Nov 16 2013
Free Saturday Class today at 11AM
Order your MTM Winter Gear NOW! – Order securely online and pick up in the gym. This store runs from Today to 11/29 – If you don’t order online you likely won’t get anything. Shirts and Tanks fit true-to-size just like the old black American Apparel 50/50s and the Pink Reebok Tanks.
Finishing up yesterday’s post about nutrition today we’ll look at the 5 steps I like to see CrossFitters follow with regards to nutrition. Each step builds on the ones before it.
1.) Eat Clean Whole Foods – The first step is to get rid of all processed foods. Anything that comes in a package or is cooked by someone else. Some of these things are intuitive and some aren’t but basically ask yourself if someone else made it for you. In this step you’re welcome to eat a pizza or french fries or whatever – as long as you make the dough from scratch, cut the fries yourself, churn your own ice cream by hand, etc. One slight exception is with regards to sauces and stocks – which I’m fine with you buying in containers BUT make sure they have just the basic ingredients and best if they’re also organic. Tomato sauce for example doesn’t need high-fructose corn syrup in it.
2.) Gluten Free – The 2nd nutrition step, and remember these are building on each other, is to eat gluten-free. Gluten is a protein found in some grains that is extremely bad for the body. No one processes it well. Some people get very sick from it while most people will simply be inflamed and fat from eating gluten. Wake up feeling all puffy after eating a pizza – yeah, you got the glutens. Even if you don’t seem to have any negative reaction to gluten it is blocking your protein absorption. Eat 100g of protein alone and you’ll absorb about 95% (95g). Eat that protein with some gluten and you’ll only absorb about 75% (75g). Go re-read yesterday’s protein suggestions and then consider this: I’m supposed to eat 200g of protein a day, if I eat it all with gluten I’ll only absorb 150g of protein leaving me at a pretty considerable deficit – And lots of you were already wondering how to get to that minimum protein number already.
Gluten-Free substitutes and pitfalls: First Off not everything that isn’t labelled Gluten-Free (GF) has gluten. GF has gotten trendy and the GF labeling means that the processing has been cleared of cross-contamination. You won’t see an apple marked GF but it is (unless you cover it in flour and deep fry it). Like-wise swapping everything you currently eat out for GF substitutes is also a bad idea. Go re-read the section on moderation and on Whole Foods – cause eating a GF brownie that comes out of a package at every meal shows neither moderation or whole foods.
3.) The Zone Diet – You can find a complete write up of The Zone here in the CrossFit Journal. The Zone is about weighing and measuring your food and eating the correct balance of macro nutrients and the correct quantities of food. Remember to disregard all the crap in that article about processed and gluten containing foods because we’re building on each step here.
The main benefit of The Zone is that it gives our diet quantifiablity: We can do specific proportions of Protein, Carb, and Fat for 2 weeks then adjust one of them up or down and see how it affects our performance in CrossFit. If I add more Carbs does that make my WODs better? Does it make me gain bodyfat? And so on. We can constantly test and retest with The Zone because we know exactly what quantities and types of foods we’re eating.
4.) Paleo – Paleo is extremely popular in CrossFit and most people jump straight to it, to their detriment. In Paleo we cut out everything that our bodies don’t thrive on – no grains, no dairy, no legumes – and instead eat the foods that make our bodies function the best. Meat, Fish, Poultry, Vegetables, some Fruits, some Nuts and Seeds, light Starch, and NO Sugar. There are no restrictions on how much or how many times to eat as long as we stick to what’s allowed – that this is where the problem with Paleo tends to start for many CrossFitters.
Without going through The Zone you might think that a good meal would be 3lbs of steak and a cup of broccoli. It’s not. You might pound down almond butter all day long and wonder why Paleo is making you fat. After we learn to weigh and measure food, even if you don’t do that with Paleo, we’ll have an innate understanding that a meal should be balanced and we should eat things in moderation.
Carbs on Paleo: Paleo is NOT a low Carb diet but often people eating Paleo get very few Carbs. It’s frankly just hard to get a lot of Carbs from Vegetables. As a general rule the more active you are and the leaner you are the more Carbs you need to support CrossFit workouts. If you stay low-carb for long enough while crushing WODs every day you’ll likely end up tanking at some point. So make sure you’re getting enough carbs through sweet potatoes, fruit, etc.
5.) Eat to Perform – The newest kid on the block as far as nutrition in CrossFit is concerned ETP uses several different concepts to increase performance. At its most basic level ETP uses Carb-cycling to keep your body fueled for WODs while keeping your body burning fat. Many people actually gain weight on ETP as they build more muscle than they lose in fat – ending up bigger but also stronger with less bodyfat and more performance. It’s no wonder that many CrossFit Games athletes are doing ETP.
Cycling Carbs is not a new idea, body builders have been doing it forever, but the way in which ETP uses carb cycling is somewhat new. On ETP you eat Carbs around your workouts and cut carbs on the day before your rest days. So if I’m working out at 5pm I’ll eat about 25% of my carbs at lunch and 75% of my carbs in the meal following my workout – the rest of my meals I would be eating just vegetables and very little carbs. If tomorrow is a rest day you drop the Carbs out completely and eat mostly Protein and Fat today.
Performance is the ultimate and only goal of ETP. You’ll get strong and better at CrossFit but you might also get physically bigger, go through periods of fat gain, and ultimately have to make peace with the mirror.
Finishing Up: So where should you start? #1 obviously. We need to follow these steps one by one over the course of several weeks or even months to really find what works for each of our unique lives, goals, etc. Some people will get great results stopping at #2 or #3, others will get all the way to #5, others still might find a combination or middle ground between a couple steps that works well for them. The goal of this nutrition post is to give you a path to learn what works for you. To give you options and places to go when you get stuck.
December Nutrition Challenge Starting Dec 1 (which is a Sunday) we’ll have a 21 Day “Beat the Holidays” Nutrition Challenge. Details will be released next week but basically you’ll pick a step based on what you’ve done before, track your progress, and turn in your results. Prizes will be epic hi-fives and other goodies – you just might get that coveted and elusive Dmac “good job”!
5 Wall Climbs
– Rest 1 Min –
Turkish Get Ups (1.5/1p)