Let the Whole Life Challenge Begin!

Hi everyone!  You may remember this post I wrote a few weeks ago about the Whole Life Challenge, an 8 week healthy lifestyle challenge that incorporates healthy eating, exercising, water and supplement consumption, stretching, and completing a new lifestyle challenge each week.  If you want more details, go here!  I decided to do it because I’m terrible at eating healthy, stretching every day, drinking enough water, and taking my vitamin D!  I knew I needed more than just a few simple food swaps to make a difference in my crappy diet, so I decided to go all in and sign up for the challenge.  I’m doing the “Lifestyle” level, which is the middle level of food – it’s not too restrictive (not like Whole30 or anything) but is still going to be a big challenge for me.  For a list of foods I can eat, go here.  It started on Saturday, and I already am noticing a few things in my first few days:


I’m tired and I have a headache. This actually might be my new state for the next week as I detox my body from sugar – I’m actually going through withdrawal. I’ve been dreading this part of the challenge ever since I signed up, and I’m still scared of what the next few days has in store for me.

Long runs are going to feel a lot different on the WLC.  I started the challenge on Saturday morning, which was the exact same time that I was scheduled to do a long run with my coworker (who is also doing the challenge with me).  It was ROUGH.  First of all, my pre-run cinnamon oatmeal is super gross without brown sugar, so I made a last minute breakfast change to a banana bread Larabar.  I ate half, then cut up the rest into tiny pieces to eat during our 7ish mile long run instead of my usual Sport Beans.  I was starving right away, and noticed that while the Larabars were super yummy, the nuts made them hard to chew quickly and I couldn’t really notice a boost in energy even though they include tons of natural sugar from the dates.  I’m hoping to experiment with different foods over the next few weeks until I find something that will work for me.

IMG_6615Getting ready for the first long run of the WLC

Food commercials suck.  I need to get better at controlling my drooling during Pizza Hut commercials.  I don’t even like Pizza Hut!  But that cheese though…

Costco is amazing!  I went there on Saturday and found so many awesome bulk food items that I can eat – chicken, sausage, veggies, fruits, coconut flour, seeds, nuts, and eggs.  Our refrigerator is packed full of lots of fresh, yummy stuff.  My favorite item so far is the giant container of Fresh Food Concepts Organic Hummus.  It’s sooooo good with carrots!


Coffee might not be as bad as I thought.  Yeah, PSLs are out of the running for the next 2 months, but it turns out that a little bit of coconut milk (from the can) isn’t too bad in my coffee.  My goal is to eventually be able to drink it black, but we’re taking baby steps here.

You really need to plan out your meals in advance.  I knew I had to do this, but somehow this challenge snuck up on me (maybe because I spent half of last week super sick and recovering from the Klondike Road Relay?) and we were crunched for prep time this weekend.  I thought my husband was going to have a meltdown trying to plan and prep for Sunday night’s dinner (which was italian chicken, cauliflower “mashed potatoes”, and crunchy green beans – so good!).  We’ve got a plan for the rest of the week and hopefully we won’t have any more food meltdowns for a while.


Week one’s lifestyle challenge is meditating for 10 minutes each day, which is interesting because I’ve never tried it before!  During the first week of the WLC I hope to break through this crappy sugar withdrawal phase, learn to meditate, and not get too stressed about cooking.  I’m also hoping to find a pumpkin recipe that I can eat, so send those over here if you have one!

Have you ever done the Whole Life Challenge?  Do you know any recipes that I can make using these foods?  Any tips for meditation?

9 thoughts on “Let the Whole Life Challenge Begin!

    1. It’s pretty awesome! I know I won’t do it on my own so it’s been nice having a “reason” to turn down all the bad foods in my life. I don’t actually miss pizza yet which is huge for me!

  1. Sounds like you are off to a good start! It’s amazing how strong sugar cravings are. I always feel like i need something sweet in the evenings, even when I know I don’t REALLY need anything. For your long runs, you could try making your own version of ‘Gu’ – I know there are recipes out there that include blended dates, honey/maple syrup, etc… You might be able to customize it to fit your needs better 🙂

    1. Thanks for the tips! I can’t have the honey or maple syrup (no added sugars at all except stevia and dates) but I’m hoping to find something that works. I also have those sweet cravings at night, but luckily I found a super easy and WLC compliant “brownie” recipe that I’ll be sharing on Monday – It’s basically just dates, cocoa powder (which has no sugar) and cinnamon and nuts. It tastes really good and avoids the sugar high that you’d get from regular brownies.

  2. I second the headspace app for meditation, I’ve been using it for a while and love it. Also, another tip is to find a time that works for you. I meditate in my car in the parking garage when I get to work. It’s not ideal, but it works because I like stalling a bit after the drive in.

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