The Skinny on Nutrition
In CrossFit we talk about the Theoretical Hierarchy of Development of an athlete. In other words, what are the fundamental components of the development of athletic performance and what is their relative influence. If you click on the link above (scroll to the bottom of page 8) you will see a pyramid diagram with Nutrition as its base. What we eat from day to day has a profound impact on the hormonal balance in our body. And since pretty much everything our body does is under hormonal control, you have the power to influence your ability to perform at work, at school, at the gym, and on the field, simply by making the right choices about the food you eat.
What is the Paleo Diet?
The Paleo Diet was developed by Loren Cordain, PHD, a professor of Health & Exercise Science at CSU. The concept (briefly) was to tailor our diets to the food sources that were available during Paleolithic times (think Hunter/Gatherer). In the CrossFit community, this make sense. Our fitness program is based on the kind of movements humans needed for survival from the dawn of man until technology basically eliminated our requirement to move. If we are going to exercise like Neanderthals, maybe we should be eating like them too (table manners aside, of course). To do this we need to remove all processed foods, including grains, as well as dairy and beans. Sugar is also off the table. There is extensive literature on why these foods are not good for us. We will include resources below.
What is the Zone diet?
The Zone was developed by Dr. Barry Sears in an attempt to stave off a familial predisposition to heart disease. To date it has worked. The concept of the Zone is to monitor and rigidly balance the macronutrient (protein, carbohydrate, & fat) content in our diet to keep the hormonal influences of these substances in check. Based on gender, body composition, and activity level, a specific “block” formula is derived for each individual to simplify the task of balancing macronutrients on a meal by meal basis.
Which one is right for me?
Ideally, both. To utilize the Paleo prescription within the Zone parameters would give you the best of both worlds. But quality of life, amount of free time, and degree of investment in total health and fitness will determine how far towards “ideal nutrition” each person is willing to go. Any of these options is better than the standard American diet and that is a great place to start. Come and talk to us and we will help you find that path that is right for you.