The challenge is simple. There are three habits. Your goal is to complete each habit for all 28 days.
The habits are designed to be objective and measurable. There’s no gray area – you either did or did not do the habit.
Each day you’ll get a reminder to mark off which habits you did for the day, either through Facebook Messenger or online at the NTX Portal. You can customize when you want to get reminded, but the best times would be either the evening or the morning to record the previous day.
The goal at the end of the 28 days is to have developed a foundational set of healthy habits that you can continue practicing beyond the end of the challenge and into the new year.
Let’s dive in to the three habits.
The 3 Habits
Eat 10 Blocks of Fruits and Vegetables
Nutrition. The foundation of healthy living. Our first habit is all about eating enough fruits and vegetables. More than 90% of Americans do not eat enough fruits and vegetables each day.
But how much is enough? A meta-analysis of 95 studies on fruit and vegetable intake showed eating 800 grams of fruit sand veggies was tied to:
- 24 percent reduced risk of heart disease.
- 33 percent reduced risk of stroke.
- 28 percent reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
- 13 percent reduced risk of cancer.
- 31 percent reduction in premature death
So our goal is to eat 800g of fruits and vegetables daily.
What’s a block?
You could measure out and weigh how much fruits and veggies your eating, but a simpler way to think about it is to split it up into 10 servings or blocks.
A block is 80g. Your goal is to eat 10 blocks a day.
1 Block Visualized
Your Hand – The Block Measurement Tool
Here’s an easy technique to eyeball a block.
For denser vegetables (potatoes and starches), 1-2 palm sized servings = 1 block.
For leafier vegetables (spinach), 3-4 palm sized servings = 1 block.
A comprehensive but not complete list of veggies.
- Acorn Squash
- Bell Peppers
- Bok Choy
- Broccoli Rabe
- Brussels Sprouts
- Buttercup Squash
- Butternut Squash
- Collard Greens
- Delicata Squash
- Green Beans
- Greens (beet, mustard, turnip)
- Jalapeño/Hot Peppers
- Lettuce (all)
- Mushrooms (all)
- Potatoes (all)
- Snow Peas
- Sugar Snap Peas
- Spaghetti Squash
- Summer Squash
- Sweet Potato/Yams
- Swiss Chard
A comprehensive but not complete list of fruit.
- Apples (all)
- Grapes (all)
- Oranges (all)
- Pears (all)
Stock up on frozen fruits and veggies for easy grab-and-go blocks.
- At least 5 of your blocks should come from vegetables. If you only ate 10 blocks of fruit for the day, you did not complete the habit.
- Blending into smoothies is ok. Juicing is not.
- You can eat and prepare your fruits and veggies any way you like except deep frying (French fries don’t count)
- Dried fruit is ok as long as the fruit is the only ingredient (no added sugars or preservatives)
- Aim for variety. Try to get at least 6 different types of fruits and veggies in your meals throughout the day.
- You’ll notice that there are no restrictions on what to eat throughout the day. Eat anything you like. The only goal is to get 10 blocks of fruits and veggies in each day.
As part of your membership you have full access to all of our recipes over at NTX Cook.
Move 30 Minutes a dAy
Habit two is all about movement. Only 25% of US adults meet the CDC’s recommended weekly activity guidelines of 150 minutes of aerobic activity and 2 days of strength training.
We use the word movement to be all encompassing to include any type of deliberate training that gets our body moving, whether it’s a fitness class, strength training, yoga, spinning, a hike, or a fast paced walk.
At the start of each week you’ll get workout and movement ideas you can do at home or on the go.
If you already go to a gym or have a favorite fitness studio, keep going. The goal is to remain consistent.
- Aim for at least 3 days out of the week to be moderate or high intensity. Something to get your heart rate up more than if you were to just go for a walk.
- On the opposite end of that spectrum, recovery and rest days are equally important to the body. Include 1 to 2 days of light stretching or low intensity movement each week.
- Don’t split the 30 minute goal up into more than 2 sessions. A 20 minute bike ride with 10 minutes of stretching would count as 30 minutes of movement. Walking from your house to your car 10 times, or trying to pass off your normal day-to-day activity as movement does not count. We want these to be intentional training sessions. It’s an activity you are deliberately doing to move your body.
Get at least 7 hours of quality sleep
7 hours is the bare minimum, but there might be a number that works well for you. The best way to find out is to sleep without an alarm clock for 5-7 days and see how long you naturally sleep.
What often gets lost in the sleep discussion is the focus on quantity, or the number of hours you sleep. Just as important is the quality of sleep. This means creating a consistent sleep routine and conducive sleep environment.
We’ll go over sleep more in the future, but some basics on sleep quality:
- Cool, dark bedrooms work best. Even faint, LED lights from electronics can disturb sleep.
- Cover up or turn off any lights.
- Darken the windows with blackout curtains.
- Keep any electronics out of the bedroom.
- Set the temperature between 68-72 F.
When recording this habit, you’re marking off the sleep that started from the previous night (so the Monday check-in would be how you slept when you went to bed Sunday night and woke up Monday).