April 2012 - RCF NuernbergRCF Nuernberg

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I borrowed this idea for a Quick Start Guide off Robb Wolf’s website (in a couple places verbatim) – I’ve included Dr. Lorein Cordain (popularizer of the Paleo Diet)’s list of encouraged & discouraged foods, linked at the end.

The 6-step Paleo/Primal Challenge Guide

1. Throw out all the shit stored in your kitchen 

2. Go shopping

3. Cook & Eat!

4. Hang out with your friends (at Reebok CrossFit Nuernberg)

5. Sleep!

6. Don’t cheat


1. Throw out all the shit

If the Paleo concept is new to you, then you might not be completely aware of the scientific backing behind the Paleo Diet, or convinced of its rationale.  It might seem extreme to you to throw out everything that does not comply.  Ok, then you need to gather all items that follow, put them in a non-see-through bag, and then store the bag in a dark corner of your basement.  Do not trust yourself to have self-control!  Bread (+breading), oatmeal & all cereals, rice, dried or canned beans, pasta, cookies, crackers, all dairy products including yogurt, pudding, & ice cream, apple sauce, juice (even 100%), soda (even diet), sweeteners (artificial and natural like honey and maple syrup), soy sauce, ketchup, mustards (excluding Maille Dijon Originale or any other brand without sugar), & canned soups. A major source of calories in processed/packaged & canned foods is the linoleic acid (in the form of polyunsaturated fats/vegetable oil).  Most things stored in boxes or packages have some sort of sugar, flour/gluten or polyunsaturated fats added. Seasoning packets usually contain the same kinds of crap – stick to the basic dried spices or scan ingredients carefully..  

2. Go shopping


Eat protein with every meal – Ideally grass fed or wild caught. But conventional options are fine. Beans and rice do NOT count as protein.

Pork, beef, lamb, kangaroo, deer, Chicken, turkey, duck, ostrich, & all types of Fish, shrimp, crab, etc.

Round things out with some good quality bacon (Tulip brand found at Rewe & Metro has no sugar), omega-3 enriched eggs (kein Ei mit der drei).


Eat as many veggies as you want!  Ideally these are local and organic, but again, not a deal breaker. Farmers markets have terrific produce at a great price. Mix up the colors.  Avoid white potatoes if your goals are weight-loss.  Sweet potatoes, squash, and pumpkin make great post-workout therapy for your muscles.

Limit fruit to 1 serving per day if fat loss is your goal. A serving is not a whole watermelon! In order of preference: Berries, melons, citrus, apples, pears.  Bananas, papayas and mangoes are great for athletes post workout but not for folks who want to lose weight.

If going paleo represents a huge change for you & you are a carb-monster like my husband and I were in our Triathlete years, we recommended that you stay under 30 net carbohydrates (total carbohydrates minus fiber intake) for at least the first 2 weeks. This will force your metabolic machinery to use and burn fat stores for energy.  Some experience the low-carbohydrate flu for the first few days to a week – read about it here.



Olive oil (extra virgin) coconut & coconut oil (you can consume by the spoonful), avocado (oil and whole), macadamia (whole and oil), almonds, walnuts. If fat loss is a goal limit nuts to 1-2 oz. per day.  Schmalz would also be fine if you knew the animals were healthy and grass-fed.


Spice it up.

Marinara sauce, herbs, spices-curry powder, garlic, ginger, cilantro, garam massala, chili powder, black pepper, lemon zest, allspice, cinnamon, cumin, oregano, and basil. Keep your vinegar, keep your tomato sauce and Tomaten Mark, as long as the ingredients are natural: tomatoes, basil, and salt, for example.  Herbs and spices will keep your cooking lively and varied.



Because you will be in fat-burning mode, you will want to drink plenty of water (Stilles!) to support your body’s work.  You will lose a significant amount of fluid as your insulin levels fall within the first couple weeks (you won’t retain water like you would on a high-carb diet), so drink like a fish!  Dr. Michael Eades believes that the reason why people who drink more water lose weight faster may have something to do with increasing the loss of ketone bodies (which contain calories) via the urine..  You can also continue to enjoy mineral water, coffee & tea.  We want your liver ridding your body of extra fat and toxic substances during this 30-day period of time.  Because your liver has to handle the caffeine, drinking coffee and black/green tea would just mean more work for it to do.



The only vitamins or supplements I recommend are Vitamin D – at least 2000 IU daily if you aren’t getting sun – and fish oil capsules (1 gm with each meal) or cod liver oil (lebertran).  Probiotics are great, especially if you got pelted by the flu this winter like our household did and were forced to take antibiotics.


3. Cook & Eat – 3-4 meals per day!

Do not count calories or fat.  If you are hungry in between meals, then increase the fat content of future meals.  Just stick with real foods. The majority of your meals look something like this:

• 4-8 oz of lean protein such as chicken, lean beef, turkey, pork loin or seafood.

• Several servings of vegetables, either raw, steamed, or lightly cooked.

• Good fats from Avocado, olive oil, coconut, or a handful of un-salted nuts

such as almonds, pecans, macadamias or walnuts.


4.  Hang out with your friends (at Reebok CrossFit Nuernberg), or just get outside and move

You don’t have to even exercise intensely.  But you are always welcome to come to RCFN just to hang out with people who share the same fitness goals, have some fun on our equipment, practice new skills, or just engage in some quality conversation.  Remember that exercise and nutrition are only two variables in the equation of health – and that maintaining social connections plays an enormous role in happiness.  Don’t confuse activities which provide distraction with those that provide pleasure.  Here is how Chris Kresser di
fferentiates between them:

“Distraction is something that prevents us from giving full attention to ourselves and our lives. Pleasure is almost exactly the opposite. When we experience pleasure we are more fully present to life, more grounded in our bodies, more alive and aware. Pleasure activates our calm and connect system; distraction does not.

For example, watching TV and browsing the web are often distractions that divert our attention from our own experience. But getting a massage, listening to our favourite music or taking a walk barefoot on the beach are pleasurable activities that connect us more deeply with ourselves and the world around us.

It is this experience that is crucial to our health and – I would argue – our happiness.”


5. Sleep!

Use your Rolladen.   REALLY black out your room. No LED lights from computers, TVs or alarm clocks.  No nite lights.  Better not to watch TV or look at a PC or iphone for at least 1 hour before bed. You should be getting at least 8-9 hrs of sleep, so go to bed early.  You shouldn’t even need to be using your alarm to wakeup.


6. Don’t be a Cheater

There is absolutely no cheating allowed during our Paleo/Primal 30 Day Challenge!!!!!!! Robb Wolf says it only takes a little bit of gluten every 10 days to keep the gut inflamed. Get true results – DON’T CHEAT YOURSELVES and don’t waste our time trying to troubleshoot why paleo/primal eating didn’t help you significantly toward reaching your goals at the end of 30 days.
If you do cheat, then mind that you never EVER claim that you “did” our Paleo Challenge. 

You cheated. 

You failed. 

You have to start over from the beginning.

If you are curious about these recommendations read The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf for a great, short intro. Or just follow this guide, reap all the benefits and don’t bother with the details. It’s up to you.

Urgeschmack provides fantastic information about the Paleo Diet in German & a lot of great recipes:

  1. Die Paleo Diät
  2. Grundsätze der Paleo Diät (7 Einfache Schritte zu einer ganzheitlich gesunden Ernährung)
  3. Die Paleo Diät im Detail
  4. Warum Sie keinen Zucker essen sollten
  5. Warum Sie keine Getreideprodukte essen sollten
  6. Warum Sie auf Pflanzenfett und Margarine verzichten sollten
  7. Warum Sie ihren Obstverzehr mäßigen sollten
  8. Warum und wie Sie auf Ihr Omega3:Omega6 Verhältnis achten sollten
  9. Warum Sie stark verarbeitete Lebensmittel meiden sollten
  10. Warum Sie vielleicht auch auf Milch verzichten sollten
  11. Ein typischer Tag mit der Paleo Diät
  12. Paleo Diätplan
  13. Häufige Fragen zur Paleo Diät

Here is Dr. Loren Cordain’s detailed list of permitted and discouraged foods that I promised

And here is our official support group already stocked with great links and resources for all things Paleo (heartfelt thanks to Andres D’Alessandro who created it a couple months ago):  RCFN Paleo Challenge 

it worked for him…Interested in doing the Paleo Challenge with us in May?  It will most likely change your life.  The changes reported by participants WORLDWIDE are radical – 30 days later and your metabolism has shifted from sugar burning to fat burning, you have more power in your workout, you have balanced energy levels throughout the day, stable blood sugar, clear skin, better teeth, sweeter breath, improved sleep, lower inflammation (arthritis/asthma/carpal tunnel,etc), reduced allergies, and a better mental outlook…

Believe it?  How else are you ever going to know, if you don’t try? 

And do try 100%. Don’t be a flipping pansy about it. Not 80%. Not 96.5%. What is 30 days really compared to the rest of your life.

We’d found out in December, 2010 that our 12 year-old Australian Cattle dog had inoperable terminal brain cancer. The German vet told me that he saw an average of 5-10 new cancer cases every single week. What? It was a comparatively large veterinarian’s office – they had advanced equipment allowing them to make these diagnoses, but that is still an astonishing statistic. I asked if it had always been that way, and he responded that the cases had increased dramatically just in the last 15-20 years. What changed? Have you seen this book: Katzen würden Mäuse kaufen: Schwarzbuch Tierfutter by Hans-Ulrich Grimm?

And no, 12 years is most definitively NOT a long life for a cattle dog so if you tell me that I will punch you. He was in the prime of his life. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oldest_dogs

Just in the last 5 years, there’s been a flood of new studies (google it) linking Celiac disease to lymphomas. Swedish researchers in 2010 evaluated 60,000 patients with lymphomas, and found that patients with Celiac disease were 5 times more likely to develop a lymphoma. How many people have Celiac? Tests are notoriously inaccurate. Both of my brothers developed Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in their 20s – my older brother died 6 months following his diagnosis.

I’m sure many of you have been touched by the tragic loss of someone you love due to one of these so called “diseases of civilization”: cancer, alzheimer’s, diabetes… If you have time, read where Alessio Fasano, MD recently put forward a proposed mechanism involving gluten/grains in all autoimmune disease.

80% of your immune system is located in your digestive system – pharmacists and doctors are telling us that all the time. What kind of food is optimal for your body, and what kind irritates and inflames it? Because f*^k, it’s important to know that, right?

What better way to determine your tolerance of often inflamatory substances than to eliminate them for 30 days and then reintroduce them, one by one, systematically. I bet dairy is fine for you – but now is your chance to really test that theory and prove it for yourself.

Can you believe it – I’m not trying to convince you to go Paleo just to look better naked, I’m telling you that I’m personally convinced that it’s the best move for your health’s sake too. Everyone benefits. The benefits you experience just might be radical enough for you to make going Paleo a lifestyle change. And then you will want to convince your family and friends that Paleo is the way to go. And before you know it an entire economic infrastructure supporting paleo will start growing up out of nowhere – paleo snack kits, paleo recipe books, coconut tortilla wraps, paleo iphone apps, kale chips, grass-fed meat distributers, coconut oil…

Last year while we were still at Landstuhl CrossFit, the following story was published with accompanying video. It struck several deep cords with me. If you have 2minutes, please watch this video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9A74LvPxU8

From the article Captive Gorillas Succumbing to Human Disease:

Life for humans is much easier than for animals in the wild. On a day-to-day basis, we generally do not have to worry about being eaten or starving to death. Depending on the individual’s job, some can get by just fine by sitting around all day. However, this lifestyle brings forth its own set of health issues such as diabetes and heart disease, illnesses rarely found in the wild. These “human” diseases have spread to gorillas that are raised in captivity.

The only species of gorilla kept at North American zoos is the Western Lowland Gorilla. The number one killer of males in captivity is heart disease, much like humans. After a 21 year old gorilla named Brooks died of heart failure at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in 2005, a group of researchers decided to examine how the gorilla’s lifestyle affect their health. The team was led by Elena Hoellein Less, a PhD candidate in biology at Case Western Reserve University.

The researchers believe that heart disease can be stopped by switching captive gorillas back to their natural diets in the wild. For decades, zoos have fed gorillas bucket loads of high vitamin, high sugar, and high starch foods to make sure their got all their nutrients. At the Cleveland zoo, they have started feeding food such as romaine lettuce, dandelion greens, endives, alfalfa, green beans, flax seeds, and even tree branches which they strip of bark and leaves. To top it off, they give the gorillas three Centrum Silver multivitamins inside half a banana.

Going back to this natural diet has changed gorilla behavior. Before, gorillas only ate during a quarter of their day because the food was so packed with nutrients. Now at Cleveland, they spend 50-60 percent of their day eating which is the same amount as in the wild. With all this extra eating, the gorillas have doubled their caloric intake, yet at the same time have dropped 65 pounds each. This brings their weight more in line with their wild relatives.

“We’re beginning to understand we may have a lot of overweight gorillas,” said Kristen Lukas, an adjunct assistant professor of biology at Case Western Reserve and chair of the Gorilla Species Survival Plan®. “And, we’re just recognizing that surviving on a diet and being healthy on a diet are different. We’ve raised our standards and are asking, are they in the best condition to not only survive but to thrive?
Less and her crew are continuing their studies of captive gorillas by measuring the fat on their backs to create a gorilla body mass index. This can be used to gauge healthy weight for gorillas much as it is used for humans. The next step, says Less, is to exercise gorillas at the zoo to get their muscles to a similar level as their wild relatives.

CrossFit, anyone?

So look at how that story about gorillas so neatly parallels the 2011 TED Talks presentation by Dr. Terry Wahls – I’m sure you’ve heard how she REVERSED her advanced-stage Multiple Sclerosis and healed herself completely of the incurable disease just by going Paleo. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLjgBLwH3Wc

So what in the hell is my point.

You are an animal.
Get sleep, get sun, get moving, get social contact.
And you’d better start eating the way you were designed to eat. Get Paleo.

More about RCFN Paleo Challenge rules to follow!



Justin Sprague proving himself “Strong” at the CrossFit Strongman Certification, RCFN 31 Mar 2012Feel free to ask any of our participants in last weekend’s CrossFit Strongman Certification what they thought of the host facility and staff.  Reebok CrossFit Nuernberg will show you a good time, guaranteed.  We bend over backwards to make folks feel at home, help resolve problems, and insure needs are satisfied.

So here’s your opportunity to attend another Certification at Reebok CrossFit Nuernberg – yea, yea!  Due to overwhelming popular demand (the first one sold out in 2 weeks), we’ve scheduled an additional CrossFit Level 1 Course for trainers from 28-29 July 2012.

Here is the link to register.

One frequently asked question is in what language the CrossFit Level 1 Certification is given. The default language for all US based and international Level 1 Trainer Courses is English.  This includes the CrossFit Training Guide and the Test. Please contact [email protected] at least two weeks prior to the course start date for information and permission on attending the course with a translator, using a foreign‐language dictionary, or to be given more time to complete the test.  No accommodations or permissions will be made on site.  Translators will be allowed to translate during the course only.  No translators can be used during the test.

Currently, the written test is offered in English, South American Spanish, Castilian Spanish, Korean, French, Portuguese, German and Italian. The CrossFit Training Guide is available in English, South American Spanish, and Italian. CrossFit is continually in the process of translating its educational materials to other languages, so please check with [email protected] for the most up-to-date list of languages available.

If they do not have the test or CrossFit Training Guide translated into your primary language and you’re not confident in your English comprehension, CrossFit Headquarters training staff strongly urge you to consider attending at a later date when your primary language is available.  If they do not have your language available and you decide to test anyway and fail, the test results will be final and a $150.00 retest fee will apply for your next attempt.

If you have additional questions, please check to insure your questions aren’t among those Frequently Asked highlighted here on this website before contacting CrossFit Headquarters (the organizers of the event) at [email protected]

We’d love to see you in July!



Paraphrased from Jimmy Moore’s Livin La Vida LowCarb:

In December 2005, Swedish medical practitioner Dr. Annika Dahlqvist was reported to the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare (similar to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration) by dietitians who claimed she was putting her patients at “severe risk” by recommending a low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet for treating diabetes and obesity. The National Board of Health and Welfare ordered an investigation to determine whether Dr. Dahlqvist should be stripped of her medical license, or if she would be able to continue to use the LCHF approach with patients.

Dr. Dahlqvist’s employer informed her she could no longer use her low-carb nutritional plan with patients while the investigation was ongoing, so she quit and went into practice for herself,!  Dr. Dahlqvist had no doubt of the health benefits of her nutritional plan for her patients, and was resolved to insure their continued care.

On January 16, 2008, following 2 years of a dedicated review of all available scientific research, the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare declared Dr. Dahlqvist exonerated of all charges, and announced publicly that a low-carb diet is “in accordance with science and well-tried experience for reducing obesity and Type 2 diabetes.”

The Google Trends chart above shows the growth of searches for the term “LCHF” in Sweden. A poll conducted in March 2011 poll of 1,000 Swedish citizens between the ages of 18-89 by Demoskop revealed nearly one in four (23%) respondents as now being “carb-conscious”.  Naturally sourced, Saturated Fat is now recognized as healthy and satiating, rather than artery clogging (have you read Mythos Cholesterin. Die zehn größten Irrtümer?).  Is it really any wonder that there is now a butter shortage?   

The change from awareness to acceptance took place at grass-roots level in Sweden – there was no official endorsement by the Swedish government for the LCHF diet.  More than just word of mouth; thousands of first-hand testimonials have been convincing a growing number of people to jump on board.  I hope Germany proves to be the next LCHF/Real Food success story.





Image from study published in The Physician and Sportsmedicine, Sep 2011: cross-sections of the quadriceps of sedentary individuals compared to those of 40-81 year old athletes (averaging 4-5 training sessions per week).

“many of the diseases and infirmities exclusively attributed to aging are more accurately related to the effects of sedentary living”

It is possible to maintain your independence as you age and to minimize functional decline – don’t ever stop exercising.  



Reading Materials: Files will be emailed to you prior to the seminar. Print out the packet and bring it with you.  

Start/End: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. with a 45-minute lunch

This one-day seminar is a performance-oriented workshop for all levels of athletes and coaches wishing to explore the world of strongman movements. Attendees will understand how to lift Atlas stones, carry a yoke and farmer’s handles, flip tires, and clean and press odd objects such as a log, keg, anvil, or stone. Attendees will spend the entire day practicing with each implement and will learn how to program these movements into CrossFit workouts.

This course is open to people of ALL abilities, genders and strength levels.

The CrossFit Strongman Trainer Course is designed to:

-Improve your ability to move large loads quickly.
-Improve your Grace time.
-Improve your posterior chain strength, pressing strength, grip strength and abdominal strength.
-Change workout stimulus to keep the body moving toward elite fitness.
-Expand your arsenal of tools in a fun, engaging environment.
-Prevent injury through the use of new movement patterns.

Seminar Goals:

-Expand one’s ability to move awkward, real-life objects in a way that will improve fitness levels.
-Explore the benefits of strongman movements and how they can dramatically increase the output of any athlete/CrossFitter.
-Learn how to properly scale strongman movements for the masses.
-Develop an understanding of the most common faults in strongman – from programming to marketing to execution of the lifts.
-Develop the ability to generate huge amounts of force through violent hip extension.
-Develop proper midline stabilization while moving through space under heavy load.
-Understand and learn how to safely use a “rounded back” lifting position for moving odd objects.
-Learn and explore the benefits for getting away from barbells, dumbbells and other standard gym gear.

Rob Orlando has been an amateur strongman competitor since 2005. Over the last six years he has participated in more than 15 contests and set North American records in multiple lifts. He began CrossFitting in 2008, just a few months prior to the CrossFit Games regional qualifier in Albany, N.Y., where he took fifth place. He competed in the CrossFit Games in 2009 and 2010 and finished 22nd and 15th, respectively. Over the past three years, he has launched Hybrid Athletics, a CrossFit affiliate in Stamford, Conn., started Strongmanwod.com, and created a line of strongman products including yokes, axles, atlas-stone molds, farmer’s handles, and logs. His goal is to introduce the CrossFit community to strongman movements and implements through this seminar.

Click HERE To Register For The Event!

We define “Real Food” as food with just one ingredient – or rather as food that doesn’t even generally come with an ingredient list. Usually, Real Food was an essential part of something that was alive shortly prior to you eating it. Optimally, Real Food doesn’t have to travel far from its native environment to your dining plate. The Real Food diets we endorse don’t include proteins or anti-nutrients that our bodies were not designed to handle (grains, legumes, soy, and dairy contain proteins and anti-nutritients that are held responsible for causing and exacerbating “leaky gut syndrome” – implicated in triggering autoimmune diseases, inflammation, and metabolic syndrome). We endorse Real Food diets that are relatively low in linoleic acid and fructose. 

Following are some Real Food diets we recommend: “paleo diet“, “primal diet“, “perfect health diet“, the Logi-Methode (auf Deutsch), Felix Olschewskis Urgeschmack (auf Deutsch), the archevore diet, Original Health: Gesundheit durch Ernährung (auf Deutsch), and the whole30 plan. Sure, these diets are in synchrony with our genetic heritage, and were eaten by our ancestors for thousands of years; but that isn’t why we endorse them.

Science firmly supports adoption of these diets for optimum health.

Wouldn’t your first step in the search for a perfect diet be to ask if there were examples of populations today who are free of diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, and other “diseases of modern civilization”? 

There is.

“In most hunter-gatherer populations today, approximately 10-20% of the population is 60 years of age or older. These elderly people have been shown to be generally free of the signs and symptoms of chronic disease (obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels) that universally afflict the elderly in western societies. When these people adopt western diets, their health declines and they begin to exhibit signs and symptoms of “diseases of civilization.” Loren Cordain, PhD 

And to support your personal adoption of the diet, wouldn’t you want to know if there are examples of individuals who can reverse these disease states when they adopt a real food diet? 

There are literally hundreds of thousands of examples of health improvements and cures from consumption of Real Food, notably chronicled by the following individuals/websites: Dr. Nicolai Worm (auf Deutsch), Robb Wolf, Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Paul and Shou-Ching Shih Jaminet, Ph.D.(s) , Emily Deans, M.D., Mark Sisson, Dr. Michael Eades, Dr. Stephan Guyenet, Dr. Kurt Harris, Dr. Chris Masterjohn, Dr. BG, Chris Kresser L.Ac, Dr. William Davis’ two excellent blogs here and here, Dr. John Briffa, Evolutionary Medicine Society Blog, Gary Taubes, articles written by Dr. Mat Lalonde, Harvard graduate John Durant – but there are many more sources for testimonials online!

If you just have 17 minutes to spare, watch this riveting presentation by Dr Terry Wahls who was once a National Champion at Taekwondo, but was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 2000. MS is a chronic disease that shrinks the brain, much like Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease – there is supposedly no cure for these chronic diseases. Dr Wahls went to the best MS center, saw the best doctors, received the best care, and took the latest drugs in attempts to get better. She didn’t, and by 2003 her disease transitioned to Secondary Progressive MS,
she began chemotherapy and was resigned to a wheelchair, unable to walk. She cured herself in a matter of a few months through diet, and has proof that a Real Foods diet will cure countless more of a long list of afflictions, illness, and disease.

Radical success with body composition and health improvements resulting from consumption of Real Food has spurred a surprising amount of folks to provide free podcasts broadcasting that fact – we recommend The Paleo Solution, The Latest in Paleo Podcast, and Ask the Low-Carb Experts

There are so many more articles, books and videos on the subject of Real Food. I reserve the right to continue to edit this post to insure it features the most convincing, cutting edge research. My next nutrition blogpost will contain advice on what you should eat in order to maintain optimal health and a lean physique, and will also include links to great recipes (Natürlich, auch auf Deutsch!)

If you remain skeptical, and I haven’t convinced you that you need to take the time to review the research I’ve linked here in this post, then we just ask that you try our recommendations yourself for 30 days, and see if you feel, look, and perform better. What’s the worst that could happen? I can tell you the best that can happen: your health, body composition, and performance level will all measurably improve, and you will turn into a Real Food Evangelist – eager to spread the word about the healing power of Real Foods. Of course you will start first with your own family.

zum Wohl,


Interested in more information on the latest in Real Food research? Check out the following links:

Dr. Robert Lustig (note links to slides below video), studies the biochemistry of sugar, insulin and leptin – and has very plausible theories on how all relate to regulating our weight. Dr. Lustig believes that too much insulin is the major cause of common obesity – high levels of insulin blocks leptin, giving us leptin resistance, and in the long term obesity. High levels of insulin are caused by an overconsumption of sugar/fructose and starch/glucose, with an underconsumption of fiber to slow the body’s absorption.

Alessio Fasano, M.D. – Dr. Fasano published the groundbreaking study in the Annals of Medicine that established the prevalence rate of celiac disease at one in 133 people in the U.S. – he is a World-renowned pediatric gastroenterologist, research scientist and entrepreneur, recipient of numerous international honors and awards, and founded the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research in 1996 (He recommends both Dr. Imke Reese in Munich and our own Prof. Dr. Rolf Behrens in Nürnberg as local Spezialiste für Darmerkrankungen). 
Dr. Jeff Volek at the Univ of Connecticut recommends focusing on resistance exercise to build muscle, and on eating fewer carbs to burn fat – he explains: The majority of people will find it much easier to cut body fat with lower carbohydrates. There are many other reasons to restrict carbohydrate for metabolic health. Gaining mass may be achieved with high carbohydrate, but at the expense of compromising fat loss — and for most people, metabolic health.” Dr. Mike Roussel summarized Dr. Volek’s talking points on carbohydrate restriction and metabolic syndrome during a lecture he gave at the Penn State Nutrition Department:

 -You lose more weight and gain more muscle when you combine a low carb diet and resistance training compared to just a low carb diet or just resistance training – there seems to be some additive effect.

-People on low carb diets can eat 3x the saturated fat compared to people on a low fat diet and still have lower levels of saturated fat in their blood.

-Calorie restriction has been touted as a way to slow/stop aging. You can impact the same biological markers by restricting carbohydrates (while NOT restricting calories).

-Often times when people in Dr. Volek’s studies go on low carbohydrate diets they end up increasing their vegetable consumption (this is sad but I’m sure reflective of the American population’s lack of vegetable consumption).

-Metabolic Syndrome is becoming a huge problem in the U.S. and worldwide; carbohydrate restriction attacks all the problem areas of metabolic syndrome
more comprehensively than any drug or treatment available.

-The obesity problem in the U.S. is driven by uncontrolled insulin levels. The best way to control insulin is to control its most powerful stimulator – carbohydrates.

-Carbohydrates have traditionally been considered a macronutrient but in reality they are not essential for human function.

-The level of ketoisis achieved from carbohydrate restriction is completely different from the ketoacidosis that a diabetic may experience (ketosis from carbohydrate restriction is much much lower and within safe ranges).

Richard David Feinman, Ph.D. is a Professor of Biochemistry at Downstate Medical Center (SUNY) in New York. Dr. Feinman’s original area of research was in protein chemistry and enzyme mechanism. His current interest is Nutrition and Metabolism, specifically in the area of diet composition and energy balance: “Any deleterious effects of dietary fat have been measured in the presence of high carbohydrate. A high fat diet in the presence of high carbohydrate is different than a high fat diet in the presence of low carbohydrate.”

Pål Jåbekk lives in Norway, and writes a fantastic blog both in Norwegian and in English. He holds a master’s degree in exercise science from the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, and is currently dual-hatted as a researcher and a teacher. He specializes in obesity, carbohydrate restriction and exercise

 Gary Taubes, Harvard/Stanford graduate and science journalist, published his groundbreaking 601-page “Good Calories, Bad Calories” masterpiece in 2007. Mr. Taubes did exhaustive work digging up pre-WWII research on obesity:   he demonstrated that the World War shifted focus and resulted in lost nutritional knowledge, he exposed both the saturated fat and the cholesterol cons (there’s an international network of doctors who agree), and he brought to light the detriments of carbohydrate in the diet (although since that time, many experts believe that a lot of the blame could be shared or shifted to fructose, as discussed by Dr. Lustig).

 Denise Minger revels in diet-dogma-debunking. She is a master of statistics and confounding variable discovery, and provides a brutally honest and surprisingly entertaining critique of scientific research on nutrition. Her blog is one of my very favourites – please read as a way of introduction her articles on T. Colin Campbell’s The China Study (especially if you are, or have ever considered vegetarianism or veganism), and Ancel Keys/Heart Disease Research

Nicole Lindborg is more like a reporter than a researcher, but she has a fantastic website, LCHF – Low Carb High Fat wenig Kohlenhydrate, viel Fett: “Je mehr ich mich mit LCHF beschäftigte, umso mehr habe ich festgestellt, dass dieses Thema in Deutschland weitgehend unbekannt ist; daher habe ich diese Seite erstellt, um meine Erfahrungen und das, was hier in Schweden passiert mitzuteilen. Es gibt zwar bereits schon die verschiedensten Variationen von kohlenhydratarmer Ernährung (Low Carb – Diäten) aber die Tatsache, dass tierische Fette gesund sind wird leider auch dort außen vor gelassen. Für mehrere Tausend Menschen in Schweden (und ich bin einer davon) hat es sich bereits gezeigt, dass man mit LCHF nicht nur schlank sondern auch auf natürliche Art und Weise gesund und fit wird und daher kann ich Ihnen nur wärmstens empfehlen LCHF eine Chance zu geben. Ich verspreche, dass Sie bereits nach wenigen Tagen eine Veränderung merken werden! Zudem bin ich sehr stark davon überzeugt, dass es nur noch eine Frage der Zeit ist, bis die Situation wie sie zur Zeit in Schweden vorherrscht, sich auch nach Deutschland ausbreiten wird.” I sure hope so.


Here are some Recommended Books/Longer Reads and Videos on the topic of Real Food:

The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living by Jeff S. Volek, PhD, RD, and Stephen D. Phinney, MD, PhD

Matrevolutionen: ät dig frisk med riktig mat av Andreas Eenfeldt (currently available in Swedish, Norwegian, and Finnish) – here is Andreas Eenfeldt’s Swedish website and his English website

Fehlbiss: Zivilisationskrankheit (Dr. Stephan Guyenet’s Malocclusion Posts auf Deutsch – here they are in English)

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price (or maybe just: Understanding Wes
ton Price on Primitive Wisdom
by Chris Masterjohn, Ph.D.).

Dairy, Hormones, and Human Health” by Pedro Bastos, MA, MS (Mr. Bastos lives in Portugal, and spoke at the 2011 Ancestral Health Symposium)

Heart Disease and Molecular Degeneration” by Chris Masterjohn, Ph.D.

Katzen würden Mäuse kaufen: Schwarzbuch Tierfutter by Hans-Ulrich Grimm. “Wer sein Haustier liebt, kommt an diesem Buch nicht vorbei. Hier werden die Machenschaften der Tierfutterhersteller endlich einmal aufgedeckt. Man braucht sich wirklich nicht mehr wundern, das unsere Hunde und Katzen heutzutage meistens an Krebs sterben und nicht an Altersschwäche.”

Mythos Cholesterin. Die zehn größten Irrtümer by Uffe Ravnskov (er erklärt warum folgende Aussagen FALSCH sind: 1. Fettes Essen ist Schuld am Herzinfarkt, 2. Hohe Cholesterinwerte verursachen Herzinfarkt, 3. Fettes Essen erhöht den Cholesterinspiegel, 4.Cholesterin verstopft die Arterien, 5. Tierversuche bestätigen die Fett- und Cholesterin-Theorie, 6. Pflanzliches Fett ist gut, tierisches Fett ist schlecht, 7. Wer seinen Cholesterinspiegel senkt, lebt länger, 8. Je niedriger der Cholesterinspiegel, desto besser, 9. Die Cholesterin-Kampagne beruht auf guter Wissenschaft, 10. Alle Wissenschaftler akzeptieren die Fett- und Cholesterinthese)

Gary Taubes on Dieting a FiveBooks Interview (among other insights: “while I was doing research for this story I interviewed the head of the cancer research centre at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre at Harvard Medical School, as well as Craig Thompson, the president of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in Manhattan. Both of them told me they were…on a very low carb, high fat, mostly animal products [diet] – not because they wanted to lose weight, but because they didn’t want to get cancer.”)

In Search of the Perfect Human Diet documentary

Resilliency: Human-Friendly Pathways to Optimal Physical and Mental Health” by Emily Deans, MD and Jamie Scott 

The Vitamin D Solution by Michael F. Holick, Ph.D., M.D.




Main pathways in endocrine regulation of growth - shown on  Sveinbjorn Sveinbjornsson from Iceland

CrossFit weight/resistance training by design stimulates the release of growth hormone, begging the question:

Why is Human Growth Hormone (HGH) stimulus so good?

Adaptations to exercise and consequential improvement are dependent on neuroendocrine or hormonal responses. Among the hormonal responses vital to athletic development are substantial increases in testosterone, insulin-like growth factor, and human growth hormone [1].

HGH has been dubbed the “youth hormone.” Young adolescents secrete Human Growth Hormone at a rate of about 700 μg/day, compared to around 400 μg/day for healthy adults. [3] Human growth hormone is an anabolic hormone, absolutely critical in a number of processes including the body’s growth and repair of tissue, increases in calcium retention, growth of bone, stimulation of the body’s immune system, increases in lean muscle mass, mobilization of fat stores and even the metabolic shift to burning fat as a fuel source [6]. HGH has also been proven to battle consequences of aging by increasing bone mineralization and skin thickness [2]. Innumerable studies support benefits of Growth Hormone; just to provide you with a few sources, use the following links: Mayo Clinic, Journal of Applied Physiology, Colorado State, The Journal of Clinical Investigation & EB Medicine

One study and frequently cited example showcasing the effectiveness of HGH was performed by a group led by Dr. Daniel Rudman, and published in the New England Journal of Medicine[4]. Dr. Rudman et al. showed that tiny amounts of growth hormone injected under the skin produced unbelievable results in just 6 months: lean body mass increased 8.8%, adipose-tissue mass (body fat) decreased 14.4%, bone density increased in the lumbar spinal bones, and skin thickness increased 7.1%. Subjects didn’t change their diet or exercise levels – meaning all of these changes were a result of the growth hormone increase. According to Dr. Rudman, the improvement experienced by these subjects was “equivalent in magnitude to the changes incurred during 10 to 20 years of [reverse] aging”. No wonder injections of HGH have enjoyed such widespread abuse in sports since the 1970s!

Here are some natural stimulators of growth hormone release:

  • Decreased blood glucose levels
  • Increased blood protein levels
  • Fasting (14 hrs for women, 16 for men)
  • Increased protein diet
  • Free fatty acid decrease
  • Stage IV sleep
  • Exercise – especially weight lifting, and especially when done at high power/intensity


Heavy load weight training, short rest between sets, high heart rates, high intensity training, and short rest intervals, though not entirely distinct components, are all associated with a high neuroendocrine/HGH response [1].

Weight lifting strengthens joints, increases bone density, prevents osteoporosis, increases muscle mass, improves endurance, decreases insulin levels, and stimulates the release of growth hormone.

CrossFit coupled with a Paleo/primal diet will increase your Human Growth Hormone levels better than any other method short of injection, meaning you’ll look younger, will have more energy and will be more powerful. Your muscles will not necessarily become larger (especially if you are female, and lack male hormones), but certainly will get denser and more tone in appearance. Still wonder why CrossFit is so effective and addictive? It works.


Further Reading Encouraged:

What is CrossFit?
Understanding CrossFit
How to Start
CrossFit Journal (free download) What is Fitness?
CrossFit Journal (free download) CrossFit’s Foundations

1 CrossFit Foundations, CrossFit HQ 2002, http://crossfit.com/cf-download/Foundations.pdf

2 Baechle, Thomas R., Roger W. Earle, Age and Sex-Related Differences and Their Implications for Resistance Exercise, Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning, third edition, National Strength and Conditioning Association, 2008, pp142-157.

3 Gardner, David G., Shoback, Dolores (2007). Greenspan’s Basic and Clinical Endocrinology (8th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Medical. pp. 193–201. ISBN 0-07-144011-9

4 Rudman, Daniel M.D., Feller, Axel M.D., Nagraj, Hoskote M.D., Gergans, Gregory M.D., Lalitha, Pardee M.D., Effects of Human Growth Hormone in Men over 60 Years Old, The New England Journal of Medicine 1990; 323:1-6 July 5, 1990

5 Kanaley JA, Weltman JY, Veldhuis JD, Rogol AD, Hartman ML, Weltman A (November 1997). “Human growth hormone response to repeated bouts of aerobic exercise“. J. Appl. Physiol. 83 (5): 1756–61. PMID 9375348

6 Wikipedia.Com “Growth Hormone” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Growth_hormone



■ Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.

■ Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast.

■ Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense.

■ Regularly learn and play new sports.

From CrossFit Journal Article What is Fitness, http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/CFJ-trial.pdf, CrossFit HQ Oct 2002



It was Adrian Bozeman (credit to San Francisco CrossFit also, I think, for the picture above) who compared proper maintenance of intra-abdominal pressure during a heavy lift to a full can of Coca Cola. If you stomped on a full can of Coke, you’d risk breaking your ankle before you’d be successful in crushing it. But then imagine that same can emptied of its contents….If you are a regular attendee at Reebok CrossFit Nürnberg WOD sessions, you’ll have heard us preaching about inhaling a large volume of air prior to heavy lifts. The method has a scientific term: the valsalva maneuver  We talk about the protective aspects for the spine of such a strong column of air. Keeping our spines in a neutral and stable position is absolutely critical to our safety as well as successful progression.

If you’d imagine that your core body was a succulent piece of Weißwurst skewered on a stick (your spine), we would want you focused on crushing that stick during a heavy lift. Focus on squeezing that wurst along its entire length – tighten your core and imagine trying to CRUSH your internal stick.

We hold in the bottom of our wurst by tightening our pelvic floor (this also insures you don’t pee on yourself), and we take a full breath, thereby securing the top of our wurst with our diaphragm. We correct overarching by instructing our athletes to shorten the distance between their xiphoid process (the inferior part of the sternum) and their bellybuttons.

The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)’s Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning outlines the biomechanics behind the maneuver:

“When the diaphragm and the deep muscles of the torso contract, pressure is generated within the abdominal cavity. Because the abdomen is composed mainly of fluid and normally contains very little gas, it is virtually incompressible. The abdominal fluids and tissue kept under pressure by tensing surrounding muscle (deep abdominal muscles and diaphragm) have been described as a “fluid ball” that aids in supporting the vertebral column during resistance training. Such support may significantly reduce both the forces required by the erector spinae muscles to perform an exercise and the associated compressive forces on the disks.”


The valsalva maneuver will significantly increase the rigidity of your entire torso, making it easier to support heavy loads. Olympic lifters, powerlifters, and CrossFitters use valsalva, and use it regularly.

There are risks involved with the valsalva maneuver, particularly to those with heart conditions – the valsalva maneuver will elevate blood pressure and increase risk of blackout. It could have even contributed to the death of Elvis Presley (certainly never combine valsalva with drugs).

There are modified versions of the valsalva maneuver we also recommend which are free of these risks. Paradox Breathing, sometimes termed “Power Breathing” also recruits diaphragm and abdominal muscles and lends support to the lower spine without requiring such a large build-up of pressure in the chest compartment. Our Kettlebell athletes use paradox breathing on the inhale – as your diaphragm descends, you intensify the tension on your abdominal muscles.

Jeff Martone (one of the first certified senior kettlebell instructors in America) teaches Paradox Breathing. He trains his kettlebellers to inhale (through the nose) 75%-100% of the lung’s capacity prior to loading their muscles, then:


“Rather than exhaling all of your air at once, forcefully exhale a tiny stream of air through your clenched teeth, while pressing your tongue to the roof of your mouth. This will contract the diaphragm and the muscles of the abdominal cavity and increase your intra-abdominal pressure thus increasing the stability of the trunk and the transfer of force through it”

And have you seen athletes use weightlifting belts? Weightlifting belts are actually designed to increase intra-abdominal pressure during resistance training.   We feel that our athletes may reasonably choose never to wear lifting belts, as long as they build up the strength of their back muscles and the muscles which generate intra-abdominal pressure gradually and systematically. Many world-class Olympic-style weightlifters never wear belts!  The NSCA cites a 1989 study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (Harman, E.A.) on “Effects of a belt on intra-abdominal pressure during weight lifting”:


“if an athlete performs all of the exercises with a belt, the abdominal muscles that produce intra-abdominal pressure might not get enough training stimulus to develop optimally. It is particularly risky for an individual who has become accustomed to wearing a belt to suddenly perform an exercise without one, because the abdominal musculature might not be capable of generating enough intra-abdominal pressure to significantly reduce erector spinae muscle forces. The resulting excessive compressive forces on the disks could increase the chance of back injury”

We’ve seen the proper, safe application of the valsalva maneuver make a distinct difference between a PR and no PR for many athletes. For lifts with short duration, we feel that the valsalva maneuver is very effective in allowing rapid and maximum application of force.




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