In a few days, our gym is going to be starting a 30-day paleo challenge. The rules are pretty simple.
The real reasons for doing this are also pretty simple.
The side benefits are even nicer -- things like more energy, better body comp, better sleep, better performance in the gym, etc.
Yes. Except somehow a large percentage of people manage to get themselves all twisted in knots over these things.
So, in a personal fit of helpfulness, fueled by caffeine, here are a few tips from me to get you to your paleo happy place -- i.e., how to finish this thing a month or so from now with positive results. Let's go....
1. Just don't even start with the drama, OK?
Paleo challenges are not, in any reasonable sense of the word, "hard." Cancer is hard. Paraplegia is hard. Strokes and heart attacks are hard. Eating seriously delicious food in an unlimited quantity that makes you happy is not hard. (Yes, in an *unlimited* quantity... More on that in a second).
And OK, yeah, if you are a serious processed-food junkie at the moment, and have been living life on bread, cookies, pasta and beer, the first few days of this may involve a little brain fog, some cravings, etc. But that ends pretty quickly, and let's be serious. Somewhere there is a kid with cancer who wishes her biggest problem was that she didn't have a freaking cookie. Toughen the eff up. Stop complaining. This isn't hard. It is a minor bump in the road to get you to awesome.
For the love of all that is good and right, eat something! Something paleo, that is. Eat a lot of good fats. They keep you full. Drink bulletproof coffee (coffee with sizable hunks of unsalted grassfed butter (like Kerrgold) and coconut oil blended into it. It will make you perky, full and happy. (Don't drink it late in the afternoon or evening, or you'll mess up your sleep). After years of living with "low-fat" nonsense in packages from aisles of the grocery store where there is no actual food, you may have forgotten something: eating is the best way not to be hungry. So eat. Eat paleo food.
3. Always have paleo food prepared, with you, and ready to eat.
I have already written an entire post on this subject. It's really hard to get hungry when you have food with you. It's really hard to eat non-paleo food when you have paleo food with you. Or if you go and eat paleo food anyway in that circumstance, then..."Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion." (That's a Donnie Darko reference; if you don't get it, I am sad for you). Does that require further explanation?
4. Prepare a lot more than one meal's worth of food at a time.
You are cooking anyway. It doesn't take three times as long to cook three pounds of meat and veggies than it does to cook one pound. Live on leftovers. They rule.
5. Don't ever let me hear you say, "But I don't have any recipes!!!!"
Please. There are, give or take, approximately 800 gazillion "paleo recipes" on the internet. Find them. Better yet, don't. Instead, stand on top of your kitchen counter, naked if you choose, clutching your mug of bulletproof coffee, and loudly proclaiming, arms stretched toward the sky, "FUCK RECIPES!!!! I am just going to COOK SOMETHING DELICIOUS!!!!" Then leap down from the counter (careful, now...), throw some delicious meat into a pan with spices of your choice, cook it in its own fat (low heat will do this really well; it just takes a little longer, but it's good not to burn the bejeezus out of your food because... cancer), and add some veggies to cook with it toward the end of the whole deal. Boom. A meal. If you cooked a lot of meat and veggies, that would be many meals. That was easy, and fun.
6. Don't step on the scale.
Stop weighing yourself. Weight means nothing. Body composition (body-fat percentage) means a lot. But weight means nothing. How your clothes fit is *really* what matters. You are a CrossFitter. You lift heavy things. Lifting heavy things has the magical ability to make you thinner where you want to be thinner *and* denser in terms of muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat. There are documented cases of women going from a size 14 to a size 2 via paleo eating and heavy lifting and not losing a pound. Yes, you read that right. Not one pound. If those women got all weight-neurotic during that process, they would be sad and miserable. Instead, they got what trainer and paleo author Jason Seib calls "healthy by choice and hot by accident." Get away from the scale. It is an irrelevant tool used to caused neurosis, particularly in women, not a viable measurement of anything. Fight the power. Smash the scale.
7. Don't "cheat."
I have previously made it clear that I hate the word "cheat" as applied to food, but you all use it, so I will too, just this once, for clarity.
Remember why you are really doing this paleo challenge -- to detox your body from atrocious food choices that are wrecking your insides in ways that you can't currently even fully comprehend. Yeah, there are tons of great side benefits, and after a month of "paleo challenging," more beautiful people that you didn't even know cared will say nice things to you, perhaps even complimenting your butt, BUT (I did that on purpose)... all that stuff isn't why you are doing this. You are doing this, first and foremost, to detox. What happens if while "detoxing" from ANYTHING you pour back in some of the bad stuff? Well, durrrr, you just re-poisoned yourself and you are back at (or towards) Square One. Don't be a dope, OK?
That's all I have. Charge into this thing with enthusiasm. Yes, there may be mild moments of suckage. They will be dwarfed and rendered irrelevant by your future awesomeness.
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