Nell Stephenson on Paleo Endurance Athletes


Screen-Shot-2012-04-04-at-10.44.12-AM-220x300.pngI recently had the opportunity to interview Nell Stephenson of Nell is a highly successful endurance athlete, having placed 1st, 2nd, or 3rd several times in her age group in Ironman races around the country. And she does these feats of athleticism while eating a Paleo diet! She also co-authored The Paleo Diet Cookbook with the esteemed Dr. Loren Cordain, and her new book, Paleoista, is available for pre-sale right now on Amazon. She does Paleo lifestyle coaching with clients around the country, as well. Quite an achiever this one is.

I’m delighted to be able to share with you the detailed info of our interview, as I think the technicalities are often missing in blog posts about endurance athletes and Paleo.

You’ll have to excuse my slight nerves throughout the interview, as it’s the first one I’ve ever conducted. For instance, I mean to say “high intensity interval training” – not “high interval training” :) Also, please forgive that the interview begins mid-sentence when I realized that even our introductory chitchat was interesting. Below is an outline of our conversation. Please comment below if you still have questions or contact Nell or me for consulting if you need personalized help.

Intro How Nell and Neely’s bodies changed when they went Paleo

1:35 Who is Nell?

3:25 What are her athletic accomplishments and goals?

4:50 What are her thoughts on “chronic cardio” and does she think endurance training is unhealthy? Is it good for everybody?

7:50 What does her weekly training schedule look like?

11:00 How can eating Paleo work for endurance athletes? And why are people “failing” on Paleo when they’re very active?

14:25 What are the details of Nell’s diet? Includes particulars about breakfast, lunch, dinner, salt, smoothies, yams, fasting, what she eats during her long workouts, timing of meals, her non-Paleo foods, etc. If you want to know more details about her diet, she’s blogged extensively about it here.

24:10 Nell’s thoughts on calorie counting for herself and endurance athletes in general.

27:55 Does Nell use intermittent fasting? And what are her thoughts on IF for the general public? If you want to know more about what Neely thinks about intermittent fasting, read this.

29:44 How was Nell’s transition from non-Paleo to Paleo? And how did her athletic performance and health change?

33:10 What does Nell think about using mostly fat for fuel during long endurance workouts/races? And what are her thoughts on the very low-carb Paleo philosophy?