30 Day Challenge← Older posts Newer posts → May 2, 2012
Alex is a strong CrossFit athlete and has recently become a CrossFit coach. He is studying for medical school while working multiple jobs to save money and learn more. He has hopes of working in orthopedics, to help athletes like us!
Alex is a big guy, and therefore, needs lots of protein, fat and carbohydrates to keep him going throughout the day. Here are his three meals, plus some extra shots of some guacamole, brussels and sweet potatoes that he made. I’m pretty sure he didn’t eat all of those dishes in one day, but that would have been impressive, right?
Lunch: Steak, brussels sprouts w/ bacon and a sweet potato
Dinner: Chicken, Broccoli, garlic paste, onion paste and spices
Cooked for Future: Guacamole (not shown), Brussels sprouts with bacon, and sweet potatoes with cinnamon.
Posted in 30 Day Challenge | 1 Comment April 30, 2012
Welcome to week 2.
Start posting your comments HERE!
This week, you should be concerned with using NEW ingredients and making NEW dishes. You know that meat & veggies are your best options, but have you branched out? Are you still eating chicken and peppers/onions every night?
Have you tried brisket yet? kale? parsnips? brussels sprouts? endive? bok choy? swiss chard? ground lamb? Asian Five Spice Powder? beef liver? raw saurkraut? stone ground mustard? ribeye steak? pork shoulder? wild caught corvina? Fenugreek?
Spend some time on Paleo recipe blogs, talking with other members, and chatting here online/swapping recipes. You’d be surprised at what falls under the category of “meat, vegetables and spices”. I’ve seen real-food recipes that call for over 25 ingredients in one dish!
The goal during this week is to branch out and try to make an entire week’s worth of food that is not just healthy, but DELICIOUS.
Also, if you were substituting sugary snacks with fruit, now would be a good time to half the amount of fruit you are having. Use it as a ‘treat’ rather than a daily crutch to get you through.
1. What’s your favorite new ingredient to cook with? How do you prepare it?
2. Have you gone out to eat? What did you order?
3. Have people asked you about the challenge? Do they wonder why you’re eating differently? What do you tell them?Posted in 30 Day Challenge | 69 Comments April 30, 2012
30 Day Challenge | 4 Comments April 26, 2012
The following meals are by Jordana Ginsburg, member and gymnastics trainer at CrossFit Aspire.
She does a great job of eating the same foods in different ways throughout the day.
Cooking in bulk isn’t always the ‘sexiest’ way to have you meals, but it sure is the easiest and usually the healthiest!
Lunch: Brussels sprouts, bacon and mushrooms with crockpot meat and carrots
Dinner: Brussels sprouts, bacon and mushrooms with a mini burger and avocado
Posted in 30 Day Challenge | 4 Comments April 24, 2012
Julie Toone has been coming to the gym since last summer. This is her second 30 Day Challenge. She had quite the transformation after the first challenge, and continued to eat Paleo(ish) since then.
She’s using this challenge as a way to tighten things up a bit, and eliminate the booze and extra ingredients in an effort to get to her ideal bodyweight.
She works full time, has two twin boys at home, age 5, and she does just about all of the cooking in her household. She stays on top of things by preparing a bunch of food for the week at once, so she only has to cook certain parts of meals throughout the week.
Her and her husband Scott have recently started pickling their own vegetables. For tips on how to make your own pickles, or pickled vegetables, ask her!
Breakfast: 2 eggs, 2 sausage links, diced red onion….mmmm
Lunch: “Spaghetti”-spaghetti squash, sauce (jarred but has only a few “real”ingredients and no sugar) and ground beef…..yum!
I eat lunch at noon and dinner at 730ish so I sometimesthrow a small snack in there…today was a few slices of ham lunchmeat…no pic…you know what it looks like
….bangin’ if I do say so myself. A must try!
Posted in 30 Day Challenge | 4 Comments April 22, 2012
Welcome to Week 1 of the 30 Day Real Food Challenge!
The goal for this first week is to get some new habits in place. The day doesn’t start with a bowl of cereal. There are no drive thru stops, or convenience store raids. This week, you’ll start to cook some awesome meals and you’ll learn how to make enough so that you are NEVER LEFT WITHOUT FOOD. That’s really, really important! Seriously. Never leave the house without bringing food.
Please use the COMMENTS section of this blog post to talk about what you’ve purchased/cooked/eaten this week. The more the merrier, as your meals will help others to think outside the box and cook something new as well.
PICTURES: A recurring segment during the 30 days will be “A Day in the Life Of <insert your name here>”. This will be a photo montage of the food that one of our members ate over the course of an entire day.This is a great way to see what real people eat on a typical day.
We’re looking to include a variety of people – those who cook all of their own food, those who eat the same thing for all of their meals, those who are gourmet foodies, those who live alone, those who have a lunch meeting/dinner party that they have to navigate, etc. If anyone shoots you a weird look for taking pics of your food, just start talking to your food. They will probably leave you alone after that
HOW TO SUBMIT: Email your photos to alycia@crossfitaspire.
WHEN TO SUBMIT: As soon as possible, and whenever you think of it throughout the challenge. If you’re reading this before you’ve eaten breakfast, then today would be a good day to submit some pics. Remember to include your ENTIRE DAY’s WORTH OF FOOD.
DISCUSSION TOPICS for Week 1
Here are a few things that you might want to talk about.
1. The ‘best buy’ (ie: cheapest) for certain ingredients. Where/when to get the highest quality for the lowest price.
2. ‘First Week Fog.‘ This is the lethargic, moody, can’t-lift-weights-for-sh*t state that most sugar addicts find themselves in during week 1. If you have done a challenge before, give our new people some tips or some sympathy notes!
3. Your favorite Crock Pot recipes.
4. The best omelette you’ve ever eaten.
5. Some examples of real food ‘snack foods’.
Happy shopping, eating and talking!
PS - Steve wrote another blog post for all of you newbies. Go over there and check it out!Posted in 30 Day Challenge | 111 Comments April 20, 2012
10. You aren’t 100% happy with the amount of body fat you are carrying, or your reflection in the mirror.
9. You get tired throughout the day.
8. You are stressed – work is busy, the kids have practice & homework, and you barely have time to make it to CrossFit more than 2x week.
7. You have an autoimmune or digestive disease/disorder (Thyroid diseases, Lupus, IBS, Colitis)
6. Your Triglycerides are high or you are at risk for an inflammation-related disease (Diabetes, Alzheimer’s)
5. You are ‘addicted’ to sugar or processed carbohydrates (bread, baked goods, pasta).
4. You don’t cook often.
3. Your skin and hair are dull.
2. You suffer from anxiety, depression, or restlessness.
1. You sleep less than 8 hours per night.
Will eating only real foods for 30 days cure all of your problems? Maybe. Maybe Not. Will it help most of your ailments, and make you healthier? Definitely Yes.
As a CrossFitter, you are tough. If you can dig deep within yourself to finish our metcons, or use every muscle in your body to stand up from a heavy back squat, you can surely give up your precious sugar or bread for 4 weeks.
Mentally and physically, YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU ONCE WERE.
Exercise your willpower and cause some real change.
The next Challenge at CrossFit Aspire starts on April 23rd.Posted in 30 Day Challenge | Leave a comment November 18, 2011
The Fall 2011 Nutrition Challenge was a major success!
We couldn’t have asked for a better outcome – from major weight loss to disappearance of daily symptoms to a new perspective on food, everyone gained something valuable from this challenge. And it is our hope that you take what you learn and continue to cook, eat and nourish yourself properly going forward.
Without further ado, we are proud to announce the WINNERS….yes, multiple people won this challenge!
As this challenge went on, and especially after seeing the numbers (weight loss and improvement in the workout), it became apparent that with so many factors contributing to ‘success’ in this challenge, there was no way to choose just one person as the winner. We found it impossible to choose just one person who encompassed everything.
The WINNERS of the Fall 2011 CrossFit Aspire Nutrition Challenge are:
BY THE NUMBERS: This person’s combined weight loss (7%) and workout improvement (39%) was most impressive out of all of the participants.This person is DOREEN!
Doreen not only lost weight and drastically improved her workout time, she also actively sought out recipes and tips to help her through this transition into eating well. She was one of very few to request that we extend the challenge out to 60 days since she was having such great success on it. We wish Doreen much luck in the future and we’re here to support her for an extra 30 days or a lifetime. Congratulations, Doreen!
MOST VOCAL/HELPFUL: This power-couple was the most influential and informative throughout the entire challenge, acting as a comment moderator, question answerer, blog writer, encouragement giver, and all-around knowledgeable duo. This couple is STEVE and JAMIE. ( I tried to make you guys into a “Bennifer” -type name, but it didn’t work…Stamie or Jeve just sound silly, sorry!). They didn’t have weight to lose, but they had plenty of knowledge to give. They will continue to be a great resource within the gym in the future. Thanks guys!
The total amount contributed by members was $340, which will be split evenly between the two winning groups. See Alycia or Justin to claim your prize money. I’m ASSUMING you’ll be spending it on grassfed beef and fancy ingredients! But honestly, spend it however you want. Treat yourselves to a massage at the least – you deserve it!
In addition to the winners, there were MANY people who actively contributed to the success of the challenge. In no particular order, they are:
Most Well Documented: Kate Eckert, who kept up her blog, Kate vs Food, for the entire challenge. She has some great stories and recipes that will be used as a resource for future challenges.
Most Visual: Shamus submitted a photo every day of the challenge. I still have a stockpile that I intend to use at some point. His pictures were drool-worthy, funny, enormous, and downright delicious looking.
Most Questions Asked during the first 48 hours of the Challenge: Ameet! This guy travels and has a high stress life – he had a lot to ask about! (This was done behind the scenes in emails.)
Most Impressive Before/After Pic: Mike Ferguson. (See below). Holy abs, Batman! Mike is a chef, and stopped grazing during work while on the challenge. Looks like it helped a little
Most Enthusiastic: Jill Fisher. This was not her first challenge, but it proved to be the most successful one. She learned how to cook, and made some very significant life-long changes. Her stories and revelations are in the comments section of the posts on the Nutrition page.
Most Hands On: Melissa G.! She hosted a mini cooking clinic at our house, where she taught us a bunch of simple tips on choosing proper cutlery, and how to shop veggies and fresh herbs. Thank you, Melissa!
Best Meatloaf: Laura. Seriously Laura. I ate it with my hands, out of a tupperware container, while at a red light in the car. Maybe that just shows that I’m a pig, but it was really, really, really good. Thanks for the huge portion!
Most Successful Newbies: Liz and Jesse. They are new to CrossFit, and to eating healthy, and they did a fantastic job of keeping strict and losing a bunch of weight (20 lbs between the two of them!). Keep it up!
Most impressive gym performance: Sharon. She came out of nowhere during this challenge and set a bunch of PRs, not letting anything stand in her way. She also reduced her “Garage” time by half! Watch out – don’t get in her way or she’ll power clean you.
Most Impressive Body Composition Change: Peggy. Justin won’t stop talking about how good Peggy looks. Should I be worried? Peggy also should win for ‘funniest comments on the blog’. She’s a riot.
BEFORE & AFTER PICS:
In 30 days, we weren’t looking for an obese-to-thin picture comparison. That just isn’t possible in that amount of time. What we did expect, and we did see, is our members go from ‘average’ to ‘significantly more awesome looking’ in just a few short weeks. Here are the four brave souls who let me post their pictures for all of the internet to see.
*If you have a Before/After that you want to send me, please do, and I’ll add it here. Consider it your contribution to the Spring 2012 Nutrition Challenge, where you’ll serve as a hopeful illustration of what can happen.
Lastly, we received a lot of great feedback from the survey. It looks like you all enjoyed success during the challenge, and were grateful for the support. It’s the people who did the challenge with you, especially the winners and honorable mentions, that provided the bulk of the support. You all were such an important factor in one another’s success, and I hope you realize that you can now go forward, armed with knowledge and a group of people behind you, and start to live healthy and help others.
We’ll catch up at the Spring 2011 Nutrition Challenge! Look for more blog posts/nutrition discussions before then. Congratulations again!Posted in 30 Day Challenge, Personal Stories | 10 Comments November 14, 2011
Today is Day 30! Last day of the challenge. That wasn’t so bad, now was it? In fact, it was kinda good. Kinda really good.
Here are some of your quotes from throughout the challenge. Whenever you’re having a bad food day, or you realized that you’ve strayed a little too far from the real-food diet, come back here and read this post to remind yourself of how great you feel when you are eating real foods.
With pride and great hopes fore the future, we say congratulations and good luck! Go ahead, eat or drink something tomorrow that you’ve missed throughout the challenge. Then try to stay as close to 100% real foods as possible. Your body will thank you.
“This time I wanted to really make a lifestyle change. I wanted to come out the other side significantly different in how I viewed food and my ability to know what is good for me and make those choices regularly. And, with only a week left, I am pleased to say that it HAS become a way of life. I learned more this time (thanks to all your posts and recipes and Q and A!), and I feel equipped to face the highly processed culture out there with a lot more self control and, frankly, joy! Life is not about all the things we avoid, but all the things we enjoy. And man oh man, paleo style food is straight up enjoyable.”
“My response to “Oh, you’re on that low carb Atkins thing” is “No, I’m on that ‘Eat Only What’s Good For You’ thing.”
“I did ok with eating before but no sugar or dairy has been different. Headaches are gone and I am feeling less tired. I did notice I took an apple in my lunch today and it tasted soooooo good! Guess that would be the sweet tooth being replaced with different tastes! My 30 days are up when I am going to my friends wedding…I was really looking forward to eating and drinking whatever but I must say…I am having less of a desire to “ruin” what I have already done, even when the 30 days is up.”
“This challenge has really opened my eyes to how not Paleo I was eating over the last 6 months which probably contributed to my freak out of gaining weight. I was not understanding why I was gaining weight but when I really look back at my diet I cheated everyday and those cheats add up.”
“This challenge has really straight up just gotten me to the point where I am ready to embrace this lifestyle on a more full-time basis.”
“Since I can remember I’ve always had stomach/digestive issues since college and it has progressively gotten worse through the years. I’ve been to Dr.s and specialists who have told me that I have IBS and that I need to figure out what foods are causing my symptoms – I’ve even been given medicine to help and that didn’t work. So the last few years I”ve self diagnosed myself as lactose intolerant, I know that eating rice makes me bloated and few other things. But b/c i love all the bad stuff, I chose to deal with the pain convincing myself I’m just screwed for life b/c no one really knows what’s actually wrong.
We are on day 17 of the challenge and I have had no issues, no IBS symptoms or bloating, and my body is functioning as normal as can be. I feel great! I don’t worry anymore about how bad I will feel after every meal because I don’t have any problems anymore!!!!! The 30 day challenge was a wake up call, and made me realize that what I was putting in my body was negatively affecting my life. “
“Although I have been eating mostly paleo since January, it wasn’t until this challenge that I have adopted the concept cooking large quantities of meat in a crock pot to last me through the week. It has saved me so much time in food preparation during the week and [so far] the experiments have been tasty and successful.”
“Anyway last time I did the diet I failed from the drinking part. I couldnt do it for 30 days. But now I’m much more comfortable going to a bar and asking for a club soda with a ton of limes. As long as I have something to sip on it didn’t really phase me to much. I also think its a maturity thing as well. You grow up and realize its OK to not drink even though everyone else is.”
“Before this challenge I was cold ALL THE TIME. I used to sit at my desk and just freeze I would drink loads of hot water and my nails would still be blue from cold. That’s totally vanished in the last few weeks. Even my husband has noticed, saying that my nose and cheeks aren’t cold to the touch.”
“So because we had a wedding to go to my husband and I started early. Today is our last day (although I feel fabulous and will continue to eat this way…. plus a little liquor). Survey says….30 days Paleo…..minus 14 lbs. I am pretty freakin’ proud of myself. I did not enter to win but just felt like I wanted to share with people who know that this was a super healthy way to lose…I have been met with lots of “you are looking great but are you sure cutting all that out is healthy” comments! Keep up the great work everyone!!! It does pay off!”
“Top 11 things I thought would never happen and did during the challenge
1. I cooked.
2. I drink my coffee black
3. I gave up Splenda (yes I know that should have been gone years ago)
4. Mike ate the food I cooked
5. I went grocery shopping multiple times
6. I spend most of my day on Sunday looking at recipes
7. I didn’t cheat on the diet
8. I didnt drink
9. I now enjoy cooking
10. I now truly embrace Paleo as a lifetime way of eating.
11.Mike did the entire challenge didn’t cheat, didn’t drink, and lost mad weight!”
“I’ve definitely given up gluten for good and learned when I’m actually hungry versus when I’m just craving sugars/random foods (if extra breakfast/lunch/dinner is not appetizing, I’m not really hungry).”
“I am now feeling like it’s a lifestyle change rather than a diet. Even when I’m craving bad foods, I know I won’t go near them because of how negatively my body reacts to them.”
“I’ve cooked more in the last two weeks than I’ve cooked in my entire life. Need a vacation from this. Know of any Paleo cruises?”
“I have always been into cooking and good food so I started to change my diet slowly in preparation for the challenge and started reading all of the nutritional information that has been posted on the website. Oh boy what an eye opener! I was aware of some of the obvious stuff, but the toxic affect of gluten, the genetic modifications to food we eat and the long term affects of a wheat infused diet are really frightening. This experience is definitely a life changer for me. Not to say I will never cheat and eat ice cream or drink wine, but it will be with my eyes open and knowing that 90% of the time I am on the right track. One of the hardest things for me has been incorporating so much red meat into my diet. I am a big fish eater but now I am eating bacon – my dogs are thrilled – and all kinds of meat and I am feeling great! Some of the benefits for me are:
I am sleeping better than I have in years
I feel really rested when I wake up – but I still love my coffee
I have much more energy throughout the day
I am not hungry at night so I am not snacking after dinner
I am getting leaner and stronger – last night I increased my front squat weight by 50 lbs!
Actually I am never hungry anymore and I haven’t really been too full – except Sat night when all of the different food was so awesome!
My clothes are fitting better and I don’t feel so bloated
I also feel more clear headed and focused.”
“I used to be plagued with headaches and migraines…usually they would start at 3 in the afternoon and last until after dinner time. They would be so bad i was sensitive to light, nauseous, would have to laydown in the dark and take pills to knock me out. Once I started changing my diet a year ago I started getting fewer headaches. I got a headache the first 2 days on the challenge but that’s it. Nothing since then. I know the headaches were related to my diet. My body is very sensitive to sugar, I get really bad highs and lows from it. My crashes usually were when I would get my headache and then I would feed my headache and so the cycle continued…this last year I’ve ended that cycle and I feel better. When I occasionally eat sugar I feel like I wake up with a slight hangover, groggy, sluggish etc. “
“The other thing I’ve noticed about eating this way, it’s a mood stabilizer for me. Usually the highs and lows that I got from eating sugar also affected my mood, I got angry, tired, depressed, giddy. Now I feel I don’t have as bad of mood swings.”
“Like many in my family, I have dealt with anxiety over the past several years and was even on anti-depressants for a while there. Even before I found crossfit, I was feeling relief through my attempts at better diet and exercise and weight loss.”
“This 30-day challenge (and crossfit workout) have definitely contributed to additional improvements. I’m way more relaxed, in the moment, calm, clear headed, confident. Anxiety was also a cause of my over eating. I’m no longer likely to hunt for snacks and eat just for the sake of eating. I’m finally breaking the vicious cycle!”30 Day Challenge, Personal Stories | 6 Comments ← Older posts Newer posts →