CrossFit athletes are some of the most disciplined individuals that you will ever meet. Their mindset can be seen in their appearance and disposition. To maintain this level of vim and vigor requires being efficient with every aspect of your lifestyle. This means there is more needed than engaging in the different rigorous WODs. Finding a diet that is a healthy complement can be a challenge. One diet that has bubbled to the top as the best available for high impact athletes is the Paleo Diet. This post will discuss the particulars about what the diet is all about, the foods included and the benefits provided to the CrossFit enthusiast.
What is the Paleo Diet?
In the simplest terms, the Paleo Diet is a caveman diet. This means that any foods available after the agricultural revolution are off-limits. Processed foods that are found in the freezer section or center aisles cannot be consumed. There are no grains, sugar and seed oils included in this diet. The best way to look at what a Paleo Diet is if you can grow it, then you can eat it. One last note, the foods should be organic. No chemicals and pesticides can be used to grow vegetables and fruit. While this may start to sound expensive, it really is not. Consider, growing your own vegetables and fruits or visiting farmer’s markets for fresh items.
Foods on the Paleo Diet
This section covers some of the foods by group that are allowed on the Paleo Diet for CrossFitters. Meats consist of grass feed beef, fish, goat, lamb, pigs, etc. A special note about the seafood is that it should be caught in the wild open waters and not raised on some farm. Eggs make the list, but should be pasteurized.
Any and all types of vegetables can be eaten. The usual standards apply, which means the brighter, darker colors contain the most nutrients and vitamins. Be mindful of the starch content of the veggies chosen. For example, broccoli, carrots, and spinach are low in starch content and can be consumed in large quantities. However, eating beets and squash are higher in starch and the in-take should be monitored.
Fruits are included on the CrossFit Paleo Diet. However, because of the sugar content you have to be careful with the amounts consumed. Strawberries, blueberries, grapes, peaches and more can be combined in a smoothie for light meals such as breakfast or snacks. In addition, nuts are on the list of foods you can have. Dried fruits mixed with them can provide a healthy snack at anytime. A list of nuts allowed includes walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pecan, sunflower and pumpkin seeds to name a few.
The last items that need to be mentioned include natural oils and spices. The natural oils from olives, avocado, coconut and grass-fed butter make the grade. For spices, have fun with ones you normally use and consider trying new ones such as cumin as well as different types of mint and lemon.
Benefits of the Paleo for CrossFitters
The protein content and dense nutrient value of the foods on the CrossFit Paleo Diet have a plethora of benefits. It hastens weight loss and builds lean muscle. For example, fruits such as oranges and apples are good for building endurance during work-outs. Beets and spinach both have the important amino acid glutamine. The protein and omega-3 from the beef, fish and eggs are essential for growing muscles.
The Paleo Diet and CrossFit workouts can be a solid combination. The foods from the diet counter muscle fatigue, which means a harder, longer training session. Finding foods that are already in the fridge, freezer or pantry is a good place to start. Then, take time to research a bit more about the Paleo to see if this is a good fit for you.