Book Reviews: Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance, Health, & Life, Ben Greenfield and Powerful Paleo Superfoods, Heather Connell RHNC

One of the great things about living a Paleo Lifestyle is that its never stagnant. Most people who consider themselves “paleo” use it as a template, but they understand that while in some ways it may be based on what our ancestors ate, its really more about what we should eat based on current science. The cool thing about that is that what we know about nutrition is ever-changing. For instance, white potatoes might have been shunned for a long time in the original paleo template, they are now more acceptable as a safe starch for some people. In a day and age where the USDA touts clearly outdated nutritional guidelines as the standard for what’s “healthy,” it really is up to each of us personally to continue to research and learn for ourselves about the current nutrition science. That’s why we love to post book reviews! Today, our team member Courtney, reviews two books, one about training, and one about superfoods. Courtney has been a CrossFit athlete and paleo eater for a while, but she learned some new things from these books that she wanted to share with everyone! 

courtney and david

 Courtney and her husband, David, after completing CrossFit Open 14.5 #couplesthatwodtogether  

Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance, Health, & Life, Ben Greenfield

Beyond Training Cover

Whether you are an endurance athlete, CrossFitter, gym rat, or just looking to stay fit and healthy, you may find Ben Greenfield’s new book, Beyond Training, helpful.  This is a dig-deep, big science, thorough look at training, nutrition, and lifestyle.  The author definitely tries to keep the language conversational and approachable, but it is still packed with scientific data and references to support his points.  Ben Greenfield is a personal trainer, holistic nutritionist, health expert, and a former endurance athlete and bodybuilder. He combines his personal experience and sport/nutrition education to create this comprehensive book on fueling and training your body for peak performance.

The book is divided into 5 sections: Fitness, Recovery, Nutrition, Lifestyle, and Brain.  In each section, Mr. Greenfield debunks common health and fitness myths and provides tips and tricks for increased performance.

 

handstand practice

Just a little handstand practice! 

 

As a CrossFitter who is looking to increase performance and train for bigger competitions, I especially liked the following chapters:

*The Best Ways to Build Endurance without Destroying Your Body – I learned that I can build more endurance without running my same pace and same length day after day like my running friends.

 

*Twenty Six Top Ways to Recover from Workouts and Injuries with Lightning Speed – I learned how to recover and how to know WHEN I’m recovered enough to train again.

 

*Twenty One Ways to Hack your Brain: A Complete Guide to Enhancing your Brainpower, Creativity, Focus, Motivation, and IQ – I learned the supplements (nootropics) to help brain function and clarity.

 

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Courtney during the CrossFit Open 14.2

While I don’t think I’ll change what’s working in my diet because of this book (I am happily and healthfully Paleo plus white rice and potatoes), I think that the author does have great changes for people who are currently on the SAD (standard American Diet). Overall, I learned some things that I know I can put into practice in my home life, my kitchen, and my training plan to increase my performance and keep me feeling healthy and strong!

 sunbathing

I enjoyed reading Powerful Paleo Superfoods and Beyond Training while soaking up some Vitamin D on my driveway! 

Powerful Paleo Superfoods, Heather Connell RHNC

Paleo Superfoods cover

This book is a fantastic resource to help you incorporate Paleo Superfoods into your diet. What is a Paleo Superfood? Heather Connell classifies Superfood as one that:

*is anti-inflammatory,
*contains high-quality, easily digestible protein,
*is good for your bones,
*is rich in fiber, and
*is a natural detoxifier.

The book is formatted to highlight 50 Paleo Superfoods.  These are broken down into sections for Proteins, Greens, Vegetables and Roots, Fruits, Fats, and Herbs and Spices.  What I like most about the book is how much information is packed into each section.  For each Superfood there is the science behind WHY it’s a superfood, WHERE to buy (the quality/price comparison), HOW to use it (each Superfood has a recipe!), and WHAT health benefits you can expect from it.  I especially liked how the author gives answers common questions about the quality of our food choices.  You’ll find the answers to these questions and more in Powerful Paleo Superfoods:

 

Do I need to buy EVERYTHING organic?

What’s the difference between Organic, Pastured, Cage Free, and Conventional when it comes to meat and eggs?

What are the dangers of eating farm-raised fish?

 

Even though I’ve been on this Paleo Journey for nearly 3 years, I was surprised to find I’m lacking in some serious Paleo Superfoods! After reading, I’m putting these ingredients on my next shopping list:

 

Spirulina

As an athlete, I’m always on the hunt for good quality protein….and 1 tablespoon of Spirulina has 4 grams of complete protein! Also, it’s a great immune booster.

Zucchini

While I sometimes eat Zucchini, it’s not my favorite. But after reading how great it is as a fat metabolizer and muscle replenisher, I think it will become a more prominent part of my diet!

Cacao

Yes! Chocolate is a Superfood!! And who am I kidding? This is ALWAYS on my shopping list. As long as I choose Organic Cacao (not cocoa) powder or 85% dark chocolate bars, I can enjoy the benefits of Cacao’s super high antioxidant capacity and feel great about it!

The author also gives an introduction to Paleo at the beginning of the book, so this is a great resource for those just starting on their Paleo Journey. But even seasoned Paleo followers will find this book informative. Sometimes we forget to get a variety of Paleo Superfoods in our diet, and this book serves as a great reminder!

 

In addition to being on the Paleo Parents Team as a Coordinator of Special Projects, Courtney is a CrossFit Coach at CrossFit Verity , a Brand Ambassador for WODgear, and a wife to hubby David, and a mom to her two adorable boys, Jack and Finn. ♥

 

court collage

About Courtney McGregor

Courtney McGregor has written 12 post in this blog.

Courtney began her Paleo journey a few years ago after meeting Stacy at the farmers market. Before Paleo, she struggled with weight, fertility, and insulin resistance. Since adopting the Paleo lifestyle and joining a local Crossfit box, Courtney has lost weight and maintained healthy insulin and sugar levels. Courtney lives with her husband and two boys in the suburbs of Washington DC. She stays busy homeschooling her boys, ages 9 and 7, coaching CrossFit, and competing in CrossFit and Olympic Weightlifting. Courtney loves being a part of the Paleo Parents team, especially when she's asked to taste test recipes!