Sunday, May 22, 2011


I'm a Paleo stickler, and my food choices are fairly clean. My "cheats" are increasingly rare. But there'a always room for improvement.

After attending a Whole9 seminar in early March, I outlined 9 things I was going to do to modify my food choices. Two-and-a-half months later, how am I doing with these dietary tweaks? Let's run it down.

TWEAK NO. 1: Get more sleep -- especially the night before a 5 a.m. class at CrossFit Palo Alto. (Whole9's rule: Didn't get at least 6 hours of sleep? THEN NO EXERCISE FOR YOU. Use that time instead to get more Z's or prep some food.)

STATUS: Miserable failure. I'm still staying up too late. Plus, I've violated the no-exercise-without-six-hours-of-sleep rule several times. (But I'm working on it. Really.)

TWEAK NO. 2: Stop pounding caffeine after noon. And if all goes well, I'll try to eliminate caffeine altogether from my diet.

STATUS: I cheated on this one for a while. Every day, I'd buy coffee right before the clock struck noon and then nurse my precious cup for another hour to prolong the caffeine intake. But over the past month or so, I've done a better job of keeping my caffeine intake restricted to the morning hours. I'm nowhere near ready to rid myself of coffee altogether, though.

TWEAK NO. 3: Reduce my intake of nuts and seeds -- and when I do indulge, I'm going to reach for macadamia nuts and hazelnuts over all others.

STATUS: I'm still struggling with this one. I love nuts, and Costco sells Mauna Loa mac nuts in bulk. Also: Oren's Kitchen sells some insanely good spiced nuts (and a couple of varieties contain only Paleo ingredients!), and I'm addicted to 'em. I have, however, cut back significantly on my nut intake -- and have even managed to go a few days without eating nuts at all. (I know: Shocking!)

TWEAK NO. 4: Cut the cheese. (HAR HAR! I meant cutting it from my diet.)

STATUS: Done. This one was surprisingly easy to do. I realize now that despite my love for the taste of certain cheeses, none of 'em are worth the gut irritation and other associated problems.

TWEAK NO. 5: Eat something starchy/carby (but no fruit or fat) immediately post-workout.

STATUS: I'm all over this one. Since the Whole9 seminar, I've made it a point to bring a baked sweet potato and/or a bag of peeled roasted chestnuts with me to class so that I can chow down s soon as the WOD's done. It's done wonders for my recovery time and energy levels. Plus, sweet potatoes and chestnuts are tasty as hell.

TWEAK NO. 6: Try to get over my aversion to olives, because they're awesome sources of fat (assuming no preservatives or other additives are in the mix).

STATUS: I still don't like olives. Sorry.

TWEAK NO. 7: Seriously cut back on fruit, and stop drinking juice altogether.

STATUS: Done. Sure, I'll still chomp on a couple of strawberries when M buys a flat at the Farmer's Market, and I'll occasionally have a nibble of whatever fruit I'm cutting up for the kids. But I've never had a sweet tooth, and now, even small bites of fruit taste overly sweet and cloying to me. I pretty much steer clear of the stuff.

TWEAK NO. 8: Never cook with olive oil again.

STATUS: Not a problem. To me, food tastes better when it's cooked in ghee or coconut oil anyway.

TWEAK NO. 9: Break open the vat of duck fat we have sitting in the freezer.

STATUS: Done. And it was good.