SeVEN Easy Steps To Improve Your Health Through Food
Yes, exercise, especially intense exercise has tremendous overall health and psychological benefits. But, the honest truth is that you are not going to get improvements to your health, performance and body composition until your diet changes. This is why what you eat is important to us at CrossFit Hard.
The good news is that there are easy steps you can take to make a tremendous difference. Give these eight steps about four weeks and you will absolutely feel and see the difference. Our goal is to improve your overall health -- this means looking better, feeling better, and performing better.
- Watch this video
- Cut out sugar and sugary foods including soda, desserts, any sweetener in your tea or coffee. Check ingredient labels as many "healthy" foods are loaded with grams of sugar (e.g., dried fruit, BBQ sauce, salad dressings). Managing your blood sugar levels keeps your insulin levels in check and prevents a wide range of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.
- Eliminate breads, pastas, rice and potatoes. This includes whole grains, brown rice, quinoa. All of it. Substitute for vegetables (best choice) and fruit such as berries, apples, cantaloupe. Limit grapes and bananas as they contain a high level of sugar which means high blood sugar/insulin levels.
- Eat quality protein. Best options include free-range organic chicken and turkey, wild fish, any grass-fed meat, and free-range organic omega 3 eggs. Our bodies need protein from animal sources. There are some proteins we simply cannot get from nuts, beans, and the like.
- Drink water - at least 64 ounces a day, more if the weather is hot or if you drink coffee as both will dehydrate you. CrossFitters work hard and need to stay hydrated.
- Eat some good fats with EVERY meal or snack. Good options include avocado, olive oil, nuts or seeds, nut butters, coconut oil, and animal fat from wild/grassfed sources.
- Take your fish oil to get your Omega 3s! CrossFit's nutrition experts say healthy people need 2.5 grams a day. But read the label to determine the true Omega 3 content. The Omega 3s are listed as EPA or DHA. That's the number you want to look at. If you're not sure, ask a coach. Want to read more? We like Mark's Daily Apple's post.
Ready to Step It Up? Here Are Next Steps If You Want to Ease Into It.
- Cut out the grains from your breakfast. We like Omega-3 cage-free eggs, fruit or veggies, nuts, and espresso or black coffee for breakfast. Try making eggs of your choice and on the side, have apple slices with almond butter. It's delicious and very filling.
- If you've removed grains from your breakfast and are feeling good, try removing it from your lunch. Give that a couple of weeks and then remove grains from your dinner as well.
- Remember, there's no one size fits all solution, so find what makes you feel better, look better, and perform better (as Robb Wolf says).
- Follow our One Week Meal Plan here.
Don't Take Our Word for It. Educate Yourself.
- Watch expert lectures found on our website here.
- Want to read more? Check out The Paleo Diet website. It's an evidence-based approach to nutrition and sign up for free The Paleo Diet newsletter.
- We also love Mark's Daily Apple. He does a great job of explaining many complex issues. Plus his menu ideas and pictures are mouth-watering. Sign up for his newsletter as well.
- Check out Robb Wolf, Crossfit's nutrition guru.
- Read the nutritional information on the CrossFit HQ website
- Read anything by Gary Taubes. He has two books out, Good Calories, Bad Calories (a dense but important read) and Why We Get Fat (a lighter airplane read covering the same material). Here's a recent article he wrote for the NY Times Magazine.
- Listen to podcasts. There are SO many but ones we like are Latest in Paleo, Chris Kresser, Robb Wolf, Everyday Paleo, Balanced Bites.