How to Prepare Your Kitchen for the Whole Life Challenge

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The only thing that sabotages a great nutrition plan faster than the twin temptations of sugar and bread: a lack of the right foods, close at hand.

Let’s prevent that.

Below, seven tasks you can perform in the next seven days to ensure you’ll always have compliant, healthy food ready to go (while facing as little temptation as possible).

Go through the steps one at a time, and by the end of the week, you’ll be ready to tackle the Whole Life Challenge’s Nutrition and Hydration Habits.

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Prepare Your Kitchen: 7 Steps

  1. Set aside an hour, and clean your kitchen. After you get done with the dirty dishes, counters, and oven top, go a step further than usual. Find the kitchen basics you’ll use during the Challenge (and if necessary, organize them). If you’re doing your own cooking (which is the best way to ensure compliance with your chosen Nutrition Level), you’ll want to make sure you have a cutting board, a sharp chef’s knife, and a clear work surface available.
  2. Go through the cabinets and the refrigerator. We’re searching for food that will make it hard for you to stay compliant. During this process, make sure you don’t fall prey to the idea that you can look at Oreos every day and not eat them. Temptation is a strong enemy, and you don’t want to fight during the Challenge. Put every non-compliant food you find on your newly cleaned countertops, and then throw away or donate the non-compliant foodstuffs.
  3. Buy some Pyrex containers and a box of Ziplock bags. The hardest place to stay compliant: outside your house. Having an ample supply of containers will ensure you always have what you need to bring your food with you (and it doesn’t spill inside your briefcase, purse, or backpack).
  4. Grab a water bottle, and put two or three rubber bands around it. Every time you drink a full bottle, take one of the bands off or slide it to the top of the bottle. This is a great system for making sure you meet the WLC hydration prescription (drink 1/3 of your bodyweight in ounces every day, e.g. a 180lb male would drink 60oz per day). Using the bands, you won’t lose track of your intake.
  5. Print the Compliant Foods List for Your Nutrition Level and a create shopping list. First, choose your personal staples from the list: your favorite proteins, vegetables, fruits, nuts/fats, grains, and sweeteners. Then write them down, and decide how much of each you’ll need to purchase to get through your week. Be sure to record quantities (which may vary depending on how often you’ll go shopping).
  6. Grocery shop for the Challenge. Take your shopping list and purchase the food you’ll need. This is super important—knowing what you need to eat is only useful if you have enough of it on-hand at all times.
  7. Spend a couple hours on food preparation for the week ahead. Cook some of your protein and prepare your fruit, vegetables, and fats so they’re easily transportable. Divide up meal-size portions and put them in storage containers. For a crash-course in healthy meal preparedness, check out our 8-part Home Cooking Boot Camp Series. When you have plenty of food ready to go, you’ll never be stuck going to a restaurant or fast food joint trying to make it work with substandard fare.

Schedule yourself a few days to get everything done (with a week being ample time to fully prep your kitchen). Do one task every day for seven days, and you’ll be ready to tackle the Challenge.

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Jon Gilson
Jon Gilson is a coach and writer, and the CEO of the Whole Life Challenge.

Previously, he founded Again Faster Equipment, a functional fitness equipment company created to serve the CrossFit community. Established in 2006, Jon took the Company global in 2012, twice landing on the Inc. 500/5000 list of America’s fastest growing private companies.

From 2007 to 2013, he served as a Senior Lecturer for CrossFit, Inc., training aspiring CrossFit trainers at over 100 seminars, including engagements in Iceland, Afghanistan, Moscow, Holland, the United States, and Canada. Jon also served on the CrossFit L1 Advisory Board, helping establish policy for the organization’s training efforts from 2011 to 2013.

He’s also done stints in state government, gym management, and consulting — and currently teaches classes at CrossFit City Line.

Jon graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2003, summa cum laude, with a B.A. in Psychology. He also holds a Graduate Certificate in Finance and Control from the Harvard Extension School, 2006, and has completed coursework in data analytics.

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