FOOD PORN FRIDAYS

What better way to start off FOOD PORN FRIDAY than with bacon…..

and….

local farm eggs

Big Ass Steaks!

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Coming 9/30/2011

To Zone Is Not Paleo!

“The Zone, I’ll say, isn’t by far the worst diet out there. It gets a few key things right or somewhat close. That said, however, I think there’s big room for improvement.” – Mark Sisson

I hear it all the time from crossfitters – “Zone/Paleo is the best way to eat.” I’ve not had one of those people able to tell me why. Although I would rather see people that insist on eating a zone diet eliminate harmful grains and legumes from their diet, the 40 carbs/30 protein/30 fats breakdown misses the mark when it comes to optimal nutrition. It is proportionatly much better than the modern industrialized diet and that is why many experience results with it. 

Let’s look at the carbohydrate load here. Carbohydrates are sugars, so we’ll call them just that to avoid confusion. Your body does need some sugar to run and that’s fine. You body does not need 40% of it’s energy to come from sugar. There are many reasons for this but I would look up AGE’s (Advanced Glycation End products – Think of sugar caramelizing  on the stove and then think of that happening in side your body) and that should be enough to scare the crap out of you. 

Protein.  If you are crossfitting then you know you need your protein…30% of your diet is simply not sufficient. You are really pushing your body, trust me I know, so fuel it fuel it properly. Also, soy, as Dr. Sears recommends is not an optimal source of protein and studies show that it lowers testosterone. Eat more protein. How much? Try going paleo for 30 days and then your body will tell you once your hormones are back to normal. You don’t need to weigh and measure. The human body is indeed an amazing machine.

 Fat is good for you. Good fat. By good fat I mean olive oil, avocado, wild caught fish and wild, pastured and grass finished meats and the like. Fat is satiating and is designed to be used as a primary source of energy. The zone limits fat intake below what most paleo eaters consider optimal. 

All in all a solid paleo diet consists of quality protein, fat, vegetables and some fruit, nuts and seeds. The  zone diet does not reflect this proportion as you see in the food pyramid below.

  It’s not just about eliminating grains and legumes. That’s an important part and if you do that you are really on your way to better health.  The energy source for the diets is just plain different. Paleo seeks to get your body back to a nutural state where it burns fat for fuel most of the time and sugar when appropriate. Bottom line…to Zone is not Paleo.

SUCCESS STORIES – A Testimonial To Buying In

Teresa (Left) Before

Several months ago Teresa attended an Intro To Paleo Concepts Workshop that I taught at Crossfit Lafayette. Following the workshop, I received several questions from her and received pictures of groceries to show the change that she was making. She bought in completely, wanting better health for herself and her children. 

Not only did Teresa make changes in her food but followed all of the workshop advice, getting quality sleep and reducing stress in her life. She then joined Crossfit in order to work on the exercise portion of the equation. What happens when you follow the 3 pillars of paleo? 

After

I caught up with Teresa recently and she looks great and is excited about the things to come. She told me that-

“I’m doing things that I never thought possible. You really don’t know what’s inside you until you push yourself.”

It’s always gratifying to see someone who follows all of the advice, really buys in and then see them reap the rewards. Congratulations Teresa! 

Food Porn Fridays

Eggplant Parmesan made with almond flour from “The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook” by Elana Amsterdam is great as a side or add some ground meat to the sauce in the recipe for a meal.

Boiled crawfish with local sausage!

Chicken Shawerma and Gyro Salad!

Getting A Handle On Stress

Stress. It’s well-known that’s it’s bad for you. Bad for your health, bad for your relationships…just plain bad. I’ve had “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff…” by Richard Carlson and “The Rhthm of Life” by Matthew Kelly  out on my desk for several weeks now as a reminder that I need to write about this subject. It was this morning, while waiting for a client to arrive, that I read Robb Wolf’s post “Paleo is EXPENSIVE!!!“, where Robb brought up a section in his book called ” Do you own your stuff or does your stuff own you? That was the final jolt that told me…get to it!

Stress comes from many sources including work, relationships, financial pressure and consumerism. The modern world demands a lot of us. Many work in jobs that are high stress or that they just plain don’t like. To you I say consider your career choice. It may not be responsible of you to just up and quit, at least not without the proper savings and a plan. You must ask yourself though…if you hate your job then what would you like to do? What do you have to do to get there? Stop daydreaming about it and set about a course of action.

Social and work relationships demand more of us these days because of technology. We are always expected to be available to work, friends and family via text, twitter and facebook. The quality of many of these relationships has diminished due to technology. We watch TV with our family instead of communicating. As humans we need to interact with other humans…and not via a social network. Make an effort to turn off your phone to spend time with your family or friends. TV is fine,but not all the time. Turn it off and cook together, play a board game, go camping.

Financial Stress. We live in a difficult economy. Many are struggling and without jobs. If you are fortunate enough to have one then don’t go out and create problems for yourself. Do you need a brand new fancy car every two years? Do you need a new outfit every time you go somewhere? Can you pay for it in cash and still have money left over for and emergency? Robb Wolf said ” Do you own your stuff or does your stuff own you?” Matthew Kelly discusses this thoroughly in his book “The Rhythm of Life”. He states that many people buy stuff to make them happy. They think that pair of shoes is the answer to their problems…if they could just have those shoes then life would be grand. Then they buy them and guess what..life is still the same. So they set their sites on another material good. It’s a vicious cycle. Read this book…or at least watch Fight Club to learn a little about the evils of consumerism. Let’s be clear, I’m all for making money and having nice things. However, you only need so much. One of the biggest things I noticed since getting in good shape and good health is how much less that stuff means to me. I’m happy with me. I don’t need stuff to make me happy.

Here are some tips to improve your stress levels and your life

1. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff (and read the book too!)

2. Evalutate your job situation

3. Spend some quality time with family and friends

4. Spend some quality time with yourself (Meditate, walk or sit in a quite room for at least 10 minutes per day)

5. Stop buying things needlessly

6. Don’t be a slave to your phone/email

I picked up my copy of Paleo Comfort Foods by Julie and Charles Mayfield last week. The introduction tells you a story that, if you’ve been around the paleo/primal community for a while, you’ve heard a thousand times and one that you hope to hear a million more. The story of people discovering the ancestral diet and how it changed their lives is one I never tire of. I’m sure it’s not the intro that you want to hear about right? It’s the food!

This cookbook is full of recipes that are sure to satisfy the cravings of every paleo foodie. Right off the bat my wife made the biscuits. They are very light and in fact by far the best paleo approved biscuit that I’ve ever put in my mouth. Of course, we had to make the fried chicken to go along with those biscuits. I’ve not had fried chicken in about two years. It really was a treat!

The book is filled with southern classics such as pot roast, meatballs, pulled pork, meat loaf and “grits”. It’s also chock full of comfort foods from other regions such as lengua tacos….yes, that’s right, tacos complete with tortillas! The tortillas alone are reason to go out and buy this cookbook. They also have braised rabbit, coq au vin and a country curry.

I’ve obviously not cooked all of the recipes, but have gone through the book and as a damn good cook I have to say that Charles and Julie have done and outstanding job with the food in this book. I might take issue with the Alabama gumbo, crawfish ettoufee and jambalaya because it’s doesn’t follow the traditional cajun guidelines but food is about ideas and creativity. If people didn’t take them and make them their own, the food world would be an awfully boring place. If the rest of the food is any indicator, I’m sure that they are fine dishes.

This book comes at the perfect time of year, a time when the weather turns cooler and comfort foods and family gatherings are on our mind. It’s well written and visually inspiring.  Do I think you need another cookbook?  I mean you’ve got the Primal Blueprint Cookbook, Elana’s Pantry and  Everyday Paleo right?  Simply put, you would need to get your head examined if you like food and don’t buy this cookbook.

Minimalist Shoes…Not Just For Working Out

Many of you have discovered the joy of setting you feet free by working out barefoot or in minimalist shoes such as five fingers, merrells and new balance. Are you only freeing your feet to work out? What about the rest of the day? Most of our time is not spent exercising, so spending an hour a day in minimalist shoes and the remainder in standard shoes makes little sense.

Sure I own and wear standard dress shoes, casual shoes as well as a pair of cowboy boots. there are times when they are the only thing appropriate and lets face it, they look good. When making a decision on what shoes to wear I try to be mindful of what I’ll be doing. Will I be walking a lot? Standing? Sitting? And of course appropriate dress for the occasion must come into play. When I wear a suit, I wear dress shoes just like everyone else. For business casual or casual there are some great options out there. Most are made with a rubber crepe sole. It’s very flexible and allows for proper movement of the foot. The downside is that it can’t be resoled at your neighborhood cobler.  You can have them replaced on the internet.  Here are a few of the options out there.  

Merrell Tough Glove

The Merrell Tough Glove brings the comfort of the Merrell barefoot shoes to a leather upper model that can be worn with jeans or khakis. A doctor friend of mine wears these to the office everyday and swears by them. Retail  – $120.00

J&M Runnell Lace Up

J&M Runnell Slip On

J&M Runnell Toe Moc

J&M Runnell Chukka Boot

Johnston and Murphy makes the Runnell models that offer great comfort and a variety of styles and colors. I personally own several pair. Retail  – $135.00

Oak from Vivo Barefoot is another great option. Retail – $150.00  Vivo Barefoot is part of the Terra Plana family. I have had two pair of thier rubber crepe shoes since before I was intentionally going minimalist. They make comfortable shoes that last. 

Ra by Vivo Barefoot - Retail $140.00

Ladies, I did not for get about you. Most of the women I know love their shoes and will pick style over comfort 9 times out of 10.  It appears that Vivo Barefoot has put some thought into this and come up with a few options. They may never replace your Manolo Blahnik’s but you may find room for them at the coffee shop, local cafe or football game. 

Brooklyn by Vivo Barefoot – Retail $195.00

Boxing Boot by Vivo Barefoot - Retail $175.00

Kali by Vivo Barefoot - Retail $110.00

When you have the option, set your feet free and let them perform the way that they were designed. You’ll strengthen muscles, help back problems and just plain feel better. Have a casual barefoot shoe that you like? I’d like to hear from you in comments. Please include picture and pricing info.

 

 

 

Fight Gone Bad – Louisiana Style

Yesterday crossfitters around the country participated in Fight Gone Bad. In south Louisiana, Lance and Erin King, owners of Red Stick Crossfit put on an event to be remembered. Set Louisiana Memorial Park in the shadow of the U.S.S. Kidd, it was a fitting location for this charity event.

Crossfitters from all over Louisiana and Texas put in their 17 minutes of hell to raise money for three worthwhile charities including games competitor Aja Barto who put 440 on the board.

Aja Barto with Alex Norris

Lance and Erin brought this event from thirty participants last year to over 200 this year and included a color guard ceremony, weightlifting demo by Gayle Hatch’s crew including Kendrick Farris, gift presentation to a wounded veteran and lot’s more! 

Kendrick J. Farris

Lance and his fellow firemen even went the extra mile, performing the brutal workout in fireman’s gear with weight vests, My hat’s off to you Lance. It was a hot one out there!

This event was a huge success involving charity, community and competition. Knowing Lance and Erin, it will only be bigger and better next year! 

Crossfit Lafayette Team

Friday Food Porn – Primal Pizza Party

Gathering with friends to socialize is an essential part of a healthy life. Recently,  we had some friends over for a make your own primal pizza party. We put out lots of options and let everyone get creative. We ended up sharing all of them so that everyone got to try something different. Try this out for your next gathering.