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Nutrition Challenge Goals

[/caption] Making a decision about what I should do for the six-week nutrition challenge at CrossFit 204 proved challenging. Paleo? Zone? A combination of the two? Ultimately, I needed to decide which lifestyle resonated with me. The quality of food I eat or how much food I eat.  The quick and obvious criticism of the Zone is that you can do it with garbage food and you’re still in the Zone. As long as the portions are appropriate you can Zone on Taco Bell. If I objectively evaluate my diet, it is Paleo minus the occasional cheese and wine. It wouldn’t exactly be a stretch to eliminate that, so where was the personal growth? So I decided to take another approach. What matters most to me when it comes to my diet? First answer: how I feel. Generally, I feel great.  Second answer: how I perform. Perhaps I could better optimize my performance by paying closer to attention not to only what I ate but when I ate it. One of our trainers asked me why I eat protein after I WOD. Good question. Because I want to get bigger and stronger! But does my programming right now reflect that? I realized I could be more deliberate. I started reading the second edition of Advanced Sports Nutrition by Dr. Dan Benardot. He is recognized around the world as a leader in sports nutrition and sought out by Olympic and professional athletes. I haven’t finished the book yet, but so far I am impressed. There are some conflicts in the dietary choices he recommends and the food I will actually ingest. For example, I would not be caught dead drinking a Gatorade. But depending on what I am doing in the gym that day, perhaps I can make a food choice that will elicit the same response as a Gatorade on a less personally offensive level. Below I have listed a sample day of my diet. I eat the same thing every day, just swapping vegetable options. Breakfast:  ½ cup of almond milk,1 banana, 2 tbsp. of almond butter, 1 scoop of all-natural whey isolate (I know – sinful and not Paleo), 1 cup of frozen berries, 1 cup of coffee. [caption id="attachment_2207" align="alignright" width="235" caption="Nutrition is a balancing act!"][/caption] Lunch: 3 or 4 eggs, 5 strips of bacon, 3 cups of veggies (including asparagus, peppers, onions, cheery tomatoes and some apple) with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I will usually have half an avocado or 2 heaping tbsp. of almond butter with this. Dinner: meat (steak, chicken, pork), more veggies (usually the same as above or yams), with avocado or almond butter again. Truthfully I don’t really snack. I might grab some extra almonds during the day. I will however eat after I train. That will be a can of tuna and apple sauce, or whey protein and a banana. My plan for the nutrition challenge is as follows: 1. Finish my book by June 5. 2. Eliminate “the occasional cheese” and reserve “the wine” for my one mindless meal. 3. Enjoy one mindless meal a week. 4. Monitor my hydration, nutrition and performance on training days with specific notes. 5. Consume 130 grams of protein per day. 6. Consume a high glycemic snack post WOD 7. Find a suitable substitute for “sports beverage.” 8.  Improve my performance. 9. Post my weekly intake log for all to read! I will keep you posted with my weekly intake log. This is open season, so if you have any feedback, fire away. Please feel free to comment on my weekly log as well and make recommendations. I would love to hear from you! Best of luck to all of you participating in the challenge. Let the fun begin!

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