Six Easy Steps To Improve Your Health Through Food

Intense exercise has tremendous overall health and psychological benefits. But you are not going to get improvements to your health, performance and body composition until your diet changes. This is why what you eat is important to us at CrossFit Bartlesville. Give these six steps about four weeks and you will absolutely feel and see the difference.
  1. Cut out sugar and sugary foods including soda, desserts, any sweetener in your tea or coffee. Check ingredient labels, as many "healthy" foods are loaded with grams of sugar (e.g., dried fruit, BBQ sauce, salad dressings). Managing your blood sugar levels keeps your insulin levels in check and prevents a wide range of diseases.
  2. Eat quality protein. Best options include free-range organic chicken and turkey, wild fish, any grass-fed meat, and free-range organic omega 3 eggs. Our bodies need protein from animal sources. There are some proteins we simply cannot get from nuts, beans, and the like. 
  3. Eliminate breads, pastas, and rice. This includes whole grains, brown rice, quinoa. All of it. Substitute for vegetables (best choice) and fruit such as berries, apples, cantalope. Limit grapes and bananas as they contain a high level of sugar which means high blood sugar/insulin levels.
  4. Drink water - at least 64 ounces a day, more if the weather is hot or if you drink coffee as both will dehydrate you. CrossFitters work hard and need to stay hydrated.
  5. Eat some good fats with each meal or snack. Good options include avocado, olive oil, nuts or seeds, nut butters, coconut oil, and animal fat from wild/grass-fed sources.
  6. Take fish oil to get your Omega 3s! CrossFit's nutrition experts say healthy people need 2.5 grams a day. But read the label to determine the true Omega 3 content. The Omega 3s are listed as EPA or DHA. That's the number you want to look at.

~The information below is Courtesy of CrossFit and can be found at

The CrossFit dietary prescription is as follows:

Protein should be lean and varied and account for about 30% of your total caloric load (lean meat, eggs).
Carbohydrates should be predominantly low-glycemic and account for about 40% of your total caloric load (vegetables, fruit).
Fat should be predominantly monounsaturated and account for about 30% of your total caloric load (Nuts, seeds, fats and oils).
Calories should be set at between .7 and 1.0 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass depending on your activity level. The .7 figure is for moderate daily workout loads and the 1.0 figure is for the hardcore athlete.

What Should I Eat?
In plain language, base your diet on garden vegetables, especially greens, lean meats, nuts and seeds, little starch, and no sugar. That's about as simple as we can get. Many have observed that keeping your grocery cart to the perimeter of the grocery store while avoiding the aisles is a great way to protect your health. Food is perishable. The stuff with long shelf life is all suspect. If you follow these simple guidelines you will benefit from nearly all that can be achieved through nutrition.

The Caveman or Paleolithic Model for Nutrition
Modern diets are ill suited for our genetic composition. Modern food processing has resulted in a plague of health problems for modern man. Coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, obesity and psychological dysfunction have all been scientifically linked to a diet too high in refined or processed carbohydrate. Search "Google" for Paleolithic nutrition, or diet. The return is extensive, compelling, and fascinating. The Caveman model is perfectly consistent with the CrossFit prescription.

What Foods Should I Avoid?
Excessive consumption of high-glycemic carbohydrates is the primary culprit in nutritionally caused health problems. High glycemic carbohydrates are those that raise blood sugar too rapidly. They include rice, bread, candy, potato, sweets, sodas, and most processed carbohydrates. Processing can include bleaching, baking, grinding, and refining. Processing of carbohydrates greatly increases their glycemic index, a measure of their propensity to elevate blood sugar.

What is the Problem with High-Glycemic Carbohydrates?
The problem with high-glycemic carbohydrates is that they give an inordinate insulin response. Insulin is an essential hormone for life, yet acute, chronic elevation of insulin leads to hyperinsulinism, which has been positively linked to obesity, elevated cholesterol levels, blood pressure, mood dysfunction and a Pandora's box of disease and disability. Research "hyperinsulinism" on the Internet. There's a gold mine of information pertinent to your health available there. The CrossFit prescription is a low-glycemic diet and consequently severely blunts the insulin response.

Caloric Restriction and Longevity
Current research strongly supports the link between caloric restriction and an increased life expectancy. The incidence of cancers and heart disease sharply decline with a diet that is carefully limited in controlling caloric intake. “Caloric Restriction” is another fruitful area for Internet search. The CrossFit prescription is consistent with this research.
The CrossFit prescription allows a reduced caloric intake and yet still provides ample nutrition for rigorous activity.