Week 1 Down!

This is my 4th or 5th paleo challenge and I have to tell you it may take more or less than that to help you feel comfortable with preparing fresh food daily, dodging cravings, and perhaps, overcoming awkward social situations.  I’m at ease during the challenges now because, from the beginning, I took the commitment and ran with it; every challenge was 100% effort, no matter how low my low points were.

Here are some tips for this week:

  • Are you hungry a lot? Try to snack on meat between meals with some almonds or walnuts, plus, Eat more veggies.  Vegetables are carbohydrates that slowly burn.  The meat fills your tummy tank, and the veggies help maintain your energy for hours.
  • Did you eat at noon, and didn’t eat anything until your evening WOD? Store some fruit in your bag.  At least you’ll have some sugar to run off of for that hour.  Best case scenario? You know that you’ll be hungry, so make an extra chicken strip and have it a couple hours before your workout with some nuts.
  • Are you trying to find snacks after dinner?  Whether it’s right or wrong, I eat some dark, 90% lindt chocolate or some red wine.  The bitter/dryness helps me from craving normal desserts.  If you don’t want to make that a habit, get a cup of water and that’s also cured my cravings.

How did your first week go!?  

If this is your first time doing the challenge, how’d it go?  Did you run into any issues?  Do you feel good or feel bad?  What are your goals for next week?

If this is your second time doing the challenge, how’d it go?  How has it been easier this time around?  Did you do anything differently for a smoother transition?  What advice can you give to the newbies?

Post thoughts to comments!


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

23 responses to “Week 1 Down!

  • Pam W

    I think I was more excited about doing the challenge this time around since I knew more what to expect and how to plan. The cooking only Paleo is easier this time because we learned what works best from our trial and errors the first time. We still have to plan out meals and snacks because we are both on the go all day. My co workers of course enjoy eating everything I’m not in front of me but it doesn’t get to me as long as I have sonething to snack on. Like last time, my least favorite is how many dishes we go through!
    I went way over board on snacking on nuts and eating so many baked goods last time, I’m trying to cut that back this go around. So far, no baked goods, little fruit but nuts…oops! I like lara bars, snack on nuts at work and then made chicken salad and forgot to count all the nuts I added to that. Next week my goal is too cut way back on nuts and more veggies as snacks.Ands less bacon next week, that’s a tough one!

  • Audra

    This is my second challenge, and so far so good! I haven’t really had cravings this week, which has been nice. A big piece of chocolate cake with buttercream frosting looked good, but I didn’t even feel like I needed to try it. 🙂 I’ve been good about planning my meals and preparing my food in advance. That seems to be key for me. For example, I roasted a whole chicken last Sunday and I got several meals out of it. I put some chicken on a salad and ate some with spaghetti squash and marinara sauce. I also made chicken salad, which was tasty! If I know what I’m going to make or what is already prepared for me to take for lunch I stick with it a lot better. It makes it easier to avoid temptations also.

    During my first challenge I enjoyed a lot of paleo baked goods. A LOT. So one of my goals for this challenge was to cut back on the baked stuff. I haven’t had any baked goods so far, and I’ve really focused on making meat and veggies the main parts of my meals, with a little fruit as dessert. The only not-so-great part of this week was that for the first 3-4 days I was soooo tired. It didn’t matter how much sleep I got the night before. I had such low energy all day, and then it shifted. Friday, in particular, I was full of energy, which was great because I got a lot done. I felt great, and I’ve noticed I feel a lot less puffy. I’m feeling energized. I’m excited about some of the recipes I’m trying in the upcoming week, and I’m ready to tackle another week!

    • Audra

      A few people asked me for it, so here is the recipe for the roasted red pepper dip I brought to Shaun and Jenna’s. I got it from http://www.paleomg.com
      Roasted Red Pepper Dip
      1 (12-14oz) jar roasted red peppers (check the labels!! 1/2 the jars I looked at had added sugar)
      1 cup walnuts
      1 garlic clove peeled
      1-2 tsp olive oil
      1/2 tsp onion powder
      salt to taste
      Puree the peppers and garlic in a food processor. At the walnuts and process until it’s sort of a paste. Add the oil, onion powder and salt and process until mixed. Add more/less oil to get it to the consistency you want.

  • Cara Hays

    happy week one!

    this is my second challenge and for this challenge i have made a few specific goals. first and most importantly, EAT DINNER. this sounds a little bit silly and miniscule, but this has always been a challenge for me. when i was in high school, i was ridiculously busy- dancing too many hours, teaching classes, going to school- and would get home around 8 or 9 and just do homework and go to bed. i probably have not eaten dinner on any type of regular basis since i was 13 or 14 yet, i’ve known for a long time that i need to eat more later in the day. so, within the past few months, i’ve really been working at re-organizing my meals and schedule to allow this. AND i ate dinner every day this week 🙂 my second goal is to minimize my fruit/nut intake. during the last challenge, i realized that a large amount of nuts really messed with my digestion. i have definitely cut back, but i would really like to cut out all nuts that are easy to depend on as snacks. i tend to be okay with the nut butters or occasional paleo treat, but besides that, i don’t want any! i did pretty well with the nuts and fruit, with an exception for one day. i had a really tough exam this week and had been studying for hours and hours and hours (a little exaggeration) and felt like my brain/body needed more sugar. that’s all i was craving! this is a total excuse and i’m aware of it- no one needs three servings of fruit to get through one study sesh. besides that mishap, this week was really great.

    newbie advice:

    1) plan plan plan plan plan plan plan plan plan. making the transition to a paleo lifestyle can be difficult in the beginning. if you get hungry on campus/at work- it’s not always gonna be as easy as running to a vending machine or the cafeteria. it’s just a little bit more work, but totally worth it.

    2) plan your weekly meals in advance. this has really helped me. i generally cook up the meat and chop the vegetables i plan to eat for breakfast on sunday. i also try to get atleast one meal cooked.

    3) eat your vegetables. that probably seems obvious since if your not eating meat, you should be eating vegetables. but, i don’t think this was clear to me when i first started paleo. eat vegetables with breakfast! this was a tricky one for me because it didn’t seem “normal,” but it really does help sustain you.

    4) listen to your body. eat when your hungry, sleep when your tired.

    good luck going into the second week!

  • Katie

    Hello fellow paleoers,
    Week 1 down!!! Efor me this week really went better than any first week I can remember. I was able to eat paleo at 2 restaurants– Scttoy’s Brewhouse (burger with bacon,onions and steamed broccoli, and extra side of fruit) and ON the Border(fajitas with chicken,steak,zucchini, squash, onions, pico and lettuce). Yumm

    I was able to try a few new recipes this week that were a success!!! My favorites for the week:
    Coconut Chicken Tenders
    1.5 lbs chicken tenders (tenderize to 1/2 in thick)
    Almond flour
    Unsweetened coconut
    1-2 eggs
    Coconut flour

    1. Heat coconut oil in pan
    2. Mix almond flour and coconut on a plate
    3.dip chicken tender in egg the dredge in a flour/coconut mixture until covered.
    5. Fry in coconut oil turning 1-2 times… Enjoy

    Sausage stuffed Tomatoes
    1.5 lbs nitrate free sausage — I used fisher farms
    6-8 firm tomatoes
    Mushrooms-cut up
    Onions-1/2 LG onion diced

    1. Cook sausage, onion and mushrooms in a pan
    2. Cut tops off tomatoes and scoop out insides and add to pan of sausage
    3. Spoon sausage mixture into tomato cups
    4.. In a 350 degree oven put tomato cups in a muffin tin and cook 15-20 minutes
    5. Sprinkle with cilantro and enjoy

    Have a wonderful week 2

  • Andy W

    Wow!! Time does seem to fly by! This is my second paleo challange and I feel already its going much smoother this time around. We learned last time failure to plan was planning to fail. So, for the newbies thats my advice. Pick one or two days a week to plan out and prepare your meals and dont wait till it’s 9pm at night and your starving and your going though the fridge trying to throw something together at the last second. It wears on you and makes it more stressfull.
    Overall I feel pretty good, I learned last time that if I have a large breakfast that seems to really help me get through the day without even thinking about all the temptations that suround me. My energy seems to stay high even if I skip lunch and just have some fruit or veggies for a late afternoon snack.
    All I’ve had to drink so far has just been water, and that has made a huge difference in how I feeI. I feel more alert and I can tell my body is responding well with me “detoxing” my system with some good fuel.
    Everyone stay focused and strong heading into week two!!!

  • Heather

    This is my 3rd paleo challenge. I said last time “I got this one” but I don’t think I had it down after the last one– I was close but not quite there. Well, I think I am there. Last time I tried to cut out nuts, fruits, and paleo treats- so I am doing it a little different this time.
    I am measuring and weighing everything! (of course there will be days where this is not possible I am going to do the best I can) It’s actually called “Zone-Paleo” you follow the paleolithic way of eating but incorporate the “zone diet” as well. (I don’t really understand all the details behind it but I am working on it) My brother- in – law suggested it to me when I went out to California so I thought why not TRY it.

    Whether it is right or wrong- I am going to give it a TRY. Although, I measure everything, I have found it way easier for me (personally) to know what to eat and how much (how much is the key here). Before, I was not eating NEARLY as many vegetables as I have been this week and I am learning to love them even more! It is something new, a challenge on top of a challenge that I am going to give a shot!

    This week went really well though! I felt energized- I didn’t have any “bad” days and my WOD’s seemed to go pretty well- Cindy was a beeeeoootttcchhhhh (like I had anticipated) 🙂 I am excited to see where this new challenge leads.

    Good Luck with week 2!

    PS- I agree with Cara’s advice and I will add throw all the “bad” or “tempting” food away (or take it to the food pantry)!

  • Jen Smallwood

    This week had some big challenges for me, but I persisted towards my goal, and stayed the course. I decided going into this challenge that this was going to be abount taking it to the next level for me- I wrote in my journal a statement for myself about “why” I am doing this challenge this time, which I’d like to share.
    “There is something about commitment and growth at stake for me here. After losing 100 pounds, I’ve been giving myself an excuse that getting more fit is unreasonable. As if I’ve already arrived and no more effort is required. Just maintain. But what could my life be like (in all the areas of my life) if I asked myself to do something unreasonable? Went further? Did more? What if my capacity to achieve is not bound by “reasonableness” but only by my capacity to commit to something? Something really big. What could my life look like?”

    So that’s what this is about for me. In the face of my family constantly saying to me, “Don’t lose any more weight” (WTF? Be happy for me, for God’s sake.) And “what? You can’t have one taste of this?”

    Anyway, in the face of birthday cake AND, a birthday cookie cake (my son turns 11 this week), I chose fruits and walnuts, and some dried fruits as my “special treat” this weekend. And DID NOT FEEL SORRY FOR MYSELF. This is big for me. Because I am CHOOSING this. I don’t “have to.” No one is forcing me. I choose this. And the langugae I use is something else I have to work on- as opposed to “I’m not allowed to have that,” I am choosing to say “No thanks. I don’t want any.” It’s much more empowering for it to be my CHOICE, as opposed to something someone else is doing TO me.

    Finally, advice to newbies: plan, plan, plan and then plan for what you’ll do when your plan doesn’t turn out the way you thought. Seriously. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Cliche or not. 🙂

  • Scott

    I had kept my diet basically the same since the last challenge. Np bog changes.

  • Claire H

    First Paleo Challenge weeeee.
    Let me first say all the Super Bowl appetizers were amazingggg. It makes me want to explore more options this week for meals and snacks. Anyways, this week wasn’t so bad for transitioning besides a few cravings here and there. I had previously tried at least one paleo meal a day so the main challenge was snack food and planning meals. I made homemade chicken broth and cooked a bunch of chicken in the beginning of the week so that really helped with ease of planning meals. I think the biggest issue I had was variety. I tend to eat the same meal days in a row and get bored. Like everyone else said, I should try to focus on limiting the nut and fruit intake this upcoming week. I think cutting up my veggies and taking them to go will be a new goal instead of the piece of fruit or handful of nuts. The biggest change I saw this week was my energy level. Naps are usually a MUST every day but I found that I could skip the afternoon snooze and keep going feeling great and not using coffee as a crutch.

  • Denice Stonier

    This is my first challenge. I had a rough first week, but each day got a little better. Scott and I have been experimenting with Paleo since last fall. Meat and veggies is common for us, but the baked goodies are our downfall. So I was interested in the baking part of Paleo which went well, but again ate too much. So with this first challenge, my goal is to eat only for Shaun…1,2,or 3. Meat, veggies, fruits and some nuts. So far so good. (except for the sampling at the first meeting today)
    One piece of advise from someone whose been around awhile…Get healthy and stay healthy because the older you get the harder it is to get it back!
    I was in the best shape of my life about 3 years ago and I let life get to me and now I fighting to get it back again.
    Here goes week two…..

  • Dru

    Yay week one-I’m happy you’re done. This is my first challenge and I wasn’t well prepared. Day 3 & 4 were difficult for me- I felt sluggish, tired, and irritable. So for me it was great to pass that first obstacle.
    I thought giving up cream in my coffee was going to be the hardest part but that hasn’t been a difficult adjustment. My challenge has been having a plan for my meals and doing some advance cooking.
    My plan for week two:
    Planning! Know what meals I plan to make and get my shopping done. I bought Rob Wolf’s book, need to read it, plus I’ll keep searching to find easy recipes and lastly just take it a day at a time!
    I’m ready for week two!

  • Jennylynn Vidas

    Hi all! This is my first Paleo challenge as well as my first week coming up for regular workouts at HCF after On-Ramp. In other words, LOTS of new things going on!

    My first week of Paleo was actually surprisingly easy. Of course I wanted the sugary things that I usually crave after meals and OF COURSE I was tempted when my friends ordered pizza, but I think once I made my mind up about this, it was easier for me to deny those temptations. I agree with those who said to “plan, plan plan!”. I’ve tried to plan meals (including lunch and breakfast) ahead of time, and it has really helped.

    Some challenges are when I am on campus and an unexpected group meeting or other obligation pops up unexpectedly, and suddenly I’m stuck on campus until 9pm. I need to start bringing more food with me just in case this happens. I also need to plan for more portable meats and veggies to snack on so I don’t rely so heavily on nuts and fruit. This is a goal for the weeks to come.

    In some ways, I’ve enjoyed this challenge because it has forced me to become a little more creative in my cooking, and I never have to second guess if the meal I make is good for me or not. I love food and I love to cook, but even better, I love knowing that I don’t have to feel guilty afterwards. Some of the meals Drake and I enjoyed over the last week included: Paleo Turkey Meatballs with home-made tomato sauce, Shrimp curry with cauliflower, Paleo “Hamburger” Soup, Venison Steaks with caramelized onions, and seared cod fillets with sweet potato chips. See, Drake doesn’t just eat venison… 😉

    Please let me know if you’re interested in any of the recipes for the meals listed above. I’d be happy to share!

    Many thanks for Jenna and Shaun for the Paleo Pitch-in Superbowl Party! Everything was DELICIOUS!

  • Jenn h

    this is my second challenge since joining HCF in June. I am finding this time around much easier. There are a few modifications I am making this one around. I will keep my consumption of nuts down, plan my meals better, and portion control. I already feel better, and will remind myself of this when temptations are in front of me!!

  • Sam Spade

    To be honest, I didn’t think I would be joining in on this challenge. My intention was to start back up on Paleo on my own at the New Year. My intentions weren’t realized, though. I just kept going back to my bad habits regarding my diet. So, I’m doing this with the hopes to continue past February and to only break Paleo once every few weeks (not including beer, of course).

    This go around, my cravings thus far have been pretty strong. That’s my fault, though, and every day they’re getting easier to ignore. In terms of menu planning, I feel I did a good job last time with this. This time, it’s become even easier. Meghan got the “Well Fed” cookbook, so I’ve been privileged to partake of all the recipes she’s wanted to try. Yes, I know how lucky I am. Extremely!

    As I try to think of things I wish I had known for my first Paleo Challenge, I think more of things I could’ve done differently in the gym. My advice would definitely be to take it one WOD at a time. Improved physical results are not going to happen overnight, but you will definitely see them if you stick with it. Also, I think it’s important not to get caught up in how much weight you’ve lost day to day. Some people lose weight quickly, but others didn’t lose much and even some people gained weight. What’s REALLY important is how you feel, your energy level, how you sleep, etc. I really can’t stress that enough. Finally, I will also say that I wholeheartedly agree with everyone else’s advice to plan your meals as much as possible. The more you plan exactly what you’re going to eat for each meal, the less chance you’ll have for a “faileo”.

    Finally, thanks to Jenna and Shaun for hosting a great Superbowl Party with lots of great food and friends! Seeing Bill Belicheat and the Cheatriots go down was icing on the cake too, proverbially speaking, of course! Have a great 2nd week everyone! And an FYI to everyone, I’m here for support if you need it in any way. Just keep doing what you’re doing and see it through to the end.

  • Ellie Bernstein

    oops i forgot to post yesterday! how’d it get to be monday so quickly? anyway, this is my second challenge and it doesn’t even seem like a challenge anymore. i stuck with paleo since october 1st…the only things i ate between november and the start of this challenge were beans and soy. even on thanksgiving and christmas i stayed sugar, gluten, grain, additive, artificial shit free. (i definitely had some vodka a handful of times…not gonna lie….) staying 95 pct paleo has been awesome–i’ve been getting a lot stronger, i always feel energetic, my asthma is pretty much gone, my skin is clearer, hair shinier…you name it. i feel so much better! i definitely have to say now that i have given up beans and soy again i feel even better. i think after the challenge i am going to keep that out of my diet this time around! during this challenge my goals are to cook more and stop relying on “paleo-safe” food from restaurants. i really have no excuse…i only work part time so I have the time to cook, i just have to quit being lazy 😉 ok…have a great week everyone!

    to all the first timers—if you are experiencing those awful flu-like symptoms, just push through it! i had it SO BAD last time….but as soon as your body adjusts to your new diet you will feel sooooo much better. promise! it also really helps to cut down on your fruit for some reason.

  • chadd

    I also forgot to post yesterday so here goes. This is my first challenge since joining Hoosier Crossfit 10 months ago. The last challenge I didn’t feel I was ready, but went full steam this time around. The first week went better than I anticipated craving wise as I kicked some of the bad food habits I had in the prior couple of months. It hasn’t been all gravy though.

    I will say the flu like symptoms are no joke. The first day I felt fine since it was all that non-paleo stuff being digested, but days 2-6 involved being extremely tired both in and out of the gym. That seems to have tapered off and I am feeling pretty energetic now.

    I just need to follow everyone’s advice and do a better job of planning my meals. I have always been really lazy about cooking and planning ahead so its going to be a change for sure.

  • Shannon

    Hi HCFers
    I subscribe/like a bunch of Paleo groups & people on Facebook( creep-book as Jesse calls it-) Anyhow, I thought that this post was particularly relevant to the Challenge, especially to first-timers like myself…


  • Tuesday » Hoosier CrossFit

    […] Week 1 Down! By hcfchallenge […]

  • mike

    This is my first challenge and the first week went by pretty slow.This ended up being more intense then i was thinking but i have no regrets. For the first few days it wasn’t easy adjusting to only being able to eat 1/4 of all the foods i used to love. But in doing so its forced me to find a lot of interesting recipes that im trying. Over all im still feeling really good about the whole thing. my goal for next week is feeling out that damn journal after every meal. Plus i want to start eat some more veggies and maybe eat the second salad of my life.

  • kenya

    This is my first Paleo challenge and at the end of week one I felt pretty good about it. The first few days were a bit rough–I was often hungry at the end of the day, and sluggish throughout the day. I don’t think I prepared well for the first week. By the end of the week, my energy level was much better and I felt more focused on whatever tasks I faced. Going forward I want to have an idea of meal plans each week and prepare some foods I know I will use in meals throughout the week.

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