Paleo Zone Nutrition Challenge is Here!

 In WODs

Turns out the only thing a camel likes better than hump day is nutrition challenge!  Woot woot!

So it is finally here and you all have a ton of questions I’m sure!  This should have everything to get you started, so I apologize for the length and feel free to fall asleep while reading.

The Details

Overview: This nutrition challenge is a 45 day paleo (think quality of food)/zone (think quantity of food) challenge that we will conduct in teams of 4.  For each day you eat paleo – a point.  Each day you eat zone – a point.  Each day you do CF – a point.  Each day you do mobility or an acitivity outside of CF – a point.  We will add all points together to establish a team total.  The top three teams with the highest points at the end of 45 days will win a prize.

Dates: Tuesday, September 17th – November 1st …………………. and BIG ANNOUNCEMENT.  We will have our second internal competition on Saturday, November 2nd!!  It will be Halloween themed and of course all teams will be in costume!  More details to come.

Point Systems: Points will be awarded each day for eating paleo, zone, CrossFitting, and doing any other additional activity (sport, mobility, yoga, or anything that gets the heartrate up) – 4 point per day maximum.  If you fail to eat paleo or zone you will receive a negative point for each one you failed to do that day.  If you do not CrossFit or do another acitivity you simply receive 0 points for that.  Example – I ate paleo today (+1), didn’t zone (-1), CrossFitted (+1), and didn’t do any other activity (0).  My total for that day is +1.

Cheats: You will be allowed 1 cheat meal/week.  You will be allowed 1 to have tequila, red wine, or cider with 1 meal per week.  The amount of alcohol is up to you….lushes.

Point Reporting: We will put a listing of all the teams on one of our white boards.  Each team must total up their total points each week and write them up on the white board.

Measurements: We would like to take your weight, body fat %, body measurements, baseline WOD time, and a picture of you both before and after the challenge.  Schedule time with us!

Teams: Teams of 4 will be emailed out by Monday!

How to Eat Paleo

It’s important to not that you can eat paleo without zone and you can zone without paleo!  Paleo focuses on the QUALITY of food we eat while zone focuses on the QUANTITY of food we eat.  The real magic happens when we do both!!!

The basic theory behind paleo is to eliminate food and beverage that causes cell inflammation.  To oversimplify it, cell inflammation is when your cells literally become inflamed and causes you to look and feel puffy.  More importantly, cell inflammation has been linked to many of the modern day diseases: diabetes, obesity, and cancer to name just a few.

So how do you eat paleo?

In short – eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and none of the following: processed sugars, dairy, soy, legumes/beans, breads, pastas, wheats, or grains.  Basically eat things that are natural – if you can hunt or gather it, then you can eat it.  If it has to be processed or you can’t pronounce half the stuff on the laber, stay away!  In essence, eat like the cavemen did!

I’ve included a list of foods that I shamlessly took from another CrossFit since it was good.  Here is a link to more info if you need:

How to Zone

I repeat – you can eat paleo with out zoning and you can zone without eating paleo.  This is a very important concept.  Many of the foods you will see on the zone list are NOT paleo.  Because you guys rock, I have taken the time to upload a list with all of the non-paleo items scratched off 🙂

There is a lot of info below, so I have created a video for you to explain it:

Zone Theory

Zoning your food simply means you balance the protein, carbohydrates, and fats you take in each meal eat in order to keep your insulin response under control.  When we eat food, especially sugars, our body responds by injecting insulin.  If we do not eat in the right balance, our insulin spikes above needed levels and then regulates itself by dropping below needed levels.  Those peaks cause fat storage while the troughs lead us feeling tired and little physical and mental energy.

The correct balance of macronutrients per meal should follow this distribution – Protein: 7g Carbs: 9g Fats: 3g.  To make this easy, we call them a protein block, a carb block, and a fat block.  Thus, each meal we eat equal blocks.  For example, if we eat a 4 block meal, it will contain 4 blocks of protein (28g), 4 blocks of carbs (36g), and 4 blocks of fat (12g).  To keep it simple, we use a chart that tells us what portion of food equals a block.  For example – 1 oz. Chicken = 1 Protein Block, 1/2 Apple – 1 Carb Block, and 3 Almonds = 1 Fat Block.  If I wanted to eat a 4 Block meal in this example, I would eat 4 oz. Chicken, 2 Apples, and 12 Almonds.  The block chart can be found here:

Step 1 – Finding your blocks.

The first part of eating zone is to determine the number of blocks you need.  There are two options.  1 – The easiest way  is to use your body type and look it up on the chart from the pdf included above.  2 – A more accurate way is to calculate your lean body mass via your weight and body fat percentage and then combine that with your activity level.  Simply put, use a scale, use a machine to find your body fat, and plug it in to this calculator:

Step 2 – Break up your blocks.

Once you know your total blocks for the day you must break them up in to at least five meals.  It’s best if you make the snacks a little smaller than the staple three meals.  For example, let’s say you should eat 15 blocks.  A smart distribution would be as follows: 4 Block breakfast, 2 block mid-morning snack, 4 block lunch, 2 block afternoon snack, and 4 block dinner.  You will learn as you go what block distribution works best for you.

Step 3 – Plan your meals.

This is where things get time consuming at first, but I repeat – it is sooooo worth it! For each meal you must plan out equal protein, carb, and fat blocks for each meal.  Simply use the food chart, plan the meal, and determine how much of each food you need to measure out.

Step 4 – Prep your meals.

Once it is all planned out, I would highly suggest two big prep days per week.  Sunday and Wednesday tend to work well.  Prep meals for about three days out, put them in a container, and label how many blocks are contained in it.

I’m sure you will have tons of questions.  Watch our video, read through the pdf, and then let us know what you have questions about.


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