Peak Paleo

Welcome to Peak Paleo! A project in understanding the affect of crossfit and a Paleo lifestyle on one's body and mind.

What started as a 30 day challenge has turned into a lifestyle and I'd like to share my experiences with you to help others make the positive change.
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Breakfast this morning was one of my mash ups! Leftover filet with avocado, tomato, and spinach!

Great breakfast today after a great home workout on this beautiful day off. The workout consisted of:

- 5x5 pull up work. Really trying to get back to being able to do some pull ups. Its been a long time since the wrist surgery. I think I did well. I used the small blue band which is probably about 25#s maybe.
- The WOD was 5 RFT of 10 32kg KBS and 250M run. I finished in 10:00. I was happy with that but I can tell I was running really slow after that 2nd round. Oh well, it will come back and it sure as hell is better than doing nothing!

Breakfast this morning was one of my mash ups! Leftover filet with avocado, tomato, and spinach!

Dinner last night was a grilled pork chop marinated in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and fresh rosemary. The sides were pan roasted sweet potatoes and the best kale I ever made. I went with a sweet and spicy combo of honey and red pepper flake sautéed kale. So good!

All in all a very good day!

I hit the gym early, had a good breakfast and the rest of the day has been right on point. For lunch I had kale topped with left over roasted spaghetti squash and some curry chicken salad.

When I got home I made a nice fruit and veggie smoothie. I had 1 apple, lots of carrots, handful of kale, 1/2 peach, 5 bing cherries, and a bunch of blueberries. Dinner was an interesting concoction of left over frittata with sautéed kale and chicken and onion meatballs.

Day 2 re-do in the books…well almost in the books!

I hit the gym this morning for a de-load day. The bar bell club (partially pictured here) was in full effect. Interesting thing is that there were way more women then men hitting it hard today!

Started with 5 80’ sled drags with 90# loaded.

Moved onto light back squats of 2x5 @ 135#

Then hit 5x5 ring rows and then 3x15 GHD sit-ups

Breakfast was a banana and some curry chicken salad I made yesterday. Great start to the day!

Today’s lunch was absolutely awesome! I found a nice little Thai place at The National Harbor. It was a flank steak salad with a spicy dressing.

I also managed to hit a nice little work out before I left to head home to RVA. I did 60 lunges with 35# db’s. Then I did 30 35# db cleans. I have to keep it up because I feel great after a good workout. Looking forward to hitting the box tomorrow morning!

For dinner I had a few leftovers. Main part was a frittata. Then I had roasted spaghetti squash and sautéed kale. It was very good and filling.

Dear Mike,

At work I am constantly trying to help brands create memorable experiences as the theory is that if you create a memorable experience for a customer then they are more likely to come back for more memorable experiences as well as create advocates of said brand. BUT when I am at home and I think about my health, wellness, diet, exercise and overall vitality strategies I tend to stray from my own mantra! Why?

When I first started crossfit at Crossfit Full Circle in Richmond, VA I became immediately “addicted”. Why? Because it was a memorable experience. The community of people at my gym, the programing so I don’t have to think about it, the philosophy, and many other things. It kept me coming back day after day. I felt great! I was actually doing what I have said I would do for years…”get back in shape”. It was actually happening and while during individual days it was hard and I was sore, it was all good! I learned about the paleo nutrition philosophy which took it to another level and from a weight perspective I hit a weight and body fat percentage that I had not seen in years…15 years to be exact. It felt absolutely amazing!

So why am I writing this letter to myself if all is good? Ha! Great question!

Well because I fell of the wagon and it hurts like effing hell!

Life happened, that’s what happened. The catalyst for this painful fall was an injury. I let my ego get in the way of what I was doing (high hang cleans) and I injured my wrist. I “took some time off” which was not nearly enough time. I didn’t get it checked out early. I figured it wasn’t that bad but had no qualified second opinion. I just kept going and shying away from things that hurt in the hopes that it would get better. Blah, blah, blah. Fast forward 6 months and on January 13th I had surgery on my wrist for the removal of a cyst and the repair of a torn ligament and a lot of inflamed tissue. So I’m on the road to recovery and failing big time. I’m using the injury/surgery as an excuse to get fat and lazy again.

The awesome experience I was having has all but disappeared from my life. Gone is the community of the classes I experienced 4-5 times per week. Gone is the focus on how if fuel my body to get through life. So in early March I went to my coach and asked for help. I said that the best thing about what I had been doing was the sheer fact that all I had to do was show up! The rest was done for me. Completely programed. You could argue that this isn’t the most efficient approach but it worked for me and made me feel great. So I asked for a plan. He created a plan. Am I working the plan? Nope. I’ve been completely over thinking it and letting my travel for work get in the way. I’m over complicating the entire plan. That is the exercise perspective.

From a nutrition perspective I’ve let other opinions and models get in the way. No wonder most people are clueless as to what it means to eat healthy. There are hundreds if not thousands of philosophies. When I was eating paleo style I was feeling awesome! Energy through the roof. I was much leaner. I may have lost a little strength in the gym but I know I can add in some healthy carbs to get me there. So why would I switch back to eating like crap? Why would I do something that actually hurts me? My suits are too tight. My dress shirts are too tight. My pants are too tight. My t-shirts are too tight. I don’t have as much energy as I had a year ago.

But why? At this point I don’t care why. I care about getting back on the plan.

I will be 39 in June. That is just plain crazy to me. I have to dial this in and I have to live life not just make it through it uncomfortably. We have a lot going on. We have two kids with a 3rd on the way. We are building a house and going to rent our current house. The house is due right around the same time as the baby. My wife is trying to finish up grad school while pregnant. Work for me gets harder not easier as I continue to progress in my career. It requires that I travel quite a bit, even though I vowed to cut it in half this year vs last year. Yeah! A shit load of life is going on and I’m not even in prime shape for it. I’ve prioritized everything except me. A co-worker told me how she has adopted the philosophy of “putting on her own oxygen mask first”. It is such a great perspective. Prioritizing everything except yourself really gets you no where. People depend on me but I don’t even seem to depend on me. Time to change that and put on my own oxygen mask.

Time to start with some goals. I will go with a few short term goals as a means to actually get there.


For the next 2 weeks I will be 100% strict paleo. That is 4/8/2014 through 4/22/2014. Mid term goal is to carry that out to May 6th.


For the next 2 weeks I will exercise according to my plan which will mean I will work out 10 days and rest 4 days. I will do my best to follow the routine but if I can’t due to not having the equipment I will do the next best thing that may include body weight exercises. For the runs, I just need to do it whether it be outside or on a treadmill.


I will blog everyday even if it is a short one to catch up. This helps me keep my mind straight. I will post food porn (one of my favorite past times) and recipes that I cook. 

This, Mike, is your plan for the next two weeks! Get on it!

Dinner time! Filet with a side of roasted and riced garlic cauliflower as well as coconut creamed kale.

A few catch up shots!

Buffalo deviled eggs, which were awesome. I wish I made more

Up next is some pulled pork, roasted beets and roasted Brussels sprouts that may have cooked a bit long

And tonight we have flank steak with roasted broccoli and sautéed kale

I’m not a big bread person at all but I saw this and thought I’d share because I know there are a lot of bread people out there.

I know a lot of people struggle with what to do after a strict diet challenge and really want to add certain things back into their diet. I hope this helps

I’m not a big bread person at all but I saw this and thought I’d share because I know there are a lot of bread people out there.

I know a lot of people struggle with what to do after a strict diet challenge and really want to add certain things back into their diet. I hope this helps

A messy plate but a tasty plate! Grilled chicken on a bed of spinach with a baked sweet potato topped with coconut butter.

Physical therapy toys for the wrist surgery. Still struggling mentally with not being able to lift heavy things