There is little argument over the health benefits of fruits and vegetables. They are chock-full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. The only caveat for paleo dieters is that some vegetables are starchy (e.g., potatoes) and some fruits are higher in sugar (e.g., bananas). So, if you are trying to lose weight or watch your blood sugar levels, eat these in moderation. In fact, potatoes are banned from some strict versions of the diet.
On that spring day across America, the CrossFit faithful gathered--and toiled. There were hundreds of thousands of them, certainly. Maybe a million, maybe two. In an old industrial facility in New Orleans, they hoisted themselves on gymnastic rings and did dips up there. In a strip mall in Santa Cruz, California, they threw 20-pound medicine balls against a wall over and over again. In a business park near the Dulles airport in Virginia, they pushed weighted barbells above their heads, first once a minute, and then as fast as they could for three minutes straight--or until they couldn't lift their arms.
The toe to bar requires an athlete start each set at a dead hang from a pull-up bar, with shoulders, arms, hips and legs at full extension. Each repetition consists of an athlete bringing both feet behind the perpendicular vertical plain created by the pull-up bar, and finishes with both feet simultaneously in contact with the pull-up bar, between the athlete’s hands.
Two friends and I discussed the article, and then one proposed something unbelievable: "We should do Whole30 together." After considering what Philipps' had to say about it, I decided to give it a try. Then Health editor in chief Lori Leibovich asked me to document my Whole30 experience with daily video diaries on Health Instagram stories, and I knew there was no turning back. I was about to do my first diet ever.
The Raw Paleo Diet & Lifestyle site is a resource created by members of the Raw Paleolithic Diet community for people looking to improve their health by choosing a more historically natural approach to diet, fitness and lifestyle. They have two forums: Raw Paleo Forum. It has some activity. And Raw Paleo Diet, or RVAF Raw Veg and Animal Foods Group, a forum for followers of semi-RPD diets, (such as Aajonus Vonderplanitz's Primal Diet/Weston-Price Diet/Sally Fallon/Instincto) and followers of the NeanderThin/Paleo/Stefansson Diets, who, for health reasons, wish to pursue a more fully Raw, Paleolithic variation of those diets.

So what does the science say about the paleo diet? Some research suggests that the health claims hold truth. A review analyzed four randomized, controlled trials with 159 participants, and researchers found that the paleo diet led to more short-term improvements in some risk factors for chronic disease (including waist circumference and fasting blood sugar) compared with other control diets. (4)


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First of all, it’s unclear if it can really live up to its claim to improve overall health by following the diet of our ancestors. While we can all benefit from reducing our intake of processed foods and increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, many dispute whether our ancestors were really all that much healthier than we are today given their significantly shorter life span. In fact, one study even demonstrated that they may have had increased rates of atherosclerosis, or hardened arteries. (5)
To deal with this major food rut and disinterest in cooking, I bought my lunch every single day from Dig Inn and begged my boyfriend to take me out to dinner at a restaurant with Whole30–compliant options. As someone who typically brings lunch to work and cooks dinner on weeknights, I knew I was spending way over my normal budget, but I couldn't help myself. It was for my sanity.
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.
Get takeout flavor without the mystery additives: This Whole30 recipe recreates a comfort food classic with clean ingredients like fresh ginger, steak, and broccoli. Stay more Bulletproof and use grass-fed beef, arrowroot starch, coconut aminos, and coconut oil to cook. Plus, avoid enjoying black pepper and garlic too often, and consider steaming broccoli instead of stir frying.
After the Internet fitness community began talking about an Ohio State University study that described relatively high injury rates among CrossFitters, the Russes mobilized. They had Glassman's father, Jeffrey Glassman (now "chief scientist" at CrossFit), write a comprehensive rebuttal to the study for the CrossFit website. Berger called each and every research subject who had been reported as injured, to conclude that none actually were hurt, and then added an entire stammering Q&A with one of the paper's authors, kinesiology professor Steven Devor. Here's the kicker: The actual subject of the study was the great improvements in fitness the researchers found in CrossFit athletes. Aside from a handful of sentences, it was all positive.
Sweden's Staffan Lindeberg has a home page Paleolithic Diet in Medical Nutrition [archive.org]. A recent study of Staffan's has A Paleolithic diet improving glucose tolerance more than a Mediterranean-like diet in individuals with ischemic heart disease. Also see his first web page, an overview of his Kitava study: On the Benefits of Ancient Diets. Now he has a book Food and Western Disease: Health and nutrition from an evolutionary perspective. Here's a book review: Easy to Read, Informative, Packed with Footnotes on Studies.
As a result, his company's revenue (set to double this year, to $100 million) is fueled almost completely by CrossFit's rampant proliferation. Meanwhile, a burgeoning ecosystem of other businesses has risen up to cater to these squatting, thrusting fiefdoms. There are multiple apparel companies; food and beverage companies (serious CrossFitters are often serious about the Paleo Diet); businesses that cater specifically to box owners, with iPad apps that track workouts and manage membership rolls; business consultants who show box owners how to increase their revenue. A Web design firm specializes in CrossFit box sites. There are even two print magazines, The Box and WOD Talk.

While no independent research has been conducted on the Whole30 diet specifically, diets like this one that eliminate entire food groups are bound to make you drop weight, experts say. That was the case for 96 percent of 1,600 Whole30 participants, according to a survey by the company. Most Whole30 dieters lost between 6 and 15 pounds, the survey found. But experts worry that restrictive diets with no room for error can set followers up for failure and prompt them to put the pounds back on – and then some – once the diet is over.


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.'"
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