Garett: I live what some people might consider a contradictory lifestyle. I practice, believe, and have benefitted from a Primal/Paelo – diet, which in a snap shot, is a diet that recommends the restriction of nutrient deficient processed carbohydrates. I am also a competitive triathlete and the conventional wisdom for triathletes is to eat massive amounts of nutrient deficient processed carbohydrates (bread, pasta, oatmeal, etc.), gels, and sport drinks to maintain a high level of training.
Why a primal diet? My entire life I have been obsessed with maintaining optimal health and fitness, following the conventional health wisdom of eating lots of whole grains and low fat foods, but I never felt that I was reaching my potential. I ALWAYS felt sluggish and tired. You ever have that feeling of “man, I am tired of being tired!” That was me! Or you know the term food coma? Usually experienced after eating a pasta dinner, that’s how I felt most of the time. I was in my mid twenty’s, in what most people would consider great shape, but always feeling sluggish, not to mention massive hunger swings followed by food binges, this is not how a healthy 20-something is supposed to feel. Something needed to change!
I then discovered the primal diet about 2 years ago I did some self-experimentation with the diet with good results and have since been on a strictly primal the diet for the last year. The results have been fantastic! I have much more energy, that constant sluggish feeling is gone! I rarely get sick, and when I do it is a much milder type cold and shorter in duration. I have also noticed I no longer get a runny nose. As I write this we are in the “flu season” and I feel like I am surrounded by people constantly blowing their noses.
Also eating more protein and animal fats, along with intermitted fasting, my extreme hunger swings have gone away. Sure I still get hungry but it is not as extreme. Before the primal diet I would get headaches, lightheaded, or even the “shakes”, also as those close to me will tell you, I was a complete drama queen (to put it nicely) if I did not eat right away, now I get hungry but it is much milder effect, I feel hungry but I could last a few more hours if needed with no physical effects or mood swings.
Why triathlons? I played sports my entire life and was really competitive in soccer. However after high school the competitive sports where no longer around. I played (still continue to play) adult league soccer, while the soccer is played at a fairly high level it still has a very recreational feel to it. Also when playing soccer you are dependent on a lot of other people. Soccer is a true team sport and you are really only as good as your team. It did not matter if I was in great shape if the people around me were not. I wanted more! My motivation to workout began to slowly dwindle, with nothing to work towards this can happen fairly easy.
I first discovered 5k running races, these were a lot of fun, I could be competitive with myself, as well as with my friends and the other people around me, and the best part I did not have to depend on anybody else. It was me, and me alone running the races. Then through the running community I heard about a local sprint triathlon and I was intrigued and I signed up before I even owned a bike. I finally got a bike, finished the race with a respectable time and I was hooked! I have since competed in over 25 Sprint and Olympic distance races in the last three years.
Triathlons open my eyes to a whole new world of competition and my motivation to train went through the roof. I suddenly had something to really train for again, I was able to narrow my training focus and set multiple small training goals every year. The beauty of triathlon is that the room for improvement is limitless. In my opinion this is the key to success for obtaining optimal health and fitness. Setting many smaller ever changing goals, this keeps you motivated.
My goal with The Primal Triathlete is to provide information and lessons learned on my ever growing goal of continuing to reap the benefits of eating a primal type diet while becoming an ever improving triathlete. I want this site to be a community where we can share our tips and life experiences with each other as we prove that you don’t need to eat carbohydrates and drink sugary sports drinks like they are going out of style in order to be a successful triathlete.