I’m freaking exhausted

I am not a smart man. People who know me know this. Case in point:

I have been doing the Zone diet since around the 1st of the year. The point of the Zone is that you can add or subtract “blocks” from your diet to impact weight gain or loss. You can also track your performance in the gym. If you add too many blocks you might get sluggish and start to gain weight (or maybe you are trying to gain for strength purposes in the gym). You can subtract blocks and attempt to lose weight, but at the same time try to see if your performance in the gym drops. The perfect harmony comes when you find the right block amount and continue to make gains in the gym, either in strength or time domains to complete a WOD or both.

I started off using 20-21 blocks per day. And my first mistake came when I didn’t get my body fat tested to help me figure out how many blocks I should get a day. I still haven’t done this and when you calculate your blocks your body fat percentage is key.

Along with stupid I am lazy and cut corners. Continue reading

My Zone scheduling for the week

My sausage concoction for the week

My sausage concoction for the week

Thanks to a short week I only planned for eight four block meals for the week at work. I decided that 19 blocks might be too many for me and am going to go with 18 for this week. The beauty of Zone is you can play like this, see how your body reacts or your performance in the gym changes and then adjust accordingly. I have lost about five pounds since going Zone and while a lot of that might just be the excess crap I ate over the holidays, I think I can keep pushing it and lose some more weight. Now the real goal is to lose weight and keep performing well in the gym. So I am cutting back a little more this week and see if I can sustain in the gym.

My schedule for this week will be four blocks after CrossFit, four blocks around 8 or 9am, two blocks around 11 or 12, four blocks around 2pm and then four blocks for dinner.

I put together the newsletter for my CrossFit box and this month the recipe of the month sounded tasty so I ran with it yesterday.

I put 11 Italian sausages into a crock pot. I figured they were about three blocks of protein each which gave me 33 blocks and I rounded that down to 32 blocks. Just happens to be perfect for eight four block meals. I then added about a half a jar of red pasta sauce which was leftover from spaghetti squash a few weeks ago and two 14 ounce cans of diced tomatoes which I figured at four blocks of carbs. Six cups of mushrooms and four peppers added another six blocks. A full onion made my carb block count 12. I cooked all of that on low for a little over eight hours. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Smashburger is closed?! Now what do I do

I can’t WAIT for these tonight

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. Continue reading

My first day on the Zone

I refuse to call it a diet…this is more of an attempt to re-calibrate my eyes to proper portion sizes.

Over the past year I have done pretty damn good at eating Paleo. I won’t say I am 100% Paleo and I won’t try to put a percentage on it, but for most of the year – food wise…damn diet soda – I have eaten Paleo every meal of everyday except Friday or Saturday dinners the vast majority of the weeks. I would have a beer or two per week and did drink diet soda, other than that I would guess I didn’t have one slice of bread from January 1st to maybe sometime in December (I did have a roll with dinner the other day). I ate very, very little cheese and rarely drank milk. I stayed gluten free….minus the freaking beer… I did have rice with my Chipotle every-so-often, but I can’t recall ever having a tortilla.

If you read Robb Wolf or The Whole 9 they advocate eating three meals per day and eating as much as you like, or need, to keep full. Unfortunately I am not good at sticking to three meals, but the “eat until you are full” bit has kept me away from worrying about portion sizes. I haven’t concerned myself with protein to carb to fat ratios either. I just eat a lot of meat and a lot of veggies. I probably eat too much protein and not enough carbs and certainly not enough fat. I eat guac or avocados with breakfast often, but that’s about it. I guess nuts are a fat…anyway, I haven’t worried about that. Continue reading