As you begin your journey to a healthier lifestyle, we thought you might have some questions about the 14-Day Healthy You Challenge…
What is the 14-Day Healthy You Challenge?
If your goal is to lose weight or simply eat a healthier, cleaner diet, the 14-Day Healthy You Challenge can help. By simply committing two weeks to the free online challenge, you can lose weight the quick and healthy way, ultimately achieving your goals for a healthy lifestyle. Participants have lost on average 6 to 14 pounds during the 14 days! Dawna Stone (author of The Healthy You Diet: The 14-Day Plan for Weight Loss with 100 Delicious Recipes for Clean Eating) will personally guide you, step-by-step, through the 14-day Healthy You program on Facebook and Twitter. Dawna is available throughout the two weeks to answer questions and provide you with encouragement and motivation to help you achieve your weight loss and healthy eating goals. Along the way, you are encouraged to share your goals, challenges, struggles and achievements!
Do I need to purchase the book in order to participate in the Healthy You Challenge?
You do not need the book in order to participate in the challenge. I will provide step-by-step guidelines online (Facebook and Twitter) throughout the two-week program. However, you may find it helpful to have a copy of The Healthy You Diet as a resource and constant motivator following the Healthy You Challenge.
Where can I find the Elimination Phase (week 1) Meal Plan and Recipes?
Click here to view the Elimination Phase (week 1) meal plan and corresponding recipes.
Where can I find the Elimination Phase (week 1) shopping list?
Click here to view the Elimination Phase (week 1) shopping list.
Where can I find the Clean Phase (week 2) Meal Plan and Recipes?
Click here to view the Clean Phase (week 2) meal plan and corresponding recipes.
Where can I find the Clean Phase (week 2) shopping list?
Click here to view the Clean Phase (week 2) shopping list.
Can we have coffee during the 14-Day Healthy You Challenge?
Yes, you can drink black coffee during the 14-Day Healthy You Challenge (caffeine is not an eliminated item during the program). That being said, refrain from adding sugar, creamer and artificial sweeteners to your coffee. If you need something to sweeten your coffee, try adding a splash of almond or soy milk.
Can I add Truvia or Stevia to my coffee?
Although Stevia is a natural sweetener, try to eliminate it during these 14 days. Although natural sweeteners like Truvia (Stevia) come from the stevia plant, they are processed and put in powder form. After the 14 days, feel free to add it back in moderation but you may be amazed how your taste buds emerge if you eliminate all added sweeteners from your foods and beverages.
Does Splenda count as sugar?
Splenda is an artificial sweetener and should be eliminated during the 14 day Healthy You program. You might notice you have a headache during the first day or two but you will notice that you start to feel better (have more energy and less headaches) and taste your food better after eating a clean diet free from artificial sweeteners on the Healthy You! program.
I am having trouble identifying beverages without sugar and/or artificial sweeteners. What do you suggest to drink during the 14 days (other than water)?
When doing the program, I tend to stick to water and unsweetened iced tea. Other options include, hot tea with lemon and herbal tea. You can also try flavoring your water with a splash of fresh lemon, lime or orange. This morning I actually added a few cucumber slices to my water – it makes you feel like you are at the spa. Most of us are more dehydrated than we think; think of this as an opportunity to increase your water intake and get yourself hydrated – it will make you feel so good!
Can I add protein to my morning smoothies? If so, how much?
Since we are trying to be 100% clean, I would steer clear of processed protein powders for at least these 14 days. If protein isn’t included in breakfast (i.e. like the days that we have super green juice or radiant red juice), you should be getting plenty of protein from your lunch and dinner. If you want more protein in your smoothies, you can substitute soy milk for the almond milk.
Can vegetarians participate in the program?
The program can easily work with a vegetarian diet. Just substitute other forms of protein for the chicken and seafood recipes. You can get the necessary protein from vegetarian sources like beans, tofu, quinoa, almond and soy milk, nuts and seeds, etc. The focus of Healthy You! is clean eating. As we eliminate unhealthy or non-nutritious processed foods, we tend to feel better and lose weight!
Although the meal plans do include some meat and seafood, don't let that deter you! I understand that circumstances are different for everyone, so I want people to realize that there is flexibility in the program in terms of what you eat. As long as you eat based on what is eliminated for each day, you will be great. For example, if we have meat or seafood scheduled for dinner one night, feel free to substitute it with one of the vegetarian recipes (that still follows the Healthy You! elimination plan). If one of the recipes is your favorite, go ahead and make extras so you can have it for lunch and dinner. As long as you follow the program instructions for what food item is eliminated each day, you can plan your recipes accordingly.
Can I use honey to sweeten my coffee and tea?
Eliminate all sweeteners during the 14 days and see how you feel. If at the end of the 14 days you want to add natural sweeteners back into your diet, you can do so in moderation.
I do not currently own a juicer, can I use a blender for the juice recipes? If not, what should I do?
I do not suggest using a blender for the juice unless you have no other option. Additionally, blenders and juicers yield different quantities. If you do not have a juicer you can just choose a smoothie recipe instead, or select a different breakfast recipe in the meal plan (just make sure the recipe adheres to whatever items are eliminated for that day).
I am looking to purchase a juicer. Do you have any recommendations?
If you are looking to invest in a juicer, I personally use (and love) my Breville Juice Fountain Plus. Buying a juicer can be quite confusing as there are so many different kinds and a wide variety of prices. If you are interested in purchasing a Breville, I found the comparison guide on Amazon.com to be very helpful. I also suggest reading as many reviews as possible as they can be helpful in pointing you in the right direction.
I noticed I have had headaches during days 1 and 2. Is that normal?
If you’ve been eating excess sugar, artificial sweeteners or other highly processed foods, headaches are common during the first few days of any detox or clean eating program. Stay strong and keep it up – you should start to notice the positive changes on or around day 4. You should start to notice that your energy level becomes more constant and you experience fewer mid-afternoon crashes. The lethargy that often follows big meals will disappear and you’ll feel good all day long.
What do you recommend if you exercise?
If you are working out really hard, you may need some additional calories. I would suggest trying to stick to the foods in the program and just add in another snack after your workout. You can pick a snack from any of the program days as long as it adheres to the program. For example don't pick the yogurt snack once we've eliminated dairy. An extra piece of fruit or a small handful of almonds could work well after your workout.
Is it okay to have leftovers from dinner for lunch the next day?
Absolutely! My goal is for the Healthy You! to be flexible enough that it can work for anyone. I understand that there are time and preparation constraints that may not allow you to follow the program to a “T”. Even with minor tweaks, you can still reap the benefits of the Healthy You! program. I typically pick one or two of my favorite dinner recipes and make extra servings so I can serve them two days in a row. I’ve also found that some of the lunch recipes make great dinners. For example, I will prepare a big batch of vegetarian chili and have it for dinner and then again for lunch the following day. Not only does this save time, but it also allows me to spread out the enjoyment of my favorite meals.
What if I am not hungry? Should I make myself have a small dinner or is it ok to skip?
I do not suggest skipping any meals. Eating at regular intervals is important to keep your energy levels up as well as to ensure you stay motivated on the program. Surprisingly, skipping meals may not help you lose more weight. In fact, having too few calories could actually hinder your weight loss.
Can I substitute some foods for others in the meal plan?
Please try and follow the plan as closely as possible. If your goal is to lose weight, I encourage you to not deviate from the program. Should you be allergic to a certain food or simply not like something (or can't find something), you can always substitute a meal from another day rather than including foods that are not part of the program. Although most people will lose a good amount of weight during the two weeks, the goal is to eat a cleaner, more wholesome diet during the program. If you follow the meal plans as outlined, you will be on your way to a 100% clean diet.