Category: Whole 30 Diet

Living with Hashimoto’s: The Next Phase

It’s hard to believe that we’re in March already. I’m thankful for that. I hate January. And, I’m not too fond of February either. The whole thing February has going for it is that it lingers around for only 28 days or so.

I just hate the winter months. I hate the winter blues. I hate the snow. So much hate. You’d almost think I’m one extra winter month away from joining the Dark Side. Thankfully not. December manages to warm my soul with Christmas.

Anyways, I’m plugging a long with my Hashimoto’s Disease.

Just a short recap of this journey — I was diagnosed back in late November, lived in denial of the diagnosis in December, came to terms with it in January by going gluten and dairy free and then went somewhat militant in February with the diet.

I did an elimination diet and hyper focused my food to a list of 33 things. For the most part I did really well with it. I won’t lie — I didn’t stick to it 100% during February. When I was in Las Vegas I ate foods that weren’t on my list — but, I was 90% gluten-free and dairy-free during the trip (there were a couple times when I ordered food that I forgot to be UBER specific about no dairy or gluten … luckily, I didn’t get too sick, though I felt it).

Anyways — I feel good about the progress I made this past month. It was tough eliminating many of the foods I love and enjoy — namely eggs and bananas. But, I stocked up on plenty of steak and sweet potatoes which I will always love.

Oh, and avocados.

Basically, there was still plenty of food to love and enjoy.

Now that my 33 days are over I have been reassessing my diet. I plan on adding back bananas and eggs slowly and less frequently. But, also being deliberate of when I eat them. Basically, I plan on focusing on eating bananas and most fruits around my workouts and runs to help give me a natural boost so I am not as dependent on caffeine or energy boosters (ie-5 Hour Energy, Preworkout, etc).

As you can see below I have made another list of 33 foods. I like this idea of 33 foods and focusing on them for the next 33 days. Because I know if I stick to those foods I’ll feel good, have the needed energy and stamina for my workouts and runs.

That’s the beauty of this list. If I defer from it — I feel it. That’s both a motivation and fear. A good fear though. Because, I want to feel 100%. I want to lose weight. I want to feel “normal” again.

And, I have felt a difference the past month. I had more energy during a lot of my long runs and races, especially during my ultra. I feel faster. I feel slimmer. And, I feel the difference in my clothes too. I love the feeling.

But, with the progress I’ve made, I have made a few changes I felt during my last month. Stuff, I am either eliminating or adding — because I want to see how my body reacts or acts with it back or in my diet.

For instance, I am swapping out the rice for brown rice. If I am going to eat rice I might as well get some more nutritional benefit from it, right? I am also adding Daiya — or vegan cheese — well, dairy-free cheese on the list. I need that on the list. Sure, it’s processed and I want to keep the food as non-processed as possible, But, I need some semblance to cheese.

Anyways — check out the list below.

In addition to the food list, I am also being more specific on my eating schedule. I’ve been reading a lot lately on intermittent fasting and I am adding that into my diet. No, it’s not an everyday thing, but it’s something I am planning on doing three times a week — Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

Basically, I won’t eat or drink calories until 2pm those days. Water, yes. But, no food. This was something I tried doing last fall, but after my diagnosis I just kinda stopped doing it. But, I really like the idea and science behind — especially with how it is suppose to help rev up the metabolism.

There are a number of differing intermittent dieting methods and the one I will be doing is based off the Bulletproof Diet. But, unlike the diet, I am not doing it everyday. I am doing this for a couple of reasons — I hate jumping straight into a strict diet (because I hate the ‘all or nothing’ mentality) and I am planning on exercising in the mornings that I do eat before 2pm. I fear not giving myself enough calories on those days.

In 33 days if I feel better on my fast days — then maybe — MAYBE — I will look into doing more fast days during the week? But, we’ll see after I assess everything next month.

Oh, you will notice I do have one ‘FREE CHOICE’ on the 33 list. That’s basically one dairy and gluten-free food of my choice that I can have — regardless of whether it is on my list or not.

BUT

And, it’s a big but. It’s not something I can freely choose each day. It’s a once a week choice. So, this could be dairy-free sherbet, a Slurpee, a slice of gluten-free banana or whatever tickles my fancy. But, it’s one serving and once a week, that I will consume around my weekend races and long runs.

You might be throwing some shade at that choice and I get that. But, I need some variance. And, I do much better on diet and food plans when there is some kind of variance. Plus, I made up this diet regime — so I am kinda making the rules as we go here.

So, if you are going to judge me, please judge me more on my inability to properly match my shirts and pants. Because that is probably the biggest problem I have with my life at this very moment.

Anyways, here is the food list and my workout routine for the next 33 days …

(CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Anyways — if you have questions or suggestions — I am always open to them. This journey is still very much brand new to me and while there is a guideline on what works for people in my same shoes — everyone doesn’t fit in my shoes.

So a lot of this is trail and error, success and failure and everything in between.

Fun stuff.

Keeping it all in the family …

I’ve been slowly getting a hang of this Hashimoto’s “thing” as of late. Transitioning into the new diet has been a work in progress. My doctor gave me a list of foods I should avoid and eat after my diagnosis. A good chunk of that list was avoiding gluten and dairy products.

And, I won’t lie — that’s been the hardest part. Actually, not so much gluten — because there are some pretty good gluten-free options these days. But, dairy free? Tough, tough, tough. It actually amazes me how many things do contain dairy in them — milk, cheese, butter, etc.

I can live without milk. Butter? Sure, if I have to. But, cheese? Um, yeaaaaah … I swear I’m comprised of like at least a quarter cheese. Living in a family full of Greeks, I grew up with a constant supply of Feta in our fridge. Then there’s my love of nachos and pizza — which consists of cheese. I feel like at times I could give Liz Lemon a run for her money on night cheese.

Needless to say, I love cheese.

I love it.

So when I went hunting for pizza last weekend, I found a gluten-free option WITH vegan cheese. I’d like to say it was good. But, yeah, not a fan. Which totally breaks my heart. Because pizza is my soulmate — and I feel like we’re losing that loving feeling.

But, that’s what I have been trying to focus on the past couple of weeks — just trying out foods that work for my diet and hopefully finding something I like. I was tempted to jump right back into a Whole30 or autoimmune diet, but if I’ve learned anything about dieting in the past — you’ve got to ease yourself into it.

So that’s what I’ve been doing for the past month.

But, this past week my sister and mom were officially diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease as well. They’re going to a specialist that they’re paying a pretty penny for, who’s giving them a specialized diet to follow. It starts with a month long autoimmune reset diet that slowly adds back certain foods. The idea is to reset and then listen to your body and what helps or damages it.

Though I was planning on transitioning into my own autoimmune diet plan I found online — but, out of curiosity and intrigue I am planning on following their diet plan. Granted it’s not specific to me, but it’s pretty basic and easy to follow across the board.

The best way to describe the diet is a mixture of Whole30 — but a bit more strict. It cuts out your gluten, dairy, sugar, grains, a good portion of your high glycemic foods, eggs, nuts and pretty much every processed food you’d be tempted to eat. And, the focus in on whole unprocessed foods — veggies, low glycemic fruit — and even coconut products like coconut butter, yogurt and milk.

It’s legit.

After four weeks of this diet you then slowly add back in foods like eggs, certain fruits, grains and some nuts — basically going into an autoimmune diet plan (one that resembles what I was planning on originally doing). The idea is to figure out what the body is reacting to negatively and to also help correct a leaky gut — something that is apparently correlated with Hashimoto’s?

I’m not a doctor so don’t ask me what that correlation is. When my mom was explaining this, I just smiled and nodded my head like I understood.

Anyways, I could go straight into the autoimmune diet, but I want to try this “reset diet” for a couple reasons. One, it wouldn’t hurt. And, two, I’d like to help support my mom and sister in doing it within them. There’s strength in numbers, right?

I am excited for my sister to be doing this. She’s had difficult struggles with her thyroid over the years — through weight and pregnancies. It’s taken a toll on her and I can see that excitement of hope on her face that there is a solution to these problems she’s had. Something I can totally relate to.

I will blog a bit more about the diet next week. I might post the list of approved and unapproved foods. But, I will also be posting the autoimmune diet plan I am using once I go through these next four weeks.

Just cutting out what I have so far has made a difference to my energy levels as of late. My energy is not all over the place. I don’t have crashes as much as I used to. And, it’s been easier waking up in the morning for me.

But, what excites me about that — is that it will get better in time. Especially as I really zone in on the diet and specific foods. I can’t be any more optimistic about the future and what this year will hold in regards to my health, running and overall self.

Running around in circles — with a bunch of my friends

After a week of being sick and feeling like crap — I was looking forward to this past Saturday. I needed this run. I needed these miles. I felt like a bum the whole week, so I needed a little redemption — and I feel like I got it.

A couple weeks ago after running the Resolution Run, Jill and I decided that we needed another indoor run. Mainly for two reasons — one, it was inside away from the snow — and, two, it was primo training for the Jackpot Running Festival — which is a looped course. While miles are important to the training, what kind of miles are of even more importance. And track training miles are just perfect for this kind of race.

I won’t lie — track miles, just like treadmill miles, don’t thrill me much. I would much rather be running down a canyon or along some trail. But, during the winter you won’t often (if ever) find me outside in the cold doing looooong miles. Last week’s half marathon nearly killed me and I just don’t find running in the cold “FUN” — I just don’t.

Plus, I’ve fallen on the ice and snow too many times to know that me, my running shoes and the outside aren’t a recipe for success, fun or productivity. So the treadmill and/or indoor track are my ‘go to’s’ for running in the winter. Plus, I can watch Netflix while running on the treadmill — so there’s that.

Anyways — enough about my hatred of winter running.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

Knowing I had some long miles to do this week, Jill and I decided to run the Utah Olympic Oval. So, we decided to invite a bunch of our running friends (to make it more bearable) and just crank out the miles.

I wanted to crank out 20-25 miles for the day, but I wasn’t sure what my body was capable of after a week of being sick. But, my ultra training isn’t about the miles — it’s more about time on my feet. I’m never going to win an ultra race or even place — so why worry so much about pace and miles? Especially, when my goal is to simply just finish?

So my focus in training has been time on my feet.

There could be arguments of the contrary, but I figured it’s gotten me where I want to go — it’s working just fine. Especially considering that I cut like a half hour off my 50K time at the Antelope Island 50K from 2015 to 2016.

I didn’t know how long I was going to be on my feet on Saturday, but I knew I wanted to be on my feet for at least six hours and run at least 20 miles. So, I decided to get to the Oval when it opened the track at 6am, so I could be done around noon. The idea was to get six hours of running in or until I got to 20 miles.

I didn’t get running until 6:15am after prepping myself up. I started off a bit apprehensively, because I forgot two of the most important things to my running — my surgical tape for my “moobs” and my BodyGlide for my thighs. I knew I was going to be in trouble, because chaffing is not kind to me. And, it wasn’t once again on Saturday — especially when I hopped in the shower.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

As I started running around the track some of my friends started joining me and the others on the track — Robert, Mary, Susette, Brain, the Gabicas and so forth. It started to turn into one big party. My favorite kind of running.

I ran a few laps with Robert — and talked about his ultra training. He’s running his first 100 miler in March on Antelope Island. A distance that amazes and frightens me. As daunting as my 50 miler was for me, I can’t imagine doubling that distance, because it’s not simply like you’re doubling your efforts in training, running and prep.

I also took a number of laps with Jill and then Susette as she was pushing Jill’s kids in a running stroller. It was fun to catch up with Susette. We’ve been friends for almost five years now, but our running kind of split after she started running more and more ultras — including 100 milers.

Then around 9-9:30, Jim joined in on the fun and did most of the last of the laps with me. I was glad to have Jim there, because my legs were starting to feel pretty heavy. The first three hours of running I was doing 2:1 (running: walking) sets. I felt good for the most of it, but honestly, I should have do 2:1, 1:1, 2:1, 1:1, etc., etc., etc. sets like I had at the Resolution Run a few weeks before. I came out too fast and strong and it started wearing me out earlier than I wanted.

The last three hours were pretty tough, but I knew I could fight through it. My legs were feeling heavy and then I started feeling my chaffed thighs cheering — and killing — me on. But, I knew I could and would do this. It really was just a matter of mind over matter. That’s all ultrarunning is, is just training your mind to be tougher than your legs.

A photo posted by (phat) josh (@fit.phat) on

Having Jim there was great, because we can talk — and do talk — about anything. That’s one of the reasons why he is a co-host on The Runcast. We talked about everything from his new Hoka OneOne shoes, the Los Angeles Chargers, how much I hate the LA Dodgers, Jim’s sexy radio voice and how much we want to learn how to ride a Zamboni.

His divergent presence was a godsend.

As I approached the six hour mark I wasn’t at my 20 miles yet. I was about two miles or less from the mark. I was tempted to almost call it good, but I couldn’t do it. Most of the other runners were gone — including Jill and Susette. Robert was still there but stayed to take pictures and get a few last laps around the track. So, it was just me and Jim.

But, I kept going. I had to get that 20.

So I cranked them out.

It wasn’t pretty, but it took me about another 20-25 minutes, but I cranked them out. And, before I knew it. I was done.

20 miles. Done.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

After such a crappy week of feeling like crap, I felt extremely happy to be done with the miles. The feet were sore, my thighs and nipples were in agony and my legs were achy, but I did it. And, that pride makes up for all of that pain. Especially knowing that I was one week closer to Jackpot. And, that’s what counts.

I have one more six hour run to do on February 4th and once again — I’ll be back at the Oval with Jill. And, of course, friends are invited as well. I even started a Facebook event for the occasion. And, if you’re wondering — yes, you’re invited. Just RSVP or plan on coming! I’d love the company.

One more month until Jackpot! WOOHOO!



RUNNING MILES

32.00 miles

RACE MILES

13.1 miles

WALKING MILES

34.62 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

79.22 miles



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Figuring this Hashimoto’s thing out …

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks for me. Besides figuring out this whole Hashimoto’s Disease out — I’ve been dealing with a beastly bout of bronchitis. I feel lucky it hasn’t been the flu, but that hasn’t stopped the fatigue of restless nights from coughing up a lung and a half.

I thought I was turning a corner after sleeping most all day on Sunday, but I ended up coughing all night Monday night and skipped work. It’s been frustrating, because I’ve wanted to get into a good rhythm with my workouts and runs. But, I don’t have the stamina or lungs for it — yet. And, I just need to be patient.

But, while I’m somewhat impatient to get back into my groove — I’ve really been focused on the adoption of my gluten and dairy free diet. It’s been tough. I won’t lie. I haven’t been as aware of labels and food content under any diet. But, this isn’t just a diet — this is my new lifestyle.

I wouldn’t say I have a specific diet down at this moment. To be honest with you I’m kind of trying things out to see what works best for me. I’ve been trying gluten-free breads and other foods to kind of see what I like. And, I won’t lie — not a huge fan of gluten-free bread — or at least what I’ve tried.

I’ve been sticking to a lot of what I ate while doing Whole 30 — and I think that’s where my focus will be mostly on my diet. Meaning, a lot of salad, steak and sweet potatoes — not to mention fresh fruit and veggies.

But, for now, I really want to see what I like and don’t like within the realm of gluten and dairy free foods.

One of the biggest omissions in this new lifestyle is that of cheese. I love cheese. I love it. And, I miss it. I’ve had some tips on vegan cheese that’s a good substitute. I haven’t tried those yet — but, I am sure I will get around to it. Especially when it comes to nachos.

Anyways — this is transition isn’t easy,

But, this week being sick and not able to get a whole blown workout regime in, I’ve had to focus on my diet. Which I think is a blessing in disguise, because focusing on just the food has helped me kind of further — process — what I am going through. Mainly, that this is a new lifestyle and my decision for food need to be precise.

Plus, I need to find that rhythm that works for me and I think I am getting that down a bit better. Not to mention changing my thought process so I’m not focusing on what I CAN’T eat and what I can or should so I can feel better.

I guess in a way, I’m approaching this like any other race or new distance. I’m starting it in slowly — learning, experimenting and doing — while mentally and physically preparing myself for the long haul. While there is no finish line to all of this, the mentality and approach is the same. This journey just happens to be longer than any race I’ve run before.

Anyways — I’ll keep updating you on all of this throughout the next few weeks and months. But, while my focus has been acclimating myself to the new diet, I’m also focusing on my training and fitness. I’ve got a few looooong runs and races coming up that I want/need to be ready to tackle.

This weekend I am running the Olympic Oval for 5-6 hours, hoping to get in a good 20-25 miles. I have the Jackpot Running Festival in about a month I want to get a couple more looooong runs in before I tackle the 12 hour race. And, since you won’t find me running outside right now with the air and weather — I’m taking it inside.

There is a group of runners meeting tomorrow morning at the Oval at 6am and — well — just running. We’re running circles around the ice sheet. It should be a lot of fun. There is quite a group gathering that should make it fun. It won’t be as big as the New Year’s Run Resolution, but it’ll be a party.

Besides Jackpot, I also have my self-supported 50 miler in March and the Salt Flats 50K in April. So, I’ve got some training to do. And, not that I am getting past this stupid cold and bronchitis — I’m feeling up for the challenge. Not to mention now that I am fueling myself even better.

LET’S DO THIS THING!

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Coming to terms with Hashimoto’s

Hello moto.

Okay, that’s a pretty lame way to open a blog post, but I’ve had that stuck in my head for WEEKS. Not only because of the stupid commercials, because I’m constantly reminded every time I say, type, mention or research Hashimoto’s Disease.

Anyways — if I haven’t told you now then you should know now — I have Hashimoto’s Disease. After a couple years — well, probably more like 2.5 – 3 years — of trying to figure out what was going on with my thyroid. We finally figured it out. It’s Hashimoto’s (okay at this point I think I just like to type it?).

It explains a lot. The unresponsive medication. The weight-gain. The fatigue. The lack of endurance. The lameness of it all. But, when I did three months of Whole30 and followed a paleo diet — a lot of those issues were minimized. Because of the elimination of gluten, dairy and a lot of added sugar.

Hashimoto’s and gluten intolerance go hand in hand — among a couple other issues. And, it just all makes sense right now — looking back at it all.

So, here I am.

And, you know what? It kind of sucks. A lot.

When I was first diagnosed with hypothyroidism all I had to do was pop a pill, do some moderate exercise and watch what I ate to see results. You really can’t do that with Hashimoto’s — it’s a complete lifestyle change. A fairly strict diet on top of the pills and exercise so you can see results.

And, this runs in the family too. My Mom and sister have Hashimoto’s — and I am sure my other sister probably has it or will have it eventually. That’s what you get when you have generations of relatives with thyroid problems — I mean, my great grandma died from thyroid cancer, so it’s something that shouldn’t be taken lightly in our family.

I won’t lie — I am bummed about the news, because I wish it could be as easy as popping a pill with little maintenance needed. But, it isn’t. And, while I know I can live and maintain a paleo diet — it just feel restrictive KNOWING my body can’t or shouldn’t deviate from that.

And, it’s not like I eat crappy 24/7. I’m not eating Big Macs and Ding Dongs every day or every week. And, in fact, I can’t even remember when the last time I had a Big Mac was? So — there’s that. I live by a 80/20 diet — and I am not sure now how that’s going to fit into everything?

If it sounds like I am kind of whining about this all — I guess I am?

It just sucks.

But, I’ve had a couple of weeks to let myself throw a pity party. I’ve been enjoying things I know I’m cutting out of the diet. Namely bread — and dairy. I mean — I love bread — and that’s going to be REALLY hard to let go of. Sure there’s gluten-free bread, but I’ve tried it already and — um — no. There’s no point in me eating a slice of toasted sadness for breakfast every morning. If I’m eating bread — it’s going to have gluten in it.

I’ve been researching and reading up on a lot of studies and diets for people with Hashimoto’s. It’s pretty much a paleo based diet that’s recommended by most. I don’t mind paleo — so it shouldn’t be that tough of adjustment.

But, besides following paleo — there are also certain foods that are recommended for me to eat to aid in the Hashimoto’s. Everything from grapefruit to iodine salt to Vitamin D enriched foods to copious amounts of veggies. You get the picture.

I am going to blog a bit more about all those particulars later. But, the point and focus this week to get everything in line and a regime in order. I’ve already started following a diet — as I slowly eliminate gluten — because I know that’s the hardest thing for me to give up. But, I am giving myself until Saturday to do that.

Slowly, but surely.

Anyways, I’m coming to terms with what this all entails. And, while I might be slightly depressed about it — now I know how to TRULY fuel my body. And, I have no doubt that over time — I’ll get to where I want to be with my fitness and health.

That’s what’s exciting.

That’s what I have to remember.

So no more moping around and feeling bad bout myself. It is what is. So, here it goes …

#Hypothyroidism runs in my family. So that’s why it’s surprising it took me until 2008 to finally get diagnosed. I think part of the problem was my physician didn’t believe me, because … 1) I was just #fat, 2) I was a guy and 3) I was just a fat guy. I mean, she was right there. I was pushing 400lbs when I finally got diagnosed. Hypothyroidism isn’t just a “woman’s problem.” I’m a good case in point. It’s been an issue even since I’ve been on medication. And, that’s what has lead to the discovery I suffer from #HashimotosDisease. A condition that my mom and sister were recently diagnosed with as well. I’m hoping to reverse the affects through my diet. I’ve lost a lot of my running speed the past couple of years — and I’d like that back. I want my energy levels back. I want my mojo back. And, as frustrating as it’s been to see it gone — I know it’s also coming back. I just gotta take it — step by step.

A photo posted by (phat) josh (@fit.phat) on

Tis’ be Christmastime …

It’s been a while since I’ve consistently written here on the bloggy blog, but I am starting to get back to it. Well, not fully until the first of the year. But, I am planning on keeping up with my mileage updates. So, this is more of a report on mileage than anything else.

This past week I’ve focused on ramping up my miles. Not dramatically, but I’ve been doing a couple miles each day on the treadmill. And, it’s made a big difference in my energy levels.

Everything has gone well, except on Thursday I threw my back out which made working out tough. I still did my miles, but I walked them instead of running them. I’ve been having back problems lately and I hate it. More of a sign of my age than anything. So I have been focusing on stretching and pain pads.

I should be fine.

My focus is just building up the miles and preparing myself for my ultras in February and April. Not to mention my 50 miler from SLC to Provo in March.

Plus, I need to focus on my diet. Not just keeping on track diet wise during the holidays, but more so focusing on my thyroid diet. Meaning, cutting out the gluten, dairy and added sugar. Basically, back to a paleo strict diet.

But, I am going in for a few tests next week for my thyroid, because there is speculation I might have Hashimoto’s disease. And, if that’s the case — cutting out gluten and dairy would be crucial to diet success. Success I found with the Whole 30 this past summer.

I’ll be blogging a bit more about that later this week or in the hear future. Especially once I find out what’s going on with my body.

But, this being the week of Christmas — MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I’ll blog more later!


A movie so nice, I ended up seeing it twice. #rogueone #classicmovieticketphoto

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on


RUNNING MILES

276.45 miles

RACE MILES

400.05 miles

WALKING MILES

1473.1 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

2149.6 miles

MILES TO GOAL

517.4 miles


A photo posted by The Runcast (@theruncast) on

Post-Whole30: Paleo 80/20

It’s been over a week since I ended my three-month Whole30 journey. I was hoping to jump right into the next stage, but I put that on pause while I was fighting a cold. It seemed a bit foolish to start it 100% when I was sucking on Gatorade, cough drops and chicken soup. Not really what I was planning with my post-Whole30 regime.

Don’t worry, I didn’t go completely off the wagon this past week. I obviously had a free day on my birthday — cake included. And, for the most part I stuck to my Whole30 regime this past week. I had to force my liquids with this stupid cold. Especially during Saturday’s run down Big Cottonwood Canyon. Something in retrospect I probably shouldn’t have done.

Meh.

Needless to say, I wasn’t following the Whole30 strict regime. I added some whole grains and lentils back in my diet along with trace amounts of cheese. And, I did have a post-run Slurpee on Saturday. All of these are BIG no nos for the Whole30 program. But, I kept away from the candy and most refined sugars — I just don’t want to go back there, at all.

But, in moving forward from the Whole30 regime — I am planning on following a lot of the same rules … with some adaptation. In looking over the Whole30 program and what’s worked for me in the past, I came up with a program that I am going to try for the next month. Again, I was going to start this August 16th, but due to my cold I decided to start when I was at least 85% better.

Which today seems like a good day to start. Actually, any day is a good day — except for Mondays. I don’t start diets on Monday. It’s too cliche. I didn’t start my fitness journey on a Monday — it was actually a Thursday. So why wait, right? But, that’s a post for another day.

So the plan for the next month is fairly simple. I’m sticking to the Whole30 diet with a 80/20 mentality. While working on the diet plans — I called the diet Whole24/6, but really it’s just following an 80/20 paleo diet — if you want to get technical. So, I guess we’ll call this the Paleo 80/20 diet?

Regardless of what you call it, here are the basic rules …

1) Follow the basic rules Whole30 for 80% of my meals throughout the week (this breaks down to 32 meals throughout one week).
2) Get eight “exception meals” throughout the week (that’s 20% of my weekly meals)
3) Refrain from gluten and dairy throughout the program — including exception meals (during Whole30 I discovered these are triggers to my thyroid).
4) Run three times a week.
5) Do weight-training 2-3 times a week.
6) Weigh-in every 30 days.

The rules are fairly basic and straightforward. And, that’s by design. That’s one thing about the Whole30 that I loved and appreciated. It’s not easy, but it’s simple to follow.

The only “complicated” feature of my program is the “exception meal.” And, it’s something that I’ve been grappling with for the past few weeks. Mainly, what constitutes an “exception meal” and how do you regulate that?

So I came up with with a fairly simple point system. Each week (beginning on Monday) I am given eight points, which represent the right free meals I get each week. I get to use these points however I choose throughout the week.

Now each point equals one exception to the Whole30 program. Meaning — anything on that no eat list is one exception. So this would be dairy, cheese, gluten, bread, pasta, smoothies, beans, processed food, refined sugar, added sugar, honey, sweetener, etc., etc., etc. You know the rules.

So this means — if I want something that has beans in it … that’s one point. If I want to add cheese to that dish that’s another exception point. So that meal constitutes two exception points. Now, this doesn’t mean I can eat as many beans or cheese in that dish as I want. Each exception point is ONE serving that exception. So if I want more cheese — that’s another exception point I would have to use.

Now, if I want to use those exception points daily I could do that or I could save it up for a bigger meal during the week. But, it will take planning. If I want nachos — I gotta plan for that. Especially if that means I sacrifice exception meals during the week. The decision is up to me.

See how the exception points are somewhat complicated — yet easy?

The goal with the exception points is to keep me honest, accountable and cognisant with what I am eating. As much as I loved and succeeded with Whole30, I don’t feel like it’s a long term solution. There has to be variance, there has to be wiggle room.

I’ve read a number of studies and reports that show an 80/20 approach to dieting and health makes for better long term success. And, from my experience I agree. This system I believe will give me that approach with great accountability. I respond well these approaches to my health.

This is for everyone? Of course not. Does it make a paleo based diet easier? I would hope so. I see a lot of value in following a paleo based diet. You can’t beat real food. As delicious as a big ‘ol fatty burger with fries is, nothing beats following a habitual diet of real food. Not only do you appreciate those burger and fries more, but often than not — you really don’t crave them as much either.

I can’t tell you how much I love my daily doses of fresh fruit — bananas, grapes and apples — along with veggie-filled omelets or salads. That’s the food I crave. I am not looking to replace those with this system. But, at the same time, I want to be able to enjoy the occasional Slurpee without feeling like I’ve busted the diet to kingdom come either.

There’s a balance to all of this and I am excited to see how my body reacts to this all. I guess you could say I am my own guinea pig to this program? No better person to do that than myself, right?

So here goes nothing!

NOTE: I will continue to check in every Friday of my progress. But, I won’t be weighing in next until September 23rd (30 days from now). We’ll see how this goes!


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One perk of working at the University of Utah is that they have a number of professional development and fitness classes that they offer for fairly cheap. I’ve been working here full-time now for four years and, sadly, haven’t taken advantage of any of these classes — until now.

With the start of the semester this week, I decided to change that. Since it’s been hard for me to get to my gym before or after work (last class is at 6pm) because of the bus schedule, I decided to workout here on campus. Well, I should say — I signed up for a class here on campus.

I enrolled in a strength training class that goes from 5:25pm to 6:30pm on Monday and Wednesday nights. Which gives me enough time to catch the last bus of the day at 7pm. Not a bad deal.

I had a couple of options for classes, but I chose to go with strength training, mainly because — that’s probably my biggest need fitness wise right now. I’ve been doing circuit training with lighter weights, but I need to lift heavier. My body not only needs it, but it craves it. My arms are a bit squishy and rival those of half of my ward’s Relief Society. Yeah, I went there.

Anyways — the class starts tonight and runs until the first week of December. Depending on how this all goes I want to continue to do this, because each fitness class is only $50 a semester. Not bad at all.

So as of right now my workout schedule for the week looks something like this …

MON. — Strength Training
TUES. — AM Circuit Training / PM Tempo/Recovery Run
WED. — Strength Training
THURS. — AM Circuit Training / PM Tempo Run
FRI. — Rest Day
SAT. — Long Run: Training or Race

Not a bad schedule. I am excited to see the results each month and during on the last day of class. Suns out, guns out — right?


REMAINING 2016 RACES

129 - Run Elevated Half Marathon 130 - Revel Big Cottonwood Marathon 131 - huntsville marathon 132 - st george marathon 133 - park city red rock relay 134 - pony express trail 50 135 - haunted half provo 136- snow canyon half marathon 137 - thankful 13 138 - resolution run


A photo posted by Runcast USA™ (@runcastusa) on