May 2017 Nutrition Challenge Winners

Solace’s May 2017 Nutrition Challenge ran for 8 weeks and had a total of 53 participants. The challenge focused on weekly adherence to healthy habits such as eating whole food meals, minimizing alcohol and refined carbohydrate consumption, and getting 8 or more hours of sleep each night. The challenge required a great deal of hard work and consistency on behalf of the participants and in this article it is my pleasure to announce winners, as well as highlight some of the many successes of the participants.

All the above winners will receive a free pair of Reebok Nanos. In addition, our Overall Winners will receive bonus Reebok gear and our Spirit Award winners will receive gift cards for Deliciously Fit meals.

Many of our participants received great benefit from undertaking this challenge. Here is a sampling of their results as expressed in their own words:

Allie J “The surprise was how much dairy affected me. Once I introduced it back after the week cleanse it was horrible. The week on low glycemic index foods I felt less bloated and had more energy. I lost 3 lbs total, notice less fat on my body, over time had more energy to train, and learned a lifetime lesson about looking at ingredients…Oh and I was able to PR Murph while on the challenge: first time doing RX, with a sweaty weight vest, @ 54 minutes. Thanks Coach!”

Mark M.Lost about 5-6 lbs and an inch off my waistline without trying to restrict calories at all, which is nice. I noticed that I recovered from my workouts much quicker and had more energy while working out as well. Saw the correlation between alcohol and poor sleep. Also learned that fresh whole food just tastes much better. So all in all, it was a good, worthwhile experiment. My goal this summer is to slim down a bit, so this offers a nice sustainable way to do it and build some healthy habits along the way. So I’m going to try and keep it up.”

Kristofer D.Keeping a close eye on what I eat definitely helps with weight control, physical comfort and I really believe it aids in recovery time when it comes to working out. I found big gains in my workouts and just generally felt better. I’m 41 years old now and I’ve found that diet is becoming much more important to my life if I plan to live a long and healthy one.”

Alexa W. “Overall the nutrition challenge has changed my relationship with food. I’m definitely more aware of what foods I’m putting in my body, what’s healthy for me and what’s not. It’s also helped change my all or nothing mentality towards food. More importantly it shows how good I can feel if I make healthy choices. I’ll definitely be participating in the next Nutrition Challenge, so thank you!” 

Christine K. “In the very beginning, someone asked me why I was doing this and my answer was “just for fun” and the response I got was “it doesn’t sound very fun”.  So I laughed and sort of agreed, but I always welcome a good challenge! I noticed a change in how I feel, which I am very happy about. I do not have that afternoon crash where I struggle to stay awake, and I’m even drinking less caffeine than I was before.  My energy level is consistent throughout the day, which really makes a difference. I definitely will not go right back to how things were pre-challenge, because I honestly don’t want to, but I also won’t be as stressed about eating at a restaurant or if I have to pick something up on the go. One meal won’t throw off an entire week of good eating.  I will definitely continue on this quest of sleep and will make whole meals at home as often as possible. 

Allyson P.For me this challenge can be summed up in one word: sugar. Or perhaps to be more clear: eliminating sugar. The amount of sugar that I was consuming hidden deep in the recesses of product labels was astounding. From my morning oatmeal to simple condiments and salad dressings, sugar was/is everywhere. By making a few simple changes I’ve eliminated a huge amount of sugar from my diet. I was recently out of town visiting a friend and had a pack of flavored instant oatmeal for breakfast; the kind I used to have every morning. It was so sickeningly sweet I couldn’t eat it. I’ve come to enjoy the taste of my food more and can identify a product with added sugar a mile away.” 

Helen C. “I have experienced plenty of diets but this is my first nutrition challenge. Prior to this challenge I think I subconsciously brushed the word nutrition under the rug. However, during the challenge I rediscovered the meaning of it. Disciplining myself to eat whole meals and whole snacks was challenging. I had to retrain myself to adjust to this new experience. Adjusting also involved adjusting my perception and relationship with food. So, I was being conscious and aware of the details, such as the ingredients involved to make the food I was consuming. Consuming nutritious whole foods in every meal should be the standard, not a trend or fad…I discovered and respect that it is my responsibility to manage my nutrition and health. It is another form of empowerment and I am so excited to continue this journey.”

Noah G. “Staring Weight: 218lbs. Starting Cholesterol 250. This challenge came at a PERFECT time. About a month before my doctor told me I had high blood pressure (first time I ever heard that) and high cholesterol (just the second time I heard that.) He wanted to put me on meds. ‘$#@! that,’ I said. He said ‘well, if you don’t think you’ve done everything you can…’ And I said. ‘Nope.’… I saw a video on the health effects of plant-based whole food meals and said ‘that’s it.’ It was a bit of a winding road to get to whole food plant-based, and it was very new to me (2 weeks) when the challenge began. We [Leslie and I] had just rolled off another program (coaching) that we did not like at all and wanted some structure to figure out what worked for us and what was sustainable and what wasn’t. I’ve never eaten so well or so effortlessly. This choice truly does feel sustainable and delicious and I feel very confident going into my follow up meeting with my doctor, which, coincidentally, had already been scheduled for the day after the challenge. Ending Weight: 210lbs.” Note: At Noah’s follow-up visit after the challenge, his cholesterol had dropped to 155.

Leslie B. “I’ve never done a challenge before (social or otherwise) and from the onset, realized that I was aiming for perfection. From the very first day, I said goodbye to my beloved Hail Merry’s, Hu Kitchen baked treats & Vegan biscotti that were as addictive as they were delicious, and quickly adapted to a whole food routine. I started with oatmeal, which was filling and delicious – but something I had avoided prior to this challenge due to my past addictive experiences. The weirdest thing happened though…without the sugar… with all the vegetables and real, non-processed, not manipulated ingredients… I felt full and not deprived. My sugar cravings were satisfied with berries, grapes and bananas, and I immediately noticed a difference in my head. Really liked going to classes consistently and enjoyed trying Yoga and Sculpt so I could save rest days for the weekend when I am generally working or out of the city. Plan to continue this routine of 5 on, 2 off. I think that this challenge made me really think about what I’m eating, when I’m eating (triggers, satiation, etc.). I feel so much better and have finally started my weight loss in the right direction – I’m down 12.5 pounds since we started on May 1.THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!

Amoy B. “Thank you so much for conducting this nutrition challenge. I feel like I’ve developed a healthier relationship with food from this challenge. 8 weeks was long enough to make some lifestyle changes but short enough that it didn’t take over my summer. The challenge helped me identify the times I’ve been hungry vs when I just wanted to eat…I lost 14lb during the challenge. I was surprised because I didn’t count calories or feel hungry.”

There you have it! Interested is improving your nutrition habits and learning more about yourself? Keep an eye out for our next nutrition challenge, or drop me a line to get started today!

Hayden-William Courtland, Ph.D., CSCS, Pn1
Senior Coach, SOLACE New York