The 8 Week Challenge is just around the corner and I thought I’d write a little wrap up of the nutrition / lifestyle workshop that Lizzy Marsh presented at CrossFit U last week. For many – the idea of an 8 week challenge normally conjures up images of boredom, bland food, and an abstinence from the more fun things in life – alcohol, donuts, dumplings, etc.  However after Lizzy’s workshop (which you can see above), instead of feeling like the challenge was going to be an long arduous journey before I got to see my best friends dumplings and laksa again –  I was inspired not just to look good, but to feel amazing!

FEELING CRAP DOESN’T HAVE TO BE NORMAL  – Having fluctuations in energy throughout the day;  needing coffee to stay awake;  going to sleep wired; not getting a restful nights sleep, or  just feeling anxious/tired throughout the day. These were feelings that I associated with having stress at the box (yes you guys are stressful, I don’t just crossfit all day!). These can also be indicators that your nutrition choices and lifestyle factors (sleep, recovery, etc)  may not be optimal.  I’ve been off coffee for the last 3 days, and I’m already sleeping better!

FOOD QUALITY AND FOOD AMOUNT IS KEY.  Nutrition is fundamental – there aren’t any short cuts! We can’t make up a binge drinking session with a kale salad on Monday. Food quality and quantity is key to nourishing your body – your body needs quality carbohydrates, fats, and protein in the right amounts in order to run optimally aka feel AWESOME.

EAT REAL FOOD – Eat meat, vegetables, nuts (very few) and coconut products – keep you food selection to things that can be hunted or gathered. If you can, opt for grass-fed meats, and seasonal product – Happy Animals = Happy Humans! Avoid grains, dairy (it’s for baby cows!), sugar, and processed and refine foods (anything that has more than one ingredient!)

FOOD AMOUNT – Food amount is largely dependent on your goals – but here are some quick guidelines you can follow

  • Performance Related Goals – You want to lift more, run faster, and longer!: Check out the Zone diet macro nutrient split – 40/30/30 (Carbs Fat and Protein).
  • Body Composition – To avoid having to weigh all your food – Eat Slowly, and to 80% fullness. Eating slowly will allow your brain to recognize that your stomach is full.  Reducing your carbohydrate intake (not no carb!) and only to times around your workouts – Check out Lizzy’s Video for more information!

LIFTING MORE  / GAINING STRENGTH = FEELING BETTER. It’s hard to shake the dogma that aerobics work is the only way to lose fat, and lifting weights will make everyone look like Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Performing better in strength training means that we are building more lean muscle mass (yes getting more toned!), which in turn means we are more metabolic – we can eat more food!

IF IT’S IN YOUR CUPBOARD, YOU WILL EAT IT AT SOME POINT! Get ready for the next 8 Weeks by clearing your cupboards of anything that will tempt you away. Remember the goals is to look awesome, but to feel awesome too! Here’s a little shopping list of safe foods to help guide you!

The next 8 weeks are going to be awesome. If you’re a little confused check out the Video for more info, or read Lizzy’s books, which will be in your WinterChallenge Partner packs.

Cheongy and Snatch