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Spouse not paleo?

The trials and tribulations of making a lifestyle change with a loved one who's not quite on board.

5.28.2011

The Quest for Fire, Food, & Fitness Part 1


Since my new year's resolution which started at the beginning of the year (and really not until I joined Crossfit in February), I've had an incredible change in lifestyle.  At first, I endeavored to do all sorts of things, from learning Spanish, to improving at Jiu Jitsu.  "Getting in shape" is as cliche a New Year's resolution as one can have, but I believed.  I mean, if Jared can do it, why can't I?  

Now, to preface this post, I was under no illusions that I was morbidly obese, but I was certainly far from the trim figure I wanted to be.  At a 35" waist, 5'9" frame I was leaning chubby. (my fiance insists that I wasn't.)  However, a 35" waist, along with a hiatal hernia, poor blood labs, and labored breathing were NOT okay.  SO...my search for fitness (and more importantly health) began.  

I started by doing some research and came across "Crossfit", "P90X", "Insanity", as well as the many other hundreds of over-priced fitness programs on the market today.  I looked more closely at the philosophy behind the differing programs, and realized that Crossfit was going to be the best fit for my lifestyle and needs.  Because I didn't JUST want to look good naked.  I also wanted to perform and feel better.  I wanted "HEALTH" and not just "aesthetics", 2 very different goals.  

I googled a Crossfit gym near my house, attended the intro and 2 classes, and I was hooked.  I was well on my way!  Or was I?  Results didn't seem to come very quickly, especially in terms of aesthetics.  I was and am still a bit hampered by the hiatal hernia, but that wasn't the entire story.  My body was not "right".  I just knew it and had a feeling.  In hindsight, I now realize that I was metabolically deranged, and on my way to living a much shorter life than I ever imagined.  

I remember very distinctly having a conversation with one of my trainers, and mentioned to him that I was really wanting to get leaner (and not just bulk up).  I told him I felt I had to work harder, lift more, attend more, to which he interjected: "Don't forget about diet."  I remembered thinking how poignant, yet profound that statement seemed to be at the time.  It was obvious, but elusive.  Just the epiphany for which I was looking!  And then suddenly the search for the ideal diet was on.

Another very important comment I remember hearing was "Well, in order for a diet to truly work, you'd have to be on it for the rest of your life right?"  That little gem came from doctor I know.  While he and I differ in nutritional philosophy (he's fully ingrained in the standard food pyramid myth of high grains, low fat), the point is still a good one.  Dieting typically is a temporary endeavor.  One gets on it, gets lean, and falls off the wagon.  I was looking for the ever cliche "Lifestyle Change". (Cue dramatic music).  This is why I cringe at the words "Paleo Diet."  The term adds a certain hokey factor to the whole thing.  And the word "diet" conjures images of the Atkins, Liquid, and Garth Brooks Juice Diets.

In my past, diet was rarely an adjustment I made.  Even when I was in pretty decent shape, I was always of the opinion that a poor diet could be managed with longer hours in the gym, and more minutes on the treadmill.  I recall saying to folks, "I work out, so that I may enjoy eating anything I want."  Wow, how wrong I was.

C'mon donks, we can all say it together:  "Fitness is 10% exercise, and 90% diet."  I'm telling you, spending 4 hours per day in the gym and eating lots of carbs is like...well...eating candy and taking insulin.  Stupid, and doesn't get you anywhere.  I might even add that diet is more than 90%.  So why is this way of eating any different?   More about this in my next post.

To Be Continued....


.  

5.13.2011

Over training, Robb Wolf, Mark Sisson, and Crossfitting responsibly



So, lately I've been battling with the amount of training I'm supposed to be doing.  According to Robb Wolf and Mark Sisson, over-training results in increased cortisol and thus metabolic derangement which leads to belly fat, and fitness regression.  Then, there's the issue of "chronic cardio" and it's affects on the vasculature.

There's tons of research, evidence, and anecdotal evidence that chronic cardiovascular exercise results in inflammatory processes and atherosclerosis.  Many endurance athletes counterintuitively suffer from heart attack and stroke due to the stress and thrombotic nature of long distance, intensive, and chronic cardiovascular exercise, namely marathon type running.

So what's a crossfitter to do?

I've been limiting my crossfitting to 2-3 times per week, and doing more slow-paced exercise, namely strength training, during the days in between crossfit days.  This is hard to do...but I think better for my long-term health.  I WANT to go to crossfit 4-5 times per week.  But reading Mark and Robb tends to make me think that I should keep my time there dialed way down.  Issue with that is, I'm very competitive, and I'm not making performance gains on my classmates.

How will this affect me?  I'll keep you all informed.

5.08.2011

Paleo Spaghetti and Jalapeno Meatballs using Spaghetti Squash and Bison.

Okay, one caveat here.  This recipe is MONEY if you use ground beef.  Bison?  Not so much.  It's okay, but as a ground meat Bison's real value is as a hamburger.  (where it's really good)  But as a meatball, the gaminess (which many will tell you doesn't exist) interferes with the sauce.

I recommend doing this recipe with ground grass fed beef instead.  (Ah, the mighty cow reigns supreme)

Spaghetti squash whole.  
Poke holes with a knife, and microwave for 14 minutes. (Easiest way)  Let stand for 8+ minutes lest you end up in the burn unit.  Spaghetti squash can kill you if opened too soon as it's contents somehow manage to defy the laws of thermodynamics and elevate to temperatures hotter than the core of the sun.

De-seed and core the halved squash.  For tutorial go here:  http://www.ehow.com/video_2346671_deseeding-squash-spaghetti-squash-casserole.html

Dice up some jalapenos

Bison...great for burgers, just "okay" for meatballs.  I prefer grass fed organic beef in it's stead.  I promise the difference is worth it.  It makes this recipe a 10 if you do so.

Bacon, the official meat-condiment!
Fry and leave grease in pan.  Crumble in to fine pieces.  Don't over-cook, so that you can give the bacon some cookablity in the meatballs.  (But cook enough to be able to crumble)  You're not stupid, you can do this.  
Place crumbles in to meat along with jalapenos.

Squish up and mix..use your primal hands caveman!

Roll in to balls, you pick the size.  Place in to pan that has been heated to medium heat, remember, the bacon grease is already in there.  Don't leave in one place too long, or they flatten.  Roll often, till browned all over.
The bacon grease makes it so you don't need to add water as some may do...  
Bacon grease...mmmMMmmm...


Add sauce, let cook covered for another 20 minutes or so on medium-LOW heat...(depends on how cooked they are from frying and how big the balls are)  

Plate your spaghetti squash.  Add butter.
“With enough butter, anything is good.” Julia Child


Add sauce (i had an extra piece of bacon I put on top)
Add cheese.

Enjoy!  It's good!


Here's an example of the spaghetti squash in motion to show how it is spins on a fork.  It's not that similar to noodles, but good..with a bit of a different bite.  Very fulfilling and very yummy.  

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