I am currently on day 11 of the 30 Day Paleo Challenge and the transition to cutting off dairy has been easier than I thought. I consider my whey protein supplement “dairy” since it is manufactured from milk. Four years ago when all I cared about was “Gainz” and I thought fitness was measured by how much you bench or squat (half squat) I would never imagine I would be able to live 10 days without supplements.
My energy levels during workouts have not suffered and I no longer rely on a pre-workout. The only supplement I am taking is fish oil, enough to reach my daily goal 3,000mg of EPA/DHA. Overall my energy levels throughout the day have been steady and I drink about two cups of coffee a day (morning and afternoon). My days consist of waking up at 6am and going to bed around 11:30pm. My daily grind of my job, sitting in traffic, working tirelessly to continue to improve our box and working out in between. So my days are long and busy so consistent energy levels are needed to get me through my day. The Paleo Diet has given me the energy I need.
After attending the vendor village at the CrossFit games this past weekend I realized how many “Paleo” products are popping up on the market. Some of them are legit while others used cleaver marketing ploys like “Caveman” but had ingredients like “Brown Rice Syrup”. You will see more and more of these products hit the market and mainly in the form of protein powder or bars for convenience. Always pay attention and read the label to make sure you know what you are actually putting in your body. I am currently in the process of trying to get some good “Paleo” friendly products in our box. Stay tuned!
So far, so good with the Paleo challenge, never got the expected day 3-5 headache. On day five I was extremely moody, which lasted a couple of days. Finally on day eight the tables turned and I felt super energized and adjusted.
Here is my day to day recap:
Day 1 and 2: I felt good there was no real change in how I was feeling, if anything I felt bad due to all of the filth I put in my body Saturday and Sunday in "preparation" for the challenge. All the pizza, beer, ice cream and candy while amazing at the time, really took it's toll on day one and two.
Day 3 and 4: No real craving for flex meal and no headache, but I began to feel tired and had an obvious lack of energy.
Day 5: I will chalk this one up as the worst day since I was very irritable. Very moody. I was still sticking to the same meal schedule. I began to crave fruit, so I consumed some grapes and put two cups of frozen strawberries in a large pitcher of water. The grape and strawberry water cured my craving.
Day 6 and 7: I was feeling the best I've ever felt. Very high energy and was beginning to feel back to normal. I did consume my first flex meal which consisted of sweet potato fries and a few "paleo protein bars" not true after reading ingredient label.
Flex treat: Sweet Potatoe Fries
Treat for the sugar cravings:
Fried plantain in olive oil and cinnamon Covered in almond butter blueberries and coconut shreds
Some food ideas:
4 eggs over easy 4 slices bacon
Cup baby organic carrots
Handful of almonds and pecan mix
Organic ground beef patty
Sautéed mushroom and jalapeños
Today marks the beginning of the 30 day Paleo Challenge. As always, feel free to talk to any of the coaches/trainers if you have any questions or concerns. Email packets have been sent out and we will have copies at the front desk if you don't have access to a printer.
Best piece of advice is to keep it simple. It's 30 days, it'll be tough, but once you adjust (those first five days will be rough), it will be all downhill from there. Even if you don't adopt Paleo at the conclusion of the challenge, hopefully it will be a gateway to better overall eating habits.
We will be providing info continuously, here are a couple of helpful links:
Picking up where we left off, some of the coaches shared their favorite, easily accessible post workout meals.
4 Eggs Over Easy
4 Slices of Bacon
1 Handful of Spinach
2 cups Grilled Chicken
1 cup Steamed Brocolli
4oz Flank Steak
3 Egg Whites
Tell us your favorite post workout meal, even is on the unhealthy side.
Are you ready for the 30 day Paleo Challenge?
Who has gone through a brutal workout and felt hungry after?
Post workout recovery is crucial to progress, and post workout nutrition is key to recovery. Workouts put a lot of stress on the body both externally and internally. Being hungry and thirsty is your body crying for replenishment. That heavily soaked t-shirt you just threw in the hamper, it's full of sodium and other nutrients.
We are extremely busy, heavy work loads and extra curricular commitments leave little time to prepare wholesome meals. Therefore, people often rely on the first thing they see. In our case, Carls Jr, which is terrible. In a perfect world, we would all get the necessary nutrients from real food. Unfortunately due to multiple circumstances, it is not possible.
That is where supplementation comes in. Going back to post-workout, it is essential to replenish your body with the fluid it has just lost. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, it is as important to drink water post workout as it is before and during your workout. Your body is begging for it.
On the performance side, it is important to get some form of Protein in your system, whether it is whole food rich in protein (Chicken breast, egg whites) or a protein shake.
breakingmuscle.com is great resource on this topic and recently wrote a solid piece on post-workout nutrition. As always, this is a mere suggestion, so if you plan on stopping at Carls Jr, make it a Turkey Burger (No sauce, no cheese, no bun).