Rocking it Out with Body Rock (Eating for Change Challenge)

As I slowly adjust to my new life in Hawaii, I decided to get back into my Eating for Change Challenge I started this year. A while ago, I bought an online nutrition program for a steal, a program called Body Rock. I was still very much in my exploratory days of ZooFit and how nutrition fit in my program. I knew nutrition and eating habits fit in somehow, and somewhere, I just wasn’t very good at discussing it. (To be fair, I still don’t know everything I’d like to know about fitness and nutrition– they are very tricky subjects)

I remember doing the meal plan and actually enjoying most of the meals back in 2016. So, for this month’s Eating for Change challenge, I decided to revisit Body Rock and re-evaluate the program, with a lot more knowledge on my side.

Solid as a Rock

If you want the short story, this is a solid program. I don’t have hardly any qualms about the information founder Lisa-Marie Zbozen included in the nutrition book. In fact, I dare say Body Rock helped inform me on a couple principles about diet and nutrition. I struggle with the “counting calorie” diets out there. I think that leads to obsession, shaming, and guilt– a pretty strong punishment mentality. From what I read and experienced, Body Rock isn’t about counting calories. But they do share nutritional content on their meals, including calories, and they have a section where they explain calories and dietary requirement adaptation.

“By definition, a calorie is the amount of energy required to heat up one kilogram of water one degree Celsius…When it comes to your fitness goals, a calorie is, simply put, a measurement of stored (potential) energy. The calorie count of food is a way for you to track the amount of potential energy contained in that food.”

Well, when you put it that way, calories don’t sound nearly as scary as we’ve been led to believe. Our bodies require energy to function, and calories provide that energy. This also explains, at least to me, why other nutrition folks say “what KIND of calorie counts more.” Sugar and avocados both have calories, but it’s the energy they provide that counts. Sugar gives you a burst of energy, sure, but it is short-lived. An avocado has a ton of calories, but provides long-term energy.

Another learning bit for me with the Body Rock nutrition program was the 6 Essential Vitamin Sources. I have done research on Vitamin D (which we get from being in nature as much as from fish, mushrooms, and some dairy), and I’ve been discovering the necessity of B-complex because my husband and I are gradually reducing our meat intake more and more (although we have that Maui Nui delivery– venison from Maui’s wild population of axis deer…should I do a post on that?). But there are other nutrients in other vitamins, like Vitamin A, which apparently boosts immune system. It’s mostly your orangish colored foods– carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, bell peppers, winter squashes, and tropical fruits like papaya– but also includes, as per usual, your leafy greens. Dark leafy greens, in case you were wondering what is the best superfood in the world, also provide calcium, vitamin C, and iron (4 of the 6 discussed vitamin sources).

The meal plan provided by Body Rock for the 4 weeks helps you include tons of these essential vitamins, and leafy greens are prominent in many of the recipes.

Honey Garlic Spinach and Walnut Salad

– 2 cups spinach
– 1/3 cup red onion, thinly sliced
– 1/2 cup roasted corn
– 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
– 1/2 cup cucumber, sliced
– 1 tablespoon walnuts
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (substitute apple cider vinegar if needed)
– 1 tsp garlic powder
– 1 tsp agave nectar or honey
– Salt and pepper to taste

Combine spinach and next 5 ingredients (through the walnuts) in a bowl and toss. Mix the remaining ingredients (olive oil through salt and pepper) in a small bowl. Drizzle dressing over salad.

Reinforcing My Values

I think what really resonated with me about Body Rock was their philosophy mirrored a lot of my own. Many other programs schedule a “cheat day” where you eat whatever you want (I did this on the Body for Life program way back in 2003, and it did not go over well). The problem with this thinking is two-fold: I’ve adopted a bit of Bright Lines mentality (not a huge fan of the program, but this aspect works well) where you make the decision once, and never think about it again. I don’t eat palm oil, I don’t eat fast food, I don’t drink soda. I never have a “cheat day” where I have a little soda, or stop by McDonalds. It’s a clear, bright line. If I had cheat days, I would constantly be asking myself, “is today the day I get to have fast food?” As Jack Canfield said, “99% is a bitch, 100% is a breeze.”

The other issue with cheat days, as Body Rock discusses, is that the definition of a “cheat day” implies that we should be missing out on foods we love most of the time. As the program says, “we take offense to the implication that enjoying an occasional indulgence is cheating. It’s not, We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: a healthy, balanced lifestyle involves eating a variety of foods. Most of the time those foods will be clean and nutritionally dense, and then occasionally, not so much. You deserve to indulge every now and then without feeling guilty.”

I appreciate how Body Rock’s philosophy aligns with ZooFit’s: If you want a burger…have the burger! But don’t make a day of burgers. And perhaps, just perhaps, once you’ve found some great recipes you enjoy, you won’t feel like you are missing out on burgers at all…

Tandoori Chicken

– 4 oz. boneless chicken breast (I used a plant-based chicken product)
– a pinch of cayenne pepper
– 1 tsp ground ginger
– 1/2 tsp paprika
– 1/4 tsp cinnamon
– 1/4 tsp turmeric
– about 1/4 to 1/3 cup light canned coconut milk

Combine all the spices in a bowl. Add coconut milk and stir to make a paste. Rub the paste onto the chicken (or if you want it to marinate as a sauce, add a little more coconut milk). Place chicken with marinade/paste in container in the refrigerator overnight or for several hours. Grill the chicken on a grill or sauté in pan.

Rocking It?

Okay, I have to admit, so far, this was my most enjoyable Eating for Change program I have tried. And after a nearly two month hiatus. I never felt I was practicing a program. I was just trying recipes from a book I had for a long time.

That being said, I didn’t lose an ounce practicing this nutrition plan. Not one. There are other factors in play– I’m still a little (lot) stressed from my new job, new routine, new living situation. Not to mention I have some physical issues that are preventing me from working out more than a little mobility in the morning.

My only struggle I had with Body Rock is that I, well, I got a little bored with their food. Some of the recipes didn’t have much flavor to them, until I jazzed them up a little (and no, I’m not talking about salt, just spices and taking out the blandness of some recipes). But the fact that I adhered to this program with little effort, and didn’t experience much FOMO, I think this is a viable program. I’m pretty good nowadays at reading a recipe and being able to tweak it to make it my own. Body Rock has a decent supply of healthy, nutritious, and delicious meals, relatively easy to make, and not breaking the bank or my sanity trying to create.

The worst thing I did with this program was not checking to see availability or accessibility for people today. I bought my program in 2016, however when I was writing this post, I could not find the meal plan anywhere. There is BodyRockTV, which looks to be workouts, but no nutrition plan. Please let me know in the comments if you have any luck finding the program online, and I’ll update this post and add links.

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