Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Diet in the Journey: Paleo

I wrote about my journey and how I began CrossFit and how much it has changed my life. That is only half of why my life has been transformed. Yes working out is very important to living a healthy lifestyle but I would say even more important than working out, is the diet and the types of food you eat while you are working out. Ben Smith, while getting me highly involved in CrossFit also introduced me to a type of diet that is very popular with most CrossFitters around the world, the Paleo Diet.

I would have to say the Paleo diet is unlike any other diet that I have ever tried. The past four years in college my diet hadn't been ideal to what you want to keep a healthy lifestyle. The basics of the Paleo diet is: if a caveman would have eaten it, you can eat it. Foods that include: "grass-produced meats, fish/seafood, fresh fruits and veggies, eggs, nuts and seeds, and healthful oils" (www.thepaleodiet.com) I have learned that what goes into my body is just as important as what I do with my body on a daily basis when it comes to my workouts. I have learned to also break up my food intakes into smaller portions which is very important when you are talking about going on any type of diet. As you start losing weight and your stomach begins to get smaller you starting eating less and you feel more full faster while you are eating meals. Instead of eating three big meals throughout your day try eating five or six smaller meals to make sure you get the amount of calories needed throughout the day, to stay healthy. Even though you do not want to stuff your face during those meals, not eating at all is worse than eating too much, especially if you are working out on a daily basis.

There are certain foods you will want to stay away from while on the Paleo diet: "cereal grains, dairy products, refined sugar, potatoes (excluding sweet potatoes), processed foods, and refined vegetable oils." (www.thepaleodiet.com) I have noticed that this is probably the hardest part of the diet, staying away from foods that you may not be used to staying away from. The only thing I have changed from this list, is I occasionally have dairy products in order to get my calcium intake for the day. I have learned that the foods I can eat outweigh the ones that I cannot eat on this diet.

Now you may be thinking to yourself, what does a normal person who is on the Paleo diet eat on a daily basis. Well here is a little guide for someone who is just beginning to experiment with Paleo and is wondering what to eat throughout the day:

Breakfast: I usually wake up an hour and a half before my workout, so I do not want to have a huge breakfast before my WOD, I like to keep it simple with a couple eggs scrambled and a few pieces of turkey bacon to get some food into my body so I have energy to start off the day right.

Post WOD/Lunch: I normally have a Progenex Recovery shake right after my workout and then once I get home I usually put a sweet potato in the oven for an hour at 425. A plain sweet potato without butter and brown sugar is the best thing right after a workout.

Mid-Day Snack: Throughout the day I like to snack on veggies or fruits, I have gained a love for celery with Peanut Butter as well as carrots dipped in guacamole, both very delicious and a very healthy snacks. I also snack on Pistachios throughout the day, they are a healthy something that you have to work a little to eat.

Dinner: This is probably my biggest meal and most important meal of my day, it usually includes something with a lot of protein (Chicken, Steak, Beef, etc.) as well as a vegetable of my choice. After dinner it really varies on what I snack on, Pistachios are always a good choice as well as in the shell peanuts.

The Paleo diet is only half of a healthy lifestyle, you have to be committed to the entire lifestyle not just one thing or another. Working out and eating healthy go hand in hand when you are trying to lose weight and change your eating habits for the better. There are hundreds of diet plans out there that people use, I have found this one to be the easiest and the most effective for me while working out with CrossFit. The most important thing to any diet plan you chose to experiment with is just to stick with it, don't just try it and give up after a couple weeks. The longer you stick with it, the more it will help you feel better about yourself and the better results you will see come out of your life.

You can get more tips and facts about the Paleo diet by visiting ThePaleoDiet.com, the original source of the Paleo diet!

@RobbieVogler

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