In my first CrossFit experience three years ago, I almost made myself puke because I wanted so badly to finish with a good time. Last year, I did another CrossFit workout that I hadn’t properly prepared for and cranked out 100 pull ups quickly…and I ended up walking around with T-rex arms for a WEEK because I physically could not straighten them. Not kidding.
Cordain admits that meat leads to plaque and increases cholesterol where plants wouldn’t. And science establishes that plaque and cholesterol lead to heart attacks and strokes. But Cordain argues that plaque alone is insufficient to cause harm. Rather, it is plaque combined with inflammation that causes heart attacks and strokes. So avoid acid, salt, legumes, wheat, starchy vegetables, dairy, oil, fatty meats, and grains because they cause inflammation. But if both science and Cordain agree that plaque is a necessary part of the heart-disease equation—and that meat causes plaque—why should we follow Paleo rather than just forgo meat?
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?

Still, many scientists have expressed concern that we do not yet have enough evidence to make any strong claims about the paleo diet’s health benefits, especially its long-term effects. In fact, in an article in response to the first review, authors Tanis R. Fenton and Carol J. Fenton, from the Cumming School of Medicine in Canada, wrote a letter to the editor in which they expressed their disappointment with the review. (5)
CrossFit NYC was the sixteenth (of now over ten thousand) CrossFit affiliates. We were the first in New York (2005). Our coaching staff is the largest and most experienced of any CrossFit affiliate in the world. We have supervised over 75,000 CrossFit classes totaling nearly 1 million workouts. Our members include professional athletes and dancers, desk jockeys and stay-at-home moms, celebrities and grandparents. If you live in New York and you want to get in the best shape of your life, CrossFit NYC is the place to be.
And again, there’s no concrete scientific proof that the paleo diet wards off disease, Sandon says. Any evidence of its benefits is anecdotal. Although some studies seem to support the benefits of the paleo diet, many scientists still believe we don’t yet have enough evidence to know whether the eating approach is totally healthy and without risk. “Nobody knows the long-term effects of this diet because no one has researched it to any degree,” Sandon says. It’s not really a new concept; instead it’s one that’s been recycled through the years, she adds.
Cordain admits that meat leads to plaque and increases cholesterol where plants wouldn’t. And science establishes that plaque and cholesterol lead to heart attacks and strokes. But Cordain argues that plaque alone is insufficient to cause harm. Rather, it is plaque combined with inflammation that causes heart attacks and strokes. So avoid acid, salt, legumes, wheat, starchy vegetables, dairy, oil, fatty meats, and grains because they cause inflammation. But if both science and Cordain agree that plaque is a necessary part of the heart-disease equation—and that meat causes plaque—why should we follow Paleo rather than just forgo meat?

^ 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)


Certain food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it. Are your energy levels inconsistent or non-existent? Do you have aches and pains that can’t be explained by over-use or injury? Are you having a hard time losing weight no matter how hard you try? Do you have some sort of condition, like skin issues, digestive ailments, seasonal allergies, or chronic pain, that medication hasn’t helped? These symptoms are often directly related to the foods you eat—even the “healthy” stuff. So how do you know if (and how) these foods are affecting you?

You’ll lose weight because any time you restrict entire food groups, your calorie intake tends to be lower, Sandon says. And whenever you burn more calories than you consume, you'll have weight loss, she says. (2) The focus on lean protein, fruits, and vegetables over calorie- and sodium-rich processed foods can also contribute to weight loss, though she also points out that the paleo diet wasn’t created to be a weight loss diet. (3)
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 gyms are generally welcoming of the queer community,” Lanier says. “I have noticed a shift since starting OUTWOD with more and more CrossFit gyms reaching out to host events with us as they get more and more LGBTQ members. It has been really incredible to witness a typically ‘bro-ey’ atmosphere be a haven where LGBTQ people can flourish.”
We love nuts and they are decidedly paleo diet friendly. Be careful though, as cashews are high in fat and, for some reason, it’s incredibly easy to eat an entire jar of them in one sitting (that’s not just us, is it?). If you’re trying to lose weight, limit the amount of nuts you’re consuming. Otherwise, have at it. I mean, you can’t beat a good almond/pecan/walnut mix, can you?
Cordain argues that chimpanzees and horses avoid meat, and they have big bellies that we would have if we didn’t ditch plants for meat. He also says meat increased human brain size, and decreased stomach size so we can have the six-pack abs that chimps can’t. But I looked at his endnotes with citations to research and couldn’t find the source for these theories. I also couldn’t find research showing that legumes and grains were invented by humans.
Overall, my biggest Whole30 lesson is that mindful eating is possible. I don't have that urge to eat everything in sight, but I also know I don't need to deprive myself or worry about food 24/7. There's a happy medium where I get to decide what I really crave, weigh whether it's worth the bloat or restless sleep I might experience after eating it, and then say yes or no. I've caught myself thinking like this more, and so the ultimate goal of Whole30 has worked: I've changed my relationship with food—for the better.
To deal with this major food rut and disinterest in cooking, I bought my lunch every single day from Dig Inn and begged my boyfriend to take me out to dinner at a restaurant with Whole30–compliant options. As someone who typically brings lunch to work and cooks dinner on weeknights, I knew I was spending way over my normal budget, but I couldn't help myself. It was for my sanity.
Created by Greg Glassman in Santa Cruz, California in 2000, CrossFit combines elements of Olympic weightlifting, gymnastics, plyometrics, powerlifting, and high intensity interval training. Nearly 20 years since its debut, CrossFit now has some 4 million adherents worldwide, including a large number who are gay, such as Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski and Tan France.
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.

^ Hou JK, Lee D, Lewis J (October 2014). "Diet and inflammatory bowel disease: review of patient-targeted recommendations". Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Review). 12 (10): 1592–600. doi:10.1016/j.cgh.2013.09.063. PMC 4021001. PMID 24107394. Even less evidence exists for the efficacy of the SCD, FODMAP, or Paleo diets. Furthermore, the practicality of maintaining these interventions over long periods of time is doubtful.
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“Business is the art and science of creating uniquely valuable opportunities for other people,” CrossFit founder and chairman Greg Glassman has often said. Coach Glassman’s philosophy of business is the bedrock upon which CrossFit’s 15,000-strong (and growing) global affiliate network is built. That’s something that can’t be emphasized enough in talking about recent changes to the CrossFit Games season.
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.
This understanding, coupled with the explosive worldwide growth of the sport, demands that CrossFit, Inc. reduce its share of the competitive CrossFit season. The best athletes, sponsors, and media entrepreneurs in the sport of fitness have recognized that the new Sanctionals model doesn’t diminish their opportunities—it expands them. There are more athletes competing in more CrossFit competitions in more places around the globe than ever. CrossFit, Inc. hasn’t abandoned the sport of fitness, it’s stewarding its longevity. 

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.)
If you were to eat an unlimited amount of red meat (which the paleo diet technically allows), you may see your heart health suffer. While experts applaud the omission of packaged and processed foods like cake, cookies, chips, and candy — which are well known to be bad for your ticker — they’re not crazy about the fact that paleo doesn’t allow you to eat whole grains, legumes, and most dairy. Whole grains in particular have been linked with better cholesterol levels, as well as a reduced risk of stroke, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. (13) These are all comorbidities of heart disease. (14)

“Business is the art and science of creating uniquely valuable opportunities for other people,” CrossFit founder and chairman Greg Glassman has often said. Coach Glassman’s philosophy of business is the bedrock upon which CrossFit’s 15,000-strong (and growing) global affiliate network is built. That’s something that can’t be emphasized enough in talking about recent changes to the CrossFit Games season.
Both feeling hungry all the time and never feeling hungry are common on the Whole30 diet, especially during the first two weeks as your body adjusts to new sources of energy. Eventually, though, you shouldn’t feel those pangs since protein and fiber are filling, and you’ll get plenty of both. Plus, you’re allowed to eat as much as you want and add Whole30-compliant snacks to your meal plan, provided you truly are hungry. One small study of 29 participants published in Nutrition and Metabolism in 2010 found Paleo eaters (who have relatively similar diets to Whole30 followers) felt just as full but consumed fewer calories than their Mediterranean counterparts.
In fact, the health benefits of the paleo diet are unproven. "Our ancestors ate this way and didn't have many of the chronic diseases we do, but that doesn't mean the food they ate is the reason why; drawing that conclusion would be like saying we live three times longer than our Paleolithic ancestors because we eat fast food," says Christopher Ochner, MD, research associate at the New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center at St. Luke's and Roosevelt Hospitals. Still, a handful of small studies have tried to determine if a paleo diet is a healthier diet. One small study published in the journal Diabetologia found that the diet improved blood sugar over 12 weeks compared to a Mediterranean one that allowed grains, low-fat dairy, and oils, but it's hard to say whether researchers would come to the same results in a larger study.
Gluten is a protein found in things like rye, wheat, and barley. It’s now being said that much of our population may be gluten-intolerant (hence all the new “gluten-free!” items popping up everywhere).  Over time, those who are gluten intolerant can develop a dismal array of medical conditions from consuming gluten: dermatitis, joint pain, reproductive problems, acid reflux, and more.[2]

The real purpose of the Whole 30 Program is to give your body a chance to heal from the foods that have been proven to cause inflammation and other digestive-related health issues. It’s more about transforming your eating habits than losing weight. One of the things that attracted me to the Whole 30 Program was the promise that I could change the way I think about food.


The Paleo concept is new for most people and this newness can spark many questions. We like people to not only read about and educate themselves on this topic but also to “get in and do it.” Experience is perhaps the best teacher and often cuts through any confusion surrounding this way of eating. Now, all that considered, there are still some common counter arguments to the Paleo diet that happen with sufficient frequency that a whole paper was written on it. Enjoy: Evolutionary Health Promotion. A consideration of common counter-arguments.

Paleonutrition by Mark Q. Sutton, Kristin D. Sobolik, and Jill K. Gardner is the analysis of prehistoric human diets and the interpretation of dietary intake in relation to health and nutrition. This is a substantial text that combines background to paleonutrition, an extensive bibliography, a discussion on methods, and case studies. Published February 23, 2010.

1) During a CrossFit workout, you’re often told to complete a number of strength training or endurance exercises as fast as possible, or complete as many repetitions as possible in a certain amount of time. For that reason, it’s REALLY easy to sacrifice form in exchange for finishing the workout quicker. If you don’t have somebody spotting you or telling you to keep your form correct, then you’re in trouble.
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