Monday, February 13, 2012

Kettlebells, the Paleo Diet and Caramba Cafe

Poblano Verde from Caramba.

For some time I've meant to post on a category very much related to food: exercise and diet. In particular, I want to highlight kettlebell strength training and the Paleo diet. Kettlebells are a great overall exercise - I can personally attest to that! I discovered kettlebells here in Atlanta at Delaine Ross' Gym Condition where Delaine and several other instructors use kettlebell training to provide a great workout including cardio and strength training all in one 45 minute workout. With more than 30 classes per week at various times of morning and evening - plus some special lunch time classes too - there should be no excuse not to try out kettlebells. I actually used a kettlebell routine to prepare for my wedding last April. I attended 3-4 times per week and I noticed a recognizable difference within just a few weeks. Check out Gym Condition's website to learn more. And - don't worry if you are not in great shape or can't lift heavy weights. The bells vary in weight from just a few pounds all the way up to giant weights you can marvel at other people lifting! As you work out using the kettlebells you will be able to increase the amount of weight used.

A typical kettlebell class in progress.

If you can add the diet element in as well, you will see serious results fast! Recently I dined with Delaine to learn more about the Paleo diet, which is considered by some to be the most helpful in slimming down and staying that way. The diet includes vegetables, meats, eggs and small amounts of fruits and nuts. Paleo excludes dairy products (although some schools of Paleo thought allow dairy), sugars and grains and beans. Processed sugars and grains are particularly off-limits. Interestingly, bacon fat and coconut oil are preferred over vegetable or olive oils for cooking. This is because many vegetable based fats break down and interact with your body in a different way. So if you are following a Paleo diet it is better to use that bacon grease to cook your vegetables instead of the olive oil you thought was so good for you! Olive oil is allowed in salads, however. Click here for lots of recipes and Paleo resources and here for Paleo 101 and additional resources. Additional reported benefits of the Paleo diet include better respiratory health (less congestion) and healthier skin.

There are several area restaurants offering Paleo-friendly fare as well. Delaine and I met at Caramba in its new location in the Pencil Factory lofts. Although it was difficult to skip the chips and salsa the above poblano verde was excellent with rich flavor and a tangy sauce. Delaine ordered the special chicken soup which was also delicious. In lieu of chips and salsa we had veggie dippers and salsa - nice to have a substitute so you can snack on something! Urban Pl8 also has Paleo items on its menu. Where else have you tried Paleo-friendly food in Atlanta?

Sopa de Pollo "a la Mia".

Veggie dippers with salsa and hot sauce.

Caramba on Urbanspoon

1 Comment:

Unknown said...

Awesome post!! You are spot on when you say you will be less hungry by eliminating grains and increasing protein.

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