The first annual Boulder Crossfit Paleo Challenge is only days away! As you may have already read in Gary’s post Boulder Crossfit will be holding a 31-day Paleo Challenge, (Jan 1 – 31) and everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate. Please be sure to pick up the informational packet outlining the challenge the next time you are in the gym. During the challenge on the Nutrition Blog we’ll have a daily post with a recipe, either mine (Julie’s) or someone else’s, and some cooking tips, or a book review, or maybe just some food for thought. We will also have new resources every day to support you during the challenge, such as: favorite books, podcasts, recipe sites, products, iPhone apps, products, etc. etc.! The world of Paleo has grown tremendously since I discovered Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint almost three years ago, and there is so much more out there every day!
Awesome! Does This Mean We Get To Wear Loincloths During the WOD or…
No! (Please no.)
“Paleo” (sometimes people will interchange that with “Primal”) is a diet 2 million years or so in the making. It uses what we know about our hunter-gatherer ancestors to guide decisions about factors contributing to our overall health – diet, exercise, sleep, play, societal and familial ties, etc. – within our modern-day framework. Though our Paleo Challenge will mostly be focusing on diet, our resources over the next month will cover all these topics should you wish to explore further.
So, in a nutshell, the Paleo Diet is:
Photo Courtesy of Eugenia Loli]
Beginning With the End in Mind
In these few days before the Challenge starts, ask yourself what you want from making a 31-day switch to a paleo diet. To lean out, lose some fat? To increase your athletic performance, or balance out your energy levels throughout the day? Maybe you want to see how a change to your diet can improve your sleep, or positively affect some problems that have been nagging at you. Some of us have been eating a paleo diet for awhile and want to clean things up a bit, and to others, this is all totally new. Whatever situation you’re in or what you want from this, it’s helpful to write down a dozen or so “health markers” to track as the month progresses. These could be things like:
- Measurements (body composition)
- How you feel post-workout
- Condition of Skin
- Energy levels throughout the day
- Quality of sleep
- Ability to focus
- Clarity of mind
Tomorrow we’ll cover some planning tips, complete with some sample shopping lists and a recipe for a versatile “staple” food so you can hit the ground running on Day 1.
Resources to Familiarize you with the Paleo Diet:
- Information/FAQ Packet at the Gym (Available 12/31)
- Robb Wolf’s “What is Paleo?”
- Primal Palate’s Paleo FAQ (this is also one of my favorite recipe sites, though, for the duration of the Challenge I strongly encourage avoiding the “Treats and Cheats” especially if you have some body comp or weight loss goals. But even if you don’t, it’s good to give your body a chance to adjust to this dietary approach. Giving yourself lots of blood sugar spikes with “Paleo Treats” will undermine your progress here.)
- Balanced Bites “Guide to Paleo Foods”
- Liz Wolfe from “Cave Girl Eats” calls this way of eating “Ancestral“. More and more this is what I call it too.
- Mark Sisson’s Definitive Guide: The Primal Blueprint
- The Whole 9 “Paleo Pitch” Or, how to talk about this whole “paleo thing” to your friends and family.