New Challenge Aims to Help People Clean Up Diet After the Holidays

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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa –The holiday season isn’t easy on our diets or our waistlines. It’s tempting for people to try a fad diet or a juice cleanse, but dietitians at one metro grocery store have another idea for you to clean up your diet.

Kim Hegedus is ready to get her healthy habits back on track after indulging over the holidays. “It’s all fun and games until your jeans don’t fit,” she said.

So, she signed up for a new clean eating challenge. “It’s just real foods. Clean whole foods,” said Mills Civic Hy-Vee Registered Dietitian Julie Gieseman.

Gieseman came up with Eat Clean in 2017 as a sort of healthy cleanse. “Around this time last year, there were so many people with questions for us about going on a cleanse and what’s a good cleanse. We kind of thought, really the best cleanse is just getting back to normal eating,” she said.

This is how the challenge works: participants will get a week’s worth of meals and snacks. Each day has 1,200 to 1,300 calories. The dietitians pack and prepare everything for pick up at the Mills Civic Hy-Vee on Friday and Monday. The challenge costs $149.99 for a week’s worth of food. “It’s kind of guiding people through eating right and doing anything for a week. If you can get off that sugar for about a week, it makes those cravings a lot easier to stay away from,” said Gieseman.

The Eat Clean in 2017 challenge is only offered at the Mills Civic Hy-Vee for now, but the dietitians have some advice if you want to clean up your own diet at home. Gieseman said, “Following that plate method, imagine a line down the middle of your plate. Half that plate, if you can fill it with vegetables and the other half about the size of your hand with lean protein and about the size of your fist with whole grains.”

Hegedus and her husband are ready to get the challenge started with the hopes of cleaning up their diets. “Learning what good foods are in the right combinations. If we lose weight, that’s a bonus, but learning to eat properly,” she said.

The first week of the Eat Clean for 2017 starts Friday, January 6th. The deadline to sign up is Thursday. You need to visit or call the Mills Civic Hy-Vee at (515) 225-1193 to sign up. If you miss out on this week, you can sign up for the challenge the next two weeks.

This is a pilot program. If it’s successful, Gieseman hopes other Hy-Vee stores might offer the program too.