How to do the January Challenge with Erica Stenz and Tommy Stracke
by Erica Stenz

Editor’s note: Earlier this month, our own San Francisco superstar Erica Stenz was selected by the Movemeant Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to addressing “the critical needs of our society by developing an innovative, multi-dimensional approach that utilizes advocacy and awareness for positive body image, peer-based mentorship/role models, and financial grants that make physical movement a reality.” Due to her work as an ambassador for this amazing organization, Erica was given a grant to create a community challenge that would inspire San Francisco to eat clean and promote self-esteem and confidence through exercise.

So starting January 1, 2016, Barry’s Bootcamp San Francisco trainers, Erica Stenz & Thomas Stracke, are leading a 14-day challenge in San Francisco supported by Movemeant Foundation and Old Navy. But you don’t have to be in San Francisco to join the challenge and start changing your eating habits (and your life). Erica has graciously written a guide for you. Want to make some real positive changes in your eating habits, even if only for 30 days? This is your instruction manual.



Each day we will post a daily exercise for the community on their personal Instagram & Facebook pages, so follow @ericastenz and @strackeattack to feel the burn.


We challenge you to eliminate SUGAR, GRAINS, DAIRY (with the exception of whey protein), LEGUMES and ALCOHOL for 14-days (or continue through Jan. 30th). These food groups may have a negative impact on your health and fitness, so eliminating these foods will likely help you FEEL BETTER by activating the reset button on your metabolism and reducing inflammation in your body. The benefits of eating whole, unprocessed meats, fish, vegetables, fruit and nuts for 14-days are amazing. And yes, coffee is included!

Or, you can just choose one or more of the following options:

1. NO SUGAR CHALLENGE: This means no: processed sugars, syrups, “natural” sugars like agave and coconut nectar, artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols. For further reference, go to for a complete list.  Sugar is found to be the leading culprit for many health diseases. It provides ZERO nutritional value, which means it’s just empty calories that can turn into fat. (Read this interesting study that inspired me to get sugar out of my diet).

* Whole fruit is totally okay!

2. NO ALCOHOL CHALLENGE: This includes all forms of alcohol, including cooking with alcohol.

Why? Numerous studies show that alcohol decreases athletic performance and increases health problems, not to mention it contains 7 calories per gram – almost as much as fat! From a hormonal perspective, alcohol consumption interferes with glucose regulation (disturbing normal blood sugar levels), by disrupting the action of regulatory hormones like insulin and glucagon. That disruption can promote systemic inflammation, a root cause of many lifestyle diseases and conditions. After the holidays, it’s definitely time for a two-week alcohol detox.

3. WHOLE30® PROGRAM: Basically it’s the Paleo diet – but stricter: no diary, no grains, no added sugar, no alcohol, no legumes and no cheating for 30 days! Visit to check it out. I also highly recommend reading the Whole30® book.

Join us! To participate in one or more of these challenges email


Erica’s Whole30® Personal Testimony

My girl friend Julia McBee convinced me to try the Whole30® Program last year.

This sounded pretty crazy to me, but ever since I studied and co-taught nutrition classes at UCSB, it’s been a passion of mine to learn more about living healthy through diet. So I tried it myself and then lead a Whole30® January Challenge with my friends and clients at Barry’s Bootcamp. Our Facebook page had 150+ people in our local community doing it together.

How it’s changed my life:

• I’ve lost 4% body fat with muscle gain and I FEEL my best.
• I don’t have to track my calorie intake.
• I’ve gained self-confidence in my own skin and love my body.
• I broke my expensive habit of eating a Questbar everyday.
• I spend a lot less money eating out because I pack my first meal every single morning (2 hard boiled eggs, sweet potato & broccoli for post-workout).
• My blood sugar and hormone levels don’t spike up and down. I have constant energy.
• I let go of my fear of cooking raw meat!
• I learned the difference between “hunger” and “craving” by asking myself the question: “Could I have chicken and broccoli right now?”
• My taste buds have changed so much. Real fruit sugars are sweet enough for me!

One of the biggest reasons I wanted to share this with Barry’s clients is because I see people WORKING HARD every single day in and day out. Exercise is KEY but combining the BEST WORKOUT IN THE WORLD WITH THE WHOLE30® IS MAGIC. Every single client that has done the Whole30® program with me has gained positive physically and physiological results. Not only has this program helped clients gain muscle and lose fat, but it’s also boosted self esteem because people are happy in their own skin. Their healthy lifestyle choices also impacts their families, friends, and coworkers in our community and beyond.

We want to show people, especially women, that you can LET GO of calorie counting and gain more long-lasting positive lifestyle results. That’s what I call FREEDOM.

Here’s how to participate no matter where in the world you are:

Sign up via Eventbrite:

  1. Enter your shipping address in the Eventbrite registration page if you need a copy of the Whole30® Book. This book will be your primary guideline (other than the website) if you choose the Whole30® Challenge option. We will send as many books from Amazon as we can (thanks Movemeant Foundation & Old Navy!)
  2. “Like” the ChallengeSF Facebook Page for tips and daily posts to follow (you can turn page notifications off): 
  3. Download the free app: “Way of Life” to track your daily progress. After January 14th, please send a screenshot to if you completed the challenge without cheating for a prize!
  4. If you post on social media please use these hashtags! #challengesf #clean14 #meanttomove #builtforplay