August Paleo Challenge – Interview with our Winner

Vault Performance & CrossFit 224 will be running our next Paleo challenge in November (don’t worry after Melbourne Cup). Go ahead, join us and take up the challenge and see what results you can achieve and how much better you can feel.
Vault Performance & CrossFit224 recently completed a Paleo challenge for the month of August and everyone that participated achieved amazing results. The winner of the challenge was Mandy Drew – you will see some photos her meals that she posted to the Vault Nutrition Facebook page, as she shared the experience with other members throughout our challenge.
Mandy achieved the following results with a 5.4kg total weight loss over the 30 days:
Arms: lost 3 cms
Chest: lost 2 cms
Waist: lost 6.5 cms
Hips: lost 2 cms
Thighs: lost 0.5 cms
1. What did you most enjoy about the Paleo Challenge?

How good I started to feel only after a few days of cutting out wheat, sugar and dairy.  My energy levels increased and I felt so much more motivated to do other things. With the weight loss during the month and the increase in my energy levels I have also improved my performance during training work outs. Doing it with so many others was very inspiring and helped me keep on track. The encouragement and support I got from others was amazing and kept me on track with the challenge.

2. What is your favourite Paleo dish?

Difficult as I have tried so many new dishes and still have many more to try. I really like the Beef Bourguignon, Chicken Penang Curry, and the Chicken Fajitas.

3. What did you find the most difficult component to change from how you operated previously?

Initially I found the preparation a bit overwhelming. Whilst I’ve always been a person who prepares meals in advance I probably wasn’t use to having to prepare 3 meals a day. I was also experimenting with lots of new dishes. The trick for me is to do enough of a particular recipe where I can get between 2 – 4 meals. Curries and casserole are good as you can split them into portions and freeze if neceesary. Sometimes it’s just about cooking enough for 2 meals and eating the 2nd meal the following day.  I do the same for breakfast. I make a frittata that will last me a few days – it makes it easy.

4. What food did you miss the most and were you able to find a substitute that was almost just as good?

I actually thought I would really miss bread and was surprised that it wasn’t the case. I now make pumpkin bread regularly and think that works just as well. I’ve also made almond bread, although I must say my pumpkin is my favourite (recipe will be posted on Vault Nutrition soon).

5. Did you find it more expensive eating clean? 

Perhaps it was a bit more expensive when I started, there are some products that I did start purchasing or using more of such as coconut oil which is more expensive. I have always bought lots of fresh vegetables from the market and didn’t notice a significant change in the cost of fresh produce. Whilst previously I didn’t buy a great deal of processed food, I did notice over the month that I was buying a lot less than normal at the supermarket.   Regardless of cost it is certainly worth it. You can’t really put a price on your health and well being.

6. Where did you notice the greatest improvement – training, energy, concentration, skin, work ethic, motivation etc

I think all of the above. I’ve cut out dairy and wheat before and I’d forgotten how good you feel when you cut this stuff out of your nutrition. It is so true – you are what you eat!

7. What was your greatest accomplishment?

Proving to myself that I could do this and how easily I did this over the month. It was such a buzz when I actually weighed in and did my girth measurements at the end of the month. I didn’t expect to achieve such great results in such a short period of time. 

8. Will you continue with Paleo post the challenge?

For me the challenge didn’t end in August, Paleo is now my diet and nutrition that I will follow.  

9. What piece of advice would you give those thinking about trying the challenge this November?

If you really care about yourself and your own well being Paleo really is the best nutrition to follow.  You will be amazed as to what changes this will make to your overall energy levels and day to day performance. I know some others who did this with me did find it hard initially, particularly if you are use to eating lots of processed or refined carbs (bread, pasta, rice), but give it a go as throughout the month it gets much easier. One other thing that worked enormously well for me was doing it was so many others. It’s very motivating to be able to share thoughts, recipies and what you’re experiencing with others, so if you are thinking of doing it buddy up with a mate or other friends!
Thanks Mandy – and congratulations again 🙂

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