One week down, three to go – Whole30

Original Post 10/23/2013)

It’s actually more than a week, today is Day 10 of our strict paleo venture into what is called the Whole30 Program created by Whole9 founders Dallas and Melissa Hartwig.  Instead of posting a day by day, meal by meal accounting of our progress, aka boring as hell, I figured I’d wait until we got well into this gig before writing an update.

Why should you even be reading this?

Our intended audience is primarily members of our CrossFit gym, CrossFit Cleveland in Rocky River, OH. Many of our members struggle with cleaning up their eating habits and Staci and I want to help them in any way we can. If you know us, you know we really care about helping people better themselves.  If you don’t know us, it’s not my intention to convince you to listen to us. We are not nutritionalists or licensed dieticians, we simply offer advice and guidance based our our personal experiences over the years.  We don’t tell people what they should eat or develop specific eating plans, we teach them what NOT to eat.  Our mottos is “Stop eating crap, eat real food.”  Remember?

Our job is to coach and make you better. It’s not important whether or not we can qualify for the CrossFit Games.  What’s important is that we can help you become better. Better than yesterday. We do it every day and we have since early 2007.  You will find countless CrossFit Affiliate owners and coaches, I might even say most, who will outperform us in the Open and other local competitions.  You won’t however find many who are more knowledgeable and disciplined with their own nutrition than we are. Many talk a good game but really eat like shit believing that crushing their next wod will make it all better. It might seem to work for a while, but eventually age catches up with you and  you pay dearly.

Personally, I know this all too well. I went off the rails in my late 30′s, securing my role as the consummate lazy executive. I ate too much, drank too much and smoked too much. My most strenuous activity consisted of leaning over and pulling a golf ball out of a little white cup 36 to 54 times a week. One day I had had enough and decided to get lose some weight and get myself back into the shape I was in when I was in my 20′s.  I’ve done that and feel the experience is enough of a reason for someone to listen to what I have to say on the subject. We started a CrossFit Affiliate in early 2007 and have been helping people every since. You can read our quick training Bios on our CrossFit Cleveland Trainer’s Page. This page will soon be updated to include info all of our current trainers: Tom, Ross, Scott, Jon, Emily & Mike as well as our trainer in training Zach.

Enough of my ramblings, back to the Whole 30.

Since Staci and I completed our first Whole30 Program in January 2012, we’ve heard from a bunch of people about their results.  The truth is, most people fail within the first few days. It seems that if you get past the first week your chances successfully completing the entire 30 day period are pretty good. The first few days will most likely bring out the crab ass in you.  If you and your spouse/partner/live-in are both doing this you should expect a few collisions right off the bat. Deal with it, things get better in a few days.

If you are going cold turkey away from a lot of crap foods, these first few days will be almost unbearable.  If you are like us, it’ wasn’t so bad. The biggest adjustment for Staci and me is completely eliminating drinking. We knew the first few days would be easy since we started on a Monday following a pretty good party weekend with our boating friends.  The real test would be the first weekend. Here it is Wednesday and I can honestly say I’m not sure when I’ll pour myself another vodka cranberry. I don’t miss it at all and I’m glad for the break. Now I will admit that I could have easily enjoyed a Patty Melt smothered in mayonnaise or a Rueben and a cold beer last Saturday afternoon at Deagan’s in Lakewood, but  I quickly brushed off that craving.


What’s most important?

The most important thing for you to do is to have plenty of good food prepared in advance for your meals.  Staci and I spend a few hours together every week preparing plenty of food.  In order to make it through this 30 day program without fail, we have to pack every meal that we eat away from home.  It’s sounds like a real pain, but it gets easier the more often you do it.  Here is a video from our Bill & Staci’s Paleo Kitchen series showing how fast I can pack two meals on the go.

So what has been the hardest?

The hardest thing for me is making sure I eat enough food. The total elimination of grains leaves me a calorie void that I must fill in order to have the energy to support my activities. I have to be careful not to increase my fat intake too much.  I eat a lot of olive oil, avocados and macadamia nuts – all easy items to over do.  I am able to eat a decent amount of fruit but you should be careful if you are trying to lose weight. Watch your fructose intake, even if you are eating organic, locally grown, blah blah blah fruit. Fructose is fructose and your body can only handle so much before it turns it directly into fat.  God forbid you have an high fructose corn syrup(HFCS), that shit is poison.  I know you wouldn’t accidently touch that stuff since you have given up all processed foods on your Whole30 Program, but in case you are just dabbling and don’t know that HFCS is really bad for you, IT IS.

Here is a quick reference sheet on getting started with the Whole30, Whole30 Quick Start Guide. The Whole9 website is full of informational material.  If you need more, just Google the topic, you’ll find an endless supply of information for you to chew on.

More from me later, have a great week!

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