Thursday, July 16, 2009

Rest Day

"What you eat today, you'll wear tomorrow." ~Jack LaLanne

Okay, so now you've hopefully eliminated gluten from your diet even if you are not sure EXACTLY WHY it's bad for you. Last Sunday we gave you one pretty good reason to give the crap up. Today we will give you yet another.

Most of you have heard of insulin, if not before you got into training with us or some other CrossFit type of training, now you have heard us go on and on about keeping it in check. Click here to read all sorts of science-y stuff about insulin, if that's the way you roll. In short, insulin is a hormone that your body naturally produces (unless you have Diabetes Type I, in which case your body cannot produce it's own insulin) and you need it to survive. But, just like anything else, if you have too much insulin- you could get SICK and DIE. Seriously. When we eat carbohydrates our body responds by producing insulin to essentially carry the glucose from the carbohydrates to our liver and muscle tissue to store as energy, this energy is called glycogen. Once our liver is full and there is no more room in our muscle tissue to store this energy, our body turns it into fat and guess what, it's stored on our bodies as fat. Not only does this make you look less than desirable in a bathing suit, more importantly, it creates a snowball effect of insulin resistance. The more carbohydrates (sugar) you eat, the higher your insulin levels are- then they drop (you bonk) and you "need" more insulin. And on and on and on, until your body is no longer affected at all by the sugar and you are completely resistant to insulin = DIABETES. Along with diabetes, MOST people become obese, have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, increased risk of heart disease, and are generally inflamed- BUT, just because you are skinny, DOES NOT mean you are not susceptible to this. EVERYONE IS.

Food that is high in carbohydrate content is what causes this sort of metabolic derangement. And unfortunately, on a hormonal level (which is one of the few levels that really matter when it comes to your health) it doesn't matter if your carbs are "whole-grain" or Wonder bread. For real. If you're going to eat some granola, you might as well have a maple bar instead; your body is going to produce mass amounts of insulin either way. As Robb Wolf puts it, "Grains, both processed and unprocessed, are a major player in metabolic derangement in that they are almost entirely carbohydrate and they are typically consumed in large quantities."

The point is this: we don't NEED that many carbs to stay alive and function at an optimal level. We should avoid carbs that come from toxic "whole-grains" that are over produced and subsidized by the government to produce and are therefore at the base of the "Food Pyramid" and marketed as "heart healthy"... oops, I ALMOST went on a political tangent there.. phew! We should eat carbs that come from REAL FOOD, food that you can eat in it's natural form, food that is natural for humans to digest: VEGETABLES and FRUITS.

If you decide to take the plunge into this CRAZY, low-carb, weird, Paleo, diet thing, you might notice that you feel like CRAP for the first few days to one week. If you're super skeptical and impatient you might just stop doing it- 'This is supposed to make me feel better! I feel like ass!' -STICK WITH IT! You are likely going through withdrawals from having constantly elevated insulin levels from the way you were eating before. Sugar is like a drug; more specifically crack (refer to this article by Nicole Carroll, super CrossFit woman), and when you suddenly aren't eating very much of it, it takes a little while for your body to adjust. Be patient. You WILL feel better. Oh yeah, a bit of a side note here: gluten is also recognized as an opiate in our guts, so it actually REALLY is a drug.

Nutritional rant to be continued...

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