I accidentally fell victim to “the weekend challenge.”


Monique Nelson

Founder at Choose to Cook
Monique Nelson is the founder, chief organizer and editor at Choose To Cook, and is highly motivated to help people of the world take charge of their health through simple and delicious nutritional changes.

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“What is the weekend challenge?” you may be wondering.

I just made it up. And I find it very convincing!

I have been a quite healthy eater for a few years now, and with the start of this site (even the idea of this site, not even, necessarily, the building of it) I have stepped up my game even more. In fact, the reason I started this site is because I believe so strongly in the value of good nutrition and I want every single person on earth to be able to eat healthy, regardless of their understanding, experience, budget or tastes. I really believe that food has the power to heal our bodies and keep us in a healthy state, and I find it so frustrating that it is “easier” to be unhealthy. Anyways…that’s a rant for another day.

Here’s the story. I am a relatively healthy eater and have been for a while now. At least 2 years, we’ll estimate. Of course, I have my moments of weakness (I simply cannot resist Chinese Food), but for the most part, I get the nutrients I need to stay quite healthy. I rarely get sick – colds, flus, none of it. I typically crash and burn for 1 week each year – this has literally been happening my entire life – but I attribute that mainly to overworking myself to the point where my immune system has no chance. Otherwise…I just don’t get sick any more. I used to have pretty bad allergies year-round. And by pretty bad I mean that I sneezed about a thousand times a day, every day, regardless of the season. For many allergy-sufferers, this is actually not bad at all because I never had asthma, trouble breathing, eye issues or anything, but in the context of my day-to-day life, it was pretty bad. Especially in comparison to my experience now, which is some sneezing at the worst times of year for allergy-sufferers. Like, a few weeks of a few sneezes here and there. And I attribute this to a healthier diet and more, quality exercise.

I don’t take any medication and I don’t believe that my allergies have just miraculously disappeared because the sneezing does flair up occasionally. So – logically – it is diet and exercise. Until recently, I have just accepted that as reality. Now, I accept it as fact.

Last weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada, and I was dog-sitting for a friend. I was out of town and I don’t drive, so I pretty much just hung out with the dogs and my computer and a big ol’ bottle of wine. And I decided to just eat whatever I felt like eating. Which included Chinese Food and Pizza, among other foods that included very little fruits or vegetables and a whole lot of processing.

And then Monday hit and all of a sudden I am sniffling and sneezing like I did 5 years ago. I didn’t even attribute it to the newly dubbed “weekend challenge” until I really started to think about it. I actually had a hint of a sore throat, which hasn’t happened in so long that it surprised me and shocked me back to reality. I immediately gorged myself on vitamin C – which translates into one of my favourite non-guilty pleasures: an entire bag of organic edamame. Tuesday came around and I was already feeling slightly better, but still sneezing and sniffling to the point where my colleagues noticed and asked if I was getting sick. Yuck.

So Tuesday I doubled up on the antioxidant rich fruits in my oatmeal, filled up on some hearty chili for lunch, guzzled a delightful peach/kiwi smoothie as a snack and devoured a colourful stir-fry for dinner. I even supplemented it with some more antioxidants in the form of one, reasonably sized glass of red wine. And today, Wednesday, my sneezing has almost stopped. I went from 5 sneezes every 5 minutes on Monday to about 5 sneezes in the past 5 hours only two days later.

I fell victim to the “weekend challenge” and I will use this blog post as a forever reminder that healthy eating habits make a difference to my health every single day. Every. Single. Day.

I makes a difference to your health too. Are you ready to clean up your eating habits to start feeling healthier? Leave your comments below to tell me what your biggest health concerns are and – I’M NOT A DOCTOR – I’ll see what I can do about offering some tips, tricks and deliciously tasty treats that might help!

Post Author: Monique Nelson

Monique Nelson is the founder, chief organizer and editor at Choose To Cook, and is highly motivated to help people of the world take charge of their health through simple and delicious nutritional changes.

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