What I Eat in A Day #3 | Daily Dozen Challenge

BY : PUBLISHED : April 8th, 2019 UPDATED: October 6th, 2021

Have you heard of the daily dozen? If you haven't, let me introduce you to Dr. Michael Greger. He is an acclaimed MD who has dedicated his career to unveiling scientific facts about nutrition. He is a big advocate of a whole foods plant-based diet and has written many amazing books, the most important being How Not to Die. It's a must-read for those who want to enjoy a healthy plant-based lifestyle!

Toni was invited by Dr. Greger to be a part of the #dailydozenchallenge:

How about if you challenge three people you know to tick all of the boxes of the daily dozen for a day. And then to prove it they have to post a video, or photo with the meals they come up with (with the hashtags #hownottodie #thedailydozenchallenge) Then they should each challenge three other people to see how far this can go. One of the three friends that I am challenging right now to nail the daily dozen for the day. Number 1: Toni Okamoto from the amazing website plantbasedonabudget.com ...

Toni was honored to be a part of the challenge! So she accepted and took the task of showcasing her daily dozen meals very seriously. This video will be super helpful for you to see how easy and affordable it is to eat a healthy whole foods plant-based diet. Are you in?

Get ready for success!

First things first. Download the daily dozen app because it will make everything so much easier! All you have to do is check the boxes once you have eaten the foods that the list recommends daily. The app also gives you suggestions on different things you can eat within that category and the serving sizes. Super helpful! Plus, it's free!

Here are some tips to help you spend less on your daily dozen health journey:

  • Buy foods in bulk whenever possible. When it comes to oats, try to buy them in the bulk section (big amounts at a time!) you can get it as cheap as 65 cents a pound! Don’t be lured by those fancy ready-made oatmeal packages! You’ll spend so much more and most likely get many unwanted ingredients in there.
  • Buy your beans and pulses dry and cook them on your instant pot (or a traditional pot) one day a week to have them ready to go. It's so much cheaper!
  • Get your spices from a big retailer like Walmart! They have their own super affordable brands, and you can stock up.
  • Don't let any unused veggies go to waste! Use them to make a soup or roast them in the oven!
  • Get your seeds and nuts also in the bulk section! Alternate every week according to what's on sale.
  • When having teas at work or at airport lounges, take a couple of bags with you, and after some time you'll have plenty to use at home. Also, reuse your tea bags at least three times during the day! It's a waste to throw them away after only one cup of tea. Or use the bag to make a big teapot and pour into a thermos to drink it throughout the day. Every cent counts!
  • Don't try to be perfect! Do your best with what you have, and you'll rock it!

Breaking The Fast!

Toni drinks a decaf green tea! Daily dozen approved and a great way to start your day. Full of antioxidants and easy on your body. Plus it already counts as your beverages for the day. One cup down!

With her green tea, Toni has a first small breakfast. A cup of blueberries along with Dr. Greger’s recommended supplement of B12. If you still haven’t started taking yours, start now! It’s a nutrient hard to come by for vegans and non-vegans. Try the sublingual for better absorption. Follow Dr. Greger recommended doze!

For second breakfast, she had a yummy bowl of oatmeal! An all-time favorite and a great option to keep on checking those boxes. To make the daily dozen friendly oatmeal you’ll need:

- ½ cup of oats
- 174 of pumpkin seeds
- 1 tablespoon of flax meal
- ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
- Almond Milk or Water

Just put all the ingredients in your pot and stir until it becomes creamy (with a porridge consistency.) She added some frozen banana slices, but you can skip if you want. Add any toppings you wish to or have at hand. Voila! Breakfast is ready!

Toni chose pumpkin seeds because they are the cheapest option. Full of nutrients and so affordable. Also, you don’t have to cook your oats in plant milk if you don’t have any or don’t use it, water will be just fine.

Time For Lunch!

Toni chose a Burrito/Wrap Daily Dozen Approved. You’ll need:

- Canned beans (rinsed)
- Some cooked quinoa
- Whole Wheat tortillas
- Jarred Garlic
- Avocado
- Cucumber
- Red Onions
- Tomatoes

Cook your quinoa in the pressure cooker. Take one cup of quinoa and put in the pot with 1 ½ cups of water and let it cook for 5 minutes. So easy! Make sure you rinse the quinoa before cooking as it might turn out bitter. Quinoa has a compound called Saponine, and it’s what gives quinoa the soapiness when you rinse it.

Add all your fillings and wrap your tortilla! Enjoy! So easy, right?

Last Meal of The Day!

Toni made hearty veggie soup. A perfect meal to start slowing down and find some calm after a busy day.

- A bunch of Brussels Sprouts
- 2 carrots
- Onions
- Red Cabbage
- Green Cabbage
- Frozen Spinach
- Frozen Broccoli
- Split Peas
- Water

Try to add all the veggies you have in your fridge, especially those that are about to expire. Any leftover cooked grains or beans would be great! Put them all on your instant pot and set it for 15 minutes. Add any spices you love!
If you don’t have an instant pot, you can do it in a conventional pot and cook it until the veggies are soft and the split peas are cooked through.

Daily Dozen Extras!

Some things on the daily dozen checklist are not food related. You will also need healthy habits and certain supplements to help you achieve optimal health and thrive.

One crucial supplement is vitamin D. Since not many of us have a lot of time during our workday to sit outside for 20 mins and soak up the sun we need to use a supplement. Take it with your largest meal of the day! If you want to learn more about supplementing your vitamin D go to nutritionfacts.org. Find the info here!

If you like to take turmeric supplements, which has so many great health benefits, then you might be interested in Toni's tip! Would you believe me if I tell you that you can make your own capsules? You can buy some empty ones on Amazon (brand NOW Foods) and then buy bulk turmeric and fill them up. You will save so much money!

Another vital part of a healthy lifestyle is exercise. Toni chose to go for a run outside in the sun and breath some much needed fresh air. Moving your body is so important for optimal health and mental clarity. If you are dealing with mental health issues for example, or have been having the winter blues, then try exercising for 30 mins a day. Try doing something you enjoy and break a sweat! You’ll feel so much better after!

Running is a great and inexpensive way to get a workout in. You can do it anywhere you go and don’t need any props or gadgets. If you’re not much of a runner, try a brisk walk for a minimum of 40 mins. Remember you’ll get better with time, and you’ll enjoy it much more a few weeks after you start. Push through!

Dr. Greger recommends 40 mins of vigorous exercise or 90 minutes of moderate exercise. Choose different things on different days depending on your schedule or your energy levels. I guarantee you'll feel amazing!

Plant Based On a Budget Meal Plans!

One of the things that Toni was most excited to find out during this challenge is that a lot of the foods that Dr. Greger recommends to eat to achieve fantastic health are the same foods that she recommends to eat affordably. Like bulk beans, bulk grains, bulk oats, good produce and drinking only water. So if you are interested in using this daily dozen system regularly and want to optimize your budget, go check out the daily dozen edition plant based on a budget meal plans! A great resource to skip the planning and get ahead of the game!

So, are you ready to take the challenge and pass it on to three other friends? What better way to spread and health and compassion than with a bit of fun!

Let Toni know how your challenge is going and don't forget the #dailydozenchallenge and #hownottodie hashtags!

Challenged accomplished!

About Beatriz Buono-Core

View all posts by Beatriz Buono-Core

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