Each person who reads this, including you, is an athlete. You know the importance of nutrition to race performance and to a healthy lifestyle. Knowing this, I’m not going to “sell”
the benefits of nutrition. This will be direct and to-the-point, with no fluff. You’ve raised your hand and have expressed interest in this 30 Day Challenge, so here we go!
Very simply, the challenge is to strictly follow the guidelines laid out below for 30 days. Period. That’s all. Benefits include: loss of body fat, improved performance and increased feeling of well-being.
30 Day Goals:
- Eliminate “crap” from diet
- Replace the “crap” with healthier,
- Experience first-hand the benefits of improved
- Loss of body fat
I am not a Registered Dietician or a Certified Nutritionist. Rather, I use real-world experience, coupled with extensive reading and discussion as my foundation. My system is a compilation from 3 primary sources: Tim Ferriss’ 4 Hour Body, Dax Moy’s Elimination Diet and Loren Cordain/Joe Friel’s Paleo Diet for Athletes.
6 days per week we strictly adhere to our nutrition plan. The 7th day is a “free” day, or a “cheat” day. Anything goes on this day. Eat and drink as much as you want of anything that you want. No holds barred, no restrictions. Period. I suggest using Saturday or Sunday as your “cheat” day.
Step 1 — REMOVE the “crap” from our diet). We’ll call this the “Total Immersion” approach and involves the following from Day 1:
- Eliminate ALL caffeine.
- Eliminate ALL alcohol
- Eliminate ALL processed foods (processed sugars
and wheat products)
- Wheat-based products to Eliminate include ALL
bread, pies, cookies, cake, ready-made soups and sauces that use wheat as a
- Eliminate ALL sugars, sugar substitutes and
- Eliminate rice, bread, anything that is
“white” or than “can be” white.
- Eliminate potatoes
- Eliminate all grains
- Eliminate ALL Dairy products (milk and cheese)
- Eliminate ALL starches such as corn (rice and
potatoes noted above)
- LIMIT your fruit intake. We don’t need fruits 6 days per week. I suggest you remove these until your
“cheat” day. But if you love
fruit, eat it during the week, but as little as necessary.
Will this be tough? Maybe. Especially the caffeine part. If necessary, you may take 3 days to phase out of caffeine intake. But if at all possible, just get it over with and eliminate it immediately.
What You Can Expect:
In this initial phase of detoxification you may likely feel some, most or all of the following symptoms:
- flu-like symptoms
- bad breath
- aches and pains
- lack of energy
- weight loss of 3-5 pounds (primarily water
Step 2: Replenish….or What we CAN eat
NOTE: Make this simple. Most of us eat a handful of foods, so while variety is good, hone in on those few things that you like and eat them over and over.
NOTE 2: EAT AS MUCH as you like for each meal. NO CALORIE COUNTING!
Your plate includes the following for EACH meal:
- Eggs (or egg whites, though the yolk contains
- Chicken breast or thigh
- Beef (ideally grass-fed)
- Pork (less desirable)
- Black Beans (my personal favorite, spiced with hot sauce)
- Pinto Beans
- Red Beans
- Spinach (My personal favorite. I eat this every meal, including breakfast)
- Broccoli (another personal favorite)
- Mixed vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower or other
- Green beans
THAT’S IT! Simple, nutritious and VERY easy.
Eat as much as you like of these foods. Remember to KEEP IT SIMPLE.
My typical meal includes the following:
- Scrambled eggs (2-3).
- Black beans; nearly a full can.
- A HUGE spinach salad, including broccoli and pea
- Possibly a handful of nuts, such as raw cashews
I don’t stray far from this. The main change will be to substitute a chicken breast for the scrambled eggs. But I love black beans and love
the salad, and don’t tire of either.
So the key for you will be to find those things that you like and stick with them.
Most people who go on “low carb” diets complain of low energy. That’s primarily because of insufficient calories. The foods you’ll eat are all nutrition, nutrient-rich foods and your body craves them. EAT ENOUGH! Salad doesn’t include many calories, so your calorie count must come from protein and more calorie dense legumes.
If you eat enough calories during your meals, which you should, you may not need a snack. If you do, however, eat a protein-rich snack (chicken, eggs, beef……get it?) or
Special considerations for endurance athletes:
- If you must, you may drink a sports drink or eat
high carb snacks during your workout.
But ONLY if you’re doing a long and/or hard workouts that truly depletes
your glycogen stores. A 1 hour run or
spin doesn’t qualify. Sorry.
- Be sure to refuel following your workout. Primarily with quality carbs, but also with
some protein. A recovery drink is fine
(within 15 minutes). Otherwise a
post-workout meal of salad/veggies and protein or protein powder.
THAT’S IT! Don’t over think things. Eat as much as you want of the proper foods. You won’t go hungry. You’ll have energy. You’ll lose weight. You’ll be healthy.
- Avoid “white” carbs – or anything that “can” be white.
- Eat the same few meals over and over
- Don’t drink calories
- Don’t eat fruit (unless you must)
- Take one day off per week, and go nuts!
Good luck! Post your progress and use the support we’ll be providing. Have a great 30 days, then continue it forward!