Coming Back to Life: Week One

So, I’ve officially finished my first week back coaching at The 30 Clean. And I am stoked to be back! So if you don’t know, I worked with T30C starting back in 2014 and LOVED it! Then life happened and I left for a while… But luckily I got a message a few months ago from my dear friend Megan asking me if I would be interested in coaching again. Uh, heck yes! 

I was particularly excited to come back, for one, because it had been too long and I missed it, and also, because I personally needed this reset myself. I love inspiring other people and holding them accountable to their goals BUT health coaches are people too, people! I also need inspiration and accountability in my life. After allowing myself to become derailed by work and personal issues (aka excuses) I’ve been on the road to recovery, so to speak, for the past 6 months. And I have made some progress on my own, don’t get me wrong. But I haven’t fully committed to consistent clean eating for a prolonged period of time. I mean, I eat clean roughly 80% of the time, and I think that’s a reasonable way to live once you’ve truly made strides. But I haven’t yet made the strides I was hoping for, so I needed to go ALL in! And that’s exactly what T30C is. It’s betting all the chips on yourself for 30 days and giving 100% effort and commitment so that you can FULLY come back to life! “Come Back to Life” is our slogan by the way. And that’s literally what it feels like by the end of the challenge. 

Let me give you a quick rundown of what the full 30 days is like before I get into how my first week back went. So, for 30 days you “eat clean” according to our guidelines. Now, I’m going to warn you, most people who haven’t done a challenge before read the guidelines and are like “WTF??” And I get it, I had the same initial reaction. It’s a lot like what I describe in my Why Paleo blog, but taken up a notch. So, for 30 days we eliminate grains, gluten, dairy, corn, soy, peanuts, sugar and sweetener, anything artificial or processed, and if you’re feeling determined to be extra clean you can also forego legumes and alcohol. We eat 3 well-balanced meals a day (no snacking. Snacking is mindless and usually unnecessary) but if you’re super active or pregnant/nursing, you can have an extra well-balanced mini meal (not a snack) to tide you over. We LOVE veggies and eat them with every meal, even breakfast. We also eat good quality protein and a fair amount of healthy fat with every meal as well. What this does is balances blood sugar, reduces inflammation, banishes sugar addiction, gives you sustained energy and optimal nutrition. By the end of the 30 days you feel like a clean eating machine! It’s seriously rad. Even if you think, “I could never eliminate all those foods…” Yes, you CAN! And it’s worth it! 

But I’m not here to just tell you how awesome it is, I want to show you too! So, every week until day 30, I will recap my meals, experiences and progress. Here it goes!

WEEK ONE T30C:

So before I get into my meals and such I should probably mention that I am coaching a “Fit Board”. So, along with our food guidelines, we also have 6 workouts a week to complete, written by my amazing friend Rachel of Real Food and Fitness by Rachel Eslick. She’s the coolest. So, not only does our board get the amazing benefits of the nutritional guidelines but we are also getting hella buff at the same time! Win, win! The workouts are short and don’t require equipment so if you don’t have a ton of time or belong to a gym you can still fit them in. BUT if you want more you can do multiple rounds or add resistance. 

Ok, so we open up the challenge by introducing ourselves to everyone on the board. A board is a group of people that signed up for the challenge that will interact together in a private facebook group throughout the 30 days. We share our meals, our workouts, our struggles, our triumphs… anything that helps keep up accountable to the commitment we made. 

So, a big part of our introductions is a “before” picture. Even though this isn’t necessarily a weight loss challenge, a lot happens in 30 days when you’re fully committed to clean living. So we like to document our progress and photos are a particularly good way to do so. Way better than the scale. 

So I post my introduction and my before photo and right away I feel an amazing energy on our board. There are several challengers that are fully committed, just like I am, and truly want to make this challenge fun. So I am stoked! 

Day one we start posting pictures of our meals right away. Pretty much everyone’s food looks amazing and is so inspirational.

My day one meals were sausage and sweet potato hash with kale and brussels sprouts, a fried egg on top and a side of sauerkraut. Lunch was spaghetti squash carbonara casserole and a side salad. I had a mini meal of 1/2 banana with almond butter and a deviled egg. And dinner was bacon wrapped meatloaf with roasted carrots and green beans. 

Our day 1 workout we did some assessments. We  performed 1 minute each of pushups, situps, air squats and burpees. My numbers were 43 pushups on my toes, 25 situps, 63 air squats and 27 burpees. Not my best, but pretty good. I’m excited to see how these numbers change by the end of the month!

Each day we also do what’s called an NFC or non-food challenge. This is to really tie in the whole clean lifestyle. Health is about so much more than food as I discuss in my blog What is a Brick Fit Life? and I love that this challenge addresses the many facets of healthy living. So, for day one we addressed our mental state and got our minds right! We wrote down our motivation for doing the challenge so we could refer back to it daily and maintain our commitment. My motivation is myself. I know that sounds weird, but I remember the first time I did T30C. I remember how good I felt and I have pictures to prove how good I looked too lol. I remember feeling really comfortable in my skin and truly vibrant and alive. I want that again. And I know I can have it because I did before. And I know this challenge is the reset button I need to get back there…

So, that’s what a typical day in T30C life looks like. In addition to the NFC above we also have challenges like planking, drinking enough water, meal prepping and sharing silly hashtags. It really is a lot of fun! 

But I don’t want to completely mislead you. There is a not-as-fun side to T30C. It’s called “flutox”. It’s what happens when your body begins to detox from all the crap you probably ate before the challenge. It also happens when your body begins to use more fat for fuel instead of sugar. It’s actually a really, really good thing it just feels kind of cruddy for a little bit. For a lot of people it feels like you’re coming down with the flu, hence the name “flutox”. But the symptoms can range, and typically it only lasts a couple days to a week. But it’s totally natural and it DOES pass and once it’s over you feel AMAZING!

So the first time I did T30C I never really felt like I was flutoxing. The only thing I noticed was my workouts would kind of drag and my face broke out just slightly more than normal. My energy was great and actually began to soar in week two, but the other two symptoms didn’t resolve themselves until week four. BUT, as I mentioned above, once they did go away I was even better than before! I started hitting PRs in my workouts and my skin was clearer and glowing!

This time has been different. So day 1 I felt amazing. I was pumped and just ready to go. Day two, my energy was still high but I was hella grumpy. No clue why. Just kind of mad. I knew it was flutox though so knowing that made it easier to not express my grumpiness. But internally I just felt irritated. But that passed by day 3. I again felt amazing and lifted some super heavy (well, not super heavy, but heavy for me right now) weight on some box squats. Then the fatigue set in. And actually, looking back, it’s probably because my legs were recovering from the squats AND my body was detoxing at the same time. So days, 4, 5, and 6 I just felt a little slow and tired. I still got my workouts in but didn’t really push myself. I made sure I did some yoga and foam rolled too. That helped. But day 7 I woke up and felt like a new person! The soreness was pretty much gone, I slept like a baby the night before and my energy was back up! PLUS, I felt super lean! I put on my work uniform and snapped another pic to compare to day 1. It’s not dramatic but I was surprised to see an actual difference in just 7 days! I also went down a notch on my belt. BONUS!

So, I feel like that was my flutox this round. Not bad right? I’m sure it helps that I don’t eat a ton of grains, gluten, or soy to begin with BUT I must admit that the few weeks leading up to the clean I may have indulged in a little more sugar and dairy than I usually do (think donuts and pizza). So, I knew I was going to feel it a little. But I’m pretty sure it’s already behind me and the rest of the challenge will just be feeling the benefits. So exciting!

Alright, so I think you have a good idea of what the challenge is about in week one. Here are a few more of my meals and workouts for the week as well! 

If you’d like more info on T30C follow this link. OR if you want to follow a similar eating program but need more customization or aren’t into group challenges you can email me, brickfitlife@gmail.com and we can get you started on a personalized nutrition program!

Stay tuned for Week Two!