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As CrossFit gets bigger and bigger, Glassman is no longer the underdog. Well-known employees and boxes have been tossed out after clashing with Glassman or voicing disagreements with the CrossFit approach to fitness or nutrition--or, in particular, criticizing other CrossFitters close to Glassman. In 2009, Robb Wolf, one of the first affiliates, was exiled. "You have to kowtow and not let your star shine too brightly," Wolf says. "He's always had this tendency toward incredible kindness, but he also has this rattlesnake intensity and cruelty."
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.
The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet by Robb Wolf, a research biochemist. Readers will understand digestion, how protein, carbohydrate and fat influence hormones, and how this plays into fat loss, health or disease. They'll understand the significance of dietary fats whether the concern is performance, health, longevity, or making your fanny look good in a bikini. The book goes into how lifestyle factors such as sleep and stress influence the hormone cortisol. It gets into basic blood work and what things people should ask their doctor to include to better assess inflammation and health. It also includes a detailed 30-day meal plan and a beginner exercise program. The exercise program is geared to the beginner or someone who is quite de-conditioned but the nutritional info would be helpful for anyone regardless of background. The author's website is Robb Wolf. He likes to pass out the information via weekly podcasts. Here's a video Introduction to the book. And here is an excerpt from the book: How to Keep Feces Out of Your Bloodstream (or Lose 10 Pounds in 14 Days). The many Amazon reviews all rave about the book. Published September 14, 2010.
The first thing you should make from this book? Red Curry Roasted Cauliflower (pg. 242). We've made it FIVE TIMES since we got the book. Super easy and so delicious. If you follow us @gneissspice on instagram, you’ll see dozens of posts of the meals I made from this book. I highly recommend this book, especially if you are debating a Whole30. Nothing is worse than trying to stick to the strict rules, and then have no idea what to eat for dinner. My only complaint about the book would be no mention of portion sizes. I had to head over to their website to find suggestions (they have a cool graphic for this, not sure why they didn’t include it in the book).
While the diet as a whole hasn't been well studied, the benefits of cutting packaged foods from your diet could be huge. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, three quarters of the average American's sodium intake (which is almost double what it should be!) comes from commercially prepared foods. And, one Public Health Nutrition study found that people who cook at least five times a week are 47% more likely to be alive 10 years later compared to those who rely more on processed foods.
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.
There is little argument over the health benefits of fruits and vegetables. They are chock-full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. The only caveat for paleo dieters is that some vegetables are starchy (e.g., potatoes) and some fruits are higher in sugar (e.g., bananas). So, if you are trying to lose weight or watch your blood sugar levels, eat these in moderation. In fact, potatoes are banned from some strict versions of the diet.
That being said, I wasn't surprised to see Whole30 on the naughty list last year. In case you're not familiar with the program, you cut out all processed foods, grains, legumes, soy and dairy (that includes sugar and alcohol) for 30 days. You're left with meats, seafood, fruits, vegetables, nut butters and nut milks (as long as there's no added sugar — read your labels).
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.
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 "CrossFit Games", directed by Dave Castro, have been held every summer since 2007. Athletes at the Games compete in workouts they learn about only hours beforehand, sometimes including surprise elements that are not part of the typical CrossFit regimen. Past examples include a rough-water swim, a softball throw, and a pegboard climb. The Games are styled as a venue for determining the "Fittest on Earth," where competitors should be "ready for anything."