Wednesday, November 30, 2011

21 Days of Fitness - Kick Off

What is the "21 Days of Fitness" Challenge?
It is an overall fitness challenge meant to change who YOU are! There are so many reasons why this challenge is meant for you. Whether you are trying to lose weight, feel better, or just get stronger, you can benefit from this challenge. During the "21 days of fitness" you will try your hardest to follow the "rules" resulting in a Better You.  

In order to participate in the Challenge, all you have to do is show up between 12/1 and 12/3 to get your initial tests done. Then on 12/21we will redo the tests in order to see the improvements. Based on the outcomes of those tests, each athlete will earn points from the various categories. The athlete with the most points wins!

Here are the tests:
  • Body measurements - each inch lost will earn 1 point: taken from the waist, hip, thigh, arm)
  • Body Composition - each body fat percentage lost will earn 1 point)
  • Body weight - each percent of weight lost will earn 1 point)
  • Bench mark Workout - Every second gained from your original score will earn 1 point)
  • Attendance - If you are a 3 days a week athlete, then you have to show up 3 times a week. If you are an unlimited athlete, then you have to show up at least 4 days per week. If you miss, you lose 1 point for every day missed.
What do you win?
Once you have completed the challenge, you will know what you have really won... A BETTER YOU!
You will also win bragging rights amongst your fellow athletes and friends
And even a nice gift card to help with last minute gifts!

Why Should I Do This Challenge?
For those of you who are wondering "why should I do this challenge?" step back and look at this check list. If you can honestly say that you don't need to see any of these benefits, then... don't do this challenge. However, if any of these benefits fall into your radar of problems, then let's get started! With a combination of working out hard during these 21 days, and following a strict Paleo diet, you can see many of the benefits below:

  • Fat Loss - especially those struggling with stubborn fat
  • Blood Pressure reduction
  • Increased energy
  • Menstrual / women's issues - reduce or disappear (PMS, Menstrual cramps, PCOS, menopausal symptoms)
  • Cholesterol profile improves
  • Carbohydrate and sugar cravings disappear
  • Better appetite control
  • Better mental focus
  • No more indigestion
  • Skin issues like rosacea, eczema and psoriasis improve
  • Joint inflammation greatly improved
  • Bloating, constipation and other gut issues resolve
  • Auto-immune issues, most get a reduction in symptoms
So.... What do you think now? Are you ready to get started?

What is Paleo and What do I eat?
For most of you, I would recommend the a strict Paleo diet or the 4 hour body diet. Below are the very lengthy guidelines for the Paleo diet. I will also have this as a print out at the gym

Here are 3 levels of strictness eating Paleo
Read through them and decide which one is for you

1. Hard Core Paleo– 
strictly cutting out all foods that do not fit with a hunters and gatherer / paleo diet: no grains (that’s all grains, includes corn), no legumes (includes soy and peanuts), no potatoes, no sugars or synthetic sweeteners, no processed food, no dairy, no alcohol, no omega 6 vegetable oils or chemically altered fats (like margarine)

2. Using alcohol in restricted amounts and type . (Yes – I mean restricted – alcohol is a gut irritant, however 1 small drink occasionally is permitted) If you can’t stop at 1 x 4oz (125ml) glass of wine once or twice a week – cut alcohol out – the program wont work.. (Face it – it’s nearly Christmas, you may have a couple of occasions that you want a little drink). You should avoid alcohol for the trial if you have gut issues or auto-immune disease.

3. For those with severe gut issues or auto-immune problems I recommend strict paleo, plus avoid nightshades (capsicum, eggplant, potatoes and tomatoes) and eggs, alcohol, nuts and seeds for this 21 day trial

Protein Foods
‘Leanish’ unprocessed meat: grass-fed, wild and free range animals, beef, chicken, poultry, lamb, pork, venison, rabbit etc, including organ meats (ideally organic)
Bacon: use Freedom Farms Nitrite free bacon (or any bacon that has no chemicals)
Seafood and shellfish: all types
Egg White protein powder

Carbohydrate foods
Vegetables, colourful and green, non starch – eat lots
Starchy and root vegetables (not potatoes) – in moderation, depends on body type, metabolic issues like diabetes and exercise load
Fruit, fresh especially berries, in moderation

Fats and oils
Extra Virgin Olive oil
For cooking: coconut oil or Ceres organic cooking and frying oil

Lard or tallow
Avocado and avocado oil

Macadamia nut oil
Nuts, fresh unsalted (not peanuts), best nuts- lower in omega 6 – almonds, macadamia and cashews, limit if wanting to lose weight. Nuts are best soaked and oven dried to decrease phytic acid

Filtered water, ideally chlorine and fluoride free
Sparkling or soda water

Mineral water
Herbal and fruit teas
Almond milk (unsweetened)

Coconut water (no added sugar)
Cocoa powder drink (hot water, cocoa powder, no sugar, coconut cream) Weird at first with no sugar but you get used to it

Other foods:
Fermented foods – like coconut Kefir and kimchi add important friendly bacteria into your gut.

What not to eat
Protein foods
Processed meats (sausages, salami, bacon etc – see this study on processed meats)
High fat meat, especially from grain and feedlot animals (saturated fat has been given a bad rap, studies now show it isn’t that bad, but more fat usually means more omega 6 and for some people too many calories)
Dairy products, includes milk, yoghurt, cheese
Tofu and soy products, including soy protein powder

Carbohydrate foods
Grains and grain like foods (wheat, rye, barley, oats, quinoa, buckwheat, linseed, chia, rice, linseed. etc)
Grain products (bread, crackers, bakery products, pasta, cakes etc.)
Legumes (peanuts, soy, baked beans, chickpeas, humus, broad beans, lentils etc)
Sugar, all types including honey and fructose, agave

Fats and oils
All vegetable oils except listed above
Any commercial food cooked in oil or fats, e.g. deep fried food
Margarine – all types

All juices, including freshly squeezed. Only freshly squeezed pure vegetable juice is okay
Soft drinks or any drink with sugar
Artificially sweetened drinks
Other alcohol apart from spirits or dry wine (if drinking alcohol)
Milk, soy milk, rice milk, oat milk

Dry wine or spirits, NOT beer (has gluten / grains)
Small amounts only – occasional glass of dry wine (e.g. once week)
No mixers apart from soda water, mineral water or water, or freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice 
What Else should I do to be successful with the "21 days of Fitness" Challenge
Get the sun vitamin: Now that it is winter you need 20 minutes of sun most days to get enough vitamin D. If not take 2000iu Vitamin D per day. More on Vitamin D
Sleep: 7.5  – 9 hours per night. Sleep is imperative, lack of sleep will dash your efforts for health and fat loss, and put your body in an insulin resistant state.
Exercise: Make it to The Crowley Box at least 3 days per week. However, any exercise is good, add a few short bouts of high intensity exercise – run fast, do some push-ups and squats. Lots of movements like walking and light activity.

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