30 December, 2009


Imagine going through your day, maybe just sitting at your desk...for eight long hours...without eating. I would be Miserable. Starving. Grumpy. In dire need of a snack. Well, you do this EVERYDAY (give or take a couple hours) except its nighttime. What I'm getting at here is you guys have to break this overnight fast in the morning! I'm not necessarily saying to eat before you workout, except that I have been eating a little applesauce lately with protein powder and loving the results. You guys do need to eat in the morning, preferrably as close to the workout as possible (again, a whole other topic). This blog is about eating Paleo so I wanted to post some really simple breakfast options:

30 seconds in my Vita-Mix
CARB 2-4 cups frozen fruit from costco, mix berries and strawberries

PROTEIN 2-4 TBS protein powder ( I use Hemp Protein from Trader Joes...its doesn't taste bad and no it doesn't make me high)
FAT I bring along almonds in a ziploc and munch on those throughout the day

Leftover Meat and Butternut Squash
2 seconds to grab the leftovers and about 30 mins for the butternut squash @350F
CARB about 2 cups of butternut squash (if you follow zone portions 3/4 cup is one block)
PROTEIN a piece of meat the size of the palm of your hand (in thickness and diameter)
FAT later on I will eat an avocado or more nuts as I get hungry...

Egg Muffins
Courtesy of Performance Menu

Make these in muffin cups and they are easy to grab and go for breakfast—either hot or cold. This is the doubled version, which makes about 16 muffin cups.

· 1 whole package of ground turkey or turkey sausage, over 1 lb.
· 1 yellow, red or orange bell pepper, chopped
· 1 whole medium onion, chopped
· 1 package of sliced white mushrooms
· Salt and pepper
· 10 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup (or two 6-cup) muffin pan with paper baking cups. Using only one paper baking cup per muffin is best.

In a medium non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, cook the turkey, pepper, onion and mushrooms for 5 minutes or until the turkey is no longer pink. Add salt and pepper (a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper is fine). Spoon this mixture into a larger bowl and cool slightly, about 5 to 10 minutes (if the turkey is not cooled it will cook the egg, which is bad). Stir in the eggs. Evenly divide the mixture among the prepared muffin cups.

Bake for 20 to 23 minutes, or until the egg is set.

Remove from oven. Let the egg cups cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Remove the egg cups and place them in a Tupperware container and refrigerate. The egg cups will last for up to a week.

Reheating instruction: Leave the egg “muffin” in the paper cup. Heat in the microwave loosely wrapped in a paper towel for 25 to 30 seconds. Peel off the paper cup and enjoy! Two egg cups makes a great breakfast.

Pumpkin Paleo Pancakes
(2) 5 block meals (approx 35 gm P, 45 gm C, 45 gm F /person)

Courtesy of Steve "Paleo" who has the most delicious recipes EVER!!

2 eggs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves (my addition- remember, I love spice!)
1 tablespoon honey (Steve's recipe called for agave but I like honey better)

2 tablespoons chopped pecans - topping
2 tablespoon real maple syrup - topping

Coconut oil - for the pan

Mix everything up real good - sometimes that nut butter is clumpy - and make pancakes as usual (except you're gonna use the coconut oil in the pan) and add the pecans and maple syrup at the end. The recipe above makes 2 good size pancakes.

On the side you can up the protein and the carbs by:
12 extra egg whites to bring the protein up 35 gms/person
~ 4 oz of berries to bring the carbs up to ~45 gms/person

29 December, 2009

Watch This / Read This

One of the things I wanted to do with this blog is give people suggestions on movies to watch and books to read that might change the way you look and think about food.  The first movie I would like to suggest is Food Inc., this movie was given a nationwide release earlier this year but I have not run into many people that have actually seen it.  This is the movie that pushed me into eating Paleo and I think it might have the same effect on other people.  Below is a synopsis from IMDB.

"The current method of raw food production is largely a response to the growth of the fast food industry since the 1950s. The production of food overall has more drastically changed since that time than the several thousand years prior. Controlled primarily by a handful of multinational corporations, the global food production business - with an emphasis on the business - has as its unwritten goals production of large quantities of food at low direct inputs (most often subsidized) resulting in enormous profits, which in turn results in greater control of the global supply of food sources within these few companies. Health and safety (of the food itself, of the animals produced themselves, of the workers on the assembly lines, and of the consumers actually eating the food) are often overlooked by the companies, and are often overlooked by government in an effort to provide cheap food regardless of these negative consequences. Many of the changes are based on advancements in science and technology, but often have negative side effects. The answer that the companies have come up with is to throw more science at the problems to bandage the issues but not the root causes. The global food supply may be in crisis with lack of biodiversity, but can be changed on the demand side of the equation"

 Like I said at the top this movie completely changed the way I looked at food.  I switched the grass fed beef and bison as my main sources of protein and adopted the Paleo way of eating.  In a later post I will supply links to the farm where I order my meet from, they deliver to many locations in the National Capitol Region, so you do not have to worry about driving to far to pick up orders.

If you have seen this movie please share your thoughts in the comments section.

If you have Netflix this movie is available for streaming on your PC, XBOX360, Blu-ray player, etc.

Food, Inc. Trailer from TakePart on Vimeo.

28 December, 2009


Ok, people keep asking me to post a simple blurb on WHY?
Now, everyone has their unique motivations and that is exactly why we are curious, there are so many different reasons...why deprive yourself of steaming, sticky cinnamon buns and that ever-present cheese and crackers? Maybe because it just makes me more hungry (among other things)...and I HATE being hungry.

In an effort to organize this posting, I have come up with my top five reasons (not in any particular order) why I eat paleo:
1. Athletic Performance; WHY IS THE PALEO DIET ERGOGENIC?

Source: The Paleo Diet for Athletes by Loren Cordain and Joe Friel

  • Increased intake of branched chain amino acids (BCAA). Benefits muscle development and anabolic function. Also counteracts immunosuppression common in endurance athletes following extensive exercise.
  • Decreased omega-6:omega-3 ratio. Reduces tissue inflammation common to athletes while promoting healing.
  • Alkaline enhancing. Reduces catabolic (breakdown) effect of acidosis on bone and muscle while stimulating muscle protein synthesis.
  • High in trace nutrients. Trace nutrients (vitamins and minerals) are necessary for long-term recovery from exercise and for health. The most nutrient-dense foods are vegetables and seafood. On average, vegetables have nearly twice the nutrient density of grains.
2. Ideal Body Compostion

  • Initial weight loss (I was 150lbs since age 16; now I have weighed around 135lbs for almost a year)
  • Lean muscle, loss of body fat (last time I checked I was at 14 %)
  • Actually, had to go out and buy a bunch of new clothes ($$$ ugh)
3. Sleep, Energy (I lumped these together because they may be interrelated??)

  • Sound, continuous sleep that happens right after my head hits the pillow
  • Alert, energetic mood from the start of my morning...it can be very obnoxious! haha
  • Naturally my body sleeps for 7.5 hours -8.5 hours, I really have to force myself to stay in bed longer.
Straight to the Bar's Scott Bird also had this unexpected benefit:

"After only a few days of Paleo eating, I noted that I was getting markedly better sleep. Factors such as a constant loud noise or a particularly hectic day were having less of an impact, and I awoke feeling refreshed regardless of the starting point. This change alone has major carry-over benefits to other activities throughout the day.

4. Food Choices

  • Believe it or not, I LOVE the unique, crazy combinations I find using paleo only ingredients
  • I am confident that I take in far more nutrients than pre-paleo
  • Never have that insulin spike, sugar craving, hunger feeling! I can't tell you how much I hate that feeling
5. Comfort that I am eating the way I should be eating

  • This is probably the most personal reason. By eating paleo, I know that I am naturally fueling myself.
  • There is something to be said about quantity but I think this should be addressed in another post.
  • I love that it is a lifestyle not a discipline thing...I eat what I need and I am satisfied!

I hope that this post spoke to some people...Your reasons might be completely different. You may want to

1. lower your blood pressure

2. clear up acne.

3. work on your focus/concentration

4. joining the challenge in morale support for a loved one!


if you have any thoughts about it, suggestions for the blog or questions that need answering...LEAVE A COMMENT :)

Are We Crazy??

To a lot of people the Paleo diet is the complete opposite of everything they have been taught about dieting and nutrition. This is especially true of someone has been trying to follow the misguided nutrition advice of the government approved Food Pyramid.

According to Harvard scientist Dr. Walter Willett, the food pyramid is not up-to-date with current nutritional research. He states six faults of the food pyramid that are misleading American people, and adding to the growing epidemic of obesity:

1. All fats are bad.
2. All complex carbohydrates are good.
3. Protein is protein.
4. Dairy products are essential.
5. Eat your potatoes.

Do you really want these people guiding your nutritional future? Remember these are the same government agencies that did nothing but send a letter that threatened an investigation to the food industry when the food industry was trying to implement their "Smart Choices" program. If you have not seen this program; the program is a way the food industry is trying to help consumers make bettter choices when it comes to food.

This all sounds noble, but when you see that sugary cereals and heavily salted packaged meals receive the smart choices check mark, it should really make you question what the food industry is trying to do to you. If you would like more information on this you can check out this piece in the New York Times.

If you still need convincing about the Paleo Diet, please read the below article by Robb Wolf that was posted on the NorCal Nutrition site. Please ask Mac and me quesitons about the Paleo diet.  Leave your comments below.

23 December, 2009

Paleo Grocery Store Survival

One of the hardest parts of going Paleo is heading to the grocery store. Below are a few tips from my experience that will help you get in and out of the grocery store with out falling off the Paleo Wagon

1. Shop the perimeter. They say this is a good strategy if you want to save money on your grocery bill, but it also works as a clean eating strategy. The processed foods are found in the center isles. The unprocessed foods, for the most part, are found on perimeter. I usually start in the produce section, work my way to the meat section in the back, and then find the natural foods section where I search for almonds, jerky, and dried fruit. I do venture into the middle isles if I need mustard, olive oil, tuna, etc.

2. Use a hand basket. I am lucky enough to be in walking distance to a grocery store, but nevertheless I think it’s a smart idea to shop often and fill your basket with fresh produce and meats. I go shopping about once every two days; doing this forces me to buy fresh produce and meats. Not having processed food in my house ensures that I have to go to the store or I won't have food.

3. Stay away from things with more than three ingredients, I will piggy back this rule with another, if it has ingredients in it that you can not pronounce it is a good bet that you shouldn't eat it.

4. Take a chance. Following rules one through three, pick up an item that you normally wouldn’t purchase. This is a great way to experiment and I’ve tried some funky things I would have never even considered: dandelion greens, almond butter, weird yellow squashes that look like UFOs.

22 December, 2009

I'm listening...keep telling me what you want...

Do I have to tempt you guys with more paleo treats??? Did you like the creation? For those of you at the 0600 "class" this morning, thanks for hearing my passionate soap box pitch for eating paleo. I am listening to your questions, concerns and doubts and what I am hearing really is how do you do this and why??? First off, it will be easy enough to give you guys all access to my Personal Log. When I figure out how to post it more permanently on the left hand side I will do that...but for right now just click on the link above and you should get to my personal google document.

For all of you up for the challenge, I highly recommend you do something similar. To be honest, usually it would be a requirement to join the 30-day paleo adventure but I don't want to put a ton of parameters on this thing.

As you will see in my Personal Log

I like to keep track of the following categories for the following reasons:
  1. sleep; will I see an immediate dip in performance due to lack of sleep...is it delayed?
  2. (yellow) CrossFit (CF) workout of the day (WOD) and time; track improvement and does my body perform better at morning WODs vs. aftenoon WODs?
  3. (orange) CrossFit Endurance (CFE) WOD; same reason as CF WODs
  4. (green) double days CF and CFE
  5. (blue) rest days
  6. menu; make sure I get enough food- mainly focus on maintain a healthy protein and fat intake. The numbers beside the food items are quantity calculations based on the ZONE. Please, if you want to know more, ask me questions.
  7. questions I want to look up
  8. research I've done
You guys will see your body's potential in giving this paleo thing a chance...time to try for a change!

21 December, 2009

Part Two: Leftover Pumpkin Puree

So I lied, sometimes good things come to those who wait... Here is the second Pumpkin recipe, again changed a bit from what I first found at the Heal Balance Live Website.
I love to bake but most of the time I do it just to give away the goodies to my co-workers. This time those of you that will be at the 0600 will get to taste test! The brownies didn't turn out exactly as I imagined but that seems like the status quo with my "creations" :)

Pumpkin Almond Brownies


1 cup almond butter (I get mine at Trader Joes TJs- chunky, raw)

1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (fancy word for canned pumpkin- used up the rest of my pumpkin but the recipe originally called for only 1 cup)

2 eggs plus one yolk (added the extra yolk because of the extra pumpkin but the recipe originaly called for only 2 eggs)

1/3 cup of date syrup, click on 'date syrup' to see how easy it is to make! (original recipe: honey)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 Tablespoon cinnamon (and I love spice so only use 1 teaspoon if you want)

1 cup carob chips (original recipe: semi-sweet chocolate chips) neither carob nor chocolate is paleo but carob is definitely healthier, click on 'carob' to see what it is made of...)


Mix almond butter and pumpkin together until smooth

Add the rest of the ingredients into the bowl and mix

Pour into a GREASED (coconut oil or just go ahead and use some of that leftover butter I know most of you have ;) 8x8 brownie pan
(I used 9x9 and even that made the brownies thick enough, read: hard to cook all the way through)

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes the middle should be set so just check it with a toothpick. I had to keep mine in for almost 45 minutes until the middle was cooked.

Cool all the way down or even refrigerate...I stuck mine in the freezer to save for you guys...Yum!

20 December, 2009

Hidden Pounds?

I want to be upfront I used to drink soda, a lot of soda. Then one day I thought all this sugar might be bad for me so I switched to Diet Soda and then Coke Zero, because “it was healthier”. Needless to say neither soda nor diet soda is healthy for you. Besides the sugar that the soda is loaded with there are the wonderful man made sugars in soda that your body doesn’t know how to break down. The prime culprit that I want to talk about is high fructose corn syrup.

Exactly what is high-fructose corn syrup? Well, it's not the same thing at all as the natural, healthy fructose in honey and fruit. High-fructose corn syrup is a highly refined, artificial product. It is created through an intricate process that transforms cornstarch into a thick, clear liquid. White sugar and "high-fructose corn syrup" are not the same. Industry advocates for corn growers say that they are the same. But nutritional science studies say that there is a big difference between the two. They say that "high-fructose corn syrup" is worse than sugar.

Not to get too into the science but, manufactured fructose is sweeter than sugar in an unhealthy way, and is digested differently in a bad way. Research has shown that high-fructose corn syrup goes directly to the liver, releasing enzymes that instruct the body to then store fat! This may elevate triglyceride (fat in blood) levels and elevate cholesterol levels. This fake fructose may slow fat burning and cause weight gain. Other research indicates that it does not stimulate insulin production, which usually creates a sense of being full. Therefore, people may eat more than they should. Indications also are that the important chromium levels are lowered by this sweetener which may then contribute to type 2 diabetes.

Here is a video put out by New York City Health Department in an effort to deter people from drinking sugary drinks. Just a warning some people might find it a bit gross

I think for optimal health you should stick to drinking lots of water and eat your calories don’t drink them.

What do you think about the video? Good way to get the message out or too over the top? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

P.S. I count Vitamin Water as don’t drink as well. To me it is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Extra Canned Pumpkin??

Thanksgiving always involves pumpkin pie. I stocked up for our 10 guests and now find myself with more pumpkin then I know what to do with....until I got snowed in this weekend :)

I wouldn't call myself a cook. I think creator would be more apropos. I like to follow instruction but when it comes to cooking, baking and anything in the kitchen I tend to have use a little "creative license".

Below are two yummy paleo recipes that I made today, in between shoveling the snow off my car and walkways (really good workout by the way!). The link is the inspiration and the recipe is my creation.

Pumpkin and Chicken Andouille Sausage Soup

1 lbs of sausage ( I used Spicy Chicken Andouille Sausage from Costco http://atkfoods.com/)
1 medium onion, minced to oblivion (I used yellow)
1.5-2 cups mushrooms ( I really like mushrooms but I diced them up pretty good (used:mini portabella) so that it wouldn't turn out too stew-like)
1 15ounce can of pumpkin puree (make sure not to use pumpkin pie filling, nasty.)
4 cups chicken broth (I have tons of homemade chicken broth on hand from when I roast whole chickens in the crock-pot...another post but seriously easy and all paleors should get comfy with the naked chicken!)
several shakes of: oregano, thyme, paprika, sea salt
a couple shakes of:
red chili flakes (I used thai red chili spice but I like my food with a kick), rosemary, cinnamon
dash of nutmeg and cloves (totally optional...I always go crazy with the spices)
2 TBS of cooking fat ( I used the top layer of fat that had solidified on my chicken broth but you can use olive oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, etc.) BUTTER is NOT paleo.
1/2 cup coconut milk (make sure when you first open the can to stir it, it separates)

Get a big soup pot (eventually you can use a crock pot to let all the flavors mix but for now you need the immediate heat that you won't get using a crock-pot)
Saute the mushrooms, onions and sausage together over med-high until golden
Remove the mushrooms, onions and sausage from the soup pot
Add the pumpkin to the soup pot, stirring in the chicken broth
Add back in the mushrooms, onions and sausage to the pumpkin/chicken broth soup, simmer for 10 minutes.
Add all the spices (remaining ingredients EXCEPT for the coconut milk)
Simmer the soup for 20 minutes (during this time I mashed all the chunks to get the flavors going...)
Add coconut milk.

19 December, 2009

Testing the Waters

When I first started eating Paleo, the hardest thing was to keep a well-stocked kitchen. On average you will be grocery shopping 1-2x times a week (and thats if you can buy in bulk most of the time). Without grains, dairy and legumes in your diet, you will be needing to consume a ton more vegetables, protein only in meat and egg form and ideally the same amount of fruit. So I am going to post a sample grocery list as a starting point for those of you up for the challenge. Don't be alarmed! Plan a little bit and your body/performance will thank you :)

18 December, 2009

Have you eaten at McDonald's lately?

Here is a disturbing video on fast "food". You can pretty much get the idea from the first 40 seconds. Takeaway: 4 year-old burger looks like a day old burger; no decomposition. What does your body do with this brick of ???, store it, stick it to your waist/legs/arms...disgusting.

Paleo Challenge begins 4 January

The CrossFit Bolling 30 day Paleo Challenge is set to begin on 4 January.  For those of you who were at the gym this morning and might have missed it Casey announced it this morning.  For those who might have missed this morning, this is your official announcement.
As someone who has been Paleo diet for several months, I can tell you that the hardest thing to overcome while starting the diet was the complete elimination of all grains and beans. It’s important to remember however that just because you are eliminating grains and refined sugar does not mean this is a low carb diet, because it’s not. The idea is just to get all your carbs from fruits and vegetables instead; which means eating a ton of salad. While on this diet, I basically eat what my body is craving, as long as it was acceptable for the diet.
There is much more to come on this blog as we get closer to 4 January.  We will have someone else posting on the blog with me.  If you have been coming to CrossFit Bolling for awhile I’m sure you all know Mac.  She will also be posting on the site.
Below is a link to a paper the Robb Wolf recommends on the nutritional characteristics of a contemporary diet based upon Paleolithic food groups,  It is a pretty quick read:

 Paleo Nutrition Paper

16 December, 2009

What is the Paleo Diet

For many people new to CrossFit the Paleo diet is a new term, quite simply it is a way of eating that closely mimics the way our Paleolithic ancestors ate. This quote taken from The Paleo Diet Website gives you a good quick introduction to the Paleo Diet.

The Paleo Diet is a way of eating in the modern age that best mimics diets of our hunter-gatherer ancestors - combinations of lean meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits, and nuts.

Notice anything that the above quote left out? For many people this is where the Paleo Diet seems impossible, you do not eat grains and you do not consume dairy. Now before you shut down your browser and think the diet is too hard and you will never be able to stick with it let me reassure you from my personal experience with this diet that you can start this diet, you can stick to this diet, and it will completely change your life.

The first part of this diet is the hardest part; I talked to Casey about this and I would like for CrossFit Bolling to do a 30 day Paleo challenge to start off the New Year. So the question, would you give up 30 days to completely change your life and the way you look at food? On this blog I will post recipes and links to help keep people motivated. If you have Paleo questions just ask and I will get you the answer.

I hope that this can become a place for us to ask nutrition questions and help each other stay on track when it comes to nutrition, because I don't think any of us have the time to ask these questions while we are there with Casey.  There is much more to come on this blog I just wanted to get this quick post out because I talked about the site (and wrote it on the white board) at the noon class.