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Saturday
Jul232016

Fat Coffee Break

This morning I weighed in at a solid 176 pounds. Day four of ketogenic diet is complete, and I feel great.

Last night's CrossFit Green Bay workout was a monster of metabolic work, in high heat and humidity and sunshine (I'm the guy who rolls the AirDyne out of the building into the sun). Rowed 3000 meters, pushed a prowler six runs, then cycled on the AirDyne until the middle of the pack returned from their three mile run. 50 minutes of hard exercise for me, and my only carbs yesterday were 15 grams of vegetables, maybe, and 15 grams of CarboLyze in my post-workout shake. Understand, there are some carbs in the whey protein, of course, but nonetheless, my carbs for the day were under 40. I didn't bonk, never ran out of gas, and considering I anticipated perhaps feeling dizzy and wonky and fuzzy by now from no glycogen and probably few or no ketones yet, I'm happy. I fully anticipated getting hammered flat by the workout last night, but it was all good.

I've had breakfast today (three pieces of bacon, four scrambled eggs, a tablespoon of coconut oil). My next meal was a 1/3 pound hamburger patty and 1 cup of mixed vegetables, with 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil. All this took place at work, at the gym. Today is an off-day from weight-training, so I did two 5-minute interval sessions (four 20 second max effort pushed each 5 minutes). That'll be the working out for today, other than dog walking (I know, doesn't count, but I have clients who try to convince me walking their dog is part of their exercise life. I laugh).

Here's a little snack I'm enjoying. I mixed a big cup of left-over-from-this-morning coffee in the blender with two tablespoons of MCT Oil from Bulletproof, a tablespoon of Kerry Gold butter (it's the best, if you're unfamiliar with it. Irish grass-fed milk cows. and this packet of Protein Coffee from Scitec Nutrition. Blend for five seconds, and wham, a beautiful froth develops on a delicious, absolutely wonderful cup of fat coffee!

Unlike traditional Bulletproof Coffee, the Scitec product gives me 27 grams of whey protein, 3 grams of fat, accompanied by only 2 grams of carbs (sugar, basically the cocoa powder flavoring the mixture). My two tablespoons of MCT oil have 28 grams of saturated fat. Twelve more grams of delicious fat arrive with the butter.

So this big cup of coffee contains 27 grams of protein, 43 grams of fat, and virtually no carbs, only 2. In my world, two grams of carbs is pretty damn insignificant.

And it's flavorful and easy and will keep me from diving into the fridge for a couple of hours. I'm confident I'll see 175# on the scale tomorrow morning! 

@teamscitec, @bulletproofexec, @pbnutrition, @kerrygoldUSA

Wednesday
Jul202016

Let's Go Keto!

OK, I'm embarking on a new chapter in my continuing nutritional "let's see what happens" plan. Beginning today, I'm searching for ketosis - the almighty ketogenic diet!

That's right, no more white rice or potatoes surrounding my workouts. No more Build or CarboLyze in my post-workout shakes. In fact, no carbs whatsoever other than sauteed vegetables. If you don't know by now what my vegetable mixture looks like, shame on you. Do a search of the site.

I've experience with ketogenic diets, know that I move into ketosis rather easily, and function pretty well in ketosis. Beginning in the late '70s, I lived on a ketogenic diet for a few weeks the first time, lost a bunch of body fat, and felt pretty good. Back then I didn't know what the hell I was doing and lived on hamburger and eggs. No vegetables. Wasn't aware at all of the benefits of healthy fat, so other than what I got in my eggs and meat...

Since then I've learned a great deal, read a lot, played with ketosis a few more times.

But here's the big difference:  CrossFit! Yeah, all those metabolic workouts. Clearly (at least to me), a ketogenic diet in a world including two or three CrossFit workouts each week, in addition to my more traditional gym sessions, is going to be very interesting. Can I sustain, will I bonk, how will my head feel, will my strength plummet, will I get spacy and wander around CrossFit Green Bay during a workout? (yeah, that would go over big).

I'll keep you posted. My bodyweight this morning was 178.5. Today all I've eaten is fat and protein and some vegetables. 

Today I ended up with 29 grams of carbohydrates, 105 grams of fat and 163 grams of protein. 

Didn't work out much today - some interval cardio on a stationary bike, and some hamstring and leg press work on machines. Nothing too big. Rode my bike to the gym and back but that's only 15-20 minutes easy cycling each way. Just life, not workout.

Today’s food was vegetables, eggs, coconut oil, macadamia nut oil, protein powder, bacon (yay, bacon is back in my life!), tuna, guacamole, ground beef. In varying combinations.

I'm wondering what I'd look like and how I'd feel under 170 pounds. Let's find out together!

Oh, and I have a couple of secret weapons for my ketogenic diet. I'll unveil them in a few days. Let's just say a super-smart chemist-nutrition expert has a couple of new products I've added to my plan.

Wednesday
Jul202016

Successful Food Planning - Short Trip

Last week I was traveling through Michigan's Upper Peninsula, the northern lower peninsula, living in my vehicle for three nights. About 25 hours of driving ensued, along with several hours of sitting. Exercise consisted of two workouts in gyms, some light walking in flat Boyne City and hilly Petoskey, and a couple of trips from my parked vehicle into Walmart in the middle of each night to use the bathroom!

In other words, to maintain my bodyweight, not to get instant-fat, I had to plan. With two days of no workouts possible, and all that driving, coupled with the non-food choices available to me much of the time (other than Marquette and Petoskey and Midland), I needed to be smart and proactive. Nothing could be left to chance, and I never could trust myself to be driving along in the night, hungry and tired, seeing a bit lit Wendy's sign rolling into view. No temptations!

To steal from the great Hunter S. Thompson, "when the going gets tough, the weird turn pro!"  Before I left I created two big meal shakes in the blender - the usual line-up of protein powder, strawberries, blueberries, kale, almonds, coconut flakes. In a frying pan I cooked four hamburger patties. When they were done, in the same pan I sauteed a hell of a lot of broccoli - asparagus - red pepper - mushrooms - kale - broccoli slaw - kalmata olives - sundried tomatoes. A big pan full. I made white rice. In meal-sized containers I put nearly two cups of vegetables, and one burger patty. Blam, four more meals ready to go.

Yes, I ate them cold, in the Element, parked wherever I was when I got hungry. With rice and fruit when I felt like it.

I added to my stash three Best Bar Evers, and four of the new protein bars Costco sells that are basically imitation Quest bars. Same nutritional profile, almost the same great flavor. Not quite, but for less than a buck each, a case found itself into my shopping cart a couple of weeks ago.

Oh yeah, I also washed and trimmed a couple of pounds of strawberries, and a bunch of blueberries. They came along for the ride, too.

All this went into a full-sized cooler with a bag of ice. There, no temptations caused by neon roadside advertisements, trying to lure me in. No crackers were eaten, no chips were wolfed down, no candy. Yeah, a couple of White Monsters were downed, but one can only drink so much coffee while behind the wheel that long!

Coffee, fortunately, is available everywhere. And I took a case of bottles of water, selling for unbelievably little money at Costco.

Other than one meal from the natural foods co-op in Petoskey, and lunch out with my father at Bob Evans, this was my food for the trip. After each workout I enjoyed a shake with Progenex More Muscle protein - Carbolyze - BCAA - creatine, but that's merely standard procedure for me. One night with my dad I enjoyed a glass of wine; that was the only alcohol. 

Four days, hours behind the wheel, an absence of Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, two non-workout days, and I didn't gain an ounce of bodyweight.

No excuses! If I can do this, so can you. Don't sabotage your goals, throw away your workouts, by using travel as an excuse to mindlessly over-eat.

Tuesday
Jul122016

Ups and Downs - Still Learning - Losing Bodyfat

It’s been an interesting two weeks. Twelve weeks into detailed monitoring of my food and drink, cutting way back on what turned out to be dramatic amounts of fat consumption, my bodyweight had gone below my temporary target of 175#. For a day.

During those three months I was eating less per meal, having decided after all these years of throwing down food like a bodybuilder and powerlifter, that the extreme calories weren’t necessary, and in my life today (older and lighter and more CrossFit-oriented), getting in my way, if I truly wanted to be leaner. Success, right?

What harm could there be in taking a couple of weeks off from such disciplined eating and drinking? It’s summertime in Wisconsin, after all. I had a day of SummerFest (festival and concert), a day in Door County (beach), and a couple days in Wisconsin Dells. No workouts these occasions, and a couple of beers or glasses of wine each day. And french fries. And the white bread buns the burgers came in. Oh, let’s not forget the big bowl of ice cream one night. And some shockingly high-fat blue corn chips. Gee, there was even half a damn good pizza in there one afternoon. I could go on...

And a stunning lack of movement, much less exercise. I came into this past week quite sore; I’d worked a great deal of hours in the gym for the previous two weeks, and trained my entire body to failure, three times each of those weeks. So six full-body workouts all done slowly, in HIT style, using computer-driven, piston-utilizing machines causing my eccentric movements to be as intense and difficult as the concentric. Plus, a couple of trips to CrossFit each week, just to top off the pain.

I thought I was ready to ease up on paying close attention to what I put into my body, relax, and not wig out when I gained a couple of pounds.

Hah! Last night I realized I’d run out of patience with the lack of discipline and care I was giving to what went into my mouth. I knew I’d gained weight. Didn’t feel sharp. Resolved to know I’d enjoyed these summer excursions, but wanted to maintain my awareness that it all wasn’t as great as I’d thought it would be. 

I enjoy feeling lean and active. After this little hiatus I didn’t feel that way any longer. This morning on the scale I was surprised, but not shocked. Give or take time-of-day fluctuation, I gained eight or nine pounds in two weeks!

Beginning Tuesday morning I was back on track. Breakfast was a half cup of vegetables, four eggs, and one sausage. All mixed together into a scramble. After my morning workout I enjoyed a Progenex Recovery shake (two scoops), plus one scoop Carbolyze, a handful of strawberrries, and a half scoop Fiberlyze. My next meal before going to work at the gym will be a big hamburger patty and more vegetables. Last meal tonight will be another shake, this time two scoops whey protein, some berries and fiber, but no added carbs.

I’ve maintained my good-old vegetable-meat-little bit of rice or potato meal plan the last four days. At least one meal daily comes from the Blend-Tec:  protein powder, water, fiber, berries, and a serving of powdered carb if it’s immediately post-workout. Wine one night, but no alcohol other than that. 

This morning I was 179.5 on the scale. To say my body snaps back quickly is an understatement. Let’s credit this to a years-long base of feeding myself real food, regular intense exercise, and a working metabolism. I’m getting my workouts in, a combo of CrossFit or traditional strength training.

 

What did I learn from these two weeks?

 

Wine doesn’t taste as good as it used to. 

Eating too much at one time immediately feels wrong. My appetite and brain just don’t want to over-eat any more.

I remember why I basically stopped drinking beer years ago. It makes me feel bloated and full, then hungry for crap. And the alcohol tricks me into thinking whatever food cravings just popped into my head are a fine idea!

The weird, unhealthy vegetable and crapola-oils used in restaurants seem to have a significant effect in how my body metabolizes food, and what it does with the calories I consume. I fear there is nutritional fuckery going on with these mystery oils. 

Everyone eats too much food at a sitting. I did for years, even when I was convincing myself I needed (and deserved!), these super-size-me servings of food. Most snacks are unnecessary. Listening to my body and only eating when I’m actually hungry, or when I’m timing my meals around my workouts, is what makes sense to me. 

I stopped eating at night. Enjoy a good dinner, then be done. If you go to bed a bit hungry, so what? Suck it up, get some sleep, and feel even leaner and more energetic for the next day’s workout, and for life itself. Breakfast is so great in the morning, when I go to bed a bit hungry. Be strong.

Eat sauteed/cooked vegetables at least twice each day. Three times is better. By definition, getting these vegetables into you with meat will keep you full, and calm those little voices calling for the box of Triscuits in the cupboard. 

Drink more water, spread throughout your day. No, you don’t drink as much as you think you do.

Consume more protein. Most people think they take in enough, but most likely they don’t. Nearly every client I’ve had, for many years, eats much less protein than they anticipate they do, and most underestimate it’s importance. Whether you are a strength athlete or enjoy 50k runs, your body needs and wants protein. Every time you eat.

Move around more. Run for a couple of miles. Do you really think that little bit of metabolic work is going to drain muscle from your physique? Why do you think that? It will not, and in fact will probably enhance your fitness and other workouts.

This is all lifestyle, folks. Not a diet plan. Life is more enjoyable a little lighter, a little leaner, healthier and fitter.

 

 

 

Friday
Jun242016

Weight Steady - Bodyfat Down - Even Less Wine!

Another week of fairly careful eating and experimentation is in the books. Turns out I weighed a bit more than I thought. When I thought I was in the 179-181 range, the true number was in the 183-184 area. Who would have thought an old scale, one I moved all over the house to use, would be innacurate?

Solution:  new scale! Accurate, featuring a larger, easier-to-read display. And it's kept in one place. Over the course of this week my bodyweight has slowly, consistently gone down. I've been 181 for a few days now. What's even more interesting is my body fat is clearly diminishing.

How is this happening? Very low carb, basically, with moderate fat and logical protein levels. Most days I'm using no more than two tablespoons of coconut oil all day; this is a big change from the last few years of gobs of coconut oil daily. In my shakes, a couple tablespoons in each pan of food, butter in my coffee, sometimes butter and coconut oil in the vegetables. 

My protein level remains fairly constant, in the 175-195 range. If I ate more meals daily I'd jack the protein up a bit. Some days the fat is higher; I grilled brats last weekend and had some left over, so a few times this week I've cut up brat into little pieces with kitchen scissors, adding it to scrambled eggs/vegetables. Nice change of pace for my taste buds.

Some days this week I splurged with starchy carbs, and added a half cup of either white rice or potatoes to my pre-and post-workout meals. If I was heading for CrossFit I added the half cup of potatoes or rice both before and after. If my workout was weight-training bodybuilding-style, no carbs before the gym.

But overall I've been lowering carbs. Today is a good example of how the week and been playing out. Breakfast was a chicken breast cut into pieces, in a pan with a half tablespoon coconut oil, and a cup of mixed vegetables (my sauteed mix - the usual). The next meal was a shake, consisting of two scoops of whey protein, a half scoop of FiberLyze, and a quarter cup of berries.

Early afternoon found me eating three chicken meat sticks from my local butcher, Jacob's Meat Market. In a pan with another half tablespoon of coconut oil was more vegetables, a cut-up brat, and three scrambled eggs. That was pre-workout.

CrossFit tonight was intense, enjoyable, with plenty of barbell movement. My kind of workout. Immediate post-workout, in the car driving home, was a shake of Progenex Amplitude (creatine peptides), Progenex More Muscle (two scoops), a scoop of Gaspari BCAA, and 36 delightful grams of Species' CarboLyze. This delicious carb mixes readily and tastes great in a shake. The CarboLyze are my only non-vegetable carbs today, other than the small amount in the berries earlier in the day.

Dinner was simple and tasty:  another chicken breast, cut into the same pan as this morning, with the identical amount of coconut oil. Another cup of vegetables, a sprinkle of sliced jalapeno peppers for bite. Warm thoroughly. In a bowl, add a big whopping amount of guacamole! Probably a half cup, mixed in. Awesome!

And no wine. I've thought about wine all day, have gone all week without, and decided tonight would go by ok without any. I know, for years I've told clients a glass or so in the evening was fine. Hell, I've written it a dozen times, and do believe it to be so. But there's no getting around the science, showing that alcohol disrupts the metabolizing of food, and increases body fat storage. It is what it is. So, one day at a time, while I'm experimenting with myself (turns out physically and emotionally), I'll cut out wine, as much as I love it, when possible. Thanks, Mike Doehla and Anne Hoffman, for the example and inspiration.

Here's my plan:  wine tomorrow night! Get my weight down as close to 175 as possible, without losing muscle (I think I've been successful so far), hopefully within two weeks, and remain at 175 for a week or two. Then:  ketogenic dieting!