• The Paleo Athlete Is Here!

    The Paleo Athlete | stupideasypaleo.com

    The Paleo Athlete is here!

    I was going to call this post “Jacked and Nerdy” but, you know, that would make it a bit harder for search engines to find. If I had to describe this book in one sentence it would be:

    “A practical account of how to eat, perform and dominate whilst putting the most nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods in your mouth as you can.”

    Or “Eat. Perform. Dominate.”

    If you’d have told me that in 2013, I’d write a book I’d have laughed you out of your chair. But when I sit and think about it, there’s just no other way it was supposed to happen. It’s like my worlds, the things I’m most experienced in and passionate about—nutrition, athletics and performance—smashed into one project.

    It didn’t start off this way—as writing projects have a tendency to do. All I wanted to do was to write a little ebook about how to eat Paleo if you’re an athlete. Sounds simple. Riiiiiiight. The more I wrote, the more I thought about all the things I wish I’d known when I first started Paleo back in the olden days. (That’s 2010.) Competing—whether it was youth soccer or high school track, racing my mountain bike for the first time, running a marathon, dabbling in tris or doing CrossFit and weightlifting—has been a huge part of my life since I was a kid. There’s something about sport that’s exhilarating and challenging and wonderful—even when it’s all going wrong and you’re drooling on yourself.

    My introduction to Paleo was The Paleo Diet for Athletes, and though the foundation was laid back then, as I continued competing and eating this way, I started to feel like there was something I could offer the community: my personal experiences in the trenches of competition, combined with the science to understand the rationale behind Paleo and a focus on practical application. You see, I don’t think everyone wants the dogmatic, super-detailed, scientific stuff. It’s very possible you want to know what to do, when to do it and how. Bing bang boom.

    One thing that motivated me was the number of times I’ve heard, “You can’t be Paleo and be an athlete.” I’ve seen this quote from the 2013 CrossFit Games about 20 times in various articles and it frankly boils my blood because the legitimacy of this nutrition approach died a little that day. If the athletes were asked, “Who focuses their nutrition around plenty of protein, enough carbs to keep fueled and fat to stay satiated with little to no processed food,” I’m willing to bet nearly every hand would have gone up. This is why labels—though a necessary evil—can really suck. Sitting out there behind computer screens are athletes who’ve completely dismissed Paleo because of that quote.

    In a way, I don’t blame them. Paleo’s become a word that’s confusing because its meaning isn’t standard across the board. Most folks I know aren’t strict to the degree originally fleshed out by Cordain, and rightly so. While this template works for some, it’s frankly too restrictive for others. Need to fix your broken metabolism or heal your leaking gut? Your Paleo should look different from an athlete in training. At some point, folks got their wires crossed, thinking that Paleo athletes should ALL be low carb—because some people out there in the world can do low carb Paleo long-term and not pop. And they worked out hard and got really lean and jacked. And then they started getting chubbier. And slower. And weaker. And they hated training. So they thought, “Paleo’s whack, man!” (Said in my best voice El Duderino voice.)

    But I’m here to tell you that doesn’t have to be the case. You can eat whole, nutrient-dense foods and perform like a badass without popping pills and mixing powders or eating like a rabbit.

    Real food is powerful, nutrient-dense and anti-inflammatory. Don’t believe me? I put 15 kilograms on my back squat while taking no whey protein or creatine or boost juice or whatever people call their secret sauce these days. Just whole sources of protein, carbs and healthy fats. I’ve done long training days and races on the bike with clean fuel, too. It can be done. I’m also not blind to the fact that because of the superhuman demands you may put on yourself with training, you may decide that things like whey protein powder or waxy maize starch or white rice work for you. If those are the concessions you make, then so be it but it’s time to be honest about the fact that these aren’t better than real food…they’re just more convenient.

    If you’re looking for a balanced approach to fueling, you’re curious about how to apply Paleo to your sport, or you’re a Paleo athlete already but you’re wondering how to tweak your nutrition for better performance (while not sacrificing your health), The Paleo Athlete is for you.

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    Steph Gaudreau is a certified holistic nutrition practitioner, weightlifting and mindset coach, and the author of the best-selling Performance Paleo Cookbook. Her recipes and expert advice have been featured in SELF, Outside Magazine, Elle, and Greatist. Steph loves barbells, cats, and anything Lord of the Rings. She lives in San Diego, CA.

    29 thoughts on “The Paleo Athlete Is Here!

    1. Just downloaded this — so stoked to read it … we’ve been eating like this for several months now and we feel great! Stoked to see how this works for my races this year — including my 6th ironman! 🙂

    2. OMG this is perfect, I swear there are people out there that are reading my mind, first paleo parents, now you. I’m reading the Paleo Diet for Athletes (Loren Cordain), and I’m enjoying it, so this is going to be a great follow up. Thanks… now for pay day to hurry up and arrive.

    3. Thank you so much. I am on page 116 of this book and it is PHENOMENAL. You know when you see another book about paleo, and you think “I’m going to buy this, but it it really going to teach me stuff that I don’t already know.” Well, confession time: I thought that.

      I’m pretty much sold on the paleo thing, I’ve read all the best books and believe in it. However, i row at university (twice daily training, one day off) with a mixture of weights, ergo sessions, water sessions and circuits. As much as I enjoy eating paleo, I always found it a struggle to a) understand how my situation was different to a non-athlete’s, and b) to apply rowing post workout nutrition with paleo. I should also add I study nutrition at university here at the UK, so I like to think I know a fair amount about how our bodies function. But I struggle with personalisation, something that you have emphasised a great deal here…

      So, this ebook has really gone such a massive way to answering those questions that I haven’t quite understand since I committed to eating paleo. And I thank you for that.

      Another thank you is for the nice little sound bite you provide about why you are eating non paleo food in the post workout window, that one line will serve me well when I get tempted to get defensive about my nutritional choices! Repeat, MY nutritional choices. Rowers can be an accusatory bunch with their bagels, peanut butter, oatmeal and pasta….

      My favourite part so far has to be:
      “If all else fails, ignore the people who are giving you crap. They can’t call the Paleo police because no such entity exists. Know that how you’re fueling is right for you. Know how it makes you feel to eat Paleo: clear-headed, full of energy, eager to train and happy. Be comfortable that those reasons are enough. You don’t have to change for anyone or justify your reasoning ad nauseam…”

      Excellent. Bravo. And thank you so so much for this ebook!

    4. You said that there’s a basic version on sale at Amazon for the Kindle. What is that version missing? I would like to be able to read it on my Kindle, but don’t want to miss anything.

      Also, I’ll be at the Whole Athlete Seminar in Monrovia on Saturday. I can’t wait!

    5. Great Read!! Definitely answered some questions as to why my fat loss has plateaued even though I’m training 4-5 days a week and eating paleo! Making some sweet potato for post workout today! Thank you!

    6. Hi Steph! Loving the book so far 🙂
      My question is on protein. I am an endurance athlete. I weigh 112 pounds and been paleo for over a year with tweaks here and there. I am currently consuming anywhere from 4 to 6 ounces of protein 3x per day. According to the calculations I am too high. Is this right? Should I cut back and increase my fats? Needing some guidance here. Thanks!!

      1. My question is…is your current level working for you? If so, no need to really tweak it 🙂 How tall are you, if you don’t mind me asking?

        1. Hey Steph… my current protein amounts do seem to be working well for me. I have actually tried to cut back the last 2 days and am starving. I am 5’5″, I meant to put that in the original post.

    7. I started the Paleo diet 14 days ago. I have one problem since starting and I hope you can help me find a resolution. A little background—- I am female, 51years, 5’6″ and 143lbs. I am fairly muscular except for the belly and hip fat I have acquired in recent years due to typical pre-menopause hormones and wine intake :). I am not an high performance athlete. However, I do work out regularly: Mon-1 hr step class; Tues-1 hr kick boxing and 1 hr weight training; Wed-4 mi run; Thurs-1 hr kick boxing; Fri-1 hr weight training; Sat or Sun-4-6 mi run. The problem I have experienced since eating clean is I have numerous dizzy spells during aerobic classes, but not while running. I have observed I am sluggish during my runs and running at a slower pace. I feel great since cutting sugar, grains and dairy except for the fact that I am experiencing a setback in the exercising part. Look forward to your response. Thanks!

      1. Hi Kelly…what you describe is basically called Carb Flu. Your body is trying to switch over from burning sugar all the time to burning fat as a fuel source (especially during your longer, more aerobic classes). Give yourself a bit of a break with training for maybe another week and let your body get accustomed to the new metabolic demands.

    8. Hey, Congratulations Steph! Best of luck with your new book. I look forward to reading it. Thanks for all the awesome info thus far. BTW: where did you get your holistic nutrition cert from?

    9. I am already following a real food nutrition lifestyle to support my athletics. My only problem with going 100% paleo – is that I really don’t like the taste and texture of meat. Is there a good way to create a vegetarian approach? Is there any leeway for me to use beans as a protein source instead of meat/fish? Thanks in advance.

      1. Do you eat eggs? You could use beans or lentils but just make sure they’re properly prepared (soaking, sprouting, etc).

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