crossfit

Paleo Diet 101

You may have heard of the "paleo" diet. It was the world's most popular diet in 2013.

But what is it? Is it a fad? Is it right for you?

Scientist and "Paleo Mom" Sarah Ballentyne, Ph.D. defines it as:

The Paleo diet is a nutrient-dense whole foods diet based on eating a variety of quality meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. It improves health by providing balanced and complete nutrition while avoiding most processed and refined foods and empty calories.

The name “paleo” is from the “paleolithic” time when earlier humans (thousands of years ago) were hunters and gatherers. It is thought to represent the era of nutrition before agriculture.

 

What you can (and can’t) eat on the paleo diet

Great question! Of course, being a "diet," paleo has food guidelines. The paleo diet was created to increase the amount of whole, unprocessed, nutrient-dense foods; while reducing the number of gut-disrupting, hormone-disrupting, and inflammatory foods.

But this doesn't mean there are only a couple of foods to choose from! There is a pretty wide variety of food to choose from in the paleo diet.

You can include fruits, vegetables, eggs, nuts, seeds, meat (including organ meats), seafood, healthy fats, fermented foods, herbs, and spices.

The paleo diet excludes processed and refined foods (e.g. sugar, vegetable oils, artificial sweeteners, etc.), grains (e.g. wheat, oats, rice, etc.), dairy, and most legumes (e.g. beans, lentils, peanuts, etc.).

The paleo diet can be thought of as more of a "template," rather than a strict set of rules.

It’s a diet that seems to be easy to maintain, and with little to no negative side effects. There is no measuring or counting of calories or carbs. And there are plenty of delicious and nutritious foods to choose from.

Many proponents of the paleo diet even encourage experimentation by adding in a few of the (healthy whole) foods on their list of exclusions. High-quality dairy, white rice, or potatoes may be added to less restrictive forms of the paleo diet.

 

How does the Paleo diet affect health?

Several clinical studies have been done to find out whether there are health benefits of eating this way.

Some of the research has shown that the paleo diet can help with weight loss and belly fat. That alone may be reason enough to give it a try.

Not to mention its effect on several modern-day chronic diseases. For example, it can improve risk factors for heart disease. It has also been shown to reduce inflammation, improve glucose tolerance, and even reduce symptoms of some autoimmune diseases.

It’s also thought to be “gut-friendly” because it includes a lot of high-fiber foods (i.e. fruits, vegetables, nuts & seeds), fermented foods (which contain gut-friendly probiotics), as well as being full of nutritious natural foods.

 

Who should consider a paleo diet?

Some people recommend the paleo diet for those with food intolerances or autoimmune diseases. Those at high risk for heart disease or diabetes may also be good candidates to give the paleo diet a try.

If you react to gluten or lactose, this diet removes them both by eliminating all grains and dairy.

Even if you don't choose to go paleo, the elimination of added sugars, processed and refined foods can (should?) be a goal to move toward.

Conclusion

The paleo diet is based on what hunters and gatherers were believed to have eaten thousands of years ago. It is a whole-food based, nutrient-dense diet that focuses on fruits, vegetables, eggs, nuts, seeds, meat, seafood, and fermented foods.

Science has shown that it can help some people to lose weight, reduce risks of heart disease, improve glucose tolerance, and reduce inflammation.

At the very least, eliminating added sugars, processed, and refined foods are a great goal, even if you decide not to “go paleo.”

As always, keep in mind that there are several diet options that will work for most people and it is up to you to choose to practice the one that serves you best.

 

Recipe (Paleo): Banana Muffins

3 large eggs 5 mashed bananas ½ cup almond butter ¼ cup coconut oil 1 tsp vanilla ½ cup coconut flour 1 tbsp cinnamon 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 12 muffin cups with liners. In a food processor or stand mixer, blend eggs, bananas, almond butter, coconut oil, and vanilla.

In a large bowl mix coconut flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Add blended wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until combined.Spoon batter into muffin tins, ¾ full. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden.

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: You can top muffins with walnuts before baking.

 

References: https://authoritynutrition.com/paleo-diet-meal-plan-and-menu/ https://www.thepaleomom.com/start-here/paleo-diet/ https://authoritynutrition.com/5-studies-on-the-paleo-diet/

Synergy Burpee Challenge

burpees We begin a new month and it's so important to step back and look at everything you have accomplished so far this year. Be proud of it!! It's also important to evaluate what you still want to achieve. This helps us create new challenges for ourselves moving forward.

We're going to challenge ourselves this month with everyone's favorite... Burpees!! OK... OK... don't cringe... KEEP READING...

 

The burpee was created in the 1930s by Royal Burpee. He developed the burpee test and it was used to test the fitness level of recruits entering the military during WWII. It's improves and tests strength, agility and coordination.

Burpees are challenging, and of course can be tiring, but there's no question they are effective!

Let's take it to the next level this month, surprise yourself, grab a partner, and together kick it up a notch!

burpee_silhouette

HOW TO BURPEE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uX1IfVFkm6s

 

Choose With or Without A Partner

 

INDIVIDUAL BURPEES

A classic Burpee is a squat, jump out to plank, push-up, jump back to squat position, jump at the top (no jumping jack at top!)

During this challenge you can do any type of Burpee you'd like! Make it challenging especially during the first week when the rep numbers of LOW.

 

During workouts, incorporate Burpees, include them in your warm-ups, and definitely don't let a day go by over the next 30 days without doing Burpees!!

The goal is to do the number of Burpees corresponding with the date. So Day 1 do 1 Burpee, Day 2, do 2 Burpees... Day 3 - 3 Burpees, etc. If you complete this challenge you will be doing 496 Burpees!

**STEP IT UP: If you're "ADVANCED", do double the count on each day.

Take it to the EXTREME by doing Man-Makers for the first half of the month!!

 

PARTNER BURPEES:

burpees nowFor these you start by facing your partner. You both come down to floor and jump your feet out to plank position. Instead of push-up, clap your partner’s opposite hands (R/L). Jump feet in, clap hands at the top (double high five). For even more of a challenge throw a pushup in the mix between hand claps!! 

The goal is highest total number of Burpees and highest number of consecutive Burpees at one time.

 

 

3 Things That Make or Break My Workouts

Bob Garon OCR Training 2There are 3 things that I most always do and when I do I feel the benefits from them in my workout performance and recovery. If I alter even one of these 3 I almost immediately begin to feel the effects of that variable change.

2014-05-19 11.54.33 1) The first is after every single workout I always have a green smoothie. Green smoothies are essentially a dark leafy green with 1-3 fruits on top of that. The fruit masks the flavor of the dark leafy green and you receive all the nutritional benefits from the greens and fruit to begin working in your body to increase recovery. Just by that green smoothie inflammation is reduced in the body, energy climbs, hormones balance (cortisol & estrogen lower, testosterone spikes), and muscle heals.

One of my favorite recipes is simple and so nutritiously good! Big handful of spinach or kale Cup of blueberries 2-3 ripe bananas 1-2 apricots Blend and enjoy!

My friend Sergei Boutenko recently conducted a study on the effects green smoothies have on our bodies, mainly on athlete bodies. He studied runners and Crossfit athletes. What he found in the results of his 6 week study were pretty amazing. All the athletes did was add in one green smoothie every day into their diet. In fact, he didn't want them to alter anything else so they can clearly study the results from the introduction of the green smoothie. Check out his documentary called: Powered By Green Smoothies.

wpid-wp-1400705674759.jpeg 2) The second thing I do is always ensure I very thoroughly warmup and cool down. Without scheduling and spending the time to warmup and cool down I feel my body take longer to get into the workout and perform at the level I intend for it. Often times, during my strength training workouts, I spend more time warming up and cooling down than I do with my exercises for the workout. That's how important this part is. I also have been injured in the past, actually not too long ago and I posted about it too, and so I know how important it is for me to ensure I not only do this, but lead my Kettlebell and running students to do the same.

Here is the exact warmup and cooldown mobility drills and stretches that I practice before and after every single workout. I call them "Synergy Dynamics".

2014-03-11 17.31.153) The third thing is every day I make sure I get the right amount of sleep. This is probably THE MOST important one of the three. This can sometimes be a challenge as I get wrapped up in work or watching a Netflix tv show marathon, but sleep is rivaling its importance with good nutrition. Often times I feel the sleep I get is even more important than the food I put into my body. I eat for performance, for overall health & longevity, and also for recovery from workouts. No matter how I eat, if I don't get enough sleep my body will never fully heal itself and because of that, my performance and health will then suffer.

During sleep our tissues repair themselves and hormones balance. In studies, it is found that when we don't get enough sleep our stress hormones are spiked and this also jeopardizes our immunity on top of that. One way to help us get our 7-8 hours of sleep a night is to turn off or dim the lights around us. This includes our TVs, computers, phones, tablets, etc. The ambient light stimulates our brains to want to stay awake by not producing the melatonin hormone which helps us initiate our Circadian Rhythm.

I hope these 3 things help you and by practicing them every day I know you will experience increased health, strength, body leanness (aka fat loss), and longevity. Overall you will be happier with yourself and how your body works. Well either do the above 3 for that to happen or we could just add my favorite bonus #4 which is to eat dark chocolate. That alone can accomplish everything!