If you follow my blog, you know that I competed in a Paleo Challenge back in January 2011 with the rest of my CrossFit box. I was pretty darn strict with myself: No sugars of any sort (even honey), no grains at all, and no dairy products of any sort. I was very happy with the results. I lost body fat, gained muscle, have more energy, enjoy clear skin, have no more stomach troubles, and just generally feel great when I eat Paleo. It is pretty amazing. My body definitely became leaner and my muscle definition increased considerably. I even got my six pack back! And my strength kept up pretty well, so I continued to see gains in my weightlifting and improvements in my CrossFit WODs. But, the biggest benefit is how I feel. I always knew that I had issues with dairy and had reduced it considerably in my diet. But now I know that I also have issues with wheat. When I finished the challenge, I had some celebration meals that weekend that included grains and dairy. Ouch. I felt lousy for 2-3 days after that. So, I’m staying Paleo and for the best reason of all: I simply feel great when I eat Paleo and avoid grains, dairy, and sugars. It’s pretty easy to avoid those foods now and I don’t feel like I’m denying myself anything. Because it doesn’t matter how good something tastes, if you feel lousy afterwards.
Well, today was the last day of my Paleo Challenge. So we took photos and measurements in CrossFit this morning. We won’t know who the winners are until next week. But, I wanted to do a quick post and share my after photo. The Paleo diet helped me bring out more definition. I lost about 4 pounds that I just couldn’t seem to gain back, but maybe that’s ok.
My CrossFit workout this morning really hit my overall body with a variety of exercises that worked the core, arms, and legs. I felt it all over! Made me also realize that my forearms were more sore than I anticipated from the 32 Kg kettleball farmers walk and hammers yesterday. I really felt it on the pull-ups and performed a bit weaker than I had hoped. Oh well. Every day can’t be the best day for a given exercise. We did this same workout back in November 2010, so I was able to compare my performance. This is so critical for your motivation!). I took 17 seconds off my time and did much better on my pull-ups this time. Now my goal for the next time I do this WOD is to do everything unbroken. No breaks!
I apologize for not posting in a while. I was traveling in Europe and playing a bit of catch up over the past week. The business trip and my stay in a very small, somewhat authentic, Parisian hotel made it a bit too challenging to keep up with any CrossFit travel WODs. But, despite a week of French food and no high-intensity exercise (although I did walk for about 10 hours each day!), I only gained about a pound and getting back into the swing of things at CrossFit last Monday wasn’t too painful. It wasn’t easy! But, it wasn’t as bad as I feared it might be.
Well, this morning was my last CrossFit workout before heading off to Paris. I have two challenges while traveling this time:
- Keeping up with CrossFit Travel WODs
- Avoiding the temptation of French food to maintain the Paleo Challenge
That’s right. I have to somehow avoid the great bread, cheeses, pastries, and chocolate and only eat duck, beef, and foie gras. Wish me luck!
After many months of researching, shopping, and trial and error; I have finally found a solid pre-workout and post-workout protein recovery drink that works with the Paleo Challenge! You have no idea how hard it is to find a paleo-friendly powdered protein source that doesn’t add sugars (real or fake), soy, dairy products, artificial flavors, etc. But, I finally found a source of pure powdered egg whites with nothing else added. Nothing! I mentioned my new protein powder source yesterday. It has a pretty neutral, blah taste. So, I add it to coconut water to give it a better, sweeter taste and get the health benefits too. Coconut is a great food source when you’re on Paleo!
With all of the core strength training and ab work over the past few months, my abs have definitely become much stronger (see photo). For example, today in my CrossFit workout we did Toes-to-Bar for part of our conditioning WOD (see the photo on the right). It isn’t easy to do, but I can do it now! Can I do 45 of them? Ummm, no. But, I did my best to get toes to the bar on the first 21 and more like a Knees-to-Elbow (K2E) on the rest of the reps.