So just a little Sunday update here...
I've been asked a couple times how the Nutrition Challenge is going and my reply has been Unfortunately it's going really well... See, if I'm honest I'd admit that I was sort of hoping this one would fail, or at least not show any measurable benefit, because then I could go back to eating my sugar and grains guilt free and stop wondering if I was missing out on something.
11 days in to this Challenge and I'd say that the biggest negative I feel about eating pretty much only meat, plants, nuts, and some dairy is that there's a lot of planning and prep work involved all the time. There aren't too many 'convenience foods' you can consume when following this type of diet, which is probably what makes it less sustainable for the long term because most people do not want to allocate so much time in their lives spent in the kitchen (me included!)
That said, the food I've been prepping/eating has been nothing short of fantastic. I've been scouring foodie blogs and making a bunch of the recipes out of the Well Fed 2 cookbook and it's all been really really tasty. So much so that I don't think I've actually lost any weight? I can see how I could/should/might lose weight because my actual hunger is significantly diminished, but I am still consuming plenty of food b/c I'm simply enjoying it all so much. I can see though that once the novelty of these meals wears off I might be able to eat with less reckless abandon and that would theoretically help me shrink a bit. Turns out, even if you're eating all the 'right' foods, you still have to eat LESS if you want to lose weight. File that under #Duh.
I will say though, I feel healthy. My energy levels are really steady, I don't crave anything, and I really have had no raging HANGRY feelings like I have had in the past. So is that worth the trade off of all that time spent prepping meals/food? It might be, yes. Time will tell, but I'll guess that keeping this up through the month of February will be manageable for sure. After that, we'll see. I can see myself adopting a 90/10 policy on this type of eating. Or maybe 80/20. ;)
Training is also coming along steadily. I feel like I am chipping away at attaining a decent level of fitness. I still use HR on most of my runs and power on most of my rides and each time I go out I see those numbers inching in the right direction. There have been no major breakthroughs or anything, but every week I've been gaining a few watts and/or seconds/mile at the same HR so that is motivating to see and if I stay on the same improvement curve I'll be right where I want to be in another 6-8 weeks or so. :) #justkeepchippingaway
Interestingly, Dr Maffetone would say that if you want to see improvement at MAF, you have to avoid any/all anaerobic training, because time spent anaerobically will erode your aerobic base. Knowing that, I've had some reservations about some of the training I'm doing- primarily the Crossfit sessions 2x/week where I spent 8-20' with my HR pretty much through the roof... plus I've been incorporating some short/hard intervals on both bike and run that last 30-90"... and swimming is almost always a hard effort... I've paid attention to my MAF pace though and it doesn't seem to be negatively affected by those harder efforts? Maybe if I spent more time (ie longer intervals) at threshold I'd see the negative affect he talks about but so far it's been fine. My plan is to continue a similar type of weekly training plan at least through February and then we'll see.
I have to say, I know people who don't Crossfit love to bash Crossfit and say that all Crossfitters will end up injured, but I swear I pretty much never feel better than I do after a solid session in the CF box! I'm in love with squats, pistol squats, dead lifts, wall balls, med ball sit-ups, kettle bells, box jumps, jump rope, clean-n-jerk... all of it! Ok, I hate burpees, but that's pretty much the only thing that makes me cringe when I see it as part of the WOD. I also think that these strength exercises have served to keep me injury-free and that just furthers my motivation to keep up that work! Plus, they have started a 'Ninja In Training' class for kiddos, so Crossfit has become something Moana and I can do "together" after school a couple times/week. She loves it!
OK so my mission today is to find a banana tree to plant in my backyard. I'm off to obtain one!