Minimalist Cooking Challenge

The minimalist cooking challenge will be a food one that will give you certain ingredients to incorporate into your meal for the day, specify how many ingredients you should use, etc. It’s meant to be a fun challenge that’ll help change the way you view food, and we’re really looking forward to it.

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One of the most common things we hear on a daily basis is “I don’t have time to eat healthy.” The purpose of this challenge is to help you simplify the foods you’re eating, incorporate healthier foods, and do it all while helping you minimize the tools we “think” we need in order to cook a good meal. Whew! That’s a lot. During this challenge we’ll help you not only declutter your diet, but also your kitchen, fridge, and shopping list. Are you ready?

1.  Your first challenge will be one that’ll span the length of this challenge: Try to reduce the junk food you’re consuming, or pick one “bad” item to remove from your diet for the next 30 days. I’ll be kicking candy for the next 30 days, a bad habit of mine!

2. Eat fresh vegetables today. Try to stay away from canned or frozen veggies and fruits (which are often loaded with preservatives) and enjoy fresh ones instead.

3. We tend to not get enough veggies in our day to day diets, and the average recommendation is 5 – 10 servings per day. Today, try to incorporate a vegetable into every meal today.

4. Try to make healthier decisions today. For example, opt for fruit over french fries.

5. Today, try to avoid convenience meals (frozen meals, fast food, etc.)

6. Today, simplify what you’re consuming by creating an amazing meal with ten or less ingredients!

7. We tend to rely on convenience, and so many of our meals involve the microwave. Today, try not to use the microwave for any of your meals.

8. Make sure you’re drinking enough water today! 8 glasses of water is a good place to start, but remember this could be too much or too little for you, so modify as needed.

9.For today’s challenge temporarily downsize your kitchen. Downsize your cooking utensils, pans, etc. to only ten important cooking pieces (the stove and fridge are not considered part of your pieces, neither is serveware). Only cook using these ten items.

10. Try to go a day with eating uncooked foods (but be safe about it!). This doesn’t mean to eat a raw burger. Instead, we’re talking about items that don’t require the oven, stove, or microwave. Such as ready to go chicken salad or fresh raw vegetables and fruit. The goal today is to experience what it would be like if you did not have the convenience of the oven or microwave available to you. If going the whole day is a bit tough for you, try doing it for only one meal.

11. Create a healthy meal using only 10 ingredients total. This includes spices. If you decide to use something that is already prepared, then every item listed in the ingredients counts as one ingredient towards the ten allotted. We’re only referring to pre-prepared items here, such Boxed Dinners, Spaghetti Sauce, Soups, etc. Use your judgement when deciding whether an item should be counted as only one ingredient, or as many.

12. Today’s challenge is less of a food one but instead one to help you save time and money in the long run. Plan your meals in advance for the next three days. Either plan all meals for the next three days (breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner) or just plan dinner for the next three days. And then stick with it.

13 & 14. For today’s challenge we’re going to help you stick with your planned meals (from yesterday’s challenge) by giving you a double challenge (so you will not receive a challenge tomorrow). Steer clear of fast food for the next two days. This includes popular drive thru joints, walk up counters, etc. If you have to go to a restaurant, opt for the meals that include lots of veggies, and skip the fried stuff.

15. Try a new recipe, a new dish, or use a new ingredient in your meals.

16. Your challenge for the day is create a meal using 8 ingredients or less.

17. If you tend to eat around midnight or so (get peckish while watching TV), today try to cut out the midnight snack. Or opt for something healthy (fruit, veggies, etc.).

18. Try to remove 5 items from your kitchen. Donate these items, recycle them, give them to a friend, etc. But make sure that by the end of the day you’ve removed at least five items.

19. By the end of the day, try to declutter at least 10 food items (unhealthy, expired, inedible items you know you don’t need around) from your fridge, cabinet, or pantry.

20. For today we’re going to do a very quick challenge! Today, incorporate some green veggies into one of your meals.

21. Your challenge for the day is create a meal using 6 ingredients or less!

22. Time to declutter again! Today, try removing five more items from your kitchen. The five items can be anything. From pots & pans, to plates, to silverware, etc. Just five items.

23.For today, we want you to only consume food that you know. This means, take a close look at the labels. If a food item lists an ingredient you have now idea what it is, it’s time to either do some research or skip on eating the item.

24 & 25. Double Challenge! First, go the next 2 days without using a microwave. For an even harder challenge, avoid using anything from the freezer or foods that are already prepared.

26. Declutter 3 items that only serve one purpose and rarely get used. For example, you can see the “Cheese Slicer” used in the below tip.

27. On day one we asked you to give up one junk food item for the length of this challenge. Today, eliminate 3 more junk food items from your diet (and for the rest of this challenge).

28. Only 2 days left in the challenge!! Your challenge for the day is create a meal using 4 ingredients or less!

29. We’ve got one day left! Try to remove 5 more items from your cabinets or drawers

30. For today, let’s do a combination of things from our previous challenges. Try going without a microwave, no fast food, and incorporate lots of veggies today. That should be pretty easy, right?