What is the Paleo Challenge?
This challenge is an opportunity to resist the temptation of eating like the majority of Americans consuming a high grain, high processed, high sugar diet. Think of this as a cleanse of the body by minimizing foods that cause more harm than good and a health boost by consuming all natural foods. Paleo refers to paleolithic, as in the era of the hunters and gatherers. Their diets were strictly what they could find or kill.
What you may expect during and after 30 days of the Paleo Challenge:
-You will most likely lose fat weight.
-You will experience a dip in energy levels, due to a lower sugar or slower consumption of high glycemic carbohydrates; however, your body will burn fat for energy instead of the ‘high octane’ sugar.
-You will eat a surprisingly large amount of food. Your food will taste good because of the larger quantities of fat your will be consuming.
-The beginning is going to be pretty tough, but stay focused, your body will be craving carbs, but resist! Eat meat! Eat vegetables! Try to eat fruit only first thing in the morning, or surrounding your workout. Never eat fruits after a meal because you will just spike your blood sugar then insulin, then just be hungry again, then miserable.
-You need to eat meat and vegetables. Do not eat only meat or only vegetables.
-You will have to plan ahead. Plan your meals so you do not just grab a poor food choice.
Consider these methods:
1. Cook a large meal when you have the time and eat it for several days in a row, i.e. chili, or stew.
2. Cook a meal, eat it for lunch and dinner the next day, then repeat.
3. Cook large quantities of meat, then just prepare your vegetables the day of.
You will save time and money this way and have food readily available.
-I would suggest removing all packaged and processed foods from your pantry and your refrigerator. You don’t want a nice piece of beef roast and drown it in a sugary, full-of-chemical barbeque sauce and ketchup. Use the beef juices and beef fat for flavor!
How long does the Paleo Challenge last?
Beginning April 30 to June 4, but hopefully you will see the benefits and take it up as a lifestyle.
What is in it for me?
Participate in the challenge, succeed at it and decide for yourself.
What must I do?
-Take a picture of yourself in minimal clothes (for your own personal record to compare now and after Paleo and several months of CrossFit. I suggest taking a picture every month if you want to see change.)
Post 2 pictures of your food to the CrossFit Nutrition Facebook Page
-Track food daily for 30 days and calculate points at the end of each week. Write down your points on the Paleo Challenge white board in the member lounge.
Paleo Challenge Point System
In your journal you should have a daily log of your food intake. Every week you start with 100 points. For every cheat that you have during the week you need to subtract 5 points per serving.
-All Dairy: a cheat, unless you are drinking raw unpasteurized milk (http://www.iloverawmilk.com/)
-Milk in coffee is only -1
-Non-fat Greek yogurt is -3 instead of -5
-Grains- Rice, bread, pasta, cake, cookies, cereal, flour, etc.
-Barley (barley soup, barley bread, and all processed foods made with barley)
-Rye (rye bread, rye crackers, and all processed foods made with rye)
-Wheat (bread, rolls, muffins, noodles, crackers, cookies, cake, doughnuts, pancakes, waffles, pasta)
-Corn (corn on the cob, corn tortillas, corn chips, corn starch, corn syrup)
-Oatmeal is the only exception (still a cheat, but you may subtract 3 instead of 5) if prepared with no added sugar.
-Legumes- Peanuts, soy beans, lima beans, kidney beans, Chickpeas
-Soft drinks and juices
-Alcohol other than red wine and tequila (no bingeing please)
-Potatoes: only consume sweet potatoes or yams as they are high in nutrients, avoid white potatoes. They should not make up a large portion of your meal. Stay around a jumbo egg size portion of sweet potato per meal or less. White potatoes?-subtract 5 points
-Protein powders: Only consume flavorless, protein powders made with no sugar or artificial sweeteners. (not Paleo, but I will allow it cause you need protein, if you aren’t getting stronger, you are probably getting weaker!) subtract 5 points for flavored, sweetened protein powders.
-Dark chocolate: does it come in a package? subtract 5 per 1 serving.
-Honey- Have it, but subtract 5 points per serving.
-Each day that you take 2.5g of fish oil add 2 points. You want high-dose fish-oil. CVS brand isn’t going to cut it.
-Each day that you come to CrossFit add 3 points
You do not get double points for double workouts
-If you workout outside of CrossFit add 3 points- walking, the elliptical, and bicep curls DO NOT COUNT! You know what is worth doing at this point, don’t cheat!
-If you take a rest day, but you still dedicate 20+ minutes to foam rolling, stretching, and/or trigger point work add 3 points. **If you stretch and roll for an hour it is still 3 points. The mobility points are only for time spent outside of class. This includes before class, after class, and at home.**
You are not following the Paleo diet if you are not consuming any fruits or vegetables. Each day that you eat less than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables subtract 10 points.
Most of your cheats are going to be packaged foods. Just look on the side of the product for the nutrition information and it will give you portion sizes.
(minus 5 points per serving. IE; 2 slices of bread is minus 10 points, 2 tbsp of ketchup is minus 10 points.)
Listed below are some examples below of one single serving:
Slice of bread
Piece of cheese (2 ounces)
1 cup yogurt
1/2 muffin (medium size)
2 Tbsp peanut butter
1 cup of beans
1 ear of corn
4oz of spirits
12-14 corn chips
8-10 potato chips
1 small cupcake (the mini ones) normal size is 2 servings
10 french fries
1 ounce of butter
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tbsp ketchup
Some participant experiences with the previous Paleo Challenge:
1. get to eat hearty meals
2. learn about and enjoy new foods
3. get to eat more food
4. increased alertness
5. increased physical performance
6. creates awareness of your food consumption
7. mental clarity
8. decreased joint pain
9. increased general well being
10. learn to cook and create new dishes
11. (fat) weight loss
12. weight gain (muscle)
13. increased sensitivity to flavors
14. lack of post meal sluggish feeling
15. regular bowels
16. inspiring others
Paleo Links (recipes / blogs)
http://www.facebook.com/pages/CrossFit-Rise-Nutrition/155260351240372 (CrossFit Rise Nutrition Facebook Page)
More answers to questions:
Recording points starts April 30, 2012. Points reset back at 100 at midnight Sunday night.
q. Any such thing as half points for half a serving?
a. Still cheating, lets keep to whole numbers, so minus 3 points for half serving.
q. So bacon is OK. But not deli/lunch meat. What about sausage?
a. Bacon is okay. Whole foods bacon is best. Minus no points for low quality bacon. Do minus points for deli meat.
Sausage is okay, but not brown and serve kind.
q. Do green beans fall under legume category?
a. Green beans are okay.
q. Can you drink Almond and Coconut Milk (Or, are they considered ‘packaged’).
a. You can drink almond or coconut milk. Try to keep it to a minimum. This challenge should not be a costly one. Try to stick to mostly water.
q. What’s the Paleo take on adding salt to cooking? I’m assuming all spices are approved but no marinades…
a. Add salt. I don’t want you to start hating food after this challenge. Be sure to cook with enough fat. The bulk of your flavor should come from animal fat.
q. Is coffee allowed?
a. Coffee..yes. Cutting carbs, sugar and coffee would drive us all crazy. Drink up. Try black for a while.
q. If you eat nuts and nut butter (excluding peanuts) – what is considered a serving size? How much a day?
a. Not too sure on nut serving size. It doesn’t matter really if you aren’t eating peanuts. Your meals should be large enough and have enough fat in them to keep you full til the next meal. If you are getting hungry pretty fast, you probably had too much carb and not enough fat and protein. Remember to not eat anything sweet post meal. It will defeat the purpose of eating a low glycemic index meal. Fruits only in the morning to replenish glycogen stores depleted after sleep, right before a workout to provide quick energy for the workout, or right after the workout with protein to replenish energy after a workout and to provide energy to rebuild broken down muscle.
q. Is there a specific amount of protein you should consume daily? Grams for women vs. men?
a. 30% Protein, 30% Fat and 40% carbohydrate as mostly vegetables. Measuring the weight of your meat shouldn’t be necessary. Just eat a lot of it. Proteins are the building blocks of life! Somewhere around 1 g /kilogram of body weight is a pretty good easy measurement. I don’t think caveman/woman weighed their food. Some days they ate a lot, some very minimally.
q. Can you cook soups/stews w/ Chicken or Beef Stock (Packaged vs. from Scratch)
a. Try to make your own stock. You will be eating meat so you have meat juices/fats and chicken scraps to make your own stock. It will cost less and will taste better with no chemicals.:
q. Are sesame seeds and tahini okay?
What about mushrooms?
What is high dose fish oil? How many mg?
a. sesame seed, yes.
tahini, no. yes, if you make it.
Each day that you take 2.5g of fish oil add 2 points. 1 gram = 1000mg, so 2500mg