(Courtesy of CrossFit)

What Should I Eat?

In plain language, base your diet on garden vegetables (especially greens), meats, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar. That is about as simple as we can get. Food is perishable. The stuff with long shelf life is all suspect. If you follow these simple guidelines, you will benefit from nearly all that can be achieved through nutrition. 

According to Chardae Mara, CrossFit Nutrition Coach and registered nurse, a well-balanced diet is a high priority to CrossFit athletes. This diet, for example, could include meat, vegetables, nuts, seeds, some fruit, little starch and no 'added' sugars. She also said it's not about restricting certain foods from their lives, but the amount of variety in their diet.

"If you eat the same thing over and over your stomach gets pretty good at digesting that. Throw something new in there, add some fiber with some broccoli, try something different like an eggplant for the time. Your body has to come up with a new way to break it down so it challenges you a little bit more and keeps you healthier," Mara said.

Mara said that thinking about balancing your plate with carbs, protein, and healthy fats such as 1/2 veggies, 1/4 meat and 1/4 a less processed carb can help when starting to take a step toward bettering your eating habits.

What Foods Should I Avoid?

Excessive consumption of high-glycemic carbohydrates is the primary culprit in nutritionally caused health problems. High-glycemic carbohydrates are those that raise blood sugar too rapidly. They include rice, bread, candy, potato, sweets, sodas, and most processed carbohydrates. Processing can include bleaching, baking, grinding, and refining. Processing of carbohydrates greatly increases their glycemic index, a measure of their propensity to elevate blood sugar.

What Is the Problem With High-Glycemic Carbohydrates?

The problem with high-glycemic carbohydrates is that in excess they give an inordinate insulin response. Insulin is an essential hormone for life, yet acute, chronic elevation of insulin leads to hyperinsulinism, which has been positively linked to obesity, elevated cholesterol levels, blood pressure, mood dysfunction, and a Pandora’s box of disease and disability. Research “hyperinsulinism.” CrossFit’s prescription is a low-glycemic diet (and relatively lower in total carbohydrate quantity) and consequently severely blunts the insulin response, yet still provides ample nutrition for rigorous activity. 

Courtesy of CrossFit Level 1 Guide