Preparing for your Whole30/Nutrition Challenge

By January 17, 2015Food, Paleo, Whole30

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Hey everyone! So last week I wrote about our Whole30 Challenge coming up at the gym, and I wanted to give you a little bit of an update!

After writing my post, I talked to a few more members and they were in kind of a similar “life” place that I was with Whole30. They wanted to participate in a challenge, but the reality of life: having kids, big projects at work, or other training circumstances made it improbable.

So being that I help organize this challenge, I thought, “well couldn’t we adapt this slightly, so that everyone who wanted to participate could, and feel comfortable starting from a place that is challenging, but doable?”┬áIt’s the very definition of CrossFit itself: begin where you are.

So we’re piloting this idea, a sort-of “declare your own” challenge.

Participants agree to adopt the Whole30/whole foods diet base, and are allowed to add no more than three exceptions. For most, the contested areas seem to be quinoa/rice, beans, butter, and oatmeal. They write down their exceptions, along with their goals. They write this all down as a “declaration,” and that is their commitment for 30 days.

“While a significant challenge like Whole30 is an incredible feat, we feel it is important to recognize your commitment to improving your life, no matter where you are in your journey.”

So very much the truth.

So I’m trying my best to get everything ready for day 1 on Monday and I’m doing a lot of thinking back to last year and what helped make the challenge a success for Neil and I.

Here are my “top tips” for starting out so to speak:
  1. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to plan a months worth of meals. Plan week-by-week, and base your meal breakdown around your schedule. For us, Monday-Wednesdays are the busiest days, so those are the days where it’s critical we have everything prepped or in the crockpot.
  2. Research some ways to get out about town and still stay on track ahead of time. There is nothing worse than not having some ideas or go-to’s up front. My big “outs” were Chipotle (RIP carnitas) and the grocery store salad bar. There were also a few restaurants around town that had salads that weren’t heavily reliant on cheese, croutons or dressing. Now that it’s winter, investigate the “warm salad.” You’ll thank me.
  3. Find Whole30 compliant foods that feel like a cheat. I’m talking bacon-wrapped pineapple, Whole30 “nachos,” and dates with almond butter in them. This game is largely mental, so keep your noggin’ excited!
  4. Plan now to eat more. The biggest truth of Whole30 survival is that you have to eat A LOT of food, especially if you are active. Plan now to batch cook everything, so that if you end up being extra hungry, or a meal didn’t go as far as you thought, to not be left without food.
  5. Seek out support. The best support you have is that friend who never seems to need a cookie, and those who have done the challenge before. Also, I highly recommend signing up for the Whole30 Daily newsletter, checking out their forums, and find some bloggers and podcasts that cover the topic well. Need some ideas? Drop me a line, I have dozens.

So, exciting, right? Since curriculum is what I do for a living, I hope this takes off! Stay tuned for more updates, now I’m off to plan my week.