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Paleo Diet


Tuesday 04.01.14

What Should I Eat?
I've had a number of members come up to me asking about how they can see more or better gains. I always ask them two questions: 1. How is your sleep quality and quantity? and 2. What are you eating? Those two very things can make a world of a difference in your workouts and how you feel through your day. I'll talk about sleep in a future blog and focus a bit more on nutrition today.

On the CrossFit page on nutrition, it is summed up succinctly:

In plain language, base your diet on garden vegetables, especially greens, lean meats, nuts and seeds, little starch, and no sugar. That's about as simple as we can get. Many have observed that keeping your grocery cart to the perimeter of the grocery store while avoiding the aisles is a great way to protect your health. 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. 

There's a ton of ways to approach this and the big thing people hear these days is eating Paleo. Paleo is just one of the dozens of ways to approach healthy nutrition. Another for consideration is the Zone Diet. A healthy diet for you can be those things strictly or a variation. What I've appreciated about the Zone is that portioning meals becomes intuitive. We offer different challenges here at the gym and they are a great way to learn and experiment with different ways of healthy eating and figure out what works best for you. 

As for foods one should 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.

The above paragraph is on the CF page on nutrition as well. It's definitely a key concept and is easily seen (and felt) every time we have a meal with high-glycemic carbs. Have you had that post-lunch lull and need to take a nap? Sugar crash? Eating high-glycemic foods is the reason. Try a meal that is full of good carbs (veggies and other low glycemic foods), a palm sized portion of protein, and a fat source (nuts, avocado, salmon, mackerel, olive oil). 

The last part of your meal, fat, is more important than people give it credit for. New research shows that having the right kind of fat is good and necessary part of human nutrition-"The low-fat diet backfired," says Frank Hu, MD, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. "America's obesity epidemic skyrocketed even while our fat intake went down." It's an essential nutrient, a key source of energy, and vital in keeping our hair and skin healthy and smooth. Two reasons I'm an advocate of fat:  it signals to your body that you're full and 2. I have more energy longer since it is calorically dense.

Good fats? Try nuts, seed, avocado, olive oil, canola oil, animal fats, fatty fish (salmon and mackerel).

20 mins to establish 5 RM HBBS

A1. 3x4 Ring rows AsHardAsPossible (4 secs down)
A2. 3x10 Weighted Hip Ext.

4 Rounds
12 box jumps 24/20
10 Push ups
12 Power snatches 95/65#
*12-14 min time cap



WOD for 132904

WOD for 132904

7x1 3 position snatch(low to high) heaviest possible- Rest 60 secs

2 minute ME handstand holds  (accumulate as many seconds  as possilbe) 6 minute AMRAP 15 Hang power clean 115/75# 15 Burpees 2 minute ME handstand holds 4 minute AMRAP 10 Hang power clean 10 Burpees 2 min ME handstand holds

Three Summer Recipes

After the beautiful weekend in Colorado, we thought we'd share a few yummy paleo summer recipes! Have some of your own healthy summer favorites you want to share with the rest of Elevation Nation? Send your recipes to Have a safe and healthy summer!



Athlete Spotlight - James "Warface" Salmen - Hungry man crock pot meal - WOD for 130306

Name James Salmen

Age? 37

Occupation? Director of Facilities/Laboratory Manager for the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Colorado Denver

How long have you been training here? About 11 months

How did you get started in CF? I had been following it online for awhile and was looking for spots that were close to home or work and I finally found CFE. So then I made an appointment to get my ass kicked and signed up that day.

Favorite workout? Any workout with rope climbs, handstand push ups or workouts that contain elements that seem crazy at first, like 36" box jumps.

Least Favorite workout? Any workout with wall balls or thrusters in it.

Favorite movement? My favorite movement is probably the clean and jerk, because when you do it right you kind of fell like you're in the Olympics.

Least favorite movement? Right now double unders because I can only string maybe 2 together at a time

Biggest accomplishment here? So far it would be bench pressing more than my body weight, which is something I wasn't able to do before starting Crossfit.

Hardest thing you have learned here? So far it has been kipping, it takes more coordination than you would think.

Favorite nutritional tip? Make a big stew on Sundays and then eat it all week long for lunch, you'll save money and won't have to cheat while you're at work.

Favorite healthy recipe or meal? I would have to say that a deer steak I made recently was quite good, but harvesting the deer myself may have had something to do with that.

Most helpful recovery tip? Be adequately hydrated before you work out then you don't to play catch up after.

Advice for beginners? You have made a deal with your coaches that in exchange for following directions and hard work they will make you faster, stronger and healthier than you have ever been. Keep up your part of the deal and they will keep up theirs.

Paleo Hungry Man/Woman Sweet Potato Casserole

Here's a great meal that will give you breakfast for the whole week!

  • 2 pounds of lean ground beef (other ground animals will work too)
  • 1/2 pound of bacon
  • 8 eggs
  • 3 large sweet potatoes (get 4 just in case)
  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 large red onion
  • Spices: Cayenne, paprika, garlic, black pepper, oregano
  • 1 large deep rimmed skillet or pan
  • Coconut Oil to grease your slow cooker

Food Prep:

  1. Peel your sweet potatoes and microwave them for 2-3 minutes to soften them slightly
  2. Slice your sweet potatoes into 1/8″ slices, or thin like in the picture
  3. Dice your bacon finely and brown it in a pan into crisp pieces
  4. Remove your bacon from the pan and set it aside for later
  5. Dice your onions into large chunks and add to your pan along with your ground beef. Make sure you use a deep skillet or pan big enough to brown 2 pounds of beef and 2 onions.
  6. Season your beef as you wish. I used a generous amount of cayenne, paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, and oregano.
  7. Make sure your beef is fully browned and onions are translucent.
  8. Beat your 8 eggs in a bowl, blender, or food processor. I use my trusty magic bullet. Add some cayenne and paprika to your egg mixture if you wish.


  1. Grease your slow cooker with some coconut oil.
  2. Line the bottom of your slow cooker with slices of sweet potato. Just enough so that you cover the bottom.
  3. Spoon in a layer of your seasoned beef onto the sweet potatoes.
  4. Sprinkle some of your crisped bacon pieces on top of the beef.
  5. Repeat.
  6. The goal here is to keep layering evenly until you use up your supplies. If you end up with some extra sweet potatoes, I’m sure you can think of a few ways to eat them later.
  7. Once you have finished layering, pour your egg mixture over the top. Trust me on this. The eggs will fall into place and make the magic happen.
  8. Cook on low for 6 hours.
  9. Allow pot to cool. If your ceramic crock is removable, throw it in the fridge overnight. This will allow the dish to congeal and set nice. You can then slice the casserole into pretty pieces like in the picture.

WOD for 130306

Jump Rope 4 Rounds for time: 25 Single unders 10 Double unders 5 Crosses 20 Right leg/Left leg (10 R/10 L) 50 Running Man



Athlete Spotlight: Alana A.K.A. "Snooki" - Delicious substitute for pizza... MEATZA! - WOD for 130227

Name:  Alana “snooks” Weinerman

Age?  27

Occupation?  Just starting a new sales position with Bluewolf Group!

 How long have you been training here?  I have been at Crossfit Elevation about 6 months

 How did you get started in CF?  I started crossfit because a personal trainer I had after college was starting a crossfit program at my old gym.  We did a lot of CF workouts to help me shed some of the college tons that I had gained from too much beer and late night pizza (guilty!!).  I have been obsessed ever since especially because I like weight lifting but don’t know what to do at the gym and I hate being on the treadmill or elliptical for an hour – with xfit, it’s something new every day, you make friends, and get to see your improvement.

 Favorite workout?  I love anything that is a lot of rounds but short reps.  I really like Cindy and Annie because they are fast, a lot of work, and I can do them rx!

Least Favorite workout?  Nancy!!   She is my nemesis!!!  I’m not a fabulous runner, nor can I overhead squat really heavy, so this one just kills me.

Favorite movement?  I think my favorite movement is the power clean – that and air squats.

 Least favorite movement?  I can easily say that I actively dislike running.  I’m working on getting better!  But it is something I know I’m not good at, and that makes it hard to enjoy doing it. But you have to keep working on it in order to improve.  I was just never gifted with that raw running talent that some seem to have!

Biggest accomplishment here?   I think my biggest accomplishment would be either completing Randy rx or power cleaning 110 pounds.   That made me feel really proud!  Mostly though I find that I accomplish something every time I come in, and having friends and a support system at the gym ensures that is possible every day.

Hardest thing you have learned here?  That you have to shut up when Jason is speaking, otherwise he yells at you.  I’m joking.  I think the hardest thing I have had to learn here is how to fail when getting a one rep max.  I usually like to just stop when it gets too heavy rather than try it and just bail out.   Also, try not to show up late, or you WILL do burpees – a harsh castigation, alas, it is the price!

Favorite nutritional tip?  Through the whole life challenge, the best tip I could offer is to plan ahead ad not allow yourself to get too hungry.   Have nuts or fruits to snack on all the time.  When I get hungry and have not planned ahead, that I is when I end up eating like crap (happen more often than I would like to admit! It’s hard to plan out meals!!)

Favorite healthy recipe or meal?  I just made this chicken enchilada stew from after seeing it on the crossfit elevation website – so easy and delicious and spicy!  I highly recommend making it.

Most helpful recovery tip?  For me, I like to go to the gym as much as possible during the week and then rest on the weekends, so I have been trying to get in the habit of taking a walk or doing yoga to stretch a little more.  However, I think the best recovery tip is just to keep moving.

 Advice for beginners?  Stick with it and don’t worry if you aren’t doing the same weight or work out as everyone else!!  Soon you will start to see yourself getting stronger, and it is a real testimony to the effect crossfit can have on one’s body.  I love everything about Crossfit Elevation, particularly the people there.  They are there to help and support you!

Have you been craving some pizza during the WLC? This is an easy and delicious recipe. Feel free to mix up the topping with different veggies or put some more meat on top!

Mexican Meatza

Prep 15 min | Bake 30 min Makes two 6-inch individual meatzas, enough for 2-4 servings

Ingredients: Meat Crust: 1 pound ground beef 2 teaspoons chili powder 1/2 teaspoon cumin 1/2 teaspoon paprika 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 cloves garlic, crushed

Toppings: 1/2 to 3/4 cup of your favorite salsa Green bell pepper, cut into thin strips Red onion, cut into thin strips Avocado, diced garnish: fresh lime, chopped fresh cilantro

Directions: Preheat the oven to 400F. In a large bowl, mix the ground beef with the crust seasonings until combined.

Make the crust. Divide the meat in half, roll into a ball, and press evenly into an 8- or 9-inch round pie pan. Cover only the bottom of the pan and smooth the meat with damp hands until it’s an even thickness. Repeat with the other piece of “crust.” Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the meat is cooked through and the edges are brown. Leaving the oven on, remove the meat crusts from the oven and allow them to cool in the pan.

Assemble your meatza. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and place the meat crusts on the baking sheet. Spread about 1/4 cup salsa on each meat crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges. Arrange the peppers and onions on top, pressing them gently into the salsa. Pop the pizza back into the oven for 10-15 minutes, until hot and browned to your liking.

Garnish your meatza. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with diced avocado, then squeeze a little fresh lime juice over the top and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.


WOD for 130227:

Partner WOD 5,000 Meter row (each person rowing 250 meters at a time)


We'll be talking about this one for a while. WOD 130226


We'll be talking about this one for a while. WOD 130226

Workout of the Day for 130226:

Strength: Front Squat 6x2@80% -Then-

"Goose and Mav's Last Ride" In teams of two, row 5k in 250m increments.

Why you should sign up for the CrossFit Games: top 10 Reasons

1. It's probably the only time you can compete on a completely even field against the very best in a sport, and see how you stack up.

2. Give yourself  a reason to step up your game to your highest level yet.

3. A fun, competitive event to look forward to every week.

4. If you're a competitor, see how good your local competition stacks up to you.

5. When you watch or go to the Games in July, you'll have an entirely different level of appreciation for what it takes.

6. It will be the 5 times this year that you give your absolute 100%. Maybe it'll be the first time you actually feel that.

7. Participate in the largest experiment into elite health and fitness ever staged. All the athlete profile information becomes experiment data. Help us prove this works!

8. Go head to head with your friends in the gym. Talk some smack, make some bets, have some laughs.

9. A chance to stomp on your coaches! You'll go head to head with us, too!

10. Give yourself a starting point for future competition and fitness endeavors.

Sign up now!

WLC Recipe: Stupid Easy Slow Cooker Southwestern Chicken from Cavegirl Dish

This is a really simple recipe that you can throw in the slow cooker in the morning and come home to a kitchen smelling of rich spices.

Slow Cooker Southwest Chicken 4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts 20-24 oz salsa 2 jalapeños - diced 2 tspn chili powder 1 tspn ground cumin 1 tspn minced garlic 1/2 tspn oregano 1/2 tspn crushed red pepper

Place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker and coat with the rest of the ingredients. Cook on LOW for 6 hours.

Serve with guacamole by itself, over caulirice, in a wrap, cold over a salad, options are endless!




You won't believe these guys - 130226

The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food- NYTimes

This article will likely make your blood boil a bit. It 's about the awful, awful science behind making junk food addictive.  Big business food producers are pretty evil - here's a quote from a guy who decided to speak up against Coca Cola:

Dunn told me that talking about Coke’s business today was by no means easy and, because he continues to work in the food business, not without risk. “You really don’t want them mad at you,” he said. “And I don’t mean that, like, I’m going to end up at the bottom of the bay. But they don’t have a sense of humor when it comes to this stuff. They’re a very, very aggressive company.”

It is well worth a read.

WOD for 130226

Strength: 7x1 hi hang squat clean + 1 push jerk

5 Rounds for time and weight 5 Deadlift at 1.5x Body weight 5 Kettlebell Shoulder Press

Easy Paleo Crock Pot Chicken Curry with Peppers and Cabbage


  • 1 to 1.5 pounds of boneless chicken thighs – I pick these over chicken breasts because I find them tastier, and they are often cheaper.
  • 1 or 2 cans of coconut milk – I used 2 cans because Trader Joe’s has them for 99 cents and I love coconut milk more than you know. One could get away with a single can if it is pricey for you, yet you will simply have a thicker curry
  • Curry paste – Types and amounts obviously vary. I use the paleo-friendly brand Thai House, and used about 3 tbsp of their Red Curry.
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 1 medium green bell pepper
  • 1/2 head of cabbage. You could use more if you wanted to.

Instructions (this is easy):

  1. Turn your crock pot on before you start your prep, and get a head start.
  2. Pour your coconut milk into your Crock Pot and add your curry paste. Make sure you stir until dissolved in the coconut milk. Some recipes will call for you to do this in a sauce pan first, yet I really would rather not do more dishes than I have to.
  3. Cut your chicken thighs into 1″ cubes. Don’t be fancy. Just cut them up and dump them into the pot and stir.
  4. Cut your red and green peppers into similar 1″ cubes. Dump into pot and stir.
  5. Cut your onion into similar chunks, you get the idea.
  6. Cut your head of cabbage in half, and quarter the half you are going to use. Simply cut the wedges into thin strips and then break apart with your hands. This is much easier than using a grater, and you can always chop the cabbage to your desired shape. I personally wanted longer pieces. Add the cabbage to the top of your pot and again stir, trying to coat the cabbage with the coconut milk. It is fine if the cabbage is not submerged, it will cook down.
  7. Cover and let cook on low for 4 hours. This recipe should take about 10 minutes of combined prep and cleanup time, and is very cost effective. Like I said, this is quite likely the high point of my week, and I’m totally OK with that.
  8. I chose to garnish mine with some scallions and red chili sauce. This is totally unnecessary, yet I am a huge fan of red chili sauce on most things



Is this one easy enough for you? - WOD 130221


Slow Cooker Pork Shoulder Roast


So. Damn. Easy.

The hardest part of this recipe is to remember to defrost and season your roast a couple days in advance. When you’re ready to eat it, just pop the pork and some chopped aromatics in your slow cooker and your dinner cooks while you’re at work (or while you’re sleeping).

Here’s what I assembled to feed 4 hungry adults:

  • 2.5 pound tied boneless pork shoulder roast (I wish I had a bigger one but I got this size in my CSA box)
  • 2-4 tablespoons Chili Con Carne Seasoning (or your favorite dry rub)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 large carrots, cut into 1/2” slices

Here’s what I did:

I dried off the pork roast with some paper towels and seasoned it liberally with salt, pepper, and the spice blend. Don’t be afraid to be aggressive with the seasoning.

I placed the roast in a gallon sized Ziploc bag, squeezed out all air, and stuck it in the fridge. The roast should marinate for at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.

A couple days later, I threw some chopped carrots and onions into my slow cooker and tossed them with salt and pepper.

I placed the roast (and collected juices) on top of the vegetables, covered it with a lid, and cooked the pork on low for 8-10 hours.

When the roast was finished cooking, I preheated my broiler. I placed the roast on a greased wire rack on a lined baking sheet and put it under the broiler (~ 6 inches from the heating element) and browned it for about 2 minutes on each side.

I cut the binding on the roast plated the carrots, onions, and gravy. I put the roast on top of the veggies and used two forks to shred the meat.

WOD for 130221:

Strength/Skill: 3xME RIng L-Sit or Tuck Sit + 10 min to work handstands.

Conditioning: 5 Minute AMRAP 5 Back squats 155/115 15 Bar facing burpees *15 burpee penalty for dropping the bar