For the next six months, I’m doing a nutrition and fitness experiment. I am doing this experiment over the six months that are trickiest for me to stay healthy – over Christmas, New Years, my birthday, Easter, and everything in between. You can follow this experiment in my weekly blog posts.
Why I’m Doing This
In March of 2011, I found out that I have Hashimoto’s disease/hypothyroidism (low thyroid). When my doctor told me this, it made complete sense because I felt tired a lot of the time, I struggled with headaches, my weight would gradually creep up even though I had a strict nutrition and exercise routine, and I had some other symptoms associated with hypothyroidism.
Since my diagnosis, my thyroid has been closely monitored through blood tests and doctor visits. In addition to thyroid medicine (which is essential for hypothyroidism, especially Hashimoto’s), I improved my health through more regular sleep habits, healthy nutrition, and exercise. My thyroid level is getting closer to what it should be, but the levels still fluctuate more than they should.
My Six-Month Health and Fitness Experiment – What I’m Doing
My Nutrition Plan
For the next six months, I will eat a primarily dairy-free, gluten-free, and sugar-free vegetarian diet. There will be a few exceptions. I will include whey protein and eggs, which aren’t vegan. I will have times of experimenting with Greek yogurt and regular yogurt to see if they are beneficial.
I’ll also use Ezekiel Bread, which is sprouted. For those who don’t have Celiac disease or gluten intolerance, this is close to gluten-free but not completely. My diet will consist mostly of vegetables, whole grains (gluten-free, of course), plant protein, healthy fats (nuts, olive oil, avocado, etc.), and fruits.
My sugar-free part of the diet will include no sugar, sugar substitutes, honey, or other equivalent except for a small amount of natural sweetener that is already in a product such as bread. So, of course, this means no candy or soda. I only had soda once a month as it was, so that isn’t a big change. But I’m a big chocolate lover, so it will be a huge change for me to not have chocolate for six months.
Although I love desserts, I’ve found that over the past few years, sugar has really affected how I feel and has affected my body a lot more than it ever had in the past. I find that I crash a lot quicker after having it, and my cravings are stronger when I have it more often. So this will be the biggest change to my nutrition regiment. One of the biggest parts of the experiment will be to see how much it changes how I feel, what my body looks like, and the amount of energy I have.
I have tried dairy-free and gluten-free diets for months at a time, but I have only tried a sugar-free diet for at most one month at a time. Although each of these diets individually has helped me feel better, I have found that whenever I’ve been sugar-free, the changes are the most dramatic (in a positive way). So I’m excited to see what happens with this experiment.
I’ll include the ups and downs throughout these six months with you each week. You can follow these posts here to share in my journey. On certain weeks, I will share random tidbits such as recipes and more.
My Fitness Plan
My exercise will consist of workouts six days a week. I have been consistently working out 5-6 days a week for many months now, using a combination of strength training, cardio, plyometrics, flexibility exercises, and foam rolling.
During this experiment, I will keep you up to date with what types of workouts I’ve been doing. Some with be my own creations, and others will be workout series such as P90X and TurboFire.
Through this experiment, I hope to improve my own health and find some new, healthy recipes and new tips. I want to learn from the results and help you in the process. I hope you’ll find some of the ideas will work for you, too. Please join me each week! 🙂
UPDATE: Links to each week’s posts in my six-month nutrition and fitness experiment:
Week 3: Feeling Good for the Holidays Is a Wonderful Thing! (includes link to nutloaf recipe)
For my second experiment, see The Relax Day Experiment.
For my third experiment, see Event Preparation Experiment.