Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Against the Grain

No Thanks

I have been following a primal blueprint "diet" as much as possible for about the past 8 months or so. "As much as possible", as in, pretty much all the time, but acknowledging that doing endurance sports doesn't allow for 100% adherence. Basically, I have cut out as much grain and refined crap as possible, and really only eat real foods - as in the ones that can go bad. For the most part, my carbohydrate intake consists of veggies, fruits, tubers, and the occasional rice with a meal.

Last night, I got back from my jog, and I couldn't take it - I was freakin hungry. My roomate Greg bought a pizza two nights previous, and the smell of grease and tomato sauce got my gears going. Kati also happened to make some pasta recently, and I finally caved. I sauteed up some breaded chicken, and added it to a bowl of rigatoni and tomato sauce, and it tasted unbelievable. I easily justified it because I was gonna get up early to do my swim workout (not very common place in Ryan's world. ever.).

I paid for it this morning. It wasn't really that bad, but hell, it wasn't pretty either. My stomach was definitely in a state of disarray. This pretty much confirmed for me that grains, although have their place in some people's diets and cultures, will be used very sparingly in mine going forward. Maybe during high volume training will I add some brown or wild rice to a soup or with a stir-fry, but they really don't "work" for me.

You might ask where I get my calories, and they primarily come from fat. You know, the good stuff: almond butter (this stuff is unbeliveable), sunflower seed butter, peanut butter (FDA can't stop me!), olive oil, (clean) animal fat, and avocados.

If you think it's not possible, just ask these two guys, who have both enjoyed a very high level of success in endurance athletics, and get a fair amount of their caloric intake from fat.


MJ said...

It was a little tough reading about that pizza and pasta given the diet plan I am on at the moment....

I think the plan you lay out is pretty much optimal... definitely takes some getting used to though.

You asked about coffee vs. tea in our plan.... We banned coffee because we both have a minor addiction to it and we wanted to exert our willpower to prove we are the "masters of our own domain" - even if only for 10 days. That one was a lot more mental training than dietary.

I also want to see if I can get a little jolt from coffee if I lay off it for a while. It would be interesting to have a "turbo" gear from a cup of coffee or two.

Other than that I don't see one as much healthier or better than the other.


Jeff H said...

Yay for real food! Stay away from the hormone, antibiotic and chemical laden meat while your at it:)

And check your Peanut Butter ClifBars: http://www.fda.gov/oc/po/firmrecalls/clifbar01_09.html , although I doubt you eat those processed, packaged delights.

Shan said...

I've been doing the primal thing for about 4 months now, and have stuck to it pretty well except for the occasional pieces of toast before a workout.

The only thing that is sometimes a problem is my massive amount of veggie and fruit consumption - my intestinal tract sometimes freaks out when I'm working out due to all the ruffage. I'm still trying to balance all of it with more meat and good fats.

My acupuncturist recommended making "bone marrow soup" - aka go to the butcher and get lots of bones and then make a soup stock with them (i.e. simmer the bones in water for 5-6hr), then throw veggies and meat into the stock and you have a really nutritious meal. The marrow and glucosamine from the bones is really excellent for you, especially in light of all the training.

Glad to see another primal fan out there!