Challenge #1: No Refined or Processed Carbohydrates

This is it, my first challenge.

Challenge: No Refined or Processed Carbohydrates

Description: I will give up all refined and processed sugars. This includes, but is not limited to: White sugar, brown sugar, white rice, pasta, barbecue sauce, most salad dressings, bread, cookies, chocolate, candy, chocolate milk, and many, many more.

Date of challenge: Nov, 1, 2011 – Nov 30, 2011

Perceived Difficulties: Avoiding hidden sugars. The salad dressings, the sauces, the “sweetened” items that have no business being sweetened.

Expected level of difficulty (On a scale of 1-10): 7

Substitutions: As I do not regularly eat “synthetic” foods (i.e. no splenda, or other fake sweeteners/ fake┬ácarbs) I do not have many substitutions available. If I had said only refined sugars were gone, this would be easier than wiping out refined and processed.

How do I feel about it: I fully expect this to be difficult, but it shouldn’t be too bad. I have done Atkins/South Beach before, so I understand where most of the hidden sugars are – and I am not giving up ALL sugar and carbohydrates, just those that have had their goodness sucked out. I’m not looking forward to working in Vegas with this restriction, however.

The most difficult piece of this challenge will be: No beer, as that is a processed carbohydrate, and also, Thanksgiving.

Well, time for my last meal with the bad carbs!

The One that starts it all

I am starting this blog for a few reasons.
  1. I like to write for fun sometimes
  2. I wanted to try out this sweet new “30 day challenges” concept
  3. I love to live life to its fullest!
So I am taking the advice of Matt Cutts, who gave a great TED Talk in March of 2011. His concept is simple: Try anything for 30 days. Easy enough? Maybe not, but we shall certainly see. If you’d like to hear Matt’s talk, I have embedded it in this post, or you can go watch it here.

I see this as a great method for enacting small changes in your world – changes that will really stick.

Here’s How I’ll do it
  • I will have at least one 30 day challenge going on at any point in time
  • At the beginning of each challenge, I’ll identify:
    • The challenge
    • Foreseeable difficulties
    • Substitutions (if I’m giving up something for 30 days)
    • Desired impact
    • Expected level of difficulty
  • Then, at the end of each challenge, I’ll identify
    • Actual difficulty of the challenge
    • Difficulties faced
    • Lessons learned
    • Whether I believe I will continue the behavior after the the 30 days is complete
  • And of course, there will be updates in between, telling of my progress in the challenge

So, without further adieu, I believe I will get going on my 30 day challenges!