Before you begin, I would like you to start with why. Why are you wanting to take on this challenge? Just as I am not big on having clients who never have goals, I am not terribly interested in checking half hearted food logs each week from people who never had the intuition of committing from the start. Once you have it, I would encourage you to write down and share your reason for wanting to change your nutrition.
It may be to lose 10-20#. It may be to clear up those head aches or maybe to see if this could clear up that acne. Maybe you really have everything together but maybe this change will push you closer to your potential.
If you commit to this and truly do your best, you will love how you feel in 2-3 weeks (and how you look!). You will have consistent energy levels throughout your day, you will sleep like a baby, and you will perform like a champ. And yes, in all likelihood, you will lose a little weight.
It is impossible to underestimate the impact our food choices have on our lives. From our immune system, to our energy levels, to our physical appearances, nutrition plays a massive role. Begin to make smart choices, and small changes, and you will quickly see the benefits.
So what will be asked of you? It is really quite simple.
"Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar..."
If there is one food group where quality goes the farthest, it's meat. If you are able to find a local farmer (Yonder Way Farm) who offers humanely raised, naturally fed animal protein. If this is not possible then just do your best.
Remember, "Progress, not perfection." We are trying to do what we can, not hit a grand slam on the first swing.
If you will be purchasing your meat from the local grocery store then the guideline is 90/10 lean to fat ratio or better.
Do not only eat skinless chicken breast. You will grow sick of it quickly. Beef, turkey, chicken and lamb should all be used in order to maintain variety. We are not against pork but bacon that is not from a local farm is not allowed.
Here you want to eat all the things. We prefer to work from a foundation of green, leafy veggies, but plenty of color should be thrown on top.
You should have a food log dominated by vegetables.
"...nuts and seeds"
These will serve us well for our snacks. The fancier the nut, the better the choice. Macadamia is king, cashews are bottom of the barrel, and peanuts are not even an option (because they are actually a legume, which means lectins, those pesky little proteins that mess our systems up).
Use nuts and seeds (probably a large handful) as 1 snack each day. Or use almond butter on some carrots or celery. But don't do both. Mines consumption will leave you 2,000 calories deep in a half hour.
Nuts are incredibly useful because their fat content is so satisfying, keeping us full for long periods of time. But overconsumption of fat is still not a good thing, even when it's the good kind of fat.
1 serving of fruit per day with the options being limited to the ABCs [apples, bananas, berries (not strawberries) and cherries].
The reason for the fruit limit is the simple fact that fruit is still sugar. Yes, there are tons of nutrients but nothing that we are not able to get from other sources.
You will learn to love sweet potatoes and spaghetti squash. They become a treat to look forward to. But, as with any treat, we need to be smart.
You will only eat one of these treats on days you work out. Like workout for real. Do not go walk the dog and then feast on a warm, buttery sweet potato. Earn your carbs!
"...no sugar" or grains or beans or alcohol
That about sums up the list of don'ts.
- Beverages are limited to water, black coffee (get flavored beans), and black tea.
- No creamer, no dairy, no sweetener, as previously discussed. Unsweetened, unflavored almond milk is a good option for those that must put something in their coffee.
- Condiments may include mustard and any DRY seasonings you'd like. Salt, season to taste and do not go overboard but don't hesitate to use it.
- Dressings are out. In their place use olive oil and vinegar, lemon juice or any other option that includes foods on our good to go list.
How Much Food Do We Eat
"Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat."
You are to eat when you are getting hungry. Do not wait until you are actually hungry. That is a dangerous game as you will quickly learn.
When you are eating, eat until you are satisfied/full. Because we are consuming good foods, you do not have much concern about overeating. With that being said, your meal must be balanced.
If you finish your plate that includes meat, vegetables and some fat, you are allowed to have a second serving. But a second serving of everything. Do not only go get a second plate full of meat. The vegetables must be included.
- Before and After Photos
- Oralia is available to take photos of the ladies. She will be at the gym from 12p-2p on Sunday. If you are not able to make it, we will schedule her to come back by later in the week.
- Body Measurements
- We will take measurements of your thigh, your hips/waist and your bicep. This gives us a great gauge of the change in body composition over the four week period.
- Weekly Food Log Checks and Feedback
- You will submit your food logs at the end of every week. I will go over them and send you feedback with suggestions and corrections to help you improve on the week ahead.
- End of Challenge Paleo Potluck
- We end this challenge with a workout on Friday, March 6th. On March 7th we will hold a small potluck get together to celebrate the conclusion of the challenge. Everyone is welcome to join us!