Here at Crossfit Southie we believe that nutrition is the foundation that your fitness pyramid is built upon. Without a solid base, a pyramid will eventually crumble. The same is true with your fitness. If you don’t fuel your body with what it needs to function optimally, it’s impossible to expect to see the best results. No matter how hard you try, you cannot out exercise poor eating habits.
Additionally, take the sickness/wellness/fitness graph. Without proper nutritional habits we will never reach our full fitness potential and will constantly slip down toward the sickness side of the graph.
In understanding these concepts, we know that what you put in your body is going to determine your success with our program and the way you feel in your everyday lives. To inform our members and help keep their eating habits in check, we offer nutrition lectures & nutritional challenges at various times throughout the year. Lectures are complimentary and challenges typically have a $20 buy in, where all funds go to the winners of the challenge. To read more on our challenge rules click here.
Coaches are always happy to help you log and discuss your eating habits. As an additional service, we also offer more in depth nutrition counseling and meal planning. Please inquire at the desk for more information on our one on one nutrition counseling program.
What is the best diet/nutrition plan?
There are a lot of differing opinions out there about the best diet or nutrition plan. As fitness enthusiast, we refrain from using the word “diet” because we believe that what you eat should become part of your lifestyle rather than a short term, quick fix, fad. We are strong supporters of the Paleo (pronounced pay-lee-oh) diet in balanced macro-nutrient proportions (zone diet). The significance of the word Paleo comes from the Paleolithic era, the time period in which humans consumed mostly lean sources of meat, vegetables, nuts, seeds, some fruit, and little amounts of starch. During this time there was little to no dairy, grains, legumes, processed foods, refined vegetable oils, and sugar.
To accomplish this today you can simply shop the outskirts of the grocery store today for all for all the major foods that you will find. Typically the more refined, processed foods are found in the aisles of the grocery store.
Paleo vs. FDA
The differences in the food that the Food and Drug Administration promotes and what the Paleo Diet promotes is drastically different, most notable in the foundation alone. The Food & Drug pyramid is ever changing takes in to account lobbyist and what is attainable for the majority of people. The fact is most people don’t have the resources or won’t take the time to eat optimally. The Paleo diet is ahead of the F&D in this aspect and as the years go on you will continue to see the F&D pyramid continue to evolve and look more like the Paleo pyramid.
Breakdown of the Paleo and Zone Prescriptions
Food can be broken up into three macro-nutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. By incorporating a controlled amount of these macro-nutrients into your diet you will be able to control your insulin levels. This may not sound that mind blowing, however, managing your insulin is the most important aspect of dieting because it determines how much of the food you consume needs to be stored as fat. The Paleo diet encourages you to stop thinking about counting calories and instead focuses on eliminating poor, which are also typically insulin spiking foods, from your diet. By naturally removing these foods, we move towards a more favorable state of balanced macro-nutrient intake. A step above and beyond this would be to follow a Zone prescription of the Paleo diet, where you weigh and measure your food to ensure each male includes the proper balance of macro-nutrients. Let’s take a closer look at those macro-nutrients so you have a better understanding of what foods fit each category and the best times to incorporate them.
• Protein: Should be the foundation of every meal. Try to consume about 25-40 grams of protein within each meal and it will help you feel satisfied between meals. Healthy sources of protein come from grass fed beef or chicken, ground turkey, fish, other types of seafood, whey protein, eggs, etc. Lean protein aids in muscle recovery and joint and skin health.
• Healthy Fats: Unlike the common misconception, fat does not make you fat! Animal fats are a main source of energy for your brain, hormones, and body. Try to incorporate about half the amount of grams of fat per gram of protein within each meal. For example: if you are having 25g of grilled chicken as your lunch try to pair it with 12g of sliced avocado for your healthy fat. Fat can also be found in nuts, seeds, avocados, coconut oils, olive oil, fish oil, etc.
• Carbohydrates: Carbs supply energy to the brain and muscles in order to function. Healthy, Paleo-friendly, carbohydrate sources are fresh vegetables and fruits. Non Paleo, unhealthy would be rice, grains, sugar, etc… Most of have a little extra energy attached to us in the form of body fat. In order to pull from those fat stores we need to stick to Paleo friendly carbs or at the very least, be very careful about when you consume them because they are responsible for the release of insulin. If weight loss is desired, try to keep your carb intake to 50g or less on days that you don’t workout and no more than 100g on days that you do. Try to eat them in the morning or around your workout times and avoid them late at night.
Simple Steps to construct a well balanced meal:
1. Start with 4-8oz of lean protein from a quality source (organic/grass fed/hormone free)
2. Surround your protein with veggies and fruits (the more green on your plate, the better)
3. Compliment your meal with a healthy source of monounsaturated fat (nut oils/avocado)
How to divide your plate:
• Protein: should account for about of 30% of your total caloric load
• Carbohydrates: from low glycemic source and account for about 40% of your caloric load
• Healthy Fats: account for about 30% of your caloric load; predominantly monounsaturated
Sample Meal Plan
Shrimp scramble with basil and steamed spinach. ¼ cup blueberries. Espresso.
Chicken salad with red onions, romaine lettuce, artichoke hearts and mixed bell peppers. Dressing: Lemon/Olive Oil with a hint of garlic. Green tea with lemon.
Grilled shrimp & veggies with a hand full of macadamias.
Baked pork loin with ginger cabbage and olive oil. Dessert: shaved almonds over 1/4 cup mixed berries.
Eggs over easy with a side of bacon. Paired with a kale, carrot, cucumber, strawberry orange smoothie.
Paleo Cobb Salad; mixed greens topped with hard boiled egg, sliced avocado, crumbled bacon, diced chicken and tomato. Simple balsamic and olive oil for dressing.
Hard Boiled egg with an apple and a heaping scoop of nut butter.
Grilled fillet of salmon, grilled asparagus and a baked sweet potato .
Salad Rules to Live by
Salads are a great way to include all three macro-nutrients within one meal. Here are a few staples that each salad should contain.
1. Mixed greens- think of greens packed full of nutrients- like spinach or kale
2. Veggies, yes more veggies (cucumber, broccoli, celery, etc)
3. Nuts and seeds. Try to avoid those that are cooked in unhealthy oils
4. Some fruit- some means a little here. (cranberries, tomatoes, apples)
5. A simple dressing- olive oil and vinegar (avoid unnecessary sugars)
Just because you plan to eat healthy doesn’t mean your meals have to be unappealing! Get creative. Check out some of the resources below to help those creative juices get flowing.
Although we may not agree 100% with all the information the following resources may supply, we do think the following links and information can be helpful in gaining a better understanding of the basics when adhering to a Paleo lifestyle.
The Paleo Solution; The Original Human Diet by Robb Wolf
The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy the Way You Were Designed to Eat by Loren Cordain
Mark’s Daily Apple http://www.marksdailyapple.com/#axzz32SzmnNiv
The Whole 9 http://whole9life.com/
The Ultimate Paleo Guide http://ultimatepaleoguide.com/paleo-diet-resources/
What is the Paleo Diet by Robb Wolf http://robbwolf.com/what-is-the-paleo-diet/
Paleo Nick http://paleonick.com/
Looking for webistes that have great paleo recipes? Check these out:
Nom Nom Paleo http://nomnompaleo.com/
Paleo Plan http://www.paleoplan.com/recipes/
Civilized Caveman Cooking http://civilizedcavemancooking.com/tag/paleo-recipes/
Stupid Easy Paleo http://stupideasypaleo.com/
The Clothes Make the Girl http://theclothesmakethegirl.com/
*Some of the above websites give specific meal plans and grocery shopping lists for each week.
If you have additional questions or comments we are more than happy to answer them in any way possible. Just shoot us over an email at [email protected]