Here’s another guest post, this time by Ashlee. For most guys eating paleo is pretty easy. Meat + vegetables. No problem. Sometimes the ladies have a harder time adjusting. Here is a list of great cookbooks that can really help with planning, implementation and sustainability.
If you’ve been around CrossFit for any length of time you’re probably familiar with the term “paleo.” Although eating like a caveman is not exclusive to CrossFitters, it has certainly been adopted as the diet of choice by many CF athletes. If you google the term “paleo” your search will return a multitude of resources that can be a little overwhelming. Here at CrossFit Combustion, your coaches are very familiar with the paleo lifestyle and have been eating this way for quite some time. If you’re not seeing the results you want or performing your best, don’t be surprised if Greg or Matt ask “What are you eating?” We’re here to help you and we want you succeed in workouts and in your day to day life. So let’s see what eating paleo looks like and some of the great cookbooks and resources out there to get you started eating better.
What is paleo, you may ask? Quite simply, it is eating real food: animal protein, vegetables, good fats, and some fruits. Sounds easy, right? Just eat those things and it’s a no brainer! Eating paleo is simple, but it is not easy. Thankfully there are lots and lots of great cookbooks to help with making meals interesting and flavorful while still allowing you to maintain a tight diet.
As I mentioned earlier, there are lots of great resources available to help you along your journey. I’m going to briefly review a few of my favorite books that I refer to most frequently when cooking.
By far, my favorite cookbook is Well Fed by Melissa Joulwan (www.theclothesmakethegirl.com).
This is a great one to start with. It has many fantastic, foodie-approved recipes that are bursting with lots of ethnic flavors. Each recipe has a section called “You know how you could do that?” that gives lots of substitution options. There’s so much bang for your buck with this one because the recipe variations are endless. There’s a great section at the beginning of the book that describes a formula for determining how much protein a person needs for the week to help with grocery shopping. Really the whole section entitled “How To: The Weekly Cookup” is superb. It’s full of tips to organize your weekly cooking. Another thing I love about this cookbook is that there are no “paleo treats.” This is the real deal for those looking for a firm foundation in the paleo lifestyle.
Another favorite book of mine is “It Starts With Food” by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. This book and its premise changed the way I think about what I eat and how I eat it. There’s lots of science in this one, so if you’re into the details of “Why?” then this a good place to start. All the science is a preface for their Whole30 program. Stick to this program and it will change the way you eat for life. I highly recommend reading it with a friend or loved one who’s on the same journey and doing the Whole30 program with at least one more person. You will need the support and accountability. I really love the tone of this book, too. The authors basically tell you throughout the book to buck up and do what you’ve gotta do to make the changes, that we’re all adults, and that you can say no. Like I said before, simple but not easy.
The last book I’m going to mention is “Practical Paleo” by Diane Sanfilippo, BS, NC. She does a great job of breaking down some more science about what is good nutrition. This one is unique in that it has eleven 30-day meal plans for specific outcomes ( athletic performance, cancer recovery, and thyroid health to name a few). Some of the recipes are not as strict as the other books mentioned, but there is a meal plan for “Squeaky Clean Paleo.” It’s almost textbook like in it’s style, but very practical with over a hundred recipes.
So, who’s ready to cook something really nutritious? If you are, let us know and we’ll let you borrow our resources so you can take the next step in changing your life and your health for the better! Intimidated by all the choices at the grocery? We’ll grocery shop with you. Need some support when there’s hot donuts at work? Call or text us for moral support. We’re here for you guys and we’re in this together!