What is the objective of the 13 Stars Wellness Challenge?
The goal of the challenge is to reflect on current behaviors in our lives and think about where we can improve. The categories we hope to target are diet (we will be loosely following the Paleo Diet for this challenge), hydration, exercise, screen time, and mobility.
Being a part of the challenge is not about having a perfect diet or a perfect workout regiment. That’s why the challenge asks you to enter your scores daily. If you have a day where you are struggling to meet the goals, you get to start fresh and try again the next day. We hope at the end of the challenge, each athlete will establish at least one good habit to continue with after the six weeks.
What are the dates?
January 4, 2021 through February 8, 2021.
What do I need to do to enter?
Please email Brian (firstname.lastname@example.org) to sign-up. The cost to enter is $20 and 5 non-perishable items (or an additional $10) to donate to the Interfaith Food Pantry. You can give your cash to a coach or use Venmo (@brian-vagnini). There will be a box for the food drive at the gym.
You will also need to check your email and enter your scores in an online spreadsheet throughout the challenge.
Yeah, but how do I win?
We like to think we are all winners just for participating, but if you’re after the cold, hard cash, here’s where you need to pay attention.
Challengers can earn points in the following categories:
- Food (Earn 5 points for each day you eat paleo – up to 35 points for the week)
- Water (Earn 3 points per day for drinking at least 64 ounces of water per day – up to 21 points for the week)
- Workout points (Earn 5 points for each day you workout for up to 20 points for the week; consistent physical exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes outside of the gym also counts as a workout)
- Cell phone detox (Earn 1 point per day for putting your phone down for 1 full hour during a time you would usually carry it around – up to 7 points for the week)
- Weight loss % (Earn points for your percentage lost x 5)
- Stretching (Earn 1 point per day for mobilizing at least 10 total minutes outside of class)
- Improvement in a 2 minute max calorie row benchmark (Earn points for how much you beat your original calorie total)
What are the prizes?
The competitor with the most points will win 50% of the cash; the second-highest scoring competitor will win 30%; third place wins 20%.
Where do you do your grocery shopping?
A lot foods are naturally Paleo or gluten-free, so you do not need to shop anywhere specific, you just need to know what you’re looking for / trying to avoid. We do most of our grocery shopping at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, because they have a lot of very clean products (and you don’t have to choose from 20 different brands). Don’t get me wrong, not everything in these stories is clean, so still keep an eye on ingredients.
Do you have a food guide I should work off of?
We sure do. Take a look: https://ultimatepaleoguide.com/files/2013/01/Food-List.pdf.
There are many variations of the Paleo Diet, where some are stricter than others. Much like in CrossFit we need to have our standards, so this list will be our standard for the next 6 weeks.
NOTE: but please see the exceptions list 3 sections down.
What foods should I avoid?
The big ones are gluten (pasta, noodles, breads, pastries, crackers, baked goods, pancakes, waffles, biscuits, beer), processed foods (frozen entrees, fast food, packaged foods with preservatives), sugar (candy, dessert, juice), and dairy (cow’s milk, cheese, yogurt).
What if I am not sure if a food item is an issue?
Reach out. We’ll have a good idea if it’s a green light or not. And pay attention to the ingredients. Aim for food items that you not only can pronounce the ingredients, but have a good understanding of what they are. Food companies enjoy trying to change up the name of ingredients (ie. sugar to brown rice syrup) to trick people into buying their products.
Exceptions to the rule (there are always a few!)
Our ultimate goal with this challenge is to find a new, sustainable way of living healthier lives. To help facilitate this throughout the process, we are allowing the following exceptions to the Paleo Diet throughout the challenge:
- 3 drinks per week (wine, agave tequila, or potato vodka (like Tito’s))
- honey, agave, pure maple syrup (as sweeteners, use sparingly)
- quinoa, brown rice, wild rice, or basmati rice
- oats (steel cut, avoid processed and packaged)
- oat milk, almond milk, cashew milk as milk substitutes
- dark chocolate (60% cacao or more)
- sweet potatoes
Do you have any suggestions for recipes?
“I can’t do this … <random day on my calendar> is coming up!”
Well, that would be like saying, “I can’t make the WOD on Monday, so I’m just going to skip the whole week.” Doesn’t make much sense to abandon healthy options because of one day. So, take a 0 for whatever day you have coming up and then get back to it the next day. Not a big deal.
Give It A Try
If you are thinking about doing it … I would encourage you to give it a go. If you feel like you have been kicking @$$ in class, but feel like you should be seeing more results than you are … chances are pretty good that cleaning things up in the kitchen may be what is missing. We do these once in awhile to encourage folks to try to change things up for a short period of time and see how they feel. Holding yourself accountable for 6 weeks to water, food and working out can be a game changer. So, think about it. And if not for your health … then do it for the dough!