Health

Paleo 101

Last year, I wrote a post about the paleo challenge, and then shared more about paleo and what I eat here. I am definitely not an expert on the subject and recommend doing your own research, but I am often asked lots of questions about paleo and CrossFit.

Are all CrossFitters paleo?
Is it difficult to follow?
I can’t give up bread.
I’m intimidated by CrossFit and don’t think I can do it (more of a statement, but I hear this all. the. time)

Are all CrossFitters paleo?

No. I would say most of my CrossFit friends are paleo most of the time, but some are not. Some of the best CrossFitters I know eat grains. It’s all about finding what works for you. I joined RNCF May ’12 and was initially going 3-4 days a week before I kicked it up to 4-5 days a week. I think CrossFit is a great workout and I definitely noticed changes in my body and strength, but for me, pairing it with paleo gave me the most results. Cutting back alcohol, limiting fruit intake, and sticking to a pretty strict diet when combined with CrossFit just works for me.

Now, if you’re vegan or vegetarian, I really don’t think this diet is possible since eggs and meat are such a big part of it. But like I said, do your research.

Is it difficult to follow?

Throughout my 20s, I was always on a diet and always felt as if I was depriving myself of something. This is the first time in my life that I haven’t felt that way. It’s honestly very easy for me. I feel so good about what I’m putting in my body, know my workouts will be better as a result of what I’m eating, and there are paleo options for almost everything. And when there isn’t a paleo option, if I still really want something, I’ll have it. I just don’t do that very often.

When ordering breakfast, I always order eggs, meat, and veggies, and substitute fruit for toast. If I want pancakes, I’ll make coconut flour ones at home. When ordering lunch or dinner, it’s always a meat and veggies, a burger without the bun, or a salad with olive oil and vinegar on the side.

I can’t give up bread.

I don’t know what to tell you. I’m not that committed to bread. Yes, it’s good, but I don’t need it very often. I might have a little piece if I go someplace with great bread, but you wouldn’t find me ordering pasta anyway.

I’m intimidated by CrossFit and don’t think I can do it (more of a statement, but I hear this all. the. time)

I could barely do push-ups on my knees when I started CrossFit and (just now) did 10 real ones. I literally thought I was going to die for weeks. No endurance. No strength. But you will get better, stronger, faster, and you will see results. Change isn’t easy, but it will happen. My first two weeks back after almost 4 months off felt awful, but now I’ve been back for 4.5 weeks and am already seeing changes. Endurance is coming back, and I’m getting stronger.

Ultimately, it’s about finding what works for you. There are plenty of healthy people who eat grains, dairy, and legumes. Just remember that pop tarts and oreos are not food. Those 100 calorie packs aren’t food either. Anything designed to last for months on a shelf won’t be easy for your body to break down. And also, soda (or “pop” if you’re in the Midwest) is so bad for you. Drink water. If I were miserable every single day because I wanted/missed cheese and bread I wouldn’t be happy. But for the first time in my life, I no longer feel like I’m on a diet. This really is a lifestyle, and it works for me.

More staples in my pantry and refrigerator:
Amylu sausage
Chef Earl’s guacamole (I buy the little 4 packs) and eat them with carrots or jicama
I make iced americanos with my nespresso and add a splash of (no sugar added) almond milk

My paleo posts:
What is the paleo diet?
What is CrossFit?
My thoughts on CrossFit

More paleo resources:
Health Bent
Gather (favorite for entertaining)
Peaches and Cake
Style Activist

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