Monday, April 27, 2009

How I Zone

Lunch on 4/27: 

Everybody tweaks the Zone Diet a little to match their tolerance and performance gains.  Some sub fat for carbs, others multiply their fat by 3.  Here's how I take on a diet based in real foods and measurements.

I am doing Robb Wolf's SBWTBH program along with the CrossFit Strength Bias, so that means I'm taking in 20 blocks of protein and carbs a day, but my fat is around 100 blocks (thats about 3.75 ounces).

Proteins:  Because I have a thing with fractions, I don't like to get all my protein from the same source.  In the morning, I like to have 2 blocks of eggs/egg whites with bacon.  The bacon is always center cut and I count the fat blocks (usually 5) that accompany it.  I also have taken a loving for cottage cheese.  If I don't want to whip up some eggs, I'll throw a 1/2 cup of cottage cheese on some fruit.  If we have any, I'll probably weigh out 3 ounces of deli turkey if I need two blocks.  My five meals a day have four blocks of protein to equal out as many carbs.

Carbs: This is where I've fallen from my paleo diet mantra of meats and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, no sugar.  Most of my carbs come from fruits like apples, strawberries, blueberries, and cantaloupes. However, I do try to get at least half of my carbs from vegetables.  The thing with 20 blocks a day is that is a lot of freaking veggies to digest and it's a lot to cook.  Because shopping has turned into a $800/month ordeal for me and the wife, I have begun sliding the most paleo bread I can find into my meals, but keeping it to one block.  So, a typical look at my carbs from a meal would look like 1/2 cantaloupe, 2 cups mushrooms, 1 slice of bread.  This keeps me feeling good and doesn't bog me down.

Fats:  OK.  This is where I go crazy.  Originally, I weighed every teaspoon of peanut butter and butter, but I've recently begun piling it on.  On my bread, I'll load up as much butter on there as I can handle and throw about a third of a jar of peanut butter on my apple.  Then, I'll throw some peanuts or almonds to the side.  If I am not having peanut butter or butter, I'll actually measure out the appropriate amount of almonds or peanuts.  For some reason, my body handles fat very well and I still stay pretty lean with all the calories coming from the macronutrient.  While I don't know how much fat I'm taking in, it's at least 20 blocks a meal and I don't worry much if I go over on fat.

Most of my meals are portioned out with food I have available to me.  Only one meal a day is prepared, and that's the one the wife usually makes.  She'll make two 3-block meals and I'll have a cup of milk with it and eat the hell out of measured almonds or non-salted, dry-roasted peanuts.

Cheat meals: Due to the qualifiers coming up, I've been cutting out the once-a-week cheat-meal of ribs, Ben & Jerry's, Goose Island beer, and frozen chocolate chips.  I also found that I feel like shit if I eat like shit, so I just stay away from bad foods for that simple reason.  

What has become the biggest problem of the Zone is not the weighing and measuring, but the cost.  With the two of us eating 31 blocks a day, 20 of which have a fat multiplier of 5, it can become pretty costly just in food bills.  Any solutions are highly encouraged.

Please feel free to add comments or questions.

1 comment:

Ryan P said...

thanks for the shout-out! The qualifiers were one of the best weekends of my life.

WRT cost, do you tolerate milk well? Thats an easy way (whole milk to meet your blocks) I can easily down 3 cups of milk for for 3p/3c split. Also, do you have a costco or sams club nearby? Every three weeks I go and buy about 15lbs of meat, 1 container of fish oil and a few pounds of nuts, and eggs and milk. I'll spend about $200 but it lasts me three weeks and all i'll really buy at the store is some fruit for carb blocks and almond butter. Also, if you want cheap fat, start with tbsp of olive oil. It surprisingly doesnt taste that bad and much more affordable than nuts!

Also, I wouldnt worry about your fruit intake, if you're staying lean, that means your body is handling the fructose well and I dont think it's a problem.

Lastly, have you toyed with the idea of a sweet potato post workout? I do it everytime, and get about 10 blocks of carbs just from a monster sweet potato. I microwave for 8-9 mins, throw a little cinnamon on and its delicious. You can get those cheap as well at the costcos