September Superfood Showdown: A Point-Based Health Competition
"An investment in health pays the best interest." This age-old wisdom remains as true today as it has ever been. In our quest for good health and well-being, the food we consume plays a vital role. This September, we bring you a special Superfood Showdown, a challenge designed to promote conscious eating and the intake of whole, natural, and minimally processed foods.
Whole, Natural Foods: 0 Points
Delight in the simplicity and taste of unprocessed foods, which contribute zero points to your daily count. Examples include:
- Chicken Breast (Unprocessed)
- Unsalted Nuts
- Fresh Fish (e.g., Salmon)
- Sweet Potatoes
- Fresh Berries
- Dried Beans
Minimally Processed Foods: 1 Point
Embrace lightly processed foods that retain most of their natural state, with a mere 1 point per serving. Examples include:
- Brown Rice, Rolled Oats, Whole Milk, Canned Tomatoes (No Added Sugar), Whole Grain Bread, Greek Yogurt (Unflavored), Frozen Peas, Natural Peanut Butter (No Added Sugar), Lightly Salted Nuts, Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, Almond Milk (“Simply Almond” unsweetened).
The list goes on, with each category representing a different level of food processing and corresponding point value. For those interested, here are additional categories and examples:
- 2 Points: White rice, Heavy Cream, Honey Roasted Nuts, Pre-marinated Meat, Butter, Sour Dough Bread, Low-Fat Milk.
3 Points (Moderately Processed Foods): Examples include: Whole Grain Pasta, Whole Wheat Bread, Flavored Oatmeal, ½ and ½, Pre-packaged Hummus, Lightly Sweetened Iced Tea, Pre-made Salads with Dressing, Whey Protein (pure), Flavored Yogurt, Low-Sugar Granola Bars, Lightly Breaded Fish Fillets, Nut Mixes with Added Flavors, Store-bought Guacamole, Instant Coffee with Added Flavors.
- 6 Points: Fast Food Sandwiches, Candy, Pre-made Sugary Coffee Drinks, Packaged Pies and Pastries, Frozen Snack Foods (e.g., Mozzarella Sticks), Packaged Deli Meats, Instant Noodle Cups, Canned Frosting, Regular Potato Chips, Sugary Sports Drinks, Soda.
- Points are per serving.
- Water, tea, and black coffee: 0 Points.
- Physical activity can subtract points:30 minutes of exercise, 15 minutes in the sauna, 5 minutes cold plunge = -1 Point
Home Cooked Meal Guide
Creating meals at home allows you to have more control over the ingredients, ultimately leading to dishes that are typically valued at 1 or 2 points within the September Superfood Showdown. Here's how you can calculate the points for your home-cooked meals:
Calculate the Ingredient Points: Add the point value of each ingredient by the number of servings used. For instance, if using 80/20 Ground meat for 4 servings, that would result in 4 points.
Divide by Servings: Take the total ingredient point sum and divide it by the number of servings prepared. Round to the nearest whole number to find the points per serving.
Combine with Additional Items: If your meal is served with other items, such as a serving of bread, add those points to the total. For example, having Sloppy Joe on 1 serving of white bread would add 4 points to the meal.
Example: Sloppy Joe Recipe (without bread)
- Total score: 9 points (6 servings)
- Calculation: 9 points / 6 servings = 1.5 points per serving, rounded to 2 points
- With white bread: Total meal would equal 6 points
Ingredient Points Breakdown:
- Onion, parsley: 0 points
- 80/20 Ground meat: 4 servings, resulting in 4 points
- Canned Tomato sauce: 2 servings, resulting in 2 points
- Uncured Bacon: 1 serving, resulting in 3 points
Embracing home cooking not only saves you money but allows you to enjoy delicious and nutritious meals that align with the competition's goals. By understanding how each ingredient translates into points, you can craft wholesome meals that support both your health and success in the September Superfood Showdown.
The End Goal
This system encourages participants to consume more natural and minimally processed foods and be mindful of what they eat. The person with the fewest points at the end of the competition could be deemed the winner. As you embark on this September Superfood Showdown, remember: "An investment in health pays the best interest." You're taking a valuable step towards promoting health among friends, and it is indeed a commendable endeavor. Happy cooking and healthy eating! An invite can be found at the bottom of this post. We'll see you there!