10 Days. 100 Cups. 10,000 Steps.
March 20th, 2016
Full disclosure: I absolutely, under no circumstances, want to do this. I MUST do this.
After attending Tony Robbins Unleash the Power Within (UPW) conference last weekend, I was fired up and ready to go in every area of my life except for health. Mainly because it is what I do for a living and I already try to practice what I preach. The last day of this 4 day conference was all about health. To be perfectly honest, I half listened as it was mostly review for me. Then I heard Tony's voice in my head "Do you want to be excellent or OUTSTANDING?!" Arrrghhhhhhh!!!
Time to raise my freaking standard.
So I decided to up the ante for myself. I already work out regularly. I eat healthy, unprocessed food 90% of the time. I have a regular meditation/spiritual practice. Yet the little voice inside me knew I wasn't quite reaching my full potential.
10 days. No processed food. No dairy. No alcohol. No caffeine. No sugar. No way is what you are probably telling yourself right now. I know. It's scary. You can do anything for 10 short days. The cookies will always be there. What if though you felt so amazing after 10 days that you wanted to keep going?! Focusing on what you CAN eat will make the first few days easier.
Since I've tweaked the challenge a little bit, I decided to share for those of you interested...and to help hold myself accountable! Given my functional and integrative medicine training, I didn't completely agree with 100% of the 10-day challenge details. For example, apple cider vinegar can be a great addition to your diet. Most people have too little acid in their stomach to digest food resulting in common complaints like belching and indigestion. Adding a little bit of healthy acid can keep your whole system in balance and in an alkaline state when you are able to fully digest all the nutritious food you are eating.
The only caffeine I will consume is organic matcha green tea. It is low in caffeine and also contains a high amount of antioxidants. You will also see my meal plan is gluten-free and corn-free as those foods can be inflammatory for the body as well.
I have also included prices in the shopping list based on serving size. There is a misconception that eating healthy has to be expensive. Yet nobody blinks when they drop $200 at their local premium steakhouse. My mantra is "You can pay for it now or later." Heart attacks are expensive. Diabetes is bankrupting our healthcare system. I would rather spend an extra $1 for an organic apple than $50K for a heart surgery. You choose.
Supplements. I have been fortunate enough to have had personalized testing done that evaluates my nutritional needs. Above all else, I try to get what I need from food. My current supplements include Vitamin D3, high-dose fish oil, broad-spectrum probiotic, magnesium, and ashwagandha for stressful times.
I am the worst at drinking water. I carry my water bottle around like an accessory rather than actually using it. This MUST change. I know better. I have read all the studies about how important water is to maintain health yet it still remains a struggle.
For optimal hydration you should be drinking half your body weight in ounces of water daily. This is about 64 ounces or 8 cups of water a day for me. I decided to increase my goal to 10 cups a day because I will also be working out daily. To keep myself accountable and on track, I plan to use my Up band by Jawbone which has the ability to track your water intake. I will link it to my idle timer that will buzz every 30 minutes reminding to both move my body and take a few sips.
My usual activity level includes 3-4 workouts a week. When I think back to when I felt my absolute best it was in high school. My norm was practice after school every single day for basketball or track and I felt amazing. Exercise has become something I "should" do instead of an absolute must. No excuses.
My goal is to do some type of exercise every single day for 10 days as well get in 10,000 steps a day. This will also be tracked on my Up band. Right now I average about 4,683 steps a day. You can not improve what you do not measure. It will be a combination of yoga, barre, cardio, and weight training. I also invested in a rebounder trampoline (~$40) to start my mornings off in a peak state while listening to UPW playlist. This part of challenge will probably be the hardest for me! Wish my hamstrings luck.
Typical Example Day
- Warm lemon water +/- goji berries while reading daily motivational (and scrolling through Instagram - let's be honest).
- Rebounder/dance party for 15 min while listening to UPW playlist.
- Healthy breakfast.
- Healthy, robust lunch.
- Walk outside after eating for 15 minutes.
April 3rd, 2016
I finished the 10 day challenge a few days ago. After a day of pure indulgence - including coffee and truffles - with my feet going nowhere near a gym, I missed it. There were definitely days when it a pure struggle to reach my 10,000 steps because my whole body was sore and it was already 9 pm. Pushing through what you think are your limits and reaching your goals was the biggest lesson I learned. That truly anything you desire is possible if you are willing to grind for it. I know it sounds cliche but that is because it's true!
The hardest part ended up being the 10 cups of water a day. Usually I would end up drinking only 5-8 cups - which was still a HUGE improvement compared to my pre-challenge habits.
- After taking a day off, my muscles actually ache to move and I miss my daily workouts. My moods were more stable and my energy levels remained high when I made the time to work out every day.
- My skin is glowing, soft, and hydrated even though I didn't reach 10 cups every day. Water is better than any high priced moisturizer on the market.
- I did not lose any weight (and I don't need to - skinny girl problems!). However, I did feel less "puffy" and could tell the biggest difference around my eyes. I think the average person would lose at least 5 pounds on the challenge and probably more.
- I love coffee. I need coffee. It brings me great joy and comfort. I will balance out its acidity by continuing to eat 7-9 servings a vegetables a day but I just can not give it up completely.
Spring is the best time to cleanse as it is the transition of the seasons. Your body naturally wants to shed the winter blahs, be more active, and eat healthier. So go ahead and challenge yourself to eat healthier, hydrate your cells, and move your body. Grab a partner because most things are better in twos. I promise you won't regret it!