Why eat this, and why not eat that?


For Health, Longevity, Performance, & Looking Good
Based on work by Monique Ames, CrossFit Evolution
(used with permission)

The Basics

Eat all you want meat and veggies, nuts and seeds, little starch, some fruit, and no sugar. Stay away from heavily processed foods. Goal: Normalize Insulin Levels.

Why Do I Care?

Insulin and its Role:

Eat food -> raises blood sugar -> raises the level of the hormone insulin

(Fat –no effect; Protein -very little; Carbs –a lot (varies by glycemic load, not index))

When there are too many carbs or bad carbs -> blood sugar spikes -> insulin level spikes. Consistent insulin spiking causes your insulin sensitivity to decrease, meaning you cannot control it.


  • controls the storage of fat
  • directs the flow of amino acids, fatty acids, and carbs to tissues
  • regulates cholesterol
  • is a growth hormone;
  • is involved in appetite control
  • and more…

Do you really want to lose control of that?

Consistent, long-term insulin resistance leads to the inability of the body to shed extra fat; the inability of the body to absorb nutrients; and leads to hyperinsulinemia.

What is Hyperinsulinemia?

Through heredity (sorry) and eating too many carbs, your body becomes insulin resistant. Your pancreas cannot tell or control how much insulin is being secreted. This consistent and high level of insulin in the body leads to hyperinsulinemia. This condition can be linked to almost ALL diseases:

  • heart disease
  • cancer
  • stroke
  • diabetes
  • obesity
  • hypertension
  • myopia
  • PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome)
  • gout
  • acne
  • excess fluid retention
  • immune disorders
  • diabetes
  • arthritis

Back to Basics, in Detail

All you want Meat:

Any beef (ground beef, steak), pork (chops, ham), lamb, duck, chicken, turkey, eggs, fish, seafood (clams, scallops, etc). Fresh or frozen.

All you want Veggies:

Any fresh or frozen veggies (except potato, corn, and beans)

Add Nuts/Seeds:

Any nuts/seeds (except peanuts), raw/ lightly roasted and unsalted, any nut butters

Don’t like nuts/seeds? add some other Healthy Fats:

HAAS avocados, olive/almond/coconut oil, or flaxseed/grape seed oil

Some Fruit:

Any whole fresh fruit (no juice), but in moderation (1-2 servings) or used post workout

Why All the Meat?

  • You can’t overeat it and you can’t gain weight on lean meat alone
  • Loaded w/ BCAAs + glutamine = faster recovery = drop in cortisol (stress hormone)
  • Loaded w/ carnitine, which causes fat to be used as energy
  • Raises metabolism, which burns more calories
  • Satisfies the appetite
  • Improves insulin sensitivity

Note: ALWAYS eat meat with fat (naturally or from nuts/seeds, olive oil, avocado)

Why All the Veggies?

  • Loaded w/ vitamins, minerals, fiber, etc
  • Fills you up
  • Doesn’t spike your insulin
  • Balances the acid-base (more alkaline as opposed to acidic)

Why Nuts/Seeds, Olive Oil, or Avocado

  • Fat ratios of omega 3/6/9 get normalized
  • Get more 3 w/ fish oil and more 9 w/ olive oil and nuts
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • (Inflammation causes: heart attacks, cancer, and Alzheimer’s to name a few)
  • Essential to human health
  • Promotes healthy blood flow

Why Only Some Fruit?

Sadly, fruit raises insulin levels and needs to be moderated if you are trying to lose weight OR are diabetic or have another metabolic derangement.

Fruits are still very good for you, naturally sweet, and loaded w/ nutrients

Off Limits

  • No Sugar or artificial sugar (Equal, Splenda, Stevia, Xylitol, agave nectar, pure cane, corn syrup, fructose, molasses, honey, maltodextrin, etc)
  • No Junk Food cakes, desserts, cookies, candy, chocolate, pastries, chips, crackers, ice cream, snack foods, etc)
  • No Grains wheat products, corn products, rice, pasta, bread, oatmeal, cereals, etc
  • No Legumes/beans peanuts, lima beans, kidney beans, black beans etc)
  • No Dairy milk, ½ + ½, cream, butter, yogurt, cheese, etc
  • No Alcohol including wine, beer and hard liquor

Why No Sugar Substitutes?

  • Sugar and all substitutes may spike insulin levels
  • Prohibits many people from losing weight

Why No Grains?

  • Not healthy, no nutrients, not suitable for our digestive system (causes weight gain and bloating)
  • Contain anti-nutrients (phytates- more on that soon)
  • Contain lectin (grain protein causes gut irritation) > celiac: gluten intolerance > destruction of villi in intestines > a vast array of digestive/gastrointestinal problems
    • constipation
    • heart burn
    • colon disease
    • IBS
    • varicose veins
    • indigestion
    • colitis
    • gall stones
    • hemorroids
    • appendicitis
    • hiatal hernia
    • duodenal ulcer
    • Gluten (wheat, oats) disrupts insulin signalling (1 in 33 people have celiac disease)
    • Lead to carb addiction (bread anyone?)
    • Kitava study: No cancer, diabetes, heart disease or obesity. When introduced  to grains/dairy/legumes = disease started (http://www.staffanlindeberg.com/TheKitavaStudy.html)
    • Inuits:  85% fat, 15% protein, no carbs = no disease

Why No Legumes/Beans?

  • Contain phytates
    • binds w/ bone minerals – leads to bone loss
    • robs you of minerals
    • Contain lectin
    • originally evolved to fight off insect predators
    • binds w/ tissues in our body
    • increase intestinal permeability
    • allows partially digested food and gut bacteria to pass into the bloodstream
    • also impairs the immune system
    • leads to many autoimmune diseases in genetically susceptible people

Why No Dairy?

  • Spikes insulin levels
  • Nutrient deficient (cows are fed grain) and loaded w/ antibiotics and growth hormones
  • Linked to increased risk of prostate and ovarian cancer

Thirst Quenchers

  • Black coffee – Espresso – Americano – green/black/herbal/oolong tea
  • water – water w/ lemon
  • YES- that’s all your choices!

Flavor It Up

  • Tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, salsa
  • Fresh onion and/or garlic
  • Fresh dill, basil, or lemongrass
  • Dried dill, basil, oregano, cumin, ginger, adobo, curry, mustard
  • Black pepper, red pepper, chili pepper, chili powder, Montreal Seasoning
  • Fresh lemon or limes; Mojo
  • Newman’s Own Olive Oil & Vinegar or Farmer Boy Greek Dressing

Conventional Food vs. Organic Food

From Wikipedia: “Organic foods are produced according to certain production standards, meaning they are grown without the use of conventional pesticides, artificial fertilizers, human waste, or sewage sludge, and that they were processed without ionizing radiation or food additives.”

Organic is not required unless you have a serious illness and must reduce the toxins/allergens on/in your food. It does taste better and is better for you. If you can afford organic, then do it. Keep in mind, just because it is organic doesn’t mean it’s good for you! An organic donut is still a donut and is NO good for you.

Conventional Meat vs. Organic Meat vs. Grass-Fed/Free-Range/Wild Meat

Conventional meat is raised with the routine use of antibiotics and growth hormones. The aimals are fed a diet of grains and are caged/farmed.

Organic meat is raised without the use of antibiotics and growth hormones, but is still fed an organic diet of grains and is also caged/farmed.

Grass-Fed/Free-Range/Wild means exactly what it says. No antibiotics or growth hormones. The animals eat what they were meant to eat (cows-grass, fish-other fish or sea life, chicken-bugs) and they are not caged.

Again, these are personal choices. If you can afford GF/FR/W, then do it. The quality of our food is largely determined by the quality of the food that animal ate or with fruits+veggies, the quality of the growing conditions.

Fish Oil

Get 2-4 grams per day.

But only if you are interested in:

  • better brain development
  • better emotional control/mood
  • hormone synthesis
  • regulation of pain and inflammation – better immune function
  • proper circulation
  • proper kidney function
  • proper nerve transmission
  • more energy production
  • better looking skin, hair and nails
  • better athletic performance


If you are concerned about the following diseases:

  • arthritis
  • asthma
  • ADD
  • heart attack
  • stroke
  • cancer
  • depression
  • hair loss
  • hypertension
  • lupus
  • memory problems
  • schizophrenia
  • diabetes
  • bronchitis
  • emphysema
  • gastrointestinal disorders
  • obesity
  • fatigue
  • fibromyalgia
  • autoimmune diseases

The Bottom Line

You need to follow this to lose weight; to look good; to feel good; to perform well; to live well; and be healthy and disease free. Knowledge is power and you should seek it out and share it with others.

The Good News

Do this plan strictly for 30 days and you will:

  • normalize your insulin levels
  • improve your digestive health
  • lose fat
  • feel better
  • look better

After 30 days, you may add some of the Off Limits food, in moderation, or add a “cheat” meal or day to your otherwise Paleo-consistent lifestyle.


The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain
The Omega Rx Diet by Barry Sears
Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes
The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth by Jonny Bowden
CrossFit Journal #15 by Greg Glassman
Damn Dirty Grains by Robb Wolf

CrossFit Nutrition Seminar (live event) with Robb Wolf


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