November programs at Crossfit Central started this week, and I know we have some new people (welcome! welcome!) running around. For some of you the nutritional component is daunting and somewhat confusing. There is a lot of information floating around, all extremely helpful, and you will hit your stride soon.
First, I'd like to direct you to a post by resident Crossfitter Catherine Hart regarding the importance of words and your success in living a healthy lifestyle. Speaking negatively also includes the use of words that may seem harmless in context, but have exceedingly negative connotations. Using the word "diet" is, in my humble opinion, the WORST word to use when referring to your new eating style.
Diets are always referred to as something temporary; something which will eventually end and a person can resume their way of life, presumably with a smaller waistband. Diets fail because they are not permanent. Looking for permanent results requires permanent change. You are not going on a diet, you are making a lifestyle change, prepare accordingly. This is not a time-out from life, it's relearning how to take care of yourself.
1) Remove anything and everything from your house that does not fit with your new menu. Alter your shopping list forever. Stick to the outsides of the grocery store. If you get the urge to grab a box of "impulse buy crap" do yourself a favor and read the ingredients. Do you know what 90% of that crap is? Me neither. Skip it and move on.
2) The first day is going to be easy. Days 2-5 may be a complete nightmare. Prepare accordingly. You may be slightly irritable. You may eat an entire bag of something, JUST MAKE SURE IT'S ON THE GREEN LIST PEOPLE. Eating handfuls of almonds, while high in fat, or carrots, is still miles and miles better than eating handfuls of chips/cake/candy/(insert crap food). See item number one.
3) Tomorrow is always a second chance. If you suddenly find yourself in the midst of consuming a half gallon of chocolate ice cream, do not freak out. You can always try again tomorrow, and eventually it will get easier. We all have our choppy moments, those will never go away. The goal is to have your moment and then get back up again, hopefully with a renewed sense of purpose. Feeling defeated will not help you.
4) Be patient with yourself and plan ahead. You don't have to go so far as planning an entire week's worth of meals, however, pre chopping vegetables and having zoned snacks ready for when you arrive home tired and hungry can save you from making a poor decision.
5) Begin eating fruit as dessert. Frozen grapes that have been mashed are pretty incredible. You can make a fairly convincing "ice cream" using almond milk and frozen fruit. Blend together as a thick smoothie and then put in the freezer.
6) Worried about fiber and calcium? Here you will find a table that lists a per serving amount of fiber for veggies and fruit. Ignore the pasta! As for calcium, please read THIS AMAZING ARTICLE on new developments in the calcium supplement debate. Calcium is important, but the notion that without dairy or supplements you are destined to live your elderly years hunched over and cracking bones raises my eyebrow of suspicion....
Ok. Those are my tips. I'm not going to delve into zone vs. paleo. vs. primal, you need to figure out which works best for you. Ask your coach, research each one online, and my personal favorite: try each for a few weeks at a time and see what works! Good luck, and as always, please post questions or additional tips and info in the comments!