Paleo = ?¿?¿?

For me this is going to be difficult to explain without upsetting too many people. Please hear me out and feel free to discuss.

I want to talk today about “Paleo” foods. Paleo is a nutrition guideline that basically has the followers eat only food that would have been available in Paleolithic time. This means meats, veggies, fruit, some nuts (not peanuts), no legumes and a few more restrictions. There’s hundreds of references online, check it out.

Is Paleo healthy? Absolutely! You are eating only foods that are completely natural and the human body was originally intended to digest. There are a couple difficulties associated to this style of eating (getting enough carbohydrates) but that’s for a later discussion. The discussion today is the relationship between “Paleo” and “Healthy”.

Just because the word “Paleo” is tacked on to the end of a word, doesn’t make it necessarily healthy. Just as someone who watches UFC and wears a Tapout shirt isn’t necessarily a good fighter.

The intention of eating Paleo should be; being healthier and achieving goals etc. That means, alog with eating “Paleo”, portion control and proper food choices are still incredibly important. Paleo cupcakes, even though they’re called paleo, are not healthy. Yes, the ingredients alone are better then there alternative but put together in such dense amounts is counter-productive. Read that again… Yes, the ingredients of your cupcake are good, but how much? Usually a LOT! Don’t get me wrong, having a treat now and then is not a bad thing at all and I agree if cavemen had cupcakes theyd eat it too… but a cupcake is a cupcake… Don’t believe me? Check this:

1 Paleo cupcake: Carbohydrates=14g, Protien=3g, Fat=26g

Average cupcake: Carbohydrates=28g, Protein=2g, Fat=1.6g

So yes, the carbohydrates of the Paleo cupcake is half the average cupcake. The fat however is, wait for it, 16.3 times higher!!!! Fat is a good thing im not arguing that (small but proper amounts of fat are imperative to healthy eating), but fat slows everything down and are risky at high amounts. Also carbohydrates are way easier to burn off!… Therefore if we look at an estimated “proper” meal for the average person (27g carbs, 21g protein,  4.5g fat) you are better off eating 3 normal cupcakes then 1 Paleo cupcake. Let’s say you eat 3… you could have eaten 9 regular cupcakes… and let’s be honest, no one eats only one.

The point im trying to make is a cupcake is a cupcake, brownies are brownies and just because something says Paleo, doesn’t make it incredibly healthy. Let’s stick to “paleoizing” (making beloved healthy food paleo by means of exchanging ingredients) actual healthy food like “zucchini lasagna” or “spegatti squash and meatballs” and understand that although it says “Paleo” you still have to be aware of portions and especially amount of fat and lack of carbohydrates!

A Question Everyone Should Answer

What have I done differently this past year to improve as an athlete? (look at all factors; mental, physical, nutrition, training, recovery, rest, etc)

I just finished doing some mobility and looking over today’s workout when I received a text from my training partner. Although we always text, this one was different… The text read “Homework, do it.” And it had a linked URL… After reading the article I understood what he was getting at. Let me explain…

We (being athletes, competitors, workers etc…) spend a load of time working at getting physically better. Putting hours after hours into the gym for another PR or mastering a new skill etc. What we sometimes lack is the reflection of what we’re doing, and more importantly why we are doing it…The answer to the question is different for everyone… my answer?
-I spent a considerable amount of time focusing on my WODs rather then just doing them. I made sure I understood the purpose of each WOD rather then doing it for the sake of doing it.     

* A huge thing for me this year was actually paying attention to “rest days”. It took a lot of effort to realize rest is sometimes more important then work. In previous years I worked out all the time because I thought “hey the more the better”, but that’s not always the case.     

* I actually paid attention to past mistakes. I finally turned the ego off and said to myself “hey! Shut up! That mistake was yours not anyone else’s” Failure is an opportunity to grow and I took every ounce of those opportunities.     
* I started paying attention to consistency rather then always trying to hit big numbers. The realization came that hitting a 300pound clean every time with out a doubt is better then hitting 335 once but only on a good day.     

* I recorded EVERYTHING… This was huge for me, I can’t memorize a lot of lifts etc. but I can’t memorize times for sprints, or consistency of wod times. This year I wrote it all down from beginning to end to REALLY see how I am doing     

* Nutrition has always been pretty good for me but this year I focused on portion control (zone) and none of these “well I worked out so I can eat this 1000calorie big Mac”     

* Lastly I video recorded some wods. Big thing here is reflecting on my performance that day and seeing how I could improve. Seeing if I’m resting too much or not enough. And accuracy of reps completed…

The first stage of finding the fittest man, woman, and team on earth is coming up. To some this means nothing… To Cross fitters, this is our time! But EVRYONE, before starting the open, needs to reflect on the work that went into getting here. Take the opportunity to look back at the last year or 2 or 3, or maybe even the last couple months (if you just started). Look at the changes you’ve made in your life, the lessons you’ve learnt sacrifices you’ve made… When you figure all that out, smile… Look up… Pat yourself on the back, for being such a badass, and go give everything you’ve got on February 27th… Make all the work worth it, leave not a single rep behind, dust off the chalk and repeat!