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.
Absolutely. In fact, I’m doing it again right now as a way to reset into the New Year. It gets easier the second time around, actually. I already know how to meal prep, and have an arsenal of recipes that I created from the first go-around to guide me through. I kinda miss cheese and chocolate (because, yum), but I’m excited to push that glorious reset button.
You know that "no-makeup" makeup trend that requires TONS of makeup to make you look natural? Expect the same effect, but with no makeup whatsoever required, during and after Whole30. My skin was glowing the entire time I was on it. Strangers commented on my skin. While I still did have a hormonal breakout on my chin, it wasn't the spotty blemished mess it usually is. I feel like the tone, texture, and overall look of my skin was tip top.
However, placing certain food groups on your "do not eat" list does have the potential work against you. "When a person sees the foods as 'off limits,' and consuming them is somehow breaking a rule and therefore sees themselves as a 'bad person,' mental damage is what is going to ensue long term versus the 30-day health benefits that you will receive," Smith cautions.
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.
Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, sprouted grains, and all gluten-free pseudo-cereals like quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn, and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch, and so on. Again, read your labels.
In response to these criticisms, CrossFit, Inc. claims, “CrossFit is relatively safe even when performed with poor technique, but it is safer and more effective when performed with good technique.” CrossFit, Inc. also claims risk for injury can be reduced by properly scaling and modifying workouts, a concept taught on its website and at the CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Course.
Due to CrossFit's official partnership with Reebok, competitors at the 2015 Games were banned from wearing Nike footwear. Nike arranged for several trucks to be parked near the main entrance to the arena, which served as mobile billboards with the slogan "Don't ban our shoe, beat our shoe". The partnership also prohibits Nike from labeling its Metcon shoes as intended for CrossFit – the brand uses the term "high intensity training" instead.
Take 30 days and give it a shot – cut out the grains and dairy, start eating more vegetables and fruits, eat more humanely raised and non-grain fed meat, cut out the liquid calories and sugar, and see how you feel after the month is up. If you’re analytical and want numbers to use in your final verdict, get your blood work done at the beginning and end of the month.
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.
To get an idea of what that means, we turned to the experts, including Loren Cordain, PhD, a professor emeritus at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, and the author of The Paleo Diet; Erin Holley, RD, of Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio; and Lona Sandon, PhD, RD, an assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
According to Adrienne Rose Johnson, the idea that the primitive diet was superior to current dietary habits dates back to the 1890s with such writers as Dr. Emmet Densmore and Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. Densmore proclaimed that "bread is the staff of death", while Kellogg supported a diet of starchy and grain-based foods. The idea of a Paleolithic diet can be traced to a 1975 book by gastroenterologist Walter Voegtlin,:41 which in 1985 was further developed by Stanley Boyd Eaton and Melvin Konner, and popularized by Loren Cordain in his 2002 book The Paleo Diet. The terms caveman diet and stone-age diet are also used, as is Paleo Diet, trademarked by Cordain.
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!
It's that time of year again, when all of your friends and family members are making resolutions to be healthier in 2019. Expect to see lots of the following on Instagram in the next month: #DryJanuary, #NewYearNewYou, #Whole30. And for anyone looking to try the latter, I applaud you — and I encourage you to do it. I decided to give the much-buzzed-about Whole30 diet a try last November.
Of course Wikipedia has a page on the Paleolithic Diet. It is quite thorough. It also isn't clear about the lean/fatty meat debate between the followers of Loren Cordain and a slew of others, and pushes lean meat. It is weak on the variations of the diet. Then it restricts fermented beverages. Even butterflies eat fermented fruit. Why wouldn't our paleo ancestors also?
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.
We also talked about our meals, our struggles, and the results we were seeing from Whole30. Mentally, I felt more clear-headed and emotionally stable. I slept deeper and remembered more of my dreams, something that tends to never happen. (In one dream, I accidentally ate a slice of pizza and cried about it because if you break your Whole30 diet, you're supposed to start again from Day 1.)
A 2015 study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that 76 people who followed the Paleo diet for 60 days (as well as those who followed vegan, Mediterranean and DASH plans for the same length of time) lost an average of 9 pounds and showed improvement in their blood pressure levels. The effects were greatest and most sustained among people who also attended regular diet support group meetings.
Then I had my "aha!" moment. This was the perfect time to attempt Whole30, which I had always been interested in trying. My sister-in-law, Lisa, tried it a few years ago and she claims it changed her life. She ended up going off of the strict diet after 30 days, but stayed on the Paleo Diet. I asked her to be my "Whole30 advisor" throughout the entire process. (Side note: If you know someone who has done Whole30 before, ask them if they can be your guide!) Lisa was so helpful, I feel like I probably should have paid her.
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One recent Saturday morning, I dragged myself to a CrossFit class at BRICK in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. It wasn’t a proper CrossFit class, but rather a variation called B | FIT, that incorporated CrossFit movements but focused more on high intensity interval training. I was disappointed to find I was the only one to show up in spandex tights, but I did notice a significant gay presence and the instructor was an adorable gay named Matthew.
CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program consisting mainly of a mix of aerobic exercise, calisthenics (body weight exercises), and Olympic weightlifting. CrossFit, Inc. describes its strength and conditioning program as "constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity across broad time and modal domains," with the stated goal of improving fitness, which it defines as "work capacity across broad time and modal domains." Hour-long classes at affiliated gyms, or "boxes", typically include a warm-up, a skill development segment, the high-intensity "workout of the day" (or WOD), and a period of individual or group stretching. Some gyms also often have a strength-focused movement prior to the WOD. Performance on each WOD is often scored and/or ranked to encourage competition and to track individual progress. Some affiliates offer additional classes, such as Olympic weightlifting, which are not centered around a WOD.