Legendary Athletics Paleo Challenge

You have all heard it before.  Abs start in the kitchen.  Whether you are looking to get a six pack or not, most of us are athletic because we want to look good naked!  There is a large misconception in the United States that in order to get that look, you need to neurotically count calories and eat “Diet” foods.

I want to dispel all of this piss poor information that is being shoved on to us once and for all and help you discover what it takes to actually achieve the results you are looking for.

When I first started CrossFit,  my ultimate goal was to be able to eat-what-ever-the-hell-I-wanted-to.  I figured that CrossFit would allow me to do that.  I was wrong.  I started hitting all these new goals that I never saw myself capable of.  I could see myself hitting even larger goals, but there was something holding me back.  It was the foods that I was putting into my body.

After working as a nurse and pedaling all sorts of tasty pharmaceuticals to my patients, I realized that the true pharmaceutical is food.  The foods that we eat directly affect the way our bodies behave.  Poor foods contribute to improper hormone balancing, blood sugar management and even sleep patterns.  Just because we have evolved to the point of surviving long enough to mate on the foods that are available to us in our modern diet, does not mean that we will live a long life of wellness.

The Paleo Diet is an effort to eat like we used to back in the day… WAY back in the day. If caveman couldn’t eat it, neither can you. This means anything we could hunt or find– meats, fish, nuts, leafy greens, regional fruits and veggies, and seeds. Sorry, the pasta, cereal, and candy will have to go! Instead, you’ll be making things like chicken stir fry and Paleo spaghetti. Yum!


The rules of the Paleo Diet are to eat foods with very few and all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re totally natural and unprocessed.

Omitting all of the following foods and beverages will help you regain your healthy metabolism, reduce systemic inflammation, and help you discover how these foods are truly impacting your health, fitness, and quality of life. Obviously, since we are going off of a point system in this challenge, you can eat these foods. However, the more you indulge in them, the more you are limiting the extent of your results.

  1. Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, etc. Read your labels because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize. However, for the purposes of this challenge, we will allow Stevia as the only approved sweetener.
  2. Do not consume alcohol. It just isn’t good for you and you’re trying to make a lifestyle change, right?
  3. Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains, and all of those gluten-free, pseudo-grains like quiona. Yes, we said corn… for the purposes of this challenge, corn is a grain. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn, and rice into our food in for the form of bran, germ, starch, and so on. Again, read your labels.
  4. Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kind (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.) peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts (no peanut butter either). This also includes all forms of soy—soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
  5. Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat, or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese, kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or organic butter.
  6. Do not eat white potatoes. This is somewhat arbitrary, but if we are trying to change your habits and improve the hormonal impact of your food choices, it’s best to leave white, red, purple, Yukon gold and fingerling potatoes off your plate. But DO eat sweet potatoes! Just go light if weight loss is your goal.


You will have a possible total of 20 points per day. You will start with 15 points. You will add bonus points based on fish oil consumption, mobility, CrossFit, and sleep. You will subtract points based on the quality of foods you eat. Here’s the breakdown:

15 points for a full day of all Paleo-friendly meals and snacks
+2 for CrossFit
+1 for extra mobility (outside of class)(15 minutes +)
+1 for at least 6 grams of a quality fish oil
+1 for 7+ hours of sleep
20 possible points per day

Deducting points

-1 point off for every serving of: deli meats, bacon, sausage, beans, hummus, peanuts, agave, honey, salt, peas, dried fruit, most salad dressings, red wine

-2 points off for every serving of: dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese, butter), soy products, quinoa

-3 points off for every serving of: cereal, grains, wheat, oats, corn, tortilla chips, bread, rice, pasta, noodles, hot dogs

-4 points for every serving of: soda, juice, sports drinks, potatoes, fried food, chicken wings, most restaurant appetizers, pizza, cookies, baked goods, ice cream, frozen yogurt, sweets, pancakes, ketchup, processed marinades, BBQ sauce, sugar-added dried fruit, beer, and ALL alcoholic drinks

Note: If you are going off the reservation, it’s important to know how many servings you are eating. For example, 1 can of soda is 2 servings. This means that if you drink an entire can, you must subtract 8 points. Moral of the story: don’t do that.

Note #2: There are no portion restrictions in the challenge, but be smart. If you are eating an entire bag of trail mix, you are not eating Paleo; you are doing more of the same stuff you did before. Use this challenge to change your habits.

Bonus points

There is a potential for 5 extra bonus points per day (as shown above). Here’s how to get them:

  1. You get 2 extra bonus points for everyday you participate in a CrossFit workout. The benefits of Paleo are magnified when combined with a training program that combines constantly varied, high intensity, functional movements (i.e. CrossFit).
  2. You get 1 extra bonus point for everyday you consume at least 6 grams of fish oil.
  3. You get 1 extra bonus point for everyday that you do more than 20 minutes of mobility, outside of class. Check out www.mobilityWOD.com for ideas.
  4. You get 1 extra bonus point for every night that you sleep more than 7 hours.

Paleo Challenge Rules

LENGTH: Wednesday, January 15th, 2014 to Sunday, March 16th (61 days in total)

For entry and a chance to win the first place prize, all participants MUST:

  • pay $20 to enter
  • write a check for $30* made out to Legendary Athletics
  • keep a food log and keep track of their points (www.myfitnesspal.com)
  • make a goal* that can be attained in two months
  • complete baseline workout “Jackie” before and after the challenge
  • take before measurements and weight
  • Record you points on the “Paleo Challenge Clip Board” next to the office when you come in for your work out.

*Your goal can be measured by “inches”, “pounds”, “time for benchmark workout”, “strength increase”, or “clothing sizes”

* At the end of the Challenge, if you have reached the goal that you wrote for yourself, your check will be ripped up. If you do not, your check will go toward the winners.

*Record your goal in both the SMART goals sheet of your log and in Myfitnesspal.com


The Winner

There will be a Female and Male Winner.  Prize money will be based off the amount of money in the “Pot” at the end of this challenge.  The “Pot” will be split 50/50 between the two top competitors.  The 3 runner ups per sex category will be announced and the winner will be chosen by vote for your peers at the box.

Have fun with this!  We want to improve your wellness, and state of mind.  Stressing over this will only negate your results!