The Paleolithic diet is based on how humans ate 10,000-250,000,000 years ago prior to the development of agriculture. It consists of lean meats, wild fruits & veggies as well as nuts and berries. More info about this diet can be found here.
Click here for a good Paleo food list to help with your shopping!
The zone diet is a real food diet that is based on quantity as well as quality. Here you will find the CrossFit Journal’s Zone meal edition that gives good information and a basic block chart to assist you in preparing and measuring out blocks for meals.
Primal is very similar to the Paleo diet, except whole fat dairy is allowed! Read here for a good blog post that Mark Sisson wrote differentiating the two.
Heard of the FDA’s Food Pyramid? Well, recent research suggests a diet based on large amounts of grains and starches is very poor for your health. The Glycemic index breaks down food into “high” and “low” categories based on amounts of sugar (carbs). The CrossFit Journal has a great article about this index & why high glycemic foods are detrimental to your health.
10 Steps to Eating Better
Changing the way you eat is a very hard, & intimate ambition but one that has a very high reward. Studies show that those that greatly improve their nutrition but neglect to exercise experience the same health improvements as those that greatly improve their exercise & neglect their nutrition. What does this tell us as CrossFitters? If we only focus on WODs then we are only doing 1/2 of what we can do become truly remarkable physical beings. Remember the pyramid above, nutrition is fundamental to all that we do in the box.
Pick a team, whether it’s Team Primal, Team Paleo, Team Zone, or Team Paleo Zone, choose a direction you want to go for your new meals.
Now that you have a team to play for think about how much of the food going down the hatch is going to be elite nutrition, 100%, 50%, one meal a day, or just snacks, it all depends on the person.
Developing a family menu for the week’s breakfast, lunch, dinner & snacks will help you shop for a purpose, ease the decision-making process later in the busy work week & add variety to your life. Try to add a variety of meats & meals each day or two & experiment with a few new recipes to try out alongside your weekly staples you’ve discovered along the way. Remember, it’s always handy having those “back-up” meals for when you know what hits the fan.
Stopping by the local grocery store, farmer’s market, ranch & other favorites of yours to purchase food is the first “real” step to improving your nutrition. This is the test for “I’m gonna get this” & “I’m staying away from that”, like they always say don’t shop on an empty stomach & stick to your plan.
Prepping for the busy American work week can be the difference between a trip through the drive-thru or a night eating a tasty, beautiful meal that you’ve created. Many CrossFitters make their meals in batches so that they have lunch for the next few days, or breakfast for the week. When you learn to cook more, you’ll learn to cook less often & spend less time in the kitchen & more with the family or in the gym! Having a deep freeze handy for storing any excess meals is always a plus as well!
Fish oil- a CrossFit standard, the magic pill (also comes in liquid form) has many benefits including but not limited to fighting inflammation & improving blood flow. It’s recommended for “little” people to take 2g of EPA/DHA: day and for “big” people to take 4g (to put it simply).
Iodine- may be a supplement you’ll need to take if you stay away from iodized salt. If you don’t like taking iodine as a supplement, you can always use seaweed, yum!
Protein powder- a good option to boosting those meals that lack the right amount of protein but BEWARE of the ingredients! The best whole food protein powder I’ve found is egg white protein powder.
Pre-WOD drinks- are for some but possibly not all, remember many of these have “uppers” such as caffeine and sugar.
Post-WOD recovery shakes- can be an individual decision as well, find one high in BCAAs (branch chain amino acids). If your goal is to loose excess body fat, don’t drink any of your daily calories.
Drink lots & lots & lots of water! Coffee & Gatorade don’t count, just pure H2O. If your lips are dry or your pee is yellow, YOU NEED MORE. I know drinking water every day may be new knowledge, but try to get used to it.
8. WOD More
The more you workout & let fitness play a major role in your life the more you’ll crave the good stuff & detest the bad stuff (remember that WOD you did right after the McD’s drive through?).
9. Eating Out & Cheat Meals
Every stable mind needs the tasty goodness of a Krispy Kreme once in a while but if you find yourself in a Denny’s one too many times look or ask for the meal closest to real food.
The more people you share your dramatic improvements in your diet with, the more open & exposed your eating is, the higher likelihood you’ll keep up with it & maybe you’ll convert a skeptic or two with your savory recipes & beautiful Facebook pics!