Back to Basics: Nutrition Edition

01 Mar
Tanya Merrill's amazing transformation using the Paleo Diet.

When I started CrossFit almost 7 years ago, I was an excited, budding Registered Dietitian who thought I knew everything I needed to know about nutrition. After attending the Level 1 cert in 2006, I bit the bullet and began questioning everything I thought I knew (fitness and nutrition). I tried the Zone Diet for 30 days and my perspective on nutrition changed forever. Jaded, angry and frustrated about my nutrition education, I started reading and questioning EVERYTHING! Then I met Robb Wolf a few months later and began experimenting with the Paleo approach. I achieved the same, if not better, results as Zone, without weighing and measuring all of my food. It just makes sense to eat real food and I feel amazing!

Don’t wait any longer to clean up your diet. Support, instead of negating, your valiant efforts on the black mat by using food as fuel instead of a drug!

What is the Paleo Diet?

Not only does every person have a unique relationship with food, but also different goals, lifestyles, family/culture, food skills, and many other connections to what they eat. Changing the way you eat is an individual journey and it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. It’s very similar to any other behavior change, such as starting CrossFit for example. When someone comes into the gym, we start with the basics and focus on the foundational movements. As the athlete becomes more confident and has lots of practice, we build upon the movements to develop strength and more skills. Nutrition is also combination of habits and skills and they both can be progressed.

You just have to make a decision to live the life you deserve and get started!

There are endless resources out there to support your journey. You can e-mail ( anytime if you have questions or need a personal guide to help you move forward. Here are some resources that explain the process of getting started and living the good life!

From a few of the CFO Coaches: “How has your perspective on nutrition changed since starting CrossFit?

“I’ve been “eating smart” pretty much all my life despite being born and raised a local boy in Hawaii, so my nutrition hasn’t changed too drastically since starting CrossFit.. However, I definitely view and understand nutrition not just as sustenance anymore, but as fuel for the machine!”

“Well for me nutrition is a funny subject. Although I have read the books and tried many styles. I am still trying to find what works best for me and my body type. I do encourage the primal/paleo style diet. Eat as clean as you can, when you can. If a Mc Donald’s hamburger is your only option, don’t starve but make up for it when you can.”

-”When I started Crossfit nutrition wasn’t even a thought. The more I worked the more I ate. I still felt good but something was missing. It was the way I was eating. I had never connected the two until I started eating clean. When that happened I felt better and I saw changes in my mood and body.”

Tanya Merrill's amazing transformation using the Paleo Diet.

Tanya Merrill’s amazing transformation using the Paleo Diet.

  • About Courtney Johnson

    Courtney Johnson is one of the original (2006) CFO members and has been coaching for over 4 years. She is also a Registered Dietitian and has special "Paleo" powers. When not at the gym, "Coco" enjoys the beach, reading, volunteering and the island life.
  • cavewoman diet

    This diet would also include fish,wild game or domesticated animals that are fed grasses and allowed to freely graze in pastures. Grains, dairy products, all legumes, refined sugars, salts and oils are all considered to be food sources that were only available after the paleolithic era had ended and are therefore not allowed on the diet. Water is usually considered to be the only beverage that is permitted on the diet. There are some people who insist that herbal teas are still acceptable as long as the teas do not contain any sugars or additives.

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