Paleo Diet

I hear a lot of buzz about the Paleo diet especially being around the Crossfit environment.  Some of the things I hear are “I can eat this and cannot eat that,” “I feel great and my workouts have improved!” and “Well, I follow Paleo but I eat/drink this….” Many don’t mention or ask what is the science behind it all and is it really for me? 

I think there are many aspects of Paleo worth following however, people need to remember that it is still a diet and you are eliminating food groups.  Anytime we eliminate food groups the potential for being undernourished in micronutrients (vit/minerals) is there.  People definitely feel tighter and leaner on the diet but are also eliminating most carbohydrate sources (processed and non) and this is usually a result.  The question is, is this a sustainable lifestyle for you or are you setting yourself up for another failed diet plan?  Solution: Practicing a healthy lifestyle that incorporates parts of Paleo is still a success. (find a list of encouraged and discouraged foods here)

The reason I bring this subject up today is, one I had a client come to me claiming that a “trainer” following a Paleo type diet (at a non CF gym) instructed her that her kids should not eat carrots.  Hey, I would much rather them eating carrots than Cheetos!  According to the list above carrots are actually ok on Cordain’s Paleo Diet.  Hmmm, perhaps they were going off the glycemic index, well carrots are rated low and again, have no reason to be avoided. Two, on my sports dietetics listserve I came across a great post from a respected dietitian, Jeff Novick MS, RD:

Cordain’s work is interesting and deserves some consideration but it is mostly all anecdotal and theoretical, which, while of some value, is not the same level of credibility of the many l/t studies we have that are based on outcome data. There was one recently that came out comparing a PALEO to a MED style diet but they only looked at satiety.  A more recent one that concluded, “the diet does fall short of meeting the daily recommended intakes for certain micronutrients. A 9.3% increase in income is needed to consume a Paleolithic diet that meets all daily recommended intakes except for calcium.”

While it is true that there was less chronic disease back then, their lifespans were also much shorter and many lifestyle related chronic diseases to not show up till later in life. Several small isolated groups alive today who still follow a Paleo style diet also have much shorter lifespans.

The rationale that some foods were not available at one time, is again, interesting theoretically, but not always applicable. There are many things in today’s world that were not available then (ie the computers we are on and the internet), then are regular parts of our lives and all enhance our lives. So, should we give those up because they were not available back then either?

From an evolutionary perspective, something in the diet fueled the growth of the brain and besides the advent of fire and cooking, there are basically two camps out there with one saying it is was animal protein and the other saying it was roots, tubers, grains and starches. My guess is, it is a combination of both as both were a richer source of available calories which helped but I tend to think the roots, tubers, grains and starches played a bigger roles as after all, that is what is the primary fuel for the brain and muscles. Humans have been consuming roots, tubers, grains and starches for at least 30K yrs and several recent studies have shown that grains were part of the diet during the paleo time and that humans are well adapted to consuming them. In fact, the evidence for the benefit of including legumes and intact whole grains is tremendous.

The focus of the Paleo diet on removing processed and refined foods is excellent and should be heeded. About 75% of the American diet now comes from processed foods with the majority of those calories coming from added sugars, refined flours and fats. I  personally also agree with the elimination of dairy products as they are one of the leading contributors of calories, saturated fat and sodium to the American diet.
(this point I do not 100% agree on as I believe lowfat diary can have a healthy place in ones diet, plus Greek yogurt rocks!)

As we can see, what is being recommended as the Paleo diet is much healthier than what is being consumed by most Americans, including many of those who believe they are following a healthy diet. Even those who follow what they believe to be a “healthy” higher carbohydrate diet, are often consuming way to many processed and refined carbs. Remember, as I have posted here several times, 90% of Americans say they follow a heart healthy diet yet analysis shows that less than 5% follow a heart healthy lifestyle and less than 1% follow a heart healthy diet. So, there is a huge disconnect about what is healthy even amongst those who strongly believe they are following a “healthy” diet. As a result most anyone who changes their diet to something better, will report feeling better. Therefore, in and of itself, feeling better is not a good criteria to judge a diet by.

Also, we have to remember that while there is a relationship between being active/fit and achieving a high level of health, there is not always a relationship between high fitness/sport performance and a high level of health. In order to achieve high level peak performance, many athletes engage in behaviors that may also compromise their health. In fact, as a former marathon runner, I know of no evidence linking high performance to l/t health outcomes.

In addition, when we look at the diets of successful endurance athletes and long lived healthy populations around the world,  we see some common denominators in their diets. They all consume a high carb, low fat diet but their carb intake, which can make up 70-90% of their diet, is based on unrefined unprocessed “as grown in nature” carbs and not the carbs common here in America, even the ones most people consider to be healthy.

My favorite part of the Paleo world is their focus on evolutionary fitness, which has led to the growth of the cross-fit movement and the body-weight movement, of which I am a big fan of. I think it is safer, healthier and gives a more balanced approach to fitness as it uses many ancillary muscles that get missed in modern exercise, especially with machines. It is also great for developing and strengthening the core as you can’t do proper body weight exercise without developing and/or having a strong core.

So, the good news is that many of the changes the Paleo diet recommends are healthy and have strong evidence behind them. I would recommend you keep these changes, which include:

– cut out all the processed foods including all the processed fats, oils, carbohydrates/grains, sugars/sweeteners.

– dramatically reduce and/or cut out dairy products and if included use only the fat free versions in limited amounts. (again, my view is to keep the lowfat/no sugar versions in to help meet calcium needs)

– dramatically reduce and/or cut out all the refined processed carbohydrates/grains and sugars/sweeteners

– focus on eating lots of fruits and vegetables

– when choosing animal products, choose free range, wild, and completely grass fed varieties.  Check out Wallace Farms!

However, the recommendation to eliminate intact whole grains, legumes and unrefined unprocessed starchy vegetables is misguided.
In Health
Thanks Jeff for your perspective!

See how the Paleo Diet Challenged fared with fellow dietitian Julie Upton!
See how the Paleo Diet stacked up against other popular diets!

Until next time…
look good

New Year’s Habits

It’s that time of year where you kick-start your health goal by calling it a New Year’s Resolutions.  However, I heard a stat at church yesterday that 80% of resolutions will be broken.  Seriously, I am starting to think people choose to resolute things they do not want to achieve.  Therefore, instead of making New Year’s resolutions this year let’s make
New Year’s Habits

The definition of habit: an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary.  That’s what we’re going for!

So getting up in the morning to workout…make it a habit, not something you have to decide whether to do or not to do each day.

Eating healthy…make it easy.  You don’t eat fried food, plain and simple.  You eat a fruit and/or veggie at every meal and snack, plain and simple.  Don’t battle yourself with making good decisions…JUST DO IT!

Here are a couple of things to help you get started on your New Year’s Healthy Lifestyle Habits:

1. 24 Day Challenge
Jump start your New Year’s habits with the 24 Day Challenge!  The Challenge is perfect for anyone looking for weight loss, gaining an edge at the gym, and wanting more energy.  Average weight loss is 10lb in 24 Days.  Motivational and maintainable.  Inquire for more info!

2. Crossfit

Join Crossfit Waukee or Crossfit Des Moines for a free two week trial!  What is Crossfit?  Watch this video!  I’ll be there at 5:30am tomorrow…hope to see you there!  Contact to inquire.

3. Nutrition Counseling

The Ultimate Lifestyle.  Need your oil change, tires rotated and windows washed?  This plan may be for you.  Find out where you are at and where you need to go with your health habits.  Receive a nutrition assessment based off your nutrition history and food logs.  From there we develop an individualized plan, grocery store tour, pantry clean out, and more!

Let me know what your New Year’s Healthy Habit is going to be and your steps to success! 

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good
Sara B.

Nutrition Advice, take it or leave it?

Nutrition Advice: Take It Or Leave It, But Should You Give It Out?

From NASM Newsletter

Key Points

Personal trainers help clients achieve their personal health, fitness, and performance goals via the implementation of exercise programs and suggestions in lifestyle modification, including nutritional recommendations.Prudence about scope of practice and providing useful referrals to dietetics professionals when appropriate is essential to responsible practice, and serving clients’ needsAccording to a 2002 article in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association , food and

nutrition misinformation can be a serious barrier to public health.

With certifications, continuing education, and even university-based education, fitness professionals bring safe, science-based exercise

> programming to their clients and group class members. But what about dispensing nutrition advice? When a client asks, “what do you think of this supplement? or “what diet should I follow to reduce body fat, improve my mile time, or vertical leap?” What should the answer be?

Personal trainers help clients achieve their personal health, fitness, and performance goals via the implementation of exercise programs and suggestions in lifestyle modification, including nutritional recommendations.

The Issues

> Not many years ago, the fitness field lacked the standardization and

> professionalism it is beginning to enjoy. Today, consumers are

> becoming better informed about how to locate a certified personal

> trainer and trainers are becoming more knowledgeable about how to find

> qualified continuing education. Consequently, the profession is

> benefiting from standards that are producing safe and consistent

> results. However, questions remain about fitness professionals and

> nutrition counsel.
Who should dispense nutrition recommendations? What

> are the prudent parameters of scope of practice with dietary advice

> and how can trainers learn to recognize and respect them? Before

> trying to answer these questions, it is important to define some of

> the terms and credentials in nutrition — both qualified and

> questionable.

> Many accredited universities offer degrees in nutrition. A bachelor’s

> degree (B.S.) in nutrition requires four years of full-time study that

> qualify a graduate for entry level positions in dietetics. These

> positions are extremely varied and might include work with a food

> company, a government agency such as the USDA, or a medical environment.


> The Registered Dietitian (R.D.) credential is available to individuals

> who obtain a bachelor’s degree in nutrition, complete an American

> Dietetics Association (ADA) -approved dietetic internship, and pass a

> comprehensive written test. RDs must keep their credentials current,

> just as fitness professionals keep their fitness certifications

> current,
with continuing professional education credits (CECs). RDs

> also have varied employment, including corporate wellness, community

> and public health settings, sports nutrition, universities, medical

> centers, research areas, and many others. Although completion of a

> master’s degree and PhD is valuable to nutrition professionals, it is

> not required to become a Registered Dietitian.


> There are other credentials in the field of dietetics, some credible

> and many questionable
. For example, active membership in the American

> Society for Nutritional Sciences (ASNS) — formerly called the

> American Institute of Nutrition — is open to those who have published

> meritorious research on some aspect of nutrition and are presently

> working in the field. The Certification Board for Nutritional

> Specialists was founded by the American College of Nutrition in 1993.

> It offers a Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) credential to

> professionals with an accredited master’s or doctoral degree that also

> have clinical experience and pass an examination.


> However others, like the Certified Nutritional Consultant (CNC),

> issued by the Society of Certified Nutritionists, do not require the

> same rigorous study or clinical experience that an RD must

> successfully complete. Other questionable credentials include

> Certified Clinical Nutritionist (CCN) and Certified Nutritionist (CN).

> Because the titles “nutritionist” and “nutrition consultant” are

> unregulated in many states, they have been adopted by many individuals

> who lack accreditation and are unqualified to practice.


> Forty-one states have laws that regulate the profession of dietetics

> and nutrition. (Iowa is one of those)


> The regulations fall into the following categories:


> licensure

> statutory certification

> registration.

> This is a complicated legal environment. According to Craig Busey,

> legal counsel to the ADA, “The treatment of this issue varies greatly

> from state to state. Some states address the difference indirectly by

> delineating the difference between dietetics and other forms of

> nutrition counseling, while others equate dietetics to nutrition

> practice. This notable lack of uniformity adds to the confusion and

> makes a general answer all the more problematic.”


> While the discussion can get bogged down in legal minutia, it is

> important for fitness professionals to realize why they got involved

> in fitness. For most, it was the desire to help people. Busey adds,

> “dietetic licensure laws generally do not limit the right of an

> individual to provide nutrition advice and information related to non-

> Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT).”


> With as many as 70% of American deaths due to diet-related diseases

> and conditions(1) , there’s plenty of need.

Did you know?

> Twenty-four percent of physical activity professionals believe they

> know enough to provide all the information their clients need on

> nutrition, compared with 14 percent of dietetics professionals who

> stated that they know enough to provide all the information their

> clients need on physical activity. (2) In fact, according to IDEA

> Fitness Journal (2002) 26 percent of personal trainers use nutritional

> analysis software, 70 percent provide nutritional assessment, and 75

> percent provide nutritional coaching – practices that should be

> reserved to the scope of practice of registered dieticians who have

> four years of specific nutrition education. (3)

> With most health professionals looking toward the combination of

> balanced nutrition and regular physical activity to help stem the

> rising tide of obesity, it makes sense that those professionals

> trained in nutrition and those trained in physical activity should

> collaborate to help consumers realize the potential benefits of these

> healthful lifestyle practices.
In 1997, the American College of Sports

> Medicine (ACSM), the ADA, and the International Food Information

> Council (IFIC) retained the Gallup Organization to conduct telephone

> interviews of both ADA and ACSM members to determine attitudes on

> nutrition and physical activity. The poll indicated that physical

> activity professionals tended to be more confident in their ability to

> provide nutrition information than dietetics professionals were about

> their ability to provide physical activity information. Even dietetics

> professionals observe specific limits to their practice scope, called

> the Scope of Dietetics Practice Framework (SODPF). (4) In theory, an

> RD without an accredited fitness certification has no more authority

> to give out specific exercise advice than a certified fitness

> professional does to give out specific dietary instructions.

What’s the harm?

> For fitness professionals, the dangers of giving advice outside of

> practice are significant. According to a 2002 article in the Journal

> of the American Dietetic Association , food and nutrition

> misinformation can be a serious barrier to public health. Misinformed

> consumers may not only have a false sense of security about their

> health and well-being, but they also may delay appropriate, effective

> healthcare or replace it with products, services, or behaviors that

> may be harmful to their health. (5)

> If a fitness professional does not hold a recognized nutrition

> credential, how should they proceed with nutrition advice? “Certified

> personal trainers can provide general, non-medical nutrition

> information,” explains Cynthia Sass, MPH, MS, RD, and ADA

> spokesperson. “But, they should not perform individualized dietary

> assessments, prescribe individualized diets, or even individualized

> dietary advice.”
Sass adds, “General information can be very helpful

> and still provides a great deal of freedom to talk about nutrition in

> a general way such as educating clients about the difference between

> saturated and unsaturated fat; which foods are good sources of fiber,

> etc. However, the fitness professional should be 100 percent confident

that the information they are providing is accurate, up-to-date, and science-based.”

This is a challenging question,” adds Dr. Mike Clark, President of the National Academy of Sports Medicine. “Only because there is no easy ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. Like with exercise, we want our professionals to always provide the best service to their clients, all things considered. If a trainer can help a healthy individual improve their diet, they should, through delivering general guidance which is science-based and well supported by established health authorities.

However, if the individual seeks medical nutrition therapy, they should pursue a qualified professional, a Registered Dietician, to

deliver this support.”

Dr. Clark also points out that most accredited fitness certifications, including NASM Certified Personal Trainer, do include some nutrition information as well. NASM and other accredited role and functions of the macronutrients (protein, carbohydrate, and fat) in performance and healthy weight achievement. They should understand the role and importance of water, fiber, and the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and the basic nutrition guidelines for altering body composition. Certified fitness professionals should also be aware of issues surrounding supplementation, including the legislative environment regulating

supplements, as well as the government’s Dietary Reference Intakes for

healthy people.

How to know what to say when

> With this knowledge, how can fitness professionals determine if they are stepping outside their scope of practice? By asking themselves a few key questions. This will insure that they are giving out sound, science-based information, thereby protecting their liability, professional ethics, and their client’s well-being.

When to Refer

If you are a fitness professional, without a qualified credential in nutrition, here are some questions to consider. If the answer is

“yes,” the client should be referred to a dietetics professional.

1. Is there a possibility that the client has a disease or co-morbidity associated with their weight or with their health?

2. Would your advice be considered medical or in the context of

disease treatment?

3. Does your advice involve the interpretation of blood work or other clinical tests?

4. Is the client asking you for individualized dietary assessment?

5. Is the client asking you to prescribe an individualized diet or

dietary advice (versus general information like portion awareness or nutrient density)?

6. Are you recommending a supplement as part of your counsel?

7. Is your client trying to manage medical symptoms through diet?

8. Could your assessment or advice possibly cause a delay in treatment

or a misdiagnosis that may result in serious harm to your client?

9. Could your advice result in an unwanted interaction between

foods/drugs, foods/medical condition, supplement/drugs,


10. Did you neglect to access the authorities and academic research on the topic in question?

> “The ultimate success of these two groups working together,” explains

> ADA spokesperson Cass, “is that it isn’t about territorialism. It’s

> about working together and respecting scope of practice which is in

> the best interest of the trainer and the client.” The need for sound,

> science-based nutrition information is evident. Consumers are confused

> and have a hard time discerning fact from fiction and science from

> marketing. However, an examination of issues surrounding scope of

> practice reveals that the lines are not always clear and ongoing

> vigilance and evaluation are necessary to best serve clients’ needs.

> The general consensus among wellness professionals is that

> science-based, general information about healthy nutrition, including

> nutrient density, portion awareness, and the potential dangers of

> supplements and fad diets, remain inside the fitness professionals’

> scope of practice. In all cases, fitness professionals should continue

> to enlighten themselves through qualified continuing education so they

> can always position themselves as their client’s best advocate and

> resource.



> References


> (1) Nestle M. Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences

> Nutrition and Health University of California Press; 2003.

> (2) Professionals’ Opinions Concerning the Role of Nutrition in

> Physical Activity for a Healthy Lifestyle. Princeton, NJ: The Gallup

> Organization; 1997.

> (3) Ryan, P. Trendsetting. IDEA Fitness Journal 2004;16(5):S2-S14.

> (4) Understanding and Using the Scope of Dietetics Practice Framework:

> A Step-Wise Approach. J Amer Diet Assoc 2006;106:(3):459-463.

> (5) Ayoob KT, Duyff, RL, Quagliani, D. Position of the American

> Dietetic Association: Food and Nutrition Misinformation. J Amer Diet

> Assoc 2002;102:260-266.

> (6) American College of Sports Medicine; The American Dietetic

> Association; International Food Information Council. For a Healthful

> Lifestyle: Promoting Cooperation Among Nutrition Professionals and

Physical Activity Professionals. J Amer Diet Assoc 1999;99(8).


Saturday Sept 3rd 8:00. CFDM will be hosting a memorial WOD for the 31 souls who lost their lives on Aug 6th in helicopter crash. Please visit www.31heroes.comto register if you wish to donate and receive a t-shirt.

Until next time…

look good, feel good, do good

Crossfit DSM on WHOtv at 5 pm

Be sure you tune in to WHOtv today, Wednesday, March 16 at 5:00 pm. They will be doing a segment on CrossFit Des Moines. The segment will highlight owner Mike Brown’s ties to Master Sergeant Mike Maltz and their First Annual Mike Maltz Challenge.,0,2615539.story

Find out more about the Maltz Challenge.
CrossFit Des Moines
1st Annual
Maltz Challenge
Des Moines 2011
Saturday March 26, 2011
1:00p Registration Begins
CrossFit Des Moines
Urbandale, IA

Suggested $20 Donation to DEA Survivors Benefit Fund
The US Drug Enforcement Administration sponsors an annual physical fitness event called the “Maltz Challenge.” The workout is named after DEA Special Agent’s Brother, Master Sergeant Michael Maltz. MSGT Maltz, a US Air Force Pararescue Jumper, was killed in 2003, while at-tempting a rescue of injured and sick children in Afghanistan. The Maltz Challenge commemorates the lives of not only Michael Maltz, but all fallen military service members and law enforcement officers.
2011 will be the first year CrossFit Des Moines will officially host the event. CrossFit Des Moines is honored to host the event, as CrossFit Des Moines has very close ties with the Pararescue Community. All Proceeds will go the DEA Survivors Benefit Fund.

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good

Baby S Update – Week 38

Week 37
Baby Shower #1
A few weekends ago J and I’s wonderful friends Ryan & Robin threw us a couple’s baby shower at Cedar Ridge Winery
Robin has a great write up about it on her blog: Indulge
It was a very enjoyable time with a group of our Iowa City friends
almost too pretty to eat

a personalized “Baby S” bag
Baby Shower #2
With the help of my girlfriends and Mom, my sister Kelli threw me a great shower on Sunday
It was awesome to see so many fabulous friends and family in one place. I can’t wait for them to all have a special part in Baby S’s life.
family, college friends, high school friends, and childhood friends!

everyone took on the challenge of designing a personalized bib for Baby S
the winners: Morgan with her bib saying “a doctor or apple a day keeps the doctor away, “Jess with her perfect drawing of Elmo, and Heidi with her “no high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, saturated fats, sugar, enriched flour” bib

my pal Amy served up this adorable diaper cake
complete with washcloth cupcakes

of course we had plenty of “real” cupcakes to enjoy as well
Rachel dished up jello/ice cream cups…simply mix one packet of jello with hot water and combine with vanilla ice cream…easy and delish

funny story:
post party, Leigh and I decided to try our hand at Kinect (a remote free video game J brought home from work)
we were playing volleyball and apparently I was really getting into it and went up for a spike and BAM…hit the light, which fell to the floor and shattered….luckily no one was hurt and it turned out to be a good laugh
still doing what I can….
do squats bring on labor!?
Until next time….will two become three?!
look good, feel good, do good