Tag Archives: Nutrition

Breakfast frittata recipe & Workout of the day for Weds 14th March

Breakfast Frittata

Those of you who follow Coach Milo on Instagram may have seen his various breakfast frittata’s, usually they are dripping with cheese. This is not quite a Milo special, but feel free to adjust the ingredients to suit your taste.

These breakfast frittata’s are great for those of you who need a quick morning feed. Just make this on a Sunday evening and it will last anywhere from 3-6 days (depending on how big you like you portions)

Ingredients for 4-8 servings
1 Bundle asparagus, diced
200-250g button mushrooms, sliced
1 Red bell pepper, diced
1 Yellow bell pepper, diced
Coconut oil spray
1/2 pound bacon
18 eggs, whisked
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
*From PaleOMG

Instructions

– Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Grease a large baking dish.
– Place chopped vegetables on a baking sheet, lightly spray with coconut oil, then place bacon on top of vegetables, covering as many vegetables as possible.
– Place in oven to bake for 30-35 minutes, until bacon is slightly crispy.
– Turn oven down to 170 degrees C.
– Remove bacon from baking sheet and chop into pieces. Place bacon and vegetables in the greased dish.
– In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, garlic powder, salt, red pepper flakes and black pepper until completely combined.
– Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and bacon and mix to combined.
– Place in oven to bake for 35-40 minutes, until the middle is cooked through and no longer jiggly.


Workout of the Day – CrossFit

Peform @ 70 – 80% effort

For time:
1km Row
10 Muscle-ups
30 Kettlebell swings 32/24kg
50 Box jumps 24/20
30 Kettlebell swings 32/24kg
10 Muscle-ups
1km Row

Workout of the Day – Weightlifting

A) Cleans: 4 x 2 @ 82.5%

B) Front squats: 4 x 2 @ 85%

C) Push Press: 3 x 3@ 80-85%

D) RDL’s: 3 x 8

Eating for performance vs eating for fat loss & Workout for Mon 12th March

Often when I ask a client about their goals they usually revolve around performing better and losing weight.

Pretty much the same for the majority of us, right?

So what’s the issue here then? Surely these seem like logical goals?

They are, and there’s nothing wrong with them.

In performance sports it often pays off to be a little bit lighter: CrossFit and gymnastic efforts; weightlifting/powerlifting classes etc.

The issue lies in the approach required to achieve these goals.

You see, in order to lose weight we need to be in some form of a caloric deficit (taking in less energy than we burn). Whereas to increase performance we need to be in a caloric balance at least (if not a small surplus).

So then how do we achieve these goals simultaneously?

It can be tricky to do, and partly comes down to how long you have been training for.

Oftentimes it is best to focus on one or the other, and this is where nutritional periodisation comes in.

Prioritise weight loss in the ‘off-season’, where performance gains aren’t necessary. Then, when the target weight is achieved, a recovery/reverse diet can ensue.

This allows the weight loss to be maintained while picking the metabolism back up and improving strength/performance.

First let’s take a look at eating for fat/weight loss.

Nutrition for fat loss

If you’re a beginner (0-1.5/2 years training), then you’re much more likely to be able to put on muscle while in a caloric deficit, as long as you eat adequate protein to spare and build muscle tissue.

However, if you’re beyond the 2 year training mark, you’ll find it hard to build muscle while in a deficit. Again though, you can spare muscle tissue being lost as long as you eat enough protein (1-1.2g per lb of BW is the most agreed amount).

However, if this is your first time tracking your intake and paying attention to your nutrition, you may find that by regulating your intake you get a slight performance increase whilst being in the deficit.

No matter your level of training, you want to ensure that your deficit is as small as possible while still allowing fat loss.

This prevents loss of muscle tissue, increases dietary adherence, and lowers the risk of a rebound when you’re done losing weight. This also ensures that you can still eat a decent amount of carbohydrates to fuel your efforts in the gym.

For performance athletes focused on losing weight, the best macronutrient to lower is fat as long as you don’t go below the minimum amounts (around 10-15% of total calorie intake).

This allows plenty of carbohydrates in the diet to fuel the performance efforts, and also provides a large enough deficit (as fat is so calorific at 9kcals per gram).

As you lose weight, your body will begin to adapt to your intake. This is known as metabolic adaptation.

This means if your rate of weight loss slows, you’ll need to make adjustments to keep losing fat.

I would recommend a weight loss target of 1-1.5lbs per week, so that you’re still getting plenty of food for performance and muscle mass retention.

It is often quoted that 3,500kcals = 1 pound of weight. Although it isn’t as black and white as this, this is a good starting point.

So for a weight loss of 1lb per week you can aim for a 500kcal daily deficit.

No matter your weight loss goal, I would recommend a deficit for around 2-3 months before coming back to maintenance and having a break.

This not only will allow you to progress further, it also limits metabolic adaptation and keeps you sane!

So when you’ve reached your target, then the time comes to restore your metabolism, keep the weight off, and start fuelling your performance gains.

Nutrition for Performance

As mentioned earlier, performance increases requires caloric maintenance or even a slight surplus.

The body requires a certain amount of food in order to perform at it’s best, so you better fuel appropriately if you want optimal performance.

If you’re coming out of a weight loss diet, then bringing your calories up slowly is the key to avoiding weight rebound.

Start by adding in 200-250kcals per day each week and monitor your weight and how your body feels so that you don’t overdo it.

If you’re not trying to lose weight, and are focused solely on performance, then it’s worth tracking where you are now and how your body feels.

A lot of the time if we’ve chronically under eaten then our bodies will have simply adapted to this and gotten used to it.

If you feel tired all the time, sluggish in workouts, and have zero mojo, then you’re probably under eating.

This is common for a lot of performance athletes focusing on the highest quality foods and often avoiding a lot of carbohydrates.

My advice here would be to obviously eat more food, and especially carbohydrate.

Carbohydrates are the optimal fuel source for intense training and glycolytic activity. It is also the preferred fuel source of the brain so can help in adequate CNS recovery and function.

In Conclusion

If you’re a beginner trainee, you’ll often see some performance improvements while in a calorie deficit.

However, it is still best to try to lose fat when your performance needs are lowest (so far away from competitions/qualifiers).

You can then reach your target weight while being happy with muscle mass maintenance, and then slowly ramp things back up as your performance needs increase.

For those of us in performance sports, decreases in intake should be mostly from fats (though obviously personal preferences will affect dietary adherence), and increases should then come from dietary carbohydrates.

Stay tuned to how your body responds to your approach. Stay clued in to your energy, sleep, hunger, and performance and make decisions based on evidence, not what you hear may work.

If you’re reading the above and think your approach needs work, then get in touch.

If you are interested in finding out more about nutrition coaching with Jonny Landels, check out this info.


Workout of the Day – CrossFIt

A) Back Squat 1-1-1

B) In a 3 minute widow complete:
10 Thrusters 40/30kg
30 Double unders
10 Thrusters
30 Double unders

In the next 3 minute window complete:
12 Thrusters
30 Double unders
12 Thrusters
30 Double unders

In the next 3 minute window complete:
14 Thrusters
30 Double unders
14 Thrusters
30 Double unders

*Start a new round every 3 minutes, adding 2 reps to the thrusters each time.
*Repeat until you cannot complete the work in the 3 minute window.

Is breakfast the most important meal of the day?

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”.

This is touted so often these days it’s become almost Gospel. An unwritten rule of nutrition essentially. Hell I think I’ve probably told many people and clients this same line.

But is there any evidence to back up this claim?

What if it actually came down to personal preference as to whether you ate breakfast or not?

First off let’s look at the arguments for consuming breakfast.

It keeps you full until lunch and thereby reduces over-eating

It is often claimed that by eating breakfast we are more likely to have energy through our morning’s and stay full until lunch.

By missing breakfast we leave ourselves open to snacking on high calorie foods and temptations.

If this happens then we would end up eating more junk food, and consequently more calories.

So in this instance consuming breakfast would be the better option for health and weight management.

Well yes, this can be the case, depending on what we eat for breakfast and how we deal with hunger/temptation before lunch.

If we consume a small, and nutrient lacking breakfast (small bowl of cereal for instance), then actually we may still be hungry only an hour into our day. Before you know it, your hand is in the biscuit tin to go with your mid-morning brew.

If we were to consume a slightly bigger, more balanced breakfast (containing some protein as well), then we would be more likely to be full until lunch and avoid temptation.

In a lot of observational studies, it is shown that those who consume breakfast are associated with better health.

However, this is generally because the breakfast-eaters are generally more ‘health-seeking’ individuals who also exercise regularly and have lots of other healthy habits.

It’s also true that most work places don’t exactly have the healthiest options available for people who need breakfast on the go. Think high calorie breakfast bars, crisps, and other such delights you’d find in a standard office vending machine.

But what if skipping breakfast was part of a plan, and by knowing this plan we then stayed strong until lunch, and didn’t consume calories in that time. Would it still be a negative thing to skip breakfast?

Skipping meals causes the body to go into starvation mode

This is another argument from the pro-breakfast crowd.

Well it can be said with certainty that this is not the case.

For one, there was a study done by Stewart & Fleming in 1973 in which they took a 27-year-old male through a 382-day supervised fast, in which he only had water and vitamins. And the result?

The man lost 125.2kg overall, an average of 0.33kg a day.

I can hear you screaming at the screen now, “But he must have wrecked his metabolism and put it all back on!”

Nope, 5 years later and he weighed 89kg, which was only a few kg above where he finished the fast.

Also, when studies use doubly labelled water to assess total 24-h energy expenditure they find no difference between nibbling and gorging.

Bellisle et al (1997) also concluded that:

There is no evidence that weight loss on hypo energetic regimens is altered by meal frequency”.

Essentially meaning as long as you’re in a calorie deficit (consuming less calories than you burn) you will lose weight even if you skip a meal.

But I thought eating breakfast boosted your metabolism?

This is another myth from the unwritten rules of nutrition.

The research does not support this claim. In one study comparing 3 meals a day to 6 meals a day, Cameron et al. (2010) concluded that:

“increasing meal frequency does not promote greater weight loss”.

So, skipping meals doesn’t lead to starvation mode, and eating more meals doesn’t boost your metabolism, so what really are the benefits to consuming breakfast?

Well, as I alluded to above, eating breakfast can stop you from over-eating in the day if your response to missing breakfast is to binge on snacks.

It can also be a great way to get in extra nutrients for your body, and improve your health.

However, skipping breakfast on purpose, and then eating lunch and dinner as normal, can be a very easy way to lower your calorie intake without having to think about it.

This is therefore a great strategy for those who are looking to drop weight without following a complicated plan or without feeling too deprived.

By skipping breakfast and still eating your normal sized meals for the rest of the day, you’re dropping calories without feeling deprived.

You will also be eating larger, more socially acceptable meals when you are eating. Rather than eating small amounts for each meal (which may be necessary to create a caloric deficit for weight loss).

This last point is what I hammer home often. In order to lose weight, you must be in a caloric deficit, and skipping breakfast can achieve this.

Skipping breakfast may also be a great tool if you’re very busy and don’t have time to prepare anything suitable/healthy.

You’re better off eating nothing than eating crisps and chocolate in the car on your way to work.

Another positive for not consuming breakfast would also be if you weren’t hungry. Eating when not hungry is a fast way to over-consume and therefore put on weight. If you wake up and you’re not hungry, don’t eat!

The Conclusion

The decision to eat breakfast or not is completely up to you and your goals.

You can do either and still be extremely healthy and lead a fulfilling life.

If you like eating breakfast, and this stops you from snacking on high calorie foods and over-eating, then go for it.

However if you’re too busy, always consume food on the go that’s less than ideal, or want an easy way to lower calories, then skip it.

This fits in perfectly with the research by Dhurandar et al. (2014) who concluded:

“A recommendation to eat (or skip) breakfast had no discernible effect on weight loss in free living adults who were attempting to lose weight”.
.
So remember; next time someone tries to convince you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you’ll know for sure that it’s not.

For more information on Nutrition Coaching with Jonny, check out this page.


Workout of the Day – CrossFit

A) Strength / Strength Endurance – Back Squat

A1) Build to a heavy single for the day

A2) 2 x 20 reps @ 50% of above

B) 3 x 3 Minute AMRAP : 2 minute rest
15 Toes to bar
Max rep lunges

Are you tracking your progress? – Jonny Landels, Nutrition Coach

Progress Tracking

The metric that most people forget about when embarking on their journey to lose weight, get stronger, gain muscle, and improve their health.

However, it is by far the most important.

If you’re not tracking your progress, then how do you know if you’re improving or regressing?

Most people’s attempt at tracking is poor, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Some will start a ‘diet’ or exercise routine, and weigh themselves just a few days later, see no difference, and decide to do something else as it’s clearly ‘not working’.

Others will stick with it for a while, but will use the scale only to track, and after one bad weigh in on a random day decide to pack it all in or make some dramatic change.

It’s inconsistent tracking and unreliable data that causes us to make rash decisions when attempting to improve our physique or health in anyway.

If this sounds like you, this article is for you.

Here are the measures I use when tracking my client’s progress:

Weight

Unavoidably, weight on the scale is a metric we need to track when trying to lose/gain weight.

I sometimes wish it could be done without it as people can be very emotionally attached with this number, however, when combined with the other data, it can be a good indicator of fat loss/muscle gain.

But not always.

Weight gain doesn’t necessarily mean that fat has been gained, and a lack of change doesn’t always mean that fat hasn’t been lost.

Weight fluctuates on a daily basis due to water levels, muscle glycogen levels, and gut residue.

So I get my clients to weigh themselves every day and record the weekly average.

It sounds like overkill, but this will allow you to see past the day-day fluctuations, and notice actual weight change week to week, and month to month.

Do this first thing in the morning, naked, and after your morning trip to the bathroom.

Body Circumference Measurements

For accuracy, I love the 9 site measurement data that Andy Morgan from rippedbody.jp suggests on his article on tracking progress.

These 9 sites are:

– Chest
– Right arm
– Left arm
– 2″ above navel
– Navel
– 2″ below navel
– Hips (widest point)
– Right thigh
– Left thigh

Of course this takes time, so if you’re rushed, neck, waist, and hips will do.

These can be hard to do by yourself so I recommend buying an Orbitape measure so that you can comfortably get it done without relying on anyone else.

Do these once a week and note to the nearest 0.1cm for accuracy.

A guide to using this tape measure can be found here.

These body circumference sites when used in correlation to the scale weight will show you if body fat is being lost or muscle being gained.

Subjective measures

Everything affects everything…

I get my clients to record how they’re sleeping, what their stress levels are like, how their appetite is, and how they’re feeling during their workouts.

All of these measures will affect each other as well as your training and weight progress.

So if you feel your progress in the gym or on your diet is poor, think whether you have the above dialled in or not.

Progress Photos

I get my clients to take progress photos from the front and side every 4 weeks.

There is no need for them to be more frequent than this, and these can be just for you to notice differences in physical appearance.

These can be great to keep you motivated and accountable to the process.

Dietary adherence, Training adherence, and Progression
For my clients I also ask them to rate their adherence to their nutrition and training plans, as well as notes about their progression in performance.

This can be useful for you to note also before you make drastic changes.

If the scale weight and measurements didn’t change but you’ve not been to the gym and you had more treats than you would’ve liked then that’s probably the cause of the issue rather than the exercise or diet not working.

Take a training log of your exercise so you can see your frequency and performance levels, and be honest about whether you’re following your nutrition habits as well as you should be.

The training log will help you see if you’re progressing with your weights or not, and also what weights you should be using session to session.

If you find you aren’t recovering or progressing, and your subjective measures are bang on, this will show that a change to your dietary intake could help.

Staying objective about your data

All of the data together will help provide you a picture of progress when trying to lose weight, gain muscle, get stronger, or just improve your health.

If your weight increases but your stomach measurements decrease, this indicates fat loss and muscle gain at the same time.

Muscle growth can hide fat loss so don’t just rely on the scale.

If your weight suddenly increases (which it will sometimes) then don’t get disheartened, this won’t mean fat gain. Check your stomach measurements for change, if there isn’t any, then you’re fine.

This weight increase will be down to an increase in glycogen, maybe from extra carbohydrate or some salty food.

For women, your weight will fluctuate with your menstrual cycle due to water retention, so make sure you’re comparing data at the same time in your cycle not to be discouraged.

I see weight fluctuations much more in women, so measuring the body and progress photos become even more important.

In terms of gym performance, a strength increase is always a good way to measure progress – are you lifting more than the week prior.

However, if you are losing weight, then maintaining strength levels is also a great sign of progress. This shows that your fat loss isn’t affecting your muscle strength as you’re moving more load in comparison to your new bodyweight.

I hope this article helps you stay objective with your progress when trying to make a change, as always, questions welcome in comments or on the Thames Facebook Group.

To find out more about nutrition programming with Jonny, check out this post!


Workout of the Day – CrossFit

A) Barbell Cycling – Snatch

21-15-12-9-6-3

Increase weight from week 1 and start over.

B) Midline and Stability Work

3-5 Rounds:
5/5 Banded cycles
10 Hollow rocks
30 Second hollow hold
15/15 Flutter kicks

Nutrition Programming with Jonny Landels!

It’s finally happening!

Jonny Landels of Next Step Nutrition is partnering with his old haunt to offer his nutrition programming services to you!

Jonny’s mission is to educate people about food and to clear up the nutrition myths that surround and confuse us on a daily basis.

There’s no bullshit here. No quick fix. No “6 weeks to flat abs”. Just real advice, coaching, and accountability, that brings real results. “I’m not about ‘diets’. I’m about small lifestyle changes that make a big difference.

Jonny moved into nutrition coaching back in September 2016 to continue pursuing his passion of improving people’s health and fitness. His own journey with fitness began back in 2009 when he started going to the gym to fill the gap from playing rugby.

He found CrossFit in 2010 and became a CF-L1 instructor in 2012. This led him down the path of learning more and getting more coaching experience, before becoming a full-time trainer with us at Reebok CrossFit Thames in London in 2014. He coached here full time up until September 2016 before re-located back north and moving full time into nutrition coaching.

So how can Jonny help you, well let’s have him explain…


Nutrition programming with Jonny is a 3 month commitment (Rome wasn’t built in a day!) to develop healthy habits and a nutrition program for you to improve how you look, feel and perform.

During those 3 months you get:
– 90 day ongoing food log review
– 1x/week check-in (online) with Jonny,
– A website to submit weekly check-ins for review allowing Jonny to track your progress and adjust your plan
– Specific guidance based on your goals whether it be body composition or performance (or both!)
– Specific macronutrient and/or habitual recommendations based on your goals
– Before and after measurements with each weekly check-in
– A members-only Facebook group to lean on for extra support

At the end of the 3 months many clients feel comfortable going off into the big wide world by themselves full of confidence with what they have learned!

If you want to find out more, or get signed up just email us.

Bonus: The first 10 sign-ups also get a free e-book from Jonny on “Flexible Dieting”


Workout of the Day – CrossFit

A) Deadlift: Find a 10 rep max

B) Pacing and quality control:
50 Box jumps 24/20″
50 Knees to elbows
50 Double unders

EMOM until completed , 3 Power Cleans 60/40kg

Workout of the Day – MetCon

A) For time:
50 Kettlebell swings 24/16kg
40 Calorie row / airdyne
30 Wall ball sit-ups 9/6kg
20 Sandbag squats
10 Sandbag/DB clean and press
20 Sandbag squats
30 Wall ball sit-ups 9/6kg
40 Calorie row / airdyne
50 Kettlebell swings 24/16kg

Thoughts on Nutritional Changes

Paleo

Some of our members attempted and maintained diet changes for all of January. In light of the WLC challenge starting in February, we thought it would be great to hear how much they enjoyed/disliked their experience.

Danielle Woods:

“Best thing – It’s contagious! My parents and a workmate have got in on the action, and lots of others have shown a genuine curiosity, and started making smaller changes to their own habits. The Tesco by our work wasn’t prepared for the sudden uptake in coconut oil!

Worst thing – Feeling weak and tired as my body was adjusting.

Will I be repeating it in Feb? No, because to repeat it would have to mean I stopped. Now that I feel like I’ve cracked it, I intend to continue the good habits.”

Maria Turner:

“The best thing was the cooking! I love to cook and this gave me the chance to try new things and be more creative with my meals. The worst / hardest thing was giving up my morning latte. It sounds silly, but it was a big part of my morning routine and it has taken me a while to get used to black filter coffee. I’m really looking forward to joining the WLC in a few weeks.”

Sophie Bewick:

“I discovered some awesome new recipes…The first few days of withdrawals (mainly cheese) made me as sick as a dog but since then I had no issues with food – my meals are mostly clean anyways, it was the snacking in-between that had to stop. The no booze got boring, I missed wine. Overall my body felt great, but my mind was bored. The major downside (other than the lack of partying) was that I got weaker in quite a few of my lifts.

I’m definitely going to do the WLC in Feb, the benefits are brilliant (sleep, skin, skinny-jeans) but I’m not going to be as strict as I have been on the Whole 30 as it’s not sustainable if you also want to have a social life. So will I occasionally have a glass of wine? Yes. Will I eat the free cake in the office? No. Will I remember to roll out, take fish oil, and get 8 hours of sleep a night? I hope so.”

Who else made changes to their diet in January?


Workout of the day
A: Deadlift – 5 x 5
B: 21 – 15 – 9 of:
KB Swings (32/24kg)
Burpees


Quick announcement, athlete level testing this month will take place on Tuesday, 26th of Feb, and will consist of:

400m Run
Double Unders
“Fran”
Muscle ups / ring dips
Pull up
Burpee
Overhead squat
Snatch
Toes to bar
Push up / HSPU (Int/Adv)

Nutrition as a disease cure

The blog post topics have jumbled around a little recently to accommodate the Open WOD on Thursdays, so here is a little food love.


We have all heard plenty of stories of poor nutrition causing ill health and disease (obesity, diabetes etc), but what about nutrition as a cure? It stands to reason that if a poor diet can cause disease then a good diet should reverse or cure them.

Below is a video of a pretty amazing story. Dr Terry Wallis was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) which is a degenerative disease which affect the nervous system and leads to paralysis and eventually death, there is no known cure. Dr Wallis suffered with the disease and got to a point where she spent most of her days sat in a wheelchair unable to perform the simplest of tasks. However Dr Willis wasn’t about to give in that easily and she began educating herself on health and nutrition in order to combat the disease. By changing her diet she has had unbelievable results, especially when you consider the ruthlessness of a disease like MS. She is now able to walk around un-assisted and recently completed a 18 mile trail bike ride, her condition improves on a daily basis. Can anybody guess what the magical diet looked like?!…Meat/fish, fruit, vegetables and healthy fats.

I urge you to spare 17 minutes of you day and listen to this remarkable story.

This is not a one off case where a healthy diet has been shown to reverse/cure disease states, diet has been shown to help in almost any disease you can name from the minor to the very major (diabetes, artritis, cancers, cardiovascular disease, ulcerative colitis, epilepsy, Crohn’s, Parkinsons, dementia, hyperthyroidism, headaches and migraines, asthma, eczema, baldness…anything you can think of!). There is nothing magical about these diets, no secret supplement, no drinking unicorn blood…it comes down to eating real, natural foods, not the processed, chemically ‘enhanced’ food products.

What we eat directly impacts how our bodies form and function right down to the basic biochemical level. Our diet quite literally dictates who we are and what we become and it influences everything from our health to our athletic performance, dismiss its importance and your own expense.


Workout of the day
A: Power clean
– 5 sets of 3 reps, 90 second recovery between sets
– Build to 3RM

B: On the minute, each minute, for 10mins
3 Power cleans 70/50kg
10 Wall balls 9/6kg

Lets see your Snatch!…

Sorry guys, had a very busy week and have not quite finished my next post, so here are a few videos to keep you going:

Gary Taubes discusses carbohydrates and degenerative diseases:

Some more ‘big fat lies’….


Workout of the day

8 Intervals of:
90 seconds on
5 Power snatch 50/35kg
5 Pull ups
5 burpees
90 seconds off

Finally….

What I’m eating this week:
Salsa for the summer!…http://libidiny.blogspot.com/2010/04/fiesta-in-my-mouth-and-everyones.html

What I’m reading this week:
Have a desk job?, better get on your feet!
http://www.marksdailyapple.com/sedentary-work-obesity/
and ways to improve your training;
http://practicalpaleolithic.com/paleolithic-diet-blog/10-things-that-will-make-your-training-better

Nutrition – Where to begin?

Nutrition is vital to your general well-being and is a key component of fitness, getting the right foods ensures your body has all it needs to function correctly at the basic biochemical levels (basically living and breathing) to maximising human performance (sub 2min Fran?). We are often told that to be truly ‘fit’ we need an equal balance of good nutrition and intelligent training programming.

When looking into this topic there is mountains of information out there so here are the results of a google search. Here are some things I searched for and the results; Firstly and optimistically I searched ‘Diet’, which came back with over 369,000,000’ hits, perhaps refining the search might help? ‘Best diet’, 202,000,000 results…ok that wasn’t much refining. ‘Best diet for health’, 163,000,000 ‘Best diet for health and longevity’, 984,000….the numbers coming down ‘Best diet for health, longevity and performance’ 90,500,000….oops! …. The search term ‘best diet for immortality’ had 1,410,000 results. Finally and most amusingly the the search for ‘best diet to meet Jesus in a barn playing a banjo’ returned 245,000. My point is there is a vast amount of information out there to be consumed, much of it is complete rubbish but how do we know what to trust? There are hundreds of different diets and how they are the best thing for weight loss, muscle gain, detox (apparently meeting a rockin’ Jesus).

These diets come in all manner of forms from the well known Atkins or baby food diets, to the more bizarre diets, two of which I just had to share with you:

Tapeworm diet – In this approach you eat a tapeworm cyst, letting it hatch and grow in your gut. As the tapeworm grows it takes up vast amounts of the nutrients you consume causing you to lose weight.

Breatharianism (Eating sunlight) – Believers in this diet claim food and (sometimes) water are not necessary and that humans can live solely sustained by ‘prana’ which according to some is the energy provided by sunlight….do I need to go on? (Interestingly, or should I say worryingly, the search for ‘strange diets’ led to a website the ‘Caveman diet’ in the same list as the ‘Breatharianism’ and ‘Tapeworm’ diets! Eeek!).

What good would a first blog post on nutrition be without some figures on obesity rates. The latest Health Survey for England (HSE) data shows that in 2009, 61.3% of adults (aged 16+) and 28.3% of children (aged 2-10) in England were classed as overweight or obese. Of these 23.0% of adults and 14.4% of children were obese. This is costing the NHS (and thus Jonny Taxpayer) an eye watering amount. In 2007 the cost of treating diseases related to being overweight and obese was estimated at £4.2 billion and if things continue it is projected that by 2015 this will have risen to £6.3 billion! These figures paint a pretty shocking picture of our nations health and we are far from the worst…just try looking up obesity rates in the US! So my first post might be light on anything truly useful but I hope it has provided a interesting intro from which I can dive into the the nitty gritty.

Over the next few posts we will be covering the basics of the Paleolithic way of eating, hopefully shedding light on why this nutritional approach is beginning to be recognised in the wider community as the way our fitter and stronger ancestors ate and the way we should be eating for health, longevity and performance. Next week we shall move on to the Paleolithic diet and a little history lesson that stretches back over 2.5 million years. If you have any comments or suggestions let me know.

Finally…

What I have been eating this week: This was truly a delicious meal and for those that like meat there is plenty in there. It makes great next day lunch/tea leftovers too. www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-jambalaya/

What I have been reading this week: An interesting post on the addictive effects of sugar and wheat on the brain and why its so hard to shake those cravings. http://evolutionaryhealthsystems.blogspot.com/2011/03/wheat-and-sugar-addiction-in-brain.html Also, 10 reasons NOT to go paleo: http://theurbancave.blogspot.com/2011/03/10-reasons-not-to-eat-paleo.html


Workout of the day A: Snatch – on the minute for each minute for 12 minutes perform 2 high hang squat snatches B: 4 Rounds for time: 15 Wall ball 9/6kg 15 Snatch 40/25kg

Nutrition video collection

Have you seen our nutrition video collection? Above video is an example of some of the treasures in that collection. Gary Taubes is a science journalist and the author of “Good calories, bad calories” and “Why we get fat”. The above lecture summarizes the key points from his books.


Workout of the day
A. Deadlift – 5 sets of 5

B. 8 min AMRAP:
10 KB snatch 24/16kg
Run 200m
10 Burpees