Alright booty campers, it’s about that time to dial in on nutrition! I know many of you have been anxiously anticipating the details and criteria for the upcoming Paleo challenge, so here it is!

I realize that Paleo eating, despite being a trendy buzz in the fitness and Crossfit community, still may be a complete mystery to a lot of you, so before I go into the details of the Boot Camp Paleo Challenge, here’s a little snapshot of what the Paleo Diet consists of:

The modern dietary regimen known as the Paleolithic diet, also popularly referred to as the caveman diet, Stone Age diet and hunter-gatherer diet, is a nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various human species habitually consumed during the Paleolithic era—a period of about 2.5 million years duration that ended around 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture. Centered on commonly available modern foods, the “contemporary” Paleolithic diet consists mainly of grass-fed pasture raised meats, fish, vegetables, fruit, roots, and nuts, and excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar, and processed oils.

Damn, you bored yet? I’ll spare you my take on why Paleo eating is a wildly effective way to improve your body composition, lose body fat and make HUGE performance gains in the gym. If you want to go ahead and geek out on the science, it’s really interesting stuff, at least to us fitness geeks. A great place to start if you want some more scientific background is by reading The Paleo Diet by Dr. Loren Cordain and/or The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf, which is a more modern-day version of Paleo eating.

If nutritional science doesn’t interest you, then all you need to worry about for the challenge is eating meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, and some oils. If you take nothing else away from this, stick to those 6 things for your food selections and you’ll be on the right track. For the most part, if it has a mom, or you can grow it from a seed, it’s open game!

There are a few foods that fall into that gray area…deli meats, bacon, sweet potatoes, yams, honey, agave nectar, “paleo” desserts and a few others. I won’t argue with anyone as to whether they are actually Paleo friendly, suffice it to say that these shouldn’t be your go-to foods if you want to see major changes in the coming months. The way this challenge will be structured, you can get away with selecting these foods in moderation.

So how will the challenge work?

The challenge will begin on January 9th and will run through March 9th. Now, before you go planning your attack to hunt me down for ruining your Winter ski trips, hear me out on the details.

The challenge will simply involve sticking to pure Paleo eating as much as possible, no one will be “penalized” for occasional cheating or eating outside the Paleo pyramid. Unlike our last challenge, we won’t be using a negative point system every time you slip up.

So how will I know if you’re not sticking to the plan? Quite honestly, I won’t. The goal of this challenge is to get you thinking about making better nutritional choices and integrating the Paleo plan as part of a permanent lifestyle change. It will give everyone the chance to experience how it can positively impact your overall energy level and your performance in the gym. To hold everyone to a strict 30 day plan with penalties just reinforces a lack of permanence, and no one will really benefit from temporary Paleo eating in the long run. Furthermore, perfection isn’t necessarily important in this challenge. If you eat 200 grams of sugar a day right now and by the end of the challenge, you’re eating 50 grams and are starting to make performance gains, then who cares if you slipped up a few times? That’s not the objective of this challenge!

That said, I encourage everyone to use a buddy system that works for them for extra accountability. Nutrition logging works great for some people and knowing that you have to show your log to one of your fellow athletes can help keep you on track (I’m happy to be your personal enforcer on this). If that doesn’t work for you, find something that does. The point is, be accountable to yourself! The “how to” is completely up to you as an individual.

How will the winner of the challenge be determined?

This is a performance-based challenge, so you will complete a benchmark workout on Wednesday and will be re-tested in two months. We will compare the data on your overall output for Wednesday’s workout with March’s re-test, and the athlete with the highest percentage increase will win the challenge. The final analysis of performance improvements will also take into account your rank for the workouts compared to the rest of the athletes. Without boring you with the details, this is simply a way to account for anyone who sandbags the first workout to show an inflated increase in 60 days.

There will be sweet prizes for the first and second place athletes. Not gonna let the cat out of the bag on what they are, but they’re pretty awesome!!

I had originally planned to make body fat assessments a part of the challenge and factor that into determining the winner. I decided against doing that, as it’s not necessarily everyone’s goal to lose body fat and there are some athletes that really shouldn’t lose any additional body fat from where they are now. That said, I still want to offer before and after body fat assessments for anyone who is interested. It’s a really nice gauge of your improvements as an athlete, so come see me (Coach Chad) if you’re interested. I’ll be using a 4-point skinfold assessment, which isn’t 100% accurate, but is effective in showing gains and losses over time.

What are the best resources science on Paleo eating and recipes?

Glad you asked! There are a million of them out there, but here are some go-to sites:

www.robbwolf.com
www.paleoplan.com
www.thefoodee.com
www.health-bent.com
www.whole9life.com/ (resources tab has some paleo blogs)
www.theclothesmakethegirl.com/
www.chowstalker.com/
www.marksdailyapple.com/
everydaypaleo.com/
www.civilizedcavemancooking.com/
balancedbites.com/
www.catalyst-meals.com (a great local resource for Paleo delivered right to Trident, thanks to Patrick Smith and Robert Morton)

These all range in content from nutritional science and biochemistry to functional Paleo eating tips to Paleo recipes. Many of these sites also have links to other Paleo blogs and educational articles. The resources are endless.

Your other best resources are right in your own gym! You can ask any of the coaches for nutritional guidance that matches up with your own individual goals. We’re all pretty well versed in nutrition, so don’t be afraid to ask any of us if you have questions. We’re in the biz of changing lives, so don’t be shy!

Hope everyone is ready to kick some ass over the next 60 days!


Rumor has it that these bars are a bit crumbly but boy are they delicious!

Thanks www.elanaspantry.com

gluten free breakfast bars

These hearty breakfast bars remind me of a granola bar or an omega-3 packed power bar.  They’re filling and tasty.

After I made a batch of these and was waiting for them to cool before cutting and stylizing them for a “photo shoot,” my younger son proudly taunted me that he had picked out all of the raisins from the top of the bars.

Needless to say, I was quite miffed.  Especially since I have a couple of half gallon jars full of raisins at the boys disposal which they freely dip into when they have a “sugar” fix.

Well, I found a corner of the bars that still had the raisins mostly in tact for the photo above.

Gluten Free Breakfast Barsprinter friendly
1 ¼ cup blanched almond flour
¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup grapeseed oil
¼ cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup shredded coconut
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup almond slivers
¼ cup raisins

  1. In a small bowl, combine almond flour, salt and baking soda
  2. In a large bowl, combine grapeseed oil, agave and vanilla
  3. Stir dry ingredients into wet
  4. Mix in coconut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almond slivers and raisins
  5. Grease an 8×8 baking dish with grapeseed oil
  6. Press the dough into the baking dish, wetting your hands with water to help pat the dough down evenly
  7. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes
  8. Serve
Makes 12-16 bars

None of the nuts and seeds in this low-maintenance bar are toasted.  I wanted to make something quick and easy, that could be whipped up in just a couple of minutes before popping into the oven.

In other news, NPR just ran an interesting story on celiac disease that I think is worth checking out.


30 Day Pure Paleo Challenge – Rules and Regs:
The goal is to eat ONLY foods from that qualify as paleo-friendly for the entire 30 days. In its most simplified form, this includes lean (un-processed) meats, fruits, vegetables(non-starchy), nuts, seeds and most oils.

The challenge will work on a point system. For every serving of a non-paleo food/drink that you consume, you earn points. So, obviously, points are bad, and the goal …is to obtain the lowest possible score for the month. Some foods that are considered borderline will only constitute a 1 point penalty, where as all the strictly “Paleo forbidden” foods will count as 2 points.
The 1-point borderline foods are: Wine, Beer, and alcohol (1 serving = 4 oz, 12 oz and 1.5 oz respectively). Lean cold cuts (since in their purest form they are Paleolithic, but are processed) like ham, turkey, deli chicken and bacon. *These foods are only worth one point up until you’ve reached 5 servings for the month, then they begin accumulating 2 points per serving.*
All other foods that are clearly non-paleo foods are worth 2 points. The obvious ones are sugar (other than the natural sugar that occurs in fruit), all artificial sweeteners, all whole grains, legumes (including peanuts), all dairy (milk, cream, butter, cheese, etc). Also, some less obvious foods that carry a 2 point penalty are: protein bars and shakes, honey, cottage cheese, corn (this is a whole grain), potatoes, sweet potatoes, and yams.
Each person involved in the challenge will pick one or two teammates or partners to pair up with for accountability purposes. (Pick someone you see frequently). You’ll log your food intake each day in any way that is convenient for you (Paper journal, online, etc.) and share it with your teammate. This doesn’t have to be every day, but often enough that you’re accountable to someone! You and your teammate will keep track of the total points accumulated (or, hopefully, lack thereof) for the entire month. At the end of the month, everyone will report back with their total scores.
Rather than offer a monetary incentive, we’ll do this the Crossfit way! The top two winners will get to either devise a workout or choose a Hero/Girl workout for the rest of the group to perform. Shy of doing two consecutive naked Murphs with a 40 lb. weight vest on in the snow, the workout design is open game!!
Good luck everyone!!!


My kids were clambering for some banana bread…

3 ripe bananas mashed up

4 eggs

1 generous tsp of vanilla

Honey to taste – I used ~ 3 Tlbsp

-combine all above well

Add 2 cups almond meal and 1 tsp baking soda

Mix well

Pour into a 9×11 or something that doesn’t make it overly thick (I didn’t try to to bake a loaf of bread – but if you want to give it a shot let us know how it goes)

Bake it at 350 for 30 min

Swerve it hot with some butter – and a side of bacon seems to go well with it….

Meegs


1 med. size rutabaga
1 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. almond flour
1/2 c. coconut milk
1 egg
1/2 tbsp. honey (not Paleo, but very minimal)
Nutmeg

Peel and cube the rutabaga. Boil until soft (about 20 mins) and then mash. A food processor works best since rutabaga does not soften and mash like potatoes.

Mix in the rest of the ingredients until smooth. Again, the food processor works great for this. Pour into a well-greased casserole dish (8×8). Sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 mins


-2lbs Ground Beef (Grass Fed preferred)
-1lb Ground Pork (Grass Fed preferred)
-1 pack (usually ~12 ounces of uncured nitrate free bacon, Trader Joes has awesome Apple wood smoked uncured bacon)
-3 eggs from your local farmers market (not one of the 1/2 Billion eggs just recalled…)
-1 jar roasted red peppers, diced up
-1 Vidalia onion diced up and drained of any juice
-4 cloves of garlic diced up
-1/4 cup parmesan cheese if you want (not paleo)
-2 teaspoons oregano (dried) or 1 Tablespoon fresh)
-2 teaspoon dried basil or 1 Tablespoon fresh (more if you like basil 2 Tablespoons fresh for me)
– 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
– salt to taste (kosher)
– roughly a teaspoon as the bacon brings some of the salt
-almond meal – use some if your mixture is to moist

Get out the food processor and grind up the bacon until it is the consistency of ground beef. (I use the food processor for the onion and garlic since it is already dirty anyway…) Mix everything together and roll into your favorite sized meatballs. I like to pan fry them up in some coconut oil and finish them in the over. Serve over some spaghetti squash (check it out here with your favorite tomato sauce, salad with a balsamic vinagrette and glass of wine. Nice dessert – some fresh blueberries drizzled with almond butter.

No, it doesn’t make to much – make the whole batch and put them on a cookie sheet covered with foil and freeze them individually – then put them in a freezer bag for a rainy day – you can also use the mix for Bacon Hamburgers…

Want to add some zing to the meatballs – chop up some chipotles and mix them in for Chipotle Bacon Meatballs – unreal!!!


Tired of hamburgers – try a lamb burger

1lb ground lamb
1 egg
spices – salt, pepper, oregano, mint, basil – you can mix it up here with what ever you have / want
– 2-4 tlbs of minced onion
– 2 cloves garlic mined
– mix it all up, make burger patties and grill them up…

I have added roasted red pepper, feta (not Paleo…), and fresh spinach to the mix as well


Prep: 25 min, Bake: 60 min
Oven: 350, Makes: 6 servings

Ingredients:
1½ lbs butternut, buttercup, or banana squash***
1 large onion, sliced & separated into rings (1 cup)
1 TBS butter
1 med pear, peeled and thinly sliced (1 cup)***
Sprinkle of salt
3 TBS fine dry bread crumbs***
3 slices bacon, crisp-cooked, drained, and crumbled
2 TBS chopped walnuts***
1 TBS grated Romano or Parmesan cheese***
1 TBS melted butter
2 TBS snipped fresh parsley (opt)***

***Paleo substitutions:
– Any type of squash will work, but you may have to adjust cooking time
– 1 pear may not make a full cup, but don’t worry it will be enough
– For the crumble topping use almond flour instead of bread crumbs and
skip the cheese (although, it is very minimal and makes it tasty!)
– I always use dried because that is usually what I have (but only a sprinkle)

Directions:
1. Peel squash; slice crosswise into ½ -inch slices. (If using butternut squash, first cut the squash in half lengthwise.) Remove and discard seeds. Set squash aside.

2. Cook onion rings in the 1 TBS hot butter for 5-10 minutes or until tender.

3. Arrange half of the squash slices in the bottom of an 8x8x2 –inch baking dish. Top with half of the pear slices. Repeat layers. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Cover with the cooked onions. Bake, covered, in a 350 oven about 45 min or until nearly tender.

4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, bacon, walnuts, cheese, and the 1 TBS melted butter; sprinkle over vegetables. Bake, uncovered, about 15 minutes more or until tender. If desired, sprinkle with parsley.


– Easy fast and the other red meat…
Get a boneless leg of lamb – 2.5 lbs will feed a family of 4-5
Coffee – 2 tablespoons
Rosemary – 1 tsp crushed up
Thyme- 1 tsp
Garlic (fresh) – 3 cloves minced
Salt – 2 tsp (Kosher)
Pepper – 1.5 tsp fresh

Preheat oven to 350

Mix about 2 tbl spoons olive oil together and add garlic – coat leg of lamb with it. Mix together the rest of the spices and coat lamb. Throw it on a roasting pan (covered with tin foil for easy clean up. Time is roughly 30 min per lb. – internal temp ~120 for med rare

Serve with mashed cauliflower (boil or steam a head of cauliflower, throw in some granulated garlic and butter, mash up with mixer or immersion blender), salad add some vino…


2 eggs
3 cups of almond meal
1 cup of unsweetened coconut
1 can of canned pumpkin
1½ cup of unsweetened applesauce
4 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, cloves, and ginger
Raisin: This is optional

  1. Mix all of the ingredients
  2. Fill sprayed muffin tins almost to top
  3. Bake at 325°F for about 25 minutes