CrossFit Bloomington-Normal is not just a place to work out. Our goal is to help you achieve the quality of life you desire. This journey all starts with the foods we eat. Whether you want to be a Firebreather or just want to be able to play with your grandchildren, we need to focus not only on exercise, but nutrition as well.
I’m sure you’ve heard people say that any sort of body transformation is impossible without a diet transformation. They’re right!! Now don’t get me wrong. If you decide to enter our halls of fitness, you will be able to increase your physical abilities and improve your physique just through an alteration in exercise methods. This progress will eventually stagnate, though. Anyone interested in continuously improving performance, health, and/or longevity (with freedom from degenerative disease) needs to focus ample energy on their food selection.
Our diet recommendations can loosely be classified as “the Paleo Diet.” We prefer the term lifestyle over diet, though, as the word diet’s connotation is short term. This method of eating is based on selecting the foods that our paleolithic ancestors would have likely eaten. The term “Paleolithic” refers to the Paleolithic Age, which is a formal time period from about 2,500,000 years ago to about 10,000 years ago. The premise is that during this time period our bodies genetically evolved as a result of this specific way of eating. We developed a genome that has changed only 0.01% since, while our food supply has shifted largely from that of hunter-gatherer cultures, to an agricultural-industrial complex. Food sources varied greatly from region to region, but the commonalities between the paleolithic food selections is what we’re interested in.
Eating a “Paleo Diet” free of grains, legumes and processed foods, all things that our bodies haven’t had time to adapt to, will help you make the most progress (physique and performance) in the shortest amount of time. The addage goes, “You get out of it what you put into it.” This holds true at CFBN, too. While this new lifestyle will be challenging at the beginning, the invigoration that our way of life will provide makes all the sacrifices and hard work well warranted.
So…what do we eat? In a broad sense: meat and vegetables are the cornerstone, along with healthy fats, roots, tubers and some fruit.
Eat with abandon: Meat, fowl, fish, seafood, eggs, vegetables, roots, tubers, bulbs, herbs and spices as well as animal fats, olives and olive oil, avocados and coconut (meat, oil, flour).
*Grass-fed/Pastured meats and animal fats, and wild caught fish are preferred, as well as organic and local vegetable sources. We understand budget constraints do exist, so do the best you can.
Limit: Nuts, seeds and fruit.
Better choices in the nut category include macadamias, cashews and hazelnuts. Almonds aren’t terrible. Seeds are generally rich sources of linoleic acid because they can be eaten in large quantities (the serving sizes are typically in the tablespoon to ¼-cup range and can be misleading). Sunflower and sesame seeds are terrible choices in the seed category. Soaking nuts prior to consumption is recommended but not necessary. Reduce the serving size if you are going to pick a fruit that has high metabolic fructose content. *As above, organic and local choices are the best.
• Cereal grains including all varieties of wheat (spelt, einkorn, emmer, durum), barley, rye, oats, triticale, corn (maize), rice (including wild rice), sorghum, millet, fonio, teff and legumes.
• Grain-like substances or pseudocereals including Amaranth, Breadnut, Buckwheat, Cattail, Chia, Cockscomb, Kañiwa, Pitseed Goosefoot, Quinoa and Wattleseed (aka aacacia seed). (Pseudocereals are the seeds of broad leaf plants, whereas grains are the seeds of grasses.)
How Much: The amounts of each macronutrient eaten (protein, carbohydrate, fat) will vary from person to person, depending on your background and what you hope to achieve. We’re more concerned with quality over quantity at the beginning. After becoming adept at your new way of eating, feel free to sit down with one of our coaches to develop a plan to fit your specific goals. By sticking to a broad and general prescription of a quality meat and vegetables and fat at each meal, you will set yourself up for great success.