In his gruff way, Glassman recounted his story for the faithful: how a novel, exquisitely punishing system of exercise he had designed, centered on the WOD (workout of the day; it's pronounced "wad"), had started in his backwater Santa Cruz gym, then turned into an online phenomenon, then paved the way for 6,775 CrossFit locations (soon to be 10,000), and now was fast becoming its own sport. (This month, the finals of the CrossFit Games will be broadcast live on ESPN2.) He explained the contrarian way he thinks about the CrossFit business (he shuns most new sources of revenue) and how he goes about protecting its brand (viciously).
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.
Trying to introduce dairy back into my diet hurt my stomach and would send me into a sneezing fit. In this way, the Whole30 worked as a type of elimination diet for me, without which I may have never realized that dairy isn't my friend. I'll still suffer the consequences if I cross paths with a cheese plate at a work event, but I've made the permanent switch to tofu cream cheese and coconut milk — alternatives I would've never touched before Whole30 that are actually delicious.
Upsides: Has cured my chronic acid reflux completely. Completely changed my thyroid function and numbers for the better, have reduced medication dosage. Complexion better than in years. Lost a lot of weight and inches. Has helped to control cravings for many things. Has restored a more stable mental health balance and huge increase in energy levels. Dropping the weight has helped fitness levels immensely. AND if you can afford to buy Nutpods Creamers, these will allow you to drink coffee/tea within reason. This was the biggest bonus ever.
The "CrossFit Games", directed by Dave Castro, have been held every summer since 2007. Athletes at the Games compete in workouts they learn about only hours beforehand, sometimes including surprise elements that are not part of the typical CrossFit regimen. Past examples include a rough-water swim, a softball throw, and a pegboard climb. The Games are styled as a venue for determining the "Fittest on Earth," where competitors should be "ready for anything."
Primal Body-Primal Mind: Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and a Longer Life by Nora Gedgaudas advocates a diet that our paleo ancestors ate. Meat, lots of fat, and seasonal fruits and berries when available. Basically, sugar and starchy carbs are discouraged. You can download a chapter from the author's site. She has a Primal Body, Primal Mind Radio weekly show on Voice of America. It started May 20, 2009, so there are many shows you can listen to. Published June 30, 2011.
The aspects of the paleo diet that advise eating fewer processed foods and less sugar and salt are consistent with mainstream advice about diet. Diets with a paleo nutrition pattern have some similarities to traditional ethnic diets such as the Mediterranean diet that have been found to be healthier than the Western diet. Following the paleo diet, however, can lead to nutritional deficiencies such as those of vitamin D and calcium, which in turn could lead to compromised bone health; it can also lead to an increased risk of ingesting toxins from high fish consumption.
But in the Times article--headlined "Getting Fit, Even If It Kills You"--Glassman used the kind of tough-guy talk he used to shout at CrossFitters during their WODs. "It can kill you...I've always been completely honest about that," he said. "If you find the notion of falling off the rings and breaking your neck so foreign to you, then we don't want you in our ranks." Punctuating his blunt attitude, he had led his October journal article with a cartoon of a new clown, Uncle Rhabdo, who stands exhausted before a dialysis machine, his kidneys splattered in a pool of blood. The Times mentioned that, too.
If you're interested in the paleo plan but don't think you want to be so strict, you don't have to be all-or-nothing with your approach. Consider adopting some eating patterns from paleo and skipping the ones that don't work for you. For example, try just eating more fruits and vegetables and cutting down on added sugars. If you feel unsure about grains or dairy, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian to determine what's best for your body.
An Interview with Ward Nicholson now has three parts on the web. Good overview of man's diet over the past 65 million years. Long but highly recommended reading. First published in Chet Day's "Health & Beyond" newsletter. Now part of a very comprehensive Beyond Vegetarianism site. Every argument that your vegetarian friends use to avoid meat for health reasons is debunked here.
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)
CrossFit is promoted as both a physical exercise philosophy and a competitive fitness sport, incorporating elements from high-intensity interval training, Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics, girevoy sport, calisthenics, strongman, and other exercises. It is practiced by members of over 13,000 affiliated gyms, roughly half of which are located in the United States, and by individuals who complete daily workouts (otherwise known as "WODs" or "workouts of the day"). CrossFit has been criticized for allegedly causing people to suffer from unnecessary injuries and exertional rhabdomyolysis.