The 90 - Weekend Edition! (aka "Why are we doing this?")

A little inspiration for you all, courtesy of the Caveman forum. We know these first few days have been rough...but stick with it. The results are worth it! We know full well that you all are going to have some staggering results. Don't forget to LOG your food and post it by Monday at the latest to the Google Group (those of you who are official 90 participants!) 

"Today makes 4 weeks and I feel amazing!
My blood sugar levels are stable all day. I have NO cravings for anything at all. There are 2 different kinds of cake in the house right now. I have no desire for either. Grin My recovery rates are incredible!!!Grin!! Grin   My asthma is a non-issue. Shocked Cool   I don't have a dire need for food after even really hard exercise sessions.  My girlfriend keeps calling skinny and telling me my body appearance is changing.  I think I am down about 1/2 a waist size?  I can't wait to see what I look like at 90 days. I know this is a lifestyle for me now. My athletic performance matters most to me. At 42 I need to find a fountain of youth of some kind."

"I too am about a month in, and my results are awesome too! I am very slim now! I was pretty trim to start with, but now even more so. I noticed that almost right away, and I like it!   I feel stronger and my muscle tone is better.  My skin is soft, clear, and smooth, and the keratosis pilaris on my arms is completely gone and on my thighs it is improving greatly, which is really awesome!"

"I'm not doing the Paleolithic Diet to lose weight (even though I have lost about 5 pounds). I'm doing it to help my running. I'm training for a marathon. The difference has been staggering. I ran 20 miles last night and felt the best I've ever felt. I kept speeding up the whole run, and I reckon I could have belted out another 6 to make it a marathon, but I thought better of it. This morning I got up and did a 10k race in my local club. Another really strong run."

"A year ago, just as I was about to graduate from University, I came down with Mono. Some people aren't affected at all by the virus. Most of the people who do show symptoms feel very, very tired for a few months. I was one of the unlucky few who came down with boiling high fever, swollen liver and spleen, excessive vomiting and diarrhea, strong feelings of vertigo and, of course, a total lack of energy. I ended up graduating, but a couple of months late.

When I was sick like this, dehydrated, starving and unable to keep any food down (before they put me on steroids, in other words) I dropped from 245 lbs down to 212 lbs in just a couple of weeks. I was weak, jaundiced and very sick. I have probably never felt worse over such a long period in my life.

I started the Paleo WOE on February 29, 2008 weighing 235. I had stopped trying to be a vegetarian a few months ago. I attribute my attempts at being Veg to taking me up to 245. The sickness and a few months back on the SAD had dropped me to the 235.

Things have been going well with Paleo, in spite of a couple of slip ups due to parties, trips, lack of willpower, etc. I don't feel hungry all the time like I did with Weight Watchers and I don't feel like I'm going to die like I did on the Mono diet.

The reason today is a milestone is because I officially weigh 211.6 pounds as of this morning. That, my friends, is less than I weighed when I stood on death's doorstep. I don't feel sick, I don't feel hungry and I weight the least I ever have in my adult life. Also, I went shopping a few days ago. I tried on a pair of 36 waist jeans and found they were simply too big for me. I've worn that size since I was 16 or 17 years old. Just out of curiosity and with no actual hope of fitting them, I took a pair of 34 inchers to the dressing room. Much to my shock and joy they fit me beautifully.

I can't believe how wonderful this is. Paleo is changing my life! Thanks for all the information, help and support."







Sleep baby, sleep

Fuego knows how to sleepWe’re here talking on this blog about nutrition, fitness and performance. We all want to look, feel and perform better. When we were first thinking about this 90 day challenge, we thought about sleep, too. Should participants be judged based on how much sleep they’re getting? Looking at some of the other CF gyms and what they had done, one was requiring 8 hours of sleep for their participants. 8 hours. Another detracted points based on hours of sleep (if too little). Don’t know about the rest of you, but I know with BootCamp I’m up by 5am, and I know that most nights I’m not asleep until 11pm-ish. Some nights are worse than others, and I know I do not sleep in pitch black darkness. 8 hours is tough!


So what? What’s the big deal?

According to some of the published research, sleep loss seems to do quite a bit to hamper our health, well-being and journey to optimum fitness. Here are just two not-so-good things lack of sleep will do:

•    Makes us feel hungry, even when we’re satiated. Melissa mentioned cortisol at our initial meetings. Cortisol is an important hormone that helps us regulate our appetite, and lack of sleep seems to affect the secretion of cortisol, leading someone to feel hungry even though they’ve had enough food.

•    Ups our fat storage. Sleep loss may interfere with the body's ability to metabolize carbohydrates, which leads to high levels of blood sugar. Excess blood sugar promotes the overproduction of insulin, which can lead to the storage of body fat and insulin resistance...and as we know from our Paleo pow-wow, insulin resistance is NOT the desired goal here.


I’ve not had the chance to read it yet, but kind of intrigued by what I’ve seen on the book Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar and Survival (Wiley and Formby). Basic premise is that with the introduction of electricity and our ability to fabricate light, we are way out of tune with our circadian rhythms, etc. If anyone has read it, I’m interested in hearing your thoughts! Here’s a little summary about the book written by Scott Kustes here.


Robb Wolf is big on the sleep topic – as should we all be. When we sleep, we need QUALITY sleep. He suggests 9.5 hours. Holy hell that's a lot of hours! That means in bed by 7:30 if it's a bootcamp day. Whew. Then there's the darkness. Pitch black. I know Jeff and Melissa were looking into some blackout possibilities for their bedroom. I’d love to have a pitch black environment myself. Why do you think hotel rooms are so pitch black dark? Because you get a better night’s sleep. Anyone have a pitch black-can't-see-the-alarm-clock-or-your-hand-in-front-of-your-face sleep environment?


You can have your diet and fitness regime completely dialed in, but if you don’t get good sleep – both in quantity and quality – you will not see the results you want.


I wish that it was some simple “just eat Paleo foods and everything will be okay and you’ll be the best in the gym or at BootCamp.” Nope – nothing in life is easy. You have to work the sleep angle too.


Tinker with your hours of sleep, and see how you do. Try on the weekends to not set an alarm clock and see how long your body wants you to sleep – and how many hours you get. See how you feel. Log the number of hours of sleep you get in a night, and jot down how you feel that day. See if you notice any difference.


For more info on sleep as it relates to health, pain, etc., check these out:




How You Doin'?

Yesterday we had reports of nauseousness, fatigue, poop, you name it. It was also hump day. Coincidence? I think not.

How are you Paleo Peeps? Are you surviving? What are you finding is helpful?

Melissa has mentioned this, Jeff has mentioned this, Charles has mentioned this, Stacy has mentioned this, and now I will: UP YOUR FAT. And by fat we mean nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil. Fry your egg in some olive oil in the AM. Get some extra spoonfuls of almond butter. Do NOT attempt to limit/restrict your fat right now.


Let's look at a sample meal, and see why you might be feeling weak.

If you ate 3 cups of broccoli (see the poop mentioned above) along with approximately 4 ounces of chicken breast, your stomach is going to be WAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY full. Way. That volume alone of broccoli is going to make you feel full. Though you may feel incredibly full, that's only a scant 346 calories. With the activity level you all have through CF and BC, active women typically need at LEAST 1400-1600 calories a day. Active men 1800-2000 calories a day (FYI, the Zone is a calorie restrictive diet. We're ONLY talking Paleo here right now.). Do NOT try to restrict calories in these initial 30 days.

So, instead of just heaping on more cups of broccoli or more protein onto your meal, what do you do to make sure you are getting enough energy (remember, calories = energy) in your day? ADD FAT.

Walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, olive oil, avocados, pecans, sesame seeds, coconut oil...fat is your friend, not your foe. 

Try tinkering with getting more fat in if you are having adverse reactions.

Have any of you tinkered with your fat? What have you found? What fat sources do you like best?





(now back to the originally scheduled post) 

Seriously people, WWPMD?  As in, before you post on here asking, "Is modified food starch okay?" ask yourself, What Would Paleo Man Do?

There are thousands of foods and food products out there. Ingredients lists can be pages long, and someone will ask, "Yes, but is Xantham gum okay on Paleo?" We are just Paleo volunteers here. Doing this out of the goodness of our hearts because we want to see you all succeed. We are not Encyclopedia Paleotica. We can do what we can to tell you if something is a pure Paleo food or not - but YOU know that answer too.

Before you ask if something is Paleo or not, ask yourself "WHAT WOULD PALEO MAN DO?" If the answer is that, "No, he wouldn't have eaten this/had access to this," then, chances are, it's not truly Paleo. We're not going to take you out to the guillotine and behead you by morning if you have something that's technically non-Paleo (except gluten anything with gluten, we behead you). I'm kidding (kind of). The exception to this would be some store-bought items that are ready-to eat. For example, the already cooked chicken at Whole Foods. Or some of the prepared salads at Trader Joes. Rosemary asked about a turkey breast that had only seasonings added. All fine and good - so long as you look at the ingredient lists and you don't see things like "MSG" or big words you can't pronounce. Try to stick with that stuff, but if faced with chicken with some preservatives or a slice of cheese pizza, I REALLY REALLY hope by now you know which is the wiser choice.

Think of it this way: decide in your mind if for these next - now 27 remaining - days (of the first 30) you are willing and able to go strict Paleo. No, not perfect, just as strict as you can. If you're willing to go strict by the letter of the law, you know the answer to "Is this Paleo?" just by knowing what something is made of. I can tell you that my breakfast was 100% Paleo. Well, maybe not 100% in that Paleo man didn't have a food processor to make that almond butter. But my eggs scrambled with salmon (that had been smoked on the Big Green Egg - pretty sure Paleo man had one of those), onions, poblanos, tomatoes and squash, topped with a tomatillo salsa, and served with strawberries and some almond butter - I know every single ingredient in each bit of my food and have no doubt that there were no additives/preservatives added. Had I used some store-bought salsa, I would have checked for any additives (and their salsa probably wouldn't have tasted as good).  Oh yeah, and I had an Americano, black. No, Paleo man didn't have caffeine. This I know. But that's something I'm not willing to give up and a concession I personally am making in this 90. You can take me to the guillotine!

The main point of these initial 30 days is simple: get the majority of CRAP out of our systems (pun intended?). That means the crap from all that overly processed food, from sugar, gluten, legumes, dairy, get it out and get our guts to start functioning properly. This is why we said after the first 30 days we'll maybe play around with it some, to see how people do. But not during the first 30 days.

Try - please oh please - try to eat as cleanly as you can these first 30 days. Eat as our ancestors ate. Do what you can to keep your ingredient lists for your meals as ones where you know absolutely everything that went into that meal. Read labels. If you need to go with canned things (and I actually do believe that canned tomatoes can be a wonderful thing), make sure there are no added sugars (FYI, all canned tomatoes will have some form of citric acid added for preservation). Use salad dressings and other condiments sparingly. If you were the kind of person who had some lettuce to go with your ranch dressing, try to change that habit NOW and ditch the ranch for some olive oil vinagrette.

Before you ask "Is this Paleo," think of it this way:  Are you asking if it's a pure Paleo food, or are you wanting to know if you have a blessing to eat it? The only foods getting a 100% blessing are those you'll find on your food matrix - and maybe there are a couple left off. Things beyond that - so long as they aren't part of the big no-no list/don't have these components in them (gluten and grain-filled items, rice, corn, legumes, sugars, dairy) these first 30 days, likely it's "okay," but the point here is  - at least for these first 30 days - for your food log to be filled with as many pure foods as possible.

You don't need our blessing for any foods you choose to consume. If you want to win this challenge, and see the best results, you will stick with as natural a food log as possible. That's pretty much it. If your food log is filled with a bunch of stuff Paleo man would never have touched, well then why are you in this challenge in the first place? 

So, before you post on here asking if something is okay, first ask yourself, "WWPMD?" If you know he would not have had such food/beverage, then ask yourself, "Well, what do I want to do?" It's your choice in the end my friends. We want you to see the best results as possible, and are here to support that. If there are certain foods or food items you just have to have - that is YOUR choice. Just be sure to log it!




Links and Links Some More...

For those of you who have ample time on your hands (thanks, economy!) or you just really really really want more info, have we got some links for you!


NOTE WELL: what you see on some sites might contradict others. Actually, we know it will. Don’t get confused, swear, cry or throw a temper tantrum. Just know to take the info for what it is, and apply it to what you know/believe. Cordain and Robb Wolf are very much in agreement that the more we can eat like our ancestors, the healthier we will all be.


Basic Paleo info: – Loren Cordain’s site. Not to be confused with However, there’s some good info there too – tons of links to individual pages. – kind of the Godfather when it comes to Paleo and CrossFit. For the love of all things that are holy please don’t e-mail Robb directly with questions! He already gets about 400-600 A DAY (and Melissa thought her 257 a day were bad enough). We’ll collect our global questions, and fire off to him if needed. Feel free to look through his past postings, FAQs, etc. Super good info there.


Paleo recipes, meal resources and personal Paleo stuff: (Scott Hagnas’s collection of good recipes – Note from the newsletter, “Performance Recipes are Paleo-friendly and do not contain grain, wheat, gluten, or dairy except in rare cases.”) - Kristie, a CrossFitter elsewhere, posts her food logs and info on doing Paleo for 30 days.  - Melissa Byers entertaining "Healthy/F-off" scale. A good read. - You got some byproducts going on right now? - Here's a support group the CrossFit way for those saying buh-bye to grains and sugar.


Shopping resources: – a weekly CSA (community supported agriculture) where you can get locally grown veggies with a weekly pick up spot - a listing of farmer’s markets in GA (both big store like and those that are more farmstand-ish).


How to cook: Here's a nice guide on cooking techniques!