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Paleo nutritional presentation – PFP at Crossfit Plymouth

Earlier this month (June 2011) I was kindly invited back to give a nutritional presentation to Crossfit Plymouth UK. This was my 4th lecture down there and has become a regular and very enjoyable couple of hours. They are a very good and informed bunch down in Plymouth, always eager to participate and keen to learn. The main crossfit dude is James Bish a top man, he has a great eye for the future of his merry band of crossfitters, often hiring noted experts (not including myself) to improve the performance of his athletes.

The lecture took 2 hours or so and we covered a fair range or topics but as a general guideline here is a quick overview:

Macro nutrients – what they are and how to get the best ratios. This was a good opener as it set the stall out for the rest of the talk. We spoke about views on optimal protein intake and how the conventional thinking about fats, protein and carbs is misguiding…to say the least!

Micro nutrients – the correlation between a high and quality protein, fat and vegetable intake and these indispensible nutrients. We kept it simple and very paleo.

 Acid alkaline balancing – and the need to try and offset acidic activity / nutrition with alkalising activity / nutrition. Very much based around alkalising after arduous training and balancing your plate with green stuff basically, again very cave man diet orientated

Carbs – this was a long topic and one that as usual cased a lot of eager questions. We discussed where we should get carbs from, the best timings of a higher carb intake (if deserved) and even if we needed them at all! We discussed the ratios of carbs to protein post workout (depending on volume and type of training) and the impact of carb intake on performance, recovery, lean body mass and hormonal fluctuation. I went on a fair bit here as this is, in my view a very miss understood macro nutrient!

Water – how much we may need depending on activity levels…water not diet coke! Touching on salt and it’s requirements especially for athletes. Salt quality dependant.

The hormonal impact of what we eat – how certain foods affect our energy / alertness / mood etc. How the choice of breakfast will either set you up well for the day or indeed scupper your day before you even get going (nuerotransmitters)…a lot of chat about cereal and porridge…then more chat about dead stuff and green stuff! What to eat in the evening to stave off hunger and not to impact adversely on body composition.

Nutrition before, during and after training – this was difficult to keep simple as there was varying degrees of understanding in the group but we discussed branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), nitric oxide (NO) boosters, creatine, water, caffeine, alkalising methods, glutamine, carbs, protein and the like.

Supplements – as expected this was another well discussed and contentious point! Do we need them, if so why, what were the basics (fishoil and a multivitamin) and in what dose.

Stress – we talked about this modern dilemma and how it affects us so dramatically. I spoke about how it degrades our ability to absorb the food we eat and that if required some form of gut healing protocol may be appropriate after chronic exposure to stresses of all kinds.

Top tips – We briefly chatted about a variety of subject some mentioned here: microwaves, caveman nutrition, where to shop, breakfast, timings of meals, non processed is best (chicken is made from chicken but chicken nuggets are made from all sorts of crap), training, calories (not as important as where you get your calories from), Biosignature / hormonal analysis and how it can help with body composition, vegetarianism and so on.

Short video – to sum up the presentation and give the guys a break from me bleating on.

The questions came thick and fast but by  the end I hope that they got the point that if we simply eat as we have been designed over the millennia to eat we should remain in rude health. Basically paleo / caveman diet with some tweaks.

As I went out the door I heard some guys talking about the best place to buy grass fed steak … happy days!

Thanks for inviting me down to waffle on. Now get back to doing your Fran’s or Gloria’s!!! O and thanks for buying my booklet LEANER LIVING!