Real Food Challenge

In General Posts on October 19, 2009 by Suhaila

It’s the first day of Element CrossFit‘s 6-week Real Food Challenge! And I am completely exhausted! Haha. I’m doing Level 2 (Paleo + Zone)… or 3 (strict Paleo + Zone)? I’m not really sure yet. So far I have been pretty strict, but it’s only the first day! And technically I already used butter for some of my fat blocks. But only because I really had no other options. Today I’m going to the grocery store to pick up some olive oil, sunflower seeds, and almond butter. So the butter should be off the menu for a while. I’m doing 3x fat since my main goal isn’t to lose weight but to gain strength. 3x fat is harder than it sounds if you only have nuts and coconut oil. I am so sick of nuts already, haha.

I never realized how hard it is to plan a paleo/zone menu. I spent three hours last night figuring out today and tomorrow’s meals, let alone actually cooking them! Thankfully I made about 5 lbs of braised beef over the weekend, so I have a lot of leftovers to use up.

So I figured out what I’m eating today and tomorrow, and it was hard enough, so I think I’m going to try re-using the same meals for the rest of the week. Then over the weekend when I have more time, I’ll come up with some more meals, and then reuse the meals from both weeks. Each week I’ll add in some new meals and hopefully by the end of the 6 weeks, I should have a normal variety of foods (instead of beef stew every single day).

This is my meal plan for today:

Breakfast [3P/3C/9F] around 6:30am

Snack [1P/1C/3F] around 10:30am

  • 1 hard-boiled egg [1P]
  • 1/2 mandarin orange [1C]**
  • 3 almonds [1F]
  • 6 cashews [2F]

Lunch [3P/3C/9F] around 1pm

  • 3 oz braised beef [3P]
  • 1 1/4 cup steamed broccoli [1C] with 1 tbsp butter [3F]
  • 1 mandarin orange [2C]
  • 9 almonds [3F]
  • 9 cashews [3F]

Post-workout snack [1P/1C/3F] around 6pm

  • 1 oz protein powder [1P] mixed with water
  • 1/2 mandarin orange [1C]
  • 3 almonds [1F]
  • 6 cashews [2F]

Dinner [3P/3C/9F] around 9pm

* Ok the 2 bowls of salad is probably not 1C but I have leftovers and I couldn’t find anything else to get 1 carb block out of. I don’t tend to eat that many carbs at breakfast anyway so I’m treating this as a “gradual breakfast carb increase” for now. I’m taking suggestions for 1C foods — preferably raw vegetables that don’t involve eating a whole cucumber or a head of lettuce or 4 cups of something else. If cooked, then something that I can cook ahead of time. It seems like all the “zone superfoods” (that you only need to eat a little of to get 1 block) are all not paleo (chickpeas, beans). I’m thinking of possibly mixing something in with my eggs in an omelette.

** Is this 1 carb block? I assume it is. Half a regular orange is 1C, and 1/3 cup of mandarin orange sections drained is 1C. My mandarin orange sections wouldn’t be soaked in syrup since I’m actually peeling and eating the orange myself (not canned). I can’t find a zone block chart that has uncanned mandarin orange on it, so I’m going with this for now. I prefer navel oranges but the ones I’m finding these days aren’t very good so I’m waiting until they’re better. I’m also planning to replace some of the fruit with berries. Berries just taste better. The only problem I have with berries though, is they’re a bit expensive and they don’t last very long (both in terms of lasting before spoiling, and lasting before I eat them all in one day, haha).

Edited to add: So I’ve eaten my breakfast and morning snack (finished an hour ago). It’s more than an hour until lunch and I’m getting hungry again. I wonder if this is normal? I thought the zone was supposed to be “too much food” for most people, with stories of people forcing down lots of broccoli? Also I’m feeling a little bit lightheaded. I’ve been feeling lightheaded for a couple of days now, both days I didn’t eat a lot of protein (still more than the average girl my size probably eats, but not as much as I personally am accustomed to). And I also feel that the zone meals I’ve eaten so far have had very little protein compared to usual. The only other change in my diet is the increase in fat, which I think also might be a problem. I’ve been noticing that when I eat nuts or even smell coconut, it makes me a bit nauseous. Not enough to actually be sick, and I just force myself to eat it, but enough that it is starting to bother me. I don’t know if it’s just that I’m not used to the increase in fat, or maybe I’m just sick of nuts and coconut in general… In any case, if the lightheadedness doesn’t resolve itself soon, I might recalculate my zone blocks.

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