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.

So, with my sister-in-law as my Whole30 guide, I successfully followed the program for the entire month of November. The beginning was really bumpy for me — I am truly an emotional eater and I am absolutely addicted to sugar. But once it was done, it was clear to me that the benefits outweighed the challenges. I now have a whole new understanding and respect for my body and a newfound control over the food I put in my mouth. Full disclosure that the Whole30 diet affects everyone differently, but here are the seven biggest changes I saw in myself after 30 days:
ICYMI: Whole30 is an elimination-style diet that asks dieters to ban all soy, dairy, grains, alcohol, legumes, and added sugars from their diet for 30 days straight. The point is to flush your system, so when the 30 days are up, you can slowly add different food groups back and get a sense of which ones have been secretly affecting your physical and mental health. The creator, Melissa Hartwig, also says Whole30 will change your entire relationship with food.

For example, although white potatoes were recorded as being available during the Paleolithic era, they are usually avoided on the Paleo diet because of their high glycemic index. Processed foods are also technically off limits due to an emphasis on fresh foods, but some Paleo diets allow frozen fruits and vegetables because the freezing process preserves most nutrients.
NeanderThin: Eat Like a Caveman to Achieve a Lean, Strong, Healthy Body (Hardcover) by Ray Audette, with Troy Gilchrist, was one of the early paleo diet authors. His home page NeanderThin [now restored from archive.org] has a diet based on the ideas of paleolithic nutrition. The diet can be followed as a low-carb, moderate or high carb diet, depending upon whether and how much fruit is used. You can read up through page 19 of the book at Google Books. The original press release from 1999. [The webmaster has an extra copy with the author's signature for sale. It has the original lime-purple cover. Pristine new condition. $60 (shipping included). Paypal only. Use e-mail link at page bottom.]

2) CrossFit attracts a certain type of person – namely folks who push themselves so hard they actually do bodily harm. Ask any CrossFitter if they’ve met “Pukey the Clown” and they’ll probably tell you yes. Due to the nature of competition, the motivating atmosphere, and people’s desire to do well, many people in CrossFit often push themselves beyond their personal limitations (which can be a good thing)…but oftentimes they push themselves too far.

This is by far the best meal plan I found! It has flavor and variety, both of which I NEEDED in planning meals. My husband even ate all of this, and he tends to be picky. I did deviate from it more and more as the weeks went by to fit time and schedule and inspiration, but from the ingredients I got to match this plan, I had plenty to work with and was able to still feed us while following Whole30 guidelines and finish the program. Thanks so much for putting this together!!!!

I recognize these drawbacks. But I still kick off the first month of each year by waving goodbye to alcohol, sugar, and yes, the aforementioned healthy food groups. While I've kept the majority of the weight off, I'm still guilty of putting on those extra 4 to 5 pounds throughout the year. But while that would've caused me anxiety before, I'm now okay with it. I enjoy some frozen drinks by the pool during my summer vacation and loosen the reigns a bit during the holidays. Come January 1st, my body desperately wants a break from the late-night holiday parties that cram my calendar from Thanksgiving until New Year's Eve, which is why I do another round of the Whole30. Starting the new year this way helps to reset the habits that I tend to lose track of towards the end of year (moderation and meal-prepping) and it reminds me how good my body feels when I'm treating it right.


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.
The Vibram Fivefingers KSO Trek is a more rugged version of the popular KSO. Made from K-100 high performance kangaroo leather, the KSO Trek boasts extreme strength for excellent durability; amazing breathability; perspiration resistance to prevent sweat damage and prolong shoe life; and features MicrobloK anti-microbial treatment. These Vibram shoes are made for rugged outdoor use, providing grip and traction over a variety of surfaces. Additionally, the individual toe pockets separate and strengthen toes to improve balance, agility, and range of motion; while the thin EVA midsole and Vibram Performance rubber outsole allows your feet to move the way nature intended. The Vibram FiveFingers KSO Trek Shoes are perfect for light trekking, trail running, fitness walking, and travel.
The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick reveals that high cholesterol levels do not cause heart disease; that high-fat diets–saturated or otherwise–do not affect blood cholesterol levels; and that for most men and all women the benefits offered by statins are negligible at best. Other data is also provided that shows that statins have many more side affects than is often acknowledged.

I started Week 1 feeling optimistic. This isn't hard at all! I told myself. Wrong. Days 2 and 3 hit, and the sugar withdrawal was so real. In my company's kitchen, I stared at the free M&Ms longingly. "All I can think about are gummy worms," I texted my work friends. Instead of eating candy, I scarfed down a banana with sunflower seed butter and felt slightly better.
The biggest downside of this diet is how restrictive it is. A month is a pretty long stretch to make it without taking bite of quinoa, popping a chickpea, or sneaking a sip of wine (especially if you’re a busy, social person), and the protocol does not allow for even the smallest of slip-ups. From the manual: “One bite of pizza, one spoonful of ice cream, one lick of the spoon mixing the batter within the 30-day period and you’ve broken the “reset” button, requiring you to start over again on Day 1.” (Yikes!)
^ Hall, Harriet (2014). "Food myths: what science knows (and does not know) about diet and nutrition". Skeptic. 19 (4). p. 10. Fad diets and "miracle" diet supplements promise to help us lose weight effortlessly. Different diet gurus offer a bewildering array of diets that promise to keep us healthy and make us live longer: vegan, Paleo, Mediterranean, low fat, low carb, raw food, gluten-free ... the list goes on. (subscription required)
With a very simple shift we not only remove the foods that are at odds with our health (grains, legumes, and dairy) but we also increase our intake of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Here is a great paper from Professor Loren Cordain exploring how to build a modern Paleo diet: The nutritional characteristics of a contemporary diet based upon Paleolithic food groups. This paper also offers significant insight as to the amounts and ratios of protein, carbohydrate and fat in the ancestral diet.
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Anyone and everyone that has come through the bay doors at CFA will answer this question "what is your favorite part about CFA?" the same: the people. From all walks of life. In all shapes and sizes. All ages. And without exception, everyone is a genuinely good person. The camaraderie experienced at CFA is the first time since high school athletics that I’ve felt like I was a part of something bigger than myself.
Whether you’re brand new to the program or returning after a long break, this track will take you from contemplation to action in just eight easy steps. Take as much time as you need to explore each step before moving on to the next, but we encourage you to review each step in order—even if you’re impatient to get started. As you’ll hear over and over again, when it comes to the Whole30, planning and preparation are key!
Lastly, HAVE FUN. I believe strongly that the lifestyle changes that really “stick” are the ones that are fun and exciting. Continue to foster your culinary curiosity, and play around in the kitchen. Not only will you eat healthier, but you’ll develop skills and gain knowledge that’ll make you even more awesome than you are right now (as if that’s even possible).
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.

CrossFit, Inc. does not dispute that its methodology has the potential to cause rhabdomyolysis.[70] The company states that exertional rhabdomyolysis can be found in a wide variety of sports and training populations and argues that its critics have conflated CrossFit's high awareness of rhabdomyolysis with high risk.[13][71] One CrossFit spokesman stated that "ESPN's report on the 53 deaths in US triathlons from 2007 to 2013 should have put the issue to rest."[71]
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