If you read my previous post on the holidays, you know about the challenge I am participating in with my Crossfit box. If you didn’t, go check it out ;P
Basically it is a 6 week food tracking and working out challenge. Now, my workout regime has remained pretty consistent. I have been adding a little extra skill work at home here and there as well as doing RomWOD on a daily basis (my goal being not to miss a day). The toughest part I knew would be the food tracking…
We typically eat well but I have never been strict paleo so it has certainly been a change. But honestly, I thought it would be MUCH harder than it has been. The first couple days, the most difficult part was just figuring out how to balance everything and to make sure I was eating enough. Things that had become staples for me while I am on the go all day at work were now off limits entirely. My graze snacks, peanut and yogurt covered raisin based trail mixes, my fig bars. Those are all things that I could no longer have. So what now do I bring for snack?
I know it sounds like a horrible excuse, but the day time is the toughest for me as I am in my car and on the road 90% of the time. I have no access to heating anything up … And I am sorry but some things like brussels and peppers just do not taste good cold haha .. and I really don’t have the time to drive all over the place scoping out a strict paleo friendly place to get a meal to go. So I have had to figure out how to bring meals AND a snack or two along with me in the car and still meet all my requirements.
To no one’s surprise, I kind of fell short during this first week. I felt good overall but at workouts I was more tired than usual and I fatigued faster. I found myself dragging my feet towards the end of WODs and I was frustrated. My coach’s first response was to go through my food journals with me and point out all the instances where I had an obvious lack of carbs. I had never realized quite how much it took in veggie intake to meet an appropriate amount of carbohydrates for your body. I knew not to compensate with too much fruit so I was watching my fruit intake but I wasn’t making up for that in up-ing my veggie intake. Yikes! So there was my first lesson learned and after hearing that I am so ready to take the reigns and get on track with ALL my foods!
One thing that helped the most over the first week, and is something that I know I would like to try to continue, has been setting up crockpot meals or making things in abundance when possible in order to provide the ability to meal prep and to have lunches ready to go. It eliminates my excuses and allows me to get all the foods I need. If you have never tried this I SERIOUSLY recommend it. It really is a complete game changer when you are trying to focus on your foods… Especially when you are trying to calculate a specific intake of foods. Which leads me to my next point…
My coach’s biggest suggestion for me to ensure I am getting an adequate carb intake is to start zoning. The zone diet, in brief, lays out a prescribed number of “blocks” of food you should have for breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, and snack. I gives you a bit of a guideline to follow to make sure you are getting proportionate and well-balanced meals. Each meal by blocks (when done equally) is made up of 40, 30, 30 percentage of carbs to protein to fat. The biggest part of this being the carbs. I made my very first zoned breakfast this morning and HOLY VEGGIES! I was absolutely truthfully shocked by how many veggies make up a 3 block breakfast in order for me to get my prescribed carbs… I mean I could get used to this teehee…
If you are more interested in a really easy explanation of zone you can get out the article from Crossfit Journal here: http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/cfjissue21_May04.pdf
I have a feeling zone is going to be one of the most interesting journeys I have taken this far in my crossfit life. I am terrified ahah and excited and so ready to share my experiences with all of you!
My two tips taken from this first week of the Holly Jolly challenge are:
- Check your veggie intake! Most people DO NOT get enough vegetables. Even if you think you do, looking into it more for your body type is certainly worth the extra few minutes. Veggies will be the best way to give you energy, keep you full, and help you lose!
- MEAL PREP. MEAL PREP. MEAL PREP… Take one day to go grocery shopping and another to set up some crock pots, baking trays, large pots, etc. Devote half a day and just throw it all together at once and let it do its thing. It will be amazing for the rest of the week when your meals are so easy, healthy, AND delicious.
… If you have any questions or want some additional tips on zoning and meal prep, feel free to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a template and assistance in setting up your first week 🙂
Also, because you guys are such an amazing audience, I figured I would share with you a few of the recipes from our first week! 😀 Enjoy 😉
Two of the prep meals I made were my homemade chicken soup, which I have posted about a few times 🙂 – I love it THAT much – but minus the quinoa and with the addition of some more veggies to get in that carb intake. As well as this fun and SUPER EASY crockpot beef stew…
Paleo Crockpot Basic Beef Stew
- 2 lbs stew meat
- 1 6oz can tomato paste
- 1/2 large onion
- 5 celery stalks
- 5 carrots
- 32oz vegetable stock
- pink himalayan salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
- 2 tbsp coconut aminos
- Layer stew meat (chopped into chunks) in bottom of crockpot.
- Season lightly with pink salt and pepper.
- In a small bowl, mix tomato paste and coconut aminos until paste is lighter and spreadable.
- Spread mixture evenly across top of meat and sprinkle minced ginger on top.
- Chop onions, celery, and carrots into medium sized chunks.
- Layer veggies across top of meat in pot.
- Fill crockpot with vegetable stock until it is covering meat and all veggies.
- Cook on high for 4-6 hours.
Now even though meal prep recipes are amazing and simple and perfect, of course there are nights or times you might want something a little more fun. For that I offer you this INSANELY good and quick clam recipe we indulged in…
Super Simple Clams and Zoodles
- 2 medium zucchini
- 2 tbsp Kerry Gold butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 lb fresh clams
- 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp oregano
- Peel zucchini with julienne peeler to create long strips of zucchini, resembling noodles, and put aside in a paper towel lined bowl.
- Rinse and scrub fresh clams to ensure clean and rid of any sand.
- In a deep pan, heat butter and olive oil with garlic until there is an aroma.
- Add clams to pan and sprinkle red pepper flakes and oregano on top.
- Cover and cook just until clams open.
- Remove paper towel from zucchini bowl and microwave for 3 minutes.
- Add clams on top of zucchini and pour butter mixture over the top.
- Serve hot and enjoy.
And for when you have the uncontrollable sweet tooth, I whipped up a real simple, satisfying, and still following the guidelines of STRICT paleo apple dessert…
Simple Paleo Baked Apples
- 1 apple
- 1 small chunk Kerry Gold
- 1/2 tablespoon raw coconut crystals
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Slice off tops of apple and core them (This can be done by cutting a circle incision about 1/4 inch deep and scoop out the middle; ensuring to rid the apple of all seeds.)
- Chop up the tops of apple and place aside for later.
- Place small tab of butter, coconut crystals, and 1 tsp cinnamon in the now empty middle of the apple.
- Wrap in foil and bake for 20-25 mins.
- Unwrap apples and add apple chunks into the middle.
- Sprinkle with nutmeg and remaining cinnamon.
- Bake for an additional 10 mins.
… who says you have to break a good strict diet in order to enjoy some fun things in life :p 😉
If you want some other great recipes, you can check out a few of the ones we also used this week below…