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If you're on Thirdspace's email list or Community Pool Facebook Group, you've been notified with your first 2018 health challenge: Take a 28-day absence from sugar and grains and adopt the NSNG (No Sugar No Grains) lifestyle. 

I received the notification the day after Christmas and was pretty shocked because I couldn't fathom NOT having any sugar or grains in my diet. Especially, since I'm a vegetarian. I already have quite a few diet restrictions. But I'm not one to shy away from a challenge so I accepted it as a test of personal willpower and to see if it would actually help. 

After Googling articles on NSNG and downloading the creator's (Vinnie Tortorich, Celebrity Trainer) introduction guide, I found out that I could receive many health benefits from eliminating sugar and grain from my diet. Not only could I lose weight, but I could gain more energy for my busy lifestyle and workouts. It's actually supposed to improve my physical performance, Vinnie explained. 

I was pretty stoked to read all of this. 

So, I decided to start a day before the challenge start date, which was January 2, and get things rolling. On day 10 of my journey (1/10/18), here are the changes I've noticed about myself - 

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Meal Prep: I am a meal prepping machine right now and it feels great! I quit meal prepping months ago and since then I've missed too many breakfast meals; spent too much money on eating out; and adopted some pretty weird eating habits. What NSNG has taught me - if I meal prep for my day-to-day, I will never go without a meal (a healthy one at that) and I will have more control over the food I eat and the money I spend because I am prepared. I know I don't have to meal prep for this lifestyle or challenge, however, if I don't prep, I'll end up eating something that is not part of the NSNG lifestyle. 

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Nutrition: I am eating cleaner and I'm expanding my "food knowledge" and it is GOOD. I really thought I was a clean eater before NSNG, but I now see how much of my foods were loaded with high amounts of sugars. It's exciting to learn new recipes, create new go-to meals, and fill my plate with flavorful, rich, and nutrient dense foods. I'm even learning how to spice things up more with tasty seasonings!

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Community: This challenge has really helped me get closer to Thirdspace coaches and members because we are in this new experience together. Everyone has been really encouraging and supportive during this process and I feel grateful to have this opportunity to get know my peers better. It's so much fun hearing about their progress, how they're reacting to NSNG, and learning about who they are outside of the gym.

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Weight Loss: I've lost 2 lbs. already! I look thinner and feel lighter - literally, my jeans are beginning to sag on me - and I'm finally seeing my stubborn belly fat and love handles slim down. My waist size before the challenge was a little over 29 inches and my "love handle waist" measured a little over 34". Today my waist is just under 28" and my love handles are just under 33". What day is this again? Oh yea, only day 10! So, I'm super stoked to see the results after day 28!

Energy & Physical Performance: This is something I can't speak on quite yet. I was sick for the first week of January and now trying to regain my strength to get back into a TRX class and do a WOD for this challenge. But I have heard other participants talk about how energized they feel. Disclaimer: My illness did NOT contribute to my weight loss because I ate full and complete meals and snacks every day. 

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Dedication and Willpower: I love feeling completely dedicated to a better me! I feel confident and good about myself, and it's been a great way to kick off my 2018 health goals! I really believed this challenge was going to be a true test of my willpower, but I've noticed it's not that hard to stay away from sugar and grains. The knowledge, confidence, and results I'm experiencing are empowering!

If you're a Thirdspacer who joined the challenge, I'd love to hear how you're doing! You can add me on My Fitness Pal (username AdrianaMichelle7) or find me on Facebook (Adriana Michelle). I'm pretty vocal on Thirdspace's Community Pool, so I won't be hard to miss.

If you haven't joined the challenge, you can always start your own by adopting the NSNG lifestyle at any time. Many of us Thirdspacers can help you begin with the information we've learned thus far. 

For updates about the challenge on social, like Thirdspace on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/thirdspace.fitness/

Contributing Blogger : Adriana Michelle, Thirdspace Member

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