2018 Nutrition Challenge

Hey TPHers,

A few of you have asked about our nutrition challenge, and since it starts ON THURSDAY (yes, THIS THURSDAY, February 1st) — here are all the details about it. I borrowed a lot of these details from Rocket CrossFit, because they have a great system and I like the way they structure their challenges. 

The great thing is there are ONLY TWO RULES!

  1. No alcohol (I know, I can sense the panic. We’ll get to this)
  2. No dessert other than fruit.

Other than that, you can structure the challenge however you want!

TO SIGN UP: email Monica and let her know you want to take part. It’s super easy! She’ll take care of the rest.

Here’s the deal: what you eat (aka nutrition) is a GINORMOUS part of your overall health and fitness. Sure, you can do CrossFit and yoga and get outside every weekend and bike everywhere, but…if you’re eating crap food and drinking alcohol every day, you’re not being as healthy as you could be. I totally get that it can be really hard to avoid alcohol, especially living in Ballard. There are so many delicious beers around! BUT it would be dishonest of me to pretend that alcohol doesn’t have a negative effect on your overall well-being and athletic performance. One of our goals with this nutrition challenge is make people aware of how alcohol affects their performance. If you’re ok with how alcohol affects you, keep drinking! But if you’re not, or if you’re not sure how it affects you — and if you see positive changes after reducing alcohol’s impact in your life — hopefully this will give you the tools you need to make a long-lasting positive change.

Our members all want different things out of a nutrition challenge. Some want to eat strict Paleo, others want to be diligent about counting macros, some just want to not drink beer and eat pizza every night. Some want to lean out, some want to gain weight, some want to get jacked, others want to acquire a healthy relationship with food and enjoy eating healthy without worrying about macros, calories, or a meal plan. Those are all perfectly worthy goals! So the last thing we want is to shove you into a one size fits all mold where we force you to count macros or eat Whole30 when that is the last thing you want, and might not even be appropriate for you right now.

Our nutrition challenge will be scored based on a points system. You will get points each day for adherence to your nutrition rules (all or nothing), hydration, sleep, exercise, mobility, and reporting. More on all these, below. This is an admittedly imperfect way of structuring a nutrition challenge, but it covers most of the bases. In an ideal world, this nutrition challenge will be a starting point that will give you information about how your body responds to different inputs — and you will use that information to inform your choices going forward, and will be healthier and happier as a result.

Worst case scenario, you white-knuckle it through a month and a half of no alcohol and no dessert other than fruit, and then you binge on alcohol and cake on March 16th. Please don’t do that — if you think this might be you, check in with me so I can talk you off the ledge and we can come up with a game plan. I want this to be a vehicle for self-knowledge and long-lasting positive change, not a temporary detox that leaves you worse than when you started off.

Other than that, the next-to-worst-case-scenario is you lie about your points just so you can win and get the prize. Newsflash, the grand prize is going to be a cookbook, so…if you want a cookbook that badly and can’t afford it, just let me know and I’ll help you out.


OK, so about the points.

  • NUTRITION – all or nothing. 5 = perfect adherence, 0 = nope.
  • EXERCISE = 1 or 0. 1 = CrossFit, yoga, long walk (30+ minutes at vigorous intensity), skiing, etc. IT’S OK if you don’t get this point. Please don’t tell me you deserve this point because you walked your dog around the block.
  • HYDRATION = 1 or 0. 1 for ½ body weight in ounces/day (so if you weigh 160#, drink 80 oz.) – only water counts, not coffee, orange juice, tea, etc.
  • MOBILITY = 1 or 0. 1 = 10 minutes of rolling, stretching, barbell mashing, etc.
  • SLEEP = 1 or 0. 1 = 7+ hours, 0 = less than 7 hours. I know this is hard for those of you with kids! (Also for those of you with intense social or work lives.) Do your best, if you can’t get this point, get the other ones.
  • REPORTING = 1 or 0. 1 = email Monica using the following template with ALL the lines filled out. Let’s say the cut off is standard Google time: if your email says it was sent at 11:59pm or earlier, we’re good. Copy and paste, then fill in the points as appropriate. Yes, you have to fill out the “how I feel” and “my plan for tomorrow” parts to get the points.

Nutrition (5 or 0):
Exercise (1 or 0):
Hydration (1 or 0):
Mobility (1 or 0):
Sleep (last night, 1 or 0):
How I feel:
My plan for/what I can do better tomorrow:


  • 10 points for emailing Monica BY EVENING ON SUNDAY 2/4 answering the following questions:
    • What do I want to change, and why? (This can include additional restrictions beyond the no alcohol/no dessert other than sugar, or it can be the base restrictions. Potential options: no grains, X amount of protein per meal, 2 colors of vegetables per meal…etc.)
    • Why am I doing the nutrition challenge?
    • What do I hope to gain from it?
    • What do I think will the the hardest part – and why?
    • What do I think will be the easiest part – and why?
    • What am I most looking forward to/excited about in regards to the nutrition challenge?

  • 10 points for emailing Monica BY EVENING ON SUNDAY 3/18 answering the following questions:
    • Did I get what I thought I would get out of the nutrition challenge?
    • What did I gain from it?
    • What was the hardest part – and why?
    • What was the easiest part – and why?
    • What changes did I make to my diet that I will continue going forward? Why?
    • What changes won’t I continue – and why?
    • What lifestyle elements were the most challenging (hydration, sleep, mobility, etc.) – and why?
    • Any other reflections on this nutrition challenge?
  • 0-20 BONUS POINTS overall: 0 if you half ass your responses, 20 if you knock it out of the park and are super genuine. Yes, this part is fairly subjective.

Keep an eye on our blog for links to articles about nutrition, alcohol, sugar, protein, and more!

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