Changes and Challenges

I had another triathlon this weekend... but since my past 2 posts have pretty much all been about triathlons, I'll keep this recap short, ha.  This race was at the country's "Number 1 Beach" at Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota, Florida, about an hour south of Tampa.  It was gorgeous, although I would definitely want more waves if I was going to spend very long there.  But the sand and water were beautiful... you could actually see the bottom! For the race, I finished 3rd in my age group and was generally pleased with the results, although not elated.  This was a train-through race, meaning the only taper I did was a short workout on the day before, which in itself was still tough considering I'd run 9.5 miles the day before, a 30 mile bike ride, and 1800m swim.

This beach is on the Gulf of Mexico so the water was extremely warm, which doesn't really make for fast swimming.  It was also pretty choppy considering there weren't really many waves.  My swim split was awful so we won't even get into it lol.

The bike was ok- I average right about 21 mph.  Also had a fun little crash where the chick next to me didn't seem to want to move over during a turn and I had to slam on my brakes to avoid smashing into a car.  Couple scrapes but nothing remotely serious.

The run (to my surprise) was totally along the beach.  Ha, ok the beach is pretty and all, but damn.  The sand is hard pack, meaning its pretty firm and not hard to run on, but still not nearly as easy to run on as pavement.  I was able to hunt down a lot of people who were ahead of me from the swim and bike and ended up with the 6th fastest overall run split.  My average pace was about 6:38 min/mile which I was ok with later on once I found out how I did comparatively.

This was also my first race since I had been trying out a Paleo lifestyle/diet.

Now, I know some people may have issue with this: “you’re cutting out an entire food group”, “all fat is bad for you”, “saturated fat causes heart disease”, “cholesterol clogs your arteries”, ”you need grains!”, “you won’t get all your vitamins and minerals.”

While I am not a paleo hardcore advocate, I have done plenty of research, consulted with many people and experts, and will never push this way of eating on anyone else.  I can’t even say I’ll eat like this for the rest of my life- that would be absurd.  However, to all the critical statements above, I have plenty of evidence and research to refute:

While my diet will be lower in carbs, it will be higher in fats which are burnt as a fuel source.  I am also still including carbs in the means of fruits, squashes, and sweet potatoes… I could probably eat butternut squash fries or sweet potato fries every night and not get sick of it

Next, fat is not bad for you!  What is important here is where the fat comes from—all fat that is “created” is bad, i.e. trans-fats.  What is also important is your Omega 6 to Omega 3 balance.  Ideally, these should 1:1 or 2:1 but our diet has most people eating about 20:1 or much much more.  The fat should also be pure and come from grass-fed sources, not from grain-fed animals like is found in most commercial meats.  Remember, “you are what you eat eats”

It has also been proven that saturated fat does not cause heart disease.  It can be exacerbated, however, from things like processed carbohydrates and excess sugars.  I just heard of a study that “showed that saturated fat corroborates heart disease.”  However, this study looked at people eating Egg McMuffins with hashbrowns: White, processed English muffins, pasteurized commercial cheese, trans-fatty margarine spread, and potatoes made in vegetable oil.  I think we have a lot more at play here… plus, the saturated fat would have to come from egg, which is relatively not that high in saturated fat.

Speaking of eggs, I won’t get started on how many articles show that egg yolks don’t raise cholesterol.

Finally, I’m getting tons of vitamins and minerals from the fruit, vegetables, nuts, squashes, sweet potatoes, organic dairy (Most paleo diets leave out dairy, but I am still including it right now—but in organic and raw versions where I can find it), and grass-fed meats.  In fact, I’m probably getting more vitamins now since so many vitamins are fat soluble and my diet now actually has that fat to absorb it!

This is a tough one for me though—the adding of fat.  Since ‘”fat” is what spurred my eating disorder so many years ago, it’s still a tough bump for me to get over.  I am hoping as I eat this way and hopefully see only positive outcomes, that I can change my mindset forever.

Many people also think that paleo just means going low carb because it makes you leaner or lose weight or whatever.  This is what you will see in published studies on “what is the best diet” etc.  In fact, the reason for moving these grains—and most importantly wheat—are for the negative effects the reap on your body.  They have an impact in your digestive tract and cause many issues which I will go into in another post.—I’ve written enough as it is haha.

So, there you have.  I’ll let you know how I progress, but don’t think I won’t still have some awesome recipes!  Here are some of the meals I’ve been making lately as well a bonus recipe video at the end!

What do you think of the paleo diet—are you for or against it?

Would eating this way really be any different, from a societal standpoint than if someone followed a vegetarian diet?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvb8Ecl5A54]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvb8Ecl5A54&feature=youtu.be