I would like to announce a month long Paleo Challenge. What is the Paleo Diet?
The Paleo Diet is basically a diet that tries to replicate what our ancestors (Paleolithic/Caveman) ate prior to the Agricultural Revolution. Nothing fancy; these foods basically include the following: lean meats, seafood, fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. These are high in the beneficial nutrients (soluble fiber, antioxidant vitamins, omega-3 and monounsaturated fats, and low-glycemic carbohydrates) that promote good health and are low in the foods and nutrients (refined sugars and grains, saturated and trans fats, salt, high-glycemic carbohydrates, and processed foods) that can typically be the cause of weight gain, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and a slew of other health problems. The Paleo Diet encourages dieters to replace grain products (and in some cases even most dairy) with fresh fruits and vegetables -- foods that are more nutritious than whole grains or dairy products.
I started with the Zone about two years ago and within a week felt better than I ever have in my entire life. I continued on the Zone (which deals with combining good foods in proper amounts; i.e. quantity control) for about a year and a half, gradually improving the quality of the food I was eating as time went by and I became more accustomed to the lifestyle. But about 6 months ago I decided to build my foundation of nutrition on the Paleo diet, get used to it and then bring back the great benefits of the Zone by starting to balance out my food quantity once again. And just like before, I did so in small baby-steps (too intense too soon and I believe it would have beaten me:). The results have been incredible! And I will never go back.
Are there times when I have my "cheat" days? Yes. Can I honestly say that I will never have a handful of chips or crackers ever again or sit down with some friends over a couple of beers? Of course not. But these moments are so far and few between that it really doesn't destroy my eating lifestyle. And now, even my "cheat" days aren't that bad. Let's face it, when your body responds positively to something and makes you feel good, it's not hard to let go of other things.
This monthly challenge will start with a brief meeting for those of you that are interested. I have some things to pass out and some guidelines to give you. I know that dramatically changing your eating habits can be quite an assault on your lifestyle....at first. I won't get into too much detail on the "what", but more on the "how". I will ask people to keep daily food logs and have periodic consultations with me. I will also be asking those who decide to take on this challenge to sign a contract. This will be a contract with yourself; to hold your own self responsible for trying to make a change in your health and lifestyle for the better. As with anything, there are always different levels of intensity that you can apply to things. Same with this. But because this can be quite the change, I will only be asking a certain amount of strictness for this challenge. As you get better adapted, then we can look at "getting even more Paleo strict".
This won't be easy. There, I said it. With nutrition, as with CrossFit, there is no magic pill to take. Just showing up to the gym and going through a WOD isn't enough. You have to push hard, reach for a new level and aggressively go after it. Changing to a Paleo diet is the same way. If you want changes, you have to be willing to do what is necessary to change. You have to be ready to hit walls, face temptation, and be patient. Otherwise, the Paleo diet will die quickly before it even starts to produce results; right alongside many other numerous diets that you may have attempted in the past.
I plan on being available two separate times to get interested people started. First I will make myself available this Friday at 7:30 pm at the gym and also will plan on hanging around the gym on Sunday at 11:30 am following the Titans class. Like I mentioned earlier, these will not be long, drawn out classes. I will just need a little bit of time to let you know what the Paleo is about and to get you started. I also plan on taking some before and after pics (completely optional and 100 % private outside of you and me) so please think about wearing some attire that is appropriate.
So, think about it. Ask yourself if you really, truly, deeply are ready to make a significant change in your health, body, and performance. Hope to see some of you later this week!