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1st Annual CFW Real Food Challenge

Eat meats and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, no sugar.

It’s the first line of World Class Fitness in 100 Words.  It’s also the most underestimated in its role in our fitness and performance.

Every day at the gym, I look around and I’m filled with pride at the dedication, energy and intensity everyone brings to the workouts.  I see people pushing each other to get one more rep, yelling at the top of their lungs encouraging a fellow athlete to lift just 5 more pounds, or mustering up whatever is left in the tank to push that last sprint just a little harder.  Every week our PR board overflows with an array of colored dry erase markers.  Every time I look at that board I’m encouraged and motivated as a coach because I know that everyone is getting better all the time.  It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside to see this kind of commitment and excitement about what we do here.  The ultimate goal: to make people happy by making them healthy.

Now we’re going to challenge you to take it to the next level.  If you really want to start seeing results it’s time to start thinking more about what you put into your body.  You put the effort into your training, now I challenge you to put the same effort into your diet.  This week, we welcomed our On Ramp class.  As part of this introduction to CrossFit, we sent our On Rampers a Food and Shopping Guide, which you can download here.  It’s all about eating real food, so that’s exactly what we are going to call this event: The Real Food Challenge.

The details:

  • 8 weeks of simple paleo “real food” nutrition.  This means no processed foods, no sugar, no grains.  Simply follow the motto: meat, vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch no sugar, as described in our food and shopping guide.
  • The challenge starts on January 18th and ends on March 14th and is open to all CrossFit Winnipeg members and On Ramp students.
  • To register, you must submit 3 before photos: front, back and side views.  Men in shorts only and ladies in a shorts and a sports bra.  These photos must be taken between January 1st, 2010 and January 15th, 2010 and submitted to me via email by January 15th.  We can take the picture at the gym if you like.  No one but the coaches will see these pictures unless you are in the final 6.
  • You must log your food choices on our Real Food Challenge blog.  We’ll do separate posts for you to log your meals, and we’ll link to them in the Workout of the day post so you’ll know where to log.  Weeks 1 and 2 we will log Breakfast choices , weeks 3 and 4 we will log our lunches , weeks 5 and 6 will be dinner and weeks 7 and 8 will be snacks.  The blog will include some themed discussions on sleep, hydration, stress, inflammation, etc.
  • To help you along, we will hold nutrition meeetings every two weeks during the challenge.  This will be an opportunity to meet with coaches and other participants to discuss your progress.  The first meeting will take place on Wednesday, January 20th, 2010 from 7:00 to 8:00PM.
  • Within 5 days of the end of the Challenge, you must submit 3 after photos and a short testimonial (a paragraph or two) explaining what this experience has done for you.  We must receive this via email by March 19th at the latest.
  • All participants will then vote for the winner out of the top 6. The before and after pics for the top 6 will be viewed offline and we will not post anything on the website without your permission.
  • The coaching staff will pick the final 3 men and 3 women based on the following:
    • Body Composition Changes from the before and after photos.
    • Performance improvements in the gym.
    • Participation in the “Real Food Challenge” Blog.
  • The prize is 3 months of unlimited training at CrossFit Winnipeg and a free On Ramp for a friend.
  • The runner up will receive some CFW gear.

Tips to get started:

  • Read about the paleo/primal lifestyle on our Nutrition page.
  • Scour the house and empty your cupboards of all the sugary processed stuff.
  • Read labels!  If it comes in a box, and has funny names listed in the ingredients that you don’t recognize, you probably shouldn’t be eating it.
  • Play with spices!
  • Drink tons of water.
  • Planning food for the week:
    • Cook a big batch of chicken or other protein and keep it refrigerated in containers to use throughout the week for meals or in your favorite dishes. The crockpot is a great tool for this.
    • Cook batches of veggies and keep them refrigerated in containers to use throughout the week for meals.   Always keep  a few bags of frozen veggies in the freezer for when you need a quick meal.
    • Whenever you make anything, whether it’s a stir-fry, a salad, an omelet, make 3 times as much as you need and separate it into smaller containers for lunch and snacks the next day.
  • Always have protein and nuts and seeds to snack on if you get busy and need to eat.  Don’t let yourself get too hungry between meals as this sets you up for bingeing.

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