Friday, October 29, 2010

My Easy Paleo Diet

I've had a few people inquire what my daily diet looks like. I like to keep things as simple as possible. I work from home when I'm not at CFC, but this could be easily prepped in less than 20 minutes if I needed to have it ready to go. I honestly enjoy eating every meal. I don't ever look at my food, and go F! I have to eat this again!

So, here are two average days of eating with CrossFit. If I don't do CrossFit, I would take out the apple and post workout shake. I usually eat 4-5 times/day depending on when I wake up and when I get home from CFC.

Day 1 w/ workout

1. 6 oz of chicken sausage, 1 apple, small handful of cashews and pecans
Activity - CrossFit
2. Post WOD shake, 40g of whey protein
3. 8 oz of ground beef w/ salsa, 10 baby carrots, small handful of cashews and pecans
4. 6 oz of grilled chicken w/ salsa, 10 baby carrots, small handful of cashews and pecans

Approximate Breakdown - 180 grams of protein, 40 grams of carbs, 50 grams of fat

Day 2 w/ workout

1. 8 oz ground beef with salsa, 6 baby carrots, small handful of pecans and almonds
2. 6 oz chicken sausage, 1 apple, small handful of pecans and almonds
Activity - CrossFit
3. Post WOD shake, 40g of whey protein
4. 8 oz ground beef with salsa, 8 baby carrots, small handful of pecans and almonds
5. 6 oz grilled chicken with salsa, 8 baby carrots, small handful of pecans and almonds

Approximate Breakdown - 240 grams of protein, 45 grams of carbs, 65 grams of fat

Day 3 w/o workout

1. 6 oz of grilled chicken w/ salsa, 10 baby carrots, small handful of cashews and pecans
2. 3.5 oz of beef jerky, small handful of cashews and pecans
3. 8 oz of ground beef w/ salsa, 10 baby carrots, small handful of cashews and pecans
4. 6 oz of chicken sausage, 10 baby carrots, small handful of cashews and pecans

Approximate breakdown - 165 grams of protein, 25 grams of carbs, 50 grams of fat

It may look miserable to some of you, but my food prep/day is less than 30 minutes. I like how my food tastes, and it keeps me moving with high energy. I'm down around 12 pounds eating this diet since I've started. Today is day 20 on this for me.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Are you eating enough protein

A common recommendation for people trying to both lose weight as well as those looking for lean gains is to consume 1 gram of protein per 1 pound of body weight.  What does that look like?  You can assume most of your lean meats will be around 7 grams of protein.  Are you getting enough protein?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Attention Performance Challenge Athletes

You must complete Monday's metcon. Please record your time on the board at the weight you completed the workout. This is the first scored workout for the Paleo Challenge. Failure to complete the workout will be punishment for your team's score. Let me know if you have any questions. Scale intelligently and work hard!

How was your pre and post workout nutrition? Do you feel like it worked?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Week 1 Question Roundup

This is the first installment of questions some of your follow challengers have asked.  They all agreed to have these posted as, hoping they may help the entire community.  Keep up the good work.  Many of you probably have started see some changes at least in the mirror and probably on the scale.  Be proud of your accomplishments, let us know how you're doing and and keep the questions coming.  If it's been a rough start let us know that too, we want to help you succeed.    -Zack

Can I cook with chicken broth (low sodium)? Either poaching chicken or "sautéing veggies, it just adds flavor. Do I count it toward protein?
Yep, we use the Trader Joe's low sodium, when we don't have any homemade, which is really easy to make as well.  Not a significant protein.  Also unless your zoning, we're not counting.  On the store bought stuff, just note the ingredients, some will use added sugar, so not as ideal.  Homemade is really easy.  We actually had chicken tonight, so are making some stock tonight.  Just threw all the bones, innards, and scraps along with an onion, garlic, celery, a few peppercorns and water to cover and will cook it over night on low in the crock pot.  Then will strain it in the morning and put it in some canning jars and in the freezer for later.

Can I lightly brush olive oil on things like zucchini, eggplant, onions etc & bake at low temp (250 degrees) so they are softer/easier to chew? Or is baking with evoo a no-no?
EVOO is great, just keep it at a low temp as you noted, as with any unsaturated fat it oxidizes pretty easy under to high a heat, try and keep it below 275-300.

If I am cooking spinach, do I pre-measure out the bag, and then cook it down, or am I measuring out the cooked portion?
Don't worry about measuring too much with anything, from a diet perspective, especially if you're on the low end of fruit.  If you're following a recipe though, spinach is typically noted pre-cooked and packed, so pressed down into the measuring cup.

I'm okay with knowing what to eat, but getting all meals in is my problem area.
If you're not overstressed, don't get too worked up about 3 meals.  If you can get two good sized meals in and a decent snack then you should be fine.  Take it easy on the carbs during the first larger meal that I assume you'll have to go back to work after or you may get a little sleepy still.  Protein and fats do still cause an insulin release, just not as high as carbs, so if you overdo it you still may have a bit a crash.  You'll need to play with that and just listen to your body, if you crash one day, make a few tweaks the next and see if things work better.

Elevated cortisol is your concern with stress, which can obviously be caused by many things including too few of meals / too much intermittent fasting.  Your tell tale sign on high cortisol is accumulating fat around your belly button area. 

The 5 small meal thing is more of a crutch for people coming off of being drowned in insulin all day everyday or for a high level athlete working on multiple workouts over multiple hours who legitimately can't consume enough in 3 sittings.  For the athlete it's fine, for the rest of us, it's tough because it really just encourages overeating.  Portion control is a struggle for most people including me, so why fight it, enjoy your meals, just don't force feed yourself extra meals.  This is also why Bryce was noting, if you're cooking for multiple meals you want to try and portion things out at least in your head, so you know how much is for dinner, otherwise you'll find yourself grazing through tomorrow's lunch as your packing them up.

One more related item is the hormone Leptin, which controls your feeling of satiety, really does work will with Proteins and Fats, as we discussed, Carbs messes it up and blocks its signals to the brain that you're full.  This goes back to the analogy that it's a whole lot easier to sit in front of 1000 calories worth of brownies (about 4 squares) and plow through it, versus 1000 calorie beef fillet (about 16 oz) and not be able to finish 3/4 of it.  Part of it is the ease of digestion and part of it is the leptin signaling.

What are your suggestions for snacks?  I like beef/turkey jerky but it's so salty.  I'm trying out going little/no fruit.
The general answer on snacks is not to over think them.  They should be a meal just like any other, just smaller.  There's no reason that nuts should instantly become the cornerstone, other than they're portable.  Nuts tend to be high in Omega-6, so can prove to be pro-inflammatory if you're getting too much of them.  Jerky, also is nice because it's portable, but high in salt and typically has soy and sugar in the seasoning mix.  If you don't have access to a fridge or cooler, then these work in a pinch.  If you do though, cooked chicken and shrimp are better choices since they are less processed and you control the added ingredients and both are still tasty cold.  With neither of these having a very strong flavor you can also vary the cooking techniques seasonings to vary the taste quite a bit and not let them get overly boring.  Add in some guacamole or drizzle with olive oil or cook them in coconut oil and you get some different flavors as well through some good fat choices.

Ideally the snacks will disappear and meals may just become slightly larger. 

Should I be limiting the amount of avocado I eat per week for weight loss?
No, when in season, I eat about a 1/2 of one per day.  On the fat side, I'm most concerned that you are eliminating the high n-6 and trans fats, such as vegetable oils, spreads, margarine, canola, soybean, corn, etc.  Good fats on their own do not make you fat.  Carbs and overeating encourage the body to store energy as body fat for later use, dietary fat is not the culprit in this that it is made out to be.  I'll throw a post on the site walking through digestion that will explain this a bit further.  In general if you're sticking to tropical fats (avocado, coconut, olive, palm) and animal fats you should be fine.   I'm not too concerned with your saturated fats as long as they are coming from animal fats or coconut.  These may still raise your LDL, but there's mounting evidence that these raise the type of LDL that is non-atherogenic.  They're also much more heat stable and therefore don't oxidize under heat, so better to cook with.  On the unsaturated fats, we're concerned with the omega-3 to omega-6 balance, which we want to get to 1:1 or as close to that as possible.  These are highly heat sensitive, some more than others, but in general, you shouldn't cook with them at high heats.   What fat can and does effect is inflammation, which is where the n-3 to n-6 ratio comes in, the more skewed toward n-6 you are the more inflammation is being caused.

Are some squashes higher in carbs than others--mixed results from what I researched. I also read they should be limited for weight loss b/c they are higher in carbs than other veggies on some sites, but no mention of it on others.Yes.  In general I like this site:  Just type in the food and you can get a good idea your relative carb numbers.  Summer squashes are all pretty low carb.  Of the winter squashes, spaghetti squash is the lowest carb and you can really treat it like a grain for prep purposes.  You can put meat sauce over it, mix it into stuffed peppers, hardy up a soup.  At the same time, even it is going to fall a little bit closer to energy dense (high calorie) versus nutrient dense.  When compared to grains they're a better option, but when compared to spinach, not so much.  Just mix it in and in general vary your vegetables and think of winter squashes as more of a small side, not the cornerstone of the meal and you'll be fine. 

What's the deal with tomatoes? I've read that some people on Paleo limit them since they are "technically a fruit"
It's not the fruit issue, it's the nightshade issue.  Nightshades, peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes, are pro-inflammatory in many people.  Dr. Cordain did a pretty in depth multi-part series on them in his newsletter.  The gist as I recall on the tomatoes was that the closer to ripe they were the lower in inflammation causing agents.  I'll post a little more on this to the blog.  It's one I need to play with myself.  I enjoy tomatoes and grow hot peppers and make homemade hot sauce.  I should probably do an elimination for a few weeks and see what I notice upon re-intro. 

I'm trying to go black or cream only in my coffee but can't do it yet! What should I be sweetening it with?
-almond milk vs. heavy cream for coffee?
See what you think of almond milk in general. I know a lot of people don't care for the taste, I believe it has been compared to play-dough.  Jess really likes coconut milk.  That would be my first choice.  If you try either of these, just make sure they're additive free, not flavored or sugared up.  Heavy whipping cream is also fine overall.  It is 100% fat, so the irritants that come from the milk sugar are removed.  Back to the almond milk, there are very few nuts I like, I'll send a table out from Mat Lalonde on this, but most of them are high in Omega-6's and depending on the rest of your diet may get in the way of your goals more than being a good fat.  They're also a source of sneaky carbs.  Thanks to zone land we have a bad habit of classifying things as one macro-nutrient, though nuts are primarily a fat, they also have poor quality protein and some fairly high carb counts that can add up and also energy dense vs nutrient dense.  So, these are fine for a handful, but could be a counterproductive if you're taking down much more than that.

I know we talked a little about it after a WOD, but how detrimental will full fat greek yogurt be for weight loss? Can I eat it post-WOD at least?
How detrimental is going to be person to person, there are far worse things you could take and worse times you could incorporate them.  It really depends on how lactose intolerant you are.  I didn't even realize I was, until I cut it out and then brought it back.    Yogurt is better for most people because in the fermentation process the lactose is eaten up by the enzymes.  Fermination does not however change the fact that dairy is still a serious growth promoter, for weight gain this is great, for weight loss it's not so great.  This challenge is a great time to encourage some self experimenting.  Remove items for 2-3 and reintroduce them.  If you go really clean for 3 weeks, meat and veggies, good fat/oils and some fruits, and then bring certain borderline items in one at a time, you will have a pretty good awareness from your body on what works and what doesn't.  For example, if nightshades are an issue, then reintroducing them may bring on some inflammation or localized pain in prior injuries/joints, if dairy is a problem then you may notice some bloating, cramps, rumbling in your gut.

I'm eating a little bit more meat per meal when I have only three a day, but I'm cool with the 4 oz when I'm doing the five.
I wouldn't get to hung up on keeping your portion size down for protein. Meat protein is highly satiating, so adding even a little more in my help with that late night craving as well. 

I did have a question about the sugar cravings.  I'm coming home at night and I'm generally satiated.  But by the time 11 comes around, I'm ravenous and I want all sorts of food.  I'm supposing that this is probably normal, but what is it?  And when (if ever) does it abate?
On the craving, is it a craving first?  Meaning do you still feel kind of full, but yet your brain is telling you it really wants food.  Or do you actually feel hungry and late at night had typically been a sugar snack.

If it's truly a craving then it's typically best to really try and push through it for the next couple of weeks.  If you're hungry, then we need to look at your food log and see why it is you're burning through your dinner so quick.  I small fat/protein snack here isn’t going to screw things up, but like mentioned at the seminar, you don’t want to go to be too full because once you go to bed your body has to deal with finishing the digestion first before moving on to the restorative, fat loss, recovery functions that occur during sleep.

The cravings do abate significantly as time goes on.  Your sensation of sweet will also become a whole lot more sensitive, so things that you never would have thought of in the past to use, like coconut cream with a dash of cinnamon will hit the spot.  We'll talk about "where do I go from here" as the 6 weeks wraps up.    

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Your Paleo Team

Teams are out. Please contact myself or Rudy if you need to know how to get in touch with your teammates. I want this to be a true team challenge where you can motivate and share your tips, diet, and anything else that's happening. The competition itself for the performance side will be based off performance, diet adherence/accountability (track this somehow), and teamwork. The weight loss side will be based off percentage change for your team. So, if you haven't weighed in with anyone do so now! There will also be a handful of performance challenges throughout the workout.

Rudy, Amy A, Billy Q
Glenn, Mark B, Heather
EricKM, Bryce, Joy
Jonny, Erin C, Erika
Nate, Ben, Carlo
Matt W, Todd, Bowen
Tara, Anthony D, Abbey
Zack, John K, Erin A
Scott, Emi, Emily E
WIll, Cameron, Anjali

Weight Loss
Mia, Terry L, Karen
Akeshia, Dan L
Dina, Sarah WP, Tina
Alison G, Gina, Julie
Tannia, SarahW, Adam
Andrea, Danny
Jeni, Megan T
Suzanne, Holly, Kori
Jen K, Lindsey, Beth
Mandie, Molik, Carp
Mike D, Christina K

If your name is not on the list and you want to participate, please get in contact with me!

Unhappy Meal

So I was up late and they had this thing on The Tonight Show that I had to Google.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's not too late!!

Teams will be announced tomorrow for the Paleo Challenge. So, if you know of anyone who is still on the fence, talk them into, and let's get this going.

If you haven't weighed in yet, please do so, and record your number with me. Use the blog to ask any questions, post results, and relevant articles. This is a team event for CFC not just your team of three.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Superfood and food?

Alright, paleo pros, novices, and lurkers.

What are your thoughts on superfood?

Secondly, Advice and consequences on missing a meal rather than eating something you shouldn't?

(If you have any food questions you want answered feel free to email me!)

Paleo Challenge

I've been on the fence on how exactly I want this challenge to be done. In my opinion, it is much more powerful for you to make this YOUR challenge. I do want everyone who is participating to weigh-in with myself, Rudy, or Zack, and Rudy has been kind enough to offer body fat tests for those competing in the Weight Loss Division. However, as far as the pictures go, I want you to do this on your own. If you want us to do this I'm happy to help, but the more responsibility you take the more likely you'll be to succeed. The more you document your results and journey the more powerful this is for yourself and helping others.

This can be a life changing challenge. It WILL improve your health and CrossFitting abilities. I would like to think that this is something everyone would be interested in doing. Have fun with it. Feel free to contact me, Bryce, with any questions at all throughout the challenge.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Welcome or welcome back!!!

Welcome or welcome back to the nutrition blog. This page will be used for those who decide to accept the challenge to change their dietary ways for the next 45 days. We will answer question/concerns in the comments and also post information for your support. If you are new or old look back at some of the archived posts as they have some great info.

All weight loss team members are required to do a 3 site measurement to test body comp. Ladies at the tricep, the iliac (the lovehandle) and the thigh. Fellas at the chest, abd, and thigh. Please contact Bryce or Rudy to set up a time. This needs to be done preworkout/presweating. Your skin composition changes as it starts to exert sweat. (For those in either category that want a really in-depth assessment see the post below.)

First 20!!!!!

For everyone who is interested I am offering a complete assessment to the first 20 people that contact me. This will include a BF% measurement and analysis, a physical test, and a functional movement screen. Stipulations are that you need to schedule an hour of time with me, be okay with me pinching and measuring 10 points on your body, and lastly do the all of the movement screens and physical tests. This needs to be done pre-workout or on an off day.