But eventually — probably on day 33 — I started to experiment. First came eating ketchup ... no side effect. Next, I had some red wine ... a slight hangover the next day, but nothing like I used to experience when indulging in sugary cocktails. Then, I added gluten ... and my body officially freaked out. I broke out in a rash and hives all over my scalp, neck, and legs which lasted for a few days. I decided to try eating gluten again after the rashes went away to make sure, and sure enough, I woke up the next day to ... more rashes.
Absolutely. In fact, I’m doing it again right now as a way to reset into the New Year. It gets easier the second time around, actually. I already know how to meal prep, and have an arsenal of recipes that I created from the first go-around to guide me through. I kinda miss cheese and chocolate (because, yum), but I’m excited to push that glorious reset button.
It was a small class, about a dozen or so brave souls. We paired up, first for a warm-up that included burpees and jumping over our seated partner’s outstretched arms, followed by a circuit routine involving three motions: barbell squats for 10 reps, a power snatch with a barbell plate for 15 reps, and sprints on a stationary bike with a goal of burning 25 calories.
Created by Greg Glassman in Santa Cruz, California in 2000, CrossFit combines elements of Olympic weightlifting, gymnastics, plyometrics, powerlifting, and high intensity interval training. Nearly 20 years since its debut, CrossFit now has some 4 million adherents worldwide, including a large number who are gay, such as Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski and Tan France.
Whole30 is a nutritional program designed to change the way you feel and eat in 30 days. Basically, you have to remove all of the potentially inflammatory foods and beverages in your diet (think: added sugar and sweeteners, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, processed foods and beverages, baked goods, and junk foods) and eat three "clean" meals a day, made with Whole30-approved ingredients (think: meats, seafood, veggies, and eggs).
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.
While founders Dallas Hartwig and Melissa Hartwig are adamant in their book and on their website that “you’ve done harder things than this, and you have no excuse not to complete the program as written,” the Whole30 is not for the lazy or noncommittal. Without careful planning, a strong support system and dogged dedication, a business lunch, flight delay or date night can throw you off and send you back to the start. By nature, diets that eliminate entire food groups are tough to follow. On the other hand, it’s only 30 days.
The caricature of the Paleo dieter is a Flintstone-esque cave man in loincloth gnawing on a giant, raw woolly mammoth femur bone. Fun? Yes. Accurate? No. While grass-fed meat from ruminant animals is certainly a healthy "Paleo food," it by no means constitutes the majority of a typical Paleo diet. I personally eat far more seafood than red meat, and actually derive more calories from coconut products — a true Paleo staple — than animal products.
Make it Paleo: Over 200 Grain Free Recipes For Any Occasion by Bill Staley and Hayley Mason. The book shows you how easy it is to take any dish and Make it Paleo! Adapted from Chinese, French, Mexican and classic American meals, the over 200 recipes are each accompanied by good photos and notes to ensure you recreate each dish with ease. Most recipes are ones that can be found in an ordinary cookbook. Butter and vinegar are also used, which I do not consider paleo. Published October 20, 2011.
You can easily turn this butter and Brain Octane Oil combo into a Whole30 recipe: Simply swap your butter for grass-fed ghee. You’ll still get all the benefits of clean coffee beans and healthy fats while sticking to the Whole30 rules. (Bonus: If you need an extra dose of protein in the morning, blend your coffee with Whole30-friendly collagen peptides.)
Deadly Harvest: The Intimate Relationship Between Our Health and Our Food by Geoff Bond. The author is a nutritional anthropologist who has for years investigated both foods of the past and our prehistoric eating habits. Using the latest scientific research and studies of primitive tribal lifestyles, Bond first explains the actual diet that our ancestors followed--a diet that was and still is in harmony with the human species. He then describes how the foods in today's diets disrupt our biochemistry and digestive system, leading to health disorders such as allergies, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, obesity, and more. Most important, he explains the appropriate measures we can take to avoid these diseases--and even beat them back--through healthy eating. The conclusions of Deadly Harvest are that disease control happens by eating a strict low-glycemic diet, lowering the percentage of body fat you carry around, eat a diet consisting of mostly non-starchy plant-based foods, eat a low-fat diet with ample amounts of omega-3 fats, maintain good colon health, engage in regular physical activity, get some daily sunshine, and reduce chronic stress. If you do this, then diseases like cancer, heart disease, digestive problems, allergies, autoimmune diseases, brain diseases, diabetes, and obesity can be avoided. The Amazon reviews average to 5 stars.
Aside from the cult-like devotion CrossFit inspires, I was also wary of the politics of its parent organization, which drew some heat for awarding a Glock handgun to the winner of the 2016 CrossFit Games. That, and the sports overwhelming lack of ethnic diversity—about 86% of CrossFitters identify as white—left me with an unfavorable view of the sport. Still, I gave it a shot.
The top CrossFit Open performers for individuals and teams in each region advance to the regional events, held over the following two months around the world. Each regional event qualifies a specified number of its top finishers to send to the Games. The Games include divisions for individuals of each gender, co-ed teams, and a number of Masters and Teenage age groups.