Tuesday 10.9.12

What is the Paleo Diet???

My mom was a nurse for a very long time, and growing up, she always told me that no matter what kind of diet/nutrition plan that I followed, you should never entirely elimiate a food group. I remember when the Atkins Diet craze started and we talked about how insane that diet was ("what? so this guy thinks that you can eat bacon and hamburger patties all you want and be healthy??! Ha!"). You can imagine my sketpicism when we started CrossFit and started being told about the Paleo Diet with all of its meaty and bacon-y goodness and no grains. However, it was a 30 day Paleo Diet challenge with before and after pictures determining a cash prize winner, and who am I to turn down a challenge...so we started learning about this diet. 

Here's the short version. The Paleo Diet is about eating:
1) Real food. The human body was not designed to consume all the crappy chemicals that you can't pronounce in all of the food in boxes and frozen bags on the inside isles of the grocery store. Nor was it made to eat meat with hormones and nitriates injected inside.

2) Fresh produce. Uh, yum. Quality is king. Buy local and organic as often as possible.

3) Meat. Lean meat is best. This is, after all, known as "The Caveman" Diet, and cavemen were HUNTER-gatherers. Meat back in the day was natural with no added hormones, red meat animals were grass-fed and fowl were cage-free. 

4) Fat. Good fats like avocado, oils, nuts, seeds and animal fat. When you buy stuff that says, "low fat" on it, a) it probably came in a package and you shouldn't be eating it anyways, and b) they probably replaced that fat with some weird chemical so that the food would still taste good

5) Avoid sugar, grains, legumes and dairy. Yes, even whole grains. Gluten causes inflamation of joints and tissues. Sugar causes insulin levels to rise, and since insulin is a storage hormone, our bodies start to store fat. Fat doesn't make you fat, sugar makes you fat. Dairy causes growth and it doesn't discriminate. Think about it: there are no other mammals that consume dairy after breastmilk. Cow's milk is made to take a 70lb calf and cause it to put on between 50-100 lbs a month until it becomes a 1000 lb cow. That's growth.

What can happen is that people tend to focus on point #5: all the things that you "can't" eat. But look at all of the delicious stuff I told you that you SHOULD eat!! If you've ever had a salad, steak, and green veggie for dinner, you've eaten a paleo dinner. If you've ever had an omelette for breakfast, you've had a paleo meal. It does require some self discipline in the face of all that junk out there today, but you have no idea how good you can feel :More energy, lighter, cleaner, changed body composition, not to mention all of the diseases like diabetes and cardiovasular diesease that this eating style helps prevent. 

If you've never cut out the grains and processed foods before, it's easy to think that you feel just fine. Ignorance is bliss, my friend. Let's face it: the biggest part of the USDA food pyramid is the "grains" section, and last time I checked America has been doing nothing but getting fatter, even as we try to adhere to a "low fat" diet. All that being said, the best thing you can do is try it. Give it 30 days. We're always here to answer questions and help if you need it. Meanwhile, I'll be posting some recipes and websites over the next few weeks to get you started.

What is the Paleo Diet?: Robb Wolf's website: http://robbwolf.com/what-is-the-paleo-diet/

 

1600 m run
rest 3 min
1200m run
rest 2 min
800m run
rest 1 min
400m run

Score is total working time