together make a complete protein (all amino acids) and are therefore a great meal. I recommend you consume this combination with at least 1 cup of veggies every day for at least one meal. They also provide fiber and many nutrients and are super beneficial for our gut microbes. The good ‘bugs’ we want in our gut consume fiber to make short chain fatty acids our cells use for energy and vitamins. The easiest plan is to cook up a large pot of each, every week and consume a serving a day. If you want more variety, you could cook up many batches of different grains and beans and freeze in individual servings. Another option, if time is an issue, is to buy premade beans. Many brands are even available without cans at Marlene’s, Whole foods, and Metropolitan Market. When making your own, don’t forget to include some broth as the liquid! If you are sensitive to gluten, please choose a gluten-free grain.

Types of grains:
  1. Rice – white, brown, red, black. While colored rice may have more nutrients the bran layer also has anti-nutrients that can prevent mineral absorption. For some white rice might be easier to digest. If using brown (colored) rice, it is recommended to sprout or soak the grains before cooking to release the anti-nutrients.
  2. Quinoa
  3. Barley (gluten grain)
  4. Millet
  5. Amaranth
  6. Teff
  7. Buckwheat
  8. Wild rice
  9. Wheat berries (gluten grain)
Cooking beans:

In a large saucepan, cover the beans with water and let soak up to 24 hours. Drain water and cover with filtered water and/or broth. Bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that rises. Turn stove to low and let simmer. Check Google or a cookbook for cooking times for each type of bean. You may add fresh herbs, garlic or sliced onions while the beans are cooking; discard when done.

I prefer to cook rice and beans the old-fashioned way on the stove, but an Instant pot, rice cooker, or crock pot also work very well. When cooking grains a favorite way to make them flavorful is to boil 2 tomatoes, ½ onion sliced, 1 jalapeno and a dried red chili pod in water until soft; place veggies in blender with enough cooking water to make a puree; use it as part of the liquid for cooking the grain.