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CrossFit Day at the Oakland A’s

August 15th, 2014 by Dana

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We’re really excited to be part of the first ever “CrossFit Day at the Oakland A’s” on Sunday, September 7. Bring your family and join The CAVE at an Oakland A’s game! In addition to special Field Level seating, all participants will receive an exclusive A’s CrossFit Day t-shirt and admission to the pre-game WOD where a group of northern California’s top CrossFit® athletes will compete.  We also may see one of our own athletes compete in the pre-game WOD!

The 20 gyms with the most attendance at the event will be able to select an athlete to go onto the field and compete (they are selecting 10 males and 10 females).  Let’s try to get one of OUR athletes in the field!  This event is fun for the entire family and a great way to expose your friends to CrossFit.  Won’t you join us?

Special pricing for tickets is $26.

Register: http://www.inthecave.com/events?eventid=137

Event Location: Oakland Coliseum

Member cost: $26.00

Sweet Potato Salad

August 14th, 2014 by karen

sweet_potato_saladI’m vacationing with family in Connecticut this week, so I’m going to make this short and sweet as in sweet potato with a recipe from my sister-in-law Kath who I gratefully credit with introducing me to Crossfit as well as to awesome food. If, like me, you have a relative who has inspired you to live a healthier happier lifestyle, send some love that angel’s way! And maybe have them over for some sweet potato salad :o).

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 red bell pepper, small dice
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • (optional non-Paleo addition: 15 oz can black beans)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°.

Toss sweet potatoes and onion with olive oil, salt and pepper until well coated. Spread evenly on baking tray and bake for about a half hour, giving an occasional stir until edges are golden.

Meanwhile in a large bowl, mix bell pepper and cilantro together with jalapeño, garlic and lime juice.

When the potatoes and onion are done, remove from oven, add to bowl and toss well. Season with additional s&p as desired and serve warm, room temp or cold. It’s all good!

Today’s 10:00 am WOD recovery yoga class is canceled.

August 14th, 2014 by Stephanie

Todays’s 10:00 am WOD recovery yoga class is canceled.  We’re sorry for the inconvenience and last minute notice, this was unavoidable and an extremely rare occurrence.

This class will resume next week,  come check it out!
Thank you

CRAVINGS: BEAT YOUR SWEET FAT TOOTH

August 13th, 2014 by Jaime

CRAVINGS: BEAT YOUR SWEET FAT TOOTH
Humans are hardwired to crave fat and sugar.

Perhaps you knew this.  I’ve known it for awhile and tried to convince my sister that we could break the human system.  All she had to do was let me use her son as my control group.  No big deal.
“Hey! I have an idea!!!…”
Sis: “Hmmm…”
“No. It’s cool. You’re gonna love it!…”
Sis: “Hmmm…”
“Let’s do an experiment! You should feed Zach only ice cream, candy, cakes, sugar, basically all junk for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Then, for dessert, feed him salad, veggies, chicken, all things NOT junk.  Then we’ll see if he will only crave good food, tricking his body into thinking that his treats are actually treats when in fact they are healthy foods.  It will be the opposite.  Ta-daaaaaa!!!!”
Sis: “Do you remember mom dropping you on your head at some point?”
“Um, no…why?”
Needless to say, I didn’t get far.  But honestly, am I the only one who feels points (and possibly cash) should be awarded for creatively using a family member in a science experiment while attempting to bio-hack our systems and possibly
save

MAN

KIND?!!!?

Whatever.  I tried.

WHY ARE WE PREDISPOSED TO LIKING THIS STUFF SO MUCH??

Before you get your Paleo panties all in a bunch, remember that these foods were a big part of human survival.  Sugars (fruits and wild honey) and fats (animals, nuts, avocados) ensured high calories and lots of energy.  Since there were no “Cave Cafe’s” to pop in and grab lunch, food was never a guarantee and skipping meals (or more) was a regular event.

We can assume the following conversation never took place:

“Oh, no fruit for me. I’m trying to cut back, get lean for summer. Grok’s been checking me out and I’m really hoping he picks me to club and drag back to the den tonight.”

SAID NO CAVE GIRL EVER!

We ate what we could, when we could, as much as we could. The fattier foods, the sweeter foods, meant health, nutrition and life.  So one could say we are genetically engineered to have a sweet tooth AND a fat tooth.

What’s the problem with that today?  You know the problem.  It’s hanging over your belt right now.  Calories, aka food, is everywhere. Plus, we just aren’t as active as we once were.  No longer are we needing an abundance of calories to chase our protein and forage our carbs.  We sit and sleep 90% of the day.  Not to mention the majority of sugars (carbs) and fats most of the population is consuming these days are coming from highly refined, unnatural sources like…

High fructose corn syrup/corn syrup: soda, candy, “fruit” snacks, cereals, dressing, cough medicine/drops, breads…everything under the sun.

Hydrogenated oils: margarine, crackers, chips, cakes, cookies, Hostess crap, unnatural peanut butter like Jif, Skippy, Peter Pan etc.,  fake cheese (CHEEZ WHIZ), microwave popcorn, non-stick spray…everything under the sun.

Vegetable oil: corn, canola, safflower, sunflower, rapeseed, soybean which is used to cook or is added to everything under the sun.

Agave nectar: Labeled as a healthier alternative to sugar.  It’s not, and here’s why.

Grains and all by-products: flours, baked products, fried stuff, coated crap and all things under the sun.

With the over consumption of these poor choices, it’s safe to say these foods are a huge part of modern man’s demise. HUGE!

SO WHAT DO WE DO?

Stay away from that stuff as often as possible. Just do it.

But Jaime, I like to have a treat every once in a while. Can’t  I…

No.

But…

No.

You’re mean.

Yes.  BUT, I care about your insides probably more than you do.

Look, I understand that on occasion, it’s nice to have a little something outside the meat, veggie regime.  For some, eating Paleo or just real food can seem a little strict, harsh, boring and plain ol’ plain.  And if you’re used to all that stuff I mentioned above, I can see how this could be true, but mostly that’s an excuse because that is poison and real food is not.  Also, why does a ‘treat’ have to compromise our health?  Literally, that stuff is killing us.

Assuming you’re not hungry, not thirsty and not bored, here’s 3 suggestions for feeding your real food or paleo sweet tooth:

  1. A few frozen cherries, berries, mango chunks or whatever.  I like frozen because it takes longer to eat.  If you mix with a few spoonfuls of coconut milk (the real deal out of a can), it’s like fruity ice cream.

  2. 85% - 100% chocolate bar.  The higher the cacao content, the less sugar and better for you.

  3. Dried fruit is not a great option because of the high concentrations of sugar content. But, if you’re the one person who can have a slice of dried mango and be done, awesome…and who are you?

* Keep in mind that if your goal is to lose fat and lean out, then giving into your sweet tooth on a regular basis is not the way to go.  In fact, some folks say you shouldn’t give in to your sweet tooth and that by doing so you are feeding a baby throwing a tantrum.  Instead, try to eat some sort of protein and healthy fat like salmon.  I like this but also find it to be unrealistic at times.  Be smart. Know what you want. Your call.

3 suggestions to feed your real food or paleo fat tooth:

  1. A can of full fat coconut milk dumped in a mason jar and set in the fridge will turn into super thick cream.  AMAZING!  A spoonful of that will do you good. Heavy whipping cream works too, if you’re good with dairy.

  2. Coconut butter or some nut butter on a spoon. Smashed avocados work too.

  3. Animal fat. Seriously.  Maybe you really are craving some meat like a burger, steak, fatty fish or chicken thighs.

*Quality fats like these are not the culprit in our ever increasing obesity epidemic.  It’s the “franken-fats” that I talked about before.  It ALWAYS comes down to the quality of the food.

Feed your real food or paleo…ish fat and sweet tooth.

Sometimes you really do want a cookie, a cake, a triple chocolate fudge bar.  Ok, so figure out how to MAKE it by swapping out the crap ingredients like wheat flour, sugar, corn syrup and margarine, and start using better ingredients like raw honey, grass fed butter, coconut flour, almond meal, whole eggs and dark cocoa powder.

It’s easier than you think.  But, if you need ideas or help, check out Elana’s Pantry for gluten free, paleo, dairy free, grain free baked goods, treats, desserts, breads and all things we, the humans, love.

Maximizing Power– Maintaining and Increasing Flexibility in the Hip Flexors

August 12th, 2014 by Stephanie

Profile BW

When we talk about the role of the hip flexors in squatting technique and running power, we can begin the conversation in terms of flexibility. Tightness in the hip flexors can prevent full extension as you come out of the squat, can pull on the pelvis as you lower down to prevent your back from staying upright, or decrease your full power potential during your run stride if you can’t fully extend the hips as the striking foot leaves the ground behind you.

Without getting too anatomical, the hip flexors consist of 3 main muscles:  Illacus, Psoas Major and Rectus Femoris. The Iliopsoas, (more commonly referred to as the hip flexors) flex the hip joint as well as stabilize the low back. The Rectus Femoris (top most quad muscle) — along with some other muscles we won’t get into today– assist with that hip flexion. Try standing up straight, lifting your knee up so that it is parallel with your hip. Now, find the hip crease, press down, and you should feel a tense muscle which is most likely the Illacus. Now from here, straighten your leg, keeping it as high as you can. Feel for the muscle on the very top of your thigh, that is the Rectus Femoris.

If you found it difficult to find these muscles on your own body, here we get a little more precise with the anatomy, so that you can see where exactly these muscles are in relation to your hip joint.

Illacus –The muscle that inserts into the inner side of hipbone, joins with the psoas major and originates in the inner flat surface of the hipbone.

Psoas Major — This muscle originates in the lumbar spine, specifically T12-L5 and joins with the Illacus and inserts into the inner side of the hipbone.
Rectus Femoris — One of the quadriceps muscles, the Rectus Femoris originates at the wing of the ilium (i.e. the upper lateral parts of the pelvis) and attaches to the patella tendon (knee cap). Profile BW

If you are squatting heavy, semi-heavy at high reps, or running consistently each week, then keeping the hip flexors relaxed and flexible must be part of your training program. Even if you are starting from a place of great flexibility, remember that every squat and every stride is a concentric contraction of this group of muscles, meaning they shorten each time they are used. And if you don’t stretch the muscles to regain the length you started with, they will continue to shorten which may cause issues with your squat form or power output during your runs over time. This is precisely why we stretch.

The sequences of stretches below increase gradually in their intensity and should be approached in this order to minimize over-stretching and maximize flexibility. Now that you know where the target muscles are located, be focused and deliberate in your stretching to increase efficacy of each stretch.
Tips:

  1. Make sure to keep the hips square as you come into the stretch, the front heel grounding and the hips stable, but relaxed, so that the body can ease into the stretch and the hip flexors can release.

  2. It is recommended that you stay in each stretch for about a minute, making sure to switch sides before moving on to the next stretch.

  3. As these stretches increase in intensity, only go as far as your body is willing to go. Meaning, once you feel a good stretch, stay where you are and breathe.

  4. Before you move on to the next one in the series, switch sides.

Pictured below is CrossFit NorCal Regionals Athlete Amanda Norton out of CrossFit Marin. After the 2014 Regionals, Amanda had tightness in both hip flexors which translated into pain and tightness during squats. She has been working diligently to keep the hip flexors open and uses these stretches regularly, especially after heavy squat days.

A. Foam Roller: This works to relieve the tension in the region of the hip flexors to prime them for stretching. Make sure to place the foam roller in the hip crease and slowly roll back and forth to massage the hip flexors and top of the quads.

B. Low Lunge: Keeping the torso upright while the hips relax toward the ground, target the Illacus.

C. Low Lunge Side Stretch: Keep the torso upright while the hips relax toward the ground. As you lift your arm up, find the side stretch, then turn that side of the upper chest toward the ceiling and lift, finding a slight backbend. This will not only stretch the Illacus, but also the Psoas Major as well.

D. High Lunge: The focus for the high lunge stretch should be on lengthening the tailbone down toward the ground as you extend through your back heel to target the Illacus.

E. High Lunge Side Stretch: The focus for this stretch is the same as low lunge but now you are adding the side stretch. Find lift in the upper chest as you turn that side of the chest up for a slight back bend.

F. Low Lunge On Block or Plate: This is the same position as low lunge but now we are  elevating the front foot to deepen the stretch in the Illacus.

G. Foam Roller with Bent Knee: At this point in the sequence your hip flexors have opened up. These next three stretches will help you access the inner most parts of the hip flexors and quads. For this foam roller stretch, we are using the same principles as when the leg was straight, but here you are able to access the muscles more thoroughly.

H. Low Lunge with Quad Stretch: The set up of this stretch starts with low lunge. Walk the front foot a couple of inches out to the side and then bend the back knee and grab for the foot with the opposite hand. If that is not possible, use a strap and wrap it around the foot.

I. “Couch” Stretch: The name of this stretch doesn’t give it the justice it deserves. Shout out to the coaches at CrossFit Marin for coming up with such an innocuous name. This is a deeper version of the previous stretch and all the same rules apply. The bottom knee should be as close to the wall as you can get. The bent leg’s foot should be pointing up. Send your hips back to a point where you feel the stretch along the top of the quad and up into the hip flexor. Every few breaths, shift the hips back toward the wall to deepen the stretch.

This Week In The Cave

August 11th, 2014 by Dana

photo-11Thank you to everyone who attended our CrossFit Trainers Gymnastics Seminar and helped make it a huge success! It was a fantastic opportunity to learn higher level skills and further details about basic ones too.

NPGL — San Francisco Fire!

Join us on the GRID to cheer our local NPGL home team, the SF Fire, for their inaugural season.  Today is the last day for group discount tickets with the CAVE.  Want to know more?  Read here. Want tickets?  E-mail dana@inthecave.com.

firesale

Summer Camps

Summer is winding down, but there’s one more week of camp at the CAVE: Parkour:  August 18-22

Come to parkour camp and learn how to run literally anywhere. Walls and fences become aids to movement. Learn how to safely and efficiently navigate any environment. Learn this discipline from deeply experienced coaches. Parkour camps will develop strength and agility. The discipline also allows freedom and creativity as children work out how to best use their abilities to overcome obstacles.

REGISTER ON-LINE or call (415) 927-1630.

CrossFit Day at The Oakland A’s

Sept. 7, 2014 - Come join The CAVE family at an Oakland A’s game.Join the A’s for the first ever CrossFit Day in our special Field Level seating area on Sunday, September 7. All participants will receive an exclusive A’s CrossFit Day t-shirt and admission to the pre-game WOD where a group of northern California’s top CrossFit® athletes will compete. We also may see one of our own athletes compete in the pre-game WOD! Sign up: CrossFit Day at The Oakland A’s

The CAVE now has yoga!
Reminder:  Last week, 3 new classes were added to our schedule!  Come check them out!
WOD Recovery Yoga (Post CrossFit Yoga) Monday and Thursday 10-11am
Athletic Vinyasa Flow Yoga Wednesday 12:00-1:00pm
More information can be found on our website: http://www.inthecave.com/other_classes

Fall Class Registration

Very quickly, summer is coming to a close, and the beginning of the school year is right around the corner! That means it is time to begin planning for the Fall!  Classes fill up super fast in the Fall, so now is the time to organize your children’s schedules and sign them up!  Our Fall Schedule can be seen here on-line and you can sign up by calling The CAVE at (415) 927-1630.

Let’s keep in touch!

Have you liked us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram? These two tools are great ways to stay in touch with the latest in what’s happening in the CAVE and some great pictures of what we’re up too!  Check us out!


The NPGL Has Begun. Let’s all GO!

August 8th, 2014 by Dana

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The NPGL Has Begun!
If you haven’t yet heard of the NPGL (National Pro Grid League), chances are, you will very soon. Like now. The new sport is poised to make major headlines this year, and it may very well change the way we look at professional athletes forever.
The NPGL consists of 8 teams from around the country that come together for competitive, televised matches, similar to professional football or baseball. However, one of the distinctions of these gladiator style matches is they aren’t decided by baskets or goals scored - they’re based on points earned by each team’s performance together in 11 races, combining strategy, brute physical power, and agility. To read about the 11 races please click here.

The Fire ladies, Eleni Frediani, Whitney Heuser, and Courtney Walker showing excellent form with their hand stand push ups.

The Fire ladies, Eleni Frediani, Whitney Heuser, and Courtney Walker showing excellent form with their hand stand push ups.

Unlike any other professional sports league, NPGL teams will be co-ed (equal number of men and women) with at least one of each aged 40 years or older! Each team is made up of specialists: the Workhorse who can do just about anything; the Sprinter who can crush any movement under 30 seconds; the gymnast who can handle unusual movements. Pacing is pretty much non-existent, so these races are fast. If you thought the CrossFit Games was a fast paced adrenaline rush, a 2 hour GRID match is going to be INCREDIBLE!
The inaugural GRID season begins on August 19th at Madison Square Garden in New York City and ends on October 3rd at Mandalay Bay on the Las Vegas Strip. Every regular season match will be streamed live to npgl.com. Ten hours of the playoffs will be telecast live on NBC Sports Network.

Cave Fire Road Trip!  Let’s all GO!

We are hoping to have our CAVE family support our local team, the San Francisco Fire. We are organizing a CAVE road trip to the Fire’s first home match of the season against the Philadelphia Founders. It’s on Thursday night, August 28th at the Haas Pavilion in Berkeley located on the Cal Berkeley campus.
To sit together with seats with backs, we can order tickets as a group. The tickets are $47. each, but with a group discount, tickets will be $42.30. A huge thank you to Rich LeFurgy for making this possible!
The order is going to be placed by MONDAY, so please either respond to the Google group thread or e-mail me at dana@inthecave.com.

fire

Go SF FIRE!

Easy Grilled Chicken Satay

August 6th, 2014 by karen

sataySomewhere along the lines I picked this recipe up and love it. Can’t remember where; not originally mine but adapted it over time to be Paleo and make it constantly. Don’t even bother with the skewers anymore. Grab a slice before a workout and/or after one, it’s great in school lunches, packs well for a plane ride. It’s easy. It’s good. And it’s real food.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (make sure you get one that does not have wheat protein!)
  • 3-4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or coconut aminos
  • 1 minced stalk lemon grass
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast

Directions

Combine all the above ingredients except chicken in a zip lock bag.

Cut chicken on the diagonal in roughly half to three quarter inch strips and add to zip lock. Seal and shake to thoroughly coat chicken.

Place ziplock bag in fridge for an hour or two to marinate and when ready, heat grill at high temp, place chicken strips evenly on grilling surface and cook about 4 minutes on each side.

Eat immediately and refrigerate leftovers for a few days.

How long does it take to improve in CrossFit?

August 6th, 2014 by Dana

Below is a re-post from the Beyond The White Board Blog — y’know, the app we all use to track our fitness. Over the past 6 years, the folks at BTWB analyzed fitness level data from over 65,000 athletes, in an effort to increase the data driven knowledge available in our CrossFit community. As does any sport, CrossFit has it’s own unique improvement curves and it was interesting to see how my years in the sport applied to this study.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on it below. I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did.
How long does it take to improve in CrossFit?
Almost a year ago, we launched our “Fitness Level” and “Weaknesses” features as part of our new Analyze section. These features were designed to give athletes more information and analysis about their workouts and their physical capacity. For every athlete on our site, we calculate their “Fitness Level”, which is a single number from 1-99 that represents their overall Fitness. This is a single number that captures how an athletes performance stacks up to the rest of the community.
julie-foucher-web-4

Definition of Fitness vs How Fit You Are

Greg Glassman defined fitnessand with it started a fitness revolution. However, it was still tough to figure out how Fit an athlete was at any given time. We set out and solved this problem withFitness Level. Now, by performing a hand-full of workouts we can accurately calculate how fit an athlete is at any given time. For example, Julie Foucher, CrossFit® Games veteran who has posted over 4,000 results on beyond the whiteboard over the years, has a Fitness Level of 95. As you will see, we’ve found that games caliber athletes need to be at this level. This insight opened the door to many other questions, mainly, “”How long will it take to improve in CrossFit?”.
Fitness Level Overview
Improving Your Fitness

On average, it takes about 5-6 months to improve your Fitness Level by 10 levels.

bar_graph
New & Intermediate CrossFitters can improve quickly
When you are fairly new to CrossFit® you can improve at a pretty quick rate. If you’re currently between 1-60, stay committed and consistent because you have a chance to raise your Fitness Level by 20 levels per year. In fact, on average, it takes 19 Months to improve from a level 50 to a level 80. In short, eat well and get to your CrossFit Affiliate a few times a week.
Advanced CrossFitters
On average, it takes about 5-6 months to improve your Fitness Level by 10 levels. This rate holds true until you get to Level 80. Going from level 80 to 90 takes over 8 months, on average, which is 45% longer than it takes to go from 70 to 80. To make Regionals, you need to be near a level 90.

To make Regionals, you need to be near a level 90.

Elite CrossFitters
To get to a level 95, which is near Games level, it takes about 6 additional months. As your level gets higher and higher, it becomes more and more difficult to continue increasing your level. The difference between one or two levels at the top is huge.
Nutrition, Sleep and Recovery
“I have really prioritized my goal of training for the CrossFit Games and with that comes prioritizing sleep, nutrition, and recovery,” Julie Foucher recently told us. Nutrition and sleep play a big factor in increasing your Fitness Level. Although they might not have the same diets, it seems most advanced and elite CrossFitters pay attention to how they eat and sleep. If you’re looking for more information a great place to start is Zone Meal Plans or talking to a trainer at a CrossFit Affiliate.

“I have really prioritized my goal of training for the CrossFit Games and with that comes prioritizing sleep, nutrition, and recovery,” -Julie Foucher

Case Study
Below is a Fitness Level histogram of Nick Robles. In 2012 he finished 123rd in the Open for the SoCal Region with a Fitness Level of 82. In 2013 he finished 95th with a Fitness Level of 86. This year he finished 34th with a Fitness Level of 88, earning him a qualifying spot at Regionals. It took him 16.5 months to increase his Fitness Level from a 50 to an 80, which is slightly above average. It took him another 8.5 months to go from an 80 to a 90, which is just about average.
Nick-Robles-FL-History
The Novice Effect
This phenomenon is similar to what Mark Rippetoe calls the “Novice Effect”. In the first 2 to 3 years of training, you see fast improvement. But as time moves on, improvement slows and it often takes more extra work and advanced programming to get to the higher levels. He designed this chart specifically for Strength development, but the data suggests that there is a similar effect going on in CrossFit® training as well.
Novice-Effect-Rippetoe

Source: “The Novice Effect” by Mark Rippetoe

As you can see in the above analysis, it takes quite a few years of consistent training to get to a competitive level in CrossFit®. Keep in mind though, that it is getting harder every year. If someone is just starting now, in 5 years the bar will have moved even higher. We still believe that making Regionals is an attainable goal for some of our top members, but the possibility of a brand new member getting there anytime soon is getting a lot less likely.
Theoretical Fitness Journey
Combining all the data discussed above here is a theoretical journey in CrossFit. We are confident that if you stay consistent with training and eat/sleep/rest well you will be able to increase your Fitness Level at a similar rate. Although in the beginning you will definitely see results and become a lot fitter, it will take some time to become very fit(Level 80+). That’s the reality and sadly it’s contrary to a lot of other fitness claims. In Fitness, just like life, the journey is the reward. Enjoy it.
fitness_journey

In Fitness, just like life, the journey is the reward. Enjoy it.

Notes

To answer the questions in this article, we looked at Fitness Level data from over 65,000 athletes over the past 6 years. Because of the breadth and depth of our dataset, we can pull out some pretty awesome time series trends. We will continue publishing these types of articles in an effort to increase the data-drvien knowledge available in our community. We hope this will help further the evolution and improvement of our fitness methodologies.

PALEO 101…and why I hate the word Paleo. by Jaime Jereb

August 5th, 2014 by Jaime

One more time…
I want a burger.
“Yeah.”
With all the stuff.
“Yeah.”
The meat. The veggies. The mustard…
“Yeah.”
I just don’t want the bun.
“Let me repeat.  It’s a burger, no cheese, lettuce, tomato, mustard…,”

Right.
“Did you want your bun toasted?”
Ugh…Yes! Like your brain.  Thanks.
Before it was cool to be gluten-free, these were my conversations.  That or “oh, you must be on that Atkins Diet.”

Really? I must? Did I just order a bag of Splenda and 42 Kraft single slices?

BURGER.  NO BUN.   PLEASE!!!

Last week you heard me talk about plain ol’ food. Real food that is. If you haven’t read that blog, go click on the pretty blue letters and read up.  If you have and are curious about learning the paleo basics, then sit back, grab a hunk of meat and continue to learn the basics behind the original human diet.

The Paleolithic (paleo) Diet has come a long way. A couple million years to be exact.  Early humans hunted and fished.  Early humans gathered and foraged. Early humans did not drive to McDonald’s for their latest freaky creation.

McLobster? Really?

Up until 10,000 years ago, the dawn of agriculture, we were eating what nature provided:  Animals, seasonal fruits, vegetables, roots, nuts, seeds and we drank water.  You might better know this stuff as food.  Everything was organic, whole and real. Animals were healthy and lean from running around in sunshine and eating what nature intended them to eat, not what we force them to eat.  We were healthy, muscular, strong, had good skin, teeth and vision.  If we made it out of childhood, not eaten by a sharp toothed cat, and stayed clear of infection, we actually lived a relatively long life.

Our best understanding to date leads us to believe that for millions of years:

  • Nothing was processed.

  • Nothing was cultivated.

  • Nothing was harvested.

  • Nothing was domesticated.

WE SIMPLY ATE:

The aforementioned foods were literally how human beings not only survived but thrived. So, it makes sense that the Paleo diet is not a fad but rather the way our bodies were evolutionarily designed to eat.

WARNING:  THIS MAY BUM SOME OF YOU OUT.

I hate to point out the obvious (no I don’t) but this also means that for millions of years, we did NOT eat grains, beans, legumes, Pop Tarts, Cheerios, Snickers, bread, peanut butter, Twizzlers, dairy, Applebee’s, Sour Patch Kids, OR drink alcohol, coffee, soda, Snapple, smoke or chew gum.

Is it any wonder that since being introduced to these foods, across the board our health has decreased dramatically?

NO!

Am I saying because these foods were not available then that we should not consume them now?

NO…ISH

Take them out, see how you feel.  Bring them back.  If they hurt you, Pop Tarts and PB&J isn’t for you. Remember the “If a caveman didn’t eat it, we shouldn’t eat it” mantra?  Let’s not get too hung up on that. We are not cavemen.  We have Facebook for God’s sake.  Plus, I imagine that if a caveman saw a bag of Oreos laying around, he would happily kill his entire tribe as to not be interrupted mid-gorge. I think we all know I totally would.

Food was scarce.  They ate what they could.  It just so happens that the food available were animals and plants.  From an evolutionary stand point, we just haven’t evolved to the point of being able to physically process more modern foods like dairy, grains, beans and sugars. And some foods we just shouldn’t eat ever, like McLobsters, high fructose corn syrup and gluten <—-click on that to learn the problems with gluten.

Think of it like this:  When you change your dog’s food, what does the bag say? ‘Introduce slowly.’  If not, you know damn well what’s going to happen to that IKEA Yin Yang rug.  In our case, there just hasn’t been enough time.  As mentioned in the real food blog, we have changed our diet more in 60 years than in the past million. That’s a flick in earth’s history.  It’s nothing.  And while you may not be scooting with Sparky on that IKEA rug, collectively, and to some degree, we are ALL being affected by this modern westernized diet. <——- download the pdf file on this page.

#FUNTIMESWITHMODERNFOOD

coronary heart disease

o b e s i t y

hypertension

type 2 diabetes

epithelial cell cancers

autoimmune disease

osteoporosis

#IT’SNOTLOOKINGGOODPEOPLE and #WHATAREHASHTAGSANYWAY?

I could go on and on with the science, case studies, big words, more hash tagging, but why do that when I can insert a cool info graph? Reading is so much better with pictures.

We get a lot of questions from customers about Paleo — why we don’t use bread and if The Farmer’s accent is real are just conversation starters. (Anyone who says arse instead of ass has to be legit, right?).  Hopefully, this gave you at least a brief (and believe me, this is brief) introduction into Paleo basics and the reasoning behind it.  It’s a good place to start, especially if you’re experiencing digestive ailments, lack of energy, weight problems or full blown disease.

6 TIPS TO GET STARTED

#1.  Go here. Here. And here. Learn as much as you can.

#2.  Don’t over complicate it.  Start with the basics.  Try new things. If you get lost, go back to the basics.

#3.  If you still need help transitioning into a Paleo lifestyle, there are PLENTY of recipe resources and books to help you along the way.  To name a few:

  • Chrissy Gower’s Paleo Slowcooker book.

  • Sarah Fragoso’s Everyday Paleo

  • And one of my favorites, wait for it….wait for it……PALEO HAPPY HOUR by the fabulous Kelly Milton.  If delicious happy hour drinks and small plates are your thing (and why wouldn’t they be?) , you’re going to need this book.  It hasn’t hit the shelves yet, but the site Paleo Gurls Kitchen has plenty to get you started.  I’m still drooling over her avocado margarita.  Yep, that happened!

#4.  If you’re interested in trying out the real Paleo diet, awesome!  But, give yourself a chance to let it work.  Don’t just stop eating bread for a week and expect to lose 40 pounds.  Try it for 30 days and be true to it.

#5.  Be aware of Paleo traps.  There are a ton of misleading information out there claiming that “this is Paleo” and “that is Paleo.”  See #1, get educated and don’t forget #2 -  stick to the basics if you get lost.

#6.  Ask me for help!!  If you are questioning how to get on track with eating real food, Paleo or anything Jaime Jereb approved, contact me for a nutrition consult. I promise I won’t yell at you (in life or in all caps).    jaime@inthecave.com

Are you Paleo? A real food lover?  We’d LOVE to hear your experiences, tips and feedback. Leave a comment below. We sure appreciate you reading!