Nutrition Plan Versus Lifestyle

Here is the third in a series of guest posts from one of our earliest followers.  Kent is still struggling but getting closer to mastering the benefits of an April food challenge.  The first posts in the series are here and here.  You can follow him @klassman or read about his training at

The Whole30 Challenge is not getting easier, but the difficulty has evolved.  I started with nearly a fortnight of crabbiness and a ceaseless headache.  I was hungry until I figured out how much food to eat.

The third week of the challenge has presented new obstacles.  The crabbiness comes and goes but has mostly gone.  I’ve successfully navigated lunches and dinners for work, a party to celebrate a life event for my nephew – complete with all manner of yummy brunch food – and made progress on fitness goals through an aggressive training plan.

fruitA Whole30 Truism: After weeks away from sweeteners, naturally sweet foods like strawberries, pineapple and sweet potatoes taste so much better.  This morning I experienced a blueberry explosion in my mouth.

Another Whole30 Truism: The biggest challenge is not the food.  It is convenience and planning.  Every meal, snack and activity requires forethought.  As a result, I better understand why people talk about paleo nutrition as a lifestyle and not a set of nutrition choices or, heaven forbid, a diet.  Don’t get me wrong, the physiology of grains and dairy and how they are processed is central to the whole plan.  But to actual do the plan; to follow through and live it for 30 days requires a shift in thinking as well as behavior.

After 22 days, the biggest positive impact may be the dog that didn’t bark.  Or, that is to say, the relative clear head, itch-free eyes and nose that didn’t run.  April is cherry blossom season and time for every other tree in Northern Virginia to expel clouds of pollen.  Typically, I’m a mess.  This year I’m doing just fine – in fact, better than fine.

The sugar cravings are becoming less frequent, but they are every bit as strong as they were during that first, dark week of the plan.  After three tries, I’ve not yet figured out how to properly fuel my body for several hours of uninterrupted aerobic activity and suffered a major bonk while out on a run this weekend.

Yet, things are looking up.  There is one week to go, the plan has produced some very nice benefits and I have to think the worst of the downsides are behind me.


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