CrossFit Auckland | Forging Elite Fitness, Established 2008

Winners Paleo Team Challenge




Congratulations to Captain Bernie who not only was the Individual Winner of the CrossFit & Paleo Challenge, but whose team Won the $1000 Team reward!!

Congratulations Captain Bernie who was not only the Individual Winner of the CrossFit & Paleo Challenge, but whose team Won the $1000 Team reward!!

Photo Courtesy of Xavier Wallach Photography.

Orthodox and Autoimmune Paleo Diet

What I got out of the CrossFit and Paleo Challenge – February 2014

Several years ago I read a testimonial from a fellow CrossFitter from the Mount/Tauranga area on the autoimmune style of eating.  He shared his story about his mother who suffered terribly from osteoarthritis (an inflammatory type of arthritis) that was crippling his mother and was slowly taking away her quality of life but also her passion, which was gardening. She was at the stage where she was unable to get outside or do any daily chores without intense pain.  He recommended she look at a diet called paleo and take it to the autoimmune level to help control the pain and inflammation she was experiencing.  Within the month she was out in her garden doing what she loved.  I have never forgotten this story and always wondered if it was true, can you really control inflammation in your body with diet?

I decided to do the February CrossFit and Paleo challenge, and after a conversation with a fellow team member I decided to go autoimmune for the month to really find out for my self if I can actually reduce the inflammation I experience.  I have a back injury where there is not much disk left in L2 and L3 and have had major knee surgery 2 years ago, it was normal to suffer discomfort and pain on a daily basis in these areas.

After a month of autoimmune (not only do you not eat grains, legumes, dairy, sugar or processed foods you also take out things like nightshades, nuts, spices and eggs), I also removed coffee but did eat eggs during the challenge.  I noticed these changes in my body:

  • I am able to do weight training in the 5.45am classes.  Previously I would never consider picking up a barbell before morning tea, as my back would be way too tight.
  • When I trigger point and roll out it holds.  I used to find I would religiously trigger point every night (I still do) but be back at square one the next morning.
  • My massage therapist commented that she felt the muscle tissue was in far better shape than it ever has been.
  • I have been able to keep up with the volume of training over the month of February and not develop any niggles in my body, which is a common occurrence in a masters athlete!
  • I wont deny that I don’t get sore, I do.  The point of difference is I feel my body especially my back some how repairs and recovers overnight.

Admittedly I did also start seeing a Chiropractor during February who has done some amazing work on my back, but even still her adjustments have held, something that would not have happen with me in the past.

Hand on my heart I can truly recommend if any person is suffering from any type of inflammation look at going autoimmune.  That testimonial I read years ago is true to its last word, eating clean vs. putting up with pain and inflammation?  I know which one I would choose.

Bernie Murch

Your Body is a System




This stuff seems so easy. So why is it sometimes so hard?

We understand food and sleep. We know how it affects us. We know about input and output, and the impact of grains and fructose on the body. If you’ve been on this site a while, you know it well. If you’re just starting, trust me, the science gets easier. (I just finished reading Stephen Guyenet– every post– and man, I learned a ton.)

Still, many of us have trouble hitting the sweet spot– a place of balance where everything just kind of flows. We eat the right food, we sleep enough every day, we exercise regularly. All that stuff, we understand it very clearly– but making it actually happen is something else entirely.

I’ve been trying to get a better grasp on this recently. I’ve been reading books that help, like Work the System, which explains how to have a better, more profitable business by understanding its underlying mechanisms. The trick is never about willpower– it’s about setting up things that happen automatically, making the decisions easy and helping mistakes gradually go away.

Willpower is also a system; there are ways to improve it and tests for it, too. One of them, Martin Berkhan calls The Marshmallow Test, and it will show you how likely you are to succeed at stuff like quitting smoking and doing 30 day diet attempts (like Robb’s challenge in the Paleo Solution). But it also proves that maybe it isn’t about willpower at all, but instead about moving around temptation. Instead of saying you failed, or you can’t do it, maybe you should just learn to look away or try cue exposure therapy instead. Understand what’s going on behind your decision process to help mould it.

As the Heath brothers would say in their bestseller Switch, you need to direct the rider, motivate the elephant, and shape the path.

In other words, optimize the mechanism. Don’t worry about forcing your way through it. Use technique instead.

We all do this when we say we want to “purge our fridge.” We know we’re going to cheat if we have Froot Loops in the cupboard, so we flush them. We look outside of ourselves to get an idea of what we’re like, and make decisions from there. It’s hard to do that in the moment (while eating Froot Loops), so we have to do it beforehand. All of life is like this.

So before you say you can’t do it, or you’re “close enough,” or you can’t really keep a regular exercise schedule, look at where your system is guiding you. Your preferences (pasta, Froot Loops, whatever) are often just patterns, and they can be broken if you put something else there. Like Plinko– the ball goes where they designed it to go.

Look, this corridor you’re walking down– you built it. But you can build another one. And if you do, that’s the direction you’ll go, instead. Try it.


About the Author

Julien is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Trust Agents, one of the social web’s most recognized books. His blog, In Over Your Head, is about how to change your life, one day at a time. You can try it out here. Julien has been eating paleo for a little under a year. He incorporates intermittent fasting, Movnat, and Crossfit into his health regimen.





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To Eat or Not to Eat




That is the question:

We have 54 members coming to the completion of a 28-day CrossFit & Paleo Team Challenge. Congratulations! Right now some of you will be considering whether you want to, or even should, reintroduce specific foods to your diet.

Essentially a 28-day Paleo challenge is a detox period allowing your body to eliminate the effects of foods less healthy for our body, and reset it’s set point based on your new nutrition and healthful habits such as improved hydration and sleep, post workout meals/recovery and so on. Immediately after a period of strict adherence to new ways, it’s socially expected that you’ll go right ahead and re-introduce and even binge on these foods and habits that you eliminated from your life. Friends will even sell you this idea as your post challenge “reward”.

Many of us buy into this despite the tangible evidence that your new lifestyle and nutrition has done you a wealth of good; increased your energy, improved your sleep, improved your physical performance, made your eyes brighter, eliminated bloating and water retention. reduced or eliminated inflammation, improved skin conditions and/or asthma, increased muscle growth, allowed you to shed unwanted fat… and all the other good stuff you’re enjoying.

I’d like you to consider why you took on the challenge in the first instance, or perhaps even more importantly what you personally achieved and how you benefited from these changes in your lifestyle. Consider:

  • Are you better off now than you were before?
  • How has it changed your life?
  • What does it mean to your future if you continue with the new habits you’ve worked so hard to embed over the past four weeks?

Now that you’ve reflected on that, are there foods that you believe you just cannot live without; foods that have tested your resolve throughout the 28-day challenge?

If you feel you must re-introduce any foods to your diet, we recommend that you ‘test’ each food exclusively over a period of two weeks. Reintroduce the food and pay attention to how your body feels and responds for a week. Notice how your gut feels, your energy levels, your exercise performance and whether your sleep is affected. Did any symptoms return? In week two, eliminate the food once again, and notice how your body responds. During this period – do your research!

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