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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.
We want you to be a part of our community. We want you to take this seriously, and see amazing results in unexpected areas. We want you to look, feel, and live better than you have in years—or maybe ever. We want you to find lasting food freedom. Even if you don’t believe this will actually change your life, if you’re willing to give it 30 short days, DO IT. It is that important. We believe in it that much. It changed our lives, and we want it to change yours too.
In one example, CrossFit, Inc.'s Twitter account posted a doctored illustration of a Coke advertisement, with "Open Happiness" replaced by "Open Diabetes". The image was paired with a quote from CrossFit CEO Greg Glassman that read "Make sure you pour out some for your dead homies."[85][86] Controversy followed after singer Nick Jonas responded to the tweet, calling CrossFit, Inc.'s comments "ignorant".[87] The company defended its tweet, stating that "Compelling statistical evidence supports CrossFit, Inc.'s campaign to prevent diabetes by raising awareness about its causes."[88] When ABC News asked Greg Glassman to comment on the exchange, he replied "Fuck Nick Jonas. This is about the scourge of Type 2 Diabetes and its underlying causes. His sponsor, Coca-Cola, is a significant contributor to the diabetes epidemic both with product and 'marketing' spend."[1][88]
Buried in the middle of The Revised Metabolic Oncolytic Regimen for Effecting Lysis in Solid Tumors one can find their diet recommendations for tumor control. It has a paleo diet orientation. Protein is 35%, preferably Omega 3 rich. Carbohydrates (also 35%) are only vegetables and fruit, no beans, bread, potatoes, or any grain. Then dietary and supplemental forms of fat should provide 20-30% of (daily) calories.
Ever start a diet and get immediately discouraged when the number on your scale hasn't budged after a week or two? Whole30 forbids weighing yourself — a practice which can help shift your mindset to how you're feeling as your success metric. "The scale shouldn’t drive your mood, food choices or overall mindset," says Amy Shapiro, RD. "Continue to live a healthy life and measure how you feel energy and clarity wise." Which means being honest with yourself about how your body feels after going to town on that cheese plate. One of the biggest realizations for me was how much clearer and more energetic I feel when my weekend diet doesn't consist of vodka-sodas and takeout food.

Do not consume baked goods, junk foods, or treats with “approved” ingredients. Recreating or buying sweets, treats, and foods-with-no-brakes (even if the ingredients are technically compliant) is totally missing the point of the Whole30, and will compromise your life-changing results. These are the same foods that got you into health-trouble in the first place—and a pancake is still a pancake, even if it’s made with coconut flour.

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.
Until then I had consumed what has been referred to as the “Standard American Diet.” A diet that was rich is red meat, dairy, sugar, and processed food. I knew that this was not a healthy way to eat, but I didn’t know how to change it, or what to change it to. In lack of a good go-to option, I just started to test several popular diets, trying to find a healthy long-term solution.

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.

Obesity, heart disease, and diabetes: These are just a few of the health conditions that proponents of thePaleolithic diet, or caveman diet, blame on our sedentary lifestyles and modern diets, which are loaded with sugar, fat, and processed foods. Their proposed solution? Cut modern foods from our diet and return to the way our early hunter-gatherer ancestors ate.
The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability by Lierre Keith is against industrial farming. She spent 20 years as a vegan, and now reveals the risks of a vegan diet, and explains why animals belong on ecologically sound farms. And as all the neolithic foods we avoid are produced on industrial farms, she is against the foods we avoid. Here's a well thought out review by Eric Wargo: Clubbing Vegetarians Over the Head With the Truth.
Then there’s the exclusivity factor—more than half of all CrossFitters have a household income exceeding $150,000, which allows droves of gay men to shell out hundreds of dollars a month for an Equinox membership. This, combined with its type-A siren call, a public image unafraid to tout sweaty masculine flesh, and, I would argue, its very bro-ness, and CrossFit’s gay appeal is easier to decipher.

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.
Paleo eating requires a lot of planning, prep time, and mental resolve. For instance, eating out on the diet isn't as simple as ordering chicken and a salad. Think: In what oil was the chicken cooked? Did any of the salad toppings come processed, canned, or packaged? "As with every elimination diet, it's just not doable long term," Dr. Ochner says. While weight loss is far from the sole purpose of eating paleo, going on and off of the diet can lead to big weight swings. Any yo-yo diet starts in weight loss from both muscle and fat, and usually ends with weight gain of all fat, which contributes to a slower metabolism and increased insulin resistance.
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.
The paleo diet (also nicknamed the caveman diet, primal diet, Stone Age diet, and hunter-gatherer diet) is hugely popular these days, and goes by one simple question: What would a caveman eat? Here, we explain what the paleo diet involves, its pros and cons, and, ultimately, what a modern person needs to know to decide whether or not to take the paleo diet plunge.
A diet high in phytic acid, which can be found in whole grains (it's in the bran) and beans like soy, is very detrimental for mineral absorption. Phytic acid strongly binds to minerals like calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium to form insoluble salts, phytates, which precipitate from the body and are not absorbed. Staffan Lindeberg has written a summary on phytic acid.

Regardless of whether you’re looking to pack on muscle mass, blast away body fat or train for a specific sport, basing your diet on whole, high-quality foods such as fresh protein, vegetables, and healthy mono/unsaturated fats can only be a good thing for your health. In addition, the Caveman diet is gluten free, appealing to those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease.


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.
The digestive abilities of anatomically modern humans, however, are different from those of Paleolithic humans, which undermines the diet's core premise.[4] During the 2.6 million year-long Paleolithic era, the highly variable climate and worldwide spread of human populations meant that humans were, by necessity, nutritionally adaptable. Supporters of the diet mistakenly presuppose that human digestion has remained essentially unchanged over time.[4][5]
During this program there is no calorie counting, no measuring, and no weighing yourself for the entire 30 days. I know that can be hard — especially if you’re feeling totally bloated (which can happen in the beginning) or particularly svelte in the later weeks. Just don’t do it. Even though a lot of people’s weight begins to normalize during the 30 days, the program focuses a lot on the “non-scale victories,” as in how you’re feeling. Is your sleep better? How’s your skin? Do you feel like doing cartwheels with that extra energy? Cool.
Interestingly, all of these seemingly unrelated diseases share a common cause: damage to the intestinal lining which allows large, undigested food particles to make their way into the body. This is called “leaky gut and the autoimmune response”. Here is a 7-part video series by Prof. Loren Cordain describing the etiology of Multiple Sclerosis. And please watch this TED talk by Dr. Terry Wahls, MD as she describes how she reversed her Multiple Sclerosis with a paleo diet. If you have an autoimmune disease you might consider trying the autoimmune protocol of the paleo diet. If you do, please tell us about your experience.
Paul Burke's Neo-Dieter's Handbook: When We Lost Our Nutritional Roots; Where to Find These Foods Today by Paul Burke M. Ed. The book focuses on nutrition, the right nutrition to enhance health, exercise, weight training, and fitness. The diet consists of lean protein, vegetables, nuts, and fruit. He is opposed to grains. He wants you to stay away from grain-fed meat. The single review at Amazon.com gives the book 5 stars. Published August 21, 2009.
Some specific foods that fall under this rule include: pancakes, waffles, bread, tortillas, biscuits, muffins, cupcakes, cookies, brownies, pizza crust, alternative flour pastas, cereal, or ice cream. No commercially-prepared chips (potato, tortilla, plantain, etc.) or French fries either. However, this list is not limited strictly to these items—there may be other foods that you find are not psychologically healthy for your Whole30. Use your best judgment with those foods that aren’t on this list, but that you suspect are not helping you change your habits or break those cravings. Our mantra: When in doubt, leave it out. It’s only 30 days.
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.
The Sugar Addict's Total Recovery Program by Kathleen DesMaisons. While this isn't really a paleo book, it does point out issues with the foods we aren't eating. The books claims the excessive processed sugar consumed is responsible for "mood swings, depression, fatigue, fuzzy thinking, PMS, impulsivity ... [and] unpredictable temper." She says her research shows indulging in sugar highs should be treated much more seriously, akin to heroin or alcohol dependency, because sugar causes spikes in the neurotransmitters serotonin and beta-dopamine just like those drugs.
Life Without Bread: How a Low-Carbohydrate Diet Can Save Your Life by Christian B. Allan, Wolfgang Lutz. It is based on Dr. Lutz's work with thousands of patients in Austria. It deals with the health issues connected to high carb consumption. It is basically an English version and update of Dr. Lutz's 1967 book with the same title: Leben ohne Brot. He recommends eating only 72 grams of carbohydrates, and an unlimited amount of fat. And provides evidence as to why this is the healthiest diet. Read the review at Amazon by Todd Moody (it will be first!). See excerpts from his earlier edition: Dismantling a Myth: The Role of Fat and Carbohydrates in our Diet
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Craving some spice? This Whole30 recipe delivers with ingredients like red chili flakes and red curry paste mixed into the meatballs — plus, a creamy coconut milk sauce for topping. Make this recipe more Bulletproof with the freshest spices possible, raw almond butter, and pastured chicken. Plus, avoid eating garlic and onion too often, and avoid the peppers if you are sensitive to nightshades.
Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health by Gary Taubes expounds on his 2002 article in the NY Times (What if It's All Been a Big Fat Lie?) and then in Science Magazine (see below). He shows how public health data has been misinterpreted to mark dietary fat and cholesterol as the primary causes of coronary heart disease. Deeper examination, he says, shows that heart disease and other diseases of civilization appear to result from increased consumption of refined carbohydrates: sugar, white flour and white rice. Or in other words, without using the word Paleolithic, he justifies the paleo diet. Here is an excellent chapter by chapter summary of the book [archive.org].
First, I’d just like to acknowledge that I’m not a nutritionist or a healthcare professional. The opinions I share here are simply my own experiences and thoughts while trying this program. I also acknowledge that the topics of healthy eating, dieting, and illness are very personal, and what might work for me, might not work for someone else. We are all unique.
Alcohol is a no-no if you are strict paleo. Beer is made from grains, and liquor also contains traces of gluten. But, good news for cider-lovers: most hard ciders are gluten-free, so they are allowed. Check the label to be sure. Red wine is more accepted in the paleo community because it contains the antioxidant resveratrol, but sorry chardonnay lovers, white wine is technically not allowed.

I consider myself to be a pretty healthy eater. I’m gluten-free for health reasons, and I always try to make sure to eat a ton of vegetables. I make things from scratch, and am wary of overly processed foods. However, just like most of us, I can eat too much chocolate or indulge in something really carb-heavy and feel the after effects. For me, this means joint pain and the feeling of being hungover, along with many other equally fun symptoms.
A better idea is to reincorporate small amounts of non-Whole30 foods one at a time, waiting a few days before adding something else back in. For instance, after day 30, continue to follow the diet, but have yogurt for breakfast and add some cheese to your salad. Do this for a few days and see if any symptoms pop up. If they do, you know that dairy is problematic for you. Then, try the same thing with another food group, like gluten-free grains. Reintroducing gluten-free and gluten-containing grains separately can help you determine whether you have a gluten sensitivity.
Exercise is a vital part of the live-by-your-genetic-code equation. Surviving in the Stone Age meant a constant on-the-go lifestyle that probably required 4,000-plus calories a day, according to David L. Katz, MD, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center. Even most people who hit the gym regularly won't need to eat that many calories, but the principle of using food as fuel to exercise still stands.
The Stone Age Diet: Based on in-depth studies of human ecology and the diet of man by Walter L. Voegtlin. This was self-published back in 1975. Only a couple hundred copies were printed and distributed to friends and relatives. No one knew the book existed until some years later. In no way is he the father of the paleo diet. It is impossible to purchase. Apparently his descendents are planning a reprint, though the book is poorly written and not based upon factual anthropological information that even was available then. We have put up his Functional and Structural Comparison of Man's Digestive Tract with that of a Dog and Sheep. And a PDF can be found here.
The only way this works is if you give it the full thirty days: no cheats, slips, or “special occasions.” This isn’t a hazing, a boot camp, or us playing the tough guy. This is a fact, born of science and experience. The Whole30 is, at its heart, an elimination diet. Just a small amount of any of these inflammatory foods could break the healing cycle; promoting cravings, messing with blood sugar, disrupting the integrity of your digestive tract, and (most important) firing up the immune system. 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.
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...
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If you have more questions on specific foods, we’ve included a comprehensive list of paleo diet foods below. We’ve provided a list of the foods that are allowed on the paleo diet. We’ve also broken this list down into the specific food groups, so you can see which meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and fats are on the paleo diet. In addition to all of that, we’ve also included a comprehensive list of foods not allowed on the paleo diet.
Eat WELL Feel GOOD: Practical Paleo Living by Diane Frampton has over 200 recipes that makes paleo eating simple, delicious, and ultimately, intuitive. So they claim. There are only a few reviews at Amazon. They all like the book, but their lack of details makes it appear that they are not truly independent reviews. The recipes have a Crossfit appeal to them. Chef Rachel Albert has made some of the recipes and posted here [archive.org].

The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable by Stephen D. Phinney and Jeff S. Volek synthesizes the science into one readable source. The book is excellent for general low-carb high-fat moderate protein diets. While they begin with the idea that we should eat like a caveman, they do not follow the conclusion to its logical end and have us avoid the classes of foods our ancestors would have found unrecognizable. They avoid the metobolic syndrome, but not the autoimmune diseases. They mention that monosaturates should be favored, though they are not emphasized in the menu example. The book's daily menu examples also all include dairy in one form or another. No tips are given tips for those who do not do dairy. Published May 19, 2011. The Amazon reviews average to 4+.
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.
Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Meals: Delicious, Primal-approved meals you can make in under 30 minutes by Mark Sisson and Jennifer Meier. Every recipe is accompanied by an ingredient list, a nutrient list, clearly written instructions, and a picture of the ingredients and a picture of the finished product. Note that this is a primal book and many recipes include dairy. Published March 25, 2011.
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.
Re: “Too old masters’ age group”… I have zero insight as to whether or not this will happen, but I’m a betting man & I’m putting my money on yes. If CrossFit lasts, which I think it will, I believe they’ll continue to evolve as the sport grows in size and age. It’ll come down to how many “too old” athletes end up being serious competitors. You’ll lead the way.
Some CrossFitters drink WAYYY too much “kool-aid.” You’ll run into CrossFit people who think CrossFit is the be-all, end-all training solution, and anybody that doesn’t do CrossFit is a wuss. If you can do 20 pull ups, they can do 22, and do them faster than you, after doing 25 handstand push ups and running 400 meters. I tend to dislike elitists no matter what they are elitist about, and CrossFit is no exception.
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