30 Day Health Reset Challenge: In the Interests of Getting Things Done

30-Day-Health-Reset-Challenge-Getting-Things-Done-Afri-love

 

We all know that, if we’re going to be putting in the work that’s required to make things happen this year, we cannot neglect our bodies. They are the precious vehicles that help us to turn thoughts and ideas into action.

Yet, if you’re anything like I have been in the past, the first things that get compromised when I’m busy are:

  • Exercising
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Healthy eating

Probably in that order!

And it’s January. You more than likely overindulged in some festive eating (my excuse, throughout December, was – “it’s Christmas!”). And you more than likely didn’t move half as much as you usually do (it’s cold! I need to rest! Etc. …).

It’s almost 2 weeks into the month and the resolution fever has probably started to die down for most but, I want to let you in on a challenge that might just change the course of your year. It’s a challenge that I’m embarking on, along with my partner, his sisters and a few of my friends. And I would love for you to join us.

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Going Primal/Paleo: Blogs to Support your Diet and Lifestyle Transformation

Paleo Primal Butternut Squash Pudding

You may have heard about the paleo, primal or ‘caveman’ diet. You may have read about some of my own primal adventures on this blog. More than just a diet, the paleo/primal approach is about challenging conventional (and often commercially-driven) wisdom and living a healthier life in all respects. It starts with food but also integrates efficient movement, sufficient sleep, stress management, play and more.

You may know someone who’s had great success with this lifestyle. I have a friend who’s embracing it after 16 years as a vegetarian (with the majority of that time being vegan) and has never felt better. My still-vegetarian brother has limited his grain intake and among other benefits, it’s kept his asthma in check. A friend of his is playing squash again for the first time in years now that his joint pain has gone away, thanks to eliminating grains.

I myself have never felt better. I’m currently approaching the 4-week point of a Whole30 + autoimmune protocol. In short, I have not been eating grains, sugar, dairy, eggs, fruits, nuts, seeds, seed-based spices, soy products and nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes, all kinds of peppers). Believe it or not, it’s not as restrictive as it seems! I’ve been enjoying plenty of diverse vegetables, herbs and quality meat and fish. It’s an elimination diet where I’ll slowly start reintroducing these foods (except the grains and sugar which will be reserved for very very very rare and special occasions) and hopefully determine whether there are any that my body doesn’t like.

I’ll blog properly about that experience soon. For now, I wanted to share some of the resources that have served to enlighten, educate, inspire and support me along this transformation over the past couple of years. A lot of people have been asking me about it lately so I thought I’d compile this list.

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Going Primal: Why and How (and What I’m Eating)

Going-Primal-Afri-love

I’ve been going primal/paleo for a little over a year but in the past couple of months, I’ve become more and more determined to make a more committed transition. I’ve been discovering more and more blogs on the subject, reading more inspiring success stories and experiencing more positive results (and negative ones too when I slip off-course). You may have read a couple of my posts on the subject already – I thought it would be good to preface any future posts with a little more background.

 

Why

To be healthier (that was easy hey?). In terms of losing weight. In terms of getting stronger and fitter. In terms of strengthening my immune system and reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and a host of other all-too-common diseases and ailments.

 

How

Primarily through changing my diet. There is so much more to this lifestyle including exercise (but not how you’ve been led to believe is ideal), sleep, upping your vitamin D and play but, diet is the cornerstone.

I have a sweet tooth. I love desserts. I also love bread! Both these food types are serious no-nos and I am working on weaning myself off these addictions (I do not use the word “addiction” lightly). By training my body to become a fat-burning rather than sugar-burning machine, I will achieve these goals.

Some people get discouraged because the cost of “clean food” seems too high. Here’s a great post from Paleo Lifestyle Magazine that helps to put things in perspective: “Eating Healthy Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive So Stop Whining About It

My boyfriend and I have an account with Riverford Organic Farms – they deliver meat, veg, dairy (and occasionally wine) to our doorstep each week for what I think is quite a reasonable price. I just discovered Well Hung Meat and will be trying them out (they insist animals be grass-fed).

 

What I’m Eating


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My 21 Days without Grains and Sugar & 21 Reasons to Try it

Afri-love-Health

The man and I recently undertook a challenge to go 21 days without eating grains or sugar (except in fruit form).

The initial couple of weeks were much easier than expected, perhaps because we’ve been trying to eat this way in general for a while. It did get tougher towards the end, particularly in the form of sugar cravings.

On the 20th day, due to poor preparation, we gave in. We had gone to an Olympics football match (2 games, 5 hours) and after a heavy breakfast, we thought we’d go the distance. Alas, the mid-match munchies got the best of us and, as you can imagine, suitable snacks were extremely elusive! Stodgy sausage roll it was (which, to my satisfaction, was unusually difficult to eat – could it be that I had succeeded in changing my taste for such?).

As you do, we decided to write off the entire day. Later on we had cake which was again, very hard to finish – it was sickly sweet to our taste buds.

As a forfeit for falling short of our 21 day goal, we added an additional 4.

Since the period ended, I’ve attended a baby shower, a wedding and been away on a pseudo-holiday (i.e. still working but in a very different environment: the Welsh countryside). These occasions have not been very conducive to a no-grains no-sugar diet. It’s also the week of my 30th birthday – another excuse to indulge! I do worry that I’m undoing any fat adaptation that I may have acheived and one of my gifts to myself will be to get back on track starting Monday.

I need to consider what is sustainable in the long-term. In The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferris, he advocates having a “cheat day” – an entire day to go crazy with the indulgences. The man and I have tried this and felt terrible (physically so!). Instead, my goal will be to allow myself ONE “offensive” item each week.


21 reasons to try going without grains and sugar


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