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What I Eat and Why: the 90-Day Challenge That Just Kept Going

October 9, 2019
Two eggs sunny-side-up with two strips of bacon, next to a bowl of chopped avocado, tomato, and nuts
Photo by Jonathan Cant on Reshot.

People have been asking me about my diet.

I don’t follow any diet 100%, but I do eat healthy. For me, that means simple clean foods with very few carbs. I’ve been doing this for a long time.

What I Eat

So, what do I eat? Lots of meat and vegetables, mostly. If I want carbs, I eat sweet potatoes or starchy vegetables. I eat very few simple carbs, so no sugar, no bread, no pasta.

For breakfast, I usually eat eggs, bacon, tuna, avocado, cottage cheese, or sometimes una arepita con harina pan. I could eat this breakfast every single day of my life and be happy.

Then lunch is chicken, fish (mostly salmon for the good fat!), or some other meat, always with salad and vegetables. Dinner really depends on my mood. Sometimes I’ll do a wrap with spinach and eggs, and other days I go for a salad with tuna or chicken. Sometimes I just drink a protein shake.

It’s not perfect but it is real, and when I eat this way, I feel great.

Why I Do It

I’ve been eating this way for years, but I didn’t always. When I tell people about how I eat, a lot of them say they could never do it, and that it sounds too hard. For me, though, it’s just normal. It’s how I eat every day, so it doesn’t feel hard.

For many people, starting is the hardest part. So, I want to talk about how I got started eating this way.

It Started with CrossFit

If you know me, you know that I get obsessed. When I commit to something, I go all in.

Well, about six years ago, I became obsessed with CrossFit. And I went all in. I signed up with a CrossFit box here in Miami, called “I Am CrossFit,” and I went six days a week. For years.

I even competed in every CrossFit competition in the Miami area . . . I was that obsessed.

(I still do CrossFit, but not every day.)

The author with his CrossFit friend, Mike Osuna

Anyway, after a few months of CrossFit, I became good friends with Mike Osuna. Mike was one of the co-owners of the box, and he’s not a professional nutritionist but he comes pretty close. He even wrote his own complete guide to the Paleo diet.

Mike got me started on Paleo, but at first, I wasn’t super convinced. I wasn’t all in, so I didn’t stick to it all the time.

The Challenge

That changed when Mike started a 90-day “Paleo Challenge.” He wanted to motivate people to do Paleo more seriously, with dedication.

Mike’s Paleo Challenge consisted of sticking to strict Paleo for 90 days, and getting a medical evaluation every 30 days.

The moment I heard of Mike’s challenge, I was all in. I wanted to do that challenge, and I wanted to crush it.

I was obsessed. I downloaded MyFitnessPal, a food-tracking app, and I started logging every meal I ate. I wanted as much data as I could get. I even weighed everything I ate!

The Results

Six photos of the author showing body composition progression. 

The results were just off the charts. Every month I did my medical evaluations. (My doctor, Jennifer Miranda, is a good friend and also a CrossFitter.) Jennifer did blood tests and a DEXA scan every month, to track my body fat percentage and other health markers.

the author's before and after photos

I couldn’t believe the results. In the first 30 days, I dropped about 5% of my body fat, and my blood test results improved across the board.

Still Going Strong

At the end of the 90 days, I didn’t “win” the challenge, but I felt incredible. I was stronger, more flexible, and the leanest I’d ever been. I could even see my abs! It was the best shape I’d ever been in.

I felt great. And I didn’t want that feeling to stop, so I just . . . kept going.

Several years later, I’m still going strong. I don’t do it as strictly as I did during those first 90 days, but I stick pretty close.

I’ve found a way of eating that works for me, that makes me feel great, and that I can keep for the rest of my life.

I might not have won the challenge, but I still feel like a winner.

The author competing in the NYC triathlon

How Do You Eat?

There you have it: all about what I eat and why.

What about you? Have you ever tried eating Paleo, or do you have another method that makes you feel great? Or are you still looking for the right thing, the one that will motivate you to go all in?

Either way, I want to hear about your journey. Tell me about it on Twitter!

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