Thursday, May 15, 2008

Paleo diet for athletes

I've known for a long time that I've got issues with blood sugar stability. And have also known the common sense guidelines of eating whole foods, cutting down on processed sugars and trans fats. etc.

A reader mentioned the Paleo Diet for Athletes in response to my latest episode of blood sugar spiking. I decided to order the book. Probably my third or fourth sports nutrition books in the last few years.

I'm only partway through it right now. It's an interesting juxtaposition between the traditional carbo is good philosophy of the typical endurance athlete and the high protein low carb camp. The key is timing. Carbs are ok before during and right after and emphasized much less during other times.

The sections on what to eat before during and right after hard riding mirror what I've found works well for me. They even mention (twice) Ensure which is the one of the only non-dairy high carb good protein and easily digestible products around.

The Paleo aspect of the plan is to emphasize real food over processed food cutting back on processed grains and in taking more lean proteins from fish, meats, poultry, fruits, vegetables. I'm lactose intolerant so cutting back on dairy isn't too hard, but I love cheese. And man I just got this sweet panini grill.

So it's all good except for the fact that this is going to be very very hard to implement in practice. Why? Because I eat carbs all the time and love em. Bread, sandwiches, pasta..etc. Even though I know that they do make me feel worse. It's just ironic. Case in point, yesterday had to take the kids to karate and then have late dinner after they were done. Had some cookies and soy milk to tie me over till the late dinner. Tasted good but felt like crap after. Then for dinner had a sandwich at Fazolis and some Pizza. Just continued the feeling like crap and then later at night, stole some more cookies and felt like crap to bed time. And this is while reading the damn book.

It's going to be a a huge mental shift in eating. I do like how they have highlighted the need for carbs for an endurance athlete and I like the recommendations for how to implement it. The whole paleo thing is probably a great idea for someone with my blood chemistry. Whether or not I can accomplish it is yet to be seen.

More fish, lean meats, vegetables, fruits. Cut back on the pastas, breads, refined sugars.

I can almost guarantee that I will feel pretty good after 2-3 weeks transition. But it's just going to take a major shift to get over the difficulty associated with any major change.

Anyway I think I'm going to try it out for 2-3 weeks and see what happens.


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