Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Zen and Art of Nutrition Maintenance

So, thanksgiving feast came and left us behind with a small baggage of energy loss and a sense of lack of control. Now, we have more holiday feasts coming up ahead with company dinner parties, reunion of old friends and family/in-laws get-together. How do we deal with a sense of control on all these? The best way to really see what you are going to be stuffing yourself with during the holiday season is by recording your food and beverage intake in a little journal. Let's be honest here. Write everything down, everything....a candy here to a capuccino there....from the moment you wake up to just before you call it a night. After a week's worth, you should be able to see where you need to make adjustments. Do you eat enough and often enough to sustain your intense workouts? Remember, we are a performance based training center and if you only fuel up just to get by, your WODs will suffer. Therefore, you will not achieve the intensity that CrossFit requires in order for your body to change. It doesn't have to be drastic but let's take the time to dial in your nutrition

Sunday, November 1, 2009

How does being sick affect your nutrition? (by Monica Reinagel)

Having a cold won't have a significant effect on your metabolic rate, so your calorie needs remain the same as long as your level of activity stays the same. If you are less active because you are under the weather, your calorie needs will decrease accordingly. If you don't have a fever and you feel up to it, though, its fine to engage in your regular exercise routine. Exercise can help stimulate the immune system and may also help clear up congestion. If you're sharing equipment with others, though, be a peach and wipe down the equipment with disinfectant after you use it to prevent spreading your cold to others.

In terms of your nutritional needs, the immune response that's causing the stuffy nose and sniffles is also increasing free radical activity in your body. Foods that are high in antioxidants, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, can help to clean up the extra free radicals. It's also a good idea to avoid excess sugar when you're fighting something off because sugar tends to depress the immune system. (Actually, it's really ALWAYS best to avoid eating a lot of sugar.)

Source: Nutrition Data

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Warning

After you eat a whole bunch of these, you'll feel a hard crash and you'll see proof of them around your waist and your hiney!

Friday, October 23, 2009

The shopping cart

I started a Paleo/Zone this week, again. I say again, because I've attempted this a couple times and I've quit each time. I'm making the changes in my diet that I can handle and I'm determined to not beat myself up if I slip.

So,I went grocery shopping and for once I did not buy anything that might tempt me. I even bought some ground bison to try. I'll let you know how that works out! I'm going to make an effort to try new things each week. There's loads of great stuff in there!


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Methylmercury in Seafood

Fish is our biggest source of Omega-3 essential fatty acids. As consumers, we would like to know how fish acquire methylmercury in their system.

Mercury occurs naturally in the environment, however, fish mainly accumulates methylmercury through exposure to industrial pollution. Mercury from rain, snow, and runoff will accumulate in streams, oceans, rivers and lakes. A chemical transformation aided by bacteria will turn mercury into methylmercury, which can be very toxic. Fish absorb them from water as they feed on the organisms found in the ocean and other bodies of water. The larger and longer living fish feed on other fish throughout their lives, therefore making them the carrier with the highest levels of methylmercury.

As stated within the results of the National Academy of Sciences' study, "Toxicology Effects of Methylmercury (by Committee on the Toxicological Effects of Methylmercury (Author), Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology (Author), National Research Council (Author), National Research Council(Author), 2000:

"Because of the beneficial effects of fish consumption, the long term goal needs to be a reduction in the concentrations of mercury in fish rather than the replacement of fish in the diet by other foods. In the interim, the best method of maintaining fish consumption and minimizing mercury exposure is the consumption of fish known to have lower methylmercury concentrations."

The King Mackerel, Shark, Swordfish and Tilefish may contain high levels of methylmercury.

Fish considered to have low levels of methylmercury:
Catfish, Lobster, Scallops, Cod, Crab, Ocean Perch, Oysters, Shrimp, Flounder/Sole,
Rainbow Trout, Spiny Lobster, Haddock, Farmed Salmon, Tilapia, Herring,
Wild Salmon, Trout (farmed)

An alternative source of Omega-3 essential fatty acids is to supplement with purified (often called molecularly distilled) fish oil supplements. Omega-3 enriched eggs offer another alternative as well as micro algae-based omega-3 supplements.

Source: http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/fish/advice

Simple Meal Ideas

Protein = Grilled Grass Fed Boneless Rib Eye
Carbs = Mixed greens and dried cranberries
Fat = Hazelnuts and 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Simple Meal Ideas

A recent trip to Black Walnut Cafe (First Colony Town Center/Mall) deemed fruitful for a paleo meal treat. Coach G is giving the dish above, BWC Sirloin Steak Salad, a worthy "10" on the Paleo Nutrition rating scale.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Simple Meal Ideas

Protein = Angus Beef Rib Eye (Seasoned and pan seared, then broiled)
Carbs = Romaine lettuce, radiccio, orange slices
Fat = Olive oil and walnut dressing

Monday, September 7, 2009

Do you try to get extra energy from a can?


Keith Graves from MM Crossfit in Livermore, CA discusses some very intersting information as it pertains to energy drinks.
The food and beverage market is currently saturated with energy drinks. People flock to these thinking it will help them get the extra pick-me-up they are looking for. Read the attached article and maybe you will think twice before you sip.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Simple Meal Ideas

Protein = 6 oz. grilled chicken (marinade: fresh squeezed lime, olive oil, dried garlic, salt & pepper)
Fat = half of an avocado, sprinkled more olive oil on chicken
Carbs = Fresh large yellow bell pepper & a handful of seedless red grapes

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Spaghetti Squash with Herb Pesto Sauce

Spaghetti Squash with Herb Pesto Sauce

3 lb spaghetti squash
1/2 lb asparagus
1 large red bell pepper
2 large carrots

1 cup fresh basil leaves - firmly packed
1 cup fresh mint leaves - firmly packed
1 bunch chives - snipped
1/2 bunch watercress
2 tbs slivered almonds
1 large garlic cloves
1 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chicken broth or water
1 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice

1. Using knife cut squash in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds from the center of the squash. In a large saucepan bring water and salt to a boil. Add squash, simmer covered for about 25 minutes.
2. Cut asparagus, peppers, and carrots into 2 inch lengths.
3. To prepare the sauce place the basil, mint, chives, watercress, almonds, garlic, and salt in a food processor. Process until ingredients are finely chopped.
4. With motor running, add the oil, broth, and lemon juice. Mix until pureed.
5. Once squash is finished simmering, remove from saucepan. Drain and let cook for 10 minutes.
6. Add 1/2 inch water to skillet bringing to a boil. Add asparagus, carrots, and peppers. Steam covered until tender.
7. Using a food, scrape the squash lengthwise into a large bowl, separate strands. This should look like spaghetti.
8. In a large boil, gently toss the spaghetti squash, vegetables, and pesto sauce.

Broccoli Melange

Broccoli Melange

4 slices of bacon (whole foods carries bacon that is a lot less processed as kroger, etc - it's in the meat dept)
2 cloves or garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
1 bunch of broccoli
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
2 medium ripe tomatoes
1/3 cup sliced almonds

1. Cut bacon into 1/2 inch strips. Cook in a skillet until golden brown. Put aside to drain fat.
2. Pout off bacon grease from skillet - return 1 tbs to skillet and add garlic in thin slivers. Add olive oil to skillet and cook garlic until golden brown.
3. Remove garlic from skillet and discard. Cut broccoli into small flowerets. Add broccoli to the skillet with water, raisins, salt, and pepper flakes.
4. Cover the skillet and cook broccoli for 5 minutes. Remove cover and cook 2 minutes longer or until tender.
5. Add tomatoes, almonds, and bacon to the skillet. Toss gently to combine.

You can also use green beans instead of broccoli.

Standing Rib Roast

Standing Rib Roast
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 sp dried marjoram leaved
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp rubbed savory
Standing Rib Roast (any kind of roast will work)
1 cup burgundy wine (don't use cooking wine - use a red wine)

1. Preheat the oven to 325. Mix the salt and all the herbs together. Rub the mixture over the beef on all sides. Stand in baking pan fat side up.
2. Spoon the burgundy wine over the roast, place in oven. Baste several times. Use meat thermometer to determine when the meat is finished.

Non-Paleo gravy to go with if serving for company:
6 tbs roast beef dripping
1/4 cup unsifted flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 cans of beef broth
1/2 cup burgundy wine

1. Gather drippings from roast pan after the roast is finished.
2. Add the 6 tbs of drippings, flour, and salt to the roast pan. Stir till a smooth mixture.
3. Gradually add the beef broth and burgundy wine, stirring constantly, stirring free of lumps.
4. Bring gravy to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Gravy is ready to serve.

Stuffed Eggplant Creole

Stuffed Eggplant Creole

2 eggplants
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 lb ground beef
1 clove garlic - crushed
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1 can tomatoes - undrained
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon tabasco

1. Wash egg plants. Cut into halves lengthwise. Add about 1 inch of water to a large skillet. Add a little sea salt. Bring water to a boil
2. Add eggplants to the skillet. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until the bulbs are soft. Remove from water set aside to cool.
3. Preheat oven to 350. When eggplants are cool enough to handle use a large spoon to carefully scoop the pulp from each one - leaving a 1/4 inch thick shell. Chop the pulp.
4. In large skillet warm canola oil and garlic and onions. Add the ground beef. Cook until the beef is brown. Add the celery and cook over low heat for 5 minutes.
5. Stir tomatoes, thyme, and tobasco into the meat mixture.
6. Remove the skillet from heat and add the eggplant to the meat mixture.
7. Place the meat mixture inside the eggplant shells. Put shells in shallow baking pan and cook for 25 minutes.

Sharon's modifications:
When I want to simplify this recipe I grate the eggplants and steam it and then add to the meat mixture. I throw it in the oven, but just using a casserole dish, no eggplant shells to cook it in.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A great read from Robb Wolf

Below is an article courtesy of Robb Wolf's website. This is a true testimonial to how just changing what you fuel your body with can change your performance. She also addresses switching from eating a vegetarian diet to a paleo diet and the changes she noticed from eating animal protein with every meal.


Laura DeMarco: The Whole Enchilada!
By robbwolf August 22, 2009
Most of you know Laura DeMarco from her remarkable achievements at the Dirty South Qualifiers and the CrossFit Games. I first met Laura at the CrossFit Nutrition Cert in Atlanta and all I can say is she is impressive in every way. Smart, direct of thought and an absolute ass-kicker of an athlete. She is the rare combination of genetic gifts meeting a solid work-ethic and mental toughness. Hers is an interesting story in that it progresses over the course of YEARS and shows how a shift in food quality was just as powerful a change in her health and performance as a shift in her training. A huge thank-you to Laura for taking the time to write this very personal and detailed account. Also, a thank-you to Laura for just giving it a shot and letting the RESULTS speak for themselves.
It all began with teenage body issues. I read health magazines, ate low-fat foods and tried to get more exercise. I wasn’t overweight, but I didn’t want to be. Although I was body conscious, the idea of fitness never came into play; I didn’t know any athletes and never participated in a sport.
When I was 15, I went to dinner at a relative’s house not knowing what was on the menu. The meatballs tasted a bit odd, but it wasn’t until after the meal that I was told it was venison from a deer my cousins had hunted and killed earlier that week. I was appalled! No, not Bambi! I decided at that point that if someone had the fortitude to kill, skin and butcher an animal, they had every right to eat it, but I couldn’t go through that process – I wasn’t tough enough. If I was not willing to deal with the blood and guts, perhaps I shouldn’t be eating meat.
Later that year, I decided to become a vegetarian, much to the chagrin of my family. They had no idea why I would want to go and do a thing like that. I believed that this was the best choice for my personal morals, the environment and my health. I had read about the carbon footprint of animal production and how it pollutes the environment with antibiotics and runoff. There was a ton of published information about how harmful animal products were to your health; what with all the cholesterol and saturated fat…who would choose to give themselves a heart attack? I took vitamins, steamed my vegetables and eschewed fat. I never even ate fast food (which was not a difficult task; back in the 90’s there wasn’t much in the way of vegetarian foods – even the McDonald’s french fries were cooked in animal fat).
College brought new challenges. To save money, I lived off of spaghetti. Lots of spaghetti. And bread. Cheap AND vegetarian! Even better, it was all fat-free! I woke up at 5 in the morning regularly to go to the gym, where I did my static stretching, weight circuits and cardio on the treadmill. I wasn’t fat, but I wasn’t fit either.
I continued to eat a vegetarian diet and stick to my gym routine throughout my twenties. When I had my daughter in 2000, I only gained 20 pounds through eating decent (though not Paleo) foods and exercising consistently. In fact, my labor was only an hour-and-a-half, and I credit that to regular exercise.
I took time off from my career to take care of my daughter, and ended up never going back to my field of Art Direction/Graphic Design (which was fine; I hated sitting at a desk for 12 hours a day anyway!). I worked at The Container Store managing visual efforts; unloading trucks, building fixtures, etc. It was physically demanding but rewarding, and it gave me the schedule I needed to help care for my child.
In 2005, I began working out with a personal trainer. I would work long, grueling shifts at The Container Store, then go to a pseudo-circuit training class for an hour. Breakfasts were Powerbars and coffee. Lunches would be half a loaf of whole grain artisan bread with a huge block of cheese and an apple. Dinners were up to a pound of pasta at a time. I killed myself at work and at the gym, and fueled myself on carbohydrates. Because I felt I deserved it, Fridays began to be reward days, with me eating half a take-out pizza then half a pan of brownies.
I was exhausted all the time.
About a year in with my trainer, he suggested I try changing careers again and becoming a personal trainer myself. I thought this ridiculous, especially since I had no athletic background – I didn’t know anything about fitness; why would anyone want to listen to me? Eventually, I rescinded, got certified and began working at the same gym with my (now-previous) trainer. I started doing two long, heavy workouts a day. At the time, I had a lot of stress in my personal life, and working out was my way of dealing with the pressure.
During this period, I got stronger, and I was building a decent amount of endurance, but I was dying physically. I stopped building muscle mass and my joints hurt. I got odd muscle twinges that got in the way of my workouts, and I was so tired I could barely function.
In 2007, my ex-trainer (now my co-worker) and I were introduced to CrossFit and received our Level 1 certifications.
I have no doubt that CrossFit saved my life.
I immediately dove into the CrossFit program 100%. Three days on, one day off. No more hours and hours of circuit training. My diet changed to a more Zone-ish approach, but I did not eliminate all grains (I still ate oatmeal for breakfast) or dairy. Within a few months, my ex-trainer became my business partner, and we left our gym to open our own CrossFit affiliate. It didn’t take long for CrossFit to completely change my exercise, my eating, my lifestyle and my career.
For a year-and-a-half, I followed HQ and was fairly successful. I was able to start the program strong enough to do Rx’d weights, but I had to learn pull-ups, handstands and other basic calisthenics. My very first “Fran” was under 8 minutes; my first max deadlift attempt was 225; my first 5k was twenty-four minutes. Progress was slow but steady for a while, but I had times where I plateaued, and even times where I backslid significantly.
When I started feeling depressed about my stagnant performance, I tried adding the Rippetoe strength program into my HQ cycles. I made some gains, but they disappeared as soon as I finished my three months experimenting with the extra strength work.
All this time, I didn’t think that maybe my nutrition could be negatively affecting my workouts. I Zoned judiciously, making sure I got enough protein (albeit vegetarian proteins, such as seitan, which is basically pure wheat gluten, and various overly processed soy ‘meats’), fats and carbohydrates. I thought those low-carb, high-fiber tortillas were awesome, and regularly ate them with Tofurky slices and hummus every day for lunch (gluten + soy + beans…yikes!).
In January of 2009, I was encouraged to attend Robb Wolf’s nutrition cert. Since he was coming to Atlanta, I figured why not? I fancied myself a nutrition nerd and I wouldn’t even have to travel – awesome!
Again, a perfect example of how CrossFit saved my life. I shudder to think where my health and performance would be five, ten or even twenty years from now if I had not attended this cert. I had been shoveling grains, soy, beans, gluten and sugar in my system for almost two decades…where might my health be if I had continued on for several more?
I had been a lacto-ovo-vegetarian for eighteen years, but the night of the cert I went out and had steak for dinner. I switched overnight and completely to a Paleo way of eating. No grains, beans or dairy. Animal protein at every meal. LOTS of fat. (For those of you who are wondering; no, I didn’t have any digestive issues with starting to eat meat again. Absolutely none.)
So here’s where it gets fun. I started making progress in my workouts. Real, measurable and out-of-the-ordinary progress. Keep in mind I changed NOTHING but my nutrition. My training is always CrossFit HQ. For example:
My deadlift was stuck at 275 for a long time. From August of 2008 through March of 2009, I hit 275 maybe one other time, but most deadlift efforts maxed out about 20 pounds below. Two weeks after changing my diet, I was messing around before a workout and picked up 250 for 5 reps, cold! I couldn’t believe it! A month later, in March, I picked up 286. One week later, 305. Two months later, 315. A month after that, 325. Last week I got 285 for 5, which was amazing to me considering my 1RM was 275 just a handful of months ago! (An increase of 50 pounds in six months)
Shoulder press was 103 pounds when I started CrossFit; it stayed the same (or went down) until two months after I changed my diet. March 29, 2009 – 105 pounds. April 2 – 107 pounds. April 4 – 110 pounds. April 7 – 112 pounds. By the end of June, I was up to 115 pounds. (An increase of 10 pounds in five months)
Like I had said before, when I started CrossFit in 2007, I was already fairly strong. My first front squat attempt maxed out at 185 pounds. However, my front squat remained unchanged until March of 2009, when I hit 187 pounds. Two months later, I had a 200 pound front squat. (An increase of 13 pounds in four months)
One last lift to note is that my back squat has gone up 27 pounds this year alone.
Olympic lifts have continued a positive linear progression that does not appear as closely linked to diet.
A quick note about body composition: my body weight hovered around 145-150 for most of the past few years; I’m not sure of what my body fat was, but it was most likely around 16%. With the change in my diet, I quickly put on about 5 pounds, and today I weigh in around 160. Apparently, this was all muscle mass I was in need of – the last Bod Pod test I had was in early summer, and it determined I was approximately 7% body fat.
Even with the increase in strength and body weight, I have continued to see progress with my speed and metcons. This is huge for me, because historically, an increase in strength/size would directly correlate to a downturn in all things related to calisthenics, speed and general huffing and puffing performance.
Lastly, I want to make it clear that I do not go OCD with the Paleo approach. I do not weigh or measure my food, though I do try to combine protein, fats and carbohydrates in each meal (however, not in Zone proportions). Once every week or two I eat pizza. Occasionally, I have wings and beer. The vast majority of the time I focus on food quality (local, organic, humanely raised), but I refuse to stress about food. Making good choices most of the time works for me and makes it easy to pass on the same advice to my clients. I have yet to see frenetic obsession about nutrition produce any positive gains in a client.
This year has been a whirlwind for me. I was able to come in 3rd place at the Dirty South Qualifiers as well as place 14th female overall for the 2009 CrossFit Games, and I credit Robb Wolf and his nutrition cert for a good portion of those accomplishments. I believe that successful athletes, especially those of us over 30, are made from simple, high quality Paleo foods. Gluten, grains, beans and similar Neolithic foods have proven to me to be detrimental to health and athletic performance.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The importance of Pure Protein

There are different kinds of protein, however, there is a difference in how your body sees these. In order for your body to release Glucagon (counter hormone to insulin) your protein source must be a pure one (it must have had a face, and soul and you killed it to eat it!!!!). Therefore, if you are using dairy products (string cheese and Greek yogurt) as a protein source your body will not recognize this as a protein source and will not release Glucagon. Does this mean you need to cut out all dairy? Not necessarily. You may just need to re-visit your protein sources to make sure they are pure and use dairy in moderation. Also be weary of using beans as your source of protein.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


This is a good breakfast food for weekday. It needs to be prepared ahead of time, but just needs to be microwaved in the morning on your way out the door.

This is not the exact recipe as written since I don't have my cookbook in front of me, but this is a type of recipe that you modify to taste.

Dice up 1 -2 whole onions (depending on how much you like onion)

Add a small amount of oil (canola or olive oil are best) to a large saute pan. Add the onions to the pan and cook until golden brown. Add garlic powder to taste.

Add two lbs of meat - I used fresh churrizo from whole foods and it was great, ground beef will work too, a little less flavor thought

Cook the meat in the pan until cooked almost all the way through.

In a mixing bowl mix 12-16 eggs together. Once the meat is mostly cooked add the egg to the pan and mix up.

Cover and simmer at low heat. Cook eggs for about 15 minutes or until cook throughout. Take off the heat and immedialy remove from pan.

The amounts listed above will make a total of approx 42 blocks of protein.

For Ray and I that was 6 days worth of breakfast in one pan. This is also something that can be frozen and reheated (although not quite as good).

Also, once you get the method of cooking the eggs you can experiment with seasoning and meat choices to change things up.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Simple Meal Ideas

Protein = Grilled chicken and beef hamburger patties
Carbs = Poached Green beans, fresh carrots, strawberries, grapes & blueberries
Fat = Walnuts and Olive Oil (poured on chicken and patties)

Protein = Baked Pork meatballs
Carbs = Baked Asparagus (with olive oil) and Fresh Peaches
Fat = Pecans and Avocado slices

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sugars & Carbs

It's not so much about keeping track of the number of calories but it is more about keeping track of sugars and carbs. For instance, reducing the number of calories in soda doesn't make it a good soda. The body still looks at it as "sugar", plain and simple.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Paleo Pancakes

Here is a really good recipe for pancakes that is Paleo friendly. I found this on www.cathletics.com.

These are really tasty and good for you.

1/2 cup nut butter (either almond or cashew - NOT peanut butter)
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
2 eggs
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla (I omit this - they taste fine without it)

mix all the ingredients together (use an electric mixer for best results).

in a large skillet add a little coconut oil to the pan (you can use canola or other oil, but coco oil adds a good flavor)

pour the batter in the pan. I like to leave the batter cooking for a little longer than with normal pancakes, it makes them easier to flip and the batter tastes better.

i use either agave nectar or local honey (nothing added to it) as a "syrup"

This usually makes about 6 pancakes, with a total of 15 blocks of fat, 1/2 block of protein, 1/2 block of carbs.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The long road back

I've been able to get by in my life without really watching what I eat because of my very active lifestyle. I mean, I used to say "oh, I could lose 5 pounds" but in reality I didn't need to lose any weight. After gaining 50 pounds with my pregnancy, I really do have weight to lose. It's the first time in my life that I have said "I need to lose 20 pounds". Okay, admitting you have a problem is the first step...now what?

Well, step 2 was working out again. I love Crossfitting and playing sports, so that was easy. Now I'm on step 3 and it's a step that I would like to be able to skip. It's the step where I have to give up eating things that I love and eat smarter.

I'm addicted to sugar. I'll admit that I love cookies, cake, bread, tortillas, and even plain sugar (when I was little, I used to lick it off a spoon). I could lose weight by just eating less, but we all know that doesn't help my body in the long run. I could continue eating "low fat" this and "low calorie" that and be just fine. I've done that before. But this time, I want to do it the right way and eat food to fuel my life. Now that I am breastfeeding, it's not only my body that is relying on the food I eat.

Two popular options are The Zone and Paleo or some combination of both. I've zoned before and don't mind it too much, but the counting of everything gets to be quite intensive. Paleo has always scared me because I can't eat grains, sugars, and even dairy. I would like to eat Paleo, I'm just not sure I can give those things up. I read Ray's post and his results are inspiring, another reason to try Paleo.

This week, I've started really trying to watch what I eat. My goal is a Paleo lean with dairy mixed in there. I can't go cold turkey with the no sugar, partly because I don't want to and the other part is that I don't want to do anything too drastic right now. So far the results have been good. The scale actually fell below 160 pounds for the first time ( I was 190 pounds the day I gave birth). A good weight for me is around 140-145 pounds. There has been cheats this week, already, but each time I fall I get back up on the horse on the next meal.

I think the key is to make better choices. Even if I eat some grains at a meal, I try to make sure it's not the bulk of my meal. I guess what I want to accomplish with this post is that it's okay to not be a perfect Paleo eater or a perfect Zoner. Just try to make better choices. I find that once I start making a habit of good choices, the bad ones are not as tempting.

I plan on checking back in throughout this process and using you guys as my accountability partners. Feel free to ask me about it at the box! I know Coach Jim demands my menu every now and then :)

Take care -
Beth aka Teach

Friday, July 17, 2009

Nutrition Goals

What are your nutrition goals?

Weight loss? Muscle gain? Increase performance?

Did you know the number 1 factor that can halt your nutritional goals is lack of sleep?

It's crazy, right? It seems so simple, but our super busy lives keep us from always getting that ever so important shut eye. Sleep is a huge contributing factor to helping you attain your nutritional goals. Make sure to really rest on your off days and get those 8 hours of sleep your mom always said you needed.

When you wake up from that great night of sleep, be sure to eat a good breakfast. This is your time to break the fast (hence the word breakfast)! Think outside the box when it comes to breakfast foods. Stay away from seemingly convenient breads and cereals. It's not all bacon and eggs either. You can get creative with leftovers or other non-traditional breakfast foods. For example, I sometimes will grill up some pork chops, have a serving of steamed broccoli and a handful of almonds. You don't just have to have "breakfast" foods for breakfast. Of course, grilling in the morning is not always convenient so, make it the night before. If you take a few extra minutes to plan out your meals, it's easier to enjoy healthy meals and get plenty of rest.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Behold The Bacon Loaf

5 x 6 weave of bacon

10 slices of bacon, chopped and cooked (save the fat)

1 lb of ground beef and 1/2 lb of andouille sausage plus the cooked bacon bits (not in photo)

Rolled up...

and baked.

Add broccoli and cauliflower cooked in fat from the bacon pieces and slice the loaf into 1 inch rounds.

Recipe and photos courtesy of the Jarmon's (Nate "Skywalker" and Tammi "Princess Leia"). Nate holds a CrossFit Nutrition Certification (given by CF nutrition expert, Robb Wolf) Robb Wolf's Blog

Here's a link to a topic on fat and insulin sensitivity by Robb Wolf "fat and insulin sensitivity"
to clarify the stance on bacon. - G

Monday, July 6, 2009

What's in Your Bag?

Lunch is what's in my bag!

No excuses are allowed when it comes to packing your lunch. I drive 25oo miles a month, have no access to a microwave and still manage to pack my lunch everyday. Yes, it can be a bit lonely eating in your car everyday, but if you want to get out of the office (or your car in my case) pop in to a book store or a coffee shop to eat your lunch. Trust me, no one will notice that you are not buying anything... I do it all the time. Plus, think of all of the money you are saving!!!

I usually take whatever I have leftover from dinner and eat it cold for lunch. For example, tonight for dinner I had all natural chicken sausage (Buddy's all natural is my favorite because it is low in sodium- only 100mg per link) with tomato sauce and spinach. For lunch I will pack up some raw spinach and put the sausage and tomato sauce over it and have it as a cold salad type thingy without dressing. I will also pack a peach or some other type of fruit if I want a little something sweet after my meal.

Pack plenty of snacks and water. The key to packing your lunch is to never run out of food. That does not mean eat it all at once. Just make sure you keep enough food around so you never make an unhealthy food choice out of boredom. Snacks can be nuts and seeds, cut up veggies with a homemade dip (see recipe below) or an apple with almond butter.

At least give it a try a few days this week and see how you feel! It's not that hard...it's just LUNCH!!!

Veggie dip recipe:
1 cup canola mayonaise
1 tbsp dried dill ( I like Simply Organic Dash O' Dill)
A few slices of roasted red pepper (if you use jarred, pat them dry first)
Blend in a food processor or blender until smooth
This recipe makes plenty to use all week.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

4 Reasons to make healthy food choices

Here are 4 reasons I choose to stop and think about what I eat:

1. Working out and eating healthy compliment each other.
2. I eat food that fuels my body for a hard days work and provides it with the right nutrients.
3. Most food manufacturers don't care, so I SHOULD.
4. I look, feel and perform better.

If I care about myself enough to workout and try my hardest on every single WOD, why wouldn't I care enough about what goes into my body to fuel those WODs?

Tips for surviving the 4Th of July junk food fest BBQ:
  • Try to find a lean protein on the buffet. If all that is available is burger patties, take the burger (sans the bun) and other veggies and make a salad.
  • Say no thanks to the potato salad that is made with who knows what, and pass on the chips. Instead, go for fresh fruit.

This may sound simple, but it is very easy for your brain to not work when you are staring at a buffet spread with tons of tempting JUNK! Learn how to retrain your brain so that it can see junk food as truly just junk.

You care enough to do CrossFit...why do YOU care what YOU eat?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Testimonial by Ray Ng

I started CF in January 2009 and weighed 215 pounds. I started paleo April 20th and weighed 211 pounds. After 60 days of paleo/zone, I've lost ~20 pounds and about 4 inches off my waist. Not only have i lost a bunch of weight but I feel stronger than I ever have before. When they say that nutrition is the key to losing weight, that's not just a bunch of bullshit. (I also increased my CF sessions from twice a week to 3-4 times a week)

Give this a try for 30 days. At the end of those 30 days, your body will crave healthy foods and will feel like crap when you eat junk. This is a lot of information, so let me know if you have any questions. Grace and Tristan are great resources and I asked them a bunch of questions when I started. There are a few other people at ACF that are Crossfit Nutrition Certified so I'm sure they could help too.

Overview of Paleo

Zone Block Calculator

- Enter weight, body fat percentage and activity level to calculate number of blocks needed I sum up paleo and zone as:

Paleo - what to eat

Zone - how much to eat

Do eat:

Lean Meat - chicken, turkey, wild game, beef (grass fed) Seafood - (wild caught, not farm raised) Vegetables Fruit Fats - omega 3 fats...avacados, macadamia nuts, olive oil (not peanuts)


All flour products (bread/cake/cookies/scones/tortillas/pastries etc.) All sugars (including corn syrup) No Dairy (cheese/milk/butter/cottage cheese, etc) No Artificial Sweeteners No potatoes, corn beans or other starchy vegetables

Shopping-food.doc list prepared by Robb Wolf that tells you what to stock up on at the grocery store. The takeaways from this article for me were:

-what to eat and what not to eat

-eat protein with EVERY meal

-stock up on groceries and be prepared (not being prepared leads to bad food choices) -give this an honest effort for 30 days and you will see results My Nutrition Food Log.doc print this out and carry it with you everywhere. If you eat/drink it... write it down. What I did was, if i ate something that wasn't paleo, i would highlight it in red. Today is my 60th day of strict paleo and i have no red on my food log. Use whatever method works for you. Don't beat yourself up if you fall off the wagon, just don't make things worse by staying off the wagon.

A free CrossFit Journal #21 (Nutrtion) explains how to break down a meal into blocks. there's a list of common foods and how much to eat of each food. for example, if you need 4 blocks of protein, you can do:

4 ounces of chicken breast

6 ounces of salmon

2 eggs and 3 ounces of ground beef.

You'll notice when you get to carbs that you will have to consume a truck load of vegetables and fruit to get the number of carbs recommended. I followed these guidelines for the first 2 weeks and then read the Robb Wolf article "42 Ways to Skin the Zone".

This article explains how to decrease carb and increase fat intake to optimize your results. Also, you'll want to pick up a food scale to measure your blocks. I got a scale from Krogers that cost less than $10 that works fine From my experience, I was never hungry eating paleo/zone. I break down my blocks into 4 meals a day. That works best for me with my work schedule. I think the key is if you're fueling your body every 3-4 hours, you never have a chance to be hungry. If you're never hungry, you're never likely to overeat.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sharon's Recipe

"So I have been dying eating paleo for the past 30 days and I have begun getting desperate in my kitchen creations (since I used to eat for taste and not for fuel). Here is a good recipe I changed a bit to make it mostly paleo-friendly.

Coconut Cookies
about 1/4 cups agave nectar (light) (I added to get the sweetness I liked)
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (this is the only non-paleo part)
1/2 cup coconut flour
2 cups grated or unsweetened coconut flakes

Mix the coconut oil, eggs, vanilla and agave nectar together. Stir in the coconut flour and the coconut flakes. Drop spoon sized mounds on a greased cookie sheet about 1 inch apart (I used mini cupcake pan). Bake @ 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes (because I modified the ingredients, I think mine cooked quickly) until golden brown. Remove from pan immediately and let cool on a cooling rack. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

They were really good, Ray tried to eat the whole pan tonight."

- Thanks for sharing your recipe Sharon.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Can you identify what is missing in this meal?

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Do you have a designated "Cheat Day"? If so, what day of the week is it? What is you favorite "cheat meal/food"?


Are you an "All or Nothing" when it comes to nutrition discipline?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Just A Few Tips

  • Enjoy eating paleo. Enjoy what you eat. If you are unhappy with what you are eating you are unlikely to continue to keep eating that way, and once the nutrition is gone, staying fit and healthy becomes much harder.
  • Pre-cook food and cook more than you need. Spend a few hours at the beginning of the week and cook big batches of food. This will allow you to minimize the amount of time that you have to spend cooking during the week.
  • Check the labels. Even it's organic and has added probiotics, the portions of macro-nutrients are still important. Shop where fresh food is abundant; invest in a healthy future.
  • Rather than cutting yourself off from all of those foods which you enjoy that aren’t 100% paleo friendly, simply eat smaller amounts and be moderate.
  • Do not keep junk/unhealthy food that you know you shouldn’t eat, in the house. For most people, if it is in the house they will eventually eat it.
  • Do not run out of food. This is horrible; you will end up eating out or munch on cereals. Do not let it happen to you.
  • Try planning out your meals for 5 days or a week. This comes easily to type one personalities, for the rest of us it can be a nuisance. Though this has the benefit of ensuring you know what you need in the house for the week, and eliminates that time wasting period during which you try and figure out what you should cook for dinner.
  • Keep a handy meal replacement shake/can of tuna in your car/office/desk/bag for a paleo friendly snack in case plans change.
  • Learn to use spices; this will do wonders for you and will offer variety and different flavors to your meals.
  • Avoid soda, pasta and bread. Let us know how you're doing after two weeks.
  • Eat lots of vegetables; try and eat a good variety with many different colors. .