Paleo Diet Helps World Champion Row Into the Record Books

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Naturally one would assume that world class athletes need large portions of super foods to perform at optimum level. Yet the Paleo Diet is proving that a distinct competitive advantage can be gained by simply eating in the way nature intended. In a compelling interview, record breaking rower Ursula Grobler reveals her winning dietary formula to Paleo Diet enthusiast and Paleo Cookbook author Nikki Young.

It is common knowledge that athletes follow strict diets to achieve sporting greatness, but what if there was a diet that required little effort at all, yet could take you from a rank outsider to the top of your field.

In just 4 years, female rower Ursula Grobler went from a learn to row class, to winning the Head of the Charles which is the largest regatta in the world. In early 2010, Ursula took the world by storm by becoming the world record holder for the fastest lightweight woman on the Concept 2 Ergometer. But besides being very talented, how did Ursula Grobler condition her body to shave an incredible two seconds off the previously held record?

While her fellow athletes wolf down heavy carbs in the form of pasta and oatmeal, Ursula maintains the required weight for her class and the power needed to be a champion by following the diet of our hunter gatherer ancestors. Ursula Grobler was introduced to the Paleo Diet by a fellow athlete, and nutritionist Neil Stephenson to guide her along the Paleo path, she shed the weight needed to become the leading lady in her class.

Ursula immediately noticed the effects of switching to Paleo eating, she explains, “the first thing was my recovery. I came to training the next day feeling energised. I could perform well with less sleep and I was more focused, I felt more stable and a sense of better wellbeing in general”.

Listening to the world champion speak, Paleo living is clearly a no brainer. Citing berries, nuts, sweet potatoes, salads, salmon, lean steak, steamed veggies, mangoes and bananas as part of her daily diet, it becomes apparent that the rest of us would also benefit from focusing our taste buds on these everyday foods.

Ursula Grobler’s success is of course down to hard work and dedication, but there is no doubt that Paleo eating has facilitated her ability to maintain the weight and power needed to excel beyond her competitors. When asked about her secret to breaking the World Record for Lightweight Women at the annual Northwest Indoor rowing competition in Seattle, Ursula simply says; “My diet stayed mainly the same. Lots of fruits and veggies. I was a little more conscious of my nuts and changed my lean protein source to mainly fish”.

Could the difference between successful and average really be down to something as simple as food?

The proof as they say is in the pudding, and ironically the Paleo Diet does now have its very own dessert options. Paleo Diet enthusiast Nikki Young has devised 310 scrumptious Paleo recipes which include multiple snack, main meal and dessert options. Eating like a champion is now not only easy, but tasty.

You may not want to become a world class rower, but undeniably the majority of us want to look as lean and healthy as Ursula Grobler does. Previously, looking as fit as an athlete was something the majority of us could only fantasize about whilst flicking through diet magazines in the doctors surgery, but those days have passed. By eating a natural diet, free of preservatives, processed sugars and high salt volumes, we can maintain a healthy weight, increase our energy levels, sleep better, boost our immune system and live longer.

With the help of a Paleo Diet, Ursula Grobler is busy training for the 2012 Olympics. A shining example of what can be achieved with the correct dietary knowledge and a diligent attitude, Ursula Grobler is living proof that Paleo eating not only works, but can dramatically change us into successful, high achieving individuals.

To read the full Ursula Grobler interview, and for further information on Nikki Young’s Paleo Cookbooks, go to

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