Sore. So. Very. Sore.
I have felt nothing but stiff and sore in places I didn't even know could hurt. I'm not just talking about the physically hard part of the past two weeks - my first two week of CrossFit. It's a psychological workout too. This sport demands more than the amount of weight I put on the bar (which isn't much by the way). I couldn't believe I could experience so many emotions in such a short period of time - anticipation, determination, excitement, frustration, relief, embarrassment, energized, exhausted, angry, rewarded... And that's just during one workout! I honestly never knew I could suck so bad at something and still want to come back for more.
If you're wondering why I'm putting myself through this then read Part 1 of My 8 Week CrossFit Challenge.
The competition is fully underway now. With weekly challenge WODs (workout of the day) that earn your team points for doing the prescribed amount of weight at the fastest time. Honestly, I know my limits. I know where I can push myself and where I need to just take it at my own pace. In other words, the parts of the competition that involve running, rowing, or jump ropes I can power through. I'm not even close to being the fastest, but I can hold my own. Anything that involves lifting a weight higher than my knees...well let's just say I'm taking baby steps. Since this is my first time doing any kind of weight lifting I'm being smart and safe and only practicing the lifts with minimal amounts of weight (or sometimes just a PVC pipe) to learn the proper technique.
So far this experience has done a pretty good job of exposing all my weaknesses. I guess it has for everyone. I'm not the only one digging deeper to find that extra resolve to keep going. For many, it's not the workouts that are the hardest part, it's the diet. (Although, don't get me wrong - the workouts are hard!) Thankfully that's one area that I'm feeling good about. Having a plan and and creating good eating habits now will prove very helpful as we approach that time of year where sugar filled goodies are served in abundance.
I believe food should be the delicious combination of an abundance of essential nutrients, presented beautifully, and that tastes amazing. Eating should be satisfying for all your senses. When you've pushed past all the mental and physical obstacles of your training, you need to refuel your body and spirit.
Water! Lots of Water!
Before this I was really bad about drinking enough water. Really bad. No, I didn't drink soda pop or juice, I just didn't drink anything. When I started trying to down a gallon of water a day a few surprising things happened. First, I found that most of the time I was mistaking dehydration for hunger pangs. A big glass of water first thing the morning really helped level out any cravings and get me off to a good start in the morning. Second, I broke out in big mean zits - like hello puberty, we meet again. As it turns out my kidneys and liver must have been really needing to detoxify and it just so happened to come out through my skin.
Clean Eating - Gluten Free - Modified Paleo Diet
Fluids• Water (lots of water! At least a gallon per day), Coconut milk (unsweetened), Almond milk (unsweetened), Coconut water, Water! Bone broth/stock (no MSG, low sodium), dairy free kefir, Did I mention water?
Lean meats• Turkey, Chicken, Poultry (quail, pheasant, dove, duck, etc.), Pork, Beef (limit all red meat to only once a week), Veal, Venison, etc.
Fish/seafoodShrimp, Lobster, Salmon, Trout, Bass, etc
Eggs are good! It’s a great source of protein.
Vegetables –this is the staple part of your diet. Include veggies in meals and snacks throughout the day. All vegetables are good! Be sure to get a variety (cooked and raw).
Starchy vegetables -- should be eaten moderately.
• Butternut squash, Acorn squash, Sweet potatoes, and Yams
Oils/fats• Coconut oil, Olive oil, Avocado oil, Macadamia nut oil.
Most store bought salad dressings have lots of sugar. Try making your own
or using balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper, and herbs.
Nuts, Seeds and Pseudo Grains – this is another go-to snack if you’re feeling hungry throughout the day.
• Quinoa, Amaranth, Tapioca, Almond, Cashews, Hazelnuts, Pecans, Walnuts, Macadamia nuts, Sunflower seeds, Pumpkin seeds, Pine nuts
Fruits – All fruits are good, but must be eaten in moderation because of the high
sugar content. Stick to an average of 2-3 servings of fruit a day.
*Bananas are great for during or after a workout to boost energy and for
recovery due to the high levels of potassium.
Sugar Alternatives (use sparingly)
• Raw, Unfiltered honey
• 100% pure maple syrup
*A lot of times you can add sweetness by adding fruit like applesauce or pureed
Grains and Legumes -- You can have a serving of brown rice or legumes (such as black beans) twice
a week, but be sure to monitor your serving size (1/2 - 1 cup cooked rice) This is to give you some carbohydrates to burn and keep
up your energy. Eating a carbohydrate meal before a big cardio conditioning day will give you the boost you need.
*Peanuts are a legume so peanut butter is okay as long as it’s the natural kind with no sugar added. :)
It’s great in smoothies as some protein – again in moderation.
All sweets – refined sugar!
Dairy (not even yogurt)
Soft drinks or energy drinks - No!
Fruit juices (If you want to juice your own fruit or put fruit in a smoothie that’s
okay, just count it as your fruit for the day. Fruit juices, especially commercial juices,
have very high sugar content.)
Grains• Cereals, Wheat of any kind, Breads of any kind, Corn (including tortillas, chips, etc.), Pasta of any kind, Alcohol (barley)
Artificial Sweeteners – processed foods are loaded with this stuff. Don’t go near it!
In fact stay away from processed foods since they have a lot of hidden sugar,
preservatives, and artificial junk.
Fatty Processed Meats• Hotdogs, Spam, Other low quality or highly processed meat
Salty FoodsUse natural sea salt or Himalayan pink salt moderately
Processed snacks• Chips, Crackers, Cookies, Pastries
Starchy Vegetables• Potatoes (all potatoes except sweet potatoes or yams)
The good news is I was already eating a very similar diet and a good majority of my recipes here on Food L'amor work perfectly. I have had to cut back on my brown rice intake and go sans cheese, but I'm feeling good. Now, hopefully it starts to translate into more confidence and skill at the gym.