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ClimbingFoodMusingsStaying HealthyThe InteriorTrip Journal

Inspiration Found

By March 6, 2014March 20th, 20143 Comments
Adios, San Diego.

Adios, Dallas. Confession: our lovely layover consisted of a pit stop at Fuddruckers. :\

After a week of California vacation binge-mode, we are back in Chattanooga and feeling motivated again.  Sometimes a forced break really helps put things into perspective. Spenser talked a bit about our climbing haps in his last post, and this post is going to about another things we can’t live without: food. [No matter how much traction the Breatharian movement gets! Okay, but seriously, I know food can be an addiction, but this as a long-term sustenance plan is nuts.]

While in San Diego, we figured we’d take advantage of our locality and head up to Encinitas to visit a company we were first introduced to at the OR show in January, GoodOnYa. Spenser knows that I am always on the lookout for good gluten-free products, and during the OR show, he happened upon the GoodOnYa booth. We were able to snag a box of bars during the show and devoured them over the next week. They were delicious and, for once, we were pleasantly surprised by each and every ingredient.

Our favorite bar is the Superhero. Looks at those ingredients!

Our favorite bar is the Superhero. Because we want to be super strong. Like, obviously, and or duh.

My stomach is incredibly irritable, even beyond my Celiac Disease. I also don’t do well with soy (read: mad indigestion), so it’s an annoyance to find a gluten-free snack bar that fits the bill.

Since we loved the bars and, even more importantly, the company ethics, we decided to pay the GoodOnYa office a visit and see if we could figure out a way to we could work together. They have a small office on the 101, and an even smaller team consisting of four major players. Kristen, a former field hockey Olympic athlete, founded the company in 2001 after her body was pushed beyond its limits by her diet and lifestyle…even though she was considered as fit as a fiddle. She soon learned that skinny and healthy-looking does not a healthy person make.

Beyond their amazing bars, the crew is about to launch their line of hydration drinks which Spenser and I could not be more excited for. I am particularly excited since I can’t drink the “usual” hydration suspects- Gatorade is not gluten-free friendly since it contains the ubiquitous “modified food starch” ingredient (not to mention the exorbitant amount of sugar- 20 ounces will give you 34 grams). To sum up the meeting- things could not have gone better. Their products fit our lifestyle and beliefs and we can’t wait to start a partnership with them this spring.

After meeting with the GoodOnYa team, Spenser and I left with mixed feelings. We believe in what they stand for and we are thoughtfully in support of the real food movement (as in, there’s definitely some BS and pseudoscience to it, but there’s some undeniably important points, too). But…we get lazy and consistently eat things that are not good for us, either out of ease or because we just feel like it (or, it makes us feel better). We abided by a one-a-week binge-day diet for a few weeks here and there, but it didn’t stick, and we’ve gone back to our evil ways while in Chatty. I’m sure y’all have heard about Spenser’s cinnamon roll addiction by now…

No more of this... But you bet your britches this was our first stop after landing in LA.

No more of this… But you bet your britches this was our first stop after landing in LA.

So, here it is. We are going to do a 30-day food challenge. We know that doing a challenge will actually keep us honest because, otherwise, we’re not strong-willed enough to say no when hamburger or pizza pie beckons. Or, when a friend (or, worse, someone we’re trying to impress!) offers us an item we *know* we shouldn’t eat. We are big pushovers, through and through, but at least we’re self aware.

I’m sick of my stomach holding me back. I am fully gluten-free, but there’s clearly other items in my diet that negatively affect how I feel (or, I am sensitive enough that when we eat out, the gluten that I am accidentally dosed with by cross-contamination is a cause). Both Spenser and I often feel foggy-brained AKA “brain fog” (which is actually the clinical term) and lethargic. Neither of us even want to think about all the other negative effects: my shoulder still gives me trouble, my finger pulley is still testy after almost a year, Spenser’s elbow tendinitis continues to flare up, general inflammation, muscle recovery, mental health, sensitivity to allergens, and lowered immune response. Oh my! We’re opening a can of worms, aren’t we?!

Photo credit: Sebastian Kaulitzki/

It’s human nature to sandbag yourself- give yourself an excuse not to succeed. I’m honestly most scared that we will feel better, because that means we won’t be able to rely on some of our treasured comfort food any more- at least not with a free conscious. Nonetheless, the need to know is stronger. Don’t you want to know if this recurring nasal drippage is caused by the food you eat or what life is like without an irritable bowel to hold you back?

2014 is our year to shit or get off the pot, and that’s in all realms of our lives. We signed a film contract with and will be filming some shorts for La Sportiva…we finally have true deadlines and responsibilities, beyond my job in organ donation. We need to be focused instead of foggy more than ever. We need structure, we need to keep each other accountable, we need to stop using living on the road as an excuse. We think this is a good place to start.

What’s the challenge going to be, you ask?

Well, I’m in the midst of doing my research and will have a rule list shortly. I want to make sure I can uphold the rules that we set and not just depend on the airy-fairy nonsense that runs rampant on the interwebs. What we’ve already decided upon:

– No gluten (for Spenser also)

– No bread products (not even GF bread and, yes, no cinnamon rolls for Spenser…no matter how gooey!)

– No dairy (we usually try to stick to just Sheep & Goat milk products, but are going to completely stay away from any dairy for 30 days and see what happens)

– No soy (not even soy lecithin, which is in almost every chocolate bar, ever.)

– Really, really, really, truly limiting how much we eat out. This is a toughie because going out to eat is often where business happens, or how you catch up with friends, or how you solidify new friendships along the road. Will get back to you on our guidelines for this.

Even more awesome news is that Katie Boué, from The Morning Fresh and big yellow van fame, will be joining in on the challenge. She will make her own rules based on what she thinks she can abide by, but I am stoked to have her along! If anyone else wants to get in on this, let us know, the more the merrier…or misery loves company. Either way, it’s gonna be a true test.

Oh, and…

…There will be hashtag.

Yep, that's a rainbow coming out of the building my parents reside in. Photo by my father.

Yep, that’s a rainbow coming out of the building my parents call home. Photo by my Father, who is incredibly gifted at catching rainbows on film, among other thing.


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