Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Paleo and Me

(typed in December 2010, but placed here as I want the blog to be chronological)

It's pretty simple...fruit, vegetables, lean meats, nuts/seeds, seafood. That's it. That's my fuel, and as long as what I'm taking in is fuel, my body will process what I do at Crossfit on an optimal level. I've seen and read a lot of information about the workout not ending when you leave Crossfit. Without the nutritional component you basically cheat the intensity of the workout, and deprive your body of its ability to optimally recover, strengthen, hydrate, and nourish itself properly.

The super-basic premise of the diet is that for thousands of years the human body was genetically set up to run on the above food groups. Only in the past couple hundred years have we flipped the food equation in favor of processed carbohydrates. Grain-based diets have slowly but effectively brought our population's health to its knees. Paleo is a way to get the body back to its roots.

I'm now a month into combining Crossfit and Paleo, and I've made huge strides in my energy level. A few months back I was drilling my body daily with up to 4 cups of coffee...a very necessary amount to take me out of my lethargy. I'm already down to 1 cup every couple of days. My pants are loose and I feel great. I know I have a lifelong journey ahead of me, so I purposely haven't stepped on a scale or taken any measurements. It's quite pointless. For all I know I've gained weight with the amount of strength training I've been undergoing at Crossfit. But who the hell cares? I'm on my way to being as healthy as I've ever been...

I'm fortunate to have a Trader Joe's one block from my office. I stock up for the week on fruit and nuts, and I've been eating salads daily that usually combine meat like grilled chicken, buffalo or a turkey burger, and a healthy amount of greens. At first I was munching down the nuts almost all day long. It seems lately I've calmed down the snacking and I only go through a couple of handfuls a day.

It feels great to be back on the horse. I'm so excited about this significant life change...let's see where it takes us.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My "come to Crossfit" moment...

(typed in December 2010, but placed here as I want the blog to be chronological)

So back in the spring my buddy Scott in Miami starts telling me about this insane place where our buddy Gerson runs until he drops, works out with weights, and does handstand pushups...HANDSTAND PUSHUPS!! "WTF was he thinking" I thought to myself. I mean I was happy as a clam working out sometimes twice daily back then...doing up to an hour on the elliptical machine then fumbling my way through the circuit workout at Planet Fitness (i.e. a dance club with exercise machines near my home in NJ).

The months roll on and Scott keeps telling me about this place, called "Crossfit", where his daily workouts brutalize him into a pulp of heavy-breathing sweaty madness. I have to admit it was kind of annoying...every day he calls and tells me about these freakish workouts that have him doing ridiculous routines of high-rep, high-intensity exercises. Jesus dude, you're not in the army...take it down a notch!

Then I saw Rosemary's pictures...

I used to cross paths every once in a while with Rosemary Mackintosh, back when I had time to follow one of my favorite bands around the country. Then one night in October 2010 I came across a photo album on Facebook that showed pictures of "Crossfit Tribe". It clicked that this Crossfit was no fanatical Miami thing. This was an international movement, one that obviously had great impact on Rosemary, and maybe one I should contemplate for myself. I mean these people were RIPPED. How could I hope to ever keep up? But I think I knew almost immediately I had to at least try...

The best thing I ever did for myself was take the leap of faith to start "Elements", a set of introductory Crossfit classes at the "Black Box" - also known as Crossfit NYC. My elements classes were from October 25th to November 11th. After that I was hooked.

Since Elements ended I've been going 3-4 days a week, getting up at 4:00 AM so I can hop the 5:00 train to NYC. It's the only time of day that works for my schedule, and frankly I LOVE starting out my day with a heavy workout. Classes have been great and I think I might even be more addicted to Crossfit than my buddy Scott (who I have to thank for all of this).

The best thing about Crossfit is the supportive atmosphere. Everyone from the trainers to the other Crossfitters are always there to help me through the last few rounds of my workouts (naturally most of them have long completed theirs before I even hit the home stretch). Everybody answers questions, and there's a tangible shared excitement among everybody there.

As with any successful training program, there is a huge nutritional component that goes hand in hand with the exercise. I'm excited to have added the Paleo Diet to my daily regimen, a favorite among hardcore Crossfitters, and so far an absolutely amazing experience. I'll save those details for the next post though.

It's great to be here...much, much more to come...