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Title - Rhiannon Kay
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Rhiannon Kay is the Health & Wellness correspondent for OurHometown.ca. Rhiannon is a journalism student at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario. If you have questions or wish to contact Rhiannon, you can email her at rkay@ourhometown.ca
The Paleo Challenge
Rhiannon Kay
OurHometown.ca

The Paleo Challenge
October 19th marked the beginning of the second Paleo Challenge at Reebok Crossfit Firepower in Milton. The first ever challenge was held during the summer months of this year. For 45 days the 28 participants are going to attempt to only eat Paleo foods. Lemon poppy seed muffins for your sweet tooth.

Mississauga - Nov. 2, 2011 - October 19th marked the beginning of the second Paleo Challenge at Reebok Crossfit Firepower in Milton. The first ever challenge was held during the summer months of this year.

For 45 days the 28 participants are going to attempt to only eat Paleo foods. Those foods are what cavemen used to eat in the Paleolithic era. So wheat, corn, potatoes, dairy and all legumes are not allowed.

Daniel Sonsini, known as Paleo, is a coach at Reebok CrossFit FirePower and the creator of the Paleo Challenge.

“I wanted people to see first hand what Paleo is all about. I'm a huge advocate and believer in the lifestyle and I wanted to share it with others,” said Sonsini. “I wanted people to know what feeling good actually feels like.”

Participants must get their measurements taken before starting the challenge. Their body weight, waist circumference, and body fat will be taken before and after, to see the improvements after the challenge. They also have to complete a workout and receive a time, which includes 100 pull-ups, 100 push-ups, 100 sit ups, 100 squats. This workout has to be done at the end of the challenge as well to see if they can complete it quicker.

“The health benefits include more energy, fat loss, lean muscle gains, detoxifying, decreased bloating, better skin, balanced hormones, decreased joint pain/inflammation, and just generally feeling great,” said Sonsini.

Sonsini has been a big supporter of the Paleo diet and encourages all members to begin the diet. He is also there to help create meal plans for people who decide to go Paleo.

“The benefits and results are uncanny. It's hard to believe unless you actually do it and experience it yourself. I always tell people to give it at least 30 days and see for yourself,” said Sonsini. “It's how we are genetically made-up to live and thrive. We are not designed to eat Neolithic foods.”

Participants pay a $40 dollar fee before beginning the challenge.

“The fee holds people accountable. We also put the money toward prizes at the end of the challenge,” said Sonsini.

Sonsini said that the hardest part for people doing the challenge is avoiding sugar. When you have eaten sugar for a long time, it is very difficult to stop cold turkey.

“Getting off the 'crack.' In other words, getting of the sugar cravings. The hardest part for most is the first one to two weeks. This is the detoxifying phase. People may feel tired, weak, nauseous, jittery, sweat, and even break out in acne,” said Sonsini.

There are many reasons why people join the Paleo challenge.

“They want to become healthier. Some do it for weight loss, others for performance, others because they are just feeling sick and unhealthy,” said Sonsini. “Once people get a little taste of it, they rarely go back.”

At the end of the challenge the top five performers will be selected based on men and women’s measurement improvements of weight, waist and body fat. Also on performance gains in the workout for most improved time. And thirdly, the points from the daily nutrition log. The person with the highest score wins.

The point system is as follows. You receive four points when you eat entirely Paleo foods, such as meat, fish, vegetables, some fruit, nuts, seeds and healthy fats. Three points if you had something that wasn’t Paleo, but wasn’t much, such as ketchup or peanuts. Two points if you had a small amount of non-Paleo food, such as a bite of bread or a few chips. One point if you had one full meal of non-Paleo foods. And zero points if you made more than one non-Paleo meal choice.

Sharon Wildfang, a member of Reebok Crossfit, participated in the last Paleo challenge and is doing it once again.

“I did it for 30 days, and I have to say it worked for me. At the end of August when we were in our Championship Flag Football game, I had so much energy that I was flying out on the field,” said Wildfang. “My teammates noticed the difference in me and some asked me what I have been doing and it was one of my best years.”

It wasn’t easy for her to let go of her favourite foods, like pasta and bread. But she did not want to feel sluggish anymore and eating Paleo helped boost her energy.

“My first week was hard because it was so easy to open up the fridge or cupboard and grab anything to eat,” said Wildfang. “If you were out on the run you would stop and grab junk to eat. So by the second week I got myself organized, and it was so easy.”

The Paleo Challenge runs until December 2. Will participants keep the challenge going and try to resist the yummy foods Christmas dinner has to offer?

Sample Day:

Paleo Breakfasts Options:
1. Veggie omelet
2. Fruit and nuts
3. Steak and salsa
4. Left over dinner

Paleo Snacks:
1. Almond butter on anything!
2. Nuts
3. Fruit
4. Left over dinner
5. Paleo bars
6. Jerky - watch the ingredients, most have soy or wheat
7. Deli meat (try to get low sodium and sulfite free)

Paleo Lunch:
1. Salad with meat (watch the dressing, peanuts, noodles, croutons, etc.)
2. Steak and guacamole
3. Grilled chicken with mixed veggies (steamed or grilled veggies with no butter)

Paleo Dinner:
1. Fish, steak or chicken with veggies
2. Same as your lunch


Beef, hot italian sausage with bell peppers and cauliflower


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