Month: September 2011

“So what happens now?” Madonna asked in Evita.

“What now? What comes next?” Hunter S. Thompson asked throughout his illustrious writing career.

And now we ask you:

What comes next?

The Eat Less Crap Challenge ends on Oct. 1, one day from now.

And then what?

Over the last month, you’ve all made commitments to change certain aspects of your life, and you have a few options before you now.

You can, at the stroke of midnight, order a pizza and crack a beer. Then you can go back to your old habits as if the challenge never happened and was just another hard thing you didn’t like doing.

Or you can celebrate your accomplishment with a special meal. During that meal, you might reflect on what you’ve done and decide to keep doing certain things that really worked for you. Or you might decide to take things further.

You might also choose to continue the challenge indefinitely. Maybe you saw unbelievable results and want them to keep coming, so the things you gave up are now gone forever.

You have a lot of options in front of you. We’re committed to help you do whatever you choose to do. We will give you all the information, resources and support you need as the coming months unfold. We’re not here to browbeat you. We’re here to support you in your pursuit of health and fitness, and we hope you learned something from this month and choose to keep eating less crap.

Whatever you choose, remember this:

Over the last month, you proved to yourself that you have the power to make sweeping life changes that will have profound effects of your health, performance and overall well-being. You broke bad habits, some of them deeply ingrained in your life. No one made those changes for you. You did it, and we’re proud of all of you. You should be proud of yourself, and you should feel incredibly powerful. You took charge and changed your life for the better. That’s monumental.

From our perspective, we saw unbelievable results. We saw our community come together and support each other while sharing recipes, eating strategies and shopping tips. We literally saw people losing fat and performing better. That’s not hyperbole; it’s fact. The numbers on the board don’t lie.

Many of you moved better. Many of you lifted heavier or ran faster. Many of you lost weight and gained muscle. Many of you visibly gained confidence.

And now you have choice: you can go back to your old habits or you can make the last month the start of a new habit.

So we ask you this:

What now? What comes next?

5 round or 15 minutes:

3 power cleans

5 front squats

1 man-maker

Front squats start immediately after you pull the third clean; you do not have to put the bar down.

Your coach will pick you load for the power cleans. We’re looking for something of medium weight that you can front-squat for reps. For instance, if your power clean max for a single is 185, you might consider working at 135. It would be a mistake to go to heavy and have to pull the cleans with 20 seconds of rest between them.

Try to avoid jogging the manmakers. Take a breath and set up for a hard series of sprints.

Unleash the power!

Press 2-2-2

Push press 2-2-2

Jerk 2-2-2

The goal is to press do 3 sets of 2 heavy reps on the press (no arched backs or the weight will be reduced). Then you will switch to a push press and add more weight for 3 sets of 2. Then switch to the jerk and add more weight for 3 final sets of 2.

If you form goes, the weight will not go up.

My biggest problem with eating well is the price.

There is a reason why the disadvantaged often subsist on cream-filled pastries and potato chips: they’re cheap and they don’t go bad.

Crummy food is cheap. Two litres of pop cost what? A dollar or two? How about pasta? Ask any college student, and he or she will tell you eating Kraft Dinner every day can do a lot for the grocery bill. Canned food is also pretty cheap. So is bread. And candy.

What isn’t cheap is grass-fed beef, high-quality nuts, free-run organic eggs, fresh produce from a local farmer, almond flour, coconut oil and all the other things you’ll find in the kitchen of a modern-day CrossFit caveman or woman. That stuff costs more. A lot more.

As some of you know, my love for Kraft peanut butter comes not from the taste but for the fact that it cost $7 for 2 kilograms. Almond butter, which I actually prefer, costs about $7 for 500 grams. Do that math on that one. I do all the time, and it irritates me.

When we started the Eat Less Crap Challenge, I decided I would keep track of our grocery bill for the month, and with the end in sight I added up the bills for our two-person household. As of today, it cost us just under $1,400 for the best month of eating of our lives.

Looking at the bill, I threw up a little in my mouth. That’s a ton of cash. Crystal broke it down for me a little:

Our normal grocery bill: about $700
Two meals out per week: $300
Something from the LC: $100
“Start-up costs” for Eat Less Crap Challenge: $100

The start-up costs include replacement of certain items, like sugar and flour, with healthier alternatives, and the number also includes the price of new items we added in, like flax-seed oil and healthier spices and cooking ingredients to replace barbecue sauce, ketchup syrup and so on. And we saved a lot of money by not eating out of having a bottle of wine on the weekend.

Still, $1,300 is lot of cash, and what I realized is that I can reduce that number next month with better planning.

Because we did a lot of experimenting with new recipes, there were frequent—too frequent—trips to Safeway, as well as a few wasted fruits and vegetables that we bought with the best of intentions but didn’t get to in time. We also didn’t have our shopping routine down, so we’d forget stuff, then pick it up from stupid places, like one Academy Road grocery store that traded me two steaks for a 15-inch strip of flesh from my back.

The lesson: plan your meals and plan your shopping trips. I’d wager we could knock $200 off our bill with better planning, bulk buying and more frequent trips to discount grocery stores.

The bill will still be higher than before, no question. But now that we know what we’re doing, we can be more sensible in obtaining high-quality healthy food.

By doing so, we figure we can get our grocery bill down to a reasonable level, and if we have to budget a little more for great food that will keep us healthy and fit, then so be it. I doubt anyone can put a price on health, fitness and improved performance, and if it rang in at $1,200 a month, I’d probably pay it in a second.

If you have suggestions on how to eat healthy for less, please put them in the comments section. We’re looking at doing a group order of grass-fed meats soon, so stay tuned for that!