Happy Monday friends! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. I know we have been talking Peru a lot lately but that’s what had been going on my life :) Since I’ve been home, things have been back to reality. I start working again today (I picked up another part-time contract gig) and I’ve been cooking, eating, working out, chillin’… you know, all that usual good stuff. I am also super excited to tell ya that I’m a new FitFluential ambassador! So, so happy.
On Friday, I had a rough CrossFit workout. We did “Nancy” and it pushed me mentally more than physically. I wanted to quit and I never want to quit. But I will tell you again how supportive the community is: everyone was cheering me on and pushing me to complete it. And I did. And I was dead last. And I didn’t use the prescribed weight. But I did my very best and then was encouraged to sign up to compete in the CrossFit open competition. The “Open” is a worldwide competition where everyone is invited to compete in five workouts over five weeks, posting their scores online. From these scores, the “fittest” athletes will then compete in regional competitions.
Well I know I am not the “fittest” CrossFit athlete and I registered knowing full well I might not be able to even complete some of the workouts. I registered to challenge myself and get better. I did the first workout on Saturday and I surprised myself. I didn’t even think I would be able to do one double-under (skipping when the rope goes under your feet twice) and lift the 55-lb bar let alone power-snatch it. But I did! I got 86 total reps for 14.1. (60 double unders and 26 power-snatches). The hardest part is taking that first step. But do it. You are stronger than you think you are and you’ll surprise yourself. You’ve gotta start somewhere. Just like with cooking or running or food photography. So start. Because if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. Just a little motivation for this marvelous Monday :)
Today, I am taking on another challenge: the Whole 30. Yup. I’m doing it… with my good mate Arman! Okay let’s explain shall we?
What is The Whole 30?
The Whole 30 is a 30 day challenge that eliminates all potential food allergens (grains, dairy, refined sugars, alcohol and legumes) from your diet. The “challenge” has two phases: elimination (the 30 days) followed by reintroduction to assess your body. It derives from the book I just read called “It Starts With Food.” The authors and founders of the Whole 30 program posit that:
“The food you eat either makes you more healthy or less healthy. Those are your options.”
True dat. They outline what they believe makes food “good.” Their definition of good food is:
- Promote a healthy psychological response.
- Promote a healthy hormonal response.
- Support a healthy gut.
- Support immune function and minimize inflammation.
The challenge eliminates grains, dairy, refined sugars, alcohol and legumes in the hopes of making you the healthiest and happiest version of you. The idea is to eat three meals (plus pre/post workout snacks on active days as necessary) consisting of good food.
Why are you doing The Whole 30?
Good question. Well I’ve been learning a lot about this whole thing called paleo. Have I mentioned that before? I kid, I kid. But really.
After reading “It Starts With Food”, and a few other resources as well as listening to podcasts such as Balanced Bites, a few things really struck a chord with me. Namely an approach to fueling and nourishing our bodies for optimal health and busting nutrition myths presented by the media. Other than while in Peru, I have been 90% Whole 30/paleo since mid-January – I still kept some beans, PB and oatmeal in the rotation.
I have been feeling amazing but I think I can feel even better. My body is thriving from all of this nutrient rich food and I want to use the Whole 30 challenge to continue to learn and improve myself, my body and overall health. I want to clear my skin troubles and feel stronger. I am most definitely not doing the Whole 30 challenge to restrict myself, my diet, or especially be a part of any fad. Far from that. I have experimented in the past in order to improve my digestion, which turned out to be a success. So I am using these next 30 days to self-experiment.
What can’t you eat?
Here is what is NOT allowed on the Whole 30 and how it affects me:
- No sugar… no honey/dark chocolate
- No alcohol… no vodka sodas
- No grains… no oats, quinoa, flours, Ezekiel bread, protein powder
- No legumes… no beans, lentils, peanut butter or soy products
- No dairy
- No carragenean, MSG, sulfites
- No white potatoes
- No Paleo-fied treats… no almond flour cookies etc.
What will you eat?
Eggs, fish, chicken, meat (?!) fruits, vegetables, oils, nuts and seeds.
1. I was grossed out by seeing it raw (I clearly have this thing with raw meat…)
2. I didn’t know how to cook it.
3. I didn’t know how the animals were being raised or what was going in the meat other than meat.
4. I watched a billion documentaries and read a million articles telling me how bad meat is for us.
Through my own research, I came to conclusion that meat was unhealthy due to improper raising of animals, added junk ingredients and studies associating it with health issues/diseases.
So now what? I still think there could be issues with too much meat (or too much of anything) but I have been learning about the wonderful nutrients found in meat and that there are (expensive) ways of buying properly raised meats (organic, grass-fed, free-run… all that good stuff). Truth be told, I am still grossed out by seeing it raw and I don’t crave it. But I have also been learning that sometimes our bodies lose the capacity to digest animal products if we haven’t been eating them so I bought grass-fed, organic beef this weekend. Here goes nothing!
I grocery shopped and prepped this weekend and will get back to posting weekly plans so you can get an idea how I am tackling this as well as updates on how it is going. If you want to be bombarded with meal pics, well just check my Instagram.
I would love if you joined us! If you have any other questions or want to tackle these next 30 days with us, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s to new challenges, happy and healthy bodies :)
Questions of the day…
Have you completed the Whole 30 challenge? Care to join in?
What are you doing to challenge yourself?
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