So, with my sister-in-law as my Whole30 guide, I successfully followed the program for the entire month of November. The beginning was really bumpy for me — I am truly an emotional eater and I am absolutely addicted to sugar. But once it was done, it was clear to me that the benefits outweighed the challenges. I now have a whole new understanding and respect for my body and a newfound control over the food I put in my mouth. Full disclosure that the Whole30 diet affects everyone differently, but here are the seven biggest changes I saw in myself after 30 days:
One of the most interesting experiments comes after you finish Whole30 and slowly start adding foods back into your diet. You get to test how foods you stopped eating during the month affected you after you added them back in. The most shocking for me? Legumes make me feel bloated (they just do!). When I added gluten back, the next day I broke out in a rash. And now that I've curbed my "sugar dragon" (that's what they call sugar cravings on Whole30), I try to avoid sugar as much as humanly possible. In fact, December came after my Whole30 experience, so of course I indulged in a few glasses of wine at a holiday party, and BOOM — my skin broke out. Now I have a better idea of what to avoid altogether, and what to watch if I do decide to indulge.
While gorging on cheese and bread post–Whole30 sounds fun, it's not the way you're supposed to end the elimination diet. Instead, you want to slowly reintroduce certain food groups to see how each individually affects your body and mind. I decided to go this route because I was interested in discovering food sensitivities. And frankly, I was afraid of puking the second I came into contact with dairy or alcohol.
On Day 4, I reached for a beef jerky stick from Epic. I simultaneously took a big bite while turning over the packaging to read the label. When I saw it on the ingredients list, I stopped mid-chew: "honey." I immediately spit the partially chewed jerky in my garbage can. Close one. After that, I always read the labels on my food twice before eating a morsel.
Another downside: If you have had chronic health issues (especially gut related), you may find that reintroduction actually teaches you that you're sensitive to most foods. It turns out peanut butter, gluten, and most dairy are now off limits. That rots!! But I'll live. I feel so, so much better without them, as I learned. And wouldn't you rather know why you feel crappy all the time?
Beginners to weight training – If you have NEVER weight trained before (or trained only on machines), CrossFit is a great place for you to start (provided you have a great coach, which I’ll cover shortly). You’ll learn how to do all of the important lifts in a super supportive and nonjudgmental environment. You might even find that…GASP…you love strength training!
The paleo diet runs on the same foods our hunter-gather ancestors supposedly ate: fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood, and nuts. "By following these nutritional guidelines, we put our diet more in line with the evolutionary pressures that shaped our current genetics, which in turn positively influences health and well being," says Loren Cordain, PhD, professor of health and exercise science at Colorado State University and author of The Paleo Diet. He says the diet lessens the body's glycemic load, has a healthy ratio of saturated-to-unsaturated fatty acids, increases vitamin and nutrient consumption, and contains an optimal balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
As long as your salmon is low-mercury and wild (not farmed), you are doing your body good with this high- protein and fat combo. By consuming fat with protein, you give your body extra energy to break it down into amino acids – a key piece of daily digestion. This Whole30 recipe will set you up for smooth sailing the next day – so make it the night before your big morning meeting.
“I think there are a lot of positives about it,” Holley says. “It cuts out a lot of processed foods just naturally, like processed grains or added sugar through soft drinks or juice.” And because the diet promotes eating anti-inflammatory foods — like fruits, vegetables, and unsaturated fats in nuts and certain oils — your health could benefit, Holley explains. Cutting out processed foods and sugar will also help lower your risk of certain diseases, like type 2 diabetes and certain cancers, she says. (6)
Do not step on the scale or take any body measurements for 30 days. The Whole30 is about so much more than weight loss, and to focus only on body composition means you’ll overlook all of the other dramatic, lifelong benefits this plan has to offer. So, no weighing yourself, analyzing body fat, or taking comparative measurements during your Whole30. (We do encourage you to weigh yourself before and after, so you can see one of the more tangible results of your efforts when your program is over.)
You start to talk a language nobody understands – talking to a CrossFitter is like talking to somebody in a foreign language. CrossFit people oftentimes forget that nobody outside of CF understands what half the stuff they say means, so they shout out achievements or accomplishments and explain how quickly they did specific exercises…but they don’t realize nobody really cares!
The NY Times had a blog article on Good News on Saturated Fat which is reporting on Gary Taubes's interpretation of the new report in The New England Journal of Medicine on a two-year diet experiment in Israel. A followup is the post The Fat Fight Goes On where Gary rebuts the arguments against the study. And here's a good interview with Taubes (and includes a good summary): Gary Taubes on Cold Fusion, Good Nutrition and What Makes Bad (and Good) Science.
Outside of court, Glassman launched World War III against his wife and Anthos Capital. Glassman focused on one point: Anthos would kill CrossFit's spirit, transforming it into a franchise as regimented and conservative as McDonald's. Berger wrote a rallying cry that was originally posted on an internal CrossFit Facebook page and then went wider: "If Anthos gets ownership and forces Greg out, the affiliates can tell Anthos to go f-- off and all de-affiliate in mass....If every single one of you can get 5 people to care about this enough to write Anthos a 'f-- you' email, they will get the picture very quickly."Employees called affiliates around the clock to ask if they had questions and educate them about Anthos's true intentions as CrossFit saw them. When Anthos partner Bryan Kelly offered to field affiliate questions on Lauren's Facebook page, the Russes assaulted him with pointed questions.
Plus, I feel like the way I eat directly affects my mood. If I eat sugar, I almost always feel like garbage. If I eat protein and veggies and tons of avocado, I feel stable and much less like I am going to have a stage-four meltdown. Blood sugar swings are also real — no one wants to deal with me when I am hangry. It’s a nightmare. This program is supposed to help with all these things. I desperately wanted to feel better, so I dove in.
Don’t pour all the curry sauce over the chicken; once the mixture has come into contact with the raw meat, you have to throw it out. Instead, place your chicken in a shallow bowl, and pour a little of the sauce over the chicken. Brush or rub it evenly over the meat, then flip and repeat on the other side. Save the extra sauce to drizzle over the top of this dish before serving, or use it to top tomorrow night’s chicken, shrimp, or vegetables.
In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan gives a guided tour of 20th century food science, a history of "nutritionism" in America and a look at the marriage of government and the food industry. Then the book presents a commonsense shopping-and-eating guide, which like the paleo diet focuses on shopping the perimeter of the supermarket. He also now has a much shorter Food Rules: An Eater's Manual.
Paleo critics point out that not all grains are created equal—whole grains do not spike your blood sugar as much as refined grains. Even so, paleo dieters still steer clear of grains because they contain different compounds and proteins like gluten, lectins and phytates, which they claim cause inflammation in the body and block other nutrients from being absorbed. Paleo critics say these compounds are not a problem unless you have an allergy or sensitivity.
This 2003 CrossFit Journal article captures an early conception of a universal, multi-event test of fitness that laid the foundation for CrossFit competition, including what would become the CrossFit Open and the CrossFit Games. The design requirements for such a test "included but were not limited to the following: quantifiable results; consistency with the CrossFit fitness concept; raising our commitment to improving absolute strength, relative strength, and gymnastic foundations; balancing intrinsic abilities of smaller and larger athletes; emphasizing exercises critical to and foundational to advanced training; mixing training demands within each test and, of course, over the total competition; a design that would identify an athlete’s weaknesses and possibly stand as a workout plan for improving overall fitness; and, finally, we wanted to design a competition that would be 'hard as hell.'"