21-Day Challenge: Why I Joined & Week One

What It Is

The 21-day boost is a wellness program that functions as an “invitation to health and wellness”. It aims to create a balanced lifestyle, focussing specifically on sound nutrition and exercise in an attempt to nurture a “healthy balance of mind, body and spirit.” Participants are given a protein shake and green tea to take throughout the challenge as well as community support, tips on healthy eating and coaches to contact at any time.

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Why I’m Doing It

A friend of mine, who’s also on the challenge, told me about the free health profile they offer and I booked an appointment immediately. I wasn’t particularly interested in the challenge at first but I was really impressed with how comprehensively everything was explained. My coach Alissandro and I looked a number of things, including bone density, body fat percentage, lean muscle mass, water weight, metabolic age and visceral fat. A breakdown was given of what each item measured meant, what I could do to improve it, why I needed to and what that would mean for me as I got older. The main reason I decided to join was to alter my eating habits. As I spoke to Alissandro, he mentioned that my meal distribution wasn’t isn’t ideal. I make an effort to eat what I know will benefit my health and wellbeing, but because I spread out my meals so unevenly, I get easily dizzy before the day is up. The challenge for me is a chance to learn how to eat in a way that’s healthy energising throughout the day.

Week One

Eating: I’ll be honest and say I haven’t followed the eating plan as I should, partly because I wasn’t too sure how to go about it. As a result, not much changed in terms of how I felt by the end of the day. I had the tea and the shake (mixed with oats) for breakfast. Lunch was usually a rye bread sandwich (filled with either peanut butter, mozzarella or chicken, lettuce and tomato) with fruit and then a fairly big dinner of vegetables and protein with complex carbohydrates, when they were provided. I’ve been staying away from simple carbohydrates and really sugary foods, as recommended by the program, but also because I find when I eat too much of these, I feel hungrier much sooner and uncomfortably light-headed.

Exercise: The program does offer HIIT-type classes but because I’m already fairly active with rowing and the gym, I haven’t attended any. I managed to get in a short run with my fitness buddies on Saturday too.

 

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Community: This is a group created by the coaches that functions as a platform for all the people on the program to interact with each other and consult their coaches whenever they need to. When they aren’t answering individual questions, the coaches are actively posting informative charts and giving words of encouragement. The group is also a place where we post photos of meals for ideas and to help the coaches get an idea of how we’re progressing.

The program itself wasn’t too much to handle in the first week. If anything, it made me realize just how poorly I was eating, which is a good thing because now I have an idea of how to rectify that. If you’re in Cape Town and interested in joining or want a health profile, give me a shout and I’ll give you the details.

Stay tuned for week two!

Kudzi.

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