How many vegetables is 12 blocks of carbs on The Zone diet?

Quick and as easy as possible is how I like my recipes. That’s why I love my “hamburger special”. It’s fast and easy…or so it used to be.

Prior to Zone I browned two pounds of hamburger, added one whole pepper (diced), one whole onion (diced) and about a handful of jalapenos and let all of that simmer for about 10 minutes. I would then cut up about 2 cups of pickles and put on the bottom of my Tupperware containers and add the mixture in the pan on top. Mix together. Store. Warmup and add mustard and it was like eating a hamburger.

Well, I wasn’t getting NEARLY enough carbohydrates or healthy fats in my concoction (nor was I trying prior to Zone). This is what my hamburger special looks like in pictures from this passed weekend.

I knew, after my mistake last weekend, that two pounds of frozen ground hamburger is not how protein blocks are calculated. It is COOKED hamburger. This time I was going to target three five block meals for the week. I figured two pounds of ground hamburger would net me 15 blocks of protein after cooked. Now I needed 15 blocks of carbs and 15 blocks of fat.

  • 50 olives = 10 blocks of fat
  • 1 2/3 tsp of olive oil = 5 blocks of fat

== of 15 blocks of fat

  • 4c cauliflower = 2 blocks of carbs
  • 4c broccoli = 2 blocks of carbs
  • 1 1/3c onion = 2 blocks of carbs
  • 3c mushrooms = 1 block carbs
  • 2 1/2c peppers = 2 block carbs
  • 2c tomatoes = 2 block carbs
  • 2c celery = 1 block carbs

== 12 blocks of carbs

I also cut up 2c of pickles to get more carbs. I made a sweet potato mash yesterday, too, with raisins, which would likely be slightly more than the 4 blocks of carbs I needed for the meal they would participate in. So I figured, after seeing the mountain of vegetables I had cut, that if I was a block or so short in my hamburger special that I would survive.

Here is what 10 blocks of vegetables and 10 blocks of olives look like:

20140112_133007_resizedThat is basically one of those butter containers (left of bowl) full of cauliflower and one full of broccoli, 2/3 of an onion, a lot of mushrooms, two full peppers (one red and one green), two tomatoes and five celery stalks on top of 50 olives (approximately – two cans and I counted 24 olives in one of those cans last weekend.)

After the meat was browned I drained from most of the fat and weighed. It came out to just over the 15 blocks I needed. In this case I figured an extra half block of protein every meal wouldn’t kill me.

20140112_135116_resizedI put all of the vegetables and olives into the pot that the hamburger had cooked in and added my olive oil. The pot was nearly full. I mixed it all together and let it simmer. I mixed it again every five minutes or so for about 15 minutes. After it had cooked for 15-20 minutes the vegetables had reduced enough to allow me to add the meat into the pot and not make a huge mess. I mixed it all together some more and let it cook, again stirring every five minutes or so, for another 20 minutes. While this was cooking I cut up the pickles and added to the Tupperware.

On a side note: see that salt shaker next to the meat? That was full of salt and that bottom fell out just as I put the salt into the cupboard….I almost had it in the cupboard. The salt didn’t fall all over the counter, oh no, my laptop was sitting right there. My laptop was covered in salt. Good times.

I picked out three containers I thought would sufficiently evenly hold the mixture. I guessed wrong. Here are my three five block meals ready for the week (each meal is one big container and one small).

20140112_142358_resizedI will take these to work along with mustard. It is really tasty.

One comment on “How many vegetables is 12 blocks of carbs on The Zone diet?

  1. Michelle says:

    Great Post!!!

    The Zone was the missing piece to the puzzle for me and a pinnacle discovery in my training. I started feeling better both mentally and physically, which allowed me to push harder within my training and performance, thus resulting in a leaner, stronger, happier, and fitter me!!!

    My thoughts and experience on the Zone Diet below:

    Take Care,


Leave a Reply to Michelle Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s