Monday, August 30, 2010

Staying on Track

With Labor Day weekend fast approaching, I've been doing some thinking about how to stay on track over a holiday weekend.  For me, staying true to my food choice of no grains, dairy, and legumes is pretty easy since when I eat grains I don't feel well and when I eat dairy I break out.  Beans are not that tempting for me so they are pretty easy to pass up.  I still have occasional treats and indulgences, and with my first Olympic Triathlon coming up on September 12th I decided to clean up my diet and stay super strict for the next two weeks prior to the triathlon.  So how do I get back on track, well this is a first for me so what I'm thinking is that I"m going to go back to the Whole 9's Whole 30 program and cut my current 'vices' which are wine, dark chocolate and paleo treats like paleo cookies and fudge babies.  Starting officially on Sept. 1st (since that's easiest to count from really) I'm going to go strict with my diet because I know that it helps increase my athletic performance and makes me feel great - plus I think its a great way to get in tune with how your body processes food and how it really makes you look, feel and perform. 

With the official end of summer nearing, is anyone else willing to try to shape up and get back on track...or just tweak what you're doing to be a little better?  Post to comments if you're in and let me know what kind of information you want as I go through my journey for the next 30 days.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Milk, Does the Body Good?

There are conflicting opinions when it comes to dairy; I mean, Milk does the body good right?  We live in a country that eats more calcium than any other population yet also as the highest occurrence of osteoporosis.  Something doesn't seem to add up in this scenario.  So let's break it down, do you need to have diary in your diet?  And if you remove it how do you get enough calcium and other vitamins - like Vitamin D that most milk is fortified with?

Milk and dairy products are made up of carbohydrates, fat, and protein like most other foods.  The carbohydrate in milk is Lactose, the protein is Casein, and the fat is Saturated fat.  Now that you know that eating fat doesn't make you fat, I hope you're reconsidering all the skim milk you've been consuming.  Even though I don't include dairy in my diet, I think that dairy is something that can be included in a paleo/primal lifestyle in moderation and from the right sources if it works for you - that's the most important point.  Ideally a Paleo diet that still included dairy would be raw milk straight off a farm.  A general rule of thumb is that the closer the dairy products are to their original state and the aninimals were to eating and living in their natural state the better quality of the product you're eating.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mexican for dinner

I love mexican food and used to eat tacos quite frequently - so how to do you make tacos work when you're eating a paleo diet?  Enter Mexi Salad from Whole9  This is a quick and easy meal that is always delicous, we seem to make it once a week and leftovers are great for another dinner or lunch.  Trust me you won't even miss the cheese.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Eating fat doesn't make you FAT

Contrary to popular belief, eating fat doesn't make you fat.  The current nutritional buzz is focused on eating low fat foods, for every full fat food there seems to be a reduced fat, low fat, or fat free version of the same thing.  As a nation we are afraid of fat, yet still have sky high obesity and diabetes levels.  What if eating fat doesn't actually make you fat...

Now for a little science - you need a little science to back things like this up! Many clinical studies have been run trying to prove the fat-lipid hypothesis, which basically states that eating fat (particularly saturated fat) makes you fat, and eating cholesterol raises your cholesterol and both lead to heart disease and obesity.  Nutritional studies are difficult to implement because there are so many variables; however, time after time the fat-lipid hypothesis has been tested and has failed to show a correlation between eating fat and blood serum cholesterol levels and obesity rates.  The notion that eating fat makes you fat and eating foods that contain high cholesterol make your cholesterol rise seems to make sense, so when Americans were contracting heart disease at alarming rates in the 1940s and 1950s the Federal Government decided that they needed to do something for the greater good of the American population.  This resulted in the birth of the USDA Food Pyramid and nutrition guidelines.  The trouble is that through conjecture, they defined the rules of the USDA Food Pyramid and began to stress a low fat diet without determining that a low fat diet could actually solve the heart disease issues. 

It's all in the hormones...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

What's on your summer reading list?

In need of a good book that could actually make you healthier?  Here is a list of recommendations and books that I've read that have contributed to my nutrition knowledge base.  If you want to learn more try out some of these books.

What to start with (not as science-y, e.g. you don't have to be geeked out on this stuff to find these books interesting and useful):
  • The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy - Mark Sisson
  • Real Food: What to Eat and Why - Nina Planck
  • The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Food You Were Designed to Eat - Loren Cordain

Want to learn more about where your food comes from, why food quality matters, and the state of food in America today:
  • Food Inc.: A Participant Guide: How Industrial Food is Making Us Sicker, Fatter, and Poorer-And What You Can Do About It - Participant Media **Note this is also on DVD
  • In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto - Michael Pollan
  • Food Rules: An Eater's Manual - Michael Pollan (a supplement to In Defense of Food)
  • The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals - Michael Pollan
 Want to learn more (you're getting geeked out on nutrition):
  • Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival - T. S. Wiley
  • Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health - Gary Taubes
  • The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet - Robb Wolf (currently pre-order only)
I've read all of the books listed here, and am currently about halfway through Lights Out and a third of the way through Good Calories, Bad Calories.  I have Robb Wolf's book on pre-order and am excited to get it soon!

Monday, August 9, 2010


I pack my lunch most days, once I changed to eating primarily fresh non-packaged food I quickly realized I needed new Tupperware.  I love the glass Pyrex kind, because you can microwave it without worry and it seals really well.

So what's in the lunchbox?  Salmon and zucchini (left over from dinner), blackberries, and sweet potatoes with cinnamon.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

What's for Dinner?

Typical dinner for me is a protein (meat or fish) and double vegetables...not that hard to do right?

Monday, August 2, 2010

What is Crossfit?

At the beginning of this year I started to get more serious about Crossfit and make it my primary workout. So what is Crossfit? Crossfit is based on constantly varied functional movements, including running, rowing, Olympic lifting, body weight exercises (squats, push ups, pull-ups), and basic gymnastic movements. Crossfit has a Workout Of the Day, a WOD, and each day there is a prescribed workout that you do as a crossfit community (when you work out at a Crossfit gym or follow the workouts from the main page

Crossfit WODs can be as short as 2-3 minutes or as long as an hour, it depends on the WOD. They are primarily divided into 2 groups, metcons (metabolic conditioning) or strength, and the workouts are either done for time (as fast as possible) or for reps/rounds (AMRAP = as many rounds as possible). There are 'benchmark' WODs that are defined WODs with names like Fran (21-15-9 Thursters 65/95, and pullups), Cindy (AMRAP in 20 mins of 5 pullups, 10 pushups, 15 squats), and Angie (100 pullups, 100 pushups, 100 situps, 100 squats for time) that are used as a standard that Crossfitters can compare themselves to others to see how you measure up against other Crossfit athletes. Crossfit is universally scalable, so if you can't do the workouts as listed - referred to as prescribed or Rx - or you scale them to your level of ability - using less weight, doing less reps, using bands to assit with pullups, etc. As you continue to do crossfit, you will be able to get closer and closer to doing the WODs as prescribed as you get stronger.