Eat Healthy Challenge

(Formerly the Community Cleanse)



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THE TERMS — Go to the MY EAT HEALTHY CHALLENGE GOALS blog entry and print what is meant to be a sort of “contract” between you and yourself. You must decide how long you’re going to stay on the Eat Healthy Challenge (formerly The Community Cleanse) and then choose the elements you will omit from your diet during this time. You can choose anywhere from one week to 28 days.      


The next challenge begins January 4th, 2011.  

THE TERMS — Go to the MY EAT HEALTHY CHALLENGE GOALS blog entry and print what is meant to be a sort of “contract” between you and yourself. 

You can view my October/November Eat Healthy Challenge Contract by going to the Example of My Cleanse Contract (now named Eat Healthy Challenge Contract) blog entry. Again, my goal for this next challenge is to stay on it for the full 28 days and eliminate all the foods listed below from my diet. When I say my goal is stay on the challenge, I am committed to this regardless of whether I stumble or not. I will not give up. As my amazing mom says, “Do your best, that’s all you can do.”   

Your eat healthy contract asks you to commit by signing. The idea is to have a goal and do our best to achieve it. (Don’t let yourself take you out). Oh and by the way, if this feels uncomfortable now or at any point on the challenge, you’re on the right track because it should, but the rewards are many.     

My Example

 Circle the weeks you commit to staying on the challenge or circle the full four weeks. If you’re doing the challenge with the intention to lose fat / lose weight, it is best to commit for a full four weeks. If you’re starting at a different time, no problem. Just make up your own time frame. I will cleanse for:    





 Choose at least four of the following foods to be eliminated during the Eat Healthy Challenge and circle them. Choosing all six elements will speed up the benefits, but I also believe baby steps will eventually lead you to big steps. I will eliminate the following from my diet for the duration of my Challenge:    

 *  No Alcohol    

 *  No Caffeine (green tea’s okay)    

 *  No Sugar (including cane sugar, dextrose, fructose, glucose, sucrose, corn syrup, maltodextrin, sorbitol and many more).   Very little agave nectar is okay.       

 *  No White flour    

 *  No Dairy (including milk, cheese, cream, ice cream).  Plain yogurt is okay, little butter is okay.    

 *  No Processed Foods or Hydrogenated Foods (this one must be circled by everyone).  Also, do not eat luncheon meats with nitrites and nitrates added as preservatives.  These are known to react with HCL (hydrochloric acid) in the stomach and produce nitrosamines that are known carcinogens.  Also, no MSG or sulfites. No Nutra-Sweet, aspartame, sucralose or Splenda.    


 I explain in more detail why we are omitting these food from our diets in past blog posts.  Get ready and prepare.  See the blog entries on Breakfast Suggestions and Lunch and Dinner Suggestions and Shopping List


Basic Recommendations

The following suggestions are made only to help inspire some ideas for meals while participating in the Eat Healthy Challenge.  You may find it difficult at times to figure out what to eat.  It may also become a little frustrating when you start to realize how many foods have sugar, or modified, or hydrogenated ingredients in them.  Preparation is the key to being successful.  I know how difficult it can be to live life and eat on the run.  If you take your challenge seriously, you’re going to have to think ahead and have simple snacks around to help tie you over in a to-be-expected hunger meltdown.  So I suggest you have nuts, fruits, brown rice crackers, hummus or other healthy snacks on hand at all times.  

-Increase protein foods — fish, chicken, eggs, nuts and seeds.  Tofu, tempeh, and combine legumes (chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, etc.) and whole grains (brown rice, millet, spelt, kamut, quinoia, oats etc.).

-Increase fiber foods (brown rice, whole grains, oats, oat bran, rice bran, beets, peas, prunes, figs, lentils, and raw vegetables).

-Eat brown rice, one piece of toast here and there (kamut sprouted grain or Eckeziel sprouted tortillas or Manna bread – in the freezer section), Nature’s Path cereals or oatmeal.

-Increase water to at least 8 glasses per day – drink one glass of water first thing in the morning before eating with the juice of half a lemon added.

-Use sea salt instead of table salt.

-Do not eat fruit with meals (only with nuts) and do not drink juice with meals.

Dairy Substitutes

Rice milk, oat milk, multigrain milk, soy milk, almond milk, nut milks (hazelnut, walnut, any nut)-you can make your own too!

Brown rice cheese and almond cheese – can be used in omelets, in burritos or on home-made pizzas. 

Sweet Replacements

Put some honey on one piece of Manna bread (tastes like cake).

Eat a banana with almond butter

Raisins, currants and nuts

Alternate “Sugars” – try not to use them.  For emergency use only.

Unpasteurized honey, black strap molasses (really high in iron), agave nectar, brown rice syrup, pure maple syrup, barley malt

Organic, Natural and Free-Range

It is important to always try and eat as free-range and organically as possible.  The pesticides, herbicides and fungicides sprayed on fruits and vegetables and used in the soil are toxic and accumulate in the body.  Hormones and antibiotics fed to animals are harmful to us all and produce xenoestrogens that are known to be carcinogenic.  I know, I know, organic foods are expensive.  So I make choices based on price and my knowledge about the toxicity of certain foods.  For instance, at home I only eat organic apples, organic potatoes, organic peaches, organic pears, organic grapes and organic lettuce and spinach.  I only buy free-range meats, wild fish (if possible) and organic eggs and try to only eat organic dairy products.  The more organic foods we consume, the less toxins we consume.  I also try to eat as locally as possible.  This is made accessible to me with the many farmers markets in the area – I’m lucky because there are many.  But some of you may be surprised to find hidden farmers markets in your areas.  Eating organic makes me feel better about my meals and I also like to vote for a better food supply with my dollar. 

This being said – please know that when I speak of meats, fish, eggs, dairy, fruits, vegetables and all other foods, I try to place the word organic or free-range in front of the food before I buy it or eat it.  I will not use these words every time.   

Check out an article on the 12 most toxic fruits and veggies.

How it all started

I eat better than most of the people I know and still feel I’m in need of a good time out. I need a break from indulging in my daily routine of one latte with organic milk or soy milk every day (I can’t help but add cane sugar), way too much wine and beer on a regular basis (Napa … so many vines, too many good times), lots of cheese (I should have my own cow) and overall a healthy helping of eating out (this is my weakness). I choose the healthiest options but I eat out often–more often than I would like to admit.     

I’ve challenged myself before, but it’s hard (can you hear me whining?). So, I started thinking maybe others would be interested in joining me in the Eat Healthy Challenge. It would sure help if I knew others were also abstaining from alcohol and lattes. Imagine if there was a group of people who were a part of this cool operation. I wouldn’t be the only one drinking a pomegranate and Perrier martini at the next party. Hey, and maybe we could do other things together instead of hanging out and having drinks. Maybe we could organize some hikes or bike rides, or yoga retreats, or walking trips to our favorite cafés to have an herbal tea. I know, I know, this doesn’t sound like as much fun.  But I started asking around anyway (because I really do feel my body needs breaks) and lo and behold I had some takers. This inspired me to start The Healthy Junkie’s Community Cleanse (now renamed the Community Eat Healthy Challenge).  The first cleanse ran from October 18th to November 10th, 2010 (falling nicely between Canadian and American Thanksgiving). Thanks to all you Healthy Junkies for participating! 


33 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Elaine on October 6, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Can you tell me if we will lose weight on this cleanse or just feel super duper good after the cleanse is over?


    • Although the intention is to feel amazing, we really should all lose weight on the cleanse. I sure expect to… no alcohol, sugar, caffeine, cheese or processed foods…I expect to look quite different after four weeks.


  2. Posted by Lela Adelman on October 7, 2010 at 3:50 am

    I am so ready! You are the best Laura. I am already inspired.


  3. Posted by Chris on October 14, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Can we eat LOTS of fruit…..or some more or less than others……and raisins (my sweet fix)? And what about ‘decaf’ coffee??


    • Eat some fruit, don’t go overboard. I would keep this to three pieces per day. Fruits are of course high in natural sugars which are fine (in their full fruit form) but should be limited on a cleanse. Raisins and nuts are a good snack (organic is better and read the ingredients for sugar or hydrogenated oils). Decaf coffee still contains caffeine and is not a cleansing food. So decaf coffee is out. For more info on this see the link:


      • Posted by Chris on October 15, 2010 at 2:27 pm

        Thanks Lor. Sucks about the fruit limit when you’re a fruitaholic but I’ll manage. Now about the caffeine….what about green tea. You say it’s ok….but it also has caffeine. Is there a limit? As you can probably tell…..I’m a little worried about giving up caffeine carte blanche.

  4. Posted by Paul Gregory (the 1st) on October 15, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    I’m signed up for the full four weeks wth all 6 foods being eliminated.


  5. […] Eat Healthy Challenge […]


  6. Posted by Taylor McDaniel on August 16, 2011 at 11:53 am

    I’m in for 4 weeks! I just spent some time on your blog and I LOVE what you are doing. Keep spreading the word – it’s much needed.

    Been to Bikram lately? Maybe we should grab a cocktail before the 6th. 🙂

    Thanks, Laura!


  7. Posted by Kathy on August 30, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Sounds fun and challenging! I’m going to try it.


  8. Posted by Angela Quail on September 15, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Hi Laura,

    I’m starting late but determined to go 31 days, September 15 – October 15, 2011, cutting everything on the list but a little cheese and yogurt. The fruit and chocolate cravings will be toughest for me! Thanks so much for the inspiration and framework to do this. I’m on my way to check out your recipes because dinner is when I really need help.

    You are beautiful, amazing, and inspirational. Thank you so much!


    • Angela, thank you so much for your uplifting words.
      I’m excited that you’ve decided to join the challenge. Welcome! Feel free to eat fruit and if the chocolate cravings get the better of you, try the almond / carob cookies or the “orbs” recipes. They taste like chocolate to me.

      Laura Levesque Page
      The Healthy Junkie


  9. […] Eat Healthy Challenge […]


  10. Posted by alex d on September 28, 2011 at 7:13 am

    Healthy eating means maintaining a nutritious diet. I believe it to be important to every one. I stress a healthy life to my family and friends and I try to show them the benefits to it. I think the greatest benefit most of all is that it makes you feel and look great. If your not eating healthy, then you are not helping your body. You are filling it with what it does not want, instead, help your body out and eat healthy. The turn out is awesome. I have been eating healthy for years and I have never felt better in my life.


  11. I am starting this on Dec 2nd, 2012 and I am going to eliminate all things on the list except for a tiny bit of black tea in Yogi Bhajan’s Chai Tea Recipe. Jai Haribo! Wish me luck. I am going to do it for 28 days….But might extend it to 90 if all is going well!

    Bring me back to health sweet cleansing diet! Thank you Laura for posting this cleanse and the tea recipe, and for sharing your love for heath and nutrition with all of us!


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