Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Take the 28-Day Challenge

By Rebecca Joerres, February 29, 2012  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Rebecca Joerres

Health Starts Here

Are you ready to make a fresh start? Though every body has different needs, there are some basic healthy choices you can make that will contribute to your overall wellness.

These simple changes can make a big difference over time.

And one of the best ways to start is by taking our Health Starts Here® 28-Day Challenge! At Whole Foods Market®, we believe that focusing on our four pillars of healthy eating offers the greatest health benefits, no matter what dietary path you follow.

1. Eat whole, unprocessed foods.

2. Eat a colorful variety of plants.

3. Eat foods rich in micronutrients.

4. Get fats from whole plant sources.

And based on our four pillars of healthy eating, we’ve created free weekly menu plans, assembled cooking tips and videos, and put together a four-week newsletter series designed to support you as you travel the path to better health.

Are you up for the challenge?

Each of the weekly meal plans focuses on plant-based, nutrient-dense whole foods and healthy fats. You’ll find a delicious array of flavorful dishes like:

Simple Black Bean SoupThai Shrimp and Carrot Salad

Baked Chili PotatoRoasted Fish and Veggies with Quinoa and Pine Nuts

Southwest Veggie BurgersMighty Bowls of Goodness

Plus you’ll find quick and simple breakfasts and tasty, packable lunches too!

What do you think? Could you change your eating habits in just 28 days?

Category: Healthy Eating




MarieElena says ...
I am gluten intolerant and casin intolerant does your meal plan work around that?
02/29/2012 9:31:37 AM CST
Julie says ...
So where's the shopping list? This would be helpful. As of now, I have to go to each recipe and make a list. :-(((
02/29/2012 10:44:26 AM CST
janejohnson says ...
@Marie While the 28 Day Challenge Recipes were not designed to all be gluten-free or casein-free, they are created with a lot of flexibility. You should be able to easily substitute with ingredients that take into account your special dietary needs. We also have lots of other Health Starts Here recipes that are gluten-free. Use our advanced recipe search feature and select the boxes for gluten-free, dairy-free and Health Starts Here. Good luck with your healthy eating!
02/29/2012 11:53:30 AM CST
kitchenvoyage says ...
Yes I am agree, we need a shopping list or a whole week menu
02/29/2012 12:44:20 PM CST
Britten says ...
This is such a great idea. Replacing processed foods with plants makes such a difference. Creating a 28 day challenge makes the process much easier. The healthy eating conversation and weekly meal plans help keep things organized and well planned. Changing eating habits takes a lot of time and thought. This blog makes it so do-able. Britten Feldman Freeman School Student
02/29/2012 1:46:17 PM CST
Emily says ...
I'd like to see a major grocery store get behind the Paleo movement as well as the gluten free movement. Makes me feel good!
02/29/2012 7:55:09 PM CST
Howard O says ...
Prior to the Challenge, I thought I was very knowledgable about healthy nutrition. Lara's expertise and guidance helped me take my knowledge and personal commitment to a higher level. Thank You Whole Foods
02/29/2012 9:03:24 PM CST
Alice says ...
Great idea, I'm in.
03/01/2012 7:17:12 AM CST
Mary E says ...
Actually, I've alreday started eating healthy bc of the classes I attended at the Blossom Hill store in San Jose. We learned about the "pillars of eating" and I've been changing the way I eat for a couple of months now.
03/01/2012 8:42:12 AM CST
Barbara says ...
I've started eating vegetarian and I'm here to tell you the recipes I've tried have been more satisfying than many meat-centric meals of the past. Even my midwestern meat and potatoes guy is enjoying the rewards of better flavor AND better health! Wish we had a Whole Foods Market in our town! Thanks for all the great ideas. Count me IN! (These dishes are appropriate for those of us who need to lose a little weight, right?)
03/01/2012 9:31:00 AM CST
Linda says ...
It's too bad that "healthy diet" is implemented as a "one-size fits all" because various allergies, diseases and health conditions change what a healthy diet is for various people. As a Type 2 diabetic, I'd be courting complications and faster progression of the disease if I ate your "healthy diet". I have to keep my carbs below a certain level in order to avoid dangerous blood sugar spikes. The reason this is a problem is that your sales and lower prices are geared toward promoting your "one size fits all" healthy diet, so eating whole foods and low carb is extremely expensive. My husband reminds me that it's cheaper than doctor bills, but still-it would be really nice if the foods that constitute a healthy diet for me were more affordable, too. But, the truth is-carbs are the cheapest food and that's what I have to eat the least of. It would be really nice if some of your promotions and sales were geared to people who must restrict carbs; or people who can't have gluten; or people who need to restrict sodium-having low or no sodium versions of your broths, for example, would be a lifesaver; and so on. Anyway, I think you need to broaden your health horizons beyond what the experts say. The experts have a very narrow vision, even as research keeps showing that a broader vision would keep more people healthy.
03/01/2012 10:29:14 AM CST
paig292 says ...
@ Julie and kitchenvoyage We didn't create a specific shopping list because there are so many different options in the meal plan where you get to choose your favorite veggies or grains, etc. For the specific recipes, you can always choose the "add to my shopping list" feature on the recipe page and if you click that on multiple recipes, it will build a shopping list for you. Try it out and let us know what you think. Thanks!
03/01/2012 12:01:57 PM CST
jo says ...
how close will this 28 day plan be compared to any of the Dr. Ornish plans?
03/01/2012 1:52:11 PM CST
Annette Beauvais says ...
I have Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome and Lupus and a Diabetic on top of that! Can you help me with my health needs? Same amount of Vitamin K on a daily basis and lots of fruits and veggies and whole grains. I am in need of nutritional help -- I would be so happy to get really healthy and eating right is my main goal.
03/01/2012 4:09:40 PM CST
Liv Torres says ...
Let's get started!!
03/01/2012 4:16:43 PM CST
Meg Bressette says ...
I love Whole Foods and I do a fair amount of my shopping with you but I find it distressing that your healthy eating plans are absolutely incompatible with my requirements. I am on a lifelong low fiber/low residue eating plan so that means that 90% of all vegetables, all whole grains, all legumes and a lot of proteins are not possible for me to eat. I would love to see you address this as it is exhausting trying to figure out what I can and cannot eat. This is a great article.
03/01/2012 4:22:01 PM CST
Kelly says ...
Oh my goodness people, this is jut supposed to be a jumping-off point for your new healthy lifestyle. You definitely should not be relying on other people to make your shopping list for you, or to cater to your every allergy or diet restriction. Everyone is different. Grow up, be an adult, and take responsibility for yourself and your health. Don't rely on anyone to tell you exactly what to eat. I personally thank Whole Foods for preparing this healthy eating plan because it gives normal people a good starting place for their new lifestyle. Note, I said lifestyle and not diet.
03/01/2012 5:00:27 PM CST
Amy says ...
Why is everyone whining on here? Whole Foods is trying to do a free service (granted they are hoping you buy the stuff at their place). They can't make menus for every combination of special eating requirements. Geeesh! And, the horror... you need to make a grocery list? I'm sure there was a nicer way to suggest that. People's expectations stun me.
03/01/2012 7:10:51 PM CST
Vanessa says ...
Here's your Shopping list! Quinoa (red quinoa is the best), Brown Rice, Wheat Berries, Nutritional Yeast, Cashews, Almonds, Walnuts, Legumes, Black Beans, Kidney Beans, Garbanzo Beans, Limes, Raisins, Kale, Carrots, Zucchini, Cucumber, Spring Mix, Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Garlic, Ginger, Sweet Potato. Soaking Cashews and pureeing them with nutritional yeast creates a nice cheese sauce substitute, Rutabagas thinly sliced can sub as lasagna pasta. Sweeten and Spice your dishes with dried fruits, fresh spices or juices. Use stocks and juices instead of oils. I have been making a lot of sushi and stir fries with out oil. Talk to your whole foods healthy eating specialist they really help to get started. utilize the bulk departments Farmers Markets and coupons of your local stores :)
03/01/2012 8:45:56 PM CST
Vanessa says ...
My shopping list above is usually what I buy to cook with and not geared toward special diets. For dietary needs you can consult a nutritionist or the whole foods healthy eating specialist they are a wealth of knowledge. :)
03/01/2012 8:50:23 PM CST
David says ...
think this is a terrific idea and an awesome post. I’m a big advocate of natural and organic/non processed foods, and this is a great way to educate the public and consumers about the benefits of wholesome organic foods. It is a fun way for participants in this 28-day challenge to have fun, eat healthy, and learn more about the healthy choices they can make in their diet. The meal plans look delicious and it helps people with busy lifestyles to construct a quick and healthy meal. This is a great challenge that will mutually benefit participants and Whole Foods because it allows participants to check out all the great and healthy choices at the Whole Foods stores. As a college student, I can definitely see this taking off across campuses around the nation.
03/01/2012 11:38:37 PM CST
Ericka Bradbury says ...
I love the meal plans...but if Whole Foods offered a shopping list to go w/it would be great. It would benefit Whole Foods too because I'd print the shopping list and take it right down there to buy everything I needed to follow the meal plan:)
03/02/2012 1:18:04 PM CST
Jonathan Aluzas says ...
What I love about this approach is that it's so simple.....maybe not behaviorally, but ideologically. This is very much like the Michael Pollan approach; which is, basically, eat good, real food, avoid processed foods. Great plan. I think if we can adhere to this even 80% of the time, we'll all be a lot healthier.
03/05/2012 9:15:03 AM CST
Pat Chiappa says ...
Week 3 of the challenge and so far so good! My biggest challenge has been not cooking with oils
03/05/2012 12:08:42 PM CST
janejohnson says ...
@Annette I'm sorry to hear about your diet struggles. Since we are a grocery, we're unable to give this type of nutritional advice. Please reach out to your physician or a licensed nutritionist for great recommendations on eating healthy. Thanks for reaching out.
03/05/2012 12:54:18 PM CST