Hello everyone and welcome to my first ever blog post! I’m Erin, loud and proud member of Solcana for six wonderful months and loving every moment of it, even on heavy wall ball days. My most recent endeavor at the gym is the Essential You 101 class and the built-in 21 day nutrition challenge.
For the past couple of years I’ve been battling some pretty severe and inconsistent pain in my hips. On the best days I sometimes forget there is a battle going on inside my body, and on the worst days I can hardly walk. I work as a carpenter, which entails carrying 15-20 lbs of tools in pouches hanging from my hips all day long, while doing some serious physical labor. The original pain is almost always multiplied by simply going to work every day.
Throughout the ongoing process of diagnosis, pain management, and rehabilitation, Hannah has been an awesome resource and sounding board. She has encouraged me to look into dietary changes that could potentially help with inflammation and in turn pain, which lead me right to Essential You 101, taught by Solcana’s very own nutrition coach, Lucia Hawley.
Throughout this course I hope to learn to really listen to my body—which foods do good for it, which foods make it hurt, and which signs does my body give to help me recognize these kinds of things? Lucky for me, this is Lucia’s jam, and she makes it all less intimidating (borderline exciting) and so far it’s so good!
In a nutshell, the nutrition challenge attempts to cut out everything from one’s diet that spikes blood sugar levels in an effort to give the body a consistent and stable level of energy throughout the day. For the standard challenge this means no cheeses, milks, grains, soy, juices, alcohol, or sugars (including most fruits). I am attempting this challenge and additionally cutting out any inflammatory foods to help manage pain and if I’m lucky eliminate it. For me this means all of the standard foods PLUS no dairy (at all), eggs, caffeine, nuts/nut butters, nightshades (tomatoes, peppers), or legumes. All in all, that leaves me with meats and a long, beautiful list of veggies.
This list, at first glance, looked shockingly restrictive, but as it turns out I haven’t had to modify my diet much. I love gettin’ down with a hearty plate of veg, and at 24 years old, it’s about time I learn how to prepare meats like a real adult. The most challenging thing so far is that it is officially fall and the basic white girl inside me is crying for a latte (definitely a miel, and I won’t lie– probably a pumpkin spice).
Besides missing out on the first month of latte season, I’m really not concerned about any part of this challenge. Yes, I miss dairy and yes, I miss sugar, but I know they’ll still be there for me at the end of the challenge.
Already, only four days into the challenge, I am really enjoying spending time in the kitchen preparing meals for myself. This is a new experience for me; up until a couple months ago I avoided the kitchen at all costs. Throughout this challenge I am hoping to get comfortable in the kitchen, and enjoy my time there. As of today, kitchen time has me groovin’ to some Alabama Shakes before becoming overwhelmed by the combination of three burners and the oven all going at once– ultimately ending in green splotches sprayed all over the ceiling by my attempt at a coconut and kale smoothie. At the end of this challenge I basically hope to look like a chilled out and dyke-ier version of Betty Crocker.