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Category: Nutrition

Posted on December 10, 2007 in Nutrition

issue 15

CrossFit has been an active combatant in the diet wars. For decades it has been an exciting world of "us" versus "them."

"We" were the low carb, low calorie, good fat camp and "they" were the low fat, low calorie, high carb opposition. The battle was for the hearts and minds of the public on the very personal and private matter of nutrition - what diet makes us healthy?

Sheldon Margin, publisher of the UC Berkley Wellness Letter, a leader of "them," accepted this characterization of battle lines when we presented it to him in 1996. In 1996 Dr. Atkins and Barry Sears were both publicly and regularly referred to as "quacks" and "frauds" by mainstream physicians, journalists, and nutritionists. While this was something that Sears would have to get used to, Dr. Atkins had been dealing with vicious assaults on his life’s work and character since publishing his Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution in 1972.

We write here today in 2003 gloating. Gloating, because it is our perception that we are decisively winning the diet war. In the public square, the realization that carbs, not fat, make you sick and fat is spreading rapidly. Spreading like truth unobstructed.

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Posted on October 7, 2007 in Nutrition

cfj21

Our recommendation to "eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar" is adequate to the task of preventing the scourges of diet-induced disease, but more accurate and precise prescription is necessary to optimize physical performance.

Finely tuned, a good diet will increase energy, sense of well being and acumen, while simultaneously flensing fat and packing on muscles. When properly composed the right dieet can nudge every important quantifiable marker for health in the right direction.

Diet is critical to optimizing human functin and our clinical experience leads us to believe that Barry Sears' "Zone Diet" closely models optimal nutrition.

CrossFit's best performers are Zone eaters. When our second tier athletes commit to "strict" adherence to the Zone parameters, they generaly become top tier performers quickly. It seems that the Zone diet accelerates and amplifies the effects of the CrossFit regimen.

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Posted on June 26, 2007 in Nutrition

eatautumn

AUTUMN DINNER
Spicy Albacore Polpettes with Tomato Sauce, Olives, and Capers
Arugula Salad
Four 4-block servings
Although the change in season is only starting to show small signs of happening where I live, the world of food is starting to change rapidly. Late summer crops that have been soaking up the sun in the past few months are producing faster than we can keep up. The most noteworthy is the tomato. Only two weeks ago, tomatoes were two dollars a pound; now, farmers are literally knocking on the back door of the restaurant with over a hundred pounds a day for dirt cheap prices for the best, most flavorful tomatoes of the year.

Time for tomato sauce! The season for one of the best local fish, albacore tuna, is also beginning right now. So, here is a surefire recipe from the south of Italy via northern California that combines those two ingredients. I made this dish for the first time eight years ago at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, and I bring it back every autumn to the delight of my friends and, now, my customers at Avanti in Santa Cruz.


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Posted on May 28, 2007 in Nutrition

spicybbq

Now that summer is here and in full swing, I look forward to spicy foods inspired by cultures with tropical climates. If I don’t start using jalapeño, lime, and cilantro in the restaurant, the customers stay away on the hot days. The last thing one wants to eat in the heat is something heavy (lasagna and meatballs are definitely not my big sellers in the summer). I tend to acquire my inspirations from Asia and Central America this time of year, places where people have been making lots of hot-weather food for centuries. Here is something light and crisp with a bit of spice and tang to combat the blazing sun and keep you moving.

Spicy Summer Barbeque


  • Spicy Lamb Skewers with Cabbage Salad, Lime, and Avocado

  • Fresh Watermelon

  • Four 4-block servings

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Posted on May 23, 2007 in Nutrition

picnic

The beginning of summer is always an exciting time for food. Everything really starts to come alive, begging to be eaten straight out of the ground or off the vine. Ingredients I have dreamed about all winter are finally here - wild salmon, ripe tomatoes, sweet peaches, and tender green beans. Here is my Zone-friendly summer picnic menu for a warm evening.

Summer Picnic Menu


Poached Salmon Salad

Fresh Peaches with Yogurt and Almonds

Four 4-block servings


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Posted on May 9, 2007 in Nutrition

springeat.jpg

There is no reason healthy food shouldn’t also be delicious. Staying in the Zone is simple—and can be done with simple foods—but there’s no reason it must be bland, uninspiring, or monotonous. Menus and dishes that I create in my restaurant are constructed of the best ingredients at the peak of their ripeness—food that I would serve to my family and food that I eat at home. My dishes are ingredient-driven rather than recipe-driven, meaning that I mostly don’t know what the end result will be until I pick up the produce from the farmer’s market. This requires a bit of flexibility, knowledge of the seasons, and understanding of flavor combinations. With a little creativity, you can produce similarly appealing meals at home.

The following recipes are straight off my specials board, with a few modifications for the home cook and a little fine-tuning for the Zone. You could find the same dishes on many French or Italian tables. In keeping with the season, this is a typical spring menu, using ingredients that are easy to find right now. The entire menu should take very little time to prepare, and most of the cooking can be done outside on the grill rather than inside over a hot stove.


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Posted on February 24, 2007 in Nutrition

nicole.jpg

I never thought what I ate mattered. I was thin and muscular. My athletic performance was decent. I generally felt pretty healthy and happy. So I was skeptical about diet having any kind of real impact on anything. For my whole life I had been eating a lot of whatever the hell I wanted and seemed to be doing just fine. But I did have a sense that this wasn’t true for everyone and that as a trainer, people would be asking me questions about nutrition and diet. I knew CrossFit prescribed the Zone diet so I bought the books, read them, got my measly block prescription and tried the diet. The deal I made with myself was that for two weeks I would weigh and measure precisely. If after two weeks I wanted to go back to eating the way I was before I could. No guilt, just an experiment.

Four weeks into the Zone diet, I was stronger and faster than I had ever been. I had lost fat and gained muscle. My benchmark workout times decreased, and my pull-up numbers increased. I hit PRs in deadlift, back squat, and push jerk. I had more energy, recovered more quickly, and could push harder more often.

This entire article is available in the CrossFit Store.

Posted on January 1, 2007 in Nutrition

fittoeatfigs.jpg


Here on the west coast of the United States, we are blessed with bountiful year-round agriculture, and there is always a farmers’ market nearby with fresh natural ingredients. Nevertheless, when the summer crops peak at this time of year I am always taken aback and overwhelmed by the sheer quantity and variety of delicious fruit and vegetables to be had and the ability of the sun to create so much sweetness and nourishment.

Menus almost write themselves.

At the peak of the summer bounty, faced with the dilemma of choice, it is always a challenge to stick with my style of using few ingredients. But because everything is so fresh and available, I can just pick a few favorite items and keep the preparations simple, clean, and easy, letting their essential flavors come through.

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Posted on October 1, 2006 in Nutrition

fast food menu

One of the more common explanations for bad diet is being “too busy to eat right.” On the face of it this may seem plausible. There are a multitude of things that we are each too busy to do. It seems logical that there are more things that we don’t have time for than we do have time for because there are an infinite number of things to do, but we can only experience a finite number of them.

But because eating is not optional, the important question is not how much time it takes to eat right but whether it takes longer to eat right than to eat wrong? We thought an experiment was in order.

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Posted on August 18, 2006 in Nutrition

food.jpg

For several decades now, bad science and bad politics have joined hands to produce what is arguably the most costly error in the history of science - the low fat diet. This fad diet has cost millions unnecessary death and suffering from heart disease, diabetes and, it increasingly seems, a host of cancers and other chronic and debilitating illnesses.

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