I am about to start another successful Advocare 24-Day Challenge. One thing I’ve never written about on the blog is what I do before I start the challenge. The Advocare 24-Day Challenge: Cleanse Phase Shopping List solves that issue. This is what to do to get ready to start the Cleanse Phase, if you will. So here goes…
Step 1: Inventory
Take a look at the pantry, fridge and cabinets. Take inventory of what you have that is Cleanse Phase OK and what isn’t. At this point, you are at a crossroads and the path you take depends on whether you have high or low self-control.
- For those of us with high self-control, what you need to do is take the items that are not Cleanse Phase OK, and you need to move them to the back of the pantry, fridge or cabinet. These items include anything with sugar, crackers, cookies, bread, caffeinated beverages (coffee included), butter, milk from a cow or goat, cheese, candy, etc.
- For those of us with low self-control, what you need to do is take the items that are not Cleanse Phase OK and give them to a neighbor or friend. Get rid of them completely. It’s a great time of year to donate the non-perishables to the local food bank. That should give you a certain level of satisfaction in and of itself.
For those with kids, you need to keep some of the things your children are used to eating around for your own sanity. I personally believe that kids need to be staying away from the crap kids foods anyway, but that is another topic for another day.
Step 2: Let’s go shopping
Once you’ve cleaned out or tucked away all that temptation, you likely have plenty of room for all those good, real foods you are going to be fueling yourself with for the next 10 and 24 days. So you are ready to go shopping. Before I get to the shopping list, I want you to repeat after me…”Stay away from the middle of the grocery store. Stay away from the middle of the grocery story. Stay away from the middle of the grocery store.” Three times should be enough. You’ve got the concept. Just think about it. The real foods are on the outside. The processed, refined, chemical-laden, sugary stuff is on those isles that you used to just surf up and down for whatever looked good. Stop it. Food is fuel. You want to live life and enjoy food, but you can do that with real food too. Just try it.
Here is what you get based on the outer banks of the grocery store. TIP: Load up on what you like. Keep it simple. If you don’t like asparagus, don’t try to choke it down. That’s just torture. I happen to love the stuff, so I buy it.
You can pretty much eat as many healthy servings of veggies you want, so load up and like I said, buy what you like.
- Tomato (Beefsteak, Roma, and the red and yellow “cherry” tomatoes)
- Avocado (The darker the skin, generally means the more ripe it is)
- Onion (Yellow and Purple)
- Spring Mix Salad Mix
- Kale (for the smoothies… I can’t eat the stuff any other way)
- Green Beans
- Green Onion (Chives)
You can load up here as well, but do yourself a favor, don’t over consume the fruit. Have some with your morning and afternoon snack, and in the evening after dinner to solve for that sweet tooth but not all day long. It does have sugar, albeit natural, and it does have fiber, which you’re getting enough of during the cleanse phase. I buy:
- Red Seedless Grapes
- Cherries (If they look good)
- Mandarin Oranges (Great in green tea, if you so choose)
- Navel Oranges
Stick to chicken, turkey and fish for this phase
- Chicken Breast (I go for the free range ones. They even taste better.)
- Ground Turkey (I actually get the 85/15 or 90/10 fat ratio stuff. It just tastes better and is still healthy. Fat is not the devil, especially in this case)
- Mahi Mahi
- Canned or bagged Tuna in spring water
I know, I know, no milk. That’s right, but I get coconut milk. It’s good for you and it’s great in smoothies.
- Unflavored Coconut Milk (for mixing into smoothies/meal replacements)
- Vanilla Coconut Milk (I can actually drink this stuff)
I know, I said no isles, well there are exceptions depending upon your store layout. I quickly grab the following items:
- Coconut Oil (Awesome for healthy stir fry)
- Water, Water, Water and more Water (look for the stuff in non-BPA bottles if they have it. That BPA is bad stuff. Especially for the kids.)
- Himalayan Sea Salt (Pink Stuff)
- Black Pepper
- Cayenne Pepper
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Green Tea
That’s pretty much it for me. That’s all I need. Your list might look different. That’s fine. Just follow the guidelines and you’ll be good to go for a successful 24-Day Challenge.3