Paleo, Bro!

I have been working out at CrossFit Scottsdale for a little over three months now and am absolutely hooked.  I attended the Food As Fuel seminar, taught by Coach Ashley Richards shortly after enrolling with CrossFit Scottsdale and doing my first “Baseline” test (which was a real ass-kicker).  I had a background in weight lifting and played sports in high school and intramurals in college so was fairly active and in shape, but for some reason couldn’t shed off the few extra pounds I had accumulated over the countless beers and late night munchies. I was pushing almost 210lbs.  I never really went up in weight and never really went down in weight either.  I just seemed to fluctuate up or down within a pound or two.  I ate decent, not completely healthy, and yet not completely junk food either, and was in the gym lifting weights and doing cardio but still couldn’t shake it.

I had heard of the Paleo diet prior to joining CrossFit Scottsdale from some good friends of mine who have been doing it for over a year now and they have lost an incredible amount of weight between the two of them, and they are never in the gym working out or doing cardio, they maybe go to the gym once a month to play racquetball.  Paleo definitely showed results but I thought that with my work schedule and finances that it would be tough for a recent college grad making his way through life to stick to it and that I would be limited in options as to what to eat, let alone afford it.  But after taking the Food As Fuel seminar offered at CrossFit Scottsdale, I learned everything there was to know about Paleo.  So I decided to dive in headfirst and accept the challenge.  I took my success journal that came with a handy dandy Paleo shopping list with me to Sprouts (along with my friends who are already Paleo), and made my way down each aisle.

Long story short, Paleo is pretty simple once you get the hang of it.  It actually is fairly cheap and inexpensive to shop for foods that are considered Paleo. Bear in mind that I am shopping for myself, I maybe spend $50-$60 in a shopping trip to Sprouts, and that sometimes gives me almost two weeks worth of meats and chicken. And there are Paleo alternatives to almost everything you once loved but isn’t considered to be Paleo.  Oh, and let’s not forget about the bacon, that’s Paleo.  Even going out to restaurants, you can find something on the menu that is Paleoesque or that would fit the diet.  You just have to be mindful and special order it with only egg whites, without cheese, get fruit instead of toast, an extra vegetable instead of rice or beans.  I do have “cheat” days every couple of weekends and still enjoy a drink or two by the pool in the hot summertime sun and on special occasions I’ll eat something I shouldn’t, but don’t go overboard with it.  Now, did it give me results?  Yes.   Before starting at CrossFit Scottsdale I mentioned I was pushing almost 210lbs.  About two months into CrossFit, we had to get our body weight in order to RX for the WOD.  I stepped on the scale and low and behold, I was under 200lbs for the first time in almost a year (198lbs to be exact).  Three weeks after that, I weighed in again at home and was down to 192lbs. And the results are noticeable at that, not only in the mirror, but also by friends who I see on a daily basis can see the results and progression.  I can literally tighten my belt down another notch and have it still be comfortable.  I also feel like I am performing much better as well and putting up more PR’s and RXing more of the WODs.

- Michael Talarico

Michael Talarico