Just over twenty-one days ago (and still going strong) I embarked on what has been one of the best journeys (after joining Crossfit) thus far, in remodeling my life. I started a new nutritional plan. Nutrition has always been a passion of mine but also has been the thing that gets put on the backburner. I would constantly say “ok, next week, I’ll start”, and then next week came and went. This cycle continued until now! Thanks to my Mother for making us jump right in! The day we decided to make this change, was the day we planned and started (we tend to go all in or nothing).
I’m going to call this a nutritional plan or dietary change, not a diet. The reasons for this is, first, when people look at me they immediately say “WHAT!? Why are YOU on a diet??” They just jump to the conclusion that I want to lose weight (I’m actually trying to gain weight in the form of muscle). Second, I want everyone to feel that they too can try this plan and succeed. Diets scare people into thinking it will be hard, bland, boring and that they will be hungry. But this nutritional plan is far from that! And I’m excited to share some information and results with you.
As you probably have read in my previous blog, I am following the Bad Ass Body Diet, by Christmas Abbott. I encourage anyone interested in really learning about this dietary change to read her book, but for now, I am going to tell you about my experience and what has made this change in my nutritional habits easy.
I’m writing this post twenty-six days after we started. The first stage of this program is to do a “21-day detox”. What that entails is that you follow the program for 21-days with no “cheats”. The reason for this is you are working to reprogram your body, habits and lifestyle and that doesn’t just happen overnight. Committing to the 21-day detox program is a HUGE step into changing your dietary habits, for good.
Now, you hear detox and are probably are worried. A lot of detoxes have some pretty bad side effects such as headaches, flu like symptoms and skin breakouts. But this “detox” program isn’t like doing an intense one (such as a juice fast). However, everyone will be different but what I found in this program is when you eliminate something, you also have a healthy substitute to help you out. For me, I thought eliminating sugars (because I have an unhealthy obsession with it) from my diet would cause my body to rebel but I was able to use healthy fruits as my “sugar” for those times when I felt I needed it. This prevented a lot of those nasty detox side effects.
Some of my results include: INCREASED ENERGY! A BIG result! The energy boost I get from this program is unbelievable. I have been working with my naturopath for years to try improve my energy. I used to say, “If sleeping was an Olympic sport, I’d be a Gold medalist”. I would yawn constantly all day, even when I had a good nights sleep. Since being on this nutritional plan, I wake up and feel rested and I go through my busy day feeling energized.
The next thing I’ve noticed is my DIGESTION is better. I know I’m not the only one who constantly suffered from gas, bloating and gas-ie bubbles after eating (cue any yogurt commercial here). Well those days are gone! I have also noticed an IMPROVED APPEARANCE to my skin And what I’m sure you are all waiting to hear, I’ve gained weight! My goals in the weight department are to gain muscle weight and that I have, I PR’d my back squat by 10lbs to hit a whopping 120lbs (I currently weigh 105lbs and was 95lbs when I first started Crossfit). For those that are interested in losing weight, I can tell you, my Mother and few friends that are also doing this program have lost upwards of 10lbs (in the first and second week).
Now, how have I achieved this? Well first of all I read the book and was lucky to be able to attend Christmas’ seminar. Then I attacked this with my Mom! I am SO extremely lucky to have been able to do this with her. Not only because my Mom is pretty damn awesome, but because doing this with someone really did help. Being able to talk, plan and be accountable to someone, other then just yourself, helps more than you can imagine (and my Mom is really competitive and I couldn’t bear to tell her I had a candy, so I stayed strong).
Next, make a cheat sheet. Have a sheet in your kitchen, on your phone, in you car, everywhere! Have it list your proteins, carbs and fats and the amounts. You then basically pick a protein, carb and fat to make a “brick” and you have a meal! This is not meant to be complicated. If you are having a large meal you chose, lets says, three proteins, three carbs and three fats, to make three “bricks” and you have a decent sized meal (you do not go hungry on this plan). If you have a sheet with many of your options it makes it easy to put together a healthy meal and avoid grabbing something that isn’t healthy.
PLANNING! I cannot stress enough how this step is the most important part in the success of this nutritional plan. You have to plan and be prepared for your week. Many people will plan and prep all their food for the week on Sunday. Here is how we did it. Sunday we planned and purchased our food for the coming week’s snacks and lunches. We cooked up our meats and pre-portioned it, along with some of our fruits and veggies. Each night I will prep my breakfast and put together and pack my snacks and lunch for the following day. We decided to cook our dinners the night of, so that we got fresh, hot dinners instead of warmed up leftovers. Again, I cannot stress enough how planning and prepping is how you will succeed in this. I have also gained an extra 20 minutes each morning! Since everything is already packed and ready to go, I get to sit and enjoy my breakfast with the extra 20 minutes I’ve gained (and to think I hardly EVER even ate breakfast before this).
The weekends, for me, were the toughest. Sticking to the plan when you want to kick back with a bag of chips (or glass wine, in my Mother’s case) and watch a movie has proven to be the most difficult part for me. But when you are feeling great and seeing results, you continue forward. And after the 21 day detox you can add in a few “treats” to help get through the weekends.
I know this sounds like a lot, but I can honestly say that it has been so much easier then I could ever have imagined. Getting into the swing of things took only a few days and the way I feel now, is so worth it. Eating clean and right will make anyone feel like a million bucks. So grab a family member, a friend, or ME and plan your first week! You will not be disappointed!
This was our very first Sunday of planning and prepping