The 2020 Fall Nutrition Effort began with the 800 Gram Challenge (#800gChallenge®). For four weeks, athletes had to eat at least 800 grams of fruits and vegetables a day. With 8 possible points to earn, 4 points were given for eating 800+ grams, 1 point for attending a workout at Roots, 2 points for eating 6+ different items, and 1 bonus point that changed weekly.

Caitlin Durling ended Phase 1 on top of the leaderboard with a total of 220 points.

Why did you choose to participate in the 2020 Fall Nutrition Effort?

I’m hard-pressed to think of a Roots nutrition challenge that I have NOT done. I try to sign up for all of them – I almost always learn something new. And, it’s a nice way to participate in the community aspect of the gym.  

What was your biggest challenge?

Two things: giving up coffee creamer and protein bars during Phase 2. As hard as I try, I’m not a black coffee person, so I normally use a combo of coconut milk & almond milk in my coffee (Nut Pods). Nut Pods is unsweetened but likely in the ‘processed foods’ category so I cut it out during the challenge.  Also, I often grab a bar when I’m on the go. During the challenge, I swapped for a piece of fruit, which isn’t a bad outcome, but it was harder to hit my protein requirement. 

What part of the 2020 Fall Nutrition Effort was easy for you?

I did the 800g challenge for the first time almost three years ago and it’s just how I eat now.  It’s not unusual for me to have 300+ grams of veggies for breakfast.  It was also relatively easy to get workout points.  I typically WOD 5 days a week and run at least once on the weekends, so I had an advantage with a 5K run counting toward workout points.  

Did you do an Inbody scan? If so, how did your results change?

My scale has gone up 2 pounds. But, I got my first ring muscle up during the challenge, so there’s that.

* Caitlin ended the challenge with 1.1 more pounds of skeletal muscle mass and shed 1.2% body fat.

What kept you motivated throughout the challenge?

My kids kept asking me if I had eaten my 800g for the day.  “Mom, have you eaten your 800g?”, “How about now?”,  “Are you done yet?” 

What did you learn from this challenge? 

Not entirely new, but the challenge reinforced how much easier it is to stay on track when you have a plan. We were on vacation in Arizona when the challenge started, so it took a bit more effort to get in the 800g and a workout, especially since the hotel gym required reservations and had a 30-minute time cap.  So, we had to spend some time each night making sure we were prepared for the next day: picking out an At-Home WOD and making sure we had enough fruits/veggies on hand for the day.  For the two day drive home, we pre-weighed bags of fruit/veggies and worked out early AM before getting in the car and then after getting home the next day.