Sunday, January 2, 2011

Back to Business: Paleo/Primal Eating

As many of you have pointed out over the past several (yeah, officially several) months, I have not posted a new blog entry! I know I know. Not only have I been slacking on this, but I've also been slacking on my fitness as well. Post half ironman, I found myself with a serious case of laziness due to lack of a specific goal, distracted by moving back to New York City, getting reacquainted with my former home etc. etc. Also, whether it was due to overtraining, overdoing it on race day or a lack of proper recovery & stretching in my routine, I found myself with all kinds of aches and pains everywhere. I seriously felt like an old lady...only I didn't get to hang out with super cute hairy donkeys like this lady:

As of late, things have been looking up. I found my new crossfit home and in just a few weeks of training there, a lot of the pains I'd been experiencing are calming the hell down finally. Not to mention the fact that this place is chalk full of rad people and trainers, which is also a big motivator in getting my butt back in gear. Yes, even I fall off the wagon occasionally. This is what happens when we (we being ALL of us) don't set goals for ourselves and all of a sudden everything else seems more important. Working out starts to feel like a pointless time suck. So, put that in your bag and carry it to the gym or whatever.

Eating Like Our Ancestors

I'm not usually one for New Year's Resolutions of any sort. I'm especially not one for fitness New Year's resolutions. In my opinion, a healthy diet and exercise should be part of your life and not something you decide to try out starting January 1. However, starting a few days ago (yes, a few days ago like January 1st...sigh) I've committed to eating paleo for the next 60 days along with many other lovely people at Crossfit South Brooklyn.

What the Hell is Paleo?

Paleo is a way of eating that makes the inner former vegan in me cry. Basically, you subsist on meat (preferably organic, grass fed/wild caught), eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and certain oils. That's it. The idea is to cut out all grains, sugar, dairy, processed foods & alcohol (the biggest OMG for me) and to keep your carb consumption to a minimum. This is the basic premise behind the way our hunter-gatherer ancestors lived and ate for like a trillion years. Please don't ask me how exactly long...I don't feel like looking it up this second. Agriculture is still a fairly new change in the way we eat when you look at our timeline. There are more and more people everyday who are being diagnosed with celiacs disease (severe allergy to gluten) and autoimmune disorders that can be directly linked to grains which have a detrimental effect on our bodies when consumed.

Listen, before you get all upset at me for saying grains are not good for you, please go here and here and for the love of god please read this book, which is absolutely blowing my mind. These people will do an infinitely better job at explaining all of this than I will. I already knew and understood the general concept behind all of this business, but there's so much to it I don't even know where to begin. Ask Mike, he is totally tired of me talking about it already. Regardless, I understand the resistance. Everyone is different. Everyone's body deals with things differently. For instance, there are people who can eat an entire pizza at Carmine's & walk away perfectly fine, while I am punished with a cheese baby in my guts making me incredibly uncomfortable for 2 weeks if I even take 4 bites. Most of the time though, I thank my body's inability to easily process most dairy products, leading to the evil cheese baby, because it keeps me away from pizza (and ice cream and milk and whipped cream and etc). That stuff really does not do much good for your body. And this is what came up on the first page of Google image search for "cheese baby"...of course:


So I'm posting my Before pictures (god help me, you guys better show your appreciation for this by clicking on the links I've included up there and diligently informing yourselves as a thank you)

In other news, I appear remarkably happier than most people in before photos.

Anyhow, I'll be eating this way, with some minor cheats to keep my sanity, for the next 60 days and will be updating you on the progress via my lovely blog with pictures (!!!). Also, every update, I'll share 1 or 2 fun facts about grains and what exactly makes them less of the "building block" they are generally made out to be. So, whether or not you like it (I saw you not clicking on those links up there) you will be forced to learn something about it.

In general, the quick things to take away from this are things I've addressed in one way or another via various other entries in this blog: processed foods are bad, you should buy whole foods, organic/grass fed/wild caught as much as possible and you should inform yourself about how your body processes your food and what it needs to function most efficiently. I'll leave you with motivational photos of what I bought at Whole Foods today:


  1. Good Luck! This is the best Nw Year's resolution I've heard this year. It's such a perfect way to eat... for me, bagels were the hardest to get out of my diet, but now I never want them. Even though I'm not strictly Paleo anymore, it has heavily influenced the way I eat in such a positive manner.

  2. Is coffee cheating or is it in the "sanity" category? Seriously though, post marathon I got some serious runners blues. It felt worse than a long drawn out break up. I didn't feel sore or tired just bummed. I am with you on the diet train and already I'm feeling more motivated and optimistic. Glad to see you blogging again! "Stay hungry!"

  3. Thanks Aden! I actually did this for 45 days over the summer and after a few weeks of bad (bad training, no energy, hungry all the time, grouchy) something switched on and I felt amazing. It was really really crazy. I've only been doing this for 4 days now and I already feel better than I have in months.

    Marc-coffee is in my sanity category. Along with a little bit of wine, yogurt and dark chocolate very very occasionally. I'm not glad to hear you felt kind of bummed post marathon but it does make me feel better that I'm not alone there. x