A few days ago I was delighted to learn that Dr. Oz was going to again feature The Paleo Diet on his nationally syndicated television show along with one of my co-authors, Nell Stephenson, of The Paleo Diet Cookbook. I tuned into the Dr. Oz show and was happy about most of what I saw except for Chris Kresser, expounding upon the health virtues of a food group, beans and legumes, that definitely are not Paleo. Please read the following...
"CrossFit is not a specialized fitness program, but a deliberate attempt to optimize physical competence in each of 10 recognized fitness domains," says founder Greg Glassman in the Foundations document. Those domains are cardiovascular and respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy.
If you have been in a state of dependency on food--be it sugars, alcohol, chips, ice cream, just about anything--or if you have been unwell, unsuited to the world physically or emotionally--or, if you simply feel blah and would like to lose a little bit of weight--please consider trying this program. You might think, "I don't eat that badly! I eat a lot of whole foods!" which is what most people think of themselves (I sure did). But when you actually make a conscious decision to eliminate foods from your diet, you will see that even the small amounts of crap that you've been eating regularly matter. Prepare to be amazed. I sound like an evangelical, I know. It's a little embarrassing. But it is all true.
Downsides: Prepare for a bit of a rise in grocery cost. Prepared foods cost less than whole foods. This is American governmental ag subsidies in a nutshell. It's unfortunate and unfair, but true. Also, as others have mentioned, you will be in the kitchen more. Again, it helps if one of you cooks and the other cleans up. It's a little annoying to be sure, but the results are more than worth the annoyances. It is also very difficult to eat out. You pretty much are limited to places that are expensive and accommodating, delis where you know and trust the ingredients, or Chipotle. Again, the slight isolation (if you can do this or at least begin it when you have a little time to spare and don't have a lot of socializing) helped.
Ideally one should eat a wide variety of proteins from as many animal sources as possible. One need not and should not avoid fatty cuts of meat, particularly if consuming pastured sources. An often overlooked piece of the paleo diet in popular culture is an over-reliance on standard cuts of meat, at the expense of organ meats, bone broth and other collagen sources. For more information on the historical and practical aspects of consuming a more balanced protein intake, check out the Weston A. Price Foundation. If weight-loss is a goal, protein makes you feel satisfied between meals.
Oh sleep, it's one of my favorite things in the world, yet it has always been a real challenge for me. I have been on and off of sleep medication for seven years. For me, the hardest part is actually falling asleep. Well on Whole30 I fell asleep naturally. The first few days, I would be so exhausted by bedtime that I would fall asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow, and that continued the whole month. This was probably the most drastic and exciting change that I experienced on Whole30.
It should be noted that U.S. News & World Report just released its annual ranking of diets, and Whole30 ranked dead last. Why? Essentially, the expert panel of over 20 registered dietitians, academics, and medical doctors found the program unsustainable and potentially unhealthy, since, among other issues, it restricts certain food groups and is high in sodium and cholesterol. But, Whole30's co-creator Melissa Hartwig stands behind the program, telling Cosmopolitan.com that its animal protein recommendations are in line with government recommendations, and that there are no nutrients in temporarily restricted foods, like grains and legumes, that you can't find in fruits and vegetables.
For the handstand push-up, prior to the start of the workout, athletes must measure out and mark a box measuring 36in wide by 24in from the floor. This is for the athlete’s hand placement. The athlete’s palms may not extend beyond this box over the course of any handstand push-up repetition, however, their fingers may. The box must be marked out clearly to be visible in the video. Each repetition begins with the kicking upside down, onto the wall, with the athlete’s hands clearly inside of the box, arms and shoulders locked out, body vertically aligned, with feet in contact with the wall. Once this position is established, the athlete may lower their body down to bring their head in contact with the ground. From here, the athlete may use any style of handstand push-up, including kipping or strict, to press and finish with their body vertically aligned, arms and shoulders locked out, and feet in contact with the wall. Each rep must have the athlete’s head make contact with the floor, and finish in this extended position. If at any point in time an athlete kicks off the wall, they must first establish the locked out finish position, with body vertically aligned before lowering down to begin repetitions. If over the course of a repetition, the athlete’s hands leave the marked box, that rep shall not count. However, if the athlete is resting with their head on the floor, they may adjust their hands (which may have them come out of the box,) but must return them to the box before attempting to complete another repetition. If head cushioning is used, please ensure the head is still level with the hands, or your score will not count
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.
A great question to ask is “Does the Paleo diet work?” Here we have a head to head comparison between the Paleo diet and Mediterranean diet in insulin resistant Type 2 Diabetics. The results? The Paleo diet group REVERSED the signs and symptoms of insulin resistant, Type 2 diabetes. The Mediterranean diet showed little if any improvements. It is worth noting that the Mediterranean diet is generally held up by our government as “the diet to emulate” despite better alternatives. You can find an abstract and the complete paper here.
Former athletes – CrossFit has built-in teamwork, camaraderie, and competition. Almost all workouts have a time component to them, where you either have to finish a certain number of repetitions of exercises in a certain amount of time, or the time is fixed and you need to see how many repetitions you can do of an exercise. You get to compete with people in your class, and go online to see how you did against the world’s elite CrossFit athletes. There is even an international competition for those that become truly dedicated.
Now, The Whole30 offers a stand-alone, step-by-step plan to break unhealthy habits, reduce cravings, improve digestion, and strengthen your immune system. The Whole30 prepares participants for the program in five easy steps, previews a typical thirty days, teaches the basic meal preparation and cooking skills needed to succeed, and provides a month’s worth of recipes designed to build confidence in the kitchen and inspire the taste buds. Motivating and inspiring with just the right amount of signature tough love, The Whole30 features real-life success stories, an extensive quick-reference FAQ, detailed elimination and reintroduction guidelines, and more than 100 recipes using familiar ingredients, from simple one-pot meals to complete dinner party menus.
Fruits are not only delicious, but they’re also great for you. That said, fruits (even paleo-approved ones) contain large amounts of fructose which, while much better than HFCS (high-fructose corn syrup), is still sugar. If you’re looking to lose weight on the paleo diet, you’ll want to cut back on your fruit intake and focus more on the vegetables allowed on the paleo diet. However, feel free to have one to three servings of fruit a day. Check out this list of paleo diet fruits and see if you’re not hungry by the end! (We’ll admit, we’re partial to blackberries!)