Going Paleo one meal at a time….
Okay Crossfit Forrestites, I’m back! So the “Fittest in the Forrest” challenge is upon us and you want to win. You notice that body fat % change is worth 5 times everything else so using your spidey senses you decide that is going to be your big focus for the next 2 months. Now the question is how to reduce body fat? There are many ways; however the best way is to focus on what goes in your mouth. No amount of exercise can make up for a poor diet when it comes to body composition. Quite simply, improving food quality is the best way to improve body composition. What am I talking about here? I’m talking about eating Paleolithic foods…meat, fish, vegetables, some fruit, nuts, and seeds. So now the big question, how do you convert from the standard western diet that is high in processed carbohydrates and low in fat to the Paleo diet without losing your mind? Here are a few simple steps:
1. Clean all the grain, legumes, and dairy products out of your house. Pack up the pasta, canned refried beans, and Cheetos and donate them to a charity. This way you will never be tempted to go off the reservation in your own kitchen.
2. Go to the store and buy lots of meat, fresh vegetables, and some fruit.
3. Go to some great websites like everydaypaleo.com, thefoodie.com, whole9life.com, or just google “Paleo recipes”.
4. Start cooking and enjoy!
Oh it sounds so simple and you have the best of intentions, but sometimes life gets in the way (kids, travel, work, etc) and the notion of removing all grains, legumes, and dairy from the kitchen is about as appealing as hitting yourself in the face with an ice pick. If this sounds like you, then I encourage you to try going Paleo one meal at a time. Breakfast is a great place to start. Have you ever had bacon, eggs, and some fruit for breakfast? Then you’ve eaten a Paleo breakfast. Throw some avocado in and you have an even more delicious treat. Leftovers from the night before also make a great breakfast. Carnitas in the morning are just as good the morning after as they were the night before. Once you go a full week eating a Paleo breakfast, now it’s time for lunch. Have you ever had a big salad with salmon or chicken, some slivered almonds, and oil and vinegar dressing? Then you’ve had a Paleo lunch. Leftover spaghetti squash with marinara sauce and other garden vegetables mixed in is also an easy to take to work Paleo lunch. Once you go a full week with a Paleo breakfast and lunch, it’s time to move on to dinner. Have you ever had a juicy steak topped with mushrooms and onions and then some asparagus or broccoli on the side? Then you’ve had a Paleo dinner. Bacon wrapped scallops with grilled peppers and onions are another great Paleo dinner. So there you go, you’re now eating three Paleo meals a day. Notice I did not say anything about weighing or measuring. Eat until satiety with a little common sense. For example, eating 5 apples with breakfast is probably a bit excessive, as is eating a one pound bag of almonds in one sitting.
Going Paleo “cold turkey” will definitely get you results fast. It is similar to ripping off a band aid. If you go fast, it hurts real bad at first, but then it’s off and quickly starts to feel better. If you go slow the pain is never too intense, but it lasts longer. Figure out which technique will work best for you and go for it. Once you are a full bore Paleo, I challenge you to go 30 days without cheating. If you do not look, feel, and perform better, then you can rub it in my face, go back to eating your old way and tell me you told me so.
So in summary, to win the “Fittest in the Forrest” challenge you need to improve your food quality. Go one meal at a time, eat until you are full every meal, and enjoy feeling, looking, and performing better than you ever have!