Paleo Souvlaki!

IMG_3276

Paleo Souvlaki!

OMG, so there’s this restaurant in Melbourne called Jimmy Grantz and its fucking amazing…But so not Paleo!

So I decided to try and re create their souvlaki in Paleo form, and it worked!!

This is now our favorite Paleo meal.

Tapioca and coconut flour wrap
1 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup olive or coconut oil
2 eggs
Blend everything together and cook thin in a frying pan like a pancake
Makes around 6 wraps

Garlic Aioli
125ml olive oil
1 egg yolk
1 tspn vinegar
1 tspn crushed garlic
1 tspn honey
lemon juice and crushed mustard seeds to taste
Mix egg yolk with vinegar and slowly add oil while whisking
Add honey, garlic, lemon and mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

Stuff 1 wrap with roast pork shoulder, roast pumpkin with skin on, roast onion, fresh parsley and homemade garlic aioli.

I seriously cannot express how good this thing is, you MUST try it!

It also works great with grilled chicken or lamb.

Paleo Challenge Wrap Up

So the Paleo Challenge is over, and while right now I keep thinking it wasn’t too bad, it really was.

Day 1 we did ‘Helen’. This is our yard stick to measure how much our performance has improved. We had composition tests done, and we got all the info we would need to complete the challenge including food diaries to submit each week to make sure we were honest. I was feeling good about starting the challenge, I was sure it wouldn’t be that hard….HA HA HAAA.. Idiot!

Week 1 was OK. I was having cravings for food, but nothing I couldnt handle. I asked heaps of questions about the food and was constantly texting Ben for help. We hand in our food diaries and come in on the Saturday to hear the results, but there was a twist….We were warned at the beginning of the week that If anyone cheated we all had to complete 1 round of Fran! And I’m thinking; “Shit, OK, we’ll be fine, maybe one or two people will cheat so prepare yourself for Fran as the worst case scenario.” I didn’t cheat, Royce didn’t cheat so we’re feeling pretty good going in, after all, it was the first week, no one could really of derailed after just one week of Paleo right?.

WRONG!!

Guess how many cheats there were in the first week? NINE! Mother fuckers! There’s only 30 people in the challenge and nearly a third of them cheated in the first week! So we’re told that as punishment we will be doing triple Fran!

Let me say that again so you can fully grasp it….TRIPLE FRAN!!

jMpt3

Worst 30 minutes of my life! By the end of it I was a lovely shade of translucent green, covered in sweat like someone had hosed me down, and laying on the concrete outside desperately trying not to throw up or pass out!

Worst thing is we were not told who had cheated, so I did not know who to direct my rage towards!

Week 2 My skin was crawling. I was having really bad cravings for anything non paleo, and shit I wouldn’t usually want like ice cream, or scotch! I was sure I could of chewed the paint off the walls if there was even a slight chance it wouldn’t destroy my teeth. I didn’t cheat, but I did become an irrational she bitch who was pretty tough to hang around!

We had a challenge of wearing a pedometer and trying to get the most steps for a week. The winner would receive 3 cheat meals to hand out to fellow participants (you cant win the challenge if you have cheated).

End of the week comes and it goes like this; we receive a text saying a member of the challenge has cheated, and we need to suggest punishment for them to do. I immediately say to Royce to be careful what he suggests, because its a trap, and that everyone will need to do the punishment. To which he replies, “No, they said it was a punishment for the person who cheated”. HA! not likely, as soon as we come in on the Saturday its a surprise compilation WOD of all the suggestions everyone sent in during the week! MO FO

Scared

Week 3 and I’m just constantly depressed. Its been 3 weeks since I’ve eaten anything other than Meat, Veg, nuts and fruit, and everything is starting to taste the same. I’ve given up, given in to the lifestyle, I walk past the food I want with my head down in mourning, not even looking wistfully or longingly from afar.I didnt cheat, but I did lose the will to live.

We were told we had to collectively row in meters the amount of steps that won the previous weeks pedometer challenge. It ended up being just over 111,000 meters, and we were told there would be a really nasty penalty if we did not meet that number. The person who rowed the most out of the group would win the power to remove 3 cheats from peoples histories. Royce did the most amount of rowing, mainly because we thought it was for a free cheat meal rather than a past indiscretion, and he wanted to give one to me. But that’s not how Ben plays the game, so he took the strikes from the people who were given cheat meal penalties in the previous week. We were all sure that no one would do any rowing until the last day and then it would be a mad dash to the finish line, but we actually ended up being finished by Wednesday.

deadlifts

We managed to complete the challenge, so we never found out what the horrible penalty was, and I’d say its a good thing because (and I quote Ben here) “Trust me, you don’t want to find out what it is!” We did the 1000 steps as a group, and although it was difficult it was also a lovely day.

Final Week we had no extra challenge (I’m assuming the challenge was just to survive the last week with your sanity intact!) we come in on the Sunday and do Helen again to get our improvements. I have been sick/injured for the last 2 weeks so my Helen time actually got longer, but I don’t care that much. By the end of the fourth week my cravings were settling down and I had recovered some of my mental faculties.Everyone got better and healthier, and at the end of the day, we all made it through.

uhuh

My body didn’t adapt to Paleo in that time. My recovery was slower, I was more tired and less switched on at work, and weirdly my coordination suffered. But, big news, my muscle quality went from extremely poor to average! WOOHOOO! huge news! So I am going to try and continue with Paleo, maybe just add some dairy.

Everyone said to me that after the challenge my taste buds would of changed and that my favorite foods wouldn’t taste nice anymore. And while I no longer crave bread or pasta (WIN!!) they were full of it!

Chocolate and coffee taste better than ever before!

Joey Im not even sorry

Being told off by your coach

guiltgif

I’m not sure how it happened, and I didn’t even realize it until it was pointed out to me, but I started to get lazy with my training. Not RX’ing weight, not pushing as hard as I should, and generally just slacking off. So Ben comes up to me during a session and says “I want you to start training harder” and at first I think to myself “Like hell, I’m training as hard as I can!” I feel all offended and huffy. Then I look at my bar and I’m only doing 30kg thrusters when the RX weight is 40 (which I can do) and then I’m like “yeah fair call.”

I’m sure that is the function of a trainer, and the main reason I prefer CrossFit to a regular Gym. They keep you honest with your technique and effort.

Running in a WOD when its raining

tumblr_lw2gu5r76G1qbivi4o1_500

Don’t know about you guys, but Ben would make us run in a monsoon.

“Keep running! Or, you know….swimming. Its just a bit of water!”

CrossFit Racism

I wanna talk about this article, and this article, and this article.

Let me give you a minute to read them…..

Done? OK good.

One thing that really irritates me about the fitness community is the constant bitching between the ‘gangs’. All gangs do it; Weight lifters think Globo’s are idiots, Boxers think MMA’s are wankers, Ballerina’s think tap dancers are fat….and everyone hates CrossFit.

CrossFit is the ugly step sister of a lot of other fitness regimes; Gymnastics, Boxing, Weightlifting, whatever else may be in there. And the other styles hate them for it.

bad xfit 5

So why with all the hate? There’s a really good article here that talks a bit about what people think of CrossFit, I really enjoyed the read and think it brought up some valid points. But I’m going to share my observations about the sport, community and public outcry.

“CrossFit is a cult”
In some ways that is true; they have their own language, behaviors and inside jokes, but that’s true of any activity. You will always find within a culture that similarly minded people will flock to each other. Base ball players talk in ‘on base percentages’ and and ‘runs’, marathon runners talk in ‘km’ and ‘energy supplements’. These are all things that I have no idea about, but that’s OK because I’m not part of that world.

“CrossFitters are always pressuring you to join”
Now that’s unfair. It’s true of any community that the people within it enjoy the company, and want to share it with others. Have you never been told you should try yoga or pole dancing? No one bats an eye when they’re told they should try organic food or skydiving, but as soon as someone suggests CrossFit everyone loses their shit!

bad xfit 3

“You have to be fit to do CrossFit”
Moot point, your reading this blog so you know better than that. Next.

“CrossFitters are all crazy intense”
I agree that videos like this are pretty accurate of what people expect a box to be like. But there are crazy fanatics in every sport. Yes it’s true that when you are in the middle of a really hard workout, people may be screaming and swearing around you. You may yourself be screaming, or swearing, or crying (like me). There are studies showing the effectiveness of swearing in relieving pain, and screaming is a natural reaction to great exertion. This does not mean that if you were to do CrossFit you are required to work to this point, it just means that others choose to, it depends entirely on your goals and reasons for being there.

bad xfit 2

“CrossFit Athletes don’t just do CrossFit”
Exactly! No good coach will ever tell you that you shouldn’t be doing other activities. They want you to run, bike, swim, do yoga, play sport. Most of the top athletes also do at least weightlifting and yoga. Have you ever heard of a runner that doesn’t lift weights, or a swimmer that doesn’t work on mobility? No one activity is the be all and end all of athleticism. And on that note;

“CrossFit isn’t real gymnastics/weightlifting”
Precisely, it doesn’t try to be! The point of CrossFit is to develop physical ability across a wide range of activities and movements. We lift weights because its helps with overall strength and speed, we do handstand pushups because they work on balance and coordination, we do kipping pull ups because it helps us to work up to muscle ups. But above all else we do these movements because they are fun, and a great workout. So why should it matter if these movements were not developed in CrossFit? No one ever claimed they were! Pump classes never get slammed for using a barbell, and no one ever makes fun of boxers for using a children’s toy to develop cardio?

bad xfit 6

“CrossFit causes injuries”
Bullshit. CrossFit does not cause injuries, people cause injuries. There have only been 2 injuries in the box I train at and they both happened because they weren’t doing what they were told. CrossFit does not CAUSE injuries, it exposes weaknesses in your body. If you don’t listen to your body and check your ego, then you are going to hurt yourself. Lets not forget this is a fast paced highly dynamic exercise format that uses more muscles than any other workout. If you don’t understand the movement, drop the weight right back and focus on technique. If you are getting a stitch, walk it out. If something doesn’t feel right, talk to your coach and they will modify the movement for you. That being said, a CrossFit box is only as good as its coaches, and that segways nicely into my next point.

bad xfit 4

“CrossFit coaches don’t know what they’re doing”
I take offense to this one because my coach is wonderful, and a stickler for technique. I have heard him tell people to drop a bar or bail out of a lift if they even start to show poor technique. He refuses to let you use weight if you don’t know the movement, we have 1 dedicated technique class and 1 dedicated weightlifting class every week so we are constantly working on proper form. As I said above, a CrossFit box is only as good as it’s coaches, and a shit coach will have a shit box and by extension, shit athletes who will probably injure themselves. Again, this is true of any activity. A bad football coach can cause death by teaching the players dangerous tackles, a bad choir coach can murder a song. Make sure you do your homework, find out how experienced your coach is, read reviews, talk to former athletes and make an informed decision about which box you will go to.

bad xfit

And finally, the jewel in the crown of the CrossFit hating community…

“CrossFit causes Rhabdo”
This one is so funny to me, but I am going to answer it anyway. People think Rhabdomyolysis is something new that has been drastically on the rise since the main streaming of CrossFit, But and I quote: ‘A search of the National Library of Medicine (PubMed) using the keywords “exercise-induced rhabdomyolysis,” revealed over 146 hits dating back to 1970, long before the days of CrossFit’ – The Scientific Rebuttal to an Anecdotal Claim about CrossFit’s “Dirty Little Secret” .
WebMD has a good explanation of what this condition is, and its causes. And if you’re willing to read a very passionate (albeit biased and unsupported) article like this one, then in an effort to get all the facts you should also read this scientific report compiled by an unbiased doctor on the facts and figures surrounding CrossFit induced Rhabdo. The conclusion? CrossFit does not cause Rhabdo,very few people have developed Rhabdo after doing CrossFit, but there is always more to the story than that. This is not a prevalent issue, its not as though every time you step into a box you’re playing Russian roulette with your life. Statistically its more dangerous to drive a car, or fly a plane, or go for a swim or take a bath. Some people are predisposed to developing Rhabdo, and I would never downplay the seriousness of this condition or the effect it can have on the people who develop it. But it can be brought on by being inadequately hydrated, drinking alcohol, poor kidney function, doing drugs, being overheated, or crush injury. These are not CrossFit exclusive factors. Please talk to a doctor before you join a CrossFit gym, you should be doing that before you start any drastic lifestyle shift, but lets not lose sight of the big picture here. I have a family member who was recently put in hospital and diagnosed with Rhabdo…he’s never even heard of CrossFit.

All this CrossFit racism really irritates me. Why is it OK to talk poorly of any form of exercise that people might try to get healthier or happier? If any of those negative articles stopped even 1 person from trying CrossFit, the authors should be ashamed of themselves. In this day and age where obesity related illnesses are sky rocketing, depression, diabetes and heart disease are on the rise, and our life expectancies are going down, I believe that any step in the right direction is great. The last thing an unsure, unhealthy person needs, is articles like these trying to convince them that if they go to CrossFit they will ‘catch’ a horrible disease that will slowly and painfully kill them. How hard is it to get support from family and friends, when they Google CrossFit and the first thing they read stirs irrational fears about muscles melting on every athlete that does a class?

Now I’m not trying to convince you to join, do whatever makes you happy and healthy. I’m just trying to clear up all this stupid community backlash. I was very wary of doing a CrossFit class, I shared a lot of the same concerns I have detailed above. Personally CrossFit has changed my life, I finally have found an exercise that I look forward to every day. A community of really supportive, down to earth people who are dedicated to improving themselves and each other. But if you’d rather be a body builder, a triathlete, or a yogi, more power to you. I wish you every success in your chosen lifestyle, but please, live and let live.

P.S. My fellow Xfitters, you are not innocent here either, stop bagging on Globo gyms and body builders!