Congratulations! You’ve just completed 30 days of eating healthy, whole foods. I’m sure you’ve gotten positive results from doing it. Now here’s the sneaky part that I didn’t let on when I proposed this challenge...
Stick to it. I dare you.
That’s right, I want to see you keep eating clean so that you continue to make your body as healthy as it can possibly be.
Quick story, the first time I did a 30 day Paleo challenge, was when a couple of people I knew that owned gym’s (Melissa Urban and Colin McGarty) issued the challenge to their clients, so I figured I’d jump on board and give it a shot. I planned my 30 days and it so happened that at the end of the 30 days I was going to be at a friends beach house the first day after the challenge was over. So my plan was to be really strict for the whole 30 day challenge and then on the day after just chow down on everything in my path, particularly non-paleo foods. It also happened that I was going to take CrossFit Kettlebell Certification again during that time, and Melissa Urban was going to be there as well. I told her that I was doing the 30 day challenge and that I was doing really well thing were working the way they were supposed to. When I told her that I planned to totally go crazy at the end of the 30 days, Melissa looked at me with a look that said “Are you !@#$% serious”, then only asked me a simple question that I really didn’t have a good answer for.
I though to myself, “good question, I don’t really know”!
What was the point of learning to shop and eat healthy, feel better, perform better and look better, to simply go back to doing the things that made me feel worse, perform worse and look worse? Was I doing this as an exercise in discipline, to see if I could last for 30 whole days, what was the point? I’ve always hated “quick weightloss” schemes, so that wasn’t the reason. Now I’m the kind of person that doesn’t necessarily like to take correction or have my plans questioned once my mind is made up, but that question nagged at me all the way up until I went to my friends beach house where TONS of non-paleo, rubbish food was available at my fingertips. Then as I was looking at everything there was to eat, I asked myself, “Why?” and I made up my mind right then that paleo eating was going to be the way I eat all the time. I did have a beer and a handful of potato chips at my friends house that day, but the rest of my eating day was spent hovering around the grill for the chicken and steak that was brought out and the lone veggie tray that only a couple of folks indulged in.
So what does this have to do with you? If you’re planning to go back to eating lots of bad food and plan to burn it down then I’m going to ask you the question Melissa asked me. Why? If you’ve successfully made it through 30 days eating Paleo food and have had good results, does it make any sense to change from that?
Now, the idealist in me wants to say, it’s all happy, and easy to stay away from bad food choices after the 30 days is up, and we’ll all eat perfectly clean all the time. While it’s much easier, the realist in me knows there are still lots of temptations lurking out there. I don’t expect you to be perfect every day all the time, but remember, eating Paleo has brought you good results, so if you eat clean 80-90% of the time you’ll still get a majority of the good results. Try to eat clean all the time, know that a cheat is a cheat(no way to make a cheat healthy) and keep them to a minimum and you’ll do well.
We are only as strong as our weakest link! I’ve seen and heard of this issue many times, people can’t seem to turn their “weight room” strength into “real life” strength. I’ve talked about it before and I’ll continue to harp on it until everyone is turning their weight room strength into functional ability. There are countless examples of athletes that are monsters in the weight room but on the field of play they just can’t seem to take their 500# squat and out play the the person with only a 350# squat! Those athletes have a weak link somewhere that’s hindering them from performing to their full capability. One glaring example of a weak link is grip-strength, we’ve all experienced times in the workout when our hands just don’t feel like they can hold the kettlebell or the bar any longer and occasionally the kettlebell has gone flying back behind our legs if our hand gets too tired. The reason it’s the weak link is that our legs/back/shoulders can handle more reps or load but that one part just can’t take any more so we don’t finish training to our full ability. While it’s kind of sucks to not be able to finish a workout because of a weak link, it is good to have it exposed so that we can work on turning them into strengths.
Recipe is from LeanMachineNYC.com
A dozen eggs
Chopped cooked meat
Splash of water (for fluffiness)
Salt & Pepper
You'll also need:
A non-stick muffin tin
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Chop a variety of vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, asparagus, roasted red peppers, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, etc. Anything you have on hand will work.
If you choose to use meat, such as bacon, cook it first.
Break the eggs into a pitcher. Add a splash of water and season with salt and pepper. Mix well.
Pour a small amount of the egg mixture into the muffin tin (fill each about 1/3 full). Sprinkle the meat and vegetables of your choice into the tin and then cover with more egg mixture.
Cook for 15-20 minutes and then let them rest for 5 minutes before removing from the tin.
For more recipes, and The Paleo Cookbooks,
check out PaleoDietRecipes.net
I don’t know about you, but often when I have a dream or desire to accomplish something, I see how I want the end result to be. Currently, a small goal is to be able to do 80 snatches per hand without stopping, using a 20 kilo kettlebell inside of 10 minutes. I see myself finishing the set putting the kettlebell down and I can already imagine how good it will feel when I get done, even though I haven’t really done it yet. However in reality I’m currently able to 56 snatches per hand. When I have these goals and I can picture the outcome, I often forget about the path it takes to get there, I just kind of want it to happen because it’s something I want. In the past when I’ve decided to go after these goals, I’d start on the path and as soon as the obstacles started popping up and it started to get hard, I’d simply give up that dream and look for the next one that was hopefully easier without obstacles. Well, it took me a long time and it’s still not natural for me to do, I understand that if I have a dream, desire or goal that I have to not only be willing to overcome the obstacles on the path to achieving them, I have to be eager to overcome the obstacles.
Take home; when it comes to fitness the obstacles that are in our way make us have to come out of our comfort zone and sometimes way out of our comfort zone. While a very few people actually enjoy straining to accomplish a lift, or bringing their heart rate up to a place where they feel like it’s going to explode (it won’t, don’t worry). Most of us don’t get out of bed in the morning and say “Wow, I can’t wait to do a tabatas workout and be out of breath today”. But you know what your fitness goals are and to get there the obstacle of getting out of breath is in your way. You’re going to face it, hit your workout with 100% of your ability and get one step closer to making your dream a reality!
So we’re around day 18-19 of our 30 Day Paleo Challenge. Way to go!! I wish I could say it would be all downhill easy from here, but you’ve probably started to notice some heavy duty cravings creeping in. That is normal, when you cut out sugary/grainy carbohydrate your body will go through withdrawals. The cravings will subside though! So be tough, don’t give up or give in!
Keep some Paleo friendly food close by so that when you’re getting tempted by the dark side, you can stave it off with something beneficial.
Also, don’t go shopping while you’re craving something non-Paleo! That is one of the easiest ways to drop off the wagon.
Keep up the good fight!
How are you handling your cravings?
Today's Post is from Ian Fergusson a member of Granite State Kettlebells, kick butt athlete and writer!
In New England, we get to live with the benefits of all four seasons. Unfortunately, we also get to live with their idiosyncrasies. I can’t remember ever being at another place where in winter it can snow a foot, warm up and turn to mush, and three hours later be frozen solid crust. If it’s not shoveling your driveway that kills you it’ll be shoveling your elderly neighbor’s. Kinda like Mother Nature has her own color kettlebell: white (sometimes dirt brown).
The good news for us is that as it turns out, a lot of the same techniques and skills we’ve been using for efficiency and strength improvement also work in real life situations; like the snow this week. Functional fitness at it’s finest. See, there are other ‘f-words’ that kettlebells inspire.
I saw a guy shoveling on Wednesday night after work, knees locked, back rounded, throwing snow over his shoulder in an upward twisting motion. Classic mistake.
By locking his knees, he isolated his quads and calves while simultaneously straining his lower back, lats and shoulders. Anybody can tell you after doing this once that it’s not a very comfortable way to take care of the yard work. I can hear Dan yelling, “Straighten up that back!” already.
Keeping a straight back and square shoulders and dumping it rather than throwing it can make the task much healthier. For the people unsure of how to shovel, the ehow.com tutorial
The benefits go much farther than your driveway; it’s estimated that 1200 people a year die from heart attacks while shoveling. Being more fit and healthy never hurt anybody, especially in New England during the harshest time of year.
So on those snowy days where a night in the powder is worth two in the office, just remember to stay square and strong before Tasmanian deviling into the white banks (sometimes dirt brown).
This chicken rub turned out to be awesome! I don't remember where I found it, but I changed it a bunch because I didn't have several of the original ingredients.
The way I used it was just to sprinkle it generously on some chicken tenders and grill them.
5 tablespoons chili powder
3 tablespoons ground cumin
3 tablespoons ground tumeric
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon allspice
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground basil
Eating Paleo can be tough and because of what we’ve learned in school and continually hear in the many forms of media. But I recently read a pretty cool quote, it’s a comment from Robb Wolf’s website
, Mr. Wolf was giving a review of an awesome book called the Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson
:“I read Mark’s book a year ago and am reading yours now Robb and I am glad to see so much overlap. It makes me feel somehow safer in all this knowledge (even though I am looking, feeling and performing better) – as though it is not some kind of great mistake.”
In the midst of looking, feeling and performing better because we’re fueling our bodies properly we can still be made to question if what we’re doing is a good way to go. TV shows, and other mainstream media like Dr. Oz promote “healthy” whole grains, vegetarians and the food guide pyramid are telling us how bad animal fat is and that it’ll kill us.
The first time I did a 30 day Paleo Challenge I was put to the test all the time. I was eating right and starting to get results and when I’d tell someone about it, they would usually say that it wasn’t good, there was too many calories, there was too much fat, if you don’t have grain your brain won’t get enough fuel from carbohydrate. Fortunately I was able to keep going through the 30 days and came out the other side being leaner, feeling better and performing better.
As you see your results coming, and when people around you see what you’re eating, you’ll probably get questions and maybe some criticism. Keep strong though, you’ll be better because of it!
Have you had any questions about eating Paleo?
Definition of Intensity:
n pl -ties
1. the state or quality of being intense
2. extreme force, degree, or amount
This post goes with the post about the workouts being tough that I posted on Monday. Something that is unfortunately all too common at the big box gyms is someone will do one moderate set of an exercise then start talking on the phone or their buddies, there’s really no pushing hard just kind of going through the motions. One of the major things that hold many people back from attaining their fitness goals is a lack of intensity in their training. While the workouts here at GSKB generally have some level of intensity built in to them, it’s totally possible to dial the intensity way down.
Side note: All of you folks that are training here at GSKB, I’m not talking about you, you kick butt!!
By training intensely I mean doing more reps in the allotted time, doing the assigned reps faster, or with more weight, or both if it applies. Training the way we do requires a different mind set than doing things like long distance running or cycling or even kettlebell sport. Where in those activities the point is developing a pace and maintaining it until the end. The mind set we need to get to is developing better technique, and using that technique to move faster and to be able to move more weight. What will happen is that as your intensity increases, your results will improve.
There is a downside to training with intensity. There is too much of a good thing. What might be intense for one will simply cause injury to someone else. Some of us joke about training to the point of throwing up, while it won’t kill you, getting to that point isn’t the end goal of a workout. This is where the post relates to Mondays post. You need to test the limits of ‘your’ discomfort and when you find that what your doing is comfortable, it’s time to up the intensity.
Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore
· 6 bone-in chicken breast thighs
· 1 (28 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce (with NO sugar—we recommend Bove’s marinara, which you can find at Hannaford's or Shaw's or make your own with a can of diced tomatoes and a can of tomato paste)
· 2 green bell pepper, seeded and cubed
· 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
· 1 onion, finely diced
· 2 tablespoons minced garlic
· 1 Tbs. chopped basil
· 2 Tbs. chopped parsley
1. Brown the chicken on both sides in a skillet with olive oil first.
2. Put the chicken in the slow cooker. Top with the spaghetti sauce, green bell peppers, mushrooms, onion, and garlic.
3. Cover, and cook on Low for 7 to 9 hours.