From September 8-September 28, I participated in Laura Peifer’s 21 Day Reset. She offered me the opportunity to participate for free in exchange for discussing my experience on my blog. In addition to the food reset that I did with her, I signed up for the unlimited package at the local Pure Barre studio. Because I was “attacking” from two fronts, I’m not sure which program caused every change, but I know I benefited from the combination.
The 21 Day challenge included:
- A whole foods challenge to cleanse your body, mind and spirit
- New, seasonal meal plans to energize and lighten you, while releasing stored toxins
- Learning the 6 foods that can mess with your metabolism
- Group support and tips to keep you motivated and committed
- Opportunities to share our challenges and work on more positive messages to ourselves
Laura’s program offered menus and daily emails. I’ll be the first to admit that my crazy September did not allow me to make the most of the program. I made very few of the meals, but did lean heavily on her suggestions and emails. I (mostly) gave up dairy, wheat, sugar, and processed foods. I say mostly because Ragnar fell in there and we all know what I ate then didn’t follow ANY healthy eating guidelines.
Here’s what I discovered from this challenge:
- I am definitely sensitive to dairy. This really does not surprise me as both of my boys had issues with dairy as babies.
- Wheat makes me bloaty if I eat too much.
- Sugar is a trigger food for me (as is any type of bread.)
- I need to plan more as my inclination every day was to reach for handfuls of nuts and slices of cheese. Not eating cheese was perhaps the hardest thing for me.
- Almond milk is a decent replacement for milk in my coffee and it’s a change I can live with.
In the end, I lost 5 pounds (which unfortunately leaves me with at least 5 more to go) and had more energy and just felt better in general, despite totally failing at getting extra sleep.
Here are some of the food options that I’ll be keeping going forward:
1. Oatmeal – I started making it with a chunk of cooked sweet potato, half a banana, and a small spoonful of almond butter. Sweet, yummy, super filling, and it helped provide the carbs my body craves for running.
2. Salads with fruit and homemade dressings – I love salad and I found that adding a bit of whatever fruit needs using + a tasty vinaigrette made me not miss the blue cheese or ranch dressings that I love.
3. Stuffed peppers without cheese and with quinoa – I make stuffed peppers at least every other week. I was afraid that removing the cheese would make them less enjoyable. Nope. I just upped the salsa to give it more flavor. When I was feeling wild and crazy, I sprinkled on some nutritional yeast to give it a slightly cheesy flavor.
Now let’s talk Pure Barre.
I managed to go to 8 classes in 3 weeks. I never got tired of the classes (and actually liked the “routine” of it.) Each class was basically the same, but with changes in exactly how we hit each muscle. I saw the most improvement in my core strength as I went from barely able to plank to being able to do their entire plank series. In fact, in my last class, I made it through every single exercise without a break. So, even though I see very little in the way of outward changes to my body, I did get stronger.
So, here’s why I’m done. The main concern is financial. The cost doesn’t get below $20 per class until you buy at least 15 classes and the unlimited monthly option is $250. (To compare, Revolve offers a single ride for $15 and unlimited monthly rides for $100. The closest yoga studio to me is $20 for a single class and prices go down from there. A no-commitment, unlimited month is $165.) For a class that uses very little in the way of equipment and crams the room full, I find the price too high.
My other concern applies to basically every class I could take – when you add in commute time and trying to work with the specific class times, it just takes too much out of my day. I can often cram a 4-6 mile run in between meetings or right before I pick up the boys or after Beer Geek gets home. To take an hour long class, it takes at least an hour and a half out of my day and I have to block that time on my calendar. Hence the reason I’m not even using my last week. I have too many commitments this week that prevent me from making their specific class times. And I really could not run on the same day as the class as I just don’t have that much time in my day, which means I barely ran in September other than Ragnar.
Short story? I like the workout and will probably buy a DVD, but I’m unlikely to go back to the studio.
Did you make any big changes in September? How did they pan out for you? I’ll be continuing to keep dairy and wheat out of my diet and will be continuing to add some form of cross training to my weeks while at the same time getting back to running.
Disclaimer: Laura allowed me to participate free of charge and I paid the “new client” unlimited price at Pure Barre. All opinions are my own