QALO believes we are all destined for more than a mediocre life, and we see fitness and nutrition as the best vehicle to rocketing people to their true potential. For this reason, we are proud to support the 2016 Lurong Living Championship Challenge in a big way.
We interviewed founder Danny Putnam to get an inside look at the mindset behind the challenge and tips for success.
Q: What inspired you to create this challenge?
We were working with affiliates across the country and we saw several needs that we knew we could create solutions for. First, many affiliates are frustrated by either the lack of time and interaction they are able to have with their clients in terms of their diet and nutrition. Second, affiliate owners were being worn out by the time drain that it takes to run an in-house challenge. Thirdly, countless athletes expressed that they want to make changes, but don’t know where to start. Other athletes said they have “tried everything” but nothing kept them engaged long enough or set sustainable expectations.
Therefore, we took all these NEEDS, and developed an “experience”, not a program, that could take any athlete from where they are and give them a positive, enlightening, and rewarding experience.
Q: Why do you think people need this kind of program?
I believe we have reached a point in our culture where we have information overload with application deprivation. Here’s what I mean: you can buy 100’s of books on nutrition, you can listen to dozens of podcasts, or review Google results for days, but how do you weed through all the opinions and keep it simple enough to understand? How do you apply all that enlightenment to your daily life in a way that makes a difference? You can download free apps that allow you to track all kinds of data, but who is there to keep you accountable and on track?
People, including myself, need a program or experience like this because it connects all the dots. It’s not just about head knowledge. The Challenge process recruits your mind, body, will, and heart as you make changes much deeper than what is measured on a scale.
Q: What kind of eating philosophy do you personally follow?
Our nutritional philosophy is based on a whole foods diet. The same principles apply to those trying to lose weight, those looking to get lean, or those looking to put on muscle mass. The Challenge incorporates 3 diet levels which you are never locked into. You can adjust on a meal-to-meal basis so you are always encouraged to make the best decision possible for you.
Personally, my family follows a whole foods foundation, my 3 children included. That doesn’t mean we are perfect! But the way we shop, the lunches we pack, and how we view our food is all filtered through a whole foods perfective.
Nutrition is a journey for everyone, and mine started before my days as a professional baseball player. In fact, without realizing the specific reasons for it, I challenged myself to avoid fast-food for 1 year. I succeeded. After being drafted by the Oakland A’s in the first round out of Stanford University, the importance of solid nutrition become more important to the daily grind. Still, it wasn’t until the end of my career that I started CrossFit and becoming aware of how much I needed to learn. I am grateful that I was able to personally experience how much nutrition affects performance at the highest level. These same principles have now blended into a maintainable, and tasty, lifestyle.
When your 5-year-old is given the choice of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a “pepper sandwich” (red pepper stuffed with turkey, paleo mayo, Swiss chard, tomato and avocado), and she chooses the pepper sandwich, you hold on to those moments. Parenting is hard, so we take all the victories we can get!
Q: Any advice for individuals doing the challenge for the first time?
The first thing I tell people is to come as you are. Nobody is perfect. Perfection isn’t the goal. Living to our potential is our goal. And our potential starts with a solid nutritional foundation. We are who we are today, and there is no shame in that. What we are responsible for is who we want to be tomorrow and what is our plan for becoming that better version of ourselves.
Second, trust the process. When we say 50,000 athletes just like you have gone through our challenges, we aren’t bragging. We are building our case for you to trust the process. Why is that so important? If you’ve never done something like this, it will be hard….at first. It is almost guaranteed that you will go through a detox period, from sugar, gliadin (wheat gluten), and artificial ingredients (chemicals). Don’t worry, you will come out smelling like roses.
Third, once you weigh-in and take your initial measurements, hide the scale, lose it, anything, just don’t look at it until the very end. Focus on the process, and your daily choices, and let the results happen automatically.
Finally, there is no better place to start your journey or to take your nutrition to the next level. So grab your box mates, friends, or family to join you. There is strength in numbers and community.
Thank you so much Danny for the great insight and advice!
To learn more and join the Lurong Living Champion Challenge, visit https://challengeseries.lurongliving.com/champ16/land.
Danny Putnam is the Owner and Co-Founder of Lurong Living & the Challenge Series. He was an All-American at Stanford University and a first-round draft pick of the Oakland Athletics in 2004. He made it to the Major Leagues in 2007. He holds CrossFit Level 1 and Level 2 certificates and lives in San Diego with his wife and 3 young children. He is passionate about his family, friends, and helping people live to their potentia