You guys know I LOVE to do food/fitness challenges. It’s my competitive nature. I can’t compete against others or else I make enemies. Even my son doesn’t like to play games with me. I’m the only one who enjoys it when I win…
Anyway, I think this is why I like food challenges so much. I’m only competing against myself. So far I’ve told you about the Whole 30 (click here for link), Carb Cycling (click here for link), and the 21-Day Sugar Detox (click here for link). Each of them had their advantages, but now I’m going to share my FAVORITE with you. I like this challenge so much, I’ve done it 4 times. And the good news is, another one starts January 2, which will be my 5th. Now that I have you all dying to know what I’m talking about, I’ll tell you.
The 21 Day Superhero Challenge from Emily Schromm (click for link) is 21 days of healthy eating, workouts, support and education. I like it best because it’s all encompassing. Rather than just giving eating guidelines, this challenge requires you get at least 10 minutes of activity in each day.
The program is basically a paleo eating style, but allows for dairy and legumes. Every other day, Emily sends a video of that day’s workout (which you can do or choose to do one of your own). These workouts include high intensity interval training, awesome stretches and strength training, so they really cover everything. The days she doesn’t send a workout, she sends an educational video that talks about everything from gut health, to why we need fat, to skin products, and supplements.
The challenge also requires participants to drink water, get outside, take fish oil and check in with a buddy to keep you accountable and motivated. There are even great giveaways throughout. It’s a whole-body, whole-life challenge, which I love.
It’s also live. While you could save the videos and go back and do the challenge anytime you want, these challenges have set start dates with live support. Plus, she does them multiple times a year so there is always one coming up.
I also like that you don’t have to start over if you screw up. So many of these detox challenges call the whole thing moot if you accidentally eat a cracker when you’re making lunch for your kids (not that I’ve ever done that….). With this challenge, you log points each day so if you make a mistake, you lose that point, but you don’t have to start from square one.
One of the best parts is, it’s only $21. For $21 you can’t go wrong. If you hate it, you haven’t spent hundreds of dollars on a workout plan. If you love it, you’ve just scored a sweet deal.
Now that I’ve given an overview, let me tell you about my experience.
I did my first challenge around the new year of 2016. I’d just come off of some serious holiday bingeing and kind of felt like crap. I went into this full-on, and it was totally the reset I needed. That was when I realized I felt better eating a strict paleo diet (which she doesn’t require and isn’t for everyone, but it worked for me). Plus I learned why this made me feel better. I kept thinking certain grains weren’t hurting my joints, but realized eating rice inflamed my already-injured knee, which made it hard to walk, run, lift or walk up the stairs.
The daily support was really motivational for me. I watched the videos either from my TV or my phone, but they were just the boost I needed. I’m kind of a geek so the educational videos were my favorite.
I also really liked logging points. As I said before, I’m kind of competitive, so being able to log and compare points kind of gave me a rush. I liked it though because there were people with a perfect score and some with a… not-so-perfect score. It didn’t matter. There wasn’t a first place trophy. It was just a very supportive environment.
Usually when a challenge ends I’m excited to not have to be so strict. But this plan gave enough leeway (allowed stevia and honey), that I didn’t want it to end. I LOVED the videos and support. But like I said, she does this multiple times a year. I didn’t do any summer challenges because we traveled a lot and I wanted my ice cream and churros dang it! But this really fit into my daily living. She includes meal plans which you can use or just use the guidelines. I really liked this freedom but also liked that I had a guideline if I didn’t feel like coming up with something.
My favorite thing about his challenge was that it was a whole-life challenge. Not only did I eat healthy and exercise but I learned about why food affected me certain ways and new ideas to improve my life. It also focused on body image and not beating ourselves up, which most of us need to hear.
So… January 2, 2017. Whose with me?!