The Food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison." Ann Wigmore

March is National Nutrition Month. To celebrate, we have made this month's challenge all about clean eating. Eating clean is not a diet, but rather a lifestyle change that incorporates foods that are wholesome and natural; foods that will benefit your body rather than poison it.

Changing your regular diet can take some adjustment and quitting all bad foods cold turkey can be difficult. To help you out, we have designed a challenge for March that allows you to remove harmful foods on a weekly basis, allowing you to create new, healthy, clean eating habits.

Week #1: Ditch the highly processed snacks. If it's processed, comes in a package, or has a nutrition label that contains more than five ingredients or ingredients you can't pronounce, you probably shouldn't be eating it. Toss it! Restock with wholesome snacks such as fresh fruits and veggies, hummus, Greek yogurt, nuts, and healthier packaged alternatives containing minimal and easy to pronounce ingredients.

Week #2: Swap refined carbs for complex carbs. Food is not a place where being refined equates to a good thing, and should be avoided as much as possible. Instead of old favorites like white rice, flour, pasta and potatoes, reach for brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, oatmeal and sweet potatoes.

Week #3: Eliminate refined and artificial sugars. Sugar is ok in limited quantities, but is often overconsumed in both food and beverage. When in need of something sweet swap table sugar, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and all artificial sweeteners for natural alternatives like pure maple syrup, honey, sucanant (whole unrefined cane sugar) and coconut sugar. Replace soda (diet included) and fruit juice with fruit infused sparkling or flat water, and hot or iced tea.

Week #4: Consume lean protein and complex carb at every meal. These are the essentials that your body needs to stay energized and efficiently burn calories. Every meal should include a serving of complex carbs, the size of a cupped hand, and a palm size serving of lean protein like chicken breasts, tofu, bison, eggs, and fresh fish.

Join the challenge + get entered to win an $100 Trader Joe's or Whole Foods gift card.

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