Everything wrong with our nutrition in one simple commercial

OK, I have to admit, I can’t find the commercial in question….so…bear with me.

I was watching Good Morning America and a commercial for Jimmy Dean Delights aired. This particular commercial had two ladies sitting at a table around lunch time eating a salad. Of course, the salad was just a bowl of ice berg lettuce, and I am not exaggerating. They were both bummed that that was what they had to eat for lunch – and who wouldn’t be?! Then comes in a moron dressed like the sun and he suggests some Jimmy Dean Delights for lunch time, like a ham and cheese sandwich – all under 300 calories!

We have all seen the sun:

This is where we go SOOOO wrong with our nutrition.

If you do a salad right, then you do like I do. I have salad often and it can be really, really simple yet tasty and very nutritious. For example, several times last week I brought some spinach and lettuce for a base, topped with part of a packet of vegetables (pre packaged broccoli, zucchini stems, carrots and some sort of bean pod – all fresh, no additives), tuna I found at Costco with NO SOY (so happy to find tuna with no soy!), raisins and mayo (homemade with egg, mustard and olive oil). I get my protein, carbs and fat all with minimal ingredients and high quality.

Let’s compare with the ingredients from the ham sandwich that Jimmy Dean is selling (straight from their website):

INGREDIENTS: PRETZEL ROLL: ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMIN MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID), WATER, SUGAR, SOYBEAN OIL, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF YEAST, SALT, BAKING SODA, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, SOY FIBER, CALCIUM SULFATE, CALCIUM PEROXIDE, DIAMMONIUM PHOSPHATE, TRICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, GUAR GUM, CALCIUM CARBONATE, DATEM, ASCORBIC ACID, ENZYMES, NATURAL & ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, DEXTROSE, MALTODEXTRIN, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, AUTOLYZED YEAST EXTRACT, SILICON DIOXIDE, CALCIUM PROPIONATE (PRESERVATIVE). SMOKED HAM: CURED WITH WATER, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS: SALT, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, SUGAR, POTASSIUM LACTATE, SODIUM LACTATE, SODIUM PHOSPHATE, DEXTROSE, SMOKE FLAVOR, SODIUM DIACETATE, SODIUM ERYTHORBATE, SODIUM NITRITE. SHARP CHEDDAR CHEESE: PASTEURIZED MILK, CHEESE CULTURES, SALT, ENZYMES AND ANNATTO COLOR.

That’s a LOT to take in. What if we just focus on the ham. I mean, it’s just ham, right? Just some pork? Not even close.

SMOKED HAM: CURED WITH WATER, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS: SALT, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, SUGAR, POTASSIUM LACTATE, SODIUM LACTATE, SODIUM PHOSPHATE, DEXTROSE, SMOKE FLAVOR, SODIUM DIACETATE, SODIUM ERYTHORBATE, SODIUM NITRITE

That is 13 ingredients in HAM. HAM!! Why does it need so many? Why does it need SUGAR?! Why does it need SOY?! It’s just plain gross.

But, hey, it’s only 300 calories (or less)!!

In that sandwich with a pretzel roll, ham and cheese we have 46 ingredients – and I am not even sure that is correct. I can’t tell when some of that “food” ends and the next “food” ingredient begins. What in the ever living fuck is DIAMMONIUM PHOSPHATE and TRICALCIUM PHOSPHATE??

I don’t think I need to go any further. Sure, the Jimmy Dean “food” is cheap and easy, but since when is cheap and easy good? If I buy a car I don’t want cheap and easy and when I buy a car I plan on having it for 5-10 years, if I am lucky. I hope to have this body for a lot longer than 5-10 years.

Eat real food, people.

I stopped counting calories. Already.

A few weeks ago I thought it would be a good idea to count my calories. I gave it a solid four weeks. I started this in hopes of losing a few pounds, and that didn’t happen. But that isn’t why I stopped.

I stopped tracking my calories this week because I found myself eating food based on caloric value rather than nutritional value. It became too easy to have food x because it wasn’t that high in calories. I was still eating mostly Paleo while doing this, but it was becoming easier and easier to justify a tortilla when I went to Chipotle. In many cases I would justify it because I thought I NEEDED the calories. When I get Chipotle, according to their website, my burrito bowl is about 625 calories – rice, veggies, chicken, two scoops of mild, one green and guac – 625 calories. In many cases for me to get to my goal of about 2600 calories a day I needed more calories.

This led to cheating more when eating out. Instead of getting a salad, as I often do, when eating out, I would have a burger with a bun or bread. I would have regular fries or maybe some tortilla chips.

Then came McDonald’s. Hey – they egg mcmuffin is only 300 calories and if I don’t get butter? Only 270! I can have two of those!

This wasn’t good. Obviously.

This was turning into something more closely related to Weight Watchers than eating whole, quality foods.

The scale wasn’t changing, I am still right around 210 pounds. I didn’t notice any changes in clothing or appearance, either. The gym wasn’t impacted by my poorer food choices, either…until this past weekend.

This past weekend was the Great American Beef Festival. I like beer. I volunteer at the GABF every year for the past five years. Typically the diet goes off during this period for obvious reasons, but this time I tried to keep track of my calories during the event. On Thursday night I had the equivalent of about one beer or about 16 ounces of beer. On Friday night I had about three beers worth. Not too shabby. I did a good job avoiding the big ass cookies in the volunteer area by breaking off a chunk of one and eating that instead of the whole thing. I didn’t over indulge on pretzels. In fact, I kept them to a minimum considering. On Friday night I went out with my wife after GABF and we had a cheat meal, but nothing way out of the ordinary for a cheat meal for myself on the weekend (I typically have one meal where I go off Paleo on the weekends). On Saturday I don’t drink, but I still volunteer and I went to Which Wich after for lunch (again, it was all about the calories). Then I had a burrito that night with the family. It was far from an idea three day period for someone who likes to eat Paleo, but it happens. It has to happen to keep your sanity. But then the next day at the gym happened.

During all of this I didn’t get too far off of my ideal caloric intake. I was right around my 2500 calories per day. But on Sunday morning I felt like SHIT while at the gym. I ate pretty clean on Sunday in hopes to get back to normal, but on Monday I felt really heavy, too. While my calories were inline with what I should intake, now my performance was starting to suffer.

Sure, it might be unfair to make this judgement after an extreme three day period like I had this weekend, but I think that is the avenue I was headed down. If I was going to spend all this time and effort researching how many calories are in various foods and recipes, checking websites for calorie information and weighing and measuring my foods I better see a response for the effort – and I didn’t see it. Why waste the time and energy doing that if I wasn’t going to see any results? And when it starts to make my mind think McDonald’s is OK? I need to step back and take a second look.

The problem I was trying to address originally was that I might not be eating ENOUGH calories to sustain and/or allow my body to burn fat. That I might be starvation mode at times. How do I track that if I am not tracking calories? I guess I am not.

These final pesky pounds I would like to use will just need to come off in time? Maybe a cleanse is needed to rid myself of some junk in my intestinal track? I have never done one of those…I guess without getting professional help and finding out exactly what I need to intake to lose weight, yet sustain performance in the gym, I might need an expert. I am unable to do so myself. Is losing 15 pounds worth the money? I don’t know the answer to that.

A few videos of me #opt

Thanks to OPT programming I had to do these today:

I have never done a weighted legless rope climb before, until this morning. I think I could have gone heavier if the descent wasn’t so awkward with the weight between my legs.

Thanks to OPT programming I have added 15 pounds to my snatch over the past three months or so. I was stuck at 165/170 for a long time. 185 isn’t huge by any means, but it gives me hope that I will get my goal of 200 someday (a goal I set a few years ago).

And I really got to wondering why I made 185 just a few minutes after missing it. So I analyzed. Look like I moved my butt up way too early and pulled the bar back into me instead of straight up, in the miss.

http://www.coachseye.com/v/zy6b

Just another week in the gym. Love it.

Tracking my calories

I have eaten Paleo for about two years now. I’m not perfect, far from it, but that is the basic structure to which my nutrition is built. I generally eat what I want and however much of it is I eat as long as it is Paleo. I cheat once or twice a week (meals, not days) and I have found that eating this way has helped me maintain my weight. I go on binges on vacations and maybe add a few pounds, but when I return to my normal Paleo way of eating the few pounds drop back off. I tend to hover around 207-212 pounds.

I have known this is a bit heavy for me, but I haven’t figured out how to lose the additional 10-15 pounds I could stand to lose. People don’t think I need to lose weight, or that’s what they tell me, but most of them haven’t seen me with my shirt off, either! They would most likely then agree that I could stand to lose a few additional pounds.

I will be one of the first to say to not listen to the scale to determine your health. Your health can be seen in other numbers. As I mentioned at the end of my entry yesterday my performance in the gym is still trending towards the good side with numerous PR’s in the past few months. I started to regularly buy medium sized golf shirts and they fit me comfortably (I remember when I could fit into a large how happy I was). My waist size is still the same, but I have started buying bigger jeans simply for the comfort of my legs. All signs point to continued health except the scale, and more importantly the fat around my mid section. My wife thinks it is loose skin from the 100+ pounds I lost in about three years, but the more I read on that the more I don’t believe that is what it is. That “loose skin” is actually a certain type of fat that is hard to lose.

Enter a blog post that Rudy from The Outlaw Way linked to last week. Continue reading

Comp results

Boy oh boy do I think I am fitter than I really am! In nearly every event I did worse than I predicted I would do.

And I cannot sit down today. I fall down when attempting to sit in any chair. Falling onto the toilet is not fun. Going UP stairs is OK, going DOWN stairs sucks. My quads are lit up. Bending over to pick something off of the ground isn’t the best, either, but my hammy’s aren’t as sore as my quads.

I did do my walk yesterday, as programmed, but am not sure if it was a good idea at this point. I thought a light walk (albeit a little long) would be good to loosen up my muscles, but they are f-u-c-t this morning. No pain, just really sore. My walk yesterday was 1:50 for about 6.5 miles. From my house to the gym to run an Olympic lifting class.

Anyway, onto my results from Saturday.

WOD 1: AMRAP6 – one C&J (you pick weight) and four over the bar burpees Continue reading