Download Your tracker and Healthy Eating guide here:
Overall Challenge Rules:
- 6 Week Challenge Focused on building healthy habits that can support immune function, all categories have links to studies or articles from credible sources.
- This is a completion based challenge, the goal is to maintain the habits you pick for 4 out of 7 days of the week.
- Get your friends and family involved so they can focus on something positive!
- More details on the options for each category below.
Register on the online tracker to track your habits - this is really user friendly:
SUPPORT IMMUNITY (PICK 1-3)
- More Fruits and Veggies The high end of the daily recommended fruits and vegetables serving is 12-14 servings a day. Focus on green vegetables and berries which are lower in sugar than fruits. Vegetables impact immunity, according to the WebMD article: “Eat more fruits and vegetables, which are rich in nutrients like vitamins C and E, plus beta-carotene and zinc. Go for a wide variety of brightly colored fruits and vegetables, including berries, citrus fruits, kiwi, apples, red grapes, kale, onions, spinach, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Other foods particularly good for your immune system include fresh garlic, which may help fight viruses and bacteria, and old-fashioned chicken soup. If you do come down with a cold or the flu, a bowl of chicken soup can help you get well faster, one study shows. Some mushroom varieties -- such as shiitake -- may also help your immune system.”
- Fermented Foods Fermented foods have a rich history as a staple in traditional cultures. Both Kimchi and Sauerkraut are well known for their nutrition. Incorporate fermented foods into your day. According to this article “It has long been known that eating fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi can offer many health benefits but exactly why this is the case has remained something of a mystery. Now, researchers at the University of Leipzig in Germany have found that the beneficial effects may be due to the bacteria found in fermented foods boosting the action of the immune system.”
- No Sugar According to WebMD “Eating or drinking too much sugar curbs immune system cells that attack bacteria. This effect lasts for at least a few hours after downing a couple of sugary drinks.”
Avoid sweeteners and sugars on THIS LIST as your single focused rule. Sounds easy -- but this alone can be a big challenge (but it’s a lot easier when you’re not out socializing as much).
- Drink Water Drink half your bodyweight in oz. of clean, filtered water per day. According to this article: “...drinking water boosts the immune system through the production of lymph. This fluid runs throughout the human body, with a very simple job – collecting bacteria from the body and transporting it to the lymph nodes, where that bacteria is destroyed like the unwelcome and unhelpful parasite that it is.”
- No alcohol A metabolic disruptor, alcohol consumption can seriously affect your ability to burn fat and get high quality sleep. According to this scientific study “Clinicians have long observed an association between excessive alcohol consumption and adverse immune-related health effects such as susceptibility to pneumonia.” - With the current COVID-19 pandemic being a respiratory illness, it’s best to avoid alcohol.
- Berry Smoothie A simple addition to your daily routine to add a massive hit of nutrition, and without having to spend 30 minutes chewing. Here is a recipe you can use:
There are 6 Ingredients:
● Leafy Greens
● Greens Powder
● Amino Acids
● Fish Oil
Here's the full, EXACT list Macros: 8g Protein, 58g (36 net) Carbs, 29g Fat
Base, from Trader Joes: 1 bag power greens 1 bag organic mixed berries
Additions: 1 scoop of green vibrancy (this is my favorite, but any greens powder will do, like athletic greens) (I get the REALLY big one -- which is over 80 servings) 1⁄4- 1⁄2 scoop of https://amzn.to/30j37Il - we carry these at the gym.
PRO TIP: Put the Greens in your blender FIRST, (not the berries) it doesn't blend as well. Hopefully you have a blendtec or vitamix... worth their weight in gold. Extra Credit: 5-10 Glutamine
If using frozen greens, and frozen berries, add ~24oz of water. If using fresh greens, and frozen berries, add ~20oz waer. Blend, and add more/less water depending on desired thickness.
1-2 Tbsp Fish Oil - Carlson's is the best and not gross at all, even though it's easy to think it would be.
6-8 Tablets of Systemic Enzymes But these will drastically increase nutrient absorption if you blend them in, and they're flavorless.
MINDSET / STRESS (PICK 1-2)
1) A quick day summary -- running through what you did. “Ie woke up around 6, breakfast
and did morning routine before getting kids read and headed to work. A bit overwhelmed at first, but settled into some productive sessions...” Keep it BROAD. Just to give you a high level picture of the day. 2) 1-2 Wins - What went well, what are you proud of? 3) 1-2 Grateful Fors - What are you grateful for? 4) 1-2 Moments - these are special moments you’d like to remember. 5) General Reflection/Insight
This is one of the most powerful habits for the times we’re living in. While the whole world is freaking out about things they can’t control, a journal offers stability and an opportunity to focus on gratitude and what’s going RIGHT. The whole journal process above shouldn’t take much more than 5 minutes. The hardest part can be the THINKING. BONUS: At the end of your week, read through all your Wins, Grateful Fors, and Moments and COMPILE them in a list. At the end of a month, compile into a month list. This equals POWER. (Also, SHARE THEM WITH US)
- Get Sun/Outside
Laugh More According to WebMD, “It curbs the levels of stress hormones in your body and boosts a type of white blood cell that fights infection.” - Watch a comedy special on Netflix, or find other ways to have fun. You could even try forcing yourself to laugh (aka faking it), especially if you are around other people it will catch on and be contagious. Watch this video of an exercise you can do that might work for you. Don’t laugh until you try it.
FITNESS (PICK 1-2)
- 10,000 Steps
- Workout 3-5x
Home workouts are king & queen for this challenge. Soon everything will be back to normal, you’ll be able to be back in the gym like before! But for now we’re focusing on HOME workouts. If you’re a member at the gym, we’ll send them directly to you. The goal is 30 minutes (or more if you need a little extra). But DO NOT Overdo it because we have to keep you RESILIENT! Running very long distances, and doing other highly strenuous lengthy workouts can actually suppress immune function. According to this Harvard article: “Regular exercise is one of the pillars of healthy living. It improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and protects against a variety of diseases. But does it help to boost your immune system naturally and keep it healthy? Just like a healthy diet, exercise can contribute to general good health and therefore to a healthy immune system. It may contribute even more directly by promoting good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently.”
You can follow the Groundwork Protocol if you want something specific to do. You can also use ROMWOD, a great online resource.
Upper Body Mobility by Kristin Carasiti
Lower Body Mobility by Kristin Carasiti