From the earliest days of CrossFit Journal articles Coach Glassman, the founder of CrossFit has preached about the benefits of Paleo or Primal nutrition. In the CrossFit Journal issue 15 he mentioned multiple books on healthy nutrition, among them the Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain. In his lectures, Coach Glassman talked about reducing the amount of processed carbohydrates to avoid metabolic derangement and accompanying diseases.
By sticking to a diet that is rich in lean meats and vegetables we minimize our exposure to carbohydrates that quickly elevate our blood sugar and thus spike our insulin levels. When we bombard our system with high glycemic carbohydrates for an extended period of time we increase the chances that we will suffer from metabolic derangement and a laundry list of diseases such as Insulin Resistence and what used to be called Adult Onset Diabetes. These diseases can wreak havoc on our bodies and our health. When we live on the foods that our ancestors lived on, meats and vegetables, fruits and nuts, the REAL foods of the world, we will reap all the benefits they have to offer in both health and performance.
One of the main reasons CrossFitters have adopted the Paleo Diet is it’s focus on the Quality of the foods you eat. When you improve the fuel you put in your body, you can’t help but improve yourself from the inside out. Using the Paleo Diet as your guide book to nutritional options helps decrease inflammation in your body. The specific effects it will have on you can be unique, but some of the general benefits include improved body composition, increased energy (after the initial suck phase), reduced inflammation, improved digestion and the ability to be a human fire starter when you go out to eat with friends.
A Paleo. Primal. Caveman.
The Paleo Diet is the name of a book by CSU’s own Loren Cordain. It is a nutritional guideline that emphasizes, as Coach Glassman says,
“Eat meats and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.”
The goals of our nutritional program, (eating a Paleo based diet) are two fold. We desire both ideal health and optimal performance. The research tells us that genetically we are not that different from our 10,000 year old ancestors. So why would we consume anything different than what they had back in the day? Our bodies are designed to utilize the proteins, fats and carbohydrates found inside plants and animals. With that in mind, why would we ever consume anything else? Oh yes…because it tastes good.
I get it, modern technology can spit out some pretty tasty things. High in sugars and chemicals aimed at making us love them. But like other things that MAKE us love them, there’s probably a dangerous secret in the basement they don’t want us to know about. With Processed Carbohydrates and refinded sugars penetrating many of our household foods, we aim to improve that quality of what we eat and stick to foods where we can actually pronounce the ingredents. Say it with me now, RED-MEAT. AS-PAR-A-GUS. FI-SH. SQ-UA-SH.
The quality of the food we use as fuel plays a role in both the way the systems in side our bodies work (health) as well as how our bodies perform in the athletic arena and in our everyday lives(performance). I try not to rant or get on my soap box too often, other people do that much better than I, but I do want to say that having lived on the carbohydrate rollercoaster for so many years the tastes were great, but since having made the switch to a Paleo/Primal nutrition, I can feel and see the differences between having good nutrition and stuffing my face with tasty treats. Other than the instant gratification of a tasty treat, it doesn’t do anything for me. The way I feel, the way I perform, is always significantly better when I’m eating Paleo. Like many CrossFitters, I’d like to maintain a healthy and active life for an eternity and with more and more news coming out about modern day foods, I’ll stick with the Lean Meats, Fruits and Vegetables, Nuts and Seeds.