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Whole30 for Triathletes


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New to this site, but I took many of the fundamentals of the Paleo Diet years back and made a few adjustments that meet my needs.  Giving up dairy, added sugars, flours, and refined/processed food improved my life so much.  Mood, energy, and skin quality all have seen a boost.  


Being a triathlete there are a few foods I couldn't give up that I like to have pre or post workout.  Love myself a mixture of oatmeal, quinoa, chia seeds, blue berries, and sprinkled Sun Warrior protein powder.  From time to time a slice of Ezekiel bread with avocado, egg, and smoked salmon is great as well.  


Only way I can maintain the Paleo Diet long term.  Can only have so much sweet potato or fruit as a main carb source.

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Hey fellow triathlete! Same as you I started out Paleo. Potatoes and fruit are not the only carb sources, I don't eat sweet potatoes at all and tolerate only 1-2 pieces of fruit per day. And carbs are not your only fuel source! Think fat!

Oatmeal and bread are not Whole30, are you planning to do a Whole30?

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Hi Wes - I feel the same way as you and think a variety of whole-food carbohydrates have a place in an athlete's diet, but I still think it is worth your while to give up all grains for a mere thirty days and do a proper Whole30, complete with reintroductions. That way, you can add them back in one at a time and evaluate their effect on you.


After my first Whole30, I successfully reintroduced non-gluten whole grains (oats, quinoa) and felt good. But when gluten grains and sugars crept back in, it was a disaster - so much so, in fact, that I'm now doing a second Whole30 to get back to feeling good again! But, I never would have figured out how harmful they are to me (physically AND psychologically) if I hadn't cut out ALL grains and added sugars and followed the program as written.


During your Whole30, it is pretty easy to maintain your carb intake, if you choose to (I do, others don't), using a variety of starchy vegetables and moderate servings of fruit - not just potatoes! Or, you can use the thirty days to experiment with a lower carb intake and see how you feel and perform with a greater percentage of your calories coming from healthy fats. If you want to do that, though, expect a period of adjustment of one to two weeks where your performance declines before it returns to previous levels.


I would add that you may not want to take that route (of significantly lower carb intake than you are accustomed to) if you are training for an event that is important to you at the same time.

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If you are pretty happy with simply eating Paleo, what attracts you to the Whole30?

There are really lots of carb dense veggies besides sweet potato. Some I eat:

shredded rutabaga fried in a pan in the morning with onion, meat and/or eggs

Roasted root veggies: parsnips, carrots, turnips, butternut squash

Spaghetti squash with tomato sauce and meat or in 'pad Thai'

Velvety Butternut Squash (make this weekly, so good. It also powered me through a 100 mile race) - recipe on Well Fed website

Potatoes in any form (except deep fried) - baked, in soups, mashed, shredded/hash brown style, sautéed, roasted

Carrots made into fritters, added to soups, cooked with ghee and parsley, eaten raw

Delicata squash, sliced thin and roasted til just crisp

Kabocha squash, cut into wedges and roasted

Only you can make the decision whether to Whole30 or not. If you do, you need to commit fully for the 30 days with no caveats.

My husband wanted to do whole30 plus oatmeal but I told him no dice. When he reintroduced it he found it gave him some nasal congestion. All the small things can add up, and you'll never know if you don't put them aside and see.

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