Phase 2: Carb Counts, BBQs, and Flying Blind

First off, thanks for all the positive and supportive feedback on this blog – and on my other blog entries. I share a bit more about what goes on inside my head than other personal trainer types, and I’m glad y’all welcome the experience and offer nothing but love. Ultimately, that means we’re creating a supportive and positive environment for each other every day at CrossFit Fenway – and that was the whole goal when this thing got started.

For the Paleo Experiment, Phase 2 is solidly underway. What better time for it than Memorial Day weekend? Loads of cookouts on a long weekend? Perfect meatfest. I can take my own meat to help make sure it’s nice and paleo, avoiding the marinade. Yeah, life’s pretty good on a long weekend full of Family and cookouts.

Of course, there’s not a whole lot of vegetables floating around at these cookouts. Nor at my house, truth be told. I love me some steamed broccoli, and grilled asparagus is excellent. Grilled or seared peppers, okay. Onions are awesome. Lettuce and spinach is a nice filler for a salad – particularly if it comes in a box of pre-washed Sping Mix greens. But vegetables? Really?

I’ve been running into a problem there. It feels like I’m just not getting enough vegetables. My meal plan has more sausage than a frat barbecue on Superbowl Sunday. But then again, how many veggies do I really need? As long as I’m eating clean, it looks like over these days I have been averaging between 20g and 40g of carbs – nicely under the 50g carb “maximum limit” that EC specified for Phase 2. Now I don’t know ketosis from keno, but I gotta think I’m in there by now. Maybe picking up some of those acid/base strips is on my shopping list for next week; it would be interesting to see how that is working.

Regardless, I’m not feeling super-different here in Phase 2, except that I’ve got some wicked cravings kicking in. That’s unsurprising – I’ve basically eliminated every relatively-sweet taste from my diet. I’m not sure when or how to eat, and I’m basically flying blind. That’s an odd sensation.

Literally, I’m flying blind in the “instruments out” sense. I write down what I’m eating, but unlike the past, I don’t tally it until BlogTime. In phase 1, and throughout the past few years, I got used to keeping a running count of calories and protein throughout every day – so that I knew where I was at, what my timing/pacing of food intake was, and how to schedule the rest of my eating throughout the day.

Now, I’m tracking carbs and fat in addition to the protein and calories, and I’m eating well outside my regular “wheelhouse” of foods that I understood and knew by heart just to get as many calories as I can manage under this new, more restrictive regime. That means I really have no idea how much food I’m taking in until I do the math right before I write this blog. My only throttle is just how hungry I am – or sometimes how much time I can devote in my day to feeding myself.

What this means is that in the past I could look directly at my food: plan it ahead and follow it. I had a flight plan. If that failed and things got in the way, I could wing it and improvise. I still had the acquired ability to eyeball my portions and keep a really accurate running calorie and protein count as I moved through the day, which kept me on course. Call it pilotage, ground navigation. Now? I’m flying in a thunderstorm with gyroscope inoperative – no instruments.

Every pilot knows that you can’t just trust your feel to fly straight and level. Losing the senses induces strange vertigo. We’ll see where that disorientation takes me over the next few weeks. It may be paleo, but it may not be pretty.

Speaking of which, I’ll be leaving tomorrow evening on a long camping trip full of distractions. Let’s see how I hold up in the wilderness!

Friday, 5/28/10

eggs, sausage, mushrooms (310/9/5/54)
2x Fire Grilled Sirloin Tips, UFood Grill (820/40/30/96)
3x Broccoli (90/6/0/9)
Salad (24/3/0/2)
Ham Steak (180/4/4/30)
Glass Red Wine (125/0/0/0)
Totals: 1550 calories. 62g carb, 39g fat, 191g protein
– Thank goodness for the uFood Grill next to Fenway. Still, next time I’m going to ask if they can do the tips without the sauce. Too sweet – probably has some sugar in it, especially given that high carb count. Not the best way to start here: too many carbs, not enough cals. I noticed that, and then set about to fix it.

Saturday 5/29/10

Ham Steak (180/4/4/30)
Cobb Salad, ham, turkey, 1 egg, bacon, avocado half (480/3/29/43)
Chicken Breast 4oz (140/0/3/27)
2 egg omelette, spinach and bacon (260/2/18/20)
2 chicken sausages (280/4/10/44)
2 tilapia filets (220/0/1/24)
12 oz lean sirloin burgers (600/0/27/90)
onions+mushrooms, seared in olive oil (50/2/4/2)
roasted peppers (50/6/0/2)
Salad (30/1/0/3)
Glass Red Wine (125/0/0/0)
Totals: 2415 cals. 27g carbs, 96g fat, 269g protein.
– Good Invasion today! Big post-Invasion meal with CFF faithful over at the Paramount. The wait for food damn near killed us, but it was excellent when it got there. Later that night, a cookout at my place for the immediate family. Good times, good times.

Sunday 5/30/10

Egg white omelette w mush, onion, peppers (120/4/0/22)
Chicken Sausage (140/2/5/22)
4 Boneless Filets, KFC (420/0/8/108)
Sauce (15/4/0/0)
Half pound, shrimp (260/0/5/52)
3 85/15 burgers (960/0/66/87)
1.25 pounds beef, london broil (1000/0/45/150)
glass red wine (125/0/0/0)
Almonds (180/2/16/6)
Fruit/beer (50/12/0/0)
Totals: 3270 calories. 24g carbs, 145g fat, 447g protein
– what am I, French? That’s three days in a row with the Red Wine. *sigh* This was a day with 2 barbecues… it wasn’t until after I scarfed the three burgers that I looked at the packaging and realized just how fatty/awful the pattys were. And I thought they tasted slimy… I’ve gotten very accustomed to good cuts of lean meat, and I like them.

A note on the “fruit/beer”: I’m going to blame the Berube/Kroon clan. Matt had a 3 year old special brew of Sam Adams Utopia that he offered – it would be impolite to decline a taste – and Stacey had actually cut up a fruit salad. So, a taste of each to join the 20 ounces of london broil I cooked up. MMMMM.

Monday 5/31/10

Egg white omelette w/sausage, mushroom, onion (280/6/5/48)
Ham Steak (180/4/4/30)
2x Burgers (640/0/44/58)
6 shrimp (110/0/2/22)
3 chicken wings (420/12/24/36)
4oz kung pao chicken (120/6/8/8)
Broccoli (90/6/0/9)
1/2 pound shrimp (260/0/5/52)
ham steak (180/4/4/30)
Totals: 2280 calories, 38g carbs, 96g fat, 293g protein
– Another 2-BBQ day. One of them was a “Welcome Home” for a combat vet from Iraq who just happens to have a very large and excited Chinese family. Thus the chicken wings and Kung Pao chicken.

Yes, I know there was probably sugar in that kung pao sauce – and breading too – and it was a very difficult task to decline food in the face of a phalanx of mothers, aunts, and grandmothers. It was everything I could do to keep piles of rice off my plate. I think I threw Chandra under the bus: I distracted them by pointing at Chandra and saying “Isn’t she too skinny?” Then I ran for the front yard when they clucked and reached for the serving spoons.

Oh yeah, and again with the frozen burgers. Oof. It’ll be good to be back to my own 93% lean beef.

Tuesday 6/1/10

Egg white omelette, plus shrimp (140/3/1/29)
Pistachios (150/4/13/4)
Chicken+Lettuce (like a salad) (250/3/6/30)
Big plate, steamed mussels (210/6/3/33)
Package Lean Ham (125/0/4/27)
Pepperoni (560/4/48/24)
Can Cooked Chicken Breast (210/0/3/45)
Can Cooked Turkey Breast (300/0/10/50)
Totals: 1945 calories, 20g carbs, 88g fat, 242g protein
– Without cookouts and open grills, I’m back to foraging amongst the chain restaurants or eating out of grocery stores while on the run. After a nice cooked breakfast, I managed to get a mostly-naked grilled chicken breast on a bed of lettuce along with a giant pile of steamed mussels for lunch. Not bad for an italian restaurant! The rest of the day: packaged meats. Hmm. Finding more time to cook dinner would help.

Next episode: JT goes camping for 4 days. That’s good news, right? Maybe for the meat, but I’m despairing of getting veggies into the meal plan…

2 thoughts on “Phase 2: Carb Counts, BBQs, and Flying Blind”

  1. Good luck on that camping trip 😉 I’m gonna be storing a bunch of stuff in the dry room in back, I hope, under the label, “Nick’s Paleo Stash, please do not touch.” It’s a 3-pound bag of almonds.

  2. hey jt!

    looks like you made it through par-tay weekend pretty well. NICE job.

    re: ketosis – you’re likely not there unless under 20g CHO/day for a solid two weeks. that being said – you MAY feel a little drained during some CF metcon workouts, due to the lower carbs. thats ok! give yourself 4 wks to see what happens… and at the end…. you can give it all up. you all already pretty lean – so its definitely harder once the majority of weight is off.

    id love to see some more veggies! find a way to may it easy. salad bars at whole foods are a good go to. or cook in BULK for the week. and keep trying to leave the nuts and processed meat OUT! hope sleep and fish oil are on target too.

    enjoy camping!

Leave a Comment

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