EATING THE PALEO WAY
Many people new to the Paleo Diet have a hard time figuring out what to eat. They often tend to eat the same thing they've always eaten, but just remove the grain. So instead of hamburger and fries, they may just have a hamburger patty. Instead of cereal and a banana, they'll have just the banana. The result – hunger!
Here are a few tips to make eating Paleo a routine part of your lifestyle:
For breakfast: Make an easy omelet. Quickly sauté onion, peppers, mushroom, broccoli, add eggs (keeping only one or two yolks), and leftover turkey or chicken breast for extra protein.
Paleo lunches are easy: Make a large salad at the beginning of the week big enough to cover lunch each day. Include mixed greens, spinach, radishes, peppers, cucumber, carrots, avocado, walnuts/almonds, sliced apple/pear, etc and place in a large Tupperware container. Pack single servings each morning from the large batch; bring a can of tuna (or salmon, chicken/turkey breast, ground buffalo) to top.
Try spaghetti squash as a substitute for any pasta recipe. Top with pesto, marinara and meatballs, or simply salt, pepper, and garlic. Roasted beets, and their greens, make a great side dish for pork. Asparagus, broccoli, and spinach can be steamed quickly. Salmon, halibut, or tilapia filets grill well with accompanying foil packs full of cut veggies with olive oil and garlic.
Berries and other succulent fruits make a great dessert, and pre-cut carrot and celery sticks, sliced fruit, and pre-portioned raw nut/dried fruit mixes are easy to grab and pack for snacks.
Alcohol-Free Drink Options
Hosting any parties? If you’ve mastered serving exclusively Paleo foods at dinner gatherings at home, but feel daunted by only serving water to accompany the meal, then try some of the following ideas to liven things up a little.
Planning a tropical island-esque dinner? How about a Pina Colada? Just mix 8 oz. of ice cubes and water with 6 oz. of frozen pineapple cubes, and 1 T of extra virgin coconut oil. If you want to offer it as more of a snack than a drink, throw in a scoop of egg white protein powder. For you athletes, try this as a recovery drink as well - what a nice alternative to a banana! Serve in a tall glass, and go ahead and add a little umbrella!
Going with a lighter fare menu? One of my favorite ways to offer water is to serve it spa-style. Slice oranges, lemons, cucumber and kiwi, and put a few of each in a large, attractive glass pitcher. Fill with water and chill; not only is it refreshing and tasty, but it looks quite handsome on the table!
Serving Mexican Food? A blended, icy citrus drink pairs well with the flavorful spiciness inherent to some of the dishes you may be serving. Thus, there’s the good old, familiar tendency to have a Margarita, of course!. Whip 8 oz. of ice cubes with water in a blender with some frozen lemon and lime slices. Serve with a small piece of lime rind and a straw. Don’t forget how important presentation is! While you won’t fool guests into thinking they’re having a Virgin Margarita, you’ll be sparing them all the sugar you find in a pre-made mix.
Want something with a little color? Rather than serving juice (which is often quite sugary), use just a splash of juice with some sparkling water over ice (perhaps just an ounce with 8 - 10 ounces of water).
Finally, keep in mind that an occasional glass of red wine may be consumed in keeping with the Paleo Diet, as per The Paleo Diet book. Just save it for special occasions, and you’ll enjoy it even more than if you had it all the time!
by Nell Stephenson
The Traditional Diet vs. Healthy Eating
The word Diet
has some very bad connotations for many people. Diets
are rigid. Diets
are restrictive. Diets
dictate to you what to eat, when to eat it, and in what portions. And worst of all, Diets
are viewed as temporary endeavors; something to undertake until a certain weight loss goal is met. These strict nutritional prescriptions cause most people who attempt them to eventually binge on their “forbidden” foods and abandon the Diet
altogether. What I am going to present are a few general guidelines to help you modify the way you eat forever, while still allowing you to live your life and giving you the choices and control over what, when, and how much you eat.
Everyone must find a way of eating that works for them. It must fit their lifestyle: their work schedule, their family life, and their own level of dedication to their nutritional regimen. What works for a full time athlete who values performance above all will not work for a busy mother of two with a full time career. What works for a 25-year-old endurance runner will not work for the 55-year-old weekend tennis player. Everyone will have to find the way of eating that will support their activity level but not cause gains in body fat, while fitting into their schedule and giving them the satisfaction they need from their meals.
The first step is listening to your body. We have come to associate eating with things other than our need to fuel ourselves. We eat when we are happy, when we are sad, when we are bored, when we are lonely, and when we celebrate with friends. If you want to create a healthy way of eating, the first thing you must do is eat when you are truly hungry and stop eating when your appetite is satisfied. This does NOT mean eating until you cannot possibly stuff another bite of food into your belly. It means listening to the true signals of your body’s hunger and letting those signals dictate when you eat, and stopping when you are comfortably full. If on a scale of 1 to 10 a 1 is starving and a 10 is After-Thanksgiving-Bloated, you should aim to eat when your hunger reaches a 3 and stop when you are at a 6 or 7. This will move you into what is called “Intuitive Eating”. This is the most natural and effective method of portion control you could ask for – a way to always eat the exact amount of food you need and not a bite more. Another thing to be aware of is that a lot of times signals of thirst can be mistaken for signals of hunger. So be sure to drink at least 8 10-ounce glasses of water a day to keep yourself properly hydrated.
The second step is looking at the types of food you eat and making small adjustments. Even a small change in food selection will pay huge dividends in your health, performance, and body composition. In the most simple terms, Michael Pollan put it best – Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. What is “food”? Food comes from nature in a form that is ready for consumption with a minimum of preparation. Food does not contain dozens of ingredients, most of which you cannot pronounce. Food is also not highly processed or refined. You should be able to tell exactly what something was before you eat it. A good rule of thumb is this: if an item contains more than 5 ingredients, it is not food.
The cornerstone of a healthy way of eating is carbohydrate from fruits, vegetables, and berries. These provide the vitamins and minerals you need. The next necessity is getting adequate protein to give your muscles the building blocks they need to perform and grow stronger. Lean cuts of beef or pork, white poultry meat, eggs, and fish are great sources of protein. The final piece of the food quality puzzle is fat. You need fat. Be sure to get enough fat from quality sources. The best sources of good fats are nuts (almonds, pecans, macadamia, etc.), avocados, olives or olive oil, and cold-water fish such as salmon. Ideally, you would have a carbohydrate, a protein, and a fat with each meal. If you imagine your plate as a clock, from 12 to 3 would be your protein. From 3 to 11 would be your fruits and vegetables. And from 11 to 12 would be fat.
Along with the foods that you should eat, you need to be aware of those foods that you should enjoy in moderation. Note that there is not a “forbidden” list of foods in a healthy way of eating. All foods can be enjoyed in a healthy lifestyle. But be aware that these foods are dense in calories and poor in nutrition. Over consumption of these foods can lead to weight gain and decreases in performance.
- Alcohol: Alcohol has its place in a healthy lifestyle if you choose to enjoy an occasional libation. But you should limit your alcohol consumption to no more than a few drinks and no more than once a week.
- Refined sugar: Refined sugar obviously includes all forms of granulated sugar, but also includes High Fructose Corn Syrup, which lurks in nearly all highly processed foods. These refined sugars act to spike the blood sugar level that in turn causes a release of insulin. This insulin release serves to not only lower your blood sugar level and cause you to be hungry again, but also signals your body to store any extra calories as fat. An occasional sweet is OK. A diet built on sweets is not.
- Be aware that refined sugars are hidden in nearly every ready-made food you buy. Read the ingredient list before you purchase an item. If the words “sugar” or “High Fructose Corn Syrup” are in the first few ingredients, that product is loaded with refined sugar. Some foods that are notorious for hiding massive amounts of refined sugar are:
- Fruit Juices
- Condiments such as ketchup or BBQ sauce
- Pre-made entrées such as Lean Cuisine
- Breakfast Cereal
- Refined grains: Breads, cereal, pasta, tortillas, and other products made from grain flour can cause much the same insulin spike as refined sugars. These should be enjoyed in moderation, and when they are enjoyed you should choose products that are 100% whole grain. This retains the fiber of the grain and mutes the insulin response to some degree.
If you follow the simple rules above 80% of the time, you will reap the benefits of eating healthy while still allowing the “wiggle room” to enjoy any food you want, in portions that let you maintain an optimal body composition. This is a way of eating that can last you a lifetime. If you have any questions, just bring your food log to your coach and we can take a look and make suggestions on where you can make small changes that will give you the most return on your nutritional investment. Small, gradual changes add up to big gains in health and performance.
- Robby Beauchamp
90-DAY CHALLENGE SIGN UP HAS STARTED!
Beginning Monday January 4, and ending April 4, of 2010 Teams of 3-5 Athletes male or female will accept a 90 day challenge where exercise and nutrition become their primary focus. This will be a huge challenge for all involved; however, we can only expect Great results if and when we put forth Great Effort. This team challenge will require Great Team Work, Great Dedication, Huge Commitment and Enormous Sacrifice!
It is the hope of the CrossFit Decatur staff that we make 2010 the best year of all of our client’s lives! We know that in order to achieve Great Success we have to be prepared to work harder than ever before, incorporate self-discipline and embrace lifestyle changes!