How Diversified is Your Diet -V3

Sunday, June 26th, 2016

Day 16! Almost there guys!

Most Recently Update 6/24/2016

I’m reviving past RebelHealth Blog posts  as there’s no need recreate the wheel – why not modify and move on! And the topics are pertinent.


I love this word: diversity. Every time I hear “diversity”, I think about newness, variety, no boredom, blah, blah, blah. It’s a good word! So, speaking of diversity…not just what you eat, but why you would want diversity in your diet (or rather, why wouldn’t you want it)…just how diversified do you think your diet is? And why would this be important?

 First, let’s define diversity. Diversity is defined as:

  1.  the state of being diverse
  2. variety, multiformity
  3. the point of difference
  4. differing from one another; unlike
  5. composed of distinct or unlike elements or qualities

 I prefer definition numbers 2 and 5 as it relates to our diets. “Variety, multiformity” and “Composed of distinct or unlike elements or qualities”.

 As usual, let me digress, but at least with a related point. Monthly, weekly, daily, my husband labors over ensuring our financial portfolio is well “diversified”. He keeps me in the loop, which I appreciate, but he manages this process for our family. One day we were discussing it, and I commented on how the need for diversity is pertinent not just in our financial lives, but also our social lives, our diet, our intellectual well-being, and so on. For instance, as it relates to our social lives, I would hope we all surround ourselves with friends of diverse backgrounds, likes and interests, intellectual and emotional levels, and socioeconomic levels. Exposure to all of this makes each of us more whole…more “worldly” and aware…and less isolated. After all, we are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with!  Or, from an exercise and physical activity standpoint, diversity keeps our minds engaged in the activity so that we don’t get bored with the “same ol'”, as well as keeps our bodies “shocked” by not settling into one mode of exercise. We benefit and progress from a variety of exercise styles, resistance levels and intensities as opposed to one sole mode, load and intensity (and of course, I whole-heartily subscribe to the Crossfit “mode” for exercise)

 Back to food – the same concepts about diversity hold true with our diets. Variety is key in both combating boredom and in ensuring we are our healthiest. I think many people don’t see variety as a health factor, but rather an option, a trivial choice or even a luxury. Simply put, however, you cannot eat the exact same food every single day and be as healthy as someone who consumes the same macronutrient profile (% protein, % carbs, % fat) and total calories, but with a variety of food types. And this is key in making healthy choices, influencing our family’s choices, maintaining and interest in the wonders of whole foods and their value, and also in weight management.

 You know, I’m sure, that other countries…healthier countries… don’t see food the way we do. The Chinese surround mealtimes with ancient rituals that envelope their social and spiritual beliefs. Many European countries still eat from the land and embrace the old style of family and “block” lunches and dinners – and yes, they often take time away from work to actually sit down and eat lunch- they’re not known for eating at their desks over a computer. Now, I know America is different. Heavens, are we different! Everything is faster, more stressful, more metropolitan/urban, less rural…and also, let’s face it: less healthy! I bring up these ways of eating to lead us into a thought process with respect to diversity in our diets. Perhaps by acknowledging that other countries do things a bit differently in this area, and are healthier, we could humble ourselves into discovering and embracing new ways of approaching our diet, meals and planning so as to improve the quality of both our overall nutrition, as well as also our family life and social lives.

 The scientific rationale for having diversity in your diet is, frankly, the easy part. In a nutshell, our bodies need a variety of nutrients in order to perform and function at optimum levels and to produce “robust health”. Different vegetables and fruits provide different micronutrient (vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants) profiles. By getting a variety of fruits and vegetables in our diets, we fulfill a fuller spectrum of these micronutrients. Seafood, poultry, lean beef and pork, and eggs also provide valuable complete sources of protein, healthy and essential fats, as well as other vital nutrients. It would be too lengthy to do this for a whole day’s worth of meals, but let’s imagine a diet that day after day our breakfast consisted solely of one type of cereal, a splash of milk, an apple and a bit of yogurt. And I mean day after day…the exact same thing. Not only do we become apathetic about breakfast, but it becomes routine, robotic and there is no appreciation for the fact that what you’re ingesting is not only keeping you alive, but supporting your ability to do all of the things you want to do that day. Not to mention the carbohydrate bomb!  Imagine if it’s a day you have a stressful meeting or a really fun activity planned – going into that event knowing that your body is optimally fueled should provide an added level of confidence (like high octane gas in your car versus regular unleaded). Unfortunately, McDonald’s or Chik-fil-a drive through takes less mental energy, and here we sit. Bummer!

 I recently (from 2009) attended a continuing education seminar where a boring, nutrient deficient diet was described as a “beige diet”. Great analogy! Here, the presenter used the color of the foods we consume, versus the my focus on a limited variety or the same foods, to paint a picture of a nutrient deficient diet. Think about it:

  •  bread/bun (beige)
  • french fries (beige)
  • mac and cheese (beige-ish if it comes from one of those boxes)
  • chicken nuggets (beige)
  • pizza (beige-ish)

 Not only am I yawning, but gross! I’m sorry, but you can call me a bit of an elitist with food, the fact remains I couldn’t gag down a chicken nugget or a fast food carton of french fries if I tried!


Now, let me paint a different picture – a healthier picture:

  •  strawberries (R)
  • oranges (O)
  • bananas (Y)
  • asparagus/green peppers (G)
  • blueberries (B)
  • grapes/beets (I, V)

 I’m trying to “paint the rainbow” (ROY G BIV) of colors we can find in our food, and to quickly help you recall what we all heard from Saturday morning cartoon commercial: eat a rainbow of flavors…oh no, that’s from Skittles, isn’t it? Well, let’s adopt it and forget about the Skittles! But let’s don’t stop with the rainbow. There are so many other non-colorful foods that are just as nutritious: …shrimp, yellow peppers, red beef, eggs, squash…get the picture? My point is I believe that the enjoyment of knowing what we’re nourishing our bodies with has some positive psychological, and therefore physiological, effect on our health. A great example is that strawberries are just coming out of  season here in Florida. When I see those incredible, succulent red berries with their little “Plant City” stickers, my mouth not only waters, but I can almost feel my body craving the vitamin A, C, B6 and potassium. Or when my husband and I go out for a nice dinner, I invariably order a Kobe or Wagyu beef carpaccio or tartare, and once again, I can almost feel my body sucking up the protein, iron and B vitamins. My muscles scream “Holy Cannoli! Now THIS is nourishment!” Can’t you just envision them? Little plump hamstrings and lats singing: “box jumps and burpees and pull ups – oh my!” – bring it on! Maybe that’s just me, or maybe I have found and felt the physical and psychological connection between a high quality, diversified diet and robust health. Think about it…





Friday, June 24th, 2016

DAY 16!

Let’s talk about CARBOHYDRATES, and let’s look at pictures so it goes  faster!

This is a carbohydrate.

This is a carbohydrate.

This is a carbohydrate.

Sweet Potatoes

…again, a carbohydrate.


You guessed it! Another carbohydrate.

Tricky, but also a carbohydrate.

All different.  

All plants.

All carbohydrates.  



I’m sure you all are aware that most vegetables are carbohydrates.  As are all (almost) fruits (e.g. the avocado is a fruit but we consider it a fat, although it does contain carbohydrate).  Vegetables and fruits are carbohydrates.  Vegetables and fruits are healthy.  Roots and tubers (sweet potatoes, yams, yucca) are also carbohydrates. So why would some people “brag” they’ve eaten “no carbohydrates”?  Probably because they associate grains and donuts with carbohydrates…which is a huge bummer…and in the Paleo world, those things don’t exist, so Paleo carbs are all good!

The thing is, in our bodies, carbohydrates are broken down through digestion and turned into glucose (ultimately) that can be used as needed energy or stored for later use should energy levels from your diet drop.


Most vegetables and fruit, due to their fiber content, are not rapidly broken down through digestion as more refined carbohydrates are (some grains, flour, simple sugar like candy and sweets, and baked goods).

And so what’s the big deal about non-starchy vegetables versus starchy ones like potatoes and beans, or about corn and peas? Or better yet, versus “heart healthy whole grains” (choke, choke, gag, gag)

Well, lets make it simple.  And know there’s more behind the scenes, but let’s just think of it this way for today.  If this makes sense, then dig further.


Here are two very different carbohydrates:


There are two things we want you to focus on here:

  1. the rate of digestion/breakdown, and therefore the rate of glucose entering the bloodstream and the resulting, associated insulin release
  2. the nutrient value, and the nutrient value related to energy (calories).
Remember, here, we’re talking about carbohydrates, grams of carbohydrates, and related insulin levels.  So we have cabbage.  Fibrous healthy, non-starchy vegetable.  If you compare this to a bagel, also a carbohydrate, you get interesting results.
First, for 100 grams (weight of the food) of each food:
CABBAGE:  25 calories, 6 grams of carbohydrates with 3 of them being fiber.
BAGEL:  275 calories, 53 grams of carbohydrates with 2 of them being fiber.
Doesn’t seem fair right?  But we compared 100 grams (food weight) of each food.  Why the massive spread in “energy” (calories) and carbohydrates?  Type of carbohydrate of course!
So let’s look at them this way:  Let’s try to even out the calories and forget about the serving size of the food (e.g. grams/weight of food).    Let’s take as close to 275 calories worth of cabbage as we can and compare carbohydrates that way:

 CABBAGE:  227 calories, 53 grams of carbohydrates with 23 of them being fiber. 
BAGEL:  275 calories, 53 grams of carbohydrates with 2 of them being fiber.

Interesting….same calories, same grams of carbohydrate, but certainly more fiber in the cabbage.  But get this, 275 calories from a bagel equates to a medium bagel, about 3.5 inches in diameter.  Little bitty thing!  227 calories of cabbage is equal to 900 grams!  That’s about 32 ounces – or two pounds!  Sorry, doubt you’ll eat that much cabbage even if it looks like coleslaw!

Want to check my math?  Here are the links to the nutrient facts:


NUTRIENT DATA ON BAGEL (100 grams/275 calories)

NUTRIENT DATA ON CABBAGE (908 grams/227 calories)


Let’s look at “nutrient density” or nutrient content.  And let’s compare the latter example – where we have the same carbohydrate content versus weight of food. And let’s just pick a few items to study:

And I’m too lazy to type it all in so here’s the image from both screen shots:






















Note Vitamin C, K B6 and folate.  Pretty good huh?  Also, check out the mineral content.  Not bad!  But you’re gonna say – whoa….you said I’d never eat 2 pounds of cabbage.  Correct – but I also said let’s compare apples to apples as far as “energy” or calories go…which leveled out our carbohydrate spread.  Had I said what the heck – let’s compare and average serving to an average serving, then you’d have a huge difference in both carbohydrate content AND calories.  Cabbage would win out solely based on the insulin spike that’d come with the bagel.  (more on that in a minute).  Next up…



















Well, Vitamins C and K don’t really register, but I guess we get a double digit 11% pop of Thiamin.  And we a few decent minerals – 10% Phosphorus…27% Manganese…and 22%…sodium? Well, I guess we can say it’s a mineral so it’s a good thing right?  What a stretch.

Hands down, the non-starchy veggies and fruits win out over grains, beans and legumes every time based on both carbohydrate content and nutrient content.  We want nutrient dense foods in our diets – those what provide the biggest bang for our buck, as with soil as weak as it is, pesticides, the ozone, acid rain…our produce simply isn’t as nutritious as it was thousands of years ago.  So we most likely need more “nutrients” to keep us healthy.


Finally, getting to the last point – why does carbohydrate count matter?  That’s pretty simple.  Way back, the ADA established an “exchange” of carbohydrates for diabetics at around 15 grams.  So if you were diabetic they’d tell you you could have 1-2 “exchanges” per meal to generally manage insulin release stimulated by the amount of carbohydrates ingested.  Point being, an intake of 15-30 grams of carbohydrate (probably closer to 30 grams) is enough to cause a “spike” in insulin, versus a gradual release from lesser carbohydrates.  That spike causes your body to store fat, or at the very least open up the cell to make it available to taking in the nutrients in the bloodstream.  Insulin is a storage signaling hormone.  

Post workout, when we need to refuel, this is a good thing, but not all day, every day.  On the flip side of this, the side where we eat processed foods for breakfast (orange juice, cereal, milk and fruit), and lunch (big sub with potato chips and coke or sweet tea), and dinner (baked ziti with red sauce and mashed potatoes)…our bodies are constantly “storing”…and storing and storing and storing. And if you’re not “using” those carbohydrates (energy), they are most certainly being stored in your fat cells. Also, the more sugar (glucose) that’s cursing around in your blood vessels, the more propensity for inflammation.  None of us want that!

So if your immediate goal is body composition, other than the post WOD window, the bulk of your energy (carbs) should come from non-starchy vegetables throughout the day.  Starches and higher carbs are better post WOD when your cells are more insulin sensitive and when you truly need the refuel.  For Performance, your post WOD carbs should be higher, and you are probably going to find benefit in your WODs, strength, etc., if you increase your carbs generally throughout the day. 


If your goal in this challenge is to lose body fat, and your diet previously consisted of a lot of fruit (healthy carbohydrate, right? Yes.  But…) we likely have recommended that you cut down on the fruit, at least in the beginning.  In a nutshell, fructose (sugar from fruit) is not digested the same way other carbohydrates are.  It is processed by the liver, converted to a storage form of free fatty acid and then released back into the blood stream (some stored in the liver) for use – if there’s no need for more energy that can be derived from a fat, it is simply stored.  The story is bigger than that, but I started with “in a nutshell”.


Sugar – a “SANE” indulgence

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Sugar substitutes still show that you are still addicted to SUGAR.

“On the surface of the tongue, certain proteins act as detectors for specific tastes. The sweetness receptor is made of two proteins in what is believed to be a structure like a Venus’ flytrap. When a sugar molecule attaches to the receptor, the receptor jogs neurons that send a signal to the brain that says something sweet has just been tasted.”                           ~ From the New York Times

Sugar sneaks in many of our foods, most do not even realize it.  From tomato sauces, ketchup, salad dressings, it’s crazy!  Sugar is a Paleo no-no.  Seriously, it’s the one thing that has evolved out of control since it was first introduced in society.  Sugar is a carbohydrate.  Insulin is produced from ingesting carbohydrate -all carbohydrates – but out of control insulin is caused by sugar and high glycemic index carbohydrates – carbohydrate bombs! – not necessarily non-starchy vegetables.  Fruit in limited quantities won’t cause an insulin spike, but a gallon of watermelon will…

Which leads us to discuss the importance of familiarizing ourselves with the Glycemic Index:

The Glycemic Index ranks foods on how they affect our blood glucose levels. This index measures how much your blood glucose increases in the two or three hours after eating.  The Glycemic Index is about foods high in carbohydrate. Foods high in fat or protein don’t cause your blood glucose level to rise much.  There are two main, good, credible sources on the Glycemic Index.  One is more user friendly than the other.  The University of Sidney has the best, searchable site HERE and there is good, well-resourced and cited information HERE.

Charles Poliquin has a more colorful summary of the Glycemic Index here:  What We Know About the Glycemic Indexby Charles Poliquin…

On to the sugar substitutes now…the bitter truth!

Artificial sweeteners and Nonnutritive Sweeteners
Currently there are several kinds you should look for when reading labels and these are some of the more common ones:

  • Aspartame
  • Acesulfame K
  • Neotame
  • Saccharin
  • Sucralose
  • Stevia

…and interesting…their “sweetness factor“! (see chart below). No wonder we all “crave it” and when you have to use actual sugar….it takes a lot to equal the power of artificial sweeteners!

Saccharin Sweet’N Low, Sweet Twin, Necta Sweet, Equal 200-700 times sweeter than sugar Tabletop sweetener, beverages, baked goods, jams, gum. Heat stable 1879
Aspartame Nutrasweet 200 x sweeter than sugar In processed foods and beverages Not heat stable 1981
Acesulfame-K Sunett, Sweet One 200 times sweeter than sugar General purpose Heat stable to 392 degrees F 1998
Sucralose Splenda 600 times sweeter than sugar General purpose Can be used in home baking 1998
Neotame No brand name 7,000 – 13,000 times sweeter than sugar General purpose Similar to aspartame 2002

Earlier this year, the NY Times Well Blog did a nice summary on artificial sweeteners…and it’s not a tough read.  The conclusion was great: eat and drink less sweet stuff.  Love it! And the general gist, if you really “think” about what you’re reading is it’s all about “are these artificially concocted chemicals that produce a super-sweet taste safe?

Now do some reading here before you ask any questions!

 It’s hard to read this and not wonder.  “Choosing a Sugar Substitute”  They followed up with this post “Artificial Sweeteners: The Challenge of Tricking the Taste Buds”.

In an nutshell, artificial sweeteners are just that:  artificial.  Non-Paleo. Don’t go there.  And if you do go there, just remember how much sweeter they are than regular sugar.  You are training your brain that you prefer that over-sweet, unnatural taste!

And worse yet, many of them are “engineered” to make you want more. I remember seeing this CBS New Special Years ago: Flavorists: Tweaking Tastes and Creating Cravings.  This completely explained why I could go through a pack of gum a day!

Charles Poliquin recently posted a new article on non-nutritive sweeteners. If you like to geek out on this stuff, OR, if you’re thinking you might be addicted to artificial sweeteners (soda, coffee creamer, ice tea, gum…). The Real Problem with Non-Nutritious Sweeteners.

And Diane Sanfilippo of Balanced Bites posted this great read on Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners…check it out!

Moral of the story: Robb Wolf states it bluntly that there is NO 100% everyday sweetener, rather it should be a managed indulgence we have from time to time. Insulin secretion is not something we want happening all the time.   But, on a daily basis, sweetners, regardless of calories are not Paleo. 

So let’s ditch it, what do you say?  Say goodbye to daily high sugar consumption!  Instead, let’s save it for a treat, weekend date night, pancake breakfast….an OCCASIONAL event versus a habit. And this way, your body may actually use that spike in insulin to benefit your body composition! 


Paleo Challengers – Bonus points – Worth 2 points, 1 point rewarded for the FULL (2-part), correct answer for question A and for question B. No ½ points will be rewarded. Please clearly submit answers making sure they are labeled and in order.

A1. The most common naturally occurring monosaccharide?

A2. What foods can you get this from?

B1. True or False: Foods high in extrinsic sugar may adversely affect nutritional adequacy

B2. True of False: Sorbitol and mannitol are considered Paleo.


Body Composition

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Most of you are over the withdrawal hump, and starting to pick up speed.  Our second weekend is upon us, so let’s just say it now:

  • “DON’T DO IT.”

And speaking of cavemen, let’s have a little fun before we talk body composition, which can sometimes be a downer.



Click this link (above) and it’ll take you to a quick 8 question quiz that’ll start your day out with a laugh.
The blog, Pay Now Live Later, was a great read, but hasn’t been active for a few years.




Ok, time to get serious.  There is a lot to say about Body Composition, but let’s stick to the basics, debunk a few myths and then offer up some suggestions for improving body composition.

Body composition is different from BMI or Body Mass Index – but these are the two most commonly used measures of “body fat” used today.  Body composition is pretty well accepted as the norm in determining health and fitness related to the amount of body fat you carry compared to lean body mass.


BMI simply takes a person’s weight in kilograms divided by their height in meters (squared).  I hope you can quickly pick out the problem here.

BMI came about in the 1800’s believe it or not, and was made popular during Ancel Keys Fat Focus in the 70’s and 80’s.  It’s still used in doctors offices today as a quick way to measure for obesity.  What a bummer, huh?

Let’s take Mouth as an example:  He’s 5’8″ or 1.72 meters (yep, had to Google the conversion), and 180 lbs or 81.8 kg (but I knew that conversion, thanks to CF!).  His resultant score is 27.63.  But of course the CDC and NHBLI dumb it down so we don’t NEED to use our brains and calculate the math, as evidence in the cute little color chart they provide below.   Using BMI, Ed ranks in the “overweight” category according to this measurement.  HARDLY!


Body composition uses skinfold calipers to measure the amount of subcutaneous fat in 3, 7, or 12 sites on your body.  At Rebel, like with everything, we try to do things top notch!

First, after Sam’s BioSignature cert in April of 2012 – out of sheer shame being the only one in the class without “Harpenden Calipers”, we invested in the $380 device! And after reviews, it was a good decision. It’s a quality instrument.

Second, pinching.  Many of you have been bruised….I mean pinched by one of us.  We migrated to Poliquin’s style of pinching after reviewing results of this style against hydrostatic weighing and DEXA.  And compared to the typical ACE,  ACSM, NSCA methods, Poliquin won hands down.

Third, we use a 7 site test – anticipating offering the 12 site BioSignature sometime next year.  7 sites is more accurate than 3, and 12 more accurate than 7, but 7 provides us with a great deal of data from which to calculate your body composition.

Fourth, experience.  Sam’s been pinching for 7 years now and Nicole has been pinching for 5 years!

Lastly, interpretation and action on the results.  For some of you, we’re able to use the concepts of pinch site in relation to hormone level to help determine how we might be able to affect a specific area.  It’s pretty cool stuff, but too much to go into here and better left on an individual basis.

So back to Mouth.  Mouth’s bodyfat is around 15%.  Body Composition is basically the measurement of the amount of subcutaneous fat a person has compared the rest of their body mass.  See below, as this classifies him, using a true percentage body fat, at an “Athletic”/”Fitness” Level.

ACE  (American Council on Exercise)


























Though there are no universally recognized standards for body fat, we use ACE because they’re the most specific and generally understandable by both the fitness industry and the general public.


What what’s the big deal?  Why do we care…we just care that we look good naked, right?

Yes…but aside from the health implications of high body composition, you can be “skinny”, “small”, “normal”, and still look “soft” naked…still be “fat”.    The term skinny fat works here.  The Mayo Clinic actually calls it “normal weight obesity” due to  findings where average looking people, when tested, had higher body fat to muscle ratios than others with lower body fat at the same weight.  These normal weight obesity patients had higher incidences of heart disease and metabolic diseases as well!

Here’s a great look at this:  Typical CrossFit results too…gain muscle mass, lose a little body fat, weigh more and look leaner! (found this in the internet…there are dozens like this!)

And here’s an image to help get a visual for where you might want your ideal body fat percentages to be.


 Other than for vanity, why else should we be concerned about body composition?  Our health, that’s why. And that should be our number one reason for wanting to keep it within a normal range. I think I can tackle this one in bullets!

Above normal body composition is associated with the following:

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Hypertension
  • Metabolic Syndrome (a group of symptoms that occur together and increase the risk of coronary artery disease, stroke and Type 2 Diabetes) (1 in 5 overweight people is affected by Metabolic Syndrome)
    • “Central” obesity or apple shaped; carrying more weight around the middle and upper body
    • Insulin resistance – the step BEFORE diabetes, among other symptoms
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Cancer, including  esophageal cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, kidney cancer, endometrial cancer or colon cancers
    • Special note with us just ending October and Breast Cancer Awareness Month – 80% of breast cancers are estrogen fed.  They’re stimulated and “grown” by estrogen.  Fat cells produce estrogen.  You do the math.
  • Stroke
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Fatty Liver Disease
  • Osteoarthritis (due to the extra weight on the joints)
  • Gastro-esophogeal reflux (GERD), Heartburn
  • Depression
  • Gall Bladder Disease
  • …….I know, you get it already!

Need I say more? I’d rather be CrossFitting than at the doctor’s office or having procedures, tests, etc.

So we’re doing this Paleo Challenge, we’re all feeling better, more alert, more energy, most are losing body fat, some are gaining muscle mass…seems like this Paleo thing is pointing us all in the right direction toward lower to ideal body composition!

It’s pretty straight forward. Yes, that donut looks good. No, it won’t help me get to my ideal body comp.



Saturday, June 18th, 2016

Saturday, June 18, 2016

I’m sure there are those nazi’s who are critical of this: “how can you allow a cheat after only 8 days”?  Once again, Nicole and I going to keep you sane, give you something to look forward to, and keep those of you who are lower carb on the high metabolism wagon.  

Between the hours of 5pm and 10om, you are allowed an additional 300 calories in any form you wish: honey, sugar, cake, ice cream, wine, beer, spirits….  just remember, that’s about 75 grams of carbohydrates or 33 grams of fat, or 2-3 glasses of wine or beer. But what if you drink whiskey or vodka? 

Remember: you don’t have to accept the challenge! If you decline it, add one point.  If you accept it, no harm, no foul. You don’t lose points. The only caveat is if you DO accept the cheat, you must post to Rebels on Paleo how you feel tomorrow morning – gassy, bloated, lethargic, energetic, whatever – we want to know what you did and how you feel. This part will be fun!

We’re at Day 8!!

During the kickoff meeting, I skimmed over the why’s of no grains, dairy, beans, legumes, etc.  Well, back during a previous challenge, Ed had just come back from the CrossFit Football  Cert and he had some good information on beans.  Below is a repost of that day:

“Mouth here.  A weekend of studying for my CrossFit Football Certification…awesome stuff! A section of the course is dedicated to diet for strong athletes…yep, it’s Paleo! While CrossFit supports a Paleo / Zone diet…CFFB does not promote regulating calories and macronutrient ratios (counting blocks) and thus promotes Paleo with Dairy (Sammy’s gonna blog on dairy soon!)

My topic for today and credit to John Welbourn, NFL stud, and The CrossFit Football staff…


Beans are FULL of enzyme blockers and lectins…we’ll call these toxins “antinutrients.” (Note: enzymes are good. They are proteins that catalyze chemical reactions)

“So what?” Well, these enzyme blockers “block” (no football pun intended) the enzymes that digest protein and are called “protease inhibitors.”

“So what?” Well, your bodies “brilliant” (like Guinness beer), it senses the inhibition and signals your pancreas to make more insulin…people, over years, you’re wearing out your pancreas.

“So what?” Hmmm, did you know rats can’t gain weight if they have substantial amounts of enzyme blockers in their diets?

“So what?” Let’s see, what about those “Hannibal Lectins.” Let’s call them that so we remember they’re vicious! Lectins have natural insecticide qualities (self defense mechanisms) and they’re toxic raw. Lectins strongly adhere to carbohydrates found on the cell surfaces, especially the heavy-sugary coats of epithelial cells on the gastrointestinal line. It was long known that undercooked beans, due to lectins, can provoke nausea, diarrhea and vomiting, but how precisely these proteins did their job was not known. New research reveals how lectins disable GI tract cells, which are under a constant bombardment while digesting food, from fixing tears in cells walls resulted from digestive activity. Repair usually takes place in a few seconds: internal membranes move up to patch the tear and the one-cell line of the GI tract stays intact. If those individual cells cannot repair tears, they die. That means you have gaps in the integrity of the surface area of the epithelium and you are exposing the nasty internal world of your GI tract to your blood supply.

The intact GI epithelial line permits only good stuff like food to cross to the blood. Say it with me: Leaky gut?

“So what?” Lectins are like master code-breakers to the body. The cells of are bodies are studded with receptors which are like code pads to ensure stimulation only under the correct circumstances. Lectins have the ability to crack these codes and stimulate the receptors causing a variety of responses-covering basically the full repertoire of the cell and even tricking the cell into doing things it normally cannot do. Lectins have a “knack” for bypassing our defenses and “getting behind the lines”,and then they travel all over the body causing harm…

a.) they strip protective mucous off tissues

b.) damage the cells lining the small intestine-disrupting the microscopic fingers called villi and microvilli

c.) bind to cells including blood cells causing a clot to form

d.) make a cell act as if it has been stimulated by a hormone

e.) stimulate a cell to secrete a hormone

f.) promote cell division at the wrong time

g.) cause growth or shrinkage of the lymphatic tissue

h.) cause enlargement of the pancreas

i.) cause cell death.


“So what?”

PEOPLE!!!!! Autoimmune diseases are incredibly common and increase every year that a person gets older. A disordered immune system also has a much harder job recognizing and attacking the REAL intruders-invading germs and cancer cells. Many scientists believe that most people generate many cancer cells in a lifetime but your immune system cleans most of them up….YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO HAVE YOUR

Read all you want on the symptoms and potential causation for autoimmune disease; read about how difficult it is to diagnose and all of the diseases that fall into this category (Celiac Disease, Crohn’s Disease, Eczema, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Ulcerative Colitis, Diabetes….to name a few common ones), but the best way to deal with this is to PREVENT IT!

The only good thing about beans is…arts and crafts for kids. Glue them to paper plates and hang them on your refrigerators.”



The Protein Dilemma

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

Thursday, 6/16, 2016…and Day 6!


We generally use the guideline of  “1 gram per pound of body weight” when speaking with CrossFitters about how much protein to consume. It can vary down to 1 gram per pound of “lean body mass” – which is a number you can get from your body composition test, and it can vary up for the guys to 1.5+x body weight.  And by body weight we mean ideal body weight if you’re losing to drop some lbs.  Depending on where you are starting, you may want to ease into this, especially if you feel you have a compromised gut!

You can look in the Paleo Community and the Strength or Fitness Communities and poll all of gurus…the ranges for protein intake  are from 0.75 grams per pound of lean body mass (determined from a body composition test), to 2 grams per pound of total body weight.  If you talk to the CF Football community, they consider 300 grams a must for a big, powerful guy!  But this number will be personal to you based on how close you are to your ideal body weight, how much protein you current ingest, and how your body will deal with getting enough.  There are a myriad of reasons why we don’t get enough or why we’re worried about getting too much.  Irregardless, this is your personal test of Paleo.  And don’t take our word for it – do some research, talk with some other previous Paleo Challengers and see what happened to them when they increased their protein levels, or a better sign…I know a few people who let their protein consumption wane, and they gained body fat!  So here we go!

Preaching more protein is tough. Mainstream media, USDA…all scare us away from “too much protein” or too much red meat”…but in lieu of carbohydrates? Oye! But if we focus on ancestral health patterns, tailored for today’s activity levels, and also our famous “n=1” (study, sample size 1), we’ll see first hand what the results are – and we can measure them by watching all of the common blood marker, and as important – how we look, feel and perform. One formula does not work for everyone, but teaks in amounts of the same types of foods (Paleo-esque) will work!

The Paleo diet tends to have a higher level of protein compared to that of the standard American diet, but the Paleo diet is not necessarily a high-protein diet.  The average protein intake in the US is 15% of total calories.  If I eat 2,000 calories a day, that’s 300 calories from protein, or 75 grams or 10 total ounces.  Diets considered to be “high” in protein average 20-30% of calories – let’s double the above example.  And finally, diets considered to be very high in protein average 30-40% of calories.  Take the 2,000 calories example again  -that’s 175 grams…the average weight in pounds of one of our athletes here at the box.  In saying that, those guys I’m thinking of consume a lot more than 2,000 calories, and therefore their percentage intake of protein is no longer in the “very high” category.

One of the things I learned a long time ago, and was reminded was that whatever the “norms” are in any subject – they should be scrutinized.  The example I gave at the seminar…how many of your friends and family can do a dead hang pull up?  Average is zero right?  That being said, if it’s average for people to not be able to pull up their body weight, is that the right number for the norm? So please, like I said on Saturday, scrutize what you know as historically right – think about the monkey example!

In addition to, and frankly ABOVE the concern over quantity is quality – it is the most important factor success.  Selecting high-quality foods, eliminating allergenic, neolithic foods containing gut damaging, mineral robbing toxins (that would be  anti-nutrients,   grains, dairy, legumes, beans, soy, peanuts, sugar and food additives.

While eating enough protein is important, eating the right type of protein is just as important. To recap, on the protein front, select  animal sources of protein (it had a face, feet, wings, fins, maybe a shell, probably a face, and soul) from ethically raised, free-ranging, grain-free, hormone-free and antibiotic-free animals. Look for grass-fed/-finished beef, pastured pork, free-range fowl and their eggs, wild-caught fish and game meats. There are vegetarian and vegan sources, but that’s for another post.

Let’s just remember.  Protein is not a fad.  It is essential.  You can’t live without it.



Next, here’s a cool looking recipe from a european Paleo Blog that caught my eye: Modern Paleo Warfare.

Protein Paleo Bomb


  • 3-4 eggs
  • One can of responsibly sourced tuna 
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 shallots (you can use onion too I guess but I think shallots taste so much better/sweeter)
  • 5-6 leaves of basil
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Juice of one lime or lemon (dealer’s choice)

Boil the shit out of the eggs and drain the tuna. Mince up the shallots, garlic and basil and mix it into the tuna with some paleo mayo (it’s really easy to make…honest..here’s our instructional video) . When the eggs are boiled dunk them in cold water and peel. Take the yolk out and mix it in really well with the rest of the ‘stuffing’. Make balls using wet hands (I actually have a video clip called that on my hard-drive somewhere) and stuff the egg whites. Dress with your choice of oil and pepper


Day 17. On Paleo, You Are DIFFERENT

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

November 12, 2014

Day 17 

“Different”, meaning not mainstream in our thoughts about diet.

Below is a thought provoking graphic describing a scenario which is much like what we deal with in trying to eat a truly health-promoting diet as opposed to what we’re told is healthy by the FDA and mainstream nutritional advice. 

So, if you’re following Paleo, you’re definitely working against the norm!  It might be your family, friends, spouse, coworkers or all of the above, but you can tell, right?  They think you’re “limiting yourself”, or starving yourself, or not getting enough fiber because you don’t eat grains or calcium because you don’t do dairy, right?  I’ve been there…but now have a mom who, due to some rising health concerns  is not only a Paleo believer, but it probably saved her life.  Don’t get me wrong, for 4 or 5 years now I’ve tried to impart my opinion of a good diet on my family, but speaking from experience and from hearing a lot of really smart Paleo experts talk abou ttheir “elevator pitch”, don’t force it.  Believe what you believe and do what you think is right, and if people are going to follow you, they’ll do it because they see your results, not because you told them to do it.


Fruit contains fructose, a fruit-based sugar. What other food(s) contains fructose:
a) avocado
b) carrots
c) tomatoes
d) honey

Text in your answer(s).

Day 16. Self Control

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

November 11, 2014

Day 16.


I’m always looking for inspirational motivational things to put here – there are 28 days in this challenge – that’s a lot of stuff!  Willpower is a hot topic, but a tough one.  I did some Googling…hilarious that the first thing that popped up was this:

Will Power is an Indy Car driver…too funny!  You’d think with a name like that, he’d be top dog right?

Well, in researching willpower, you find a lot about self control, pretty much being used interchangeably. 

So, I dug back into my undergrad studies and found good ol’ BF Skinner’s work at the top of the heap.  Sometimes when trying to get control of a specific bad habit, or when trying to change a behavior pattern, we need help.  And, as a wise friend once told me, “Samantha, knowledge doesn’t always translate into behavior change”.  No shit!  (Sorry!)

 So, let’s look at Skinner’s Techniques below and see if we can’t derive something from them.  We’re not promoting 100% caveman life here, and we know we live in a modern world, but self control from food that we know are detrimental to our health on a regular basis is what we’re looking for, rather than never having dessert or a latte EVER AGAIN!  Be reasonable!


Skinner’s Survey of Self-Control Techniques

B.F. Skinner’s Science and Human Behavior provides a survey of nine categories of self control methods.

Physical Restraint and physical aid

The manipulation of the environment to make some response easier to physically execute and others physically more difficult illustrates this principle. Clapping one’s hand over your own mouth, placing your hands in your pockets to prevent fidgeting, using a ‘bridge’ hand position to steady a pool shot all represent physical methods to effect behavior.

Changing the stimulus

Manipulating the occasion for behavior may change behavior as well. Removing distractions that induce undesired actions or adding a prompt to induce it are examples. Hiding temptation and reminders are two more.

Depriving and satiating

One may manipulate one’s own behavior by affecting states of deprivation or satiation. By skipping a meal before a free dinner one may more effectively capitalize on the free meal. By eating a healthy snack beforehand the temptation to eat free “junk food” is reduced.

Manipulating emotional conditions

Going for a ‘change of scene’ may remove emotional stimuli, as may rehearsing injustice to motivate a strong response later.

Treating an activity as “work” or “fun” can have an effect on the difficulty of self control.

Using aversive stimulation

Setting an alarm clock to awake ourselves later is a form of aversive control. By doing this we arrange something that will only be escapable by awakening ourselves.


The use of self-administered drugs allows us to simulate changes in our conditioning history. The ingestion of caffeine allows us to simulate a state of wakefulness which may be useful for various reasons.

Operant conditioning

The use of a token economy, or other methods or techniques unique to operant conditioning may be seen as a special form of self-control. It can take great self control to stay off drugs or to stop smoking.


Self-punishment of responses would include the arranging of punishment contingent upon undesired responses. This might be seen in the behavior of whipping oneself which some monks and religious persons do. This is different from aversive stimulation in that, for example, the alarm clock generates escape from the alarm, while self-punishment presents stimulation after the fact to reduce the probability of future behavior.

Punishment: is more like conformity than self control because with self control there needs to be an internal drive, not an external source of punishment that makes the person want to do something. There is external locus of control which is similar to determinism and there is internal locus of control which is similar to free will. With a learning system of punishment the person does not make their decision based upon what they want, rather they base it on the external factors. When you use a negative reinforcement you are more likely to influence their internal decisions and allow them to make the choice on their own where as with a punishment the person will make their decisions based upon the consequences and not exert self control. The best way to learn self control is with free will where people are able to perceive they are making their own choices.

“Doing something else”

Skinner notes that Jesus exemplified this principle in loving his enemies. When we are filled with rage or hatred we might control ourselves by ‘doing something else’ or more specifically something that is incompatible with our response.

I don’t know about you guys, but I have flashbacks of campus years re-reading this stuff.  It’s psychology – it probably works – but does anyone find anything interesting here?

Day 15. Eggs & Cholesterol

Monday, November 10th, 2014

Monday, November 10, 2014 Day 15 FIRST:  FOOD JOURNALS ARE DUE TODAY! (tomorrow at the latest please!).  I’m doing my best to get them reviewed and back to you guys as soon as I can…so first in, first to be responded to this week! SECOND: If you didn’t check out yesterday’s very short post, HERE IT IS.  I wish, now, I’d bolded, underlined and italicized every word in it.  This last two weeks started kind of tough for most, but by the end of last week, I was hearing “I’ve lost X pounds!” from the Body Comp group, and “I feel so much better in my WODs” from the Performance group! There are only a few of you who I didn’t get journals from, and therefore I couldn’t offer feedback to – and that’s OK. We’ve al least communicated, most of us.  The point is this: THIS is the time we start to relax…”It’s working!”, so maybe I can be a little more liberal. At the midway point, there is the highest potential for failure because you start to get comfortable. You want to “tweak” already…DON’T!  Don’t get complacent – the same vigor should go into week three and four as in week’s one and two.  Just remember, we’re building a lifestyle…one that “most of us” can’t “undo” in a weekend….I scheduled treats (cheats) on purpose: they foster compliance, they show you you can have a treat and still stay on track, and there’s a metabolic reason for hiking up the carbs, specifically on the Body Comp Challenge, one every 10-14 days.  So stay on guard!  Finish this! NEXT UP:  EGGS & CHOLESTEROL  This question always comes up.  The post topic should probably be entitled BE A SKEPTIC!  Why?  Why do we ask this question in the first place?  Take your brains back (if you’re old enough to have lived during this time) to when the government, ADA, FDA had us scared of fat, replacing it with “m-a-r-g-a-r-i-n-e” – the savior.  Well, now that savior is one of the more unhealthy fats we could consume.  During that time, when we were under the scare campaign against fat, the fat in eggs was also touted to be linked to high cholesterol and heart disease.  Well, that was then and this is now….now when we think a little more critically and actually ask for proof when we’re told something.  Here’s a brief excerpt from Robb Wolf’s Paleo Solution on Eggs and Cholesterol: Eggs:  How Many? Eggs…hmmmm.  I don’t know what the deal is.  Maybe it is because these ossified orbs come from the hindquarters of chickens, but they sure do stir up a lot of controversy.  First, the medical establishment tells us the cholesterol content is more dangerous than Russian Roulette with a Howitzer, autoimmune condition is not recommended.  So what’ is the deal?  Will eggs kill me?  I don’t see a need for an upper or lower limit in regard to egg consumption.  I highly recommend omega 3 enriched eggs, and I also recommend that they not make up every single breakfast that you eat from now until the end of time.  They can be problematic from a food allergy standpoint, but their benefits and convenience far outweigh any hazards.”   That being said,  Dr. Cordain of the original Paleo Diet has this to say: “What about eggs?  Eggs are a relatively high – fat food.  Eating too many eggs can promote weight gain and increase blood cholesterol lees.  There is no doubt that Paleolithic people would have eaten wild bird eggs whenever they found them.  But this wasn’t that often.  Wild eggs always would have been a seasonal food and would not have been eaten every day.  Also, wild bird eggs are nutritionally different from domesticated chicken eggs: they have higher levels of beneficial omega 3 fat and lower levels of artery-clogging saturated fat.  This means you should limit consumption of eggs to six a week.  You should also buy eggs enriched with omega 3 fats.”  Confused? Wait, here’s another one from Mark Sisson of the Primal Blueprint “Eggs can be freely enjoyed as an excellent source of healthy protein, fat, B complex vitamins and folate.  Be sure to obtain organic chicken eggs, which contain up to 20 times more omega-3’s (obtained from green leaves in the chickens’ natural diet) than factory-produced grain-fed chicken eggs.  The  Conventional Wisdom “heart-healthy” concept of discarding the yolk to avoid cholesterol is misguided, as the yolk is one of the most nutrient-rich foods you can find – laden with omega-3’s and the other aforementioned nutrients.  In contrast, egg whites, besides being a good source of complete protein, have otherwise a rather low nutrient content.  Furthermore, and contrary to Conventional Wisdom, there is no proof that egg consumption raises blood cholesterol or affects your risk of heart disease.” A little bit of varied opinions even within the Paleo community, huh?  Well, like we preach,  breakfast can get boring if you eat the same things over and over.  Having left over dinner for breakfast is a good thing every once in a while – left over salmon especially!  Salmon with sliced tomatoes and onions drizzled with EVOO …..it’s not an egg, but it’s another source of healthy fat, and an unconventional breakfast.  So, take what you want from the last word on eggs – but in our humble opinion, however unscientific 🙂 , get your food (eggs included) from a clean, fresh, quality source (Al Rosas, The Taylors, Free Range/Organic/Omega-3 enriched) and you’ve nothing to worry about.

Day 14. HALF WAY!

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Day 14


You are half way there! It’s like being in the beginning of the “15’s” on Thrusters in Fran, or at the 10 minute mark of Cindy.  By the end of the day, you’re over the hump!

My favorite Paleo Challenge quote:

It’s easier to change a man’s religion than to change his diet. ~Margaret Mead

Journals are due tomorrow.  Please try to get them in by Tuesday at the latest, and add your points to the whiteboard.