Sunday’s Reflection

Whoa!  How time has flown! I would like you to reflect on your journey over the last month!  What are some of the most important things you’ve learned from the challenge?  What will you take away from the challenge and carry with you afterwards?

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What was the challenge Last Week?!  Participants created a dessert or meal with Pumpkin, as the secret ingredient, and share it for voting after the Halloween WOD.  We had 11 participants, 3 made chili and others made wonderful brownie, cookie, and cake recipes.  The Winner was Bryce and Culley with their Pumpkin Chili!  Between the two of them, they will have to choose who gets the Free Hoosier CrossFit Waffle T.

Submit your Journals By Wednesday 11/2.  If you have them online, email them to me. If you have a physical journal, give it to Shaun or Jenna before/after class.

Regardless of whether or not  you communicated with your partner, your partner left the challenge, or your partner did not commit to 100% paleo throughout the entire month, I would like your Journal to be reviewed.

If you are someone who did not commit to 100% for one or two days, still, submit your journal.  Please write a note on the the very last page of your journal your honest reflection and how often you didn’t maintain 100% paleo meals. 

If you had a partner drop out, you are still eligible to win $300 and you don’t have to share it with anyone.


About hcfchallenge

The Paleo diet is simple yet remarkably effective for fat loss and halting or preventing a number of degenerative diseases. To reap the benefits of the most effective nutritional strategy known, one need simply build meals from the following: * Lean proteins (ideally) grass fed meat, free range fowl and wild caught fish * Seasonal fruits and vegetables * Healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, and coconut oil Our 6 week challenge will help you ease your way into the Paleo Diet. Regardless of your fitness or health goals, you WILL look, feel and perform your best on the Paleo diet. For most people the fact the Paleo diet delivers the best results is enough. Improved blood lipids, weight loss and reduced pain from autoimmunity is proof enough. Many people however are not satisfied with blindly following any recommendations, be they nutrition or exercise related. Some folks like to know WHY they are doing something. Fortunately, the Paleo diet has stood not only the test of time, but also the rigors of scientific scrutiny. View all posts by hcfchallenge

38 responses to “Sunday’s Reflection

  • Cara Hays

    This challenge has had two significant affects on me. The first is that it forced me to be completely paleo. I had to remove the little cheats that I did on a pretty regular basis, like putting cream in my coffee or a little butter on my vegetables. I honestly don’t miss those things at all and have no plans of adding them back in. I feel so much better with these little changes! The second is that it provided me with people that support the paleo lifestyle, which is something I really haven’t had until now. I live with three people that just don’t get it- I hear things like, is it worth it? don’t you feel like you need to live a little? I AM LIVING. I don’t think I realized how important it is to have a support system when it comes to your health. I was always pretty good about brushing off the comments/disgusted looks and denying temptations, but spending time with people that also ate paleo helped me to stay excited about it (and not feel like I was missing out on anything). After the challenge, I definitely plan on staying as clean as I have been this month and having occasional dinners with the cavegirls 🙂 we had a lot of fun and it was good to spend time with fellow crossfitters outside of the gym! good luck to everyone with the crossfit total and helen this week!

  • Jenn

    I really enjoyed participating in the challenge. I got to know my pal Denise, and developed a “food conscience.” I am shocked at how badly I had been eating, I really thought brown rice, black beans, wheat bread….Was the way to go. I will say I am very disappointed in the lack of weight loss this month. I really tried my best, making meals ahead of time, bringing lunches and snacks to work. I lost track of how many times i said “I’m sorry, I can’t eat that, or I choose not to eat that” I am excited that I have educated a few people on this eating lifestyle. One or two are going to give it a try to help with their autoimmune issues. I will miss the support that everyone has given me, hopefully Heather and Jenna won’t change their cell numbers.
    I will continue to work at staying “clean”, and I hope to lose 10lbs by christmas.
    Thank you to everyone who participated and was a support to me, I really appreciate it.

    • Denise

      It was great to get to know you Jenn. Keep with it and I’m sure more results will come, some results just are not refelected on the scale but more so in performance and the way clothes fit. I plan to keep up the lifestyle too, so if you need anything call me or text me…good luck this week with the CF total and Helen.

    • Heather

      My Cell # is NOT changing! 🙂 I will always be there to support you- ALWAYS!

    • hcfchallenge

      Jen, I’m super proud of you this month! It’s hard to do this with 3 boys running around the house. Try not to focus on weight loss. Firstly, you are a H-O-T momma. Plus, the added stress will effect you. Focus on getting enough sleep (something most people don’t think about when trying to lose weight), taking stress levels down, prioritizing your meat/veggies/nut/seeds/fruit portions, and of course, attending HCF regularly. Sometimes people put the first two on the back burner, but it plays a major role when it comes to fat loss. Keep in mind you are building Lean heavy muscles in the gym to take place of the fat loss…

  • Dawn Volungis

    I am surprised this month went by as quick as it did and I made it…willpower held strong and all. There are so many benefits about this way of eating that I hope to carry through especially upping my veggie intake at every meal and making sure I include veggies at every meal. I am very much addicted (but in all those good ways) to coconut water and coconut oil. I haven’t missed sugary mixed drinks so I would like to think I can hold off on that but I will have to have beer again sometime soon. And a sushi trip is also in my near future. I know enough to not go crazy with it though because I have started to see some success and I very much want that to continue. I imagine having a night of going too far off the deep end after all this time will make my body turn against me too.

    Yesterday got nutty so I didn’t have a chance to drop off my pumpkin recipe for this week’s challenge. I made a double recipe of almond pumpkin brownies (almond butter, pumpkin, egg, honey, baking soda) for tailgating and meant to drop one off for y’all but my schedule got away from me. The brownies were a huge hit.

  • Pam

    When I first decided to do this challenge, I was determined not to cheat and make it the enitre 30 days which I have. I though that I would be miserable denying myself of my favorite foods but it turns out I wasn’t, and found some new favorites to gladly replace some of the old. I did think I would lose a few pounds (which I didn’t) but I feel like my performance in the gym has improved. I’m going more days a week than ever and I still get sore but recover faster than I use too. I also did “Cindy” for the first time RX without a band. That was a big accomplishment for me because I remember when I first started, watching the girls do that and thinking I will never get to that level… but I did!
    I think a big fear of starting a Plaeo lifestyle is the inexperience with cooking that way. We are comfortable cooking what we know and trying new things, be it recipes or new foods like vegetables we haven’t even heard of before, is scary. This challenge has help me overcome that barrier and find several new favorite (and good for me) foods. I plan to continue eating this way.
    It has also opened the eyes of my co workers that eating Paleo can be good and not just good for you. They loved most of what I brought to work and one is going to try to cut out grains and as much dairy as she can.
    I also loved our cavergirl dinners as Cara called it. Every week we would all bring a dish of something new. It was a great way to try new things and have support to talk about how we were feeling. We plan to continue that after the challenge as well on a monthly basis. I think I will see more results in the months to come if I stayr with it.

  • Ellie

    The paleo challenge was huge for me. I feel so much more energized, less bloated, and overall just better. Basically I suck less. 🙂 but in all seriousness I haven’t felt this good in a long long time. The paleo challenge forced me to cook more and I’ve really discovered I am not as bad a cook as I thought I was. I’m really looking forward to integrating a mostly paleo diet into my life. Though i must admit, i have never been more excited to eat some damn beans! I’m really thrilled that my sugar and carb (and gum!!) addiction is gone. I’m never going to go back to eating half a box of cereal after dinner ever again. I realize I wasn’t eating enough for my meals and that’s why I was always craving snacks. It was really great to do this as a group and I’m so happy that we had these reflections because it was interesting to see how everyone else was doing. The mini challenges were fun too, and I’m really bummed I couldn’t be there on Saturday. I was going to attempt to make pumpkin bread…I’ll have to try another time. I’ve also really enjoyed people’s recipes… I seriously eat caras pancakes for breakfast almost every morning! Good job to everyone…we made it!

    • hcfchallenge

      what thrill, to feel those differences in your energy levels Also consider when you eat food that are heavy carb like pasta and bread, you get Full Fast, but the carbs burn sugar for fuel very quickly – Hello Food Cravings! We’re not hungry because our belly is still full, but our fuel has run out, so we crave more food. With Paleo, meat fills your belly, Vegetables have slow burning carbs and you’ll feel fuller, longer. Cool, huh!?

  • Denise

    Wow, time flies! I started this challenge as just that…a challenge…and now it has become common place and a lifestyle. A few things I have gotten from this experience is 1) getting to know Jennifer Hickman (my partner) who is a very strong woman and someone I probably would not have gotten to know otherwise. 2) learning how strong I am when I put my mind to something. I was able to follow the challenge 100% paleo with very few cravings. 3) finding out what a great and amazing support system we have with our fellow crossfitters. 4) an overwhelming desire to continue this lifestyle. I too, like Cara and a few others, tried Paleo before but didn’t give up the creamer in my coffee or the ranch dressing for my salads, etc. This challenge has showed me I can give up those “little things” as well and I can survive :). I found myself this past week thinking “after the challenge I can have this or that” and I had to shake myself and come to the realization that with how good I feel why would I want to go back to feeling like crap because of the junk I used to fuel my body with? So, I’ve had to change my way of thinking this past week to keep on keeping on even after the challenge is over!

    I have lost approx 7 lbs, but I think I have lost more in the way my clothing fits. I’m curious to see how my performance has possbily changed with this week’s efforts. I’ve been encouraged to hear what some of you all have been able to achieve this month with assistance free pull ups and amazing new PR’s. Just think what kind of perfromance achievements can happen with the continuance of the paleo lifestyle…

    It’s been great spending more time with you all this month…good luck this week with your new benchmarks and PR’s! See your around the gym…

    • hcfchallenge

      I meant to tell you how i loved your comment from the other day’s posts. My fear is everyone getting so excited about not having boundaries, that they little by little wean away from greatness! I love how you feel the difference between good and bad and you don’t want to succumb to the bad!

  • Angie Truelock

    I have loved this Paleo Challenge! I have tried every diet out there, & I have finally found 1 that’s not really a “diet” but a healthier lifestyle that works!!! I have felt so much better than I have in years. Never have I been able to stick with a “diet” this long. And every time I have been dieting, I feel hungry, deprived & ticked off because I’m starving with no results! NO MORE! 🙂
    I want to thank Shaun & Jenna & especially my AMAZING partner Jen R. for all of their encouragement & answering my questions, etc.! (and for my yummy pumpkin goodness surprise from Jen) 🙂
    I am so proud of my partner! I think we have done a great job! We have been very strict with this challenge & taken it very seriously! THANK YOU JEN FOR EVERYTHING!
    In fact, I am proud of the whole Paleo Challenge group! It has been so much fun doing this as a group & to bond with other HCF-ers!
    Congratulations to EVERYONE!

    • Jen R.

      Right back at you, woman! It’s been great getting to know you – one of these days, I’m actually going to make it to a 6 AM workout, too…that would be a much bigger challenge for me than the paleo challenge was, haha 🙂 thanks for all of your support and encouragement – it meant the world to me!

  • Kristin Poage

    I really can not believe that this month is already over. I actually thought that I might be counting down the days until the month of October was over so I could eat dairy (cheese, really, was my big cheat on my pseudo-Paleo lifestyle prior to this). However, I’m not at all waiting until this is over to go back to “real life.” This IS real life! I agree that group support is huge and I hope that continues once the official challenge is over. I know that my partner, Kristen, has been a rock. I know I can text her over anything going on and she’s so quick to respond and help.

    I didn’t realize when the month started how busy it was in terms of social engagements and personal stress. I am so happy that I weathered it all without cheating. I feel really good about planning ahead, asking questions, and just being up front with people about what I could eat or why I wasn’t eating what was there. This is huge for me as I’m a people pleaser. With the holidays coming up, there is no way I’m going to cheat now. I feel like if I slide once that it’s like an addiction and I’ll be addicted again to my “cheats”. Not gonna happen.

    I too was disappointed that I was so strict and the scale doesn’t show the results of that. I’m hoping that if I just keep on keepin’ on, one day my body will just let the pounds go….

    Thank you to all of you for your great and awesome support just by contribuing to this once a week! Just hearing about others triumphs and struggles made this month so much easier. I read each and every post and I am so proud of us!

    • hcfchallenge

      Yes! Watch out for the holidays! it can be disastrous, or it can be awesome. Women all over the place will gain their 10lbs, but you won’t! Shaun and I made a wonderful paleo meal for his family last Christmas. Leave a few ingredients out, and no one will know the difference!

  • Heather

    The Challenge is over? What? Where do I start… (this is going to be long sorry)

    I started paleo way back in January when there was Challenge #1 – I knew nothing then about sugar content- I thought nuts were too high in calories- and I pretty much only heard the word “fruit” in the description of Meat, Veggies, Nuts and Seeds, and some Fruit- boy did I learn the hard way.

    Technically I was paleo- I ate some veggies, some meat and a whole lotta fruit, I completed the challenge and lost weight (well duh you’re going to when all you eat is fruit) and I got the results I wanted. Then knowing that I had lost weight (which was a HUGE struggle for me – trust me I’ve tried everything) I turned my eating into an obsession. I figured well, I can lose weight by eating fruit so why don’t I just cut back on how much I am eating right? So I did. I just kept eating less and less (and did I mention I WAS a calorie counter) so I just kept lowering my calorie intake and all of March I was pretty much at 400 calories a day (that’s about 4 apples).

    I was thin. I was not making BIG improvements in the gym, I was having major health issues, but I was thin and I liked the number I saw on the scale. Rewind, I was having MAJOR health issues.. I couldn’t poop and me being well oblivious I had no idea why. So at 22 years of age I had to have a colonoscopy (and for those of you who have had to go through that BS you know how miserable it is) for them to tell me oh nothing up there- what are you eating? Oh you know 4 apples (or should I say oranges) a day no big deal.

    So, here I was at a big fork in the road- do I continue my lifestyle and be miserable? or do I commit to something bigger than myself and better my life? If you can’t tell I chose option #2. (whew!) I committed to eating REAL FOOD- I committed myself to my health and my performance in the gym- I committed to turning my obsession with food into pleasing others with baking (thank goodness right?)

    My numbers went up in the gym- but they also did on the scale. I had to keep reminding myself that I was getting stronger (well Shaun told me this frequently) the better I ate the stronger I got. I went from hating what I saw in the mirror to LOVING the way I look. I am freakin strong and that’s hot! 🙂

    And then this challenge #2 came along- a new challenge for me. The chance to be 100% paleo 100% honest with myself 100% selfish for wanting to eat quality foods and be “weird”. This time around I cut out my fruit completely and have never felt better. This past week I didn’t have any nuts and didn’t really have cravings for them either (I plan to continue this as well).

    My point of this whole story is we all come from different places and different backgrounds- but this challenge brought us all together to better our lives, so why would you not want to continue that? We all struggle and some days are going to be harder than others- but who gives a shit that your coworker thinks you eat funny- I think you eat great! I’m always going to be EVERYONE’S #1 cheerleader for eating Paleo! It CHANGED MY LIFE! I know it will change yours. 🙂 and if you ever need someone to hold you accountable I will be more than willing! Great Job everyone! 🙂

    • hcfchallenge

      Thanks for your story, Heather. It’s so important to share those misconceptions to potentially help another.

    • Jen R.

      Heather, you are so awesome. Thanks for sharing this, I really appreciate your openness and honesty! You are right, we’ve all got so many different challenges and obstacles – that’s what is so great about the support system that’s been created during this challenge. Thanks for being YOU and giving so much of yourself to this challenge and to our gym. You have no idea how reassuring it is to know that I can lean on you for help with my paleo future 🙂

  • Kristen Bex Payton

    The challenge has been amazing! First, I have to admit that I cheated this week. Every time I diet, when I have lost a significant amount, I sabotage the diet. I lost 15 lbs this time and then fell off the wagon (and felt sick physically and mentally). I am my worst critic and feel horrible letting everyone down. Although the competition is almost over, I’m back on the wagon and putting my scale away so that I don’t do that again. Now that I have that off of my chest, I know that I have a long way to go and this is the beginning for me. This diet has helped me be more patient, a better listener, slower to anger, better in the gym, and have more energy. I’m fortunate that this competition happened to help me see the better me. I see the light and am not giving up. Hopefully everyone can keep encouraging me and asking how things are going to keep me accountable. My goal is 17 more pounds by New Years. I will miss the communication with my awesome partner and others. I will miss the Paleo talk every time I go to the gym and hearing about successful recipes. I look forward to the next challenge. I look forward to a Paleo lifestyle and the intrinsic rewards that comes with it. Great job everyone!

    • hcfchallenge

      I admire your persistence, even when the going gets tough. Your paleo talks and recipe sharing doesn’t have to end! Just keep talking about it, promote a recipe You tried to a friend! There is no reason why you shouldn’t make your goals – just keep them.

  • Audra

    There are several things I’m taking away from this challenge. For starters, drinking pop was something I did out of habit and for the past two weeks I’ve not missed it. I’ve tried several new foods (meat and veggies), and it makes food so much more interesting to mix it up (apparently I like brussel sprouts). I’ve eaten out less, and when I do eat out I make healthy choices. If I cook large enough portions it gives me leftovers to get through a few days, which makes grabbing a less healthy on-the-go option a lot less tempting. Also, I know a lot of people have commented on the support from HCF people, but I’ve been really happy to find how supportive my non-paleo, non-HCF friends have been. If we go out to eat the first question is “Audra, what works for you?” They’ve been great this month.
    Several of you mentioned no weight loss, and I too was hoping to shed a few pounds. I didn’t, but I’ve been told that I’m looking pretty good lately! Even from people I see pretty regularly (Thanks, Denise!). I’ve also felt good in the gym this month. I can’t attribute it all to my diet because my stress levels dropped tremendously from September to October. My stress levels were soooo high in September and it definitely affected me physically. If you’re under a lot of stress it is worth trying to manage/reduce it. As my stress started reducing I also saw the positive impact in the gym. This month has been a good one and I’m excited to find my new CrossFit total!
    Lastly I want to thank my partner, Susan. She’s been such a great, supportive partner throughout this month. I’m so excited for her too! She broke her weight loss plateau, finished OnRamp and is already seeing big improvements in WODs. She is definitely inspiring, and I’m glad we were partnered for this challenge!

  • Sam Spade

    This journey over the past month, as well as the four months prior, have been some of the most significant changes that I’ve ever attempted in my life. It goes without saying that taking the first steps of trying my free intro with Jenna, and signing up and completing On Ramp were huge for me. Focusing on this past month, though, I feel that I’ve taken away a lot of positive things as well. First of all, the results have been great. I’ve lost weight. Inches have been subtracted from my gut and other areas. I’ve done my first unassisted pullups. Even my singing has improved. Another great thing I’ve garnered this past month is friendship. I feel my current friendships have been strengthened. I’ve also made new friends, including my great Paleo P.I.C. Dawn. Most importantly, though, is the confidence I’ve gained this past month. It comes from the results I see, from my increased knowledge and from the willpower I witness in myself, day in and day out, when confronted with faileo opportunities. Honestly, I could write more about my experience, but I’d hate to bore you more than I already have.

    Is this the only diet/lifestyle that helps people to live healthy and fulfilling lives? No. But guess what? I can eat burgers, sausage, cookies and brownies. I don’t have to count calories or figure out food points. I’m burning fat and building muscle quicker than I ever have in my life. I’m wearing clothes that I haven’t fit into in over a year and a half. I know that not all people can live this way, and I’m okay with that. I will never attempt to force this on anyone. All I can say is that this lifestyle works great for me, and now I can’t imagine living any other way.

    • Dawn Volungis

      Good work Sam. You were a great partner. I valued your experience and little tips to keep me going. Thanks for all your help and kudos to all your great progress. I look forward to seeing it continue for both of us.

  • Katie Heeter

    This week really tested my restaurant skills and besides the temptations of the aromas, I left every restaurant feeling full and satisfied with my choices. It really proves to myself that no matter how dependent I think I am on certain foods, I can over come it now it is just having confidence that I will continue to make the right choices. I think the biggest ally I have on my side is the upcoming Great Lakes Crossfit Competition. I know how great I feel now and how my performance is changing for the better, and with this competition coming up I am going to be challenged to say the least. Preparing myself not only with my gym time, but with my nutrition is going to be a key component to my performance at the competition.

  • Andy W

    I really enjoyed the paleo challenge it opened the door to a completely new world of vegetables for me, I did complete all 30 new vegetable as of tonight and I’m really glad I set out to explore as many new vegetables as I could it really made the challenge fun and exciting, I also set out to complete as many wods as I could and I completed everyday, except October 1st, so this still leaves me something I can improve on.
    I can not stress enough how much mobility has helped me make it everyday, even the first week when I really had major shoulder issues, mobility helped me make it through.
    I did get to meet my partner Rob for the first time and he seems to be adapted well to the paleo lifestyle as well.
    Overall what I’m taking from this challenge is I now know I can, I can go from eating drive thru multable times a day to none, I can make it to workout after workout everyday, I can add 30 new vegetable in 30 days, I can look at food as fuel and not a event, I can control my portion sizes, I can eat to live and not live to eat, I can set goals and achieve them, I can……….because…………….. I just did!!!!

    Congratulations to everyone who took on this challenge!!! You said I can………..

  • Culley Pearson

    I feel that – due to an injury and illness that kept me out of the gym, and a faileo or two – I did not get the most of this challenge. That’s on me. However, I’ve seen the incredible impact its had on others in the challenge and can’t deny that it is effective. If I want to improve in the gym and in my life I have to be motivated internally to make the right choices, and I don’t know if a challenge is the best avenue for me to do that. It has been a learning experience that I’m incredibly grateful for. I know that I won’t be following Paleo strictly in the long term. But I do plan on keeping a lot of the basic tenets going. Limiting grains, upping vegetables, eating as naturally and non processed as possible – these are all things that I hope to keep going post-challenge.

  • Karen Peterson-Taylor

    I loved the challenge. I was forced to eliminate a lot of things that I thought were good for me. I found that things I thought were good were only good because of what was added to them. Especially sugar which is a trigger food for me. I always feel tired and sluggish after eating it and I always want more. I have enjoyed experimenting and adapting recipes into the paleo format. I plan to continue to work hard in the gym and on my food plan. I have lost 10 pounds and all my clothes are so roomy. I love the way I feel and look. Thank you!

  • Bryce Wininger

    The Challenge for me was a great catalyst to finally looking and feeling the way I struggled to for a very long time. Just working out wasn’t enough. With my schedule and obligations, I have to do everything possible to cheat weight gain, asthma flare-ups, and generally feeling crappy in daily life. I definitely made great gains with weight I’d put on throughout the last couple of years of med school; I got my asthma under control (with the help of some new medicines, too); and I look and feel much better than before this all started. Even though I don’t get a lot of the anthropology that goes into the Paleo creator’s argument, I don’t deny that this is a superior lifestyle to what most people are living. My plan is to stick with it probably 98%, and allow a small cheat meal maybe once every week or two. If you don’t give yourself that small inch, I fear compliance will eventually fail as you face unending temptation. Besides, if that Saturday night pizza makes you feel like utter shit…that’s a fantastic motivator to not do that again for awhile!

    The most interesting piece of all this has been Paleo’s ability to make me hyper-aware of labels, restaurant choices, and eating socially. The latter has been difficult at times, but honestly it sort of inspires others around you when you avoid the things that most people reach for casually and unconsciously. This lifestyle’s ability to make your peers stop and rethink their own choices is where its power lies. After all, what use is just one person doing a special diet? Why not let it be less special and more the norm?

    Final thoughts: hands-down the best part of this month has been shrinking out of current fat-clothes and having to buy all new outfits in sizes I haven’t worn in three years! Thanks, Paleo. Thanks.

    • hcfchallenge

      Congrats on your new pant size 🙂 one day, it won’t feel like you’re missing out on the goodies; you’ll feel perfectly satisfied mentally and physically. But for now, a cheat meal here and there will be a part of the path it takes to get there.

  • Megan Cirgin

    Well this challenge has been interesting and I am so glad and proud that we were able to do this. I feel like if this challenge wouldn’t have taken place I would not have started paleo as I ha wanted to before the challenge. This past weekend we had a birthday party to attend and we found out our friends are part of a crossfit gym an they were talking about paleo. Fortunately we got the enjoyment of educating all of them about it. It was nice. I feel so much better in everything thy I do, my diabetes is so much easier to handle. That was mostly why I wanted to do it… Plus I wanted to lose some body fat. I feel like I have done that but you really can’t tell by the scale but I can tell by the ways my clothes fit. I now enjoy cooking a lot more and I really don’t think I could go back to eating fast food… It’s kind of like a no no! Ha ha . My workouts seem so much better and I feel a lot stronger. I defantly use heather’s blog all the time…. I am the baker of Nate and I! We actually went grocery shopping today and did all paleo like we normally do and didn’t even realize there is no challenge after monday. We plan on making it the lifestyle change and not just a diet! This is probably one I the best things that’s happened to me and I have wanted to be healthy for so long and for once I finally feel like I am :)!

  • Nate Fair

    As I sit down to write my “last” blog entry, I began to wonder what I would be eating minus this challenge. My over-all diet has changed drastically and even as I write that I catch myself correcting to say “life-style change” not “diet” … hahaha
    I couldn’t begin to describe the changes I have felt, the energy I’ve gained, and new appreciation that I have for food! I can’t say that I don’t have a few things that I really miss, but overall I couldn’t be more satisfied with my 30 day results. I’ve lost a good amount of weight (still plenty more to go), my clothes “don’t fit” better and I’ve been able to grow a sweet beard in the process!

    I’m better in the gym.
    I’m better at work.
    And I’m better at life!

    We took our weekly trip to the grocery stores today and didn’t even talk about buying any thing non-paleo. I know Megan and I will stick to the challege beyond the thirty days. I feel proud to know where we came from to where we are now. Thanks to all of you being there, right along with me!

    See you at the FINALE (CFT and that bitch “HELEN”)

  • Jen R.

    ok, I searched and searched for this on the site earlier, and I couldn’t find a post to respond to…I’m going to get this in just in time! Actually, I think I’ll just share a portion of my journal entry from earlier today.

    Things I’ve learned over the past month:

    1 – I should NEVER leave the house without food, because I never know when I’ll get hung up, plans will change, or I’ll be sick. Therefore, I need to keep Paleo kit-type food in the car at all times – beef jerky, dried fruit, nuts, etc.

    2- I need to be kinder to myself. Negativity towards myself does nothing positive. I need to hold myself accountable, I need to give maximum effort, I need to always try to be my best; beyond that, it’s ridiculous to beat myself up all of the time. They always say that in sports, success is 90% mental. I’ve always been a big believer in this adage. I’m sure the same thing goes for fitness, and to be fit, I need to be strong and positive both mentally and physically.

    3 – When we have company, we are out-of-town, or when we are really busy, I need to have a concrete action plan – something that I can always fall back on should things get too hectic or crazy

    4 – it would be wise to take a day in the very near future to prepare several paleo meals and freeze them. A stocked freezer would take a lot of pressure off of me and make chaotic times easier

    Improvement and changes all center around an openness to learn. IT’S ALL A PROCESS, NOT AN EVENT. What I am learning now is going to help me SO MUCH when I’m ‘on my own’ after the challenge is over.

    Most importantly, I’ve learned that I have to keep going with this even after the challenge is completed. I honestly feel better than I’ve felt in years, and even when I do feel bad, I recover more quickly than ever before. I have a family who needs me to function at my best, and it’s also the best gift that I can give to myself. I can’t control everything in my life, but I can take charge of more aspects of it than I ever realized.

    I’ve also learned that I am much, much stronger than I have ever realized.

    Thanks for the support, everyone – and an extra big thank you to my partner, Angie. It’s been a most excellent journey 🙂

  • rob mason

    Yes, it is after midnight…. My tardiness is refective of my administrative approach to the paleo challenge, but not of the lifestyle.

    I have to first acknowledge that in reading the challenge reflections and listening to individuals at the workouts, there are truly Amazing People at HCF. I also have to point out that my partner Andy was a big help and I looked forward to our weekly email exchanges. Kudo’s to Andy for his diligence and perspective on paleo, as well his Crossfit success. I know he hit it hard.

    Through the last 30+ days I have had to put some “real world” testing to the Paleo Diet. I have traveled on 7 over night Sales Calls with with my team and I went on a 7 night Vacation to DisneyWorld/Orlando. I have been able to adapt to my surroundings and challenges. I have more confidence in my ability to continue a paleo lifestyle.

    My two biggest takeaways will be the kickoff meeting in the Ballroom w/the Paleo Specialist and the week 1 to week 4 transformation of my appetite (which will translate into good health).

    The kickoff meeting was based results and experience. I felt it was a good 360 degree approach to paleo. I still have the sheets and notes. That meeting made me want to more research. The more and more I have read, the more and more I am sold on a natural approach. Someone in the paleo challenge wrote that “paleo is a celebration of food!”… I loved that quote.

    Having been a carb addict. Having been someone who ate a lot of fast food. Having been someone who never studied what they ate. The paleo first few days and full week really hit me hard. Even though I had been incorporating one of my meals per day Paleo leading up to the challenge, it still zapped me to begin…… After 4 weeks and eating paleo for 24/7, I do feel better and feel stronger. I feel confident knowing that when I go out that I can adapt to most situations.

    My next goal is to work on my family. I have an 8, 4, 2 1/2 year old. I don’t want them to be starch/carb kids. My wife and I have been slowly taking away those bad foods and inserting healthy choices. With the elimination of Juice and high sugar cereal from our kids daily diet, we can tell they are more level in their energy , focus, and appetite…

    Good job to all…..

  • Andy W

    After waking up and realizing my reflection page did not go through last night lets try this again.
    When I decided to take on the challenge, I decided to add a few oterh gaols as well. The first was to try 30 new vegetables which as of last night, I met. The 2nd was to complete as many WOD’s as possible and I went eveyday ths month excpet the Oct 1st.
    Doing this challenge completely changed the way I view food and I realize how bad my eating habbits were before this. It was not surprising to find myself going through a drive thru at least twice a day. Now, I’m really going to strive to stay with the Paleo lifestyle. I feel better, lost 6 lbs and feel stronger after this month. I now eat to live instead of living to eat.
    I have enjoyed getting know my partner, Rob better as well. I want to use this challnege as a stepping stone to a better lifestyle.

  • Leah

    The past month, and actually the whole crossfit experience has been an incredible journey for me. Push-ups, pull-ups, weight lifting were not on my radar 6 months ago. Being fit was, and I thought I was accomplising that with running and a low fat diet. How wrong I was!! I started the paleo challenge cause I love a challenge. I didnt do much research into it, just went with the guide-lines. The results I obtained surpassed anything I had expected. I have so much energy, recover from work-outs without Ibuprofen, sleep so much better, blah,blah,blah….the list feels endless of all the positives, plus I lost 5lbs eating more food then ever before (I was a calorie counter before too). I plan to continue the paleo lifestyle, with a possible ‘faileo’ beer/margarita once in awhile. I will also continue to sing the praises of better food choices to all who will listen.
    I want to thank my good friend Karen for introducing me to HCF. Listening to her at work, and seeing the results she was getting with WOD’s inspired me to join an on-ramp class. Making time for ‘me’ had been a challenge. Family, work,homelife etc was always the priorty. The Paleo challenge, my workouts, and confidence I gained in doing this has made me a better wife, mother, & friend. Taking care of me allows me to have more energy for all the other aspects of my life. I can roll with the puches better than ever before! I did this challenge 99% (had 1 upland in the middle). Ive enjoyed seing how others in the WOD have improved and hope to someday do an RX WOD like Pam did. She rocked it!!
    Cheers to all who took the leap with me! Having support and accountability is something we all need in life. When the next challenge comes around, hopefully we can get twice as many on-board to experience all the benefits of a Paleo lifestyle!

  • susan

    I was bubbling over with things to say here yesterday but my bubble was burst when my Smithville DSL went down in the afternoon and I couldn’t get an internet connection the rest of the day. Boo hiss.
    Anyway, this past month has been an incredible journey and learning experience. My Paleo Partner Audra has been wonderful and supportive and so understanding. It was nice to have someone to communicate with that really understood what I was going through. Sometimes she knew even before I did. And of course to Sam, who dragged me (kidding) to CrossFit in the first place and introduced me to the idea of Paleo, I’m eternally grateful. You never know whose life you may change or who you may inspire.
    I went to my first crack-of-dawn WOD this morning and I have a new admiration for Audra and Sam that they do that on a regular basis! I completely amazed myself with my shoulder press of 45 pounds (I couldn’t even really lift a pvc pipe correctly over my head when I started) and my deadlift of 145 pounds! I’m doing the crack-of-dawn tomorrow too.
    Needless to say, I feel much better, am less angry, sleep better, and I’m thrilled to report that I lost 25 pounds and inches from everywhere. Most amazing to me are the 7 inches gone from around my belly! I broke a weight loss plateau that I had been struggling with for months. My friends say that I didn’t just break it, I smashed it. I’m a believer in the swelling/inflamation part. I’m a believer in Paleo AND Hoosier CrossFit.

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