Today is Day 7 of our 35 day Challenge.  It is the last day before we start focusing on quantity in addition to quality.  Many of you have already played around this past week with eating your prescribed numbers of trays and from what we have heard, measuring your food this way is easy.  The overwhelming struggle for many of you seems to be eating your prescribed amount of vegetables.  It doesn’t seem to be veggies in general that you dislike so much as the amount you are trying to eat of the same thing.  The key is variety!  In an effort to keep things simple, I get that you are eating the same thing over and over.  However, in order to enjoy this Challenge (which I truly believe is possible), I think you need to get creative and have lots of variety.  You can still keep it simple, but, take the time to try new recipes and foods.

This week, I will post a few veggie and starch side dishes that are on my menu.


Raw beet roots are an excellent source of folate, and a good source of fiber, B-complex vitamins such as pyridoxine (B-6) and Riboflavin (B-2), as well as minerals such as potassium, copper, iron, magnesium and manganese. Beets are a rich source of betalain compounds, a group of pigments that function as powerful antioxidants associated with heart health and the prevention of stroke and peripheral vascular diseases. Betalain pigments are anti-inflammatory and lab studies show they are capable of tumor suppression. Betalains also provide cellular detoxification support.




The easiest way to prepare beets and not lose all the nutrients is boiling or baking them.  Below is a super basic way to bake them.

Balsamic Marinated Beets


  • 6 to 8 medium beets, quartered
  • 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbs extra virgin coconut oil, melted
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Put a large piece of aluminum foil in a baking dish with plenty of extra on the sides to fold the foil together into a cooking pocket.
  2. Combine the beets, vinegar, coconut oil, pepper and salt. Pour into the foil. Fold the edges of the foil up and over the beets to make a pocket for the beets to cook in, sealing the edges closed.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the beets are tender (it depends on the size of your beets)