To help start off 2012 on a healthy note Granite State Kettlebells is going to have a 30 Day Nutrition Challenge. Nutrition is truly the heart of fitness, without proper nutrition there are only marginal benefits from working out.
To be part of this challenge you need to commit to eating only 'Paleo' foods for 30 days. The more people that do this the easier it will be to stick to it. I will use the Granite State Kettlebells blog to post tips, recipes and answer questions during the 30 Day Challenge. If you have any recipes, strategies that are helping you, let me know so I can post it on the blog to help everyone participating!
The Challenge will start on Monday, January 2 and finish on Wednesday February 1.
During this 30 days, don’t worry about portion size, eat until your satisfied. The goal is changing what foods your eating for 30 days not the amount, portion size can be tweaked later if necessary.
If you’d like to, but by no means is this necessary, you can take a before and after picture. If you do and you like what you see and you’d like to share it then I’ll post it to the website.
I’d like to have an “After Challenge” party. The location and time are TBD! (any volunteers?)
If you want to take part in this then send me an email letting me know you want to take part so I can have an idea of how many of us will be doing it.
Now for all of you that are accepting the 30 Day Paleo Challenge (especially if this is the first time), welcome to an awesome month of helping yourself perform, feel and look better! I’d like to help you get started with a couple of helpful tips to help keep you going for the full 30 days. A lot of what is below is taken from Robb Wolf’s Quick Start guide.
Clean out your cupboards of anything non-paleo (sugars, grains, pasta etc). Unfortunately, as human beings we really don’t have that much self control, so removing temptation is the best way to help you keep going for the 30 days.
Go.Shopping.Now. It’s time to fill your cupboards with food worth eating.
Protein - ideally these items are grass fed or wild caught, but if you can’t get them that way should you eat a bagel - NO! Getting them from a supermarket will work just fine. Beans and rice don’t count.
Land - beef, lamb, pork
Sea - salmon, cod, haddock - fishy stuff - we’re in New England it shouldn’t be too hard to get this!
Air - Turkey, Chicken, Duck, Ostrich(even though ostriches are flightless, they’re tasty!)
Round things out with some nitrate free bacon, omega 3 enriched eggs, chicken sausage for some awesome breakfasts!
Ideally these are locally grown and organic. If you can’t get them that way should you eat a bagel - NO! The supermarket will have what you need. Be sure to mix up the colors.
If fat loss is your main goal then limit your fruit intake, to 1 or 2 servings per day. If you go bonkers with the fruit all the excess fruit sugars (albeit natural) will cause an insulin spike and keep the fat on. In order of preference: Berries, melons, citrus, apples, pears. Bananas, papayas and mangoes are great for athletes post workout but dodgy for folks who want to lose weight.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Avocado (oil and whole), coconut, macadamia (oil and whole), almonds, cashews, walnuts. Because of the types of fats that nuts have limit the amount of nuts you have if fat loss is your main goal, a handful or two is good, the whole can or bag isn’t!
Odds and Ends
Marinara sauce, herbs, spices-curry powder, garlic, ginger, cilantro, garam massala, chili powder, black pepper, lemon zest, allspice, cinnamon, cumin, oregano, and basil. Get at least 20 herbs and spices to keep your cooking lively. Stock up on espresso, teas and mineral water as these are your beverages of choice.
The majority of your meals should include something like this:
One of the proteins listed above
Several servings of vegetables - steamed or lightly cooked (don’t boil the veggies!)
Finally, round out the meal with good fats from Avocado, olive oil or a handful of un-salted nuts such as almonds, pecans, macadamias or walnuts.
This one seems a little out of place for a nutrition challenge, but if you’ll do everything in your power to get a solid 8+ hours of sleep your results will tons better than just changing what you eat! Being a new Dad, I definitely know the challenge of getting a solid 4 hours of sleep but do your best!
Black out your room. No, REALLY black out your room. No LED lights from alarm clocks, fire alarms, TV’s etc. Do not watch TV or check email for at least 1 hour before bed. Go to bed early, get at least 8- 9 hrs of sleep. You should wake up without an alarm, feeling refreshed.
Question: Isn’t eating Paleo boring? There’s not too many categories of foods to choose from.
Answer: NO, if you find eating Paleo boring then you’re probably being a bit on the lazy side. Below is a version of Robb Wolf’s Food Matrix to dispel the notion that you are bored (and to show you how easy it is to make fantastic meals quickly AND with few ingredients) we will consider a few items we can get from virtually any supermarket. Perhaps a few items are exotic, DO NOT split hairs. If your local supermarket is missing a few of these items it does not invalidate the concept. Ok, let’s consider our food options and after the introduction of the food matrix we can consider how to customize this for your specific needs.
Rib eye steak
New York steak
Peppers of any color
Herbs and Spices
So that leaves us with 8 Proteins, 8 Veggies, 5 fats, 8 herbs and spices. If we take one item from each column we get 8x8x5x8=2560 different meals with the extremely limited list above. If you were to have 3 meals a day with just those ingredients you’d have a different meal each time you ate for over 2 years. Now I know you can think of a whole bunch more things to put on that list so you’ve got lots of meals to choose from!
Most of those meals can be made in the following easy manner:
Put oil in a pan
Brown some meat in the oil
Add your spice (depending on the spice either before or after you brown the meat)
Stir it a few times then cover it for 5-10 minutes
If it’s done eat it, if not leave it on for a few more minutes
This process is how I cook a lot of my meals, and they turn out GREAT.What this all boils down to is “boredom” does NOT exist. Laziness might, boredom, absolutely not. We are not even considering combo meals, with multiple spices, veggies etc. There is, in fact a nearly infinite number of meal combinations, just in this matrix. We are not even considering ethnic foods, fusion cooking or considerations of cooking techniques like braising vs. baking vs. broiling.
GIDDY UP BUTTERCUP! NOW THAT YOU’RE EXCUSES ARE DONE...GO COOK!
Below is taken from this blog post by Melissa Hartwig co-founder of Whole 9 Life
Here comes the tough love. This is for those of you who are taking on this life-changing month, but aren’t sure you can actually pull it off, cheat free, for a full 30 days. This is for the people who have tried this before, but who “slipped” or “fell off the wagon” or “just HAD to eat (fill in food here) because of this (fill in event here)”. This is for you.
It’s not that effing hard. (Yes, I wanted to throw an f-bomb in there.) Don’t you dare tell me this is hard. Giving up heroin is hard. Drinking your coffee black is. Not. Hard. Substituting Sunday morning French toast in favor of a giant omelet and side of crispy bacon is not hard. Eating fresh, delicious fruits and vegetables every day is not hard. You won’t get much coddling from me on this one, you won’t get much sympathy for your “struggles”. It’s thirty days, and it’s for the most important cause on earth – the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime. So shut up and do it.
Don’t tell me you “slipped”. Unless you physically tripped and your face landed in a box of Krispy Kremes, you DID NOT SLIP.You made a choice to eat something of poor quality. It’s always a choice, so do not phrase it as if you had an accident. Commit here, 100%, for the full 30 days.
Don’t lie to me. Don’t even try.
You never, ever, ever HAVE to eat anything you don’t want to eat. You’re all big boys and girls. Toughen up. Learn to say no. Learn to stick up for yourself. Just because it’s your Mom’s birthday, or your best friend’s wedding, or your company outing does not mean you “have” to eat crappy food. It’s always a choice, and I would hope that you stopped succumbing to peer pressure in 7th grade.
This does require a bit of effort, people. If you’re cutting grains and dairy for the first time, you have to replace those calories with something. You have to make sure you’re eating enough, that your vitamins and nutrients are balanced, that you’re getting enough protein, fat and carbohydrates. Don’t expect me to fill in the blanks for you.Figure it out. There are a ton of good resources out there. But take responsibility for your own plan. Improved health, fitness and performance doesn’t happen just because you’re now taking a pass on chocolate milk.
Post questions to comments so I can answer them for everyone. Post your commitment, if you’re up for it. Just make sure you re-read the Tough Love portion again before you sign up. And don’t say I didn’t warn you.