"We are born to be fit, strong, and healthy." Robb Wolf

September 16, 2010


There will be an entry fee of $20. Consider it a security deposit. If you complete the challenge 100%, you will get your $20 back. If you cheat or drop out you forfeit the $20. If you do end up having a cheat meal/snack you will not be out of the challenge. If you choose Option B and cheat, you still have the choice of doing Option A. With Option A, I would like you to stay as true to the weekly changes as possible. If you cheat, don’t fret. Just pick up where you left off. But most importantly, stay true to yourself. The final decision as to if you get your money back will depend on you. If you believe you completed the challenge without any hiccups and you deserve to get your money back, feel free to let me know and I will give it back. 

OPTION A – Ease Into It

  • For people that want to make the change, but don’t want to give everything up at once
  • Week 1 – No Sugar
    • Cutting out all foods that causes systemic inflammation and increased levels of insulin secretion
    • This includes no pop, no sweets/desserts, no sports drinks, no flavored water, nothing with high fructose corn syrup, no agave nectar, no maple syrup, no honey, no artificial sweeteners
    • No gum - loaded with artificial sweeteners
  • Week 2 – No Grains
    • Eat lots of vegetables and some fruit instead
    • Cutting out all foods that cause systemic inflammation, irritate the gut lining, and increased levels of insulin secretion
    • No beans, no legumes (including peanuts), no soy products, no hemp products, no lentils, no quinoa, no pasta, no bread, no beer, no potatoes
  • Week 3 – No Dairy
    • Contain lactose which is a different form of sugar
    • Cutting out all foods that cause increased levels of insulin secretion
    • No milk, no cream, no cheese, no yogurt, no butter, no sour cream
    • Exception – raw dairy and ghee
  • Week 4 – No Processed Foods
    • Cook real food
  • Prizes
    • 1st place male/female - one month free nutritional consult, WOD log book
    • 2nd place male/female – T-shirt and WOD log book
    • Food logs to be reviewed by Dawson


    OPTION B – All-out

    • For very motivated people only
    • This means heading into the challenge cold turkey
    • Follow all the guidelines mentioned above but cutting everything out all at once
    • Prizes
      • 1st place male/female - one month unlimited membership, one month free nutritional consult, WOD log book
      • 2nd place male/female – T-shirt and WOD log book
    • No cheats what-so-ever will be allowed – once you cheat you have the choice of switching to Option A, continuing with this Option, or withdrawing from the challenge (try not to make withdrawing an option)
    • Food logs to be reviewed by Dawson


    • The challenge is 6 weeks long and will start Friday October 1, 2010 and end on Remembrance Day Thursday November 11, 2010.
    • Challengers must take 3 before and after pictures: front, side, and back. Men must be in shorts that expose the quads. Women should be in shorts that expose the quads and sports bra, bikini top, or some type of shirt that exposes the shoulders and midsection. These pictures will not be distributed or shared with others without written permission from the individual.
    • ‘After’ pictures must be taken within 2 days of completing the challenge.
    • You will take the following measurements the day before the challenge and on the last day of the challenge:
      • Around the navel without sucking in your stomach
      • Around the widest part of your hips
    • Andrew and myself will sit down and review the pictures and determine which individuals had the most body composition change in the 6 weeks. These individuals will be deemed the winners.
    • Daily food logs must be recorded. Preferably on this site in the comments section for the particular day. As well as experiences/feelings, great recipes, websites, etc. If you want to indicate any supplements that you take feel free to do so.
    • Money must be submitted to Dawson no later than September 30. Late entries may participate but are not eligible for the prizes.


    • Alcohol – no more than a glass of wine (6 oz) or an ounce of hard alcohol per day
      • If you don’t consume alcohol one day you CANNOT add it to the next day or the end of the week
    • Protein powders – acceptable only after a workout
    • Dairy - only raw dairy or ghee permitted
    • Starchy vegetables (sweet potatoes, squash, roots, tubers) are strongly encouraged after a workout
    • Caffeine – allowed. Limit your quantity and no adding sugar or milk/cream. Must be black. Coconut milk is acceptable to use.


    Ellie said...

    Sounds good Dawson! I'm about to start my own Fall Detox so I'll be with you on this one. I'll be running my EFT for Food and Weight Issues Teleseminars for the next ten weeks starting September 23rd as well. That program will be hugely helpful for those with emotional eating issues that want help with the cravings and deprivation that Paleo is famous for. Details are on my website http://evolutionwellness.ca/eft-for-weight-loss-group/

    Beth said...

    Hey Dawson, could you give an example of raw dairy.

    Mike said...

    I'm in! After 5 months of being away from training and less than stellar eating habits this is the kick in the pants I need.

    Dawson said...

    Hey Beth. Raw dairy would be anything that is unpasteurized. So, unless you know a dairy farmer it is impossible to get raw dairy in Ontario because it is illegal for farmers to sell unpasteurized products. Which is stupid in my opinion. I think Quebec has different regulations though.

    Laura said...

    You can get raw cheeses at Pan Chancho Bakery but they are a bit pricey. I am pretty sure they all come from Quebec too.

    Sandra said...

    just asking - Quinoa is listed as a grain? from my reading it is not a grain nor related to grains, it does not contain gluten. How come its cut out of the diet? hahaha can you tell I love my Quinoa

    Ellie said...

    I was looking at the raw cheeses at Pan Chanco on the weekend, and there are some from Ontario as well. They have raw sheep's milk, goat's milk and cow's milk cheeses. They all run about $7-8 for 100grams, so you won't be eating a ton of it. I got some of the Bonnechere which is raw sheeps milk and some of Le Baluchorn, I might not have the spelling right on that, but it's a raw cow's milk. They are both really good and not too strong. I also asked the butcher at Brother's meats if he could get any raw cheeses and he said he'd check into it. It would be much handier to have someone closer to the west end of town that sold it. It any of you shop there, it might help if you let him know that you want it too.

    Dawson said...

    Sandra. Quinoa is grain-like. The seeds are protected by a poisonous coat which help them thrive in nature. Hunter-gatherers definitely could not just cultivate it and eat it. It is also high in the glycemic index scale. The purpose of this challenge is to focus on low-glycemic index foods and foods that need little to no processing before eating them. That is why dairy is not allowed unless you can find raw dairy. Hope that helps.

    I've had a few people ask how much raw dairy they can consume. I would say consume as little as possible. But you will know when you have consumed too much. Hahaha. I'll leave it at that.

    Andrew said...

    place your bets everyone ... I am going to try to curb my shit eating habits and try to get as fit as D-Man ... either that or I am going to wither away to about 145lbs haha

    Kaitlin said...

    Balsamic vinegar-- is that allowed?

    Kaitlin said...

    Also what are some good pre-workout snacks?

    Dawson said...


    From research that I have done about all types of vinegar, it is hard to tell if the vinegar that you are using is gluten free. Yes, most vinegars do contain gluten. And gluten is a type of protein found on most grains that lead to a condition known as "leaky gut syndrome". So, for the purposes of this challenge, I would say balsamic vinegar is not allowed. Unless the vinegar you find specifically says "Gluten Free".

    Pre-WOD snacks... Ideally you want to consume a small amount of protein and fat in order to mobilize glucagon which tells the cell membranes to open their channels so the energy that is stored inside them be readily available for use. So, this means eat a portion of protein, like chicken or turkey, that is about 1/3 to 1/2 the size of your palm and munch on a few high caloric pieces of fat (coconut or nuts). You will want to stay away from any carbohydrate source because carbs tell your cells, through the mechanism of insulin, to store energy.

    Hope this helps.