In terms of food, I kicked up my creativity up a notch in the kitchen. I tried experimenting with recipes that were a little more complex than my usual, like making pesto out of cashews and avocados and serving it over a plate of zoodles. I made blueberry energy bites in my food processor to snack on during a movie marathon and grab for a quick breakfast. I also tried new snacks, like bottled tomatillo jalapeno soup from ZÜPA NOMA and chia pudding from Daily Harvest to mix things up.
Then there’s the exclusivity factor—more than half of all CrossFitters have a household income exceeding $150,000, which allows droves of gay men to shell out hundreds of dollars a month for an Equinox membership. This, combined with its type-A siren call, a public image unafraid to tout sweaty masculine flesh, and, I would argue, its very bro-ness, and CrossFit’s gay appeal is easier to decipher.
And she has a point: Many of the foods on the "no" list have nutritional benefits and can be a smart addition to a healthy diet. "Whole grains, beans and yogurt are really important for our gut health, yet on this diet, they are not allowed," says Brooke Zigler, RD. "By eliminating these food groups, people could be missing out on key nutrients in their diet."
In making the case for meat, Cordain presents anecdotal evidence of Eskimos who lived their full life without a heart attack. The Eskimo diet consists of 97% meat, which he concedes causes all Eskimos to develop atherosclerosis—a common precursor to heart disease. But Cordain says Eskimos never die of heart disease. He discusses one Eskimo who lived 45 years and another who lived 53 years, both without heart disease! He then jumps to the conclusion that because these Eskimos didn’t get heart attacks, even with severe atherosclerosis, meat must have protected them from heart disease. So Cordain’s best case for lots of meat is that you can live to the ripe age of 45 or even 53 without a heart attack. But do people—even unhealthy smokers or the obese—generally get heart attacks before age 53?
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.
In fact, the health benefits of the paleo diet are unproven. "Our ancestors ate this way and didn't have many of the chronic diseases we do, but that doesn't mean the food they ate is the reason why; drawing that conclusion would be like saying we live three times longer than our Paleolithic ancestors because we eat fast food," says Christopher Ochner, MD, research associate at the New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center at St. Luke's and Roosevelt Hospitals. Still, a handful of small studies have tried to determine if a paleo diet is a healthier diet. One small study published in the journal Diabetologia found that the diet improved blood sugar over 12 weeks compared to a Mediterranean one that allowed grains, low-fat dairy, and oils, but it's hard to say whether researchers would come to the same results in a larger study.
Looking back on my lifestyle before the Whole30, my personal recipe for making unhealthy food choices typically consisted of being hungry and on a time crunch, which meant I'd choose whatever was most convenient (read: something overly processed from the vending machine). "Whole30 requires you to plan ahead, mainly so you stay 'compliant' and don’t go hungry," explains Liz McMahon, RDN. "Planning out meals and batch cooking ensures you have healthier food available and won’t constantly be reaching for fast food options." Making pre-planning a habit — even when I'm dining out — helps keep me on track even when I'm not following the Whole30.
Chris Masterjohn has Cholesterol: Your Life Depends on It!, another web site pointing out that the war on cholesterol and the push to put people on statins is misguided. The site argues it is actually polyunsaturated fats, not saturated fats or cholesterol, that contribute to heart disease, cancer, liver damage, and aging. He also has a popular blog.
NeanderThin: Eat Like a Caveman to Achieve a Lean, Strong, Healthy Body (Hardcover) by Ray Audette, with Troy Gilchrist, was one of the early paleo diet authors. His home page NeanderThin [now restored from archive.org] has a diet based on the ideas of paleolithic nutrition. The diet can be followed as a low-carb, moderate or high carb diet, depending upon whether and how much fruit is used. You can read up through page 19 of the book at Google Books. The original press release from 1999. [The webmaster has an extra copy with the author's signature for sale. It has the original lime-purple cover. Pristine new condition. $60 (shipping included). Paypal only. Use e-mail link at page bottom.]
Two years ago, I dropped 30 pounds (and kept it off) by doing the Whole30 and continuing to eat well in the months that followed. During the 30 days on the program, I lost 11 pounds. And for me, completing it helped me form healthy habits (like reading labels and not smothering everything in cheese), taught me how to cook an arsenal of healthy recipes I actually enjoyed eating and most importantly (and the reason why I do it every January), showed me how incredible my body feels when I'm not pumping it full of sugar and alcohol. These lessons stuck with me well past the 30 days, allowing me to drop an additional 19 pounds by April of that year and finally reach my goal weight.
By the end of my first Whole30, I had an entire document full of recipes I still wanted to try, which motivated me to keep going. Yes, you can stay compliant by eating steamed chicken and lettuce every day, but why would you do that to yourself? "Find foods that are easy to make and that you enjoy eating," Cohn says. "If you eat foods that you don’t like just to follow the diet, you are not going to continue to eat those foods once you are done with the 30 days." Pro tip: Google the Whole30 version of your favorite meal, there's probably a recipe out there for it. (Unless that meal is cake.) This really helped reignite my love for cooking and encouraged me to continue preparing my own meals, instead of relying on Seamless delivery.
The paleo diet (also nicknamed the caveman diet, primal diet, Stone Age diet, and hunter-gatherer diet) is hugely popular these days, and goes by one simple question: What would a caveman eat? Here, we explain what the paleo diet involves, its pros and cons, and, ultimately, what a modern person needs to know to decide whether or not to take the paleo diet plunge.
It was only for 30-days, right? However, my wife and I had decided to take a 1-week vacation during this time, which made it harder to stick to the diet than I initially thought. I quickly learned that it’s not easy to maintain the Whole30 Program when you are eating out for every meal. She quickly became annoyed by my restaurant choices; Outback for steak and vegetables, Five Guy’s for burgers without a bun, Boston Market for roasted chicken.
Regardless of whether you’re looking to pack on muscle mass, blast away body fat or train for a specific sport, basing your diet on whole, high-quality foods such as fresh protein, vegetables, and healthy mono/unsaturated fats can only be a good thing for your health. In addition, the Caveman diet is gluten free, appealing to those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease.
“CrossFit definitely attracts the type-A personality—someone who likes structure and rules and measuring metrics,” says Will Lanier, a 32-year-old New Yorker who founded OUTWOD, a queer CrossFit collective, in 2011. “But it is so much more than just working out, which is where some of the cult vibes come in. When I was diagnosed with cancer in 2014, my CrossFit family showed up in such a big way. I felt so supported and loved through the entire journey.”
The Great Cholesterol Con by Anthony Colpo. The definitive book on the non-dangers of dietary cholesterol and saturated fat was The Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov, 2000. This book is six years newer. Its forward is by Uffe Ravnskov. To get a wonderful description of the book read the leading review at Amazon. The many reviews there average to 5 stars.
Some specific foods that fall under this rule include: pancakes, waffles, bread, tortillas, biscuits, muffins, cupcakes, cookies, brownies, pizza crust, alternative flour pastas, cereal, or ice cream. No commercially-prepared chips (potato, tortilla, plantain, etc.) or French fries either. However, this list is not limited strictly to these items—there may be other foods that you find are not psychologically healthy for your Whole30. Use your best judgment with those foods that aren’t on this list, but that you suspect are not helping you change your habits or break those cravings. Our mantra: When in doubt, leave it out. It’s only 30 days.
For most people the fact the Paleo diet delivers the best results is all they need. Improved blood lipids, weight loss, and reduced pain from autoimmunity is proof enough. Many people however are not satisfied with blindly following any recommendations, be they nutrition or exercise related. Some folks like to know WHY they are doing something. Fortunately, the Paleo diet has stood not only the test of time, but also the rigors of scientific scrutiny.
Fat and Cholesterol are Good for You by Uffe Ravnskov is a new book which includes updated and simplified sections from his previous one (The Cholesterol Myths). Ravnskov also presents his own idea about the cause of heart disease, an idea that explains all the findings that do not fit with the present view. It is a powerful book. Also see his web site. The Amazon.com reviews average to 5 stars. Published January 26, 2009.
It takes 30 days to push the reset button on your health and change your relationship with food. This is the concept behind Melissa and Dallas Hartwig’s Whole30 program. By eating non-processed whole foods and ditching grains, dairy, and sugar, you will reduce inflammation in your system, clear up your skin, and revitalize your energy stores. These are just a few of the benefits this program boasts.
CrossFit, Inc. founder Greg Glassman overhauled the format for the 2019 games, replacing the Regionals with CrossFit-sanctioned international qualifying events. As part of the changes, the 2019 games athletes qualify through being the top individual and team finishers from the sanctioned events, the top athlete from each country in the CrossFit Open, the top 20 overall finishers in the CrossFit Open, and four at-large athletes as chosen by CrossFit, Inc. Teams also no longer need to be created from one CrossFit-affiliated gym and can be formed from any four competitors.
The Whole30 is not a diet, a weight-loss plan or quick fix – it’s designed to “change your life,” the founders say, by eliminating cravings, rebalancing hormones, curing digestive issues, improving medical conditions and boosting energy and immune function. The theory behind it is that all sorts of physical and mental health issues – ranging from acne to depression to allergies – could be due to your diet. But you can’t know which foods are to blame for what ails you unless you cut out all traces of sugar, alcohol, grains, dairy and legumes for 30 days. By day 31, you’ll be free from your food fog and may not even miss your nightly wine ritual or morning muffin fix. If and when you reintroduce food groups, your body’s reaction will tell you which foods you should continue to avoid – or at least limit.
The Primal Blueprint Cookbook: Primal, Low Carb, Paleo, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free by Mark Sisson and Jennifer Meier. Recipes include: Roasted Leg of Lamb with Herbs and Garlic, Salmon Chowder with Coconut Milk, Tomatoes Stuffed with Ground Bison and Eggs, and Baked Chocolate Custard. Recipes are simple and have limited ingredients. Complaints are the book is stuffed with unnecessary photos and proofreading could have been better, e.g. oven temperatures were left out. And recipes are not truly paleo. Despite what is on the cover dairy is used in some recipes. The Amazon reviews average to 4+ stars.
Cancer: Disease of Civilization? An anthropological and historical study by Vilhjalmur Stefansson. This classic shows what happens before and after tribes were "civilized." Covers day-to-day experience of Eskimo life. Published in 1960. Used copies are available at a steep price. To read it get it on inter-library loan. Another of his many books My Life with the Eskimo (New Edition) is available.
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!