Nutrition Habits

There are many different diets out there. The best one is the one that works for you. The best way to figure that out is to go all in, try them, and be consistent! Sometimes we need some help, sometimes we need some guidance,  and sometimes we need some additional education. One of the more popular diets today is the Paleo diet. Paleo has become synonymous with CrossFit and with good reason. CrossFit is about getting back to our roots with functional fitness,  and Paleo is about getting back to our roots with whole, unprocessed foods. With both, we are looking to be the best, most healthy version of ourselves.  

The Paleo diet is loosely defined as the ‘caveman’ diet,  but it is much more than that. This diet can be used for so many different reasons. It can help to manage diabetes, it can reduce with chronic inflammation, manage chronic digestive issues, and it can help you lose weight and reach fitness goals.  It is not a quick fad diet and through proper planning, can become a great guideline for a healthy lifestyle.

The Paleo Diet and Lifestyle is comprised of stripping down your current diet, replacing processed foods with healthier, more whole versions, and then reintroducing foods to see how they make you feel. There are of course certain guidelines. This includes but is not limited to no grains, no added sugars, no legumes, no dairy, and no processed foods. Many of these foods contain anti-nutrients which prevent the proper absorption of our macronutrients. They are also largely refined foods which can cause uncomfortable inflammation in our bodies. Some people even have food intolerances that they were not even aware of. After stripping down your diet, it is much easier to see how foods make you feel when you begin eating them again. As for the day to day lifestyle and way of eating with this diet, it is not generally necessary to count calories or macros on the Paleo Diet either, unless you are not seeing the benefits that you are working towards.  In general, you should be eating foods that give you all the nutrients you need, and in proper portions that will fill you up.

In order to make long standing changes in our life and fitness, we need to address our habits, and sometimes we need help in doing that. We can try to make changes here and there, but the truth is, how we do one thing, is how we do anything.  If you really take some time and dig into your life and habits, you can see this pattern. It can be very overwhelming at first to look at ourselves and even pick out which habits are detrimental to our health. But if we take it bit by bit and piece by piece and have the support that we need, we can make those changes one by one.  Eventually, one day we can look back and see that we have taken ourselves to a place that we never imagined we could get to. The Paleo Diet, especially in the beginning, can really strip down our personal nutrition practices, help unveil those hidden habits, and with proper planning and support, we can put a plan into place to replace those habits, with new healthier ones which will benefit us in the long run.  

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Nutrition: Balance, not Deprivation

Nutrition is an especially broad topic and something that is often misunderstood.  The more you hear about all the different diets and eating strategies that exist, the more confusing it may become.  We all have the general knowledge that nutrition is the key to leading a healthy lifestyle. We all know some of the basics, like broccoli is healthier than chocolate cake for example.

So why do so many people have such a bad relationship with their nutrition?  

Not surprisingly, it is because there is a lot of misinformation out there as well as a ton of clever marketing which can confuse what is healthy and what is not.  It also seems like there is a different new ‘superfood’ in the news weekly and a new fad diet just as often. If you add in some stress due to daily life and lack of cooking time, then dinner becomes greasy take out as your head is spinning about what is actually good for you?!

A couple of days in this pattern a week, 52 weeks a year, and our waistlines expand, our wallets get light, and we can even start to develop chronic medical conditions.  No wonder we start to get overwhelmed and give up.

Going forward, what we need to know are the basics about what is nutritious.  We also need to learn HOW to integrate healthy eating into our lives, without feeling deprived and then falling back into our old habits.

Nutrition is essential to leading a healthy lifestyle, but balance is truly the key.  Without proper nutrition, our bodies would not be able to perform, repair, or sustain our lives.  But without balance, we lose the point of maintaining proper health – which is being able to ENJOY our lives!  People sometimes shy away from learning how to consume a healthy diet. It is easy to assume that eating healthy leads to a boring life where you have to swear off all the delicious foods that you love.  But, when starting to learn how to eat healthier foods, it is more important to learn about BALANCE and MODERATION at first. Especially when a person’s diet is heavy with processed foods and sugar vs whole foods and nutrient dense options.

Food deprivation can cause a person to feel like they are being punished.  Then they reward themselves for eating a salad for lunch by eating pizza and ice cream for dinner.  Nutrition should not be viewed as a reward/punishment system. Instead the perception of our individual nutrition needs to be viewed as a means of keeping ourselves healthy so that we may continue to enjoy what life has to offer, and to feel good living it!

If we maintain proper nutrition consistently, then it is okay to have that cookie, or that slice of pizza on occasion.  We simply need to make sure that when we have the option to choose something healthy during our next meal, that is the option we go for.  Our nutrition should not be viewed as a fad and we should not consider ourselves as ‘being on a diet’ in our day to day lives. Proper nutrition and good balance is necessary to help maintain a healthy life every single day both inside and outside of the gym.  Once we gain a good general understanding of what moderation and balance is, then we can actually start to take our nutrition a step further and see how we can use it to increase our performance or change our body composition – which can be a very exciting process!

Whether you are looking for some motivation, need to learn how to make healthier food choices, or want to take your performance to the next level, we want to make this all easier to understand so that everybody is able to maintain a healthy lifestyle, feel their best, and unlock their potential at Chimney Rock CrossFit!

Look out for more nutrition blogs as we dive into the elements of food choice for body composition and performance.

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