Nutrition is an emotional and touchy topic for a lot of people, even myself but I will go into that at a later time. A lot of people have trouble talking about their food and HATE when I tell them that their beloved whole wheat cereal and oatmeal in the morning or their whole wheat wrap is not in fact, good for them. You’d think I had shot a puppy. When we have been told our entire lives that whole wheat is good for you and you should ‘carb up’ on pasta before races (for you runners out there) it is quite hard to believe that those people who told you to do this are wrong. (Yes I am well aware that I am doing the same thing- I don’t care. If you don’t believe me, take gluten out of your diet for a month and let me know how you feel. Then we can talk)
WHY GRAINS WILL KILL YOU…eventually.
I could try writing out all of the answers to the inevitable questions that will arise from this post but to spare you (and me) the frustration I have found some of my favorite article/blog posts by the experts.
I can’t explain these things nearly as well as they can.
Gluten has been linked to the following diseases; osteoporosis, irritable bowel disease, inflammatory bowel disease, anemia, cancer, fatigue, sores, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, as well as psychiatric problems such as , anxiety, depressions schizophrenia, dementia, migraines, epilepsy, and neuropathy. source
(No, it is not the cause of all of these, but it can definitely be related to any of these chronic problems or diseases) Gluten sensitivity is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation throughout the body (insert large amounts of fish oil here) and it can affect your brain, heart, joints, digestive system, and many other things.
I’ve read like 4 or 5 books on the paleo diet. All with tons of scientific studies and research backing this stuff up. I don’t remember 90% of it so I don’t feel like going into the science behind it because that would require me to go back and read through those books again. I also just finished a workout and I’m tired and hungry.
If the books don’t convince you, try it.
Gluten is in pretty much everything. Ok, I am exaggerating, but not really. Gluten can be hidden in salad dressings, sauces, vitamins, soups, etc. Basically if you are eating something and don’t recognize an ingredient, it probably has gluten in it. It is also in the obvious sources such as wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt, kamut, etc.
Fruits and vegetables are safe. 95% of meats are also. and Healthy fats are safe as well. So really, thats all you should eat. (In my opinion) but I am realistic and I know most of you out there will tell me to F*** off if I tell you this so you’ve got other options. There are gluten free options to just about every gluten filled food out there.
Celiac.com has a complete list of foods that are safe and what is not as well.
A wonderful article about it here.
I choose to do paleo for the performance benefits. As soon as I eat something with gluten in it I fall asleep. And if I eat dairy, well, my stomach is messed up for days. (Paleo is not just the elimination of gluten. It is more than that. But I think gluten is the most important part of it.)
Eating well facilitates proper recovery, especially when you are training hard. I actually take a non-paleo post workout recovery drink called progenex. While it may not be paleo, it is AWESOME and when I am training hard, it really helps.
So anyways, without consuming enough food throughout the day and especially after working out, we won’t recover and when we don’t recover, our following workouts or training sessions are S**T.
For those of you who ask me what I eat during the day… I usually eat the same exact thing every day. I don’t get sick of it. I, unlike most, converted to paleo with very little trouble and I function very well off of eating the same things.
(keep in mind I’m in the middle of doing a low-carb thing so I’m not eating many carbs. Most people eat a lot more of them.)
Breakfast– 1/2 eggwhite omelet and nuts
Post Workout– progenex recovery
Lunch– turkey and avocado. 1/2 eggwhite omelet. sometimes a few carrots. (whatever I decide to put in my bag in the morning)
Snack– some sort of protein. Usually more chicken and the rest of the nuts from the morning.
Dinner– Protein and spinach salad. Sometimes fish if I feel like grilling. Most of the time chicken. Sometimes some beef if I have made some that week.
Dessert– Carrots and almond butter. (don’t judge me)
Basically, I eat protein and healthy fats at every meal and some sort of vegetable during my main meals. I try and avoid carbs during my snacks. On my cheat days I buy raspberries and eat them with almond butter. When I am feeling really crazy I will throw in some frozen yogurt. (usually only when I can justify it, like after competitions, or when I find this.)
Now I am not telling you that you need to eat as strict as I do. I have found what works for me and I love it. Just find what works for you and what makes you feel good. If you tell me that eating pizza and ice cream every night makes you feel good, well I just don’t believe you.
A while ago I set up a PALEO PACKET for the gym and anyone is welcome to download it. I also wrote a research paper on Obesity as a threat to National Security and if anyone is interested, I can put that up here as well. I apologize if anyone finds that offensive…read the paper, it could potentially be convincing.
IF you are looking for Paleo recipes, go no further than my friend Juli Bauer’s BLOG. It’s the S**T.