Many foretold the demise of the CrossFit Games in 2011 when the Open replaced Sectionals. The changes to the Games season today, like the move from Sectionals to the Open in the past, accommodate a sport in ascension, not decline. The changes steward resources in a responsible way to ensure that the annual quest to find The Fittest on Earth is not a flash-in-the-pan, but an enduring tradition anchored in the global CrossFit affiliate community. The 2019 Reebok CrossFit Games in Madison, Wisconsin, will be the greatest worldwide test of broad, general, and inclusive fitness yet.
People looking for support and community – This is the appeal to CrossFit for me: every CrossFit gym has a really tight-knit community feel to it. You’re not just a membership payment to them; you’re a person that needs support. When Nerd Fitness gyms start popping up (don’t think it won’t happen!), I’ll be drawing a lot of inspiration from CF as to how members are so supportive and inclusive of each other.
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.
Still, many scientists have expressed concern that we do not yet have enough evidence to make any strong claims about the paleo diet’s health benefits, especially its long-term effects. In fact, in an article in response to the first review, authors Tanis R. Fenton and Carol J. Fenton, from the Cumming School of Medicine in Canada, wrote a letter to the editor in which they expressed their disappointment with the review. (5)
Jan Engvald has studied food and health thoroughly in the literature. In Unexpected facts on... food he shows that today's health advice (more or less unchanged for more than 30 years) is a direct cause to the increase in national diseases like coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, obesity, adult-onset diabetes, allergy, eye diseases, etc. His findings are low-carb and high-fat, close to paleo, though he allows high fat dairy.
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?
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.
Autoimmunity is a process in which our bodies own immune system attacks “us.” Normally the immune system protects us from bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections. The immune system identifies a foreign invader, attacks it, and ideally clears the infection. A good analogy for autoimmunity is the case of tissue rejection after organ donation. If someone requires a new heart, lung kidney or liver due to disease or injury, a donor organ may be an option. The first step in this process is trying to find a tissue “match”. All of us have molecules in our tissues that our immune system uses to recognize self from non-self. If a donated organ is not close enough to the recipient in tissue type the immune system will attack and destroy the organ. In autoimmunity, a similar process occurs in that an individuals own tissue is confused as something foreign and the immune system attacks this “mislabeled” tissue. Common forms of autoimmunity include Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, and Vitiligo to name only a tiny fraction of autoimmune diseases. Elements of autoimmunity are likely at play in conditions as seemingly unrelated as Schizophrenia, infertility, and various forms of cancer.
“Overall competitor seeding at the Games will be determined by athletes' scores in the 2019 worldwide CrossFit Open. Athletes who do not participate in the Open (and thus do not receive an Open score) will receive the lowest seeding and will compete in the first qualifying heats at the 2019 Games. Higher seeded athletes will compete in later heats. Any athlete who qualifies for the Games as a national champion or with a top-twenty placement in the 2019 Open can improve their seeding and possibly qualify for a bye out of the first qualifying elimination round by winning a sanctioned event, regardless of whether that sanctioned event occurs before or after the Open in the 2019 competitive season.”
This same logic informs CrossFit’s sanctioning of competitive events. We’ve long recognized the efforts of CrossFit affiliates, coaches, volunteers, and athletes in building grassroots competitions around the globe. These competitive events wonderfully illustrate the community’s role as co-developer in the sport of fitness. The energy, excitement, and opportunity that animates the CrossFit Games season springs from the affiliate community and its members, not CrossFit, Inc.
After spending a week fine-tuning my new eating plan, I decided to add workouts back into my routine. On a typical week, I'll go to a cardio or strength class (I like boxing) once or twice and do some yoga or stretching at home another night. I dove right in and hit up my favorite boxing studio, Rumble. But I was really nervous. What if I didn't have enough energy? What if I passed out during class? What if I got so hungry I caved and bought a slice of pizza on the walk home from class?
My fiancee and I did this together. It takes teamwork (if you have a family, you probably need to get them on board). It also will help if you can begin (or even complete) this diet when you have a minimum of social obligations--having office mates who eat a lot of cake or friends who drink a lot of booze WILL NOT HELP while you are on this program. Don't try to start this the week before Christmas if your family gathers to eat until they pass out. Be realistic about when you begin this. You must prepare a little bit and read the book ahead of time so you aren't just floating at sea. And, be aware: you will not be able to sufficiently screen foods made by other people!
Advocates of the diet argue that the increase in diseases of affluence after the dawn of agriculture was caused by changes in diet, but others have countered that it may be that pre-agricultural hunter-gatherers did not suffer from the diseases of affluence because they did not live long enough to develop them. Based on the data from hunter-gatherer populations still in existence, it is estimated that at age 15, life expectancy was an additional 39 years, for a total expected age of 54 years. At age 45, it is estimated that average life expectancy was an additional 19 years, for a total expected age of 64 years. That is to say, in such societies, most deaths occurred in childhood or young adulthood; thus, the population of elderly – and the prevalence of diseases of affluence – was much reduced. Excessive food energy intake relative to energy expended, rather than the consumption of specific foods, is more likely to underlie the diseases of affluence. "The health concerns of the industrial world, where calorie-packed foods are readily available, stem not from deviations from a specific diet but from an imbalance between the energy humans consume and the energy humans spend."
This is Hartwig's No. 1 tip when it comes to success on the Whole30. No more grabbing a slice of pizza on the way home from work. "Before day one, you should have your first week of meals planned, grocery shopping done, pantry stocked, and you should have some Whole30-compliant emergency food stashed away," Hartwig says. Here's a Whole30-approved grocery list to get you started.
For instance, the fat allowance of the diet may be problematic. “My biggest hang-up with the paleo diet is all of the saturated fats it promotes with all of the meats,” explains Holley, noting that you could look for a locally sourced meat, whose origin and method of raising you're aware of, as a healthier option. Saturated fat from meat has been linked with an increased risk of early death. (9)
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.
Food and Western Disease: Health and nutrition from an evolutionary perspective by Staffan Lindeberg (MD at Lund University in Sweden) is the newest book promoting the paleo diet. It covers the link between diet and disease in the Western world (all major diseases, including cancer, heart disease, obesity, stroke and dementia) and towards a greater knowledge of what can be defined as the optimal human diet. Benefits and risks are detailed. The Amazon reviews are all 5 stars. Especially read Susan Schenck's detailed review. You can read a preview at Google Books
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Following seven years in Carson, the Games moved to the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin, in 2017. The next year, the qualifying Regionals were once again realigned due to increased competitiveness and popularity outside of Canada and the US. In 2018, there were nine Regionals hosted among 18 redefined regions with Europe increasing to three regions, Central America split from South America, while eliminating the Northern and Southern California regions.
At CrossFit, some coaches refer to this as “Uncle Rahbdo,” though it’s not something funny or enjoyable. You can read all about the condition and issues it can cause here. This typically occurs with (primarily male) ex-athletes who have not exercised for a while and come back trying to prove something, and end up working at a higher intensity than their body can handle.
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!