eat clean, train dirty

The quest is officially over; we had a fantastic celebration to mark its ending last night complete with a live band and plenty of food (most of which, incidentally, still qualified as paleo or primal — minus of course the birthday cakes and the beverages). One quick observation from the party last night: I was stuck by the number of incredibly attractive, healthy, happy, fun people I hang out with now. Y’all, my friends are hot. And really really fun.

Anyway, in my discussions last night with my various hot friends, the topic of 90-10 (or 85-15, or 80-20) came up repeatedly. You don’t have eat paleo or primal all the time — you develop a lifestyle in which you eat paleo or primal for 90% of the time, and you eat that damn doughnut if you want 10% of the time. So, that’s where I pretty much am at. I ate a granola bar this week, but it hurt my teeth and gave me a decent headache. I had a beer and a caipirinha last night, and an Irish carbomb cupcake that made my eyes roll back in my head a little bit. Totally worth it. Totally. But today? I’ve eaten my ridicule-inducing ONE EGG breakfast and my coffee with half and half. I’ve eaten a banana, and I’m thinking about some chicken and brussels for lunch. I’m a completely converted, 90-10 primal eater (primal means I get my half and half). I LOVE IT.
eat clean train dirty

1) I did not lose any weight. My weight stayed damn near exactly the same (@126.5 on the scale at the box, if you care). I did lose a few inches, though not many. I’ll have to get my total numbers from Kelsey, but I know my chest measurement is smaller by a fraction and I think I may have shrunk a little bit in other places too. So, if my weight stayed the same but I tightened up, that means I did lose fat and gain lean muscle.
2) I did improve my capacity for lifting. Over the course of this quest, I posted PRs for 1 and 3 rep maxes on the deadlift, clean and jerk, and shoulder press. I attribute this to a trifecta of awesomeness: the diet, consistent training (I made it to the box at least 5 times a week during the quest), and excellent coaching.
3) I also improved several of my WOD times: I took time off Fran, Helen, and my baseline. There may have been others we used as benchmarks, but those were the significant ones for me.

Other Observations:
1) My hair does not fall out in huge clumps in the shower anymore.
2) My skin does not behave as though it belongs to a fifteen year old boy anymore (though it still gets cranky at *ahem* certain times).
3) I *rarely* feel bloaty and belly-ache-y. I did have one or two days during the quest when I made cookies with almond flour and ate several over the course of a day (a couple at lunch, a couple at dinner, a few for snacks); those days were mistakes (almond flour cookies are not good binge food — much too heavy), and I did feel uncomfortably full.
4) Other digestive issues I used to suffer through (I will spare you the details) no longer bother me at all.
5) I managed to (*knock wood*) avoid completely the spring semester cold, which inevitably has me hacking and sniffling for about a week in March.
6) I’m a little more gutsy now. On a whim (and with a little encouragement from a friend), I ventured over to the rock wall at the college gym yesterday, wherein I was given a high compliment: apparently, I am “buff.” Heh. I also climbed to the top of that crazy (and scarily high) monster of a wall in three different runs, one of them with a lovely beyond-vertical overhang. It was terrifying and exhilarating.
7) I have the urge, about once a day, to purchase some Oly shoes. I’m thinking something like this:
rogue weightlifting shoes
8) I did suffer a small injury about 2 weeks ago. I took one day off, spent a few days working with scaled and/or modified movements, did a little icing and stretching, and then I was fine. I attribute that quick recovery in part to clean eating.

What I Learned:
1) You can still eat that half of a leftover pepper after it’s been sitting on the counter for a few days, the edges curling and the skin wrinkly. Same with onions. Same with zucchinis and squash that have been sitting in the crisper a little too long. They may be a bit flaccid and sad-looking, but they steam up just fine. Don’t throw away your veggies just because you didn’t buy them yesterday!
2) Anything you can do with a white potato, you can do with a sweet potato BETTER. Sweet potato fries actually have flavor, whereas regular fries are… well, they taste like ketchup and mayo (because that’s what I used to eat on them). Sweet potato fries only need a sprinkle of salt, or cinnamon if you’re feeling adventurous, and holy shit they are heavenly.
3) Brussels sprouts are surprisingly compelling. Especially when cooked in a little bacon fat.
4) It’s easy to grill all your meat (steak, chicken) on the weekend and then re-heat it during the week for lunches and quick dinners. It’s even EASIER when you don’t have to actually grill it, but you have someone who loves you who will do it for you.
5) Coconut oil is like Crisco, only BETTER. And about 8 times the cost.
6) Good food is more expensive. I already knew that. But your food is an investment in yourself. Why would you devalue yourself by eating cheap, crappy food?
7) The number of dishes you dirty is directly proportional to how healthy your eating is. The healthier you eat, the more f*cking dishes you have to do. If you’re not dirtying any dishes, you’re not eating right. This applies especially to knives and cutting boards. I chopped veggies and fruit every day on this diet. Every. Day.
8) Doing the dishes twice a day makes for clean fingernails and healthy nailbeds. Also, it gives you extra opportunity to soften up those calluses and grind them down a little.

1) My grey hair has not magically disappeared. Oh well.


2 thoughts on “eat clean, train dirty

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