Paleo or not to Paleo?

Posted by Ben Quinney on

There are so many skeptics out there about the whole paleo "fad" including some of those from the CrossFit community.

Well as I say it's each to their own. It's what ever works best for you. There is no right or wrong way ultimately in the end we want what's going to be best for our overall health, wellbeing and performance.

I was introduced to paleo within my first few days of CrossFit. It was convenient as Crossfit Wollongong was starting their annual transformation challenge. Up for anything I decided to give it a go.

I'm not going to say that it was easy. There was a lot of research that I had to do because previously I had never even heard the word paleo (let alone being able to pronounce it properly) After gaining a basic knowledge and understanding I found a basic 2 week meal plan which I followed & stuck to quite easily. For myself I thought of this as what our bodies were intended to eat, digest and use as energy and fuel. Instead of foods that were made for us to eat and our bodies had to adapt to overtime.

I slowly started to notice changes - and it was these positive changes that made me realise that this is what my body needs.

Going a looooooong way back before my CrossFit days when I was a teenager I was very active. I played national league soccer and there wasn't a day where I didn't have training or playing games. With all that hard work came the injuries and I just thought that was normal but after seeing a range of physiotherapists, chiropractors and god knows who else my mum dragged me around too see. We soon realised this wasn't normal for your everyday teenager. Desperate for a solution I tried any alternative options. It was when I stumbled across a "witch doctor" in words that were used to describe him, that I think back now is when I had my first paleo/primal introduction into my lifestyle. After what seemed like a bizarre visit to a man whom told me dairy and glucose products are breaking brown my body I thought well I may as well give it a shot.
I eliminated all dairy foods and processed carbs and sugars and being a teenager it was quite difficult. But my body turned itself around. I suffered no injuries and I felt fitter and stronger than ever.

Naturally as I entered my 20's I went back to my old ways yet still heavily involved in my soccer. The injuries yet again returned and some quite serious. At this time I was naive to think that it was from the result of unhealthy eating and the lack of care and treatment of my body to be able to manage and recover from the repetitive workloads I put on my body.
Fast forward 10 years and after 3 knee operations due to soccer and countless amounts of physio and specialist appointments for ankle and hip problems I knew my body wasn't coping at all. So starting CrossFit and paleo I suppose just came hand in hand. Not only to help with getting my body back on track but to help with my new found love of training.

After now eating paleo for a year I can easily say its the best decision I have made for myself. The overall health and lifestyle benefits outweigh any negatives that there may be.
I have a increased amount of energy and even with my long working days and training sessions I seem to be able to sustain it and have a stable energy base. My sleep has improved 100%. I was always a restless sleeper and even struggled to get to sleep most nights. If I woke during the night it would take sometimes hours to return to sleep. Now a days I get a solid 8 hours straight which helps big time with my training and work life especially being a Physical Education teacher. I have less bloating and have lost weight and more importantly I can maintain my body weight. its the healthiest i have been in a long time, I find I'm more immune from common colds and hardly find myself ill or fatigued. It has helped with my muscle growth and repair improving my lean muscle mass in return burning more fat. Overall it has improved my mood and attitude towards everyday life.I enjoy preparing and cooking fresh meals each day and have a passion for creating new dishes. 

 

The picture below shows two consecutive transformation "after" photos.The one on the left was after my first three months of Crossfit and Paleo. i continued with my Crossfit training where i usually do 6 sessions a week. During the year i also played in the NSW Premier League for soccer up until September this year. The picture on the right is a full year circle from the previous picture. Not being the best picture but the changes are quite evident. I had gains in the places i wanted, maintained across the midline and loss in the chest and also the calves.

crossfit health life lifestyle love paleo transformation

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