Take the “Mama Wellness” Health Challenge!

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Are you struggling to make all the changes you know you should make for your health?

Looking for answers to improve your health but don’t know where to start? Just need some encouragement in your health journey?

Welcome to the 30 Day Mama Wellness Health Challenge!

At the request of several of my readers, and to make your transition easier than mine was, I have put together a 30-day challenge to offer you support, recipes and giveaways! If you’ve been waiting for an excuse to try going grain free or ditching the sugar, now is your chance. Please join me for 30 days, to try living grain free. Your health will thank you, and if you don’t like it, you can always go back to the old way of eating. What have you got to lose? To help make the transition easier and to make sure we address all aspects of health, I’ve broken the challenge into Mini Challenges.

Build a Solid Nutritional Foundation

Anyone surprised? Many of you may already be solid in this area, but I know that this is a huge struggle for many people! If your diet is already iron-clad, please offer some advice and encouragement for those who are struggling to make the change in the comments below.

Nutrition Basics

Nutrition can have a tremendous impact on overall health and will be a large part of the focus of the challenge. If you’ve been a Wellness Mama reader for a while, you know that I’m not a fan of grainssugars and starches and recommend removing them from your diet. Of course, only if you are making sure to get adequate nutrition from proteinsfats and vegetables. Some foods, like beans, are of questionable nature, so for the duration of the challenge, I’d suggest removing them too! Others, like vegetable oils, margarine, and other frankenfats are toxic and should be avoided completely, challenge or not!

Mini Challenge #1 Cut out the grains, sugars, potatoes, beans and all processed foods from your diet and focus on getting maximum nutrition from meats, vegetables, healthy fats (coconut, olives, coconut oil, olive oil, tallow, lard, butter, unprocessed cream, etc) and fruits.

Everyone is entering the challenge for different reasons, but if one of your goals is to lose weight or improve your physique, consider drastically reducing your carbohydrate intake. If weight loss is a serious goal, this will mean that that morning bowl of oatmeal or potato salad at lunch is out. To keep it simple, just get your carbs from vegetables (minus potatoes) and you’ll be fine! One exception, if you struggle from low-thyroid, don’t drop your carbs too low for too long, as this can stress the thyroid, just make sure to get your carbs from healthy foods like sweet potatoes, winter squash, fruit, and grain-free baked goods! [Note: Some people experience a “carb flu” as their body adjusts to not having a constantly available stream of glucose. This is temporary, but can be uncomfortable for the first couple of weeks. Check out these two posts by Dr. Michael Eades to help make the transition easier Tips for Starting Low Carb Part I and Tips for Starting Low Carb Part II ]

We’ll be addressing some specifics that can help with your individual goals in the next few weeks (supplements, what type of exercise, etc) but nutrition is the single most important factor and all the other factor’s can’t fix a poor diet!

Are you In?

I challenge you to make these small steps for the next 30 days! I’m looking forward to seeing your progress.

This challenge is designed to help you improve your health and stay motivated for 30 days. I’m not going to police the guidelines or do anything to ensure that you are following them… you are on the honor system.

More resources to help you during the Challenge are available on my Resources and Wellness 101 pages.

So… are you up for a challenge? Drop in and introduce yourself in the comments below and let us know what your specific goals are.

Ever struggle to stick to a healthy way of eating and living even though you know you should?

Fall to cookie-dough-and-potato-chip-binge temptations despite resolving to eat healthier?

Know you should stop using toxic chemicals but don’t know where to start?

Understand the benefits of exercise but have trouble actually doing it?

Need to start cooking and living healthier with your family but just don’t know where to begin?

The Mama Wellness Challenge is for YOU!

Making lifestyle changes can be overwhelming! My Wellness Challenge is here to help you improve your family’s lifestyle.

The Mini Challenges

Each of these mini challenges can be a focus for the week as you go through this challenge. I’ve tried to design the challenges to help you take baby steps to a healthier lifestyle without breaking the bank.

  1. Eat Real Food – Start consuming a nutrient dense diet if you aren’t already and avoid processed foods.
  2. Drink and Use Clean Water – Avoid chemicals in drinking water with a quality water filter and neutralize chemicals in bath or shower water.
  3. Breathe Clean Air
  4. Exercise
  5. Reduce Stress
  6. Sleep
  7. Avoid Toxins

Get Started Now!

Commit right now to living a healthier life for the next 30 days. The Wellness Lifestyle is designed to be a healthy lifestyle that is actually doable, even with kids, traveling or health challenges.

Start right now by committing to improving your family’s health for the next month. Don’t wait until Monday morning, don’t wait until you finish the Doritos in the cabinet… start now!

Here are a few free printables for quick reference:

You can also check out my Start Here page for a round-up of helpful articles and my Resources page for Real Food and natural living resources. If you’re up for it, also start a Wellness Journal with your goals, and take a “Before” picture to keep yourself accountable!

SPECIAL NOTE: The Wellness Mama Challenge focuses on avoiding grains, sugars, chemicals, food additives and pesticides for 30-days. If you are immune compromised or have an auto-immune disease, you may also consider giving up dairy, nightshades and eggs to test for reactions to these too. My 30-Day Autoimmune reset plan has details on this protocol.

Make the Commitment to Healthy Eating for 30-Days

Start now and give it a 100% effort for one month…. I’m here to help and there is a great community to back you up! What better incentive than improved health, more energy, increased libido, and weight loss is there?

Everyone needs some motivation to get healthy. That’s why I decided to create this 9 day challenge. It sill give you the motivation and steps to take to jumpstart your wellness journey.

Since everyone entering the challenge has different goals, the focus will be three fold: improving nutrition, exercising appropriately, and living more naturally by using natural cleaning and personal care products. You game? Here are the specifics!

Mama Wellness Challenge for Better Health

Nutrition can have a tremendous impact on overall health and will be a large part of the focus of the challenge. If you’ve been a Wellness Mama reader for a while, you know that I’m not a fan of grains, sugars and starches and recommend removing them from your diet. Of course, only if you are making sure to get adequate nutrition from proteins, fats and vegetables.

Some foods, like beans, are of questionable nature, so for the duration of the challenge, I’d suggest removing them too! Others, like vegetable oils, margarine, and other frankenfats are toxic and should be avoided completely, challenge or not!

Mini Challenge 1: Cut Out Processed Food

Cut out the grains, sugars, potatoes, beans and all processed foods from your diet and focus on getting maximum nutrition from meats, vegetables, healthy fats (coconut, olives, coconut oil, olive oil, tallow, lard, butter, unprocessed cream, etc.) and some fruits.

Everyone is entering the challenge for different reasons, but if one of your goals is to lose weight or improve your physique, consider drastically reducing your carbohydrate intake. This is especially important for those trying to lose a lot of weight or anyone suffering from insulin resistance or diabetes. If weight loss is a goal, aim for around 50 grams of carbs a day, and definitely keep it under 100 grams.

If weight loss is a serious goal, this will mean that that morning bowl of oatmeal or potato salad at lunch is out. To keep it simple, just get your carbs from vegetables (minus potatoes) and you’ll be fine!

(Note: Some people experience a “carb flu” as their body adjusts to not having a constantly available stream of glucose. This is temporary, but can be uncomfortable for the first couple of weeks. Check out these two posts by Dr. Michael Eades to help make the transition easier:

Tips for Starting Low Carb Part I and Tips for Starting Low Carb Part II )

Mini Challenge 2: Track Your Food

Track and Reduce Your Carb Intake

Keep a food diary to track what you eat and use a program like FitDay.com to give you an accurate idea of how much protein, fat and carbs you are actually eating. Every time I start to see my weight creep up, I enter a few days into FitDay and realize that I’m eating a lot more carbs than I realize! If you want measurable results, give yourself a measurable idea of your food intake!

It’s true that everyone needs different foods in different amounts, but there is one thing we all need and many of us are not getting enough of: water.

Mini Challenge 3: Water

Drink More Water! For this month, get rid of the soda, juice, teas, etc. and drink more water (and herbal teas).

An imbalance in gut bacteria can cause digestive problems, impaired immunity, skin issues, weight problems and more. Consuming probiotic rich foods and beverages can make a big difference, and many people also notice more energy and clearer thinking when they improve their gut bacteria through consuming fermented foods and drinks.

Mini Challenge 4: Probiotics

Consume Probiotic Rich Foods and Drinks! Fermenting food and making probiotic rich kefir or kombucha soda are easy ways to increase your probiotic consumption. During these 30-days try to add (or increase) fermented foods/drinks to your diet.

In a world where we are constantly surrounded by food and advertisements for food, we often eat three (or more) times a day just because those are the times that meals are normally eaten. In a society where food is seldom scarce, many forget or ignore the actual instinct of hunger (and many may not have felt actual hunger in years).

There is a growing amount of evidence that just not eating occasionally (also referred to as *gasp* fasting!) can improve insulin sensitivity, increase longevity, reduce risk of disease, improve sleep, help weight loss and more.

Mini Challenge 5: Fast a Little

Fast a little (but do it slowly!). Try skipping meals occasionally or at least only eating when you are truly hungry. Perhaps you might even go a whole day without eating! Fasting can really improve health, but do it slowly. Make sure you’ve adjusted to a healthier diet and are consuming enough protein and fat regularly before you start skipping meals.

So, whether your goal is to lose weight, improve your cholesterol, reduce your risk of heart disease, deal with diabetes or insulin resistance, increase your fertility, eat optimally while pregnant, or just have more energy and feel better…. a challenge awaits!

This way of eating doesn’t follow the old food pyramid (which gave King Tut heart disease) or the new My Plate recommendations, which will help you gain weight and get heart disease yourself, but they can help you improve your health and reach your goals. Try it for a month!

Now, if this seems unconventional to you, imagine how it might seem to your family/friends/coworkers when you tell them you aren’t eating their pasta/donuts/french fries/heart healthy wholegrains at their next event. Be prepared to defend your new way of eating!

Once you’ve got the nutrition under control, you can further improve your health by making sure you are getting optimal exercise and sleep and keeping stress under control. You can’t out exercise (or out supplement) a poor diet, so make sure you have that in order first, but if you do, focus on these other factors.

Mini Challenge 6: Exercise

Exercise! But Not Too Much! We’ve all heard the numerous ways that exercise can improve your health. Assuming you are eating a good diet and have the energy, add some exercise into the mix. It doesn’t have to be hours of cardio each day (and it shouldn’t be) but a few minutes of high intensity exercise will help you maintain optimal health.

There are so many things in today’s world that can contribute to stress! Poor diet, too little (or too much) exercise, lack of sleep, emotional struggles, long hours, a tough job, small kids… the list goes on. Unfortunately, whether we like it or not, stress causes a hormonal reaction in the body that is not beneficial for optimal health.

Mini Challenge 7: Reduce Stress

RELAX! Just don’t add relaxation to your already long “to-do list.” Make it a point to take some time without deadlines, TV, stressful people, etc. to do things that are relaxing to you. Spend time with family & friends, pray, take a hike, go swimming… make time to do the things that help you relax.

Of course you can have a great diet, be exercising and keeping your stress under control, but if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your health will suffer. Lack of sleep can undo the progress made by a good diet and exercise plan and can even put you in a pre-diabetic state. Some people are even unable to lose weight if they don’t get enough sleep!

Mini Challenge 8: Sleep

Get Some Sleep! Most adults need between 7-9 hours and almost all of us don’t get it. To make sure you are getting the best sleep, get to bed by 10PM, sleep in complete darkness, and keep the temperature below 68 degrees. As the mom of a newborn, I understand that this is often easier said than done, but make it a priority and take naps if you need to.

Mini Challenge 9: Living Naturally

We are constantly bombarded by chemicals from our food supply, personal care products, cleaning products and more. During this challenge, I’ll be offering resources (and prizes) to help you transition to more natural cooking, cleaning and personal care products.

Check out the EWG cosmetic database to see what chemicals may be lurking in your household and beauty products. Then, check out the Wellness 101 Page to find some recipes for easy, natural alternatives to common household products.

If you don’t already have a community or network of friends and family to take the challenge with you, share the love and help those you love improve their health also!

In the comments, tell me three action steps you WILL take this month to change your health!

Are you in? What is going to be the toughest part of the challenge for you? The easiest?

Sources
Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.

Comments

491 responses to “Take the “Mama Wellness” Health Challenge!”

  1. Linda Avatar

    I am trying to get back on track eating healthy. This is just what I need. Hormones are out of balance. Trying to deal with a tremendous amount of stress, which makes a healthy night’s sleep very hard. I really believe this 30 day will help me a lot. Thank you.

  2. Nessa Avatar

    Hello! I’m a 38 year old mom of two boys and a small business owner. Life has been crazy, and my diet has taken a back seat. I have been on a grain free diet for two weeks, and I’m feeling inspired. I am excited to start the 30 day challenge!!

  3. Chelsea Avatar

    I have a multi-nodular benign tumor that has taken over one side of my thyroid. I do not want surgery, though was given no other option. I have changed to Gluten-Free eating habits and I believe the growth is shrinking? Has not been confirmed by a doctor BUT I believe!!
    I want to change the house hold eating and lifestyle habits. My boyfriend has high blood pressure and digestive problems. We would both benefit greatly from Natural remedies.
    I take the challenge and look forward to our new, long, healthy life!

  4. Monica Post Avatar
    Monica Post

    Hey all! Monica here. I am 28, I have an inactive pituitary microadenoma that I would like to stay that way. The depo provera shot ruined my life for over a year, and I am hoping that this change will finally help me normalize. I am excited for this challenge. I already make our laundry and dish washer detergents, I have the magnesium foot scrub and toothpaste made, I got rid of all the bug sprays and sunscreens, I make our cleaning supplies, and I threw out all the vegetable oils. My big tub of coconut oil is ready to go. I live on Okinawa, and finding grassfed and/or organic foods is difficult, as I don’t read Japanese, and the on base commissaries here import everything from the US and its all processed and chemical-ed. It is so easy to say “oh well, I tried” and eat the garbage that’s offered. Does anyone have advice for getting their husband to go along with, nay, be excited by this lifestyle change? I want to change our habits before having kids.

  5. Jenna Avatar

    Hi Wellness Mama,

    Where can I find the Quick Start Guide? I don’t see the link and I’d really like to try the 30 day challenge. Thank you!
    Jenna

  6. Amanda P Avatar

    Hello I’m Amanda. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and thank you for all of the interesting information I have learned already!
    I’ve just ordered a bass toothbrush, so will be using that soon. I am also planning on making my own toothpaste and laundry detergent.
    I’m looking forward to commiting to this challenge 100% and hope it helps me shed a few pounds, get rid of my migraines and even out my mood.

  7. Whitney Avatar

    My name is Whitney, in the last 2 years I have taken some drastic health measures naturally to help me heal from some lifetime health issues! I am doing better and better but it is a long term and steady journey and I admit I struggle to stay away from, for long periods of time, coffee, sugar, and chocolate my major weaknesses. I know I will get better so much faster if I really challenge myself to stay away from the very things that may cause more damage and undo some of the progress I am making! I have pretty severe adrenal fatigue as well as slow and not so good digestion, as well as a few other problems that have only gotten worse as I have gotten older. My husband and I are both on this health journey together, but it is a challenge to stay away from sugar. So I am excited to have stumbled upon this wonderful blog, that is just what I needed to help me take the next steps in my wellness and health! My main goal for this 30 day Challenge is to stay off of grains, carbs and sugars, caffeine too but that one can always be a bit tough on days when I have work and really need a little energy boost, but I should probably include staying away from caffeine within these 30 days as well, my adrenal fatigue will get so much better without it!! I am excited to receive the emails, you have so much awesome information that is right on track with my health and nutritional journey! My husband and I look forward to starting a family but due to my extreme adrenal fatigue (I was born with adrenal fatigue) I need to heal and get my adrenals to a higher function before I can have kids, so I am eager to heal and get even better, and am definitely better but it is a steady journey that I am not always diligent about! Thank you for all your wonderful insights and information! It is amazing that you are a mom of 4 kids and you have this awesome blog with so many great resources and information! Thank you!

  8. Angie Avatar

    I’m in, looking forward to the challenge. Hopefully this will help the skin rash and ear infection that has been plaguing me for the two months.

  9. jane Avatar

    Hello
    I just turned 71 and have had breast cancer twice, am in remission. Have Hashimotos and CFS, Just diagnosed with heart disease, needing surgery down the road. I know, it sounds like I am in rough shape, however, am not. My husband and myself cut and haul our own wood, make maple syrup, garden and are generally very active people.
    Hope to take charge though and spend more time on health.
    Looking forward to losing some weight and maybe some thyroid symptoms while I am at it.

  10. Helena Avatar

    I am currently taking thyroid meds. and I would like to see if I can change the reason for taking them,
    I am senior, who has been on this med. for years, and I don’t see any improvement, but am encouraged by your interview and information you share.
    thanks for offering this opportunity.

  11. Raechel Avatar

    I’m a young mom to two beautiful children. I was diagnosed with Graves’ early this year and am on the fight to go into remission. I love in a town where doctors are scarce so I went 6 months battling hyper thyroid symptoms. Which has exhausted my organs and now am having severe digestive issues. I know I can heal my body and learning to eat a grain/dairy free diet will help. It’s something I’ve never had to do and seems extremely hard. My hearts desire is to have more children. I’d love to do this 30 day challenge with you.

  12. Tiffany Pruitt Avatar
    Tiffany Pruitt

    I love your blog! I have learned so much. I have been contemplating living a more natural and healthy lifestyle for quite some time and I am ready to jump in. I have made some of my own household items, which has made me feel better, but I am ready now to focus more on the food health side. Can’t wait!

  13. Veronica Avatar
    Veronica

    Hi, My name is Veronica and I have struggled with losing weight and struggled with a sugar addiction for many years. I have started to eat healthier and eat more clean because of a chronic health condition I have developed, it is still hard and I relapse sometimes and pay the price of stomach discomfort and pain. I am joining the challenge so I will keep myself accountable and that I will finally start eating healthier and feel better. I also like the support aspect of it. Can’t wait to start.

  14. Gaylene Avatar

    I commit to not eating sugar, grain or processed foods. I need to get healthy! My 5 wonderful kids and amazing husband need me to be healthy!

  15. Allison Avatar
    Allison

    I’d like to loose some pounds but not really diet. Life changes that my whole family can live with.

  16. Claude Avatar

    Hi!! I’m Claude, 34 years old. I moved to a big city last September for a great new career opportunity but I now work many more stressful hours and can’t seem to eat anything OTHER than crap and processed food. I was never a big fan of “formal” exercise like going to the gym or anything but I used to have a pretty active, on your feet all day job and enjoyed hiking on the weekends. Now, I work primarily at a desk, sitting down all day and I would probably need to drive quite a while to find some nature trails. Last week, I had blood work done as part of my physical and my fasted blood sugar is really high!! I freaked out but now that I’m calm, I’m ready to do something about it!! I’ve been using your beauty DYI natural recipes for a while now and your approach to nutrition makes a lot of sense to me. Time is a big issue for me but a lot of your recipes seem pretty simple. I’m excited for the challenge! Cheers!

  17. Jenn Stilwell Avatar
    Jenn Stilwell

    My name is Jenn. I am 39. I am married and I have 4 sons. My oldest has autism. For myself, I am trying desperately to turn my own health around. I have periodontal disease. I have eczema. I am always bloated. I am always tired. I miscarried 2 babies within a year of each other and the last one was 2 years ago in which I almost died also and I haven’t had a period since then. I know I’m getting close to 40 but I’m pretty sure I’m still too young to be pre-menopausal. Lol. I am a junk food junky. I am a sugar junky. Although for the last year I have been trying to go grain free and sugar free and I can do it but I cave to cravings ALOT! I would like to get my health and hormones in order to live the best life I can live for myself and for my family and I want what’s best for the health of my family. And maybe just maybe through taking better care of myself maybe God will open my womb back up and bless me with another baby! 🙂

  18. Stephanie Avatar
    Stephanie

    Hi, I’m Stephanie. Me and my husband are empty nesters trying to get healthy and drop the excess weight. We both work full time jobs and we are beekeepers in our “off” time as well as having 2 grown children and our first grandbaby. We lead very busy lives and need all the extra energy we can muster and extra support along the way is always appreciated. I have been receiving your emails and really enjoy it.

    Here are the 3 things I vow to do this next 30 days:
    1-Remove processed food from our diet
    2-Cut out all sodas and fake sweeteners
    3-Be physically active for a minimum of 30 minutes atleast 3 times a week

  19. Elie Avatar

    Hello,

    I would very much like to take the challenge however, something was mentioned about weight loss? I am not trying to lose weight, in fact I would like to gain a few pounds. Is it still safe for me to do this?

    Namaste

    1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

      Of course! The Wellness Challenge helps you to change your entire lifestyle to become as healthy as possible. Many people want to lose weight and use it as an incentive to help with that, but it’s certainly not a requirement.

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