The Next Nutrition Challenge

It happens to the best of us. You’re working out hard. Sleeping a ton. Taking your fish oil. Recovering at yoga. And making smart food decisions… for the most part. I mean, that tiny bowl of ice cream doesn’t really matter, right? It’s only once a week. Ok, maybe it’s a few times a week. FIIIIIIIIINE, it’s every night. But it’s just a tiny scoop. With a little bit of chocolate sauce. And some sprinkles. And maybe another small scoop. No big deal, because I eat really well all day. Except every now and again when I have a granola bar instead of breakfast. And by granola bar, I mean a Snickers bar. What? Nougat is basically like granola.

snickersNext thing you know, you find yourself in a french fry, milk shake, fast food, frozen pizza, and candy eating lifestyle. You picked up a few pounds and you feel terrible all the time. Sound familiar?

Hopefully, you haven’t fallen quite so far, but it is easy to get a little off track. All that CrossFit you do actually allows you to hide the effects of a poor diet… a little. But when you’re putting less than optimal foods in your body, you’re going to be just that – less than optimal. You’ll be a little softer than normal, sleep less well, and your workouts will suffer. Time to get back on track, Jack!

On October 13th, we will do a Whole 30. This is basically 30 days of very strict paleo. The idea behind this is not to just lose a ton of weight (though that is often a side effect). The idea is that we eliminate foods that the majority of people find inflammatory to see if our health improves. Then, we slowly add them back in to see how those foods affect us. The Whole 30 is a GREAT way to learn what foods are best for us. Everyone is different, so you might find that you can handle dairy with minimal effects while your neighbor is much better off without it.

BUT… before we delve into 30 days of strict paleo, we have to prepare. We’ll do this in two phases.

Phase 1: Food Journal – What are you putting into your body? How do you feel when you eat like that? This is a starting point for improving our eating habits. Getting a baseline. So, for 1 week, I want you to write down everything that you eat. Every. Single. Thing. Write it down. Also, write down how you feel throughout the day. Waking up tired? Workout seem harder than normal? Write it down. This will go from Monday, September 29th to Sunday, October 5th. Maybe this seems silly. Maybe you feel like you don’t need to do it. Just give it a try. If it’s a waste, you’ve only wasted 7 pieces of paper and a few minutes each day. But MAYBE you will just learn something. I am happy to review your journal with you, if you like, but you may also just find the act of writing it down helpful.

Phase 2: Clean House and Prepare – The Whole 30 is hard. It takes will power. It is even HARDER if you have junk food sitting around. So get rid of it. Load up on healthy foods. Farmer Girl is a GREAT idea for this! Find recipes that look great and plan out your meals. Your success in Whole 30 is greatly dependent on how prepared you are. I will share my favorite websites, recipes, tricks, and tips. We will be ready to ACE Whole 30!!

Today’s homework is to buy a 50 cent notebook. Something you can keep with you all week. Shoot me an email if you have some more specific questions! Neil@CrossFitKirkwood.com

Click here for Wednesday’s WOD.

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