The Produce Section Challenge
Have you heard of the Produce Section Challenge? Marley Ficalora founded it some 160+ days ago. The point of the challenge is to show people that eating a plant-based diet is not only a healthy way to eat, but it is affordable too.
I ran across Marley one day on Facebook and have been following him ever since.
Here's how the challenge works. Marley shops daily for his meals, spending an affordable $10 to $15 per day. Instead of buying in great quantities, he buys everything he needs for the three plant-based meals for just one day at a time. Then, at the end of the day, he posts photos of what he bought and what he made from the groceries; and he posts a video of shopping for the food, how much it cost, and how to prepare the meals.
His meals usually consisted of:
breakfast -- 2 to 3 pieces of fruit, sometimes with oatmeal but often without
lunch -- a hot meal of some sort consisting of a protein (tofu, beans, lentils, etc.) with sides of vegetables.
dinner -- a big salad with greens and a variety of raw vegetables
I must say that after watching his posts for a couple days, I was hooked.
How it works
The reason it's called the Produce Section Challenge is that all the food comes from the produce section and the bulk bins of the grocery store. Marley also uses some canned items, such as beans or coconut milk (for the healthiest result, be sure canned items do not have extra ingredients); and, it's okay to use spices from your cupboard. Plus, it also helps economically, if you have leftover ingredients from one day to use them on another day.
For complete instructions, visit Marley's Facebook Group: Plant Based Eating with Marley Ficalora.
I told Suzanne (food stylist and photographer extraordinaire) about the challenge, and she was all over it. The top photo is of the groceries she bought for that day -- all the food for this experiment cost $14.44. So, we just made it under $15. (The only things Suzanne used out of the cupboard were some spices and some oatmeal she had on hand). Next, she devised and prepared three meals for the day. The three photos in this post show you her healthy, beautiful, and delicious meals. Thanks Suzanne.
I don't know about you, but I'm starting the challenge today. I'll report occasionally in the Facebook group (The Helpful Blogger Group) how I'm doing.
Also, I assume it's fine to modify this somewhat to meet individual needs. For example, my schedule doesn't allow for daily trips to the grocery. So, when I did my own trial run of the Produce Section Challenge a week or so ago, I made out a shopping list and menu for 3 days. I was surprised and delighted to be able to stay well under the $45 that would be allowed for three-$15 days. I think my groceries came to under $25 (so it turned out to be a little over $8 per day). I enjoyed doing my trial run of the challenge and found it freeing to have my meals planned out ahead of time.
I invite you to join the challenge too.
Be sure to check out all of Marley Ficalora's sites as he shares his enthusiasm and knowledge on healthy eating.
Thanks to Marley for coming up with this motivating idea. I appreciate what you are doing to make this a healthier world.
Marley Ficalora's sites:
Facebook: Marley's page https://www.facebook.com/marleyficalora
Facebook Group: Plant Based Eating with Marley Ficalora https://www.facebook.com/groups/producesectionchallenge/