Discover How to 10x Your Performance, Lean Up, And Gain Strength
I think you’ll agree with me when I say:
The title sounds catchy and it is. But, If you have never stuck to a good diet while doing CrossFit, you have no idea of the gains you are missing out. You know how they say the training is 30% and nutrition is 70%? Well you would be surprised how true that is.
Here’s The Deal….
My name is Peter Johnson and I’ve been doing Crossfit since 2012. I am by no means, a Rich Froning. But, I’ve managed to take myself from a total beginner, fat, out of shape and what you would call a “wussy” Crossfitter, to being one of the best at my gym and definitely above average with a lean athletic body that compares to those at the games.This website is indented to help out those with beginner level fitness, all the way up to elite athlete fitness.
The thing is…
The thing that turns around all athletes and takes them to the next level in Crossfit and their physique is their diet and nutrition. Your diet and nutrition are what separates good from the great and what separates most athletes from the next level. When watching all of the greats on the Crossfit games, It can seem very intimidating and almost discouraging to see the gap of fitness between you and them. There are tons of different Crossfit diets out there, and I intend to break the myths on them and give you the best prescription for the optimal diet. The best Crossfit nutrition you can have is consistent and committed time to a specific plan.
The Unspoken KEY To Getting A Lean Body Is To Get A Plan, Invest In The Plan, and Execute
I Can’t Emphasize This Enough:
What really separates the people who have a good diet and nutrition plan from the people who have great diet and nutrition is simply planning and execution. It is common in the CrossFit community to debate and labor over the right nutrition. Yes, we have Greg Glassman’s saying “Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar.” but, that doesn’t do very much for us when it comes to the down and dirty of what exactly to eat.
The best solution to this problem is to simply pick a plan and stick to the plan. You can browse around online for hours on what you should do for your diet and not ever do it in real life. The best solution is to pick something that you can commit to and invest in. This is why it’s important to go and buy, yes invest money, in a resource that will give you the plan to eat well. This way, since you’ve invested in it, you will be more likely to stick with it and get it done.
Having the perfect plan will never happen, it is more important that you stick to whatever plan you choose and tweak it over time. This is the best way to lean up and get the athletic body that is possible with CrossFit. So what I will do is briefly outline what the main nutrition plans are for people who are doing some sort of cross-training workout, tell my story, and then show you a few foods that can really change things around as far as diet goes.
The Main Crossfit Nutrition Plans
For most people, the paleolithic diet is sufficient and the best option. Improving blood lipids, weight loss, and reduced pain in autoimmune diseases is sufficient proof. Many people, however, are not satisfied with blindly following the recommendations, whether related nutrition or exercise. Some people like to know why they are doing the Diet and how it works. Fortunately, the Paleolithic diet has been highlighted not only the test of time but also to the rigors of scientific research.
With a very simple change, not only we eliminate foods that disagree with our health (cereals, legumes, and dairy products), but also increase our intake of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. To put simply, the Paleo Diet adopts the eating habits of our ancestors during the cave man days. The easiest way to to this is to prepare meals that taste good. This is why getting paleo recipes for CrossFit will help you out a ton when sticking to using this type of plan.
The Zone Diet is not a diet but a nutritional concept which is based on balancing a meal to optimize hormonal response during the next five hours and thus, control the levels of inflammation in your body. Making the Zone diet work is very easy. Just combine carbohydrates, proteins and fats in the 40-30-30 ratio. There are two methods of measurement: the blocks and visual. It is advisable to start with the block method to become familiar with the proportions. This is another common method of nutrition used and that is talked about.
By following some sort of variation of these methods and sticking to it. You can dramatically increase your performance.
The Long Walk To Optimal Diet and Nutrition
Let’s face it, the more crap you put in your body the more food you eat that doesn’t work so well with your biological system, the more you are going to feel horrible and perform badly. My nutrition was atrocious as a young kid. My parents did a great job raising be and did the best they could with the knowledge they had, so I don’t want to condemn them at all. But, the food that I ate was not conducive to a healthy lifestyle. I’ve written quick explanation of what my diet looked like as a child:
Morning and Afternoon
I would wake up at approximately 6:40 AM to get ready for school and devour a chocolate fudge pop tart. I would meticulously take the pop tart apart piece by piece until I could get all of the great tasting chocolate frostings out from the middle. Now if that little blurb made you hungry, we have some work to do. So instantly, I receive a huge sugar rush and insulin spike to start off my day as an 8-year-old. Since I was a very picky eater, (yes some of the nutrition deficiency was my fault) my mother would pack me a typical lunch of cinnamon bread with butter and cheese, chips of some sort, and then I would get 8 oz of 2% milk at school. If you can’t tell already,
Since I was a very picky eater, (yes some of the nutrition deficiency was my fault) my mother would pack me a typical lunch of cinnamon bread with butter and cheese, chips of some sort, and then I would get 8 oz of 2% milk at school. If you can’t tell already, I’m already at a huge nutrition deficiency and I’m already 2/3 of the way through my day of eating.
So after a long day of school work I would come home and enjoy “snack time” in which I would eat some sort of Little Debbie treat. Another great sugar rush to get me through that 3 PM slump and then usually for dinner I would choke down some moderately nutritional food.
As you can see, this wasn’t the best diet even for a kid at that age. What I am thankful for is the training and sports that I participated in as a kid in grade school and high school. Without those sports, I would be very “skinny fat”. Those sports were integral to my current fitness state and helped me tremendously with CrossFit.
How Diet and Nutrition Helped Me In CrossFit
During my time in the military, I had quite a bit of free time. During that free time, I explored different activities and things to do to fill that time. One of those activities was reading books. Now if you are in the military, most of your friends and everyone around you is focused on being as tough and bad-ass as you can. So inevitably, everyone was in the gym lifting weights and having an all day contest of who was the strongest and who was the most bad-ass. So because of this, being as competitive as I am, I wanted a way to get beat out my buddies in the gym.
I came across a book called that talked about how diet and nutrition can completely change the way that your mind operates and give you extreme focus. I was very skeptical at first but I thought that I would give it a try. I read the book from cover to cover and implemented exactly what the diet said and applied it to my daily plans while doing my Crossfit workouts, which at the time was the key to getting stronger. Now, this diet was extremely carbohydrate low. I had very little energy about 2 hours after I ate an all vegetable meal and get a euphoric rush when I took a bite out of an apple.
The one thing I did notice was that after a meal, I felt very calm and focused. So after tweaking the diet to include more carbohydrates, I gained a ton more energy and felt the way I did after a meal all the time. I continued on this diet for a few months and noticed a lot of changes. I noticed that after a workout I didn’t feel as groggy or tired, I was always in a good mood, and I felt like I could get a ton accomplished every single day. It really had a profound effect on my lifestyle. While it was difficult, it provided me with clear thought, energy, and I also started to notice that I could see my abdominal muscle much more profoundly than I ever could before. I was in tip top shape.
So if you are ever looking to lean up and are willing to put in the work to become the best shape you have every been in, be sure to look at getting yourself on a plan that you can stick to and has plenty of fruits and vegetables in it. If you are ready to take the leap, I would recommend you try the All-In-One Paleo Cookbook. It includes things like:
- A 30-Day Paleo Meal Plan
- A Complete Paleo Food Guide
- A Paleo Eating Out Plan (so that you can stick with your diet even when you are going out to eat at a restaurant)
- Delicious Paleo Roasts and Paleo Lamb Recipes Cookbooks
- 4 Ingredients Paleo Cookbook (similar to a recipe and cooking book for dummies)
- Recipes for CrossFit Athletes
With this guide, if you stick to it for a few months, you are going to notice changes that surprise you. It feels great and your life just gets better overall. The number one thing that will affect your life is what you put into your body because your body is your life and how you react to life. It is one of the only things you can actually control.
Choosing The Top Foods That Will Help You Perform
Not all food is created equal. This is an obvious answer to any athlete but you can physically and mentally feel which foods are have consumed. You can just about image what you will feel like after you eat an entire box of chocolates. Let’s just say that you won’t be wanting to do any homework or any work in general after you ate all of that delicious candy.
The best foods that will help your body and help you perform that CrossFit WOD you have been dreading will be explained. This is simply going to be a foundation to start and what to put into your body if you are either a beginner or an advanced athlete. Everything starts from a foundation of nutrition and I guarantee you if you eat these foods on a regular basis and get the macros right, you aren’t only going to be PR’ing in the box, but you will also be having clearer thought, more energy, and attentiveness to what you do.
I recently made a video on the importance of this food. For me, I think it holds all of the things we were evolved to have. It tastes horrible, it looks weird, but it literally is the one thing that has the most return on food investment out there. I did an experiment where I took whole Kale leaves, one at a time, and mixed them up with orange juice in one of those magic bullet blender things. I drank one Kale leaf mixed with OJ about twice a day and the results were pretty amazing. I no longer had to rely on coffee for energy or used a sort of stimulant to get through my day. For breakfast, I would have a quick protein shake or eggs and this drink. I was very impressed with this meal.
The thing that this separates this food from the rest is the phytonutrients and micronutrients that are naturally occurring in it. This also means that organic is a MUST. Kale is food that is very rich in these components even though it doesn’t have a lot of macro-nutrients. It is incredible how much enhances whatever food you eat. Obviously, if you are eating crappy food that doesn’t fit into the paleo ways or just healthy food in general, kale isn’t going to negate the bad substances that you are putting into your body.
For example, if you eat 5 chocolate chip cookies in the morning, you aren’t going to get the positive effects of your kale shakes in the morning and night. But, you are going to have to keep in mind that even if you lose your self-control and splurge or binge, it’s ok and you should still take your kale shake.
I’ve found that the magic bullet works really well for mixing up the shakes but if you want to do it for a while be sure to not fill up the cup past half-way. The label tells you that you can fill it up to the line that is etched in the cup but I found that when I put the leaves in, it tends to break quicker. I’ve gone through quite a lot of these and ever since I’ve only filled it up halfway they have not been breaking on me. This simple formula has given me the energy and focus to last throughout the day without becoming tired.
The anatomy of kale is very interesting to me. Obviously, it has a very low glycemic index and has a ton of nutrients within it. If you take 1 cup of it and cook it (about 130 grams if you want to be exact). It still can contain 1180% of your daily recommended value of vitamin K. Vitamin K is not an easy nutrient to get, especially if you are eating the standard American diet.
Another reason is because of the antioxidants it contains. Now when people claim that something has antioxidants in it, everyone seems to nod their heads and say “Oh, yes, Antioxidants… that’s great.” But nobody really understands what antioxidants do for you. This is especially true if the real reason you eat good food is for being an athlete. In a nutshell, antioxidants stop oxidation. Oxidation is when your cells are being destroyed.
Now, I’m not a doctor, but the gist of it is the deterioration of cells. Once those cells are destroyed, that means that they are never coming back. Yes, you can regrow new cells but the rate at which they are being removed and destroyed decreases significantly the more you are consuming these antioxidants. That is exactly why when you eat kale, you feel as if you have more energy because your cells are staying alive longer and you can draw energy from those cells.
Peanut Butter, Avocado or Fats
This is the second most important food or group of foods that I like to eat. Before you go to the grocery store and buy up all the peanut butter jars and all the avocados you see, you need to understand a very simple fact before you do so. It’s important to keep in mind the timing of these foods.
Timing is everything when eating these. Fats have a very important job in hormone production for girls and especially guys. Without the proper fat intake for guys, your testosterone and manly hormones will drop significantly. This means that the regular consumption of healthy fats is very important. So this means no normal peanut butter. If the peanut butter you eat is not natural peanut butter or you don’t have to stir it, you are doing it wrong. Also, if the avocado is not ripe or it is not organic, you are also doing it wrong. Be sure to have both of these things when you are purchasing the food.
So I promised you timing specifics… The ideal time to take in fats is at night time. Right before you go to sleep, be sure to get a good zone meal in but instead with plenty of fats. I find that avocados really help in this area. By morning time, if you get a good nights sleep, you will have a lot of testosterone stored up, it will help your workouts, and you will just all around recover faster.
Is it ripe enough?
Choosing avocados is another story, you want firm but not too firm so that it will ripen on your countertop. I especially like to make guacamole out of it.
So as you can see, it’s a lot harder to tell if the avocado is ripe from the outside but you can manage to pluck off the end and take a peek inside. The color that you see inside is going to determine how fast you should eat it. I pull out my phone and compare colors to what is on the shelves. If you start to see black veins or spots when you open it up, eat around those and throw it away. The freshest avocados are the ones that are nice and green with a yellowish tint. Fading from green on the outer edges into a yellowish tint in the middle is ideal.
Now Broccoli is probably at the bottom of my top 3 list because it’s a lot harder to prepare. I’m a bachelor and I like my food quick and easy. So while broccoli has just as many health benefits as kale, it still isn’t as ideal because it’s harder to prepare. Rich in vitamin C, this food can taste great. When eating broccoli it’s best to get it steamed in order to eat it or at least soften in up a bit.
If you eat all of these foods at least once per day and follow the guidelines that I’ve put in place, you are going to set yourself on a road to healthy eating and you will increase your physique as long as you are doing CrossFit or some sort of cross-training. I’m not a super advocate for CrossFit but I do think it is a great idea for someone who isn’t particularly motivated because of the community aspect. I explain a lot of my thoughts on it in a video I made as well.
It is quite sad that the entire industry has taken away the importance of food. All the supplements in the world aren’t going to help if you aren’t eating real food. Food that we were meant to eat and evolved from. Nothing will ever trump food and real nutrition from them, all of the imitators of nutrients will not match up because of the micro-nutrients that are contained within the food that even modern technology cannot detect.
I’ve also done an experiment where I tested lots of different supplements and also ate nothing but meal replacements, protein, weight gainer, and the like to see what type of results I would get. Surprise, surprise… I did exponentially worse. What people don’t realize is that the people who sell supplements are in it for the profit. They well know that the only thing that will really help you is real food. If the supplement companies can get you to buy a bottle worth $80 instead of taking the slow, patient route of good nutrition, they will do it all day long. Try going off any supplements or food replacements for a month and see how you feel. It’s a good bet that you will be doing a lot better and your arms, as well as your wallet, will be thicker too.
There is no shortcut for hard work. I’ve always known this but I never REALLY knew it until I started working out and doing CrossFit. Hard work and discipline will always come first before everything. This blueprint should give you everything you need to make those gains.