This Zone stuff isn’t so bad, mostly because I always feel full. One of the reasons I started doing Zone is because I knew I would be eating four or five times a day. Eating Paleo and trying to eat only three meals a day wasn’t working. I get crazy hungry around 9am at work and then again about 3pm leaving work or when I get home. On Zone I can just have a “meal” even if it is just a smaller meal.
On Tuesday someone at work brought in a HUGE pan of leftover Christmas cookies. While they looked good I was never so hungry that I had to have one. I stayed full and never touched any of them. Then on Wednesday my boss brought in two dozen Krispy Kreme donuts. Again, never hungry enough to even be tempted. One work week down and I haven’t really craved sugar yet. I thought for sure that after all the cookies and treats I had over the holidays that I would get a crazy sugar craving this week. Hasn’t happened. Last night at pool it was easy to steer clear of alcohol, too.
My days so far have looked like this, or close to it.
- Protein shake + apple + a few almonds = 3 block meal to start the day after CrossFit
- The chili I made on Sunday + egg = 4 block meal
- Some sort of snack. Two days this week it was two hard boiled eggs and a Larabar or Kit bar = 3 blocks
- The “hamburger special” = 5 blocks
- Leaving me 5 blocks for dinner and I have weighed the meat my wife has made every night and then supplemented with veggies and peanut butter to round out a 5 block meal
That’s 20 blocks and a LOT of vegetables.
Then we had last night. I had eggs and fruit for my breakfast since I didn’t workout yesterday morning for a 4 block meal. Then I had the chili and hamburger stuff for a total of 9 blocks, but the helping of the hamburger special was sort of big so I rounded it up to 10 blocks. I had used 14 blocks as I headed out of work.
I planned my trip from work to pool league to stop at a 24 Hour Fitness to workout and then down the street was a Smashburger. I knew at Smashburger I can get a burger, without bun, with avocado to nail my protein and fat blocks and then I would indulge in their sweet potato fries for my carbs. I figured at worst it would be 6 blocks, but in reality it would probably be closer to 5 blocks protein, 4 blocks fat and 3-4 blocks carbs. No worries going over my 20 block limit for the day and I figure if I short myself a block, for as full as I have been feeling, that would be OK.
I arrive at Smashburger – CLOSED! WHAT?! Now what do I do? When you eat strict like this planning is so important that if a plan fails it is hard to go back to the drawing board.
Do I go to Chipotle? I know, now after eating Zone, that it would not be enough protein or carbs and probably a little too much fat. Qdoba? Same thing. Sweet Tomatoes? Way too many carbs and not near enough protein for sure.
This is when I just realized this isn’t going to be perfect. If I keep eating Paleo and don’t fulfill my block requirements I will live. I will be OK. Trust me…or…trust myself…or…you know what I am trying to say.
I went to the bar where we play pool because I knew they had a really good vegetable appetizer with a nice variety of vegetables. I ordered that without the cup of ranch dressing that comes with it, of course. I figure it was MAYBE 2 blocks of carbs. You don’t understand how many vegetables you need to eat to satisfy carb requirements until you do Zone.
Then I ordered the bacon mushroom burger without a bun and no BBQ sauce or cheese. For a side I opted for a cup of their green chili. When that arrived I was finishing up my vegetable app and everything looked satisfactory. When I made it to the burger I realized there was cheese on it. Oh well, I’m too hungry to send it back, so I ate it. I figure the burger was close to 4 blocks of protein and between the bacon and the pork in the green chili I probably had between 5 and 6 blocks of protein. I forgot to have them add avocado to my burger so I didn’t have any fat except the bacon. And, yes, I did not touch the tortilla that is mandatory with any sort of green chili here in Colorado.
I ended up with probably a meal that consisted of 6 blocks protein, 3 blocks carb and maybe 1 or 2 blocks fat in the form of any oils, cheese or bacon fat – maybe. Not exactly the ideal, evenly blocked meal, but it worked, for the most part, to stick to Paleo. I wasn’t hungry the rest of the night until I got home and even then I figure the hunger I experienced (5 hours after eating dinner) was mostly my mind telling me “hey, you, it’s time to snack. You always snack on something when you get home late before going to bed.” I didn’t snack.
I already told my wife that tonight after I go to the 4:30 CrossFit I am heading straight to Smashburger to satisfy my sweet potato fry craving.