The purpose of this post is not to school anyone about the secrets of Paleo Lifestyle or to debate about anything. I`m only sharing my personal experiences and gains about something that changed so much in my daily life. If you are not familiar with Paleo diet read first Robb Wolf`s – Paleo Quick Start Guide. If you are overly busy and don`t want to waste your time on reading extra info here`s Paleo in five seconds: Favour unprocessed andorganic foods such as meats, vegetables, fruits, berries and nuts and avoid highly processed foods and grains, dairy products and legumes.
Backround and noticing the problem
I have never been a fan of any diet, in fact I used to get a bit annoyed by the people who tried to preach me about all the hot new diets, lifestyles, vitamins and other life changers. I always believed that my diet was pretty okay. I ate meats, wholegrain foods, fruits, veggies, dairy, legumes, occasional pizzas, beers and other treats. My thing was to eat anything I wanted but to do it “reasonably”. I was ralely sick and when I got a flu I killed it in one day. I have had asthma since childhood but I was used to it and thought it was normal. I have not diagnosed with any other conditions like celiac disease or lactase deficiency. Therefore it’s crazy to realize how many other issues concerning my health I accepted as normal.
Through my 14 years long career of breaking (breakdancing) I have always loved to train hard. Pushing over the limits as far as possible was the best thing I knew. I wasn`t happy with the practice session until I was dead and I thought it was the only way to achieve the best results. When getting ready for Circle Kingz with B-boy Focus we could do 100 Swipe-Windmill-Swipe combos just to finnish of an 2-3 hours training. We did it after every session and after one week we changed the finisher combo or the move. As I understood later our training methods were extremely hard and if not stupid, definitely not smart. Because of years of overtraining I often found my self injured or hurt in some way. Mostly nothing that serious but always something small. Wrist pain, pulled muscles, swollen knee, twisted ankle and the list goes on. Around 2009-2010 I was really busiest time with breaking for me. I was traveling around the world almost every weekend to judge, to compete or to teach workshops. My style of breaking is raw and I don`t save myself when getting down. Maybe because that style B-boy Amjad from 7 Dollars crew started calling me “The White Gorilla”. After a weekend full of events I was always hurt. Sometimes even weeks after I still had bruises and pains because of “The White Gorilla” style. I loved the traveling and the experiences but to be honest I got really tired. I needed time to heal and make my self stronger to be able handle the gorilla mode.
Searching for solution and making changes
During the past few years I started to integrate professional strength and conditioning training to complete my training program. I decided to participate less events and battles for better recovery. Little by little I began to get rid of the most of long my term injuries and to improve my strength and endurance. First time in years training was significantly paying of again. Instead of just getting tired and sore I was actually making some progress. I was learning new moves that were impossible to me before. But for some reason I had troubles to “feel the hunger” or “bring the fire”. I even doubted that I had lost what I was best known for. Oppositely to strong character, presence and energy I was feeling slow, tired and old.
As a 27 years young B-Boy I didn’t want to accept that getting older is maybe slowing me down a bit. There were older people in the game who were still rocking hard. Pervez, Poe-1, Freeze, Storm to name a few. I still wanted to get better, faster and stronger. I began to pay more attention on the food I was eating. I reduced grains and basically stopped eating serials, bread and pasta. Although I sometimes enjoyed pizzas and beers, overall I felt better. I had more energy and felt a bit healthier. I still didn`t have any golden idea how to better my diet but for the first time I was searching for new ideas. I heard about Paleo diet from my friend Petri who showed me “Helsinki Paleo” website and Podcasts. I started to study the concept of Paleo more and made the decision. I´m switching to Full Paleo-diet for 30 days.
I was immediately happy about the new way of living. On my fifth minute on Paleo Diet I was full of energy and ready to take over the world. My only concern was how the hell I’m going to manage without yoghourt, milk, ice-cream, pasta, pizza, beer, sweets and so many other things that I really liked but which were no longer allowed in Paleo diet. As It turns out, I was going to manage better than ever before.
Unexpectedly, I had absolutely no problems on moving to Paleo. I took a screenshot from Rob Wolf’s “Paleo Diet Easy Start Guide” and saved it on my Iphone. Sure, I made some mistakes and didn’t always knew exactly what I was doing but I still felt good about the new direction. During the first week of the experiment I had cooked more times at home than I normally do in one month and used more versatile ingredients than ever before. I felt great, energized and slept much better. Among first things I noticed was the massive increase of energy levels. I could train harder and challenge myself more. I tried more difficult moves, combos and freestyled a lot more. After the first week, the slime in my throat that, I used to have past 15 years had disappeared. It was the first time in my life when I knew what it’s like to actually breathe free. During the last three weeks of the experiment several other things happened:
– Lost 4kg of bodyweight (7 kg in two months)
– Improved my personal records on variety of physical exercises and tests.
– Basically all asthma symptoms disappeared.
– Many of the ghost pains from old injuries vanished.
– Didn’t experience almost any digestive problems: No gas, no stomach aches.
– Became much more productive and effective in work.
– Didn’t have any desire for sweets, pizzas or beer etc.
– Didn’t undergo huge mood swings when hungry.
– Learned that food can actually make you feel energized instead tired.
After the 30 days went by I didn’t really want go back to my old eating habits. But to complete and learn more about the experiment I went out for a beer and ate some pizza. I was back to old normal for a one weekend. Well I’m not gonna describe all the things and feelings I experienced because of the two days of culinary triumph. All I can say that I’m back to Paleo, for a reason: I like being asthma, gas and pain free.
Johannes “Hatsolo” Hattunen
Flow Mo Crew