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Paleo Challenge for CrossFit Upper East Side

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CrossFit Upper East Side Paleo Challenge

Why the heck are we doing this?

It is a recent tradition in CrossFit to complete a paleo challenge. Eating clean lets you train dirty and improve in every facet of your life. The low-glycemic and anti-inflammatory qualities of the food involved cause dramatic changes in weight, body composition, energy, and overall health. We do it as a community to support each other and thrive in the spirit of friendly competition.

What is the paleo diet?

The paleo diet consists of meat, vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. The CrossFit community has adopted this ‘lifestyle’ at large simply because it is indisputably effective.

Start: Wed Oct 24th

Finish: Wed Nov 21st (Day before Thanksgiving)

Groups: Men, Women


Each of you will be given a PDF of a pamphlet to record your points in the categories as seen on the sheet listed below. Please print the PDF and fill it out accordingly. We will collect a completed sheet, as depicted below, from your pamphlet each Wednesday or Thursday after a full week. Don’t cheat. CrossFitters don’t cheat. The inherent reward of this contest should be motivation enough, but of course we will be providing prizes to the winners! Criterion for success are described below.


Factors of Success

1) Optional Before and After Weight 

You must choose BEFORE the Paleo Challenge whether or not this is a goal of yours to contribute to your overall score.


2) Performance Progression

ALWAYS LOG YOUR WORKOUTS EVERYONE! This means tracking your weights, times, reps, and any other measurable quantity. This habit is extremely important to your progress as an athlete. We will be keeping score of your progress as well. If you miss a WOD we need you to complete, we will let you know and you can make it up.


3) WOD & Paleo Points- Honor System

A. Each Paleo meal is worth 1 point.  Up to 3 points per day.

B. Each day you log a WOD is worth 2 points. Earn points for up to 4 WODs per week.  WODs must be completed at EVF in order to earn points.

C. Each day you take 1 or more grams of Fish Oil (EPA + DHA) is worth 1 point.

D. Each day you get 7 or more hours of sleep is worth 1 point.

E. Each day you drink .5 oz. of water per pound of body weight or more is worth 1 point.

F. Each Non-Paleo meal, snack, food, drink, or condiment subtract 1 point.

First two weeks: NO Cheat Period. We want you to know what clean eating feels like.

Second two weeks- One weekly 4 hour cheat window (cannot be broken up), no points added or subtracted. We want you to maintain your sanity.



4) Blind Peer Vote


5) Coaches’ Observations




As a simple explanation we define a Paleo Diet as eating meat, nuts, veggies, seeds, some fruit, little starch, no sugar, and no dairy. A Paleo recommended serving consists of 40% carbohydrate, 30% Protein, and 30% Fat. NOTE: These guidelines are established for the purpose of having standards for the Challenge. We are not creating Paleo Doctrine, but we are providing direction to see significant improvements.

Encouraged Foods

  • Lean Meats such as Lean beef (trimmed of visible fat), Flank steak, Top Sirloin, Extra-lean hamburger (90/10), Lean pork (trimmed of visible fat), Pork loin, Pork chops, Any other lean cut
  • Lean poultry (white meat, skin removed) such as Chicken breast, Turkey breast, Game hen breasts
  • Eggs from Chicken (go for the enriched omega 3 variety), Duck, or Goose
  • Other meats including organ meats and game meats such as venison, wild boar, or wild turkey
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts- Tree Nuts. Peanuts are not Nuts and are a no-no
  • Seeds

In Moderation (Within the guidelines listed, these are not cheats. In the case of allowable sweeteners, they are not recommended if you want to see the best results)

  • Oils such as Olive, avocado, walnut, flaxseed, and canola oils (use in moderation—4 tablespoons or less a day when weight loss is of primary importance)
  • Natural Sweeteners- a total of 1/2 tablespoon is allowable per day of the natural sweeteners agave, coconut nectar, and coconut crystals.
  • Stevia- 1 Packet (3.5 grams) is allowable per day
  • Beverages such as Coffee, Tea
  • Paleo Sweets such as Dried fruits and Nuts mixed with dried and fresh fruits- make sure there is no added sugar
  • Some lean bacon- make sure it doesn’t have added sugar or nitrates
  • Sweet potatoes, yams
  • Red Wine- Paleo says that 1 glass of wine (6 oz.) a night is legal. We are pretty sure cave men had vineyards! Anything more than one glass per night is a
  • cheat (-1), and you can’t save them up from nights before. Anything over one per night is a cheat.

Special Allowances: (Exceptions made to meet specific nutritional demands for additional protein)

    • Protein supplementation is allowed and is not considered a cheat under the following conditions: it is limited to one serving per day, has less than 25 carbs per serving, is taken within 30 minutes post workout, and cannot be used as a meal replacement. We will allow whey protein if it is a whey  protein isolate Remember, most protein powders have some sugar (natural or artificial), so if you are looking to slim down, be careful.
      OR a protein bar with whey protein isolate IF the rest of the ingredients match up with the Challenge guidelines.
    • Endurance Athletes: If you are currently training for an endurance race that takes place during the dates of the challenge such as a marathon , ½ marathon, or adventure race (minimum 8 mile race) you are allowed to use one non-paleo product (such as goo) per hour of training. Additionally, you can use whatever products you need during the race itself to help you have success. While we believe there are better options to the highly processed and artificial goo and energy block products, we understand that endurance athletes have a specific nutritional need. Recommendation: substitute a goo product with the following: mix apple butter (non-dairy) with almond butter in a zip-lock baggie and use that for a balanced energy sustenance tool.

Don’t Do It- These are Cheats

  • Fatty Meats- such as fast food beef burger patties or low quality fatty bacon.
  • Refined Sweeteners – sugar cane, white sugar, brown sugar, refined maple syrup, refined honey, aspartame, sucralose, Nutrasweet, Splenda, and anything else refined or man-made.
  • Other Sweets: Candy, Sugar (raw or processed), glucose, syrup, and honey, NOTE: even though honey is a natural sweetener and is generally considered paleo, for the purpose of committing to the challenge and seeing results we are not allowing it.
  • Coco power or Cocao powder
  • More than 1/2 Tablespoon per day of the natural sweeteners including Raw Agave, coconut nectar, and coconut crystals.
  • More than 1 packet per day of Stevia (3.5 grams)
  • Baking Soda and baking powder
  • Dairy Foods such as Butter, Cheese, Cream, Dairy spreads, Frozen yogurt, Ice cream, and All processed foods made with any dairy products
  • Cereal Grains: Barley, Corn, Millet, Oats, Rice, Rye, Sorghum, Wheat, and bread products including bread, rolls, muffins, noodles, crackers, cookies, cake, doughnuts, pancakes, waffles, pasta, spaghetti, lasagna, wheat tortillas, pizza, pita bread, flat bread, and all processed foods made with wheat or wheat flour
  • Cereal Grain-like Seeds: Amaranth, Buckwheat, Quinoa
  • Legumes: All beans, Black-eyed peas, Chickpeas, Lentils, Peas, Peanut butter, Peanuts, Soybeans and all soybean products, including tofu
  • Starchy Vegetables: Starchy tubers, Cassava root, Manioc, Potatoes and all potato products (French fries, potato chips, etc.), Tapioca pudding
  • Soft Drinks and Fruit Juices: All sugary soft drinks, Canned, bottled, and freshly squeezed fruit drinks (which lack the fiber of fresh fruit and have a much higher glvcemic index)
  • Alcohol – Tequila is the preferred Paleo liquor, but it is technically a cheat (-1). Anything other than 6oz of red wine per night is a cheat (-1).

Comments: 8

  1. Please note, everyone, that participating in the challenge has ABSOLUTELY NO DOWNSIDE! Even if you cheat or miss WODs, you can still conduct an experiment if you keep track of your habits. So PLEASE join in the fun!

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