For the last few months, I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of the “business athlete.” I’m not talking about how to apply the principles of successful high-performing athletes in business—we get it; you worked hard on the field and now you work hard in the office.
What I mean is, that in order to run a successful business, you have to treat your body like a professional athlete. If you want your body and mind to be working at peak performance, then you have to fuel it accordingly—especially if your business is fitness.
If you own a boutique fitness studio, you are expected to be a leader of your fitness community and you are also expected to literally work yourself to exhaustion during your own workouts. If you thought Pure Barre was hard, try taking class with everyone staring at your every move! Must not come out of thighs. Must not come out of thighs.
How are you going to do that subsisting on protein bars, pots of coffee, handfuls of Cheezits, or whatever is convenient? Are you sluggish all the time? Do you blame it on just being overworked from owning your own business? How much refined sugar are you eating each day? Let me tell you a secret … refined sugar is in f*cking everything. It’s in almond milk, oatmeal, protein bars, and countless other seemingly “healthy” foods.
One thing that separates business owners from the rest of the general population is a heightened level of stress. Stress is a leading cause of chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation leads to all kinds of bad diseases like, diabetes, arthritis, IBS, general aches and pains, or in some cases, heart disease and cancer.
I’ve been struggling with two aliments as of late. First, I’m tired all the time—like I can never get enough sleep. And second, I’ve been suffering from a lingering shoulder injury that just doesn’t seem to get better. I started to wonder if changing my diet might solve these problems. Specifically, I started researching whether adopting the Whole30 would work to reset my body and help it heal.
What is the Whole30? Well, I’m glad you asked. It’s better to think about all the good, amazing things that you can eat while on the Whole30, otherwise, it gets a little overwhelming. By committing to the Whole30, you eat only real food including meat, seafood, eggs, veggies, fruits, nuts, oils and seeds. All foods are natural and unprocessed. So, that means you’re cutting out all sugar, processed foods, dairy, grains, alcohol and legumes/beans. You’re also not supposed to re-create junk food by making it healthy.
That’s a lot of rules. But several of my friends have recently done the Whole30 and most of them had really positive things to say about it (minus the not drinking alcohol part). I decided to try it out—but only for dinner. If I liked the recipes, then I would add breakfast and lunch and officially take the Whole30 plunge.
For one week, I ate Whole30 dinners made from the recipes in the Whole30 books (see links below). I stopped consuming dairy—no milk or cheese. I did eat oatmeal for breakfast and a few sandwiches for lunch when I didn’t have leftovers from dinner or couldn’t get home to make something. I also increased my veggie intake by drinking 1-2 juices a day, which I made in my new cold-pressed juicer (a gift to myself with American Express points). And … I felt amazing! I had tons of energy. I didn’t need more than one cup of coffee. My workouts improved and I felt stronger. I got compliments on my skin. I don’t know if I lost any weight, but my pants were looser. And the best part, my shoulder no longer hurt when I was taking class. This is all after 1 week of just dabbling in the Whole30 and increasing my veggie intake by drinking cold-pressed juice. Amazing!
If that wasn’t enough to convince me how important food is for your body’s performance, when I went to Houston, I went back to my normal diet, ate whatever I wanted and felt terrible when I got home. I had a headache towards the end of my trip and I didn’t sleep that well. Of course, I ate fajitas at my favorite Mexican restaurant—wasn’t going to turn those down—had drinks with some great friends I hadn’t seen in years, and had to celebrate winning my award with a whole bunch of Coronas, so a headache and little lost sleep was worth it.
This totally unscientific experiment raises an interesting point. How much better can my business be if I start to act like a business athlete? How much more can I get done? Will I be happier? Will I lower my risk for heart disease or cancer? Who knows? But the recipes in the Whole30 books are pretty amazing, so I’m going to keep up with my Whole30 dinners at the minimum. I’ve included links to the Whole30 books as well as the SKG Juicer I purchased and find super easy to use and clean.
When I was at the business conference in Houston last week, I heard an incredible speaker, Paul Dunn. I even got to eat fajitas with him. I’ll tell you all about his company, B1G1, and how his presentation has influenced me to make some changes in my business to matter more.
Until then, stay on your toes!
The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom- Everything you need to complete the Whole30 is in this book including some great recipes. So far, I have loved the Butternut Squash Soup (p. 266) and Cauliflower Mash (p. 270). I eventually got tired of messing up my poached eggs and purchased some Perfect Poached Egg Cups.
The Whole30 Cookbook- More great recipes! I especially enjoyed eating the Turkey Curry Meatballs with Roasted Vegetables and Lemongrass Cream Sauce (p. 174) and the One-Pan Herb-Crusted Roasted Salmon with Roasted Broccoli Steaks (p. 201).
It Starts with Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways- This book delves more into the science behind the Whole30 and why some foods may negatively impact your body. A must read.
SKG Wide Chute Anti-Oxidation Slow Masticating Juicer- I read reviews on reviews on reviews and decided this cold-pressed juicer was my best option. It’s easy to use and easy to clean and reassemble. I’ve had great success making kale, celery, cucumber and parsley juice. Next up is carrot, apple and ginger.
Epica 18-oz. Glass Beverage Bottles, Set of 6- These glass bottles were a recommended purchase and I’m glad I bought them. Wasn’t thinking ahead to where I was going to store all this juice! Easy to fill and clean.