On Ramp/Elements – If you’re interested in joining the regular CrossFit workout, you’ll most likely be required to go through the On Ramp/Elements course. The purpose of these is to teach you the nine foundational movements of CrossFit and all about proper form. No matter how experienced you are, these are valuable and worth the time and money. Even if you think you have perfect form on your squats, deadlifts and/or overhead presses, it’s amazing what can be fixed when you have a trained set of eyes watching you do them.
You can easily turn this butter and Brain Octane Oil combo into a Whole30 recipe: Simply swap your butter for grass-fed ghee. You’ll still get all the benefits of clean coffee beans and healthy fats while sticking to the Whole30 rules. (Bonus: If you need an extra dose of protein in the morning, blend your coffee with Whole30-friendly collagen peptides.)
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).
Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human by Richard Wrangham. This book argues that the ease of digestion and the added nutritional value available in cooked food was the key behind the explosion of human intelligence. (Cooking gelatinizes starch, denatures protein, and softens all foods, permitting more complete digestion and energy extraction. As a result, the food processing apparatus shrinks, freeing energy to support a larger brain.) He then suggests that cooking led to what eventually became marriage and the sexual division of labor. The two most helpful reviews at Amazon get into great detail. The reviews average to 4+ stars.
As far as food goes, you’re simply going to eat a lot of fresh, good-quality eats and ditch the processed stuff. Beyond that, you’re removing all grains, dairy, soy, legumes, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and alcohol from your diet. All of these foods (especially in excess), according to the authors, have been linked to systemic inflammation, hormonal imbalance, gut issues, and more. The idea is to remove the stressors from your body and give it the nourishment and time to heal itself it needs. This means less inflammation, a healthy metabolism, hormonal harmony, a happy gut, clearer skin, and improved energy! Sounds good to me. (Although if we’re honest, I panicked a bit when I realized no cheese would hit my lips for a full month.)
In terms of food, I kicked up my creativity up a notch in the kitchen. I tried experimenting with recipes that were a little more complex than my usual, like making pesto out of cashews and avocados and serving it over a plate of zoodles. I made blueberry energy bites in my food processor to snack on during a movie marathon and grab for a quick breakfast. I also tried new snacks, like bottled tomatillo jalapeno soup from ZÜPA NOMA and chia pudding from Daily Harvest to mix things up.
The NY Times had a blog article on Good News on Saturated Fat which is reporting on Gary Taubes's interpretation of the new report in The New England Journal of Medicine on a two-year diet experiment in Israel. A followup is the post The Fat Fight Goes On where Gary rebuts the arguments against the study. And here's a good interview with Taubes (and includes a good summary): Gary Taubes on Cold Fusion, Good Nutrition and What Makes Bad (and Good) Science.
All this said, I still think it's worth buying if you are looking for more variety in your Whole 30 meals. I think the least complicated section is breakfast and lots of them look delicious. However, anticipate that this cookbook may surprise some people who were used to the recipes and format from the 30 Day Guide. This one is definitely more work. I would love to see one like the 30 Day Guide, with more one pot meals, "make it a meal" options, etc...
People looking for support and community – This is the appeal to CrossFit for me: every CrossFit gym has a really tight-knit community feel to it. You’re not just a membership payment to them; you’re a person that needs support. When Nerd Fitness gyms start popping up (don’t think it won’t happen!), I’ll be drawing a lot of inspiration from CF as to how members are so supportive and inclusive of each other.
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.
The burpee box over starts with the athlete facing the box, the athlete must be square and head forward to the box. NO lateral burpees allowed. The athletes chest and thighs must touch the ground on the bottom of the burpee. The athlete may jump or step onto the box and off the box. Whether jumping or stepping, BOTH feet must make contact with the top of the box at the same time. Coming off the box, the athlete must turn around and be face forward on to the box to perform their next burpee.
After spending a week fine-tuning my new eating plan, I decided to add workouts back into my routine. On a typical week, I'll go to a cardio or strength class (I like boxing) once or twice and do some yoga or stretching at home another night. I dove right in and hit up my favorite boxing studio, Rumble. But I was really nervous. What if I didn't have enough energy? What if I passed out during class? What if I got so hungry I caved and bought a slice of pizza on the walk home from class?
"CrossFit is not a specialized fitness program, but a deliberate attempt to optimize physical competence in each of 10 recognized fitness domains," says founder Greg Glassman in the Foundations document. Those domains are cardiovascular and respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy.