2411 Old Crow Canyon Road, Suite N, San Ramon CA 925-457-4587


CFSR PALEO CHALLENGE – Meeting, Monday, July 21st 6:30pm

30 Day Challenge designed to help you make Paleo accessible, affordable & convenient!  How can I get away with cooking 2-3 times a week for the entire week?  How can I afford to eat Paleo?  Where do I shop to get the right foods?  Sign up and find out!

The Challenge begins Monday, June 9th and will end Tuesday July 8th.  Body Composition will be measured at the start and finish of the challenge.

Suggested meals for this Paleo Challenge will be available for purchase for those interested.

Recipes will be provided for the paleo challenge and the option to purchase the pre-made meals will be available as well.   Pre-made meal pricing will be provided at the meeting.

Challenge cost $30 for members, $40 for Non-Members.

Sign up with Tim or Lori 925-457-4587

Wednesday 5-15-13  Crossfit San Ramon Nutrition course

Wednesday 5-15-13
Crossfit San Ramon Nutrition course

        Sarah Pate, Neophyte Nutritionist & Paleo Chef   

2014  Paleo Challenge!  Sunday, January 19th @10:30am.  Join Sarah Pate and your CFSR family and make a commitment for 30 days that will change your health!   Learn how to make Paleo a do-able, fun and enjoyable part of your everyday life.  You will feel and look your best!  $10.00 for Members, $20.00 Non-Members.  Prizes for the top 2 Finishers.  Email Lori to save your spot! Lorim@Crossfitsr.com

Final Thoughts as you approach the 30 day mark:

Congratulations – are all heading into the last week of your 30-day Paleo challenge or are close to the final week. I am really looking forward to hearing all of your stories this Sunday and seeing how far you have come.  Remember at the end of the challenge is the beginning of a new version of you.  A healthier more informed version with some sweet new sourcing, preparing, eating, and sharing food skills.  I trust that you are all armed with everything you need to take a thought full look at what you want to continue to do, and what you want to add back in.  Just make it thoughtful and your choice not something that “happens to you”.

This Sunday at 10:45 is our Wrap-up meeting. Please bring something to share that bodies that embodies the healthy eating principles we have been talking about for the last four weeks. I will also send you a second email with resources that may of you have asked for to continue your education. 

 So… building on the knowledge base you have all gained over the last four weeks we have moved on to focus on a HUGE issue that impacts all areas of our health in this lesson from me – Stress, Sleep and Behavior Change

 Starting Program Week 4    


·         Understand the role of stress and sleep and its impact on body composition and our hormones

·         Understand why pure willpower never wins when implementing change

·         Understand the role of cortisol in protecting our cells


In addition to diet, sleep, and stress play an even more important role in health and body composition.  Cortisol, a hormone produced in the adrenal glands, is often referred to as the “stress hormone” because stress activates cortisol production.  In times of stress cortisol protects cells from damage but with over production cell damage and adrenal fatigue can occur.

 Chronic stress creates a vicious cycle of insulin, leptin, and cortisol dysfunction.  Elevated cortisol creates insulin resistance and inflammation by promoting a constant supply of glucose to cells, as well as stimulating the release of inflammatory cytokines which create elevated cortical releasing hormones (CRH), causing insulin spikes in response, and eventually the cells become resistant, glucose uptake is decreased and the body stores the excess glucose as fat. The liver begins to have difficulty processing fat, (causing the body to store the fat instead), and promotes weight gain by increasing levels of ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and inhibiting production of leptin ( the satiety hormone: hunting is good).

Our autonomic nervous system has two arms; the sympathetic and the parasympathetic.  Both serve the same organs but cause essentially the opposite effects, counterbalancing each other’s activities to keep the body systems running smoothly.  The sympathetic division mobilizes the body during stress situations such as fear, intense exercise, anxiety or rage, whereas the parasympathetic division allows us to unwind, relax, restore and rebuild energy, and this is where all restoration takes.  The goal is to utilize our sympathetic nervous system occasionally  for setting a new PR or being chased by rabid dogs, and leverage the parasympathetic nervous frequently for rest and repair.

We discussed the  three distinct processes that are believed to be the result of the evolution of the human central nervous system, or more specifically, the evolutionary layers of the brain called the triune brain. The triune brain consists of the reptilian complex (reptilian brain), the paleomammalian complex (limbic system), and the neomammalian complex (neocortex), which are viewed as structures sequentially added in the course of evolution.  

·         The Neocortex “thinks”

·         The Limbic  System “feels”

·         The Reptilian “does”

The neocortex , is a part of the brain of mammals. It is the outer layer of the cerebral hemispheres, and made up of six layers. In humans, it is involved in higher functions such as sensory perception, generation of motor commandsspatial reasoningconscious thought and language. It processes rational data and shares its deductions with the other two brains. 

The limbic system or paleomammalian brain (tied to the secretion of hormones) The “Limbric System” feels. It processes emotions and gut feelings, determines what we remember. Limbic system structures are involved in many of our emotions and motivations. The limbic system is also involved in feelings of pleasure that are related to our survival, such as those experienced from eating and sex. Certain structures of the limbic system are involved in memory as well. It plays a major role in regulating hormones, the pituitary gland, body temperature, the adrenal glands, and many other vital activities.

The brain stem sits on top of the spinal column at the base of the skull. This layer is called the “Reptilian Brain” so named because all vertebrates from reptiles to mammals have one. This is the brain structure that ultimately controls actions and decisions.  The reptilian bran holds our survival instincts.

The Neo-cortex or new brain which “thinks”, the Limbic system or paleomammalian brain that “feels” and is tied to the secretion of hormones, emotions, motivations and pleasure, and the Reptilian brain that “does” and is tied to instinct.

When we are out of hormonal balance from too much caffeine, stress, sugar or toxins, we secrete excessive quantities of our hormones which as act as chemical messengers or neurotransmitters to our cells.  Neuroreceptors on our cells begin to shut down to protect themselves from the flood of information.  They become “resistant” so it takes more and more of the hormone (triggered by more and more sugar, alcohol, caffeine, or drug of choice) to get the same effect.  If this cycle remains unbroken then the entire process shuts down resulting in type 2 diabetes, adrenal failure and other diseases over time.

In order to successfully implement sustainable behavior change we must focus our rational brain on the triggers and reward functions governed by the limbic system.  We used an allegory of an elephant and a rider from one of my favorite books on the phycology of change  Switch by Chip and Dan Heath.  The rider (the neocortex: conscious/logical/rational mind) is perched atop the elephant (the paleomammalian brain: subconscious/feeling/emotional mind), the rider holds the reigns and seems to be in in control but that control is precarious. If the elephant feels threatened or startled by something along the path then the elephant is going to ignore the rider and is going to fight or flee (the reptilian brain: survival/instinct)  -  running to safety. All the rider can do perched on top of the six-ton elephant is ride it out and hold on until the elephant calms down and the rider can once again exert some reason over the situation.  Ever feel this way?

It has been estimated that the conscious (neocortex) mind processes 2000 bits of information per second while the unconscious (paleomammalian) mind process about 4 billion. You may be the conscious rider of the unconscious elephant, but if the elephant decides it does not want to follow your directions, you don’t have enough strength to stop it. Now you are getting an idea of why change is so hard. This is analogous to trying to use willpower (the rider) against emotional and psychological drives (the elephant). The goal is to never make it a battle, understanding how our fascinating bodies work, we can experience the ride and see where it takes us.  When your feelings take you off in an unplanned direction figure out what really was the trigger – what is the real reward?  Often habitual responses and practices aren’t really what were after but the mask some essential truth that we need to get to. 

So why does this have any relevance to our program?  – By following the program guidelines we are resetting our biochemistry back to its original intent – we aren’t bombarding our cells with excess hormones so the receptors will regenerate and all elements in our bodies can do the jobs they were meant to do.  All of this takes place in our Limbic system. So what we want to do, or feel, becomes what we think we should do and finally what we actually do.  Harmony across all three layers of our brains! 

So as part of your program you must find ways to lower stress in your life, treat yourself well, and relax.  We talked about and practiced breathing exercises as a method of slowing our heartbeat and “turning on “ our parasympathetic nervous system.  We discussed how we not in control of the people around us and the situation we often find our ourselves in but we DO CONTROL OUR PERSPECTIVE so we discussed methods to leverage our new found knowledge of our physiology to treat stressful situations as an opportunity to learn more about our own bodies and how they respond to stress – not allowing our brains to be hijacked in to habitual behaviors but being open to the entire experience and hopefully changing the outcome and therefore improving our stress response. Laughter, massage, visualization, and focusing on what you are truly grateful for in your life all help as well, and most importantly SLEEP so your body has adequate time to repair itself. 

 So here are your last assignments 

        Keep your notebook or other appropriate folder organized and up to date so you can use the materials from class to use as a reference                

     Write out a commitment to yourself on what you want to do next.  Reflect on what you have learned about your own body and how you feel and write out a commitment that you feel will keep you exploring and optimizing your own diet and lifestyle to optimize your health through the end of the year. 

    Watch this great video I found on a chef making bone broth – I make mine exactly the same way (don’t skip the deglaze it’s the best part), except I haven’t used tomatoes yet, and I add in kombu (organic sea weed – looks just like kelp) to improve the breakdown and utilization of the nutrients such as minerals and cartilage from the bones. There is nothing you can do that is better for your health and your wallet than mattering this skill. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBBmz-TqJNs&feature=related  and be sure to cook to on low heat for at least 24 hours

 Watch this video referenced in class last night on how Perception of Stress not Stress itself is unhealthy  http://www.ted.com/talks/kelly_mcgonigal_how_to_make_stress_your_friend.html 

And Finally - Watch this great video on how to unlock repeating destructive thought patterns and change your reactionshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BkI8LD24y0

  So a few videos but really worth watching – hmmm put them on while you are making bone broth! 

 I wish you Health

Week 4:

Congratulation!  You heading into your final week of your Paleo Challenge  For some of you this is a refinement, while for others it is life altering – changing the way you think about your bodies and your food and how they work together.  My hope for all of you, regardless of where you are in your own journey to optimal health, is that you walk away with a sense of hope and wonder about just how amazing our bodies are and with the right information (food, sleep, support) just how good life can be.

 I am going to move your assignments for the week up to the front because this weeks post is really long and I don’t want any of you to doze off before you get to the end.
So here are your assignments for the week:

·      Read all of the materials attached to this email, print it out if you want and use it as a reference

  • Eat as CLEAN as possible as defined in your Program Guide
  • To maximize your anti-oxidants and other wonderful phytonutrient consumption try and have at least 75% (in volume) of each meal in the form of low glycemic (from column one in your food guide) vegetables at each meal.

Week 3:

Hello all!

I am conducting a focus group this weekend as part of my master’s thesis research so will not be able to at ten Sundays meeting.  Lori and Tim are more then competent in answering your questions but I wanted you to have next weeks lesson in advance so you could ask anything you want at Sunday’s checkin on the extremely important topic of blood sugar.
So in advance – here is your week three support email.

First of all please know that you are all getting the hang of this and I know it’s a lot of information – but you’re doing great.  Last week’s email, attachments, and online video links were intended to provide a deeper understanding into our digestive system and how to make the right choices to improve and maintain a healthy gut.  We begin with the digestive system because gut health is the key to improving our immunity and in reducing chronic inflammation. We learned about anti-nutrients and possible toxins and allergens that compromise our gut health.

As a reminder you should all be taking your fish oil – I STRONGLY recommend the one Tim has avail be from Apex Energetics,  it the purest and most readily absorbable one I have found. 

Fish Oil – 1 tablespoon in the AM and 1 Tablespoon in the PM

This week we move into a discussion on how to maintain our blood sugar levels for maximum energy, endurance, and overall health.  This area is one of the LARGEST issues facing health in America and the Standard American Diet or SAD has created a health crisis in our country.  Our recommended  “food pyramid” is built on sugar and it is quite literally killing us.

  Starting Program Week 3    Blood Sugar Regulation   


·         Understand the roles of macro nutrients and how they each influence blood sugar regulation

·         Understand how hormones and exercise play key roles in how we use and store sugar, fat and protein

Too high or low blood sugar levels are toxic and even fatal so our bodies in their glorious wisdom have hormones that work to maintain an optimum balance for us.  The hormone that decreases blood sugar is (Insulin).  We also have five + hormones that increase blood sugar (Glucagon, Catecholamine (or the adrenal hormones), Growth Hormone, Corticosteroids, and Progesterone during pregnancy).  One poor hormone to decrease blood sugar, and at least five to lower it.  Hmmm, clearly a design flaw or perhaps we were never intended to eat so much sugar or carbohydrates (which are of course sugar)!  “Dysglycemia” is the chronic state of high or low blood sugar and it wrecks systemic havoc on our bodies.

Our hormones regulate our fat storage as well as our cravings and hunger levels.  They are also critical in building bones and muscle tissue, and regulate our moods and energy levels.  Insulin is the hormone that stores excess glucose in the cells as fat.  Glucagon is the hormone that releases stored body fat so it can be used for energy. Glucagon’s primary job is to maintain stable blood sugar levels.  The pancreas, in response to adequate protein from meals, stimulates glucagon.  When insulin levels are high, fewer calories are burned and more calories are transformed to fat. Conversely, when insulin levels are low, more calories are burned, fewer calories turn into fat, and body weight tends to decrease. Body fat can’t be burned when the body is busy converting excess carbohydrates into more body fat. Losing excess fat is a matter of controlling blood sugar. By controlling blood sugars, you control the storage of fat.

An additional hormone is also involved in our metabolic functions. Leptin acts as a gatekeeper for fat metabolism, monitoring and maintaining the energy balance in the body, and regulating hunger. Leptin is secreted by fat cells and is received by receptors in the hypothalamus. If leptin is absent, or repressed, hunger becomes relentless. In normally healthy people, leptin acts to trigger satiety.  Leptin signals the body that it has adequate adipose tissue (energy) stores and reduces appetite.  High levels of sugar, especially fructose, and corresponding insulin in the blood stream, blocks the leptin signal so even though energy consumed is more than adequate the body continues to signal hunger driving over consumption, leading to higher glucose stored as fat, which releases higher leptin which is in turn blocked by the, higher glucose.  This cycle continues until the leptin and insulin receptors become resistant and cease functioning all together.

Eating carbohydrates increases glucose in the blood stream.  Insulin’s job is to remove excess glucose from the bloodstream as fast as possible, which means, these excess carbohydrates get stored in your body as fat. It is now known that insulin also tells the body not to burn any stored fat. So there is a compound effect from excess carbohydrates; carbohydrates get converted to new fat, and the old fat doesn’t get metabolized or burned. Protein and fat also trigger feelings of satiation, while carbohydrates do the opposite, resulting in cravings and hunger and dissatisfaction.

Normalize your blood sugar by eliminating processed foods from your diet, eat the majority of your carbohydrates in the form of low glycemic vegetables (lots of micronutrients and fiber), include healthy protein in snacks and meals to trigger the production of glucagon, use fat for energy, exercise to increase insulin sensitivity, and try and short fast (skip a meal or two) to increase the production of growth hormone.

Really – this is the key to aging without decay, energy without damage, and optimal body composition.

So here are your assignments for the week:

·      Try making the grass-fed chili recipe included in your sample package.  

·         Read all of the materials attached to this email 

·         Eat as CLEAN as defined in your Program Guide as possible

·         Continue or begin to exercise at whatever is appropriate to your level – continuing to add in a “fasted” (on an empty stomach) slow walk/bike/hike at least once a week but more frequently if possible

HOME WORK DUE for the week:

Please watch the following videos:

Dr. Robert Lustig  UCSF explains the biochemical shifts that sugar causes



 Good Luck and Cheers, and have a great time this Sunday - Sarah


Ok great start – wherever you are in the process, you’re on the way to being the best version of you, you can be!

Starting Program Week 2: Digestive System, Immune System & Inflammation     



  • Understand the impact of “anti-nutrients” and allergens in the body
  • Understand chronic inflammation
  • Understand “gut health”


First let’s review the five basic principles of Healthy Eating

1.             Eat whole foods – Stop Adding Toxins to your body

Our food supply is a complex web.  Each choice we make has a ripple that impact how our food is raised and grown, harvested, packaged, transported treated and how our planet is sustained or destroyed.  When we eat food provided by nature in its most natural forms, it promotes health, healing, and immunity against future ailments.

2.     Avoid modern, processed, and refined foods

These include grains, pastured dairy, industrial seed oils, and artificial or refined sugar.  If it has to pass through a factory before it is edible for you, reconsider whether it is actually “food”.

3.     Eat to maintain proper digestive function

Everyone has different reactions to certain foods and it is essential to determine what foods cause disruptions to your own digestion.  The ability to fight chronic and even acute disease begins in the digestive system.

4.     Eat to maintain proper blood sugar regulation

Chronic and excessive high blood sugar is toxic to the body and results in a cascade of disease and dysregulation across all of the bodies systems.

5.     Make it work for you

There is no single plan that is right for everyone.  First get yourself to a baseline of clean health and then experiment with foods, timing and quantities to optimize your own personal plan that works for you.

This week we will focus on inflammation and immunity.  At least 60% of our immune system resides in our gut in the form of Gut Associated Lymphoid Tissue (GALT) so by focusing on how healthy your gut is will lead to our overall health – It starts in the gut.

The reason a 30 day Paleo challenge removes certain foods like grains and legumes and limits nuts is more than just because our Paleolithic ancestors did not eat this way.  First gluten and other elements of grains account for food sensitivities in many people, not just those with Celiac disease, but many other manifestations including several autoimmune diseases.  The impact of elements contained in these foods such as, lectins (more information attached) and other anti-nutrients have on our digestive track can lead to an immune response, run amok, creating chronic inflammation. They also create a imbalance in our Essential Fatty Acid (Omega 3 and Omega 6) which can also lead an inflammatory cascade.  Remember to take your fish oil – and please read the attached flyer!

I would like you all to try the Chicken Curry recipe sent to you last week in the “Sample Recipes” as a wonderful way to eat your way to reducing inflammation in your body. I created this dish to showcase the way you can use food as medicine as the ingredients, onion, garlic, turmeric, cumin, ginger and the amino acids in the chicken are all serve to support anti-inflammatory actions in the body and are boosted by beta-carotene which is the form of vitamin A found in bright orange vegetables.  This is a really easy recipe that has a WOW impact when served so please try and make it this week.

Here are your assignments for the week:

  • Please make the chicken curry recipe
  •       Read all of the materials attached to this email
  • Eat as CLEAN as defined in your Program Guide as possible
  •       Continue or begin to exercise at whatever is appropriate to your level – adding in a “fasted” (on an empty stomach) slow walk/bike/hike at least once a week but more frequently if possible


  • Please watch the following videos:

Video from the Dr. that wrote “Wheat Belly” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrYg22BU9oU&feature=related

A concise overview of lectins http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaGyjoc9DOY

Have a Great Week!

Hello Paleo Challenge 2014!

Welcome to the first week of your Paleo Challenge

Thank you everyone for coming to the kick off Sunday, it was great to see all of you and I am really excited about working with you.  For some of you this is a refinement and for others a whole new way of thinking about how to eat.  It doesn’t matter where your starting from just that you started!  Please find below a summary of what we covered.  If you have any questions during the week on the materials or how to apply them, please post it to the nutrition tab at the CrossFit SR website and I will get back to you within twenty-four hours based on my schedule and other commitments.  If you have a personal question then please feel free to email me directly.

Kick Off Meeting and Introduction

This Program is structured to:

1.    Support you body’s natural detoxification pathways

2.    Reset you body’s biochemistry to increase cell receptivity and cell renewal

3.    Optimize body composition by promoting lean tissue growth and repair, and reducing excess fat

4.    Reduce chronic Inflammation, which underlies most illness, disease, and discomfort

In our first class we reviewed the Instructions for the Program – Please read them again carefully

We reviewed the Food Guide – Again please read them again carefully and ask any questions you may have.

Please read the attached information on Epigenetics or another way to think about it  – how incredibly fast our bodies renew themselves and how OUR choices on what to eat, think, move impact our health.  Which future version of you do you want to be in 28 days?

If your goal is the fastest possible fat loss then – dramatically reduce all fruit and nuts and make your food choices from the first column of low GI selections.  For everyone – when in doubt EAT MORE VEGETABLES.

If you are primarily focused on promoting your over all health and are happy with slower body composition changes, you are welcome to make any selections from the food guide.  Be guided by how certain foods make you feel.

If your goal is to build lean body mass primarily muscle, then you need to increase protein to around 1-1.4 grams per lean body mass (around 80you’re your total weight) and add in more choices from the medium GI list especially post work out.  Your most important meal is the one that FOLLOWS your work out.

Preparation is the key to success in healthy eating.  Prep food on the weekends for grab and go snacks during the week when you are pressed for time.  Package up leftover dinners in to serving sizes and freeze for eating later in the week.  Go shopping and read labels carefully, hard boil eggs, chop vegetables, you get the idea.

So good luck in your first week – I can’t wait to hear your success stories!

Your assignments:

Read all of the materials handed out in class

Try some new recipes either in the Sample Recipes emailed to you, from links on the CrossFit San Ramon website, or from any other wonderful paleo blogs available on line.  One of my favorites in http://nomnompaleo.com/  As long as it meet the Food Guidelines you are good to go.

If you have time watch, the following videos that talk about epigenetics  – I love the idea that we are not locked in to our genetic history and that OUR choices determine our health and those around us!



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kp1bZEUgqVI&feature=related   (a bit silly but entertaining and educational)

Wishing you health and happiness!  Sarah


2 responses

  1. David Pate

    I think Sarah Pate is the most awesome person in the whole world!!!!

    December 6, 2011 at 12:00 pm

  2. T-Dog

    The way Sarah breaks everything down is really great, Makes it so easy to understand. I can’t wait for the next talk! yum paleo:) Thank you, Sarah!

    December 19, 2011 at 4:57 pm

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