30 Day Nutrition Challenge – Ready Set Go!
Last week I wrote about an upcoming nutrition challenge/reset hosted by my local crossfit gym that I decided to sign up and commit to, despite being an anti-diet type of gal. You can read more about that here in my last post.
There were 3 main reasons I decided to jump on board – (1.) I am all for improving my health, (2.) the occasional ice cream seems to have turned into a little more than the ‘occasional’ ice cream of late, and (3.) simply because I am always up for a challenge!
Before signing up I checked that the challenge did not involve calorie counting, following a set meal plan or a lot of restriction. I also made sure that it was not a challenge to see who could lose the most weight (or even required weighing) – which it was not.
The challenge is to accumulate as many ‘points’ as you can, up to a maximum of 7 points per day including a bonus point for adequate movement, aka exercising! Points are awarded for eating both an appropriate quantity, and even more importantly, high quality, whole foods. Each meal should contain protein, veg/salads, carbs/starches, and good fats. 30 Day Nutrition Challenge – Ready Set Go! We were provided with an extensive list of recommended foods for each category, as well as a recipe book and sample meal plan for inspiration.
A few days ago we received the detailed information for the challenge and my first thought was ‘ohhhhhh, what am I doing?’. As mentioned in my original post, I am actually going away on a cruise holiday during the challenge, from day 5 – 12, and after reading the ‘rules’ I wasn’t sure I wanted to participate while on holidays! To be honest prior to receiving that info, I thought I may be able to indulge a little but still accumulate points if I was ‘mostly’ sticking to the challenge.
Unfortunately, it turns out that is not quite the case and a challenge is exactly that – challenging!
Although our trainers knew that we may have days where we would choose not to follow the guidelines, the aim was to do the very best we could during the 30 days! The more we detract from the guidelines, the less points we would accumulate. For example, if we follow it 100% we would receive the full 6 food points per day. If we perhaps mostly followed it but decided to have some chocolate as well, or a wine with our dinner, we would receive less points. If we totally threw the guidelines out the window for more than one full meal, then we would not receive any points for that day (unless we worked out, in which case we could still get our bonus point). Our trainers also made it clear that the guidelines provided were probably not sustainable long term, 100% of the time.
This challenge was created to allow our bodies to reset from processed foods, sugar, alcohol, and the endless list of chemical weirdness we tend to consume these days.
So, on one hand I was dreaming about the endless supply of indulgent food and cocktails on our upcoming cruise, and on the other I was considering the commitment I had just entered into! What was a girl to do!? Honour herself, that’s what. Not only her body and health, but also her desires! A big part of our holiday was about celebration, and in most cultures, celebration includes food! We booked this time away to celebrate our 10-year anniversary, and it also not only coincides with the end of my studies, but also my husband’s birthday – so if I said I wasn’t going to celebrate and indulge to some degree, I would be lying! And, I reminded myself that the cruise only accounts for 8 days of the 30-day challenge which leaves 22 days with no excuses!
My personal goals for this challenge are:
(1.) Accumulate a minimum of 100 points.
(2.) Aim for at least 1 point per day while on holidays, and even if not following the challenge guidelines as prescribed, still be mindful of my choices (whilst indulging a little) and have an amazing time while doing so!
(3.) Listen to, and note, the feedback my wonderfully clever body gives me during this time.
(4.) Try at least one new recipe per week.
(5.) Drink plenty of H2O – especially while on holidays!
As I am writing this, the challenge actually starts tomorrow.
I spent a couple of hours tonight cooking for the next few days to ensure I am prepared and following the recommended guidelines until we head off on our holiday. I have some yummy meals ready to go and am feeling excited. I have no doubt that during the first couple of days my body may respond with headaches and tiredness when I stop feeding it sugar to stay awake! I also have no doubt that within a few more days, my current bloating will dissipate and I will start to feel more alert. Beyond that who knows, but I look forward to sharing the journey with you regardless!