Here's where you will find your daily wisdom, knowledge, teaching and resources to help you get through the six week nutrition chellenge. Mostly it will be links to other sites or videos as there is no point in reinventing the wheel and other people are so much wiser than us.
SUNDAY 3rd MARCH - Day 28
End of week 4, only 14 days to go....well done everyone who has made it so far.
I have heard a couple of stories of people falling off the plan (I have) by having a "cheat", but the thing I am most pleased about is that they jumped staright back on. As we have always said from the start this is NOT a diet but a lifestyle choice and it is supposed to be long term. Once the 6 weeks is over, hopefully the majority of you would have had many positive experiences from cleaning up your eating and will choose to keep eating this way. This is when we move to the 80/20 type of eating where 80% of the time your eating remains clean and 20% (= 1 or 2 meals per week) you add some things that would normally not be in your diet.
Often people will pass a cheat off as being necessary to kick start our metabolism but here is some more reading from Whole 9 website that will prove these fallacies wrong.
There is always times too when we cheat so mindlessly, as they mentioned in the blog above.,..MAKE ANY CHEAT COUNT, here's a good diagram to help you decide if it's really worth it or not
But with only 14 days left I urge you all to see the light at the end of the tunnel and really dig into these last two weeks totally clean to get the best out of your results. If you're doing the Open I would even more strongly urge you to clean it up for the sake of optimising your performance and perhaps (don't shout at me through the screen as I say this) go a week or two longer. Nothing will be worse than dropping the ball, performance wise, right bang smack in the middle of the Open.
Enjoy your Sunday, Eat Clean, Rest well and Be Blessed
THURSDAY 28th FEBRUARY - Day 25
Coming to the end of week 4 and the end of February and officially the end of summer. Don't know about you but this week has been a real struggle with tiredness, although have had some wod results I'm pretty pleased with. May be the change of season? Having a mental health day tommorrow, keeping the kids home from school and sleeping in and I am so looking forward to it. Sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to just do nothing, especially us ladies and mums, so look after yourself if you are feeling a bit tired. If you didn't catch a post I did on facebook earlier this week on results not going the right way, try and give it a read.
One of the things it mentioned was eating too many nuts, especially almonds and the negative effect it can have. I found this blog post from Darren @ CFNZ on the same topic. Too Many Nuts
Be cool if you could give me an idea of some things around nutrition you'd like to know more about or you could even share some recipes you may have tried with us. Let's get interactive with this cos as you can see, I struggle to find stuff to post about each day.
Keep up all your great work, Eat clean, Train hard and Be blessed
SUNDAY 24th FEBRUARY - Day 21
Alright, 3 weeks now officially gone. Some of us may be on top of the world but others may now be starting to feel OVER IT!!!. Often around 3 weeks a thing starts to happen which is often called CARB FLU, being aware that this is normal will help you not to freak out and drop the ball. Keep pressing on, it will get better and it will be all worth it come week 6 and beyond.
Another thing which is so important to make your nutrition efficient is getting enough sleep. It's one thing I struggle with because of the nature of running the box, early mornings, late nights, never enough sleep but as you will read below there's some things you can put in place to try and get more and better quality sleep. Your health, digestion, skin and moods will thank you for it.
Sleep: The Essential Nutrient
There's a lot of factors an athlete can control to optimize performance and recovery: nutrition, programming, supplementation. All this can be dialed, but if high quality sleep is not there, almost none of the previous factors will even matter.
Why is quality sleep so essential? It's a complex question, but to break is down to two simple answers from an athletic perspective:
- Sleep is required to stimulate regeneration & repair, both physical and hormonal. The biggest time of secretion of growth hormone happens during the first few hours of sleep, as cortisol drops and melatonin secretion spikes
- We are tied to the earth's cycle of day/night by millions of years of evolution; aka our circadian rhythm. While it sounds a bit hokey, there is no way around this despite science and technology--our DNA still thinks its 2 billion years, BC. And when we tie our sleep/wake cycles to that of sunset/sunrise, we optimize point #1.
How do we optimize sleep as a modern day athlete? Some basic sleep habits:
- Aim for 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. This will vary from person to person---find your sweet spot. And don't kid yourself that "you need less"...do a week of aiming for 9 hours (you won't miss the Bachelor, trust me), and see how you feel
- Create a healthy environment: Cool, pitch black---this is essential. Even a little light can suppress melatonin secretion. Iphone? Plug it in, but move it out of reach. Trust me, you'll hear the alarm. If your sleep is dialed, you'll wake before it goes off.
- White Noise: While we don't have the soothing sounds of nature outside our cave anymore, this is one area modern day technology can help. Our brain craves input, and a noiseless room with occasional random sounds can disrupt sleep; the constant "whrr" of a fan, or my fav, Sleep Machine app, keeps a constant flow of ambient sound to dampen excitability.
- Get morning sunlight, and watch that sunset: This sets our clock for the day AND night; blue light spectrum from morning/high noon sunlight suppresses melatonin, and red light spectrum a boosting effect on melatonin.
- Reduce electronic use: For the above reason, almost all electronic screens use a blue-light spectrum...iPhone, computer, television. Get this for your home computer (its free) F.lux. It auto-adjusts the spectrum of your monitor to more "reddish" tones after sunset.
- Create Ritual: This teaches our brain when it's time to wind down...utilize consistent times, lower the lights, brew some non-caffeine herbal tea, etc.
Looking forward to seeing ALL of your food logs by the end of the week and if you haven't had your weight etc rechecked try to get it done early in the week
Enjoy your SUNday, Eat Clean, Sleep deep and Be Blessed
FRIDAY 22nd FEBRUARY - Day 19
So close now to the halfway mark but that doesn't mean it's all plain sailing from here.
For a few of you, and maybe many more I haven't had a chance to re weigh or measure things aren't quite on track. I know how frustrating this can be but unfortunately I can't help you change that without some vital information - your FOOD DIARY. So far out of 20+ challengees I have seen only 3 logs. Here's a post from OPT which discusses why logging your food is so important:
One of the simplest, cheapest, and most revealing diagnostics is food logging---writing down what you eat. From my perspective as an athletic nutritionist, I get an inside view on what an athlete is taking in for fuel. But more importantly, the client gets, more often than not, a big dose of self-realization. Why does this have the impact it does?
- Most folks are truly NOT connected with their food.
- Higher awareness comes from connecting nutrition with how performance, mood, & energy levels are affected.
- Logging food, and the physical process of writing it down, can be the first time some athletes actually "see" what they are taking in---and what they are NOT taking in.
- Quantities can be revealing, also. I am adamant about athletes tracking quantities and volumes. While quality is paramount, too much, or too little, can have huge negative impacts
Homework: Log your food intake for 7 days...not 1, not 3, but a full week. See the trends with training, how it impacts your hunger, and how nutrition impacts your training.
If you are one of those struggling with the challenge, with hunger, with low energy, with lack of results DO YOUR HOMEWORK and bring it to me!!! I suspect in many cases, particularly with the ladies who have been through the diet yo-yo so often - YOU ARE NOT EATING ENOUGH!!!! There is really no limit to how much REAL food you can eat, but if you are not feeding your body adequately it will go into starvation mode and protect the vital fat stores you have and you will lose NOTHING. We still have 3 weeks left to change what's happening and to fine tune stuff. So I expect to see many food logs next week - start writing it down TODAY!!
HAPPY FRIDAY - be prepared this weekend - Continue to Eat Clean, Train Hard and Be Blessed.
WEDNESDAY 20th FEBRUARY - Day 17
HUMP DAY...downhill slide to the end of week 3. Have weighed a couple of people in, including myself and results haven't been the way they wanted. A number of reasons could be behind this, but for a couple of them, they were after that weight loss that just wasn't going to come. They were already in pretty good shape and did not really have any weight as such to lose. Believe it or not your body has a weight it is happy and well at, for me it sits round 55-56kgs. Now I may not feel, or think I look, at my prime there but that is my own fault and especially for us ladies we are often our own worst enemies. I have not moved my weight or body fat% according to my dodgy scales in these 2+ weeks and I don't think I've changed but Jake and many other people can see a change in the way my shape and body look and for all of you on the challenge I am seeing that change daily.
For those of us at or near our body's happy weight it may not be weight loss we are after but instead a performance or energy improvement.
I will add this post from Darren at CrossFit NZ with some really helpful tips for customising your eating to what you are after.
Come and talk to me if you are concerned, but don't lose heart and don't fall off the challenge we can work things out.
Eat clean, Train hard and Be Blessed (and realistic!!!)
TUESDAY 19th FEBRUARY - Day 16
Hi guys, just want to congratulate everyone for getting this far and training extra hard. The burst of energy that came in week 2 has seen lots of you training a bit more often. I just want you to be sure you are getting adequate rest as well. If you have that mindset that you will only lose the extra bits by training over and beyond you may be setting yourself up for injury and burnout.
Life is busy, CrossFit is hard, the Open looms and I have been training hard and getting pretty good results but not eating enough to sustain that and not getting enough rest. I have posted on our website about the need for rest before and have included here some wise thoughts on rest and why it's hard to do but so very vital for our wellbeing.
So, look after you - you're important, eat more (REAL FOOD) if you're struggling and make sure you rest.
Eat Clean, Train hard sensibly and Be Blessed
WEDS 13th - MONDAY 18TH FEBRUARY - Days 10 - 15
Thanks for your patience everyone, the workings of the internet are still not quite right for us but we have found a cheeky bypass so I will update when and if I can.
I was actually writing my post on Weds last week when it went down, maybe it's the powers of the cereal and grain companies that don't want me telling you how noxious they are????
Anyway, I had just made banana pancakes (from Paula's recipe) for my Valentine hunny and they were SO GOOD, if you happened to miss that recipe jump back to Day 5 and get it, you will not be disappointed, esepecially if you have a sweet tooth like me.
I also had a link to some LUNCH OPTIONS
It was also a night for our new Intro groups meaning we had another late night in the gym with the kids so I was going to share some quick ideas for dinner
Another favourite for me at the moment is Vege Hash Browns/Fritters
So to today.....WEEK 3- Sometime this week make a time to come in for a halfway weigh and measure. I know I said not to get on the scales but it is more the body fat% and cms we will be reviewing. It's important to make sure we are going in the right direction and to see if there is any tweaking that needs doing. This works well if I see your food diaries too because then I can see what may need to be added or taken away.
I did it for myself this morning and although there has been some shifts, I'm not happy with the overall progress. In looking closely at my eating. I am going to try and drop down my fruit intake to max 2 pieces a day. Also my bad habit of needing something sweet when I go to bed has remained and although on the positive side it's not lollies, it's banana bread and butter and is probably not a good idea. I also think I need to drink a lot more water and add a bit more fat.
I'm around the majority of the week so catch up with me when you can.
That's about it, don't want to go on too long and jinx the connection. As always - Eat Clean, Train Hard and Be Blessed!!!!
TUESDAY 12th FEBRUARY - Day 9
Recipe - Caveman Cookies
2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup LSA
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup raisin/cranberries
2 Tblsp honey (optional...no no for you no sugar people)
Mix it all together, shape into balls and press flat Bake @ 175 approx 10 mins
Second installment on sugar from Daz today.
Another thing I am struggling with is being phenomenally thirsty. It could have something to do with the warm weather but mostly it is because of my increased consumption of protein. Here is a post re hydration on the guys from OPT
Everyone knows just how important hydration is to essential metabolic processes, but just how important is hydration to performance athletes? Think on this:
At just 1% dehydration, you are looking at a performance hit of up to 10-12%. For a 75kg athlete, this is a 750mL loss.
2% dehydration have affect short/long term memory and slow reaction times
Increased protein intake (remember last week? ) requires an increased need for hydration for both metabolism and clearance of ammonia/BUN.
What about "drinking to thirst"? Thirst is a symptom of dehydration, and a survival mechanism; when this kicks in we are already at about 2% dehydration.
Does food play a role in hydration? Yes, most definitely: 20-25% of our water intake comes from whole food. Add these water & nutrient dense food to your intake:
Celery: 96% water; contains Na, K, Mg, Ph, Fe, Zn
Watermelon 95% water; contains vitamin C (high in fructose, don't eat too much)
Bell Peppers, 92% water, contains vitamin C
Cucumber: 95% water, contains Ca, Mg, K
Cantaloupe: 90% water, contains K
Drink H2O frequently, and often; ½ BW in ounces daily.(165lbs=90oz=2655mL).
Track your own intake, see where you are at, and add nutrient dense, high-water content whole foods for optimal performance.
Train hard, Eat clean, Be Blessed (and drink water!!!!)
MONDAY 11th FEBRUARY - DAY 8
Hearing and seeing some amazing results from week 1 of the challenge, hope it's going great for you too. I have only seen one food diary, remember it's not compulsory to show mebut if you want it checked bring it in.
Today we move onto my poison...sugar. I have the worlds worst sweet tooth and inhale lollies by the bag full in normal circumstances, so giving it up is a real struggle for me.
Today we get to hear again why sugar is so very bad for us. I have a video from Daz and also the link to the 60mins show that was on late last year. Watch and feel bad!!!!! I do because sugar is my major major vice but I did not
realise how toxic and possibly disease causing it is.
Still doesn't stop me craving it so I try to make some sweet non sugar or grain treats to get me through. The date balls and banana bread off the recipes tab are my staples and I will post a recipe for caveman cookies tomorrow.
Keep up your awesome work, everyone is training super hard too so keep that up. Week 1 done and dusted...onward and upward..Eat Clean, Train hard and be Blessed.
SATURDAY 9th/SUNDAY 10th FEBRUARY - Day 6 & 7
Almost one week down guys - feel great about your progress because the first week is always the hardest. In talking to most of you you are finding it pretty good, some of you have lost weight, I have seen amazing changes in one persons complexion after one week and on the whole most of you are saying you are not so hungry. If you are hungry, do something about it!!!! This is not a diet, although you may have taken out something of your normal daily food intake, you should not be hungry. Eat more (real food of course), or eat more often. Definitely up your fat intake which will leave you feeling more satisfied but don't struggle with hunger as it is likely to make you fall off the wagon. Here are some tips on how to EAT MORE FAT
I LOVE getting to the markets on Saturday mornings and restocking with delicious fresh fruit and veges, if you
haven't been for a while get down there it ends up so much cheaper than the
supermarket and the quality of produce is fantastic. EAT SEASONAL (here's a helpful chart) and choose colours. I'm still gathering from my garden too, beans, courgettes and loads and loads of tomatos. Get those veges in you for the extra fibre they provide.
On that note you may find that part of your bodily functions changing too. I was talking to one of the classes the other night and compared it to feeding my dog cheap low standard dog food and that he will do smelly poops all over the show but when you switch up to a high quality brand there are less and less smelly outputs. I find the same - except for the first week. If you have upped your protein from normal and as your body is disposing of all that stuff you ate as a pre challenge binge, you may find you are dropping bombs to rival Baghdad. But it will balance out and you will find as you eat more nutritious foods, your body will utilise the nutrients more and there will be less waste involved.
New week ahoy...let's grab it and live it fully!!! Eat clean, train hard and be Blessed.
FRIDAY 8th FEBRUARY - Day 5
Oh Day 5....so no day 4 post and none of you even mentioned it????? Leads me to believe no one is reading my pearls of wisdom...say it aint so!!!! Share the love people, ask if you want me to discuss a certain thing, let me know if ANY of posts are helping, or even being read..Ktxby
For todays post some words of wisdom around WEEKENDS... gulp oh no temptation city!! It's still early days and the novelty and feel good factor is still there but as the weekend looms we need to make sure we are prepared for being at home with the contentes of the cupboards readily available or going out with friends for meals etc. One thing we want to empahsise is although it is really important to be consistent with eating well and making good choices, if you are
in the situation where you are being offered food you know isn't the best don't be rude!!!! If your mother in law makes her famous creamy dessert or you go to friends for dinner and it's pasta on the menu, you can eat it; just don't think
"well I'm eating it I may as well inhale large quantities" Eat more meat and vege before dessert so there's the excuse of "I'm too full" or eat somehting good before you go to your friends so you're not tempted to overeat. and STAY AWAY FROM ALCOHOL. Sure if you are doing Level 1 you can drink wine, cos it's made from grapes and not grains but a drink or ten always leads to bad choices, not only with food!!!
Here's a quick and easy guide too - IS IT PALEO??
and finally a RECIPE from Paula - great for a breakfast idea and I will definitely be trying it out on Sunday.
Enjoy your real food today and have an awesome weekend. Train hard, eat clean, be Blessed!
WEDNESDAY 6th FEBRUARY - Day 3
Happy Birthday NZ/Happy Waitangi Day
Wow so impressed with the number of you nutrition challengees that took on Murph today!!! As I said yesterday your body trying to get that energy from a new source takes time and you all took on one of CrossFit's Ultra Endurance WOD's and owned it, I know I struggled with lack of energy!
Here's a funny take from the Whole 9 people on how the first month tends to feelWhat to expect in your 30 days - timeline
We're all in this together so talk to us and each other! Have a moan or celebrate that new recipe you've tried that even the kids will eat (great sounding board in our house, not that it changes whether they will have to eat it or not ;)) Feedback and knowing someone else is maybe feeling like you helps...a trouble shared as they say.
Last year CFNZ did a 30 day challenge and Darren made video blogs each day. I have chosen some of the most important ones to remind us of why we are doing what we are doing. Check our Facebook page too because I will often put links to success stories about paleo eating that come through cyberspace - there are so many out there...guess what - you are the next!!!!
Todays video is Darren talking again about Grains
Enjoy your real food today and have an awesome public holiday. Train hard, eat clean, be Blessed!
TUESDAY 5th FEBRUARY- Day 2
A couple of key points with an eating challenge such as this that I always try to remind myself
1. Eat real food (not too difficult)
2. You will experience a sugar/grain flu like thing which will suck but will not last
This one is probably most pertinent today and with todays WOD (and probably all of them for the next week or two). Your performance at the gym is going to suffer as your body learns to tap into a new source of fuel. It has been used to relying on the quick fix of fast sugar release from our useless carbs and now it's not getting those it has to refine it's energy finding process and start to tap those fat cells for their source of energy. Author Gary Taubes' puts it best: "Carbohydrate withdrawal is often interpreted as a need for carbohydrate. It's like telling smokers who are trying to quit that their withdrawal symptoms are caused by a need for cigarettes and then suggesting they go back to smoking to solve the problem." (From Gary Taubes' Why We Get Fat.) so put down that donut!!!!!
It will get better and the benefits will far outweigh how you feel right now, or tomorrow or even next week. Fine tuning takes time, please be patient.
I handed out food diaries/logs to most people I think, if you didn't get yours grab it off me next time you come in. They are not compulsory but can be very eye opening. As I said I'm happy to check these each week and give tips so it's important to BE HONEST!!!! If you lie to make it look good to me when I read it, it serves no purpose, a bit like rep cheating in wods, you are only ripping yourself off. I don't need you to measure food, just estimates like a handful, a cup etc. The most important part would be the sleep quality and notes section. If you feel crappy at a certain time of the
day write it down, if you feel super great when you wake in the morning write it down, is there a time of the day when you hit the wall or fall asleep in your chair write it down it all helps to see when where and what might need
Here's todays post (courtesy of MaD CrossFit in Wellington) another reminder of how to start off right
and your first recipe. I find these great cos you can cook in bulk and have them for any meal
Have a great day with REAL food today..eat clean...perform mean...be Blessed
MONDAY 4th FEBRUARY - Day 1
Here we are Day 1...give me a YEEHAAAAAA!!!
CrossFit training and paleo/primal nutrition work so well together. Good nutrition forms the base platform of the CrossFit pyramid for performance...meaning if your nutrition sucks everything built on top of that (metcon, gymnastics, weights, sports) will suck to a degree as well and vice versa and I know I'd rather excel than suck.
The CrossFit dietary prescription is as follows:
Base your diet on garden vegetables (especially greens), lean meats, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar
Protein should be lean and varied and account for about 30% of your total caloric load. One third of your plate - palm sized portion
Carbohydrates should be predominantly low-glycemic and account for about 40% of your total caloric load. Two thirds of your plate - green, leafy, fibrous types especially
Fat should be predominantly monounsaturated and account for about 30% of your total caloric load. Add to each meal using the rule of thumb.
Try to ensure you get each of these elements into EVERY meal. Remember we are trying to regulate our insulin production and avoid the rollercoaster effect.
Watch the following video courtesy of CrossFit.com to find out why
Have an awesome day...eat clean...perform mean...be Blessed
SUNDAY 3rd FEBRUARY - Day 0
Hey guys, don't worry I'm not here to spoil your last day of noxious eating, go ahead pig out...(I am)!!!!!
Just here to say CONGRATULATIONS for making the choice to give clean eating a go and to see what results you can gain. Remember by this week you need to decide which level you are choosing, get your photos and measurements done and get started on 6 weeks of awesomeness.
Here's a couple of links to remind you what it's all about and some tips to getting started.
and a quick video that explains the science behind insulin and getting fat much better than me
Looking forward to spending the next 6 weeks (and the rest of my life) becoming more awesome with you guys!