There’s all this hullabaloo around the end of December for joining a gym, resetting your eating habits, and in general becoming New-and-Improved-You™ but I’ve never had much luck with that. In the winter I want to sit around in my pjs and eat comfort food with my hands, and the only marathon I’m interested in is Matt Damon movies.

It’s at the end of summer that I feel really energized to start new projects! Maybe it’s the conditioning from a lifetime of school starting around September, or maybe it’s that I’ve had all summer to get really hot and dreamy, but the moment I hear the first commercial for Back to School Sales I get jazzed up about tackling some new challenges.

This year I’ve been hemming and hawing since April about certain health goals (to be totally honest, it’s mostly just “avoid death for at least 2 more years” — but hey, we all start somewhere) and I’ve been dutifully taking stock of my health with the help of the fabulous Dr. Amy Coleman, the ever-energetic and encouraging Kinga Mnich, and the delightfully wellness-oriented community at Centered. I’ve also been dutifully avoiding exercise, eating half a cheesecake my boyfriend left in my fridge for like 6 hours (I could have restrained myself, sure, but hear me out: cheesecake!), letting produce go bad in the fridge, and drinking nearly half a glass of water before forgetting about it and deciding that 5 cups of coffee is a normal and good amount. Surprisingly, this isn’t making me feel healthier or better about myself and my body.

I don’t know about you, but I need a challenge. A good, old-fashioned commitment. A group of people to commiserate with when I want cheesecake but am instead going to have a big, beautiful, colorful salad–and a group of people I can celebrate with when I feel absolutely amazing after 30 days of big, beautiful, colorful salads.

September feels right for this, so I’m gonna do it, and I’d love it if you’d join me! I’ll be sticking to a Whole Foods Plant Based diet from September 1-30, and supporting my body with lots of water and walks in addition to some treats: as many massages as I can afford, time in the infrared sauna, and maybe even yoga when I get to feeling feisty.

Want in?

Kinga and I have enlisted the help of the super-fab Rachel Morgan (certified Health Coach and sometimes-intern at Centered) and support of Alexa Nichole, (licensed massage therapist and all-around spiffy human being) and we’ve put together an official 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge.

We have spaces for just 20 participants this time around. If you’re local to Lexington and want in on the whole shebang, it’s $80, but you can also participate online-only for just $50. (Please send payments via PayPal to


  • Guidelines & Welcome packet
    • What is a Whole Food Plant Based Diet?
    • Sample Meal Plan / Recipes
    • Sample Grocery List
    • Printable 30-day Calendar Template
    • List of our favorite outside health resources, including books about the Whole Food Plant Based diet and Ayurveda, cookbooks, websites, and movies.
  • Private Facebook Group for extra support and accountability

In-person participants also get:

  • $30 credit on an account at Centered. If you’re new to classes at Centered, you can use this credit to purchase a month of unlimited classes!
  • 20% off massages with Alexa (must be scheduled for September or October)
  • Discount coupons for the Infrared Sauna at Centered
  • Weekly Meetings at Centered: Mondays 6:00 pm, for discussion and support. We’ll also go on a 45-60 minute walk.
  • Optional meeting at Vinaigrette Salad Kitchen one day, including a discount on your order!
  • Free entry to a movie night & potluck
  • Free entry to a Health Presentation


What should you eat? A wide variety of vegetables and fruits; some potatoes, yams, rice. You should be able to do all or most of your grocery shopping from the produce aisle. Choose whole foods and drink lots of water and herbal tea!
Avoid the following: meat, processed sugar, white flour, coffee & caffeine, dairy (especially from cows), alcohol, cigarettes, and other drugs

Possible Things to Measure on Day 1 and Day 30 to judge progress:

  • Weight
  • Body size (eg: waist circumference, or how your jeans fit)
  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol
  • Digestion (how’s your poop?)
  • Sex drive
  • Stress level
  • Daily energy fluctuations
  • Cravings (what are they and how bad are they?)
  • 1 mile walk or run time
  • Video of yourself doing a Sun Salutation (look for: alignment, breathing, transitions between poses)
  • Any other health and wellness things you track regularly

Remember, this challenge is ultimately YOURS! While we can provide guidance and support, the final choices are up to you. (And remember to consult your physician.) Want to do a full Whole Foods Plant Based diet for 30 days? Great! Do you want to include eggs once a week? That’s fine! Is your caffeine addiction the only thing keeping you from joining? Cut back to 1 cup a day! But remember, these first 30 days are a great way to kick-start new healthy habits. See what you can do for 30 days–after September 30 you can decide if you want to continue as is, or if you want to make changes to your new healthy lifestyle. Prepare to be surprised by how fabulous you feel–you may feel better and more energetic with your morning water & lemon than you ever did with your coffee!