I’ve Been Everywhere, Man

I’m so glad to be back. It’s been brilliant to be back in the facility and see you fine people again… I also love the heat: this is how weather is meant to be, in my opinion. Hot and muggy? Feels like home to me.

We’re coming up on the end of the first 4 weeks of the Great Paleo Experiment. So fast! It seems like just yesterday I was suffering migraine headaches from caffeine withdrawal. So, what kind of results have I seen?

Body weight: practically unchanged. The rumors that “paleo will automatically make you lose 30 pounds” are false, as expected. The math just doesn’t support that kind of assertion.

Measurements/Body Composition: Waist size unchanged. My clothes aren’t fitting any differently. Prior to Phase 2 I will take body fat measurements to help determine this more precisely in the future.

Strength: No noticeable difference – progress (or lack thereof) in my lifts as documented in my training log has been minimal. Certainly there has been no dramatic improvement since changing to a paleo diet. Of course, given that I eliminated 1000mg/day of caffeine in this process and lost no performance, a case could be made that I am more effectively strong now at a baseline… but all in all, my strength is a wash, even considering my increased training emphasis on it.

Speed: No noticeable difference. I haven’t repeated benchmarks from week 1 yet, but I will very soon.

Recovery: Here, at least, I have seen improvement. My time needed to recover from workouts has reduced significantly. I used to consume a fair amount of ibuprofen to reduce inflammation and get me back into a WOD every morning. Now, I haven’t taken ibuprofen in about 3 weeks. The high-quality food seems to be really helping me on this front. At some point, I may add back in dairy and gluten and sugar – each separately, each at 2-week intervals – just to test which foods reduce my recovery rate.

Overall, I am not impressed. I am not surprised, either. There is no magic pill, there is no magic prescription.

But then again, maybe I’m doing it wrong, still? My experience tells me that the way to lose weight is to eat less than I burn, using measurement and a calorie-restriction diet. This works. I’ve proven it in the past. I’m sure if I want to get serious about cutting again, it will work again. But what about paleo? Leon and more than a few others have suggested that more calories is the right answer. Maybe I could try that in earnest…

Speaking with EC Synkowski (of crossfit.com fame, an excellent oly lifter and traveling CrossFit instructor) at the Albany Regionals, she suggested another approach. I’m dubious… but I’m willing to give it a shot. After all, if the current approach isn’t working after 4 weeks, I think it’s reasonable to try another approach.

Therefore, coming Thursday: The EC Prescription for JT’s Paleo Experiment, Phase Two.

Friday 5/21/10

Eggs+sausage (250/40)
Juice (200/4)
Trail mix (300/12)
Punkinseeds (150/9)
Almonds (170/8)
Trail mix (800/20)
Fish 6oz arctic char (260/38)
Chicken 4oz (200/40)
TOTAL 2330 cals, 171g protein

I think it says something about my travel schedule that it took me a minute to remember where I was on Friday. I was at Fenway for the morning WOD, then off to Vermont for Rachel’s graduation from NECCA – New England Center for Circus Arts! Late night to bed, which makes for not enough sleep. Le sigh – the show was totally worth it.

From a travel food perspective, we found a great grocery co-op in Brattleboro, VT that had prepared foods with full ingredients listed, so I could get cooked fish and meat that I knew were still paleo. Yum! Meanwhile, almonds can ake the edge off between protein feedings, but I am starting to get desperate for more Paleo Jerky.

Saturday 5/22/10

Veggie omelette+fruit (360/25)
Turkey bacon (140/24)
Raw revo (280/8)
Salmon+broccoli (350/45)
Punkinseeds (300/18)
NY strip steak, 8oz (400/60)
Broccoli (100/10)
Salad (50/5)
6 sea scallops (150/30)
TOTAL 2130 cals, 225g protein

A very long day – started at 5:30am in Vermont, and ended at 10pm in Albany. Thankfully, there was plenty of protein through the day to keep me going!

Sunday 5/23/10

Veggie omelette+fruit (360/25)
Turkey bacon (140/24)
2 sausage links (160/8)
Paleocrunch (170/8)
Punkin seeds (150/9)
Paleocrunch (180/7)
10 oz sirloin (500/75)
Dry Salad (20)
Flax bar (200/7)
Apple slices (120/1)
Larabar (240/7)
Raisins (130/1)
Jerky (270/36)
TOTALS 2640/200

This was a long day at the CrossFit Regionals in Albany. I chose consciously to keep feeding on fruits and nuts to keep my energy high instead of doing what might come naturally and napping when my energy dropped. I did this because I wanted to be there for my people and my team, and didn’t want low energy on my part to bring anyone down.

Having only two big protein meals in a day was not good for me, though. Ah well, time to get back at it starting Monday.

Monday 5/24/10

Fruit (120/1)
Almonds (170/8)
Salad w chicken and fruit (300/45)
7oz filet (450/45)
Broccoli (80/8)
Almonds (170/8)
Lean ground beef, 1# (640/96)
Coconut bliss (220/2)
Ham (50/11)
AB+J (200/10)
Almond milk (100/4)
TOTAL 2500cals, 238g protein

Eating 1 pound of beef at a sitting equals no problem, for me. Finally, back to a house and I can cook. Except I’m at CFF at 5:30 to coach, head straight out to my office in Framingham at 9, and then in a white-collar environment for the day. At least I can eat lunch at Longhorns, which helps. I finished off the last of the faux ice cream because I wanted it. I felt kinda crappy and lethargic the next morning, though, so I definitely won’t be buying any more of that.

Next time: the 4-week weigh-in and the new EC prescription. Stay tuned!

5 thoughts on “I’ve Been Everywhere, Man”

  1. EC obv knows her stuff. I’ve been a lurking admirer from afar for a long time. I’m curious what she will prescribe for you and am following your blog with much interest.

    I think it may be useful to frame your journey in terms of goals. Ie, what are you “paleo-ing” for? This is turn may suggest modification to the diet as is. I’m glad you’re seeing a decrease in inflammation, which is expected. In terms of weight loss it’s mostly calorie in/calorie out as you’ve stated so your results again make sense, since you were eating near your BMR anyways. Body comp also not surprising since you’re pretty close to ideal anyways- although, if you think about it, you probably are eating more fat as a % of calories ingested, yet body fat has not gone up. That’s pretty useful info.

    If the goal is strength, I stand by my statement that you may need to double your calories. I know it feels weird, esp after losing a lot of weight through caloric manipulation. You know how to cut weight- it’s a whole different challenge to gain useful weight. If it makes you feel better I’ve gotten stronger with no numerical weight gain eating ad lib (guessing 3000+ cal/day but I don’t measure with nearly your accuracy).

    On top of it all everyone responds differently to diet, which makes it all very subjective and of questionable repeatability. As always, you’re going to find out and do what works for you which is super-cool. I don’t know many people with your discipline and intellectual honesty.

      1. I did eat another pound of beef tonight, plus other stuff, so yeah… get ready for the REAL feeding to begin soon.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *