Category Archives: Nutrition

AMRAP Nutrition

amrap

 

The AMRAP Nutrition Refuel Bar

Being dedicated to the paleo lifestyle isn’t always an easy thing to do, especially when it comes to nutrition. Therefore, I am always on the look out for new ideas, products, and hacks that make nourishing my body the paleo way less stressful and more convenient. After all, we live this way because we want to feel better right?

This past weekend, while I was at the CrossFit Endurance certification seminar at CrossFit Meridian I met Aaron, one of the coaches at the box. Aaron introduced me to the AMRAP Nutrition Refuel Bar, an all natural, paleo friendly, whole raw foods bar that provides a great macronutrient balance in a convenient bar package.

When looking at a food product the first thing I go to on the nutritional label is the ingredients list. What I want to see is a very short list of natural foods without any artificial additives. Simple, whole, paleo, period. What impressed me the most about the Refuel Bar was in fact the ingredient list. Containing only raw almond butter, unsweetened coconut, egg white protein powder, raw sesame seeds, raw almond chunks, raw honey, ground cinnamon, and sea salt it definitely fits the within the paleo parameters.

To further demonstrate the nutritional benefits contained in this bar, I decided to do a little research into each of the ingredients. Check out the links below to find out the health benefits that each contain!

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factAnother thing about the Refuel bar that I particularly like is the macronutrient profile. The balance looks roughly like 37% fat, 24% protein, 39% carbohydrates. This is close to ideal though I’d like to see a few more grams of protein and fat and a few less of carbs, but overall this is pretty much spot on in my opinion. The slightly higher carbohydrate count makes this an ideal pre/post workout meal/snack.

For those of you following the Zone Diet you will notice that half of a refuel bar is very close to a 1 block carb, 1 block fat, and 1 block protein snack. Many different levels of the Zone recommend this particular combination as an in between meal snack making the Refuel bar a convenient and easy go to.

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The Bottom line is that the Refuel bar is a fantastic option for a convenient, paleo and zone-friendly, whole nutrient snack/meal whenever you need it. AMRAP Nutrition is still a relatively new company, but they are doing it right and I hear they have some more products on the way soon! Can’t wait to see what they come up with. Enjoy Refuel for your own health and spread the word for some good karma!96edc7ee40d3309f4ef18c5b55fcde96

 

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Paleo for Modern Times

Why-You-Should-Always-Opt-For-The-Paleo-Diet-1

Ridicule, funny looks, and complete puzzlement is what I usually face when I tell people that I am paleo. I say to myself that people are just not familiar with the lifestyle or they’re secretly harbor feelings of guilt and self-loathing for inhaling massive quantities of junk food. Whether this is true or not is open to debate. (Pretty sure I hit the nail on the head in a few instances though).

caveman_diet_10-25-10_bokh5sjLet me clear a few things up about my diet. No, I am not 100% paleo. (To be paleo and truly eat how our ancestors ate is impossible. Those foods simply do not exist anymore.) I am not even 100% paleo according to modern paleo standards. To give approximate a number I’d say I am about 85% paleo. One addition or modification I’ve made is to include some dairy. Mostly in the form of whey protein, whether in bars or powder, but also some butter from grass-fed cows and recently I’ve tried some local, organic raw goat’s milk. As far as processed foods go, I do my best to avoid them however sometimes its inevitable that you have to consume something processed (lunch meat, beef jerky, protein bars, etc…). I’ve also taken to enjoying some hummus lately, which is made out of chickpeas (a big paleo no-no). Lastly, I consume a lot of sodium, I mean A LOT. Most of which comes from my undying love affair with mustards of all sorts. I put mustard on everything.

Paleo-Diet-FoodsHowever, I am strict on avoiding all grains, products containing gluten, soy products, dairy (other than what I listed above), and heavily processed food which in most cases is not really food. I also make it a point to limit starches as much as possible, though I do eat frequent small servings of yams. The basic principle I stick to is the well known diet mantra from the paleo/CrossFit communities of “eat garden vegetables, lean meat, nuts and seeds, little starch, and no sugar.”  In addition, to this base I do have 1-2 servings of fruit a day and a good amount of healthy fats mostly from avocados, nut butters, and olive oil. Finally, I try to eat as much organic and local grown/raised as I can, consuming the majority of my fruits and vegetables raw.

To put this all into perspective, read on and LISTEN TO THE PODCAST BELOW!

Barbell Buddha

Barbell Buddha

For one of the best paleo discussions I have ever heard (and believe me I’ve heard a few in my day…) check out the link below and listen to the first audio file that comes up. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find a direct link to this particular file anywhere, but it’s also on iTunes Podcasts under the Barbell Buddha podcast episode #51. The talk is by Chris Moore and is entitled “Knuckle Deep in Paleo.” In this podcast Chris goes into the modern paleo lifestyle, the tweaks that can be made to the diet, what athletes should be doing on the diet, why its ok to not be 100% paleo, and many other fascinating topics. To cut right to the core I think the real reason I like this so much is the fact that I agree with EVERY WORD he says. If you want to follow a paleo lifestyle that is actually attainable and will sustain you through intense training and allow you to enjoy life this is a must listen!

*Pay particular attention to the part where he discusses why its alright to break paleo on special occasions and why it is the proper/polite thing to do. The example Chris cites of what Anthony Bourdain did is pretty demonstrative of his point!

There you have it! Short post on the modifications made to live a modern paleo lifestyle. Now got eat some grass-fed beef you 21st century cave people!

D-S-P

What Do You Know About Some Blue Algae Cashew Butter?

Raw Cacao in Pod

Raw Cacao in Pod

Think you’re all bad because you eat organic peanut butter or totally exotic because of your raw almond butter? Well, what do you know about some pecan butter? Some, blue algae or acai berry cashew butter? How about that cacao coconut butter?

Alright everyone I’m going to share with you one of my little hidden gems for snacking! I just discovered this at Marlene’s Market in Tacoma, WA and it has rapidly become a daily go to in my diet. The brand Artisana is an awesome food creation company that makes organic raw nut and seed butters for your tasting pleasure! Having sampled many of their products I can say that they have yet to disappoint me. They are all flavorful, unique and best of all an extremely good source of healthy fats! The products are available in full size jars or convenient squeeze packs you can throw in your lunch box, WOD bag, or day pack! FYI my favorites are the blue algae nut butter, acai berry nut butter, and the cacao coconut butter!

Blue Green Algae

Blue Green Algae

Read these articles to find out about the nutritional benefits of blue-green algae and spirulina, the highly-praised super food acai berry, and raw cacao!

So you’ve checked out Artisana and picked up a jar or two of your favorite butters. Are you just going to eat it out of the jar with a spoon? As tempting as that sounds (and something I’ve definitely done) wouldn’t that awesome raw walnut butter be even better spread on something? Here’s where I let you in on the second part of this snack that has also firmly planted itself in my daily food routine. Paleo Bread made by Julian Bakery was an incredible find! It comes in two variations, coconut and almond, both of which are 100% Paleo compliant. One of the things I miss most about my former “traditional, modern-American” diet is bread. This wonderful product has helped satisfy my cravings and provide me a filling alternative to one of the biggest Paleo diet busters. As opposed to regular

Acai Berries

Acai Berries

bread which has a primary ingredient of wheat flour and gluten-free bread made from rice (or another wheat substitute) flour, Julian Bakery’s Paleo Bread is made from coconut or almond flour.  It is low calorie (35 per slice of coconut and 60 per slice of almond), has a good balance of macronutrients, and a healthy amount of fiber.

One firm belief that I have is that anyone that tells you they don’t have a sweet tooth is boldly lying to your face. At this point, we all know that living a healthy lifestyle Paleo or not, means avoiding those sugary treats as much as we can if not all together. Any who wants to use one of those artificial, chemical-filled calorie-free sweetners? Fortunately for us there is a calorie-free all natural sweetener out there that is just the ticket. It’s called stevia and is derived from a plant of the same name that is in the sunflower family. Stevia is now available at most grocery stores and comes in a shaker or small packets. For further research into natural sweeteners check out lo han guo. The extract from this tropical fruit native to China and Thailand is one of the sweeteners used in Quest Bars!

So there you have it, short and sweet (pun intended)! Nothing fancy, nothing complicated, just a healthy addition to any meal or snack that won’t leave you feeling guilty. In fact, just the opposite you’ll feel better knowing you got in some good Omegas and fiber at the same time fulfilling your bread craving and satisfying your sweet tooth!

Chow down fellow Paleo-ists!