15 April 2013


"He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good."
Proverbs 19:8

Run 800m
Rest 3 mins
Run 400m
Rest 2 min
Run 800m
Rest 3 mins
Run 400m


Farmer carry a heavy (200-300lbs) tire 150yd*
*Every time you set the tire down you incur one penalty. Each penalty is 10x burpees to be performed immediately.

Food Matters
            I’m not sure who first said it but I love the quote “You can’t out-train a crappy diet.” Diet is arguably the most important factor (right up there with sleep and recovery!) to our overall health and well-being, as well as our performance in the gym, on the mats, in the ring, on the field, etc. Eating real food is where it’s at; nothing that man ever manufactures in a lab will ever come close to the goodness of Mother Nature.

How Do I Eat?

Nutrition is one of the most widely contested subjects out there. It’s practically the only science that doesn’t really have any over-arching unifying theories. Everyone has an opinion on “what’s best”. With so much lack of unity and confusion, what do we do? Who do you believe? One year eggs will kill you, the next they’re great for you, Atkins had it right, Atkins had it wrong...etc, etc.
            Where can we look for a diet that will be universally the best all around for everyone? I’m talking about a fat burning, muscle growth promoting, anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant rich, chronic disease fighting/reversing (yes that’s possible!), absolute most nutritiously dense, kind of diet you can get!
The answer to our nutritional quest lies not in some secret ingredient yet to be discovered deep in the Amazon rain forest, or the latest fad celebrity cookie diet. No, our answer lies in the past with our Paleolithic ancestors. “Paleo-eating” is a way of mimicking what our ancestors ate for hundreds of thousands of years before the advent of agriculture (a mere 10,000 years ago). To put this time scale in perspective if you broke our time on this planet as a species down to say a football field, only in the last 5 yards or so would we have introduced things like milk, dairy, bread, and cereal grains into our diet. So for practically 95% of our time as a species we’ve subsided and adapted to eating some combination of the following: Lean meats, seafood, veggies, fruits, nuts, and seeds. These are the foods that we truly thrive on!

Benefits of eating Paleo/Primal
            So what makes paleo/primal eating so great? For starters pound for pound calorie for calorie you literally cannot eat a more nutritiously dense diet. You can stack whole grains, legumes and dairy up against lean meats, fruits and veggies in which ever order you like and the meats, fruits, veggies will win all day every day. In a nutritional break down including Macronutrients (carbs, fat, protein) and micro nutrients (vitamins, and minerals) a paleo diet is pound for pound the most nutritiously dense diet around. Eating a Paleo diet has many positive physiological benefits for your body including but definitely not limited to:

•   Optimizes fat (as opposed to carbohydrates) as the primary fuel/energy source for your body
•   Sensitizes/makes your insulin system more efficient (that’s protection from diabetes!)
•   Optimizes muscle growth (long lean muscle for the ladies)
•   It is an anti-inflammatory diet (many terrible things that happen in the body are either directly or indirectly tied to inflammation)
•   Promotes Human growth hormone release
•   It stabilizes your blood sugar levels which helps to stabilize your mood
•   Provides rock-solid (no big peak and crash) energy levels through-out the day
•   The (relatively) high fat and high protein content of eating paleo/primal curbs carb and sugar cravings leaving you feeling satisfied not deprived (Cordain, 2010), (Wolf, 2010)

Adherence strategies

  • I would recommend starting out with 2-3 cheat meals a week
  • At cheat meals eat whatever you want and don’t feel bad about it!
  • Be honest about your 2-3 meals, enjoy them but don’t have more than that
  • Keep some higher percentage dark chocolate (60% and up, my personal favorite is the 90% Lindt) on hand for sweet cravings
  • Keep your favorite salted nut/seed on hand for salty crunchy cravings
  • Keep on guard for our “Instant Gratification” attitudes
  • Results will come, be consistent
  • Remember that you’re far better off adhering to something for the long haul and having built in “cheat” meals than to go a period of time strictly and followed by cyclical gorging of the bad stuff
Connecting The Dots
            Thousands of people that have given this diet a solid try have found major health benefits (and performance gains!). A major issue is that people don’t connect what they’re putting into their bodies with how they’re feeling/performing. I don’t typically advocate “going-strict” however if you’re looking for a challenge and you truly want to experience for yourself the (possible) negative effects of consuming gluten/grains/dairy, then do a 30 day strict period. When you’re 30 days is up re-introduce those “forbidden” foods at the levels in which you were previously consuming them. See how you look, feel, perform on those, if you don’t have any issues, then more power to you. However, a common theme that I’ve noticed with people is that the longer they go on eating clean this way, the more strict they gradually become, because they begin to fully realize how good it feels to eat clean, and more importantly, they really feel it when they don’t.

            All of that being said eating clean doesn’t have to be complicated, in fact it really could be boiled down to this:

·      Eat mostly meat and veggies
·      Minimize/Avoid starches (potatoes, rice, pasta)
·      Minimize/Avoid sugar
·      Minimize/Avoid simple carbs
·      Eat whole, unprocessed foods
·      Drink water

            On a personal note, I’ve been eating this way for nearly 3 years now and have never felt better. I’ve had a stopped up nose for most of my life, and when I took out the wheat and dairy I was free and clear in 5 days, and as it turns out I really enjoy the ability to breathe through my nose! I have an over-use injury in my left elbow and when I cut out all of the inflammatory grains and most dairy from my diet my elbow “magically” is pain free.
            Also, we started our twins (Maddie and Owen) on this way of eating when they were right around 2 years old. Before starting this they both either had runny, snotty noses, or stopped up ones. Within a week of cutting out wheat and dairy they were totally cleared up. I can count on one hand how many times we’ve ever taken them to the doctor for being sick. Owen has never been on a full round of anti-biotics in his life, and Maddie has only been on one round in hers, they are turning five this June. Any parents out there will fully appreciate that this is an impressive medical record for any child. I’m not saying that the diet alone is responsible, but it’s most definitely a factor. We emphasize good sleep, exercise, and clean food in my family.

Resources for Getting Started

            If you want to understand the science and “the why” behind why paleo is arguably the healthiest diet you can possibly eat, get Robb wolf’s book “The Paleo Solution”
            If you don’t care about geeking out on the science stuff and just want the info for the lifestyle then get Mark Sisson’s Book: “The Primal Blue Print” . For most people I would recommend The Primal Blue Print because it’s more “user friendly” and less technical, and Mark Sisson also has a more realistic approach (the 80/20 rule) to adhering to the diet than Robb Wolf.

Web Sites:

•   The Paleo Diet For Athletes (geared towards endurance athlete’s but still lots of good info especially on pre-during-post workout nutrition guidelines)
•   The Paleo Solution- Robb Wolf
•   The Primal Blue Print-Mark Sisson
•   The First 20 Mins- Gretchen Reynolds
•   The Mood Cure Book-Julia Ross
•   Spark: The revolutionary new science of Exercise and the brain- John Ratey

No comments:

Post a Comment