SOS: 3 Powerful Steps to Stronger Hips and Knees

The Spinal Column The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body

ISSUE NUMBER 25 MY EXPERIENCE GIVING UP MEAT

nothing I “couldn’t have” but rather things I “couldn’t have for a few days” made the world of difference for me. As this is my third time completing the WLC, I had a much easier time adapting to the routine, cutting out sugar and had to do way less research to find appropriate snacks. As I am not vegetarian I had new things to learn. What even is wild rice? How do I make tofu taste like food? My experience over the 6 weeks has been as follows: it is amazing how my body adjusted to consecutive days of consistent sleep (waking up feeling refreshed at the sound of

Three times over the past five years I have participated in an online diet, nutrition and life style challenge called “The Whole Life Challenge”. With the recent popularity in vegetarian and vegan diets and after watching the documentary “The Game Changers” on Netflix, I decided to do this diet’s vegetarian version for the first time. While I am aware of the nutritional and environmental benefits of limiting meat consumption, I am most interested in seeing if making the switch from eating chicken at every dinner to vegetarian impacted my athletic performance in CrossFit.

The Whole Life Challenge is an online competition that is done as a team over

my alarm, or before). My athletic performance was likely similar, though I felt my cardio was better. With cutting out meat I was eating more carbs (the good kinds). The biggest difference I noticed was that after 2 weeks, this chocoholic did not even miss it. I had lost my taste for sugar and not eating simple carbs eliminated my afternoon crash (where you just start yawning at 4 pm). I even learned to love my 10 minutes every evening foam rolling. Will I stay vegetarian after this is over? Probably not. But I will eat more vegetarian meals and try to limit, but not eliminate, my consumption of sugar and simple carbs to keep my energy levels feeling good. I think no diet is right for every person and the best way to find what works for me is to keep trying new ones and tracking change. - Christine

the course of 6 weeks. Every day you must log on and submit your score and a short reflection of what went well and what did not go well that day (hello, accountability). There are 7 habits for which you receive a daily score: nutrition, water intake, sleep, mobilization/stretching, exercise, well-being and reflection. The nutrition component can be done in various levels of restriction. I chose the mid-level vegetarian diet. This included cutting out all refined sugars (dessert, sauces, drinks), simple carbs (bread, pasta), meat and CHEESE. The hydration, exercise and sleep goals are set by the individual at the beginning of the challenge. The “well-being” component is a mini challenge that changes every week. One week it included no screen time for an hour before bed and an hour after rising in the morning (surprisingly tough!) and another week it included daily journaling. The first time I completed this challenge it was introduced to me through my gym. What drew me to it is that for multiple days of adhering to the diet, cheat points are earned. Anyone who knows me knows I hate being told what to do, so knowing there was

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