A Beginner’s Guide To Eating For Health And Performance

By paul
In October 7, 2012

Salute from the Nation

Coach Harry put together an awesome little write up on nutrition. He trains his butt off five to six days a week, he works a forty-plus hour work week in the military, yet he still manages to eat clean. It takes a little bit of work but its well worth it when you see the results and your performance in the gym improves. Enjoy guys!

A Beginner’s Guide to Eating for Health and Performance

The purpose of this short read is not to sell you on any diet, or try to tell you what is right or wrong in the diet world. This is to start a flow of information on a subject that can take athletes to the next level, pushing well past PR’s and meeting lifetime goals. More to come on the many details of our diets – this is to provide the entry level athlete the right mindset when addressing his or her eating habits. I plan on writing another short one soon, but shoot me an email in the meantime at hpalley12@gmail.com with any questions you may have. For those of you that know me well, I’ll talk your ear off on this stuff, and I’m always looking to share ideas.

Think of your body as a high performance racecar. A racecar, regardless of how powerful it is, is reliant on something: gasoline. And the quality of this gasoline directly affects the performance of the car. If we pump in any old gasoline, we’ll see decent results. The car is functional, but might top off at 150mph. Not bad, but it’s got way more potential than that. Use the best, high octane gasoline, and the car now tops off at 200mph, drives smoother, and even requires less maintenance.

We often joke how we are machines during our workouts, but this analogy could not be more true for us. Our fuel, the foods we choose to consume on a daily basis, is crucial to maximizing our performance. Reducing bodyfat, gaining strength, stamina, and increasing recovery is something we all desire. We work our tails off in the gym (or out in the fields of Ruination!) to achieve these goals on a nearly daily basis. However… this only takes place for ~1 hour of the day. That leaves 23 hours left in the day to work towards our goals. Are we moving closer, or farther, from our goals in those 23 hours? Through choosing the best high quality food choices, we give our bodies the best chance to recover and improve, continually getting closer to those goals around the clock.

So what are these high quality food choices? The cliché response is not going to surprise many of you – Paleo. For those who do not know Paleo, it is short for Paleolithic, which refers back to the cultural period of the stone age… caveman style eating.  Cavemen did not have breads, candies, or soda. They survived off whole protein sources (meats), harvested vegetables, and some nuts and berries when they could find them. What they ate were clean, real food sources.

So, eat like a caveman, and be healthy? Not quite…

If I could change the name, I would. The goal is not to eat like a caveman! Here is what Paleo really is – Fresh, natural foods, that exist in nature. It’s the way nature intended food to be – unprocessed, with no “man-made” additives. Meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. Stick to that general rule – if it exists in nature, its real food. If you keep that in mind when food shopping, this will steer you in the right track. We can get into the fine details later, but it is as surprisingly simple as that.

Is this an all or nothing deal? Definitely, definitely not, and in fact I recommend against going 100% (or close to) strict. The last thing we want to do is launch into this so strict that we crash and burnout, only to lapse back into poor eating habits… which happens all too often to modern “fad” diets that place a lot of stress on the individual. Instead, we want to change the way we think of our diet. After all, the word diet is derived from the Latin “diaeta”, which translates to “lifestyle”. If you can’t look at your diet and say to yourself, “I can do this for the rest of my life”, then something needs to be adjusted.

Still enjoy the foods you love, but let this style of eating be your baseline. Some have seen success with allowing a couple “cheat meals” a week, or having a “cheat” day on the weekends where anything it up for grabs. A recommendation is to live “80% Paleo”. 80% percent of the week, you are strict with clean, natural foods. With the extra 20%, you have room to relax and enjoy whatever it is you’d like. The will provide you a mental break that will reset you for better eating, ensuring longevity.

Many may feel overwhelmed with something like this as a lifestyle change, and I assure you, baby steps will lead to great bounds. You don’t need to clear your cupboards of everything and start anew. Limit your vices to 2-3 times a week, and steadily reduce from there as the weeks progress. Unlike “diets” in the past, don’t think short-term… think long-term, and think lifestyle. That’s the real goal – to change our lifestyle for the better.

Monday October 7th 21012

5:00, 6:00 & 7:00am: Expo Design Center – Off Greenfield & Rancho Niguel in Laguna Niguel
5:30 & 6:30pm: La Paz Intermediate – Upper Parking Lot off of La Paz Rd.

5 Rounds for time of:
9 Double-under
9 Squat clean (135/95)
9 Double-under
9 Handstand push-up

Talega Day #7

A. Skill/Strength session – Front squat 3-3-3-3
– Build up in weight and then perform 4 working sets of 3 reps. Rest 2-3 minutes between efforts and GO HEAVY!!!!!

B. For time:
21 Kettle-bell swing (53/35)
12 Burpee
200 Meter run
15 Kettle-bell swing (53/35)
12 Buroee
200 Meter run
9 Kettle-bell swing (53/35)
12 Burpee
200 Meter run



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