My “BEEF” (Pardon the Pun) with Paleo Challenges
It never fails. People embark on a Paleo Challenge, only to celebrate the end of their 30 days of clean eating with a huge binge. Ice cream, cookies, cheesecake, fried prawns, lasagna, waffles; you name it, they eat it! What’s the problem with that? Well, for starters, they have just undone any progress they might have made during that month without even knowing it. Unfortunately, many people begin a challenge with a false understanding of its purpose. After eating clean for 30 days, the bragging rights begin and they talk about how they made it through the challenge successfully…..hmmmmmmm. Seems like a bit of a contradiction in terms, doesn’t it? The response in my head is always the same, “Wow, super impressive! Now, how about a real challenge?” EAT. CLEAN. AS. A. LIFESTYLE.
So what is a true “30 Day Challenge”? It’s actually referred to as an elimination diet. Many nutritionists and doctors will recommend this type of a diet as a method to find allergies and intolerances. It’s also proven to be really useful in “resetting” cravings. Here’s how it works: for 30 days, you eat only the foods specified which are usually hypoallergenic foods, or those known to have the least amount of inflammation in the body. After the 30 days, foods are slowly re-introduced back in, one at a time. Interestingly enough, some people find that they have intolerances to things that they normally eat all of the time.
The insight you gain from an elimination diet can be life changing. Intolerances often manifest themselves as headaches, heartburn, bloating and gas, sluggishness, irritability, water retention, etc. As you add a food back in, you are able to pinpoint the cause of these reactions. Obviously, this is not just 30 days; it’s a complete overhaul and a total lifestyle change. It HAS NO END DATE!!!!!
Here’s another benefit: this info can be useful when it comes to vanity, too (whether we want to openly admit it or not, we all want to look like we work out!!!!)…Friday night’s Oreo Cheesecake Blizzard might not look so appealing when you have to be in a swimsuit on Saturday. Especially if you know that the dairy intolerance is going to cause bloating and horrendous gas!!! Save it for Saturday night with your significant other.
Now that I’ve gotten that load off of my chest…..who’s up for a REAL challenge????? Stay tuned for details!
WOD: “Super Sprint”
12 HR Push-Ups
16 Air Squats