By now you all know I’ve been paleo for a good 10 months. My body is loving me, and I’m like, so freaking full of energy all the time I could run up a wall. Wahooo! But seriously, never felt better, healthier or happier. Being an extremely active person who trains almost everyday, if not 2x a day, I need plenty of fuel and nutrition to keep my body running nicely. Our bodies are machines, and the food and supplements we put into it is the fuel for it to run off of.
My simple rules for keeping my performance up and my body and mind strong: keep it clean, lots of water, plenty of rest and move more. This is my lifestyle, and while I know it’s not for everyone, here are my essentials for those of you who want to 1) keep it paleo, and 2) increase performance. Aspiring ninja’s welcome.
1. Bulletproof coffee. MCT oil + butter in my coffee? You better believe it. I have never been a coffee drinker in my entire life (until 2 months ago), and always felt sluggish and sickly after drinking a cup o’ joe. Turns out bad coffee is to blame. Read about Bulletproof Coffee on their site because they explain it better than I can. And learn about grass-fed AKA good butter vs. bad butter and why grass-fed butter is awesome here. I start almost every morning with a cup of BPC with my breakfast then workout 90 minutes later. My performance and brain power has increased significantly and I love it. #ninjastatus
2. Yams + starchy vegetables . My one issue with the paleo diet is the tendency, or choice, to be super low-carb. Carbs are not the devil; rather the opposite, it’s just about choosing the right carbs to fuel your body, build muscle, replenish glycogen stores and feel fueled. A lot of people who go paleo will immediately drop significant weight due to the removal of all breads, pastas, cereals, starchy foods, etc. Then they hit a plateau and have difficulty losing remaining fat, or “leaning out”. Carbs are vital for athletes and highly active individuals, but should be consumed at the right time. I came from a place of low-carb eating slash severely damaged metabolism so adding a lot of high quality complex carbs was terrifying. Once I realized my depletion and lack of energy was related to my low-carb diet, I upped the carbs and now notice a nice hum in my metabolism. I eat plenty of yams, squash, zucchini, and even red potatoes if I need the extra carbs surrounding my workouts or at night before bed. An example of what this looks like is: slow-digesting carbs before a workout (yams), fast-digesting carbs post-workout (banana and/or berries blended in a recovery smoothie), and then 1 cup homemade paleo coconut milk ice cream or grass-fed greek yogurt before bed. I usually go to bed pretty full, and wake up with abs. I still eat plenty of healthy fats and protein, and keep it all in balance. It’s about balance, people.
3. Glutamine + BCAA’s. Essential for recovery, muscle repair, soreness, fat loss, metabolism and everything nice. To read about BCAA’s you can go here, or for L-glutamine, here. I get mine on Amazon! Optimum Nutrition BCAA Capsules and Optimum Nutrition Glutamine Capsules are my favorite.
4. Becoming a Supple Leopard: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance. While you can’t actually eat this, you can consume it in other ways. The buzz surrounding Kelly Starrett’s book was deafening in the CrossFit community, and for good reason. I picked it up last week and have used it everyday since. For any ache or ailment, there is a mobility prescription to fix you. Flexibility and mobility is ESSENTIAL for healthy muscles and performance. Go buy the book! No need to thank me.
5. High quality protein. We are big on grass-fed and pastured meats and eggs. We love our protein, but understand that there is a significant difference in grain-fed meat vs. grass fed. The nutritional profiles of the opposing groups is crazy! We are omnivores, but make it a point to seek out high quality foods if we are going to eat meat. Being in the countryside of Southeastern Pennsylvania, the local farms are in abundance. We love that! We eat grass-fed beef a couple times a week, organic + pastured chicken and eggs regularly, pastured pork and bacon, and bison when we can find it! And as for whey protein supplements? We love Progenex and Formulx. Read more about the importance of grass-fed beef here. And buy your own here.
Cheers to being better humans! I’m back from a long summer vacation, and an actual vacation in Florida. Time to kick things up a notch.