2010 New Year’s Challenges

Happy new year! I spent the last two weekends of 2009 enjoying savoury breads, baked goodies, and hot chocolate – that was only three weeks ago but it feels like such a distant memory.

I’m really excited to share that I have started on two challenges which I’m hoping will lead to new habits, and a stronger, healthier me.

The first challenge that I’m taking part in is the hypoallergenic diet. For many years, I’ve experienced digestive symptoms in varying degrees from time to time.  My visits to various doctors left me dissatisfied as their suggestions only provided temporary relief from my symptoms.  I started seeing a Naturopath Doctor (ND) in hopes of uncovering what might be the reason behind my seemingly unexplainable agony.  My ND has suggested I go on a Hypoallergenic Diet and I’ve been on it since January 11, 2010.

The second challenge I’m taking part in is through the fitness classes I’m taking with Eva Redpath. I’ve been attending fitness classes with Eva Redpath for one and a half years now. Besides taking classes with Eva, I don’t do any other exercising other than running during spring and summer. I’ve seen results from her classes, but I know I’m capable of doing more, I just haven’t made the time or commitment.

The two challenges are the Hypoallergenic Diet, and the Real Women’s Lifestyle Challenge.

Hypoallergenic Diet

The hypoallergenic diet consists of 2 phases: The first phase gives your digestive system a break from foods that may be aggravating it, the second phase reintroduces the foods excluded in the first phase.

Phase 1:  The elimination phase spans 21 days and eliminates all foods that are common food allergies (foods that may be triggering symptoms or may aggravate the digestive system).

The diet does not allow:

  • gluten, bread
  • tomatoes, corn, mushrooms, peppers, and potatoes
  • bananas, strawberries, citrus fruits, melons, and dried fruits
  • frozen, canned or jarred produce
  • soy
  • dairy
  • egg
  • caffeine
  • refined oils, margarine
  • alcohol
  • certain nuts (peanuts, pistachios, cashews sesame and any salted or flavoured nuts)
  • red meat (pork and beef)
    • It allows some meat – organic lamb, chicken or wild game, and deep water fish
    • I’ve decided to just give up meat and fish altogether to see if I could do without and to further challenge myself.
  • salt (except sea salt)
  • sweeteners (except stevia)

All foods are either raw, steamed, baked, or steam fried. The diet includes all types of spices and fresh organic produce.

As for fluids, filtered water, green teas, herbal teas, rice and nut milks (without carrageenan and sugar-free juices are allowed.

Phase 2:  Reintroducing foods excluded in phase 1 – monitoring reactions and excluding foods I react to until all foods are introduced. After all foods have been introduced, I then reintroduce foods I previously reacted to. If I react again, my consumption of these foods will either be excluded or limited depending on the severity of the reaction.

Real Women’s Lifestyle Challenge

My fitness instructor, Eva Redpath, has challenged her students to take part in a 21 day fitness and nutrition program. Eva picked 21 days for her challenge since it takes 21 days to form a new habit. The challenge includes:

  • No processed food
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • No canned produce
  • Naturally raised meat and fish
  • Portion control
  • Staying hydrated
  • Daily rituals, which among other things includes exercising for 21 minutes or 21 reps.

Why am I doing them at the SAME time?

Either of these challenges would be hard enough on their own, but I’ve decided to do them both at the same time because the Hypoallergenic Diet meets the same diet requirements (more restrictive though) as the Real Women’s Lifestyle Challenge, so I figured I might as well be living a healthy style and exercising while I’m at it. It was interesting timing too as my ND suggested the hypoallergenic diet one day prior to Eva announcing the challenge.

Eva’s challenge has reminded me that at the end of the day, it’s all about ME, and it’s all for ME, and I’m worth it.

At the end of the Real Women’s Lifestyle Challenge, I’ll hopefully have developed a new habit of exercising and eating right that I’ll continue with.

What challenges have you set for yourself in the new year?

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