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WEEK 3!! Congrats to everyone who has made a conscious effort to improve your nutrition in 2010.

More than a few people have shared that their clothes fit better, they have more energy, sleep better, do not feel controlled by food cravings, and haven’t experienced the mood crashes due to blood sugar peaks and valleys. Well done!!

Remember it takes 21 days to form a habit…and we’re going for 30…and we’d love you to keep at it! The word diet originates from the Greek root word meaning “way of life”. Our hope is that you view the changes you’ve made as a necessary element to a healthy lifestyle…for life…not a temporary fix!

*The topic of diet soda as a tool to satisfy a sweet craving comes up often in the gym. We all have some diet soda now and then…but here are a few things to be aware of when considering your options. We’re all aware of the potential harmful effects of artificial sweeteners, but beyond that, there is also a physiological response to artificial sweeteners that won’t necessarily help you reach your weight loss goals. Andrew Weil’s response to this question sums it up pretty well: “I’m not a fan of sugar substitutes. They don’t help you lose weight- in fact, I think it’s even possible that they contribute to weight gain. One theory poses that because artificial sweeteners can be 200 to 700 times as sweet as natural sugar, consuming them may interfere with your ability to judge natural sweetness….besides, artificial sweeteners are often added to highly processed, unhealthy foods…that don’t add any nutritional value.”

Robb Wolf states that your body’s physiological response to the sweet taste of the artificial sweetener is to release insulin in anticipation of sugar ingestion. I’ve also read that many diet sodas are made with distilled water…so not only are there harmful chemicals, no nutritional value, and the possibility of producing unnecessary insulin, but the distilled water also pulls essential minerals from your body. Hansens diet soda is made with filtered water and less chemicals so in terms of soda it can be a better choice...Yes,we are also suckers for Coke Zero once in a while…but we try to practice moderation…it’s a good rule to follow.

A quick read on the glycemic index from the lates Paleo Diet Update by Prof. Loren Cordain:

The Glycemic Index

The glycemic index, originally developed in 1981, is a relative comparison of the blood sugar (glucose) raising potential of various foods or combination of foods based upon equal amounts of carbohydrate in the food. In 1997, the concept of glycemic load (a food’s glycemic index ranking multiplied by the carbohydrate content per serving size) was introduced to assess a food’s blood glucose raising potential based upon both the quality and quantity of dietary carbohydrate.

Refined grain and sugar products nearly always maintain much higher glycemic loads than unprocessed fruits and vegetables.

For people interested in losing weight, the importance of the glycemic index and load is that the blood sugar response is closely related to the insulin response. An exception to this general rule is dairy products, which exhibit low glycemic indices and loads, but paradoxically elicit high insulin responses similar to white bread. So when you eat a bowl of cheerios for breakfast, not only do the cheerios raise your blood sugar and insulin levels perilously, but the milk raises your blood insulin levels even further.

Hundreds of scientific studies completed over the past decade show that high glycemic index carbohydrates cause hormonal and blood chemistry changes that increase the appetite and promote weight gain. That’s why you need to stick to low-glycemic foods if you want to lose weight.

This is a post I read over the summer, Where are the Healthy Whole Grains, from PaNu.

" 'I can’t get enough of this awesomeness. By far my favorite snackaroo. If I’m not paying attention I will polish off a box of these babies in one sitting.' - grain enthusiast #1

'Yum! I feel so healthy eating these.' -grain enthusiast #2

These are actual comments posted by aficionados of Kashi 7-Grain crackers - the hippest vegan food accessory extant since Starbucks started closing stores.

When I propose the extirpation of grains from the diet, the question everyone asks is 'what about the healthy whole grains...how can you say not to eat them?'. "

Read on...


I'll start this weeks report by talking about the end of last week. I spent the last 5 days up in Tahoe visiting family, snowboarding, and relaxing. The hardest part of the trip was definitely remaining on Paleo but luckily I succeeded pretty well I think.

I ate my typical breakfast each morning of Eggs/Avocado/Fruit and was able to have a very Paleo dinner each night of either Steak, Pork Tenderloin, or Chicken and some veggies. The mid-day meals consisted of 2 X-Large Paleo kits and 2 Larabars spaced throughout the day. The result was that I probably upped my card intake to about 150g/day for the trip so that's not too bad. While I do love Paleo kits and they are perfect for the road, the salt content and glycemic response from the dried fruit in them are a bit higher than I'd like so eating 2/day for 5 days was a bit much but overall way better than deviating from Paleo.

I'm really looking forward to this week of training/nutrition since I can now get back to running and should be able to do a full week of training incorporating all 3 sports for the Triathlon (still subbing rowing for swimming for another week or two.) Also I've been cleared to do more exercises in the gym including some Presses, albeit with low weight.

Roxanne - I did eliminate dairy from the diet for this month, I'm not sure if I'm going to reincorporate it afterwards but for the time being it's cut. I am also feeling fine with the 100g carbs/day however we'll see how that feels after this week of intense Endurance WODs.

Speaking of Carb intake for Endurance training, I finished reading The Paleo Diet for Athletes by Loren Cordain and Joel Friel (sp?) on my trip and it was incredibly insightful with respect to Endurance nutrition using a Paleo approach both during training and racing. One thing I am kinda skeptical about is the recommendation that 50-60% of your daily calories should be coming from carbs depending on the training season. Even though these calories are coming from Paleo sources it still seems incredibly high. While I was at the Endurance Cert Brian MacKenzie described being able to get down to 100g carbs/day and still perform excellently for endurance races. Robb Wolf's latest podcast has a discussion about this very subject so I'm gonna listen to that today at some point and see what his take is. I'd rather not up my carb intake that high but if it'll help with training I may have to.

Nice post, Brian. Yes, my understanding of Robb Wolff's take on carbs for endurance/athletes is to continue carb reduction but increase the fats in direct proportion. i.e. sub at about a 3 to 1 ratio. Carbs comprise about 24% to 30% of my daily diet right now and I feel great. I've always been a little surprised that Cordain increases the carbs so significantly for endurance,etc...I've somewhat ignored his recommendations and gone with Wolf's on that...that's why I was wondering if you'd kept dairy in your diet. We'd love to hear your thoughts after listening to Rob's podcast.

Here's an interesting article on the Omaga-3s and building muscle:


A small win for me the last few weeks has been giving up Zone bars again. They were my downfall September through December...we were busy and it was far too easy to grab one on the go. "Nutrition bars" in general are not that healthy- added sugars, carbs, and in some cases partially hydrogenated oils or vegetable oils. The problem is we use them to replace a meal or snack but they don't truly satisfy our hunger so we end up eating more than we anticipated...the sugar/carbs illicit that insulin response we are trying to avoid. It's best not to rely on bars for snacks/meals too often.

With the cold weather this week...lots of legumes in chilis and soups...but still cutting out the sugar, grains and most dairy- I did have some cheats- tortilla chips with chili and a Starbucks muffin on Monday...but overall a good week. Feels great to have the sugar out of my system again.

I've been looking into distilled water- the benefits vs. the negatives...a little hard to find unbiased info on it. Drinking distilled water pulls the toxins from your body. However, if you drink it too regularly it can also pull some essential nutrients... if you're not eating a varied healthy diet...still looking into it!

This Robb Wolf post includes a few tools you might find useful:

*food log
*shopping list/instructions -he rants a little =)...but I love that he takes nutrition seriously
*Example of a 10-block Zone Day
*Example of a 16-block Zone Day


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