It’s time to decide to take this whole ‘life’ thing a little more seriously so that you dont have to take it so seriously later down the line.
Why bother? I’ll interrupt the many good reasons you were about to tell me and suggest the ‘elevator pitch’ length answer is almost certainly “To be better at life.” One way or another, that probably falls nicely into the basket of reasons why we all work so hard.
Over 9 weeks, from Monday, February. 25th until Friday, May 3rd, we are going to join in a challenge together. The challenge is to remove the less desirable elements from your daily diet and to get a solid understanding of portion awareness and create macro-nutrient ratios most conducive to achieving the goals of the performance athlete. We want to see how your performance, your health, your general sense of well being and your body composition reacts to eating what nature intended for you to eat, at the right amounts and in the right proportions . To some extent, we’ll be following the tenets of our ancestral diet, but we’re not going to give this a name, because ‘diets’ have and end point: you’re either on a diet, or off a diet and that is NOT what we are in for here. You should not have a religious attachment to a Diet, simply find what supports your work and recovery and does not support illness or the accumulation of body fat.
We want to learn to eat, not diet.
Eat in a way that on every level promotes health and not disease. Promotes better recovery, better sleep, a profoundly stronger immune system and to slake the needs of the elite athlete in all of us: a lifestyle of eating great flavors that promote a stronger, faster athlete with increased endurance and a simply better you
Here’s how we get started
…and what you need to do to join in and hopefully walk away with the big $$$:
- You need to pay to play. Yep, no pay, no prize. Click the PayPal link below, pay the $60 and email your receipt to SpringChallenge@cfrubicon before close of business Friday, Feb. 22nd and you are officially a competitor.
- You need to take three photos of yourself, from the front, your right side toward the camera and from the back, the veritable before photos. Men: Shorts, no shirt. When I mean shorts, I do not mean knickers. Think, ‘could i swim in these without becoming a sea anchor?’. You get the point. Ladies: Sports bra and shorts. Both genders, think ‘high speed, no drag’ when it comes to the clothing choices and be sure to put those clothes away in a safe place: you will need them for the ‘after shots’ and yes, they must be EXACTLY the same clothes, same lighting, same room. Fairness is the key here, you know what’s what.
Measurements: yes, you have to, no measurements, no play. You might elicit a friends help for this, it makes it easier. Here are the measurement sites, so that you can have consistency with both the before and after measurements:
- Neck at adam’s apple for men, neck at mid point for women.
- Circumference of chest at nipple height. I dont often get to type ‘nipple’ and not laugh like a 12 year old, so I’ll type it again just in case. Nipple.
- Waist at belly button.
- Hips at widest point. That certainly includes your glutes.
- Right thigh, six inches above the top of the knee cap.
- Right calf at widest point.
- Right forearm at widest point.
- Right wrist where you wear your watch.
- Right Bicep equidistant between elbow and top of shoulder.
- We will do a week of benchmark workouts starting Monday, 2/25, and start keeping points when you wake on that day. There will be a spreadsheet available to all those who entered the challenge next week, you’ll receive an email with a link to download the spreadsheet. We’ll do those same workouts at the end of the challenge to gauge progress.
- Your point system works only if we all adhere to the Honor System. The points break down like this:
- Complete a full day of Primal eating? 5 points. No, you don’t get ANY points for a partial day. Suck it up and tow the line.
- Workout of the Day: 3 points. Dessert (no this is not food, it’s part of the workout): one point. To level the points for workouts between the 13 classes/month and unlimited athletes, we know how many possible points are available for each category of athlete and your score will be judged as a percentage of the total possible points, so it does not matter what enrollment plan you are on for the points total.
- Knowledge Points: you get one point for posting a recipe, a directly related article (chef’s discretion on this one), or some form of tip or trick that can help your Rubicon family members be better at eating and living a primal lifestyle. I know you will put effort into this, thin soup get’s no points, capiche?
- Extra credit: keep your eyes peeled to the website for more info as the weeks progress. This could be a biggie.
- IMPORTANT: You must enter 3 days of your food intake into a free account which you can setup at www.FitDay.com, an online calorie and nutrient tracker. Dont like Fitday.com? You can use any calorie/nutrition counter type software or website, just submit your data in your new tracking spreadsheet, which you’ll receive at the end of testing week. You must enter three days of week 1, week 3, week 5 and week 7.
- A saved copy of your log and your weekly nutrition info entered into the Spring Challenge Workbook ( Download here!) must be mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org every week before start of business on Mondays, your first spreadsheet will be submitted on or before Monday, Mar. 4th. No kidding. This is non negotiable and no mulligans, you have been warned. Failure to comply will earn you a thank you note for donating your competition fee to the greater good. If you email it to any other address it wont count! So get the address for this right, please! Save the file with YOUR LAST NAME then YOUR FIRST NAME added to the file name or it will be discarded. Example: “Wallach_David_PerformanceNutritionChallenge_SpringtimeEdition_V1.xlsx”. Include your before pictures in the first mail submission of your data.
- 1st place wins 50% of the total pool, 2nd place gets 30% and 3rd place takes home 20%
Here is a brief list of Do’s and Don’ts to help you figure out what you can and can’t have during the Challenge:
- Eat real food. Meat, eggs, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fruit, oils (like EVOO or coconut). Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re fresh and natural.
- Do not eat dairy unless it is from GrassFed sources: when in doubt? Leave it out. This includes butter, cheese, yogurt and milk (including cream in your coffee). If you can get raw, grassfed? it gives you a little lee-way, but not much.
- Do not eat grains. This includes bread, rice, pasta, corn, oatmeal, and also any gluten-free pseudo-grains (quinoa, etc).
- Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter!
- Do not eat sugars of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, agave nectar, Splenda, Truvia, Stevia, etc. ***We are allowing honey, however it should be used in limited quantity as most of life’s sweet things are survivable in small quantities. Think of it this way: the more you use, the slower your progress up to a point where you reverse your progress. That means no ‘paleo cheesecake’, or ‘paleo’ brownies, or ‘paleo’ cookies… that’s just being plain stupid. You can be completely ‘paleo’ and obese and a type 2 diabetic if you want, but not on my time. Desert means you can pick it with your hands from a tree or bush or dont eat it. Cheat days are for cheaters, REWARD DAYS are fine when you’re done, but not when it’s a challenge! Right? I mean, for gawds sakes, how much of a ‘challenge’ is it to CHEAT?! Get your head on straight, suck it up and do good for yourself. You are the only one that can do this for you, so don’t rip yourself off by finding more rationalizations for eating sh!t-sugar filled foods than you already have at your disposal. There is no such thing as ‘challenge’ cheescake. Sheesh!
- Do not eat processed foods. This includes protein shakes, processed bars like Zone and Balance bars, dairy-free creamers, etc. There are exceptions to every rule, but I make the exceptions, so ask first.
- Do not drink alcohol, in any form. There will be two days within the 8 weeks where you can forgo this rule. Two. Use them wisely. New Years eve is one that might come to mind, but here is the rub: what are you willing to do for yourself? Sometimes the very best gift is the strength of conviction.
- Ask If you are not sure if what is on your fork is permissible.
Here are some Tips for Getting Started and Succeeding:
- Say ‘Yes’. A lot. Every time you ask yourself something that might derail your process? Try ‘yes’ first.
- Can I do this?
- Should I do this?
- Must I do this?
- Is it worth it?
- Should I ask for help?
- I fell off the wagon, should I just get right back on?
- Should I buy Chef a new KitchenAid Pro with the meatgrinder attachement and a Vitamix?
- you see? yes works wonders.
- Prepare enough food for more than one meal.
- A couple chickens roasted on a sunday night can make you happy for a few days at least. Just use the Arsenal method, which we’ll go over at the meetings.
- Don’t exceed more than 2 servings of fruit per day. Preferably eat fruit at breakfast and lunch or for a snack, but never, ever by itself. Want an apple? Eat some almonds with it.
- Frozen shrimp and fish defrost quickly and are good sources of protein.
- Love your microwave. Is it perfect? no. Might you glow like a jellyfish on mating day? maybe. But for the sake of not using the ‘time factor’ as a rationalization for less desirable food sources: nuke the good stuff. It’s still better than eating the ‘less good stuff’.
- Frozen organic vegetables are easy to keep on hand and cook quickly.
- Eat nuts and seeds in small quantities, but no peanuts or cashews. Most nuts hide carbs, so be aware that you need to eat in moderation.
- Drink more water. At LEAST one liter for every 45lbs of body-weight.
- Buy salt free seasonings for meat:
- Costco has some very accessible salt-free seasoning mixes.
- Lemon and lime juice add flavor to meats, fish and vegetables.
- Olive Oil and garlic are always tasty.
- Trader Joe’s has a 21 Seasoning Salute product that is great on meat.
- Fresh herbs make for great tasting food.
- Salsa might save your life, just be sure the ingredients do NOT include sugar. Fresh salsa from the produce section of Giant, Trader Joes and Safeway is a great choice. Get more than one kind.
- Leave a not on your fridge. No kidding. The note should be the five reasons you want to live longer. Name your kids BY NAME in the note, your lover, your wife, your dog, whatever it takes. Name them BY NAME IN THE NOTE. Make personal and in the moment. ‘If not for yourself, for who?’