The Paleo Diet: Eating Like Our Paleolithic Ancestors
By Angel Naivalu
Including an interview with Dr. Loren Cordain
Surely you’ve heard of, “The Paleo Diet,” at some point during your Crossfit career. You may have experimented with Paleo eating and found it to be a positive experience, but perhaps it was difficult to maintain? Maybe it’s your love of pizza and beer (ah-hem, Clay,) that keeps drawing you back into old eating habits, or that big plate of creamy pasta with sauce? Maybe you just find packaged, processed foods more convenient? Wherever you are on your personal fitness journey, your nutritional routine is one aspect that must not be ignored.
For intense exercise to truly be beneficial (and not detrimental) to one’s health, it requires proper nutrition and hydration. Nutritional researcher, Dr. Michael Colgan (of the Colgan Institute) has over 40 years experience studying the effects of nutrition specifically in athletes. His research demonstrates that intense exercise without proper nutrition actually contributes to significant wear and tear on the body, including brain damage in athletes. He is an advocate of high-density nutrition to equal high-intensity exercise.
So, you want to get fit? Lean and strong is the goal; Crossfit is the means. Well, you’re off to a great start. The body IS a miracle, but it’s not magic. It cannot compensate well for what doesn’t exist in our diets. Most commonly, the average person today is missing the essential vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and amino acids required by the body for proper functioning. There are many reasons as to why these essentials are lacking, but a simple observation of the rapid decline in our nation’s health and the dramatic rise of degenerative diseases, occurring among younger and younger populations, is blatant evidence that something definitely has gone awry in our diets.
The Paleo Diet is a research-based, dietary guideline that directs us back to the eating patterns of our Paleolithic (pre-historic) ancestors. In short, it looks like this:
Detailed information can be found in the following books, written by Dr. Cordain:Information is also available at his website www.paleodiet.com
For an entertaining read and introduction to the Paleo lifestyle, check out Robb Wolfe’s book, “The Paleo Solution.” (Robb is a former grad student of Dr. Cordain’s). Find more detailed and research-based information in all of Dr. Cordain’s books.
It’s YOUR BODY. Get educated. READ IT. DISCUSS IT. APPLY IT. Then YOU can be the judge!
Listen to this interview with Dr. Cordain, recorded for the athletes of Aspen Crossfit, on June 6, 2012.