2012 Nutrition Challenge 6

We hope everyone had a great holiday! We always have a nutrition challenge at the start of every year and this year is no different.

Our intentions for the 2012 Nutrition Challenge:

  1. All MDSoF athletes participate at the appropriate level for each participant.
  2. All participants understand and practice “eating is training.”
  3. All participants understand health comes from living a healthy lifestyle year after year.

Our first and last intentions should be pretty clear. However, I think the second could have a little more explanation. In the same way that we progress and scale our workouts, we progress and scale our nutrition and recovery. We admire our nutrition partners at Whole9 for the work they have done, and we will continue to work with them because we think their program is the best AND continues to evolve, but we disagree with them on this one point: Changing your nutrition is hard.

Over the holidays, Susan and I did a lot of talking and brainstorming about this years nutrition challenge. We came up with these facts:

  1. Number one and most important, if it’s f***in’ easy, why isn’t everyone doing it?!?! Go to Costco or any store or mall really, and ask this question, of the 50% of the people in there who are either 20+ pounds overweight and/or have hypertension and/or have high cholesterol, did they get that way from not knowing that sugar is bad for you or from believing that processed foods are somehow equal in nutritional value to whole, fresh food? Maybe they are just at the edge of Paleo/Whole9 and they just have that extra few pieces of dark chocolate or those few extra beers on Friday night or corn tortillas once or twice a week? No, they are sick and they know there is a problem and it’s just really hard to change.
  2. In Susan’s many years of clinical experience, she has counseled very sick people that they need to change their diet and exercise program (or lack of) or risk getting much worse, and very few are able to make that change.
  3. Finally, you aren’t healthy because you “ate clean for 30 days back in ’06 (pronounced ought six),” The way you get healthy is that you eat as clean as often as you can, for as long as you can. Yep, for years at a time, maybe even for the rest of your life.

So we’ve decided to train for the outcome we expect. We call it training for success and we think you will like the way we have changed the nutrition challenge this year.


  • Saul & Susan are judges – all decisions are final. No sass allowed.
  • $40 to enter RX division; $20 to enter scaled division.
  • There will be a men’s and a women’s division in both RX and scaled.
  • First 10% of your entry fee covers administrative costs. Then the 1st place in each division gets: 50%; 2nd place 30%; 3rd place 20% of the entry fees for that division.
  • Start date: Monday, Jan. 9th, 2012
    Finish date: Tuesday, Feb. 7th, 2012

Rx division: Look, Feel, Perform Better.

There is a time when any athlete who is really serious about getting healthier should eat clean for 30 days. This will help you to figure out what makes you look, feel and perform better, and what doesn’t.

  • We think your best chance for success is to follow the Whole30 for all 30 days of the challenge. However, we also know that not everyone can change the way they and/or their family eats at the drop of a hat, or more specifically, on a specific day. To be clear, you are not “out” of the competition if you “fall of the wagon” or can’t follow the Whole30 as prescribed. If you don’t know what that is, check out your Whole9 Nutrition Guide. If you don’t have one, ask for one from Susan or Saul.
  • Take photo (front, back and side – digital copy OK) and measurements (chest, waist, hip, thigh) before Monday, Jan. 9 and then between Monday, Feb. 6th and Thursday, Feb. 10 Close of Business (COB).
  • Submit 500 word (or less) essay regarding your experience by Tuesday, Feb 7, COB.
  • Do Fran between Monday, Jan. 9 and Friday, Jan. 13 and then again between Monday, Feb. 6 and Thursday, Feb. 10 COB.
  • Do a 1 RM back squat between Monday, Jan. 9 and Friday, Jan. 13 and then again between Monday, Feb. 6th and Thursday, Feb. 10 COB.
  • Optional Body fat testing pre / post: 10% off at the Body Composition Center, tell them you train at Mad Dawg School of Fitness.
  • Optional Bloodwork pre / post: lipids & TG; CRP, fasting blood glucose, hgbA1C (ask Susan for details if you need more info).


If you can’t front squat, we don’t teach you to clean. We want you to be successful and to do that you have to have the skills to be successful. Grocery shopping and cooking are the foundational skills for nutrition changes.

  • $20 entry fee.
  • Nine Paleo recipes cook ’em and eat ’em. To succeed in any nutrition change, you need to have three breakfasts, lunches and dinners “in your back pocket.” That means you need to know how to shop and cook for these at 9 PM at night when you are hangry (hungry and angry) and most importantly, cook at least a couple on Sunday when you have time. Submit recipes to S & S by Tuesday, Feb. 7th, 2012.
  • Gluten-free for 30 days. That DOES NOT mean gluten-free pancakes and gluten-free beer are OK! We’re talking about no processed foods. The object here is to figure out how to get by without the gluten-based staples we use. Be careful here, read your labels, “they” sneak it in…
  • Submit 500 word (or less) essay regarding your experience by Tuesday, Feb 7, COB.
  • Optional Take photo (front, side, back – digital copy is fine) and/or measurements (chest, waist, hip, thigh) at beginning and end.

A final word about goals: The nutrition challenge is set up this way this year because we think these are the first steps to take to learn to eat a healthy diet, and some people just don’t know enough (yet) about nutrition to make appropriate goals. We get paid the big bucks to help you progress along this journey…  As you may have heard, this year, 2012, is the year of intentions at Mad Dawg School of Fitness. You will have many opportunities to write out, and accomplish your intentions this year. Stay tuned so you can make your goals and intentions a reality.

6 thoughts on “2012 Nutrition Challenge

  • Erik

    Interesting variation of last year’s challenge.

    I just signed up for 21habit (http://21habit.com) you pay them about $21 to denote to charity if you do not meet your goal as reported by you. Sort of a gentle daily reminder about how your are doing on a habit you are trying to establish.

  • saulj

    Katie, Greg’s fiance, when sass is the normal mode of communication, we don’t really hear the sass, it just sounds… normal. 🙂

  • Susan

    Katie, Greg’s fiance, What would we do if Greg didn’t provide a little bit ‘o sass? And, does that comment mean that you and Greg are in the challenge?

  • Katie, Greg's fiance

    Hells yeah we’re in. Greg was a little wary of the essay part until he keyed in on the whole 500 words OR LESS….as in wayyyyy less.

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