1 week and 3 days to Go!

Last week’s winner of our Valentines Day Chocolate Challenge was Andy B.  He made a fabulous cocoa rub for his pork loin!  Instead of Satin Hands, he chose a blue CamelBack Water Bottle! 

WE WILL HAVE A PALEO MEETING AT 3PM THIS SATURDAY before the Bring a Friend WOD.  Your Challenge this week is to make a Mardi Gras inspired plate!  You can get creative with green, purple, and gold OR create a unique Gumbo or Seasfood recipe.  Make sure you can keep it hot or cold because we will be voting and tasting AFTER the Bring a Friend WOD on Saturday!  Non paleo participants will be encouraged to bring a plate, but will not be eligible to win.  The winner will receive a DINNER FOR TWO at a local restaurant!

Also, if you have not submitted your journal entry to me, please do it by This evening!

– – – – – – – – –Reflect on the past 3 weeks – – – – – – – – –

Are you making the most of this challenge?   Are you doing ALL that you can DO with the MOST effort you can POSSIBLY give?  OR, Have you been telling yourself, “This paleo thing isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be?”  You may or you may not be giving it your all!  It sucks to hear that when you feel like you’re working so hard to do the “right thing.”  But let’s just take a minute to reflect.

Treating yourself: when I eat a chocolate square (or two) after dinner, I, for sure, know this isn’t paleo (it’s a treat we allow acceptable from the modern world).  When I have a glass of wine, you better bet this is going to effect you.  If I have fruit for a late night snack, it’s the same craving craving for sugar that you’d have for ice cream, although fruit is definitely a better option :0)

Not Enough Food: If you eat a salad at lunch, It’s not enough food for a CrossFit Workout in the afternoon.  If this is you,  take a look at your portions.   Feed yourself more vegetables, meats, and fats to stay full and have energy (go back to Saturday’s Post if you’re still struggling with portion sizes).

You’re not losing weight:  “Just quick one here. I’ve received about 50 private messages, twitter pings and other reach-outs this morning with the general theme being: “Hey Robb, I think I’m stalled on my WEIGHT LOSS…should I go ketogenic? Cut out nuts? Join an Ashram?” -Robb Wolf wrote a great blog post about this. Take a minute to click this link and read it.   Being true to yourself, Sleep, and Stress go hand in hand with your progress.

Sleep and Stress: These are biggies.  There’s all kinds of sorting out in your life you need to do to accomplish these things.  Don’t put them on the back burner.  Tell yourself you’re going to go to bed and do it.  Organize a system to manage your time so your stress levels are down.  Your options are to reach out for guidance or do what you know you have to do and do it.  Read back at an old post to help you learn WHY these are important.

– – – – – – – – – – – REFLECTIONS – – – – – – – – – – –

Thanks for your reflections on the last week! We only have 1.5 weeks left!! Is it getting easier?!  What are you looking forward to after the challenge?!


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

16 responses to “1 week and 3 days to Go!

  • Heather

    As a paleo challenge “veteran” these reflections are always hard for me- I don’t see as much change as a newbie would- plus even off of the challenge I still remain paleo. The past week was another successful week- I had another big PR which always makes me very HAPPY!  I’ve learned even I struggle trying new things. I get in a habit of buying meat and vegetables I know I enjoy and make meals based off of that. So, if anyone has a unique vegetable suggestion for me let me know!!

    The past challenge I really struggled with sleeping. I would wake up 2-3 times a night. [I have a pretty good feeling this was stress related ;-)] This challenge I usually sleep a good 7-8 hours without waking up- which is HUGE for me!
    For those of you who are struggling feeling full all day- it took me a long time to figure this out and it is quite simple – EAT A TON OF VEGETABLES! I notice that when I have a piece of fruit for one of my 3 blocks I am always hungry before my next meal- but if I have 3 blocks of vegetables my tummy stays happy! (I’m not saying I don’t still do this anyways- but I know my problem) Also, if you aren’t seeing the results you want yet- (as Jenna said last time) check your portion sizes! – I know a lot of people hate measuring food- but in my opinion- I always have twice as many vegetables as I do meat—just something to keep in mind.

    Something I have come to live by is doing everything 100% — with all of your heart. If you give a challenge (life, work, school, relationships, a WOD- whatever it is) 100% no one can say you didn’t try or you didn’t give it your all (because you know you did) – so with this last week and a half of the challenge go in 100% if you’ve been slacking. Go find your “A” game and come play for a while! Push a little harder in the gym, get another hour of sleep, eat one more vegetable for breakfast and always keep your goals right where you can see them!

  • Ellie

    I gave up the dried fruit at night that I was craving like crack. amazing, once you give it up your body doesn’t crave it anymore. (you’d think I’d have learned this by now….) I’ve also been eating a boatload more veggies and slightly less protein because I think I was massively overdoing it. I feel better. I still can’t do three square meals a day. I have more like 5 or 6. I’ve tried everything (mostly bc eating that often is inconvenient) but to no avail. I think some bodies just need food more often so that’s just that.

    In general paleo is going really well for me again this time around. My eating habits permanently changed after the challenge in October and I’ve stayed about 90 pct paleo all along which I intend to continue.

    I dont weigh myself and I really don’t care what the numbers have to say anyway. I don’t think that is a good gauge of how well paleo is going for me. I feel stronger, I’m doing better in the gym, I sleep better, I can’t remember the last time I’ve been sick or had to use my inhaler, and I see muscle definition in my arms for the first time in my life. So I can definitely say Paleo is working for me. 🙂

  • Audra

    So, week 3 started out kind of rough. My workouts didn’t feel good, in that everything felt more difficult than normal. I seemed to have lost my energy and any sign of motivation throughout the day too. I did feel a little better each day, and now feel like I’m back to where I was during week 2. I have energy all day, workouts feel good and I’m so much more productive. During the first few days of feeling kind of crappy I had some cravings for some carb-loaded, very non-paleo foods. I didn’t cave in though, and I’m glad I stuck it out. I tend to eat less healthy when I’m not feeling great, but I’m finding it’s been a lot easier than normal for me to limit treats or have enough self-control to not give in to a craving.
    I’m also finding that deciding what to eat is generally becoming less of an effort. I’m not stressing about “is it paleo?” when I get groceries. I go in, grab my produce and meat, and if I get anything else, first I check the labels for extra crap. No extra crap = good to go.
    I need to keep working on getting adequate sleep every night and I’m still working on increasing my veggies, but I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished so far. I’ve seen so much more clearly with this challenge, versus the one last fall, how what I eat affects everything else. I don’t intend to stay as strict with paleo as we are in the challenge, but when it’s over I’m don’t intend to deviate much. I’m really excited about the possibilities with that both in and out of the gym.

  • Mike

    Well week 3 went pretty good for me. The work outs all seem to be hoing well and im full of energy before and after which is not something im used to. Im still having trouble with breakfast. Being a student i dont have alot of mornjng time to make food and im not finding my self very hungry. When i do eat breakfast its no very much. The biggest thing thats come out o the whole paleo diet for me is my food cravings. I absolutely love food but ive been finding myself having to look at the clock so i know its getting to be lunch or dinner time. Im not craving food 24/7 any more. Thats what i hope i can continue with when this month is over.

  • Jennylynn Vidas

    I had a realization during Week 3… I think I am developing an addiction to grocery shopping. I literally get excited going to Sam’s Club for a 6-pack of bell peppers, a bag of avocados, and a rotisserie chicken. It’s an adventure to wander the aisles of Bloomingfoods and Sahara Mart to find new and interesting ingredients to create my Paleo meals for the week. It is ultimately satisfying to go to the checkout line with a cart full of purely Paleo foods, and once I’m out the door, I hardly remember hurrying past the bakery or ignoring the cheeses…well, almost.  Sure, this new addiction may take a small toll on my bank account, but it’s hard to feel bad about such a healthy habit!

    Week 3 went well for me. I think that eating in this way is feeling more normal by this point. This week, I really made an effort to incorporate veggies into EVERY meal, including breakfast. My preferred breakfast veggies as of this week are spinach and asparagus. I’m not sure how much the change has affected my energy levels, but I have noticed that I can get through more days without coffee, or even tea to keep me going. This week also brought a few challenges as far as sweets and other temptations. Of course, Tuesday was Valentine’s Day. Drake and I stayed home and made our own dinner, and we allowed ourselves to indulge in home-made chocolate covered strawberries (72% dark chocolate) and a couple glasses of red wine. Throughout the week, I noticed that I was allowing myself a few extra dates with pecans (my new go-to dessert) or pieces of dark chocolate. I also had several glasses of red wine over the weekend. I can see that if I let myself justify these choices (“I’m giving up so much other food, so I can afford to have this extra piece of chocolate/glass of wine”), there is a risk of overdoing it.

    Like others have mentioned in their comments, I intend to continue many aspects of the Paleo lifestyle. I’m not saying I’ll be 100% by any means, but the concept of quality proteins, LOTS of veggies, and minimal processed foods and sugars is one I think I can get behind for the long-run.

  • Dru

    week three was great! not only bc I think the paleo diet is actually healthy and helpful for me bc I am more satisfied and have few to little cravings but week three was my graduation week from on-ramp!!!
    I can’t explain how great I feel to not be thinking about food all the time (maybe for the first time ever!) but how proud I feel for trying and completing on-ramp (even if I was the only one in my class that needed mods).
    I’m just going to ‘keep leaving my ego at the door’ and do my best with the next chapter at hcf- and keep working on this paleo lifestyle bc both are making me feel pretty awesome!

    • Sam Spade


      First of all, I’m looking forward to meeting you soon. Welcome!! I wanted to say that walking in the HCF door for the first time is a HUGE step, and each time you come back is another big step towards meeting your goals. So get in there, and just keep looking forward. Don’t worry about the people around you and what they’re doing. You do your thing, and before you know it, you’ll be achieving new PRs, moving down in bands for your pullups, and doing workouts Rx. This is YOUR journey! We’re all super proud of you!!!

  • Pam W

    Week three started out with me not having much energy. I was getting over being sick so that didn’t help. Also, I hadn’t been sleeping well. Even when I went to bed early, I would still wake up a few times a night and then feel tired in the mornings. That got better throughout the week. I also went to the gym 5 times last week which is more than I usually go and I was surprised that I wasn’t as sore as I thought I would be.
    I’ve only lost one pound this challege but I have seen changes in how I feel. I love to eat and do it more than I should so I’m trying to really watch my portions and keep adding more veggies instead of protein or bake goods. I do find when I keep up a good water intake for the day, I snack less.
    Like I said before, eating Paleo is much easier the 2nd time around when you know how to cook good meals and plan ahead. I think my favorite thing about challenges is sharing recipes and trying out all the yummy things people make and bring to events. It is so much easier to stick with it when you have so many great options to choose from! I

  • Jen Smallwood

    This week has been really great, even though I’ve been very, very stressed about work! Typically I would allow stressful feelings to rationalize eating crap and it just didn’t even occur to me to do that this time. Foods like fast food and breads are starting to seem gross to me– my son (age 11) had some greasy chicken things from McDonalds (no lecutres please, on my parenting) and it even smelled bad to me. This is a completely new thing for me- it just smelled greasy and fake and gross. A woman in my strength training class this morning asked me if I’ve been losing weight! She asked me what I was doing, and I hesitated, because I work at a gym, and technically have to be careful about giving out what might be considered “nutritional advice,” so I went with the “can’t get me in trouble” explanation– I said, “I ‘ve cut out all processed foods and am focusing on lots of fresh veggies, fruits and high quality protein.” Yup, yup. And my sleep– AMAZING. I am a notoriously poor sleeper. I toss and turn and probably 2 or 3 nights out of 7 I sleep badly. I have slept soundly and without waking all night for about 2 1/2 weeks now. It is truly amazing to me. Miraculous! I really do have no intention of going back ot the standard american diet (S.A.D.). I may have a “cheat” meal here and there, but it probably will NOT have gluten in it, or legumes. The more I read about gluten, the more evil it seems in my eyes. And everyone I meet who complains about something I want to say, “oh, that has been linked to gluten sensitivity.” So far I haven’t, but I feel the proselityzing is not far off….

  • Andy W

    This month is flying by! It’s hard to believe we only have 9 days left.
    I’m much more educated about reading labels and making smart choices. It is much easier to focus on the Paleo lifestyle when I focus on what I can have instead of what I can’t. I don’t eat out of boredom anymore but only when I really am hungry. Although there has been times when I seem to have a endless stomach, there has also been times when I seem to go several hours without even thinking about food and I have made it a habit now to always have water with me pretty much everywhere I go.
    One of the biggest things I have realized is all the unnecessary junk that seems to be added to pretty much everything that’s packaged. That’s why when I do find myself in the grocery store, I stay out of the
    “no mans land” middle isles and just stick to the outskirt isles, I keep it very simple, that seems to work the best for me.

  • Claire H

    Physically and emotionally, this past week has been awesome. I accomplished my goal of 5 WODs, plus two days of hiking in this beautiful weather. Before the challenge, I would have had to crash with naps in the afternoon and do one physical activity per day, but I had the energy of champions! Stress has essentially been zero the past week, and I’ve been trying to get at least 7-8 hrs. of sleep a night, 6 at the minimum. I haven’t seen as many changes in my body as I thought I would, however I’ve been prone to snacking lately and not really paying attention to portion sizes. This past weekend I loaded up on fruit because I was on the go quite a bit, and I’ll have to say I definitely could tell a difference (in a bad way!). Regardless of my fruit/fat/veggie/meat portions, I’ve found that I don’t think twice about wanting to eat “crap.” My roommate made a chocolate cake last night and I honestly preferred my breakfast casserole over a slice. Not saying that I still don’t love chocolate, because I most certainly do 🙂 but never thought I could pass up cake so easily. After the challenge I want to continue paleo. I kind of hate to see the challenge come to an end because it gives me motivation to pass up those slices of cake in the world. But knowing how great I feel in the morning and throughout the day, I hope will be motivation enough to resist resorting back to quick, unhealthy meals.

  • Sam Spade

    Overall, these past three weeks have been what I was hoping they would be…for the most part. Although my weight loss has stalled this past week, that hasn’t deterred me at all, simply because my weight is just a number…a reference. My food intake has been pretty consistent, albeit boring/mundane. That works for me, though. Breakfast and lunch tend to be the same, with a different dinner. It acts a little bit like a reward for me. Even my sleep has been pretty consistent. So, what I’ve been hoping to get out of it, I have been, which is a starting off point to get me into a sustainable Paleo lifestyle.

    This past week was a little shaky, however. First of all, I suck suck SUCK at Double Unders. My sincere apologies to anyone who had to endure my childish temper tantrums on Monday and Thursday. I get so frustrated sometimes, and that’s something I definitely have to work on. Through that, though, I think I also discovered that I don’t “perform” as well at the 6AM classes. So, I think I’m going to avoid those in the future, if at all possible.

    There were also some family issues late in the week that almost caused a Faileo. This helped me to another revelation: It isn’t the food that affects my mood. It is my mood which affects the food choices I make…ergo, I am still an emotional eater. I have been combating this my entire life, and, frankly, I’m at a bit of a loss of how to overcome it. If anyone has any advice or words of wisdom regarding this, I’m truly all ears. I believe this is one of the banes of my existence. I’m not sure I will ever overcome it, but I will continue to try.

    So, I’m looking forward to a better week than last, even though week 3 wasn’t horrible. 3 new PRs is a decent way to start, and Meghan and my belated V-day gift to each other (couple’s massage) happens Wednesday, so that’s just one more thing to look forward to. So, if I’m being an ass in the gym anymore, just smack me. I deserve it. Sorry about all that…

    Have a great week!!!

    • Jenn H

      SAMMY! I suck suck suck at DU too, it was a tough week, I see that this week will be kipping PU which means another week of exposing my utter suck-e-ness.
      I am an emotional eater as well. I caught myself multiple times walking straight to the fridge to see what I could stuff in “real quick” so that something would feel better. I have struggled with eating disorders all my life and the most important this is that you are AWARE and ACCOUNTABLE…. SO, my advice is call yourself out on it EVERY TIME! I actually put a tally mark on a sticky note on the fridge every time I went for food, and was appalled at my silliness. I didn’t want to see the marks so instead I grabbed my pain ball and rolled out my back and shoulders and just laid on floor for a sec, or if I was at work, I walked over to another unit to visit with other nurses. HANG in there buddy XOXO

  • Tuesday » Hoosier CrossFit

    […] the Bring a Friend WOD.  Your Challenge this week is to make a Mardi Gras inspired plate!… 1 week and 3 days to Go! By […]

  • Jenn H

    This week much easier then last….I was pre-occupied with work, school, kids. I am hopeful that I am slowly adapting to the “eat to live” mindset. Some people at work complain or tease about my food choices, like eating Brussels sprouts for breakfast with my eggs. As they sit and shove donuts, cakes and copious amounts of coffee and pop down their throats. They are crashing an hour later and I am still going strong, so I smile and say HA SUCK IT! ALthough I find minor cravings now and then, I really look at food differently. Again…work…as these women consume friend mushrooms, and grilled cheeses, or fried chicken strips, I am getting to the point where I think….”I just don’t want to put that crap into my body”. I PRAY I keep this frame of mind indefinitely. I am still stuck on the weight thing tho…..I am not dropping, intact I have gained since the last challenge, however my inches are fading fast. I have been committed to at least 5 WOD a week since beginning of challenge and hit that goal each week so far. I am working hard to get to bed at a reasonable hour to get the 8 hrs. Not always easy but I am doing much better.

  • Shannon

    Hi Everyone,
    It helps me a lot to read your posts-thanks for sharing. I think that the challenge has definately changed how I view food too, Jenn H! Keep up the good work- you should have seen my co-workers reactions over these past few weeks when they’ve seen me eating sliced bacon & raw veggies for a snack or the “no oat-meal” Haha. 🙂 They are in for a real treat next week when its my turn to bring breakfast for the office and I don’t show up with an arm load of carbohydrates… This morning, I was thinking that I am overall happier on the challenge. Is that possible? I think that I ate pretty well before the challenge, but was eating foods I couldn’t pronounce, including all that sugar-free , low calorie crap on occasion. I know now that REAL FOOD is key and not the ARTIFICAL stuff. I like that the challenge has forced me to read labels and to be more connected with my body i.e. how it reacts when I eat certain foods vs. the “S.tandard A.merican D.iet”. After the challenge, I plan to be 90 % + (whatever the % is) paleo. I never was much of a carb eater or beer drinker before, but will allow these on occassion. I also love all the recipe sharing 🙂 Keep them coming Friends!

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