Monday, November 8, 2010

Trial: Zone vs Paleo

First entry to share my knowledge and passion of finding optimal health through optimal nutrition.  It is coming with good timing too since today is DAY 1 of the "Holiday Meltdown" at Atlas CrossFit.  We have 25 challengers all ready to Zone it up for 6 weeks for a chance at a cash prize and an excuse to ask for those skinny jeans for Christmas!

I gave a pretty straightforward lecture last Thursday on strict "Zone" concepts as opposed to strict "Paleo" nutrition.  This 6 weeks is all about really dialing in on our portion sizes and macronutrient ratios to get us into an optimal fat-burning zone and lower that inflammation.  I love Paleo nutrition for all the healthy options that it encourages one to consume.  However, I have seen from my own experiences, and from some of my athletes... that it is pretty darn easy to overeat on Paleo! Yes, one will hold steadfast to their rule of absolutely no whole-grain goodness or dairly bliss... but don't think for one minute that a Paleo adherent would hesitate to eat an entire jar of almond butter in one Saturday night while proudly pushing away an 8 oz. cocktail of vodka because of its potato base!

I'm not saying that vodka is even remotely a better choice than Almond butter... but sometimes it's just about balance.  Over 2000 calories of nuts at one sitting cannot be the best option.. it can actually be an inflammation nightmare! So, I wanted to create a challenge to create this balance, from both a mental, physical and a hormonal aspect.  If you want to have a beer (after the first 2 weeks of course)...  have a beer and feel accomplished about it because you gave up 2 carb blocks for that meal to have it!

Ultimately, I believe that the best course of action for truly optimal health is to consume high quality Paleo-friendly foods in perfect Zone ratios.  Is this hard... you betcha!  This is why America's obesity is on the rise... and why everyone doesn't CrossFit. It's not that easy... at first.  The motivation is typically the hardest part to any equation when it comes to self-improvement, but once we have the motivation, we still need the education and the discipline to make sh*t happen. But now each of the Meltdown contenders should have all 3: the motivation to sign up, a personalized Zone Rx based on current body fat, and the discipline, well... 6 weeks time will tell! 

Remember the most important rules:
  • Buy a food scale and measure everything for 2 weeks!
  •  Carb Requirements are cut in half for the first 14 days. Carb blocks are added to total fat blocks.  Example: 16/16/16 => 16/8/24
  • ONLY Paleo Approved foods are allowed for the first 7 days.
  • NO alcohol or caffeine for the first 14 days.
  • Track your weight at the same time every week.
  • Journal your food choices and energy levels.
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water and take at least 10g of fish oil daily.
  • Get at least 7 hours of sleep!

As far as I'm concerned, I have 25 athletes that are motivated, disciplined and armed with all the tools necessary to break that inflammation cycle down to Chinatown...


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