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Wild Food Challenge Guidelines (Beta Version)

Witchetty Grubs from Jad's back garden

Witchetty Grubs from Jad’s back garden

This is the kind of challenge that you will custom-design to fit in with your lifestyle.

I am not suggesting that you need to start foraging in the forest, gunning for game or diving in dumpsters.
(Although one of the Facebook Group members did take a second look at some witchetty grubs he found in his back garden…the choice, as always, is yours.)

The Wild Food Challenge can definitely be done within the confines of your supermarket & local community farmer’s markets, farm gate’s or your backyard garden.

Be bold and “Take a walk on the wild side.”
Open your mind to tasting and experimenting with new foods, flavours & recipes and turn a few vital behaviours into good habits that can be sustained for life.

You will personalize the Challenge by choosing the level of ‘wild’ you want to unleash…and how far down the rabbit hole you want to go, when you set your own Bite-Sized Goals and Habit Hooks.

Deciding these in advance is important for helping you make to the bite-sized changes needed to move you closer to consuming your elephant-sized health & wellness goals.

You will totally and completely own your Wild Food Challenge.

These are the 5 steps to the Wild Food Challenge & Each is important.

Step 1: Plan for New

To live a life a little less ordinary you have to think outside your current shopping basket”  ~  Crystal Fieldhouse Click to Tweet This 

  • Plan to change things up and try new things continually as part of your regular routine.
  • Do your “Market Research.”  What are your options for sourcing Wild Foods? Take a look around the supermarket or Farmer’s Market next time you are there with ‘new eyes’.  Are there any other sources of whole foods in your local community, that you haven’t yet explored?
  • Set your Bite-Sized Goals.  Think about how often you are going to plan to try or buy a new food.  Every week?  Every shopping trip?  Once a fortnight?  Once a month?  Think about what day of the week and meal-time will become your planned Wild Food Meal.  Check here for some suggestions on additional Bite-Sized goals you could try out.
  • Set your Habit Hooks. These are new behaviours that you will hook onto existing habits and routines.  If you are already in the supermarket buying food (existing routine), it then becomes easy to just pick up your Wild Food of the week while you are there (new behaviour).  See here for suggestions of handy Habit Hooks that will help make the Wild Food Challenge work for you.
  • Decide in Advance.  Decide on your Bite-sized Goals and your Habit Hooks and commit to sticking to your plan.
  • Write “Wild Food” on your shopping list.

Step 2: Pick your Wild Food and Decide What you are going to Do with it

Heirloom Beetroots at the Mornington Farmer’s Market: Chioggia, Bulls Blood, Golden & White Blankoma

Take a walk on the wild side…”  ~
Lou Reed

  • Go shopping!  You might find it easier to have planned in advance what your Wild Food of the week is going to be. Or maybe you’ve planned to just pick up whatever takes your fancy.
  • It can sometimes be easiest to start with a veggie, but don’t limit yourself to veggies. Think about different flavour combinations, spices, fruits, different cuts of meat, organ meats, fermented foods & different cuisines from around the world.  The most important thing is to look with ‘open eyes’ and take your ‘walk on the wild side’ attitude with you.
Some things to consider when choosing your Wild Food:
  • Keep away from processed and refined foods. The idea here is to maximise the micronutrients in your diet, so go for whole foods that are nutrient dense. Think veggies, meat, fruit and natural fats.
  • The most nutrient rich veggies and fruits will naturally be those that are fresh & grown locally.  Food starts to lose micronutrients from the moment it has been picked.
  • The most nutrient rich meats will be from animals that have themselves eaten their natural diet.  Farmed animals that have been allowed to eat grass, fish that has been wild-caught, chickens and pigs that have been pastured and allowed to scratch about for bugs & grubs and whatever else it is that pigs root around for.
  • Organic is good, but not a deal breaker. If the organic food has been transported from elsewhere, chances are your locally grown, conventional foods are going to be more micronutrient rich. Check out the Clean 15 & Dirty Dozen for more tips on what to get organic and what you can get away with conventionally grown.
  • Take your chosen Wild Food home and decide what you are going to do with it.  Are you are recipe person?  Or do you tend to wing it in the kitchen?
  • Check out Chowstalker, Fast Paleo or The Foodee for some great Paleo recipes.  You can also jump in the Facebook Group and ask questions, post up a photo of your Wild Food and get ideas from what others are up to.

Step 3: Prepare & Cook

We eat first with our eyes”  ~
Melissa Joulwan, Well Fed

Heirloom Beetroot, Chioggia and Burpees Golden

  • Make sure you allow extra time for cooking your Wild Food Meal. Especially as there will be ingredients and possibly also recipes and cooking methods or techniques that you’ll be unfamiliar with.
  • Have some fun with it! 
  • But keep in mind, your Wild Food Meals don’t have to be extravagant!
    Aim for meals that are: Meat + Veggies + Natural Fats, just like your meals throughout the rest of the week.
  • Make it a bit special and create a real dining experience. Set places at the table (even if you don’t normally eat there). Maybe put out some napkins and serve water with a slice of lemon or in your wine glasses.
  • Put some thought into how you are going to plate up your Wild Food Meal. We eat first with our eyes, so think about how you might spruce up your Wild Meal to give your eyes a feast too. Maybe some fresh herbs, a slice of lime, a handful of chopped nuts or spring onion.  Or perhaps those plates or bowls that you don’t bring out often.
  • Remember to take pics to post up in the Facebook Group!

Ready for oven roasting

 Step 4: Eat & Reflect

Spend as much time enjoying the meal as it took to prepare it”  ~
Michael Pollan, Food Rules #51

Tasty Roasted Beets & Sweet Potato

  • Take the time to enjoy your Wild Food Meal.  Chew slowly, eat mindfully and devote your full attention and all of your senses to the food you are eating. Savour it & share your thoughts with your dinner companions.
  • How did it go? What did you think? What did your family think? Did you enjoy your Wild Meal? What went well? What didn’t? Do you want to have another go at it? A different recipe maybe? Would you get that Wild Food again? Would you make it part of your seasonal rotation?
  • Reflect and celebrate your success or think about what you would do differently next time.
  • Take pride in what you have created. Enjoy that sense of satisfaction that comes with growing & learning new skills, cooking methods or recipes. Acknowledge your progress towards your goals.
  • If it was a food you didn’t think you liked (and you were surprised by how well it turned out), you can now “tell yourself a new story” about this food.  It becomes something “that I eat and enjoy” instead of “I don’t eat that” or “I don’t like that”
  • Share your success with the Wild Food Challenge Community!

Step 5: Rinse & Repeat

Practice is the best of all instructors”  ~
Publilus Syrus

Heirloom Beets, sweet potato & black radish in the food processor for Root Veggie Fritters

  • If you have some of your Wild Food left over or have decided to get this food again, continue to experiment & perfect your tasty creations.
  • Share your Wild Food Meals with family & friends. Especially if you are trying to open their eyes to the benefits of eating good food.
  • Try a different new Wild Food next time around. Have a think about what it might be and write it (or “Wild Food”) on your shopping list.
  • The aim of the game is to get into the habit of picking up new foods regularly and make experimentation with new foods, flavours and recipes something you do automatically.  These habits then become part of your normal routine and sustainable for life.

An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory”  ~
Ralph Waldo Emerson

This is what you need to do now:

Root Veggie Fritters

Action Steps:

    1. Choose how often you will shop for a Wild Food (be realistic, this will only work if it fits in with you and your lifestyle)
    2. Choose a day of the week and meal-time
    3. Write “Wild Food” on your shopping list
    4. Set your other Bite-sized goals & Habit Hooks. Check here and here for suggestions.
    5. Join the Facebook Group.


**The Wild Food Challenge is in Beta-testing right now**
So, please tell us how you are going with it!  Any and all feedback about what you have done, what has worked for you and what hasn’t, is much appreciated and will go a long way towards making this Challenge even better.  

Be sure to leave your comments below.
We would love to hear how you go!

Want some more background info before you jump in?

Ready to Go?  Check out The Wild Foods Guide for some ideas:



  1. Introducing The Wild Food Challenge | Eat. Sleep. Move. - Sunday 16 September, 2012

    [...] Ready to go? > Wild Food Guidelines (Beta Version) [...]

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