F*** You, Paleo

I think that paleo is turning me into a crazy person.

My last two weekends have been almost entirely consumed by food prep.  Here’s the thing: I don’t have a lot of time to cook during the week (more on that, later).  So I have been taking the weekends to prepare meals for the week in advance, making good use of my newly acquired slow cooker.  But even so, it feels like I have spent almost every waking moment over the past two days in the kitchen.

Rather than recount my weekend step by step, let me just point out that between Friday evening and today, I’ve prepared the following foods.

  • Steaks
  • Zucchini noodles (twice)
  • Meat sauce
  • Enchilada Chicken Stew
  • Homemade lemon vinaigrette
  • Scrambled eggs (twice, once with bacon)
  • The rest of the bacon that I didn’t use up when I made the scambled eggs
  • A breakfast casserole
  • A pot roast (still in the slow cooker)

Before this challenge, my diet consisted almost entirely of lean cuisines, takeout, and spite.  Because at the end of the day, the last thing I want to do when I come home from work is pretty much anything.  And my job is unpredictable enough that I could easily wind up having to stay late on short notice.  So, the smart thing to do is to shift food prep to the weekend, right?  Except then, I am using my much needed weekend downtime to prepare, store, and clean up after meals for the entire week.

Most of you reading this are probably well-functioning adults who accept the fact that being an adult means less free time, and more time spent doing basic life maintenance tasks, like cleaning, or I don’t know, budgeting.  But I am currently in a position where I need to spend every precious, precious moment of free time I have on doing things that help me to relax, none of which happen to be basic life maintenance tasks (the reasons why are a topic for another day or, perhaps never, because I really don’t know you all that well, Mr. person-on-the-other-side-of-the-monitor).

Which brings me to one of my chief complaints about paleo: it takes time.  So much time.  I never thought I would spend more than a minute of my life contemplating which store brands of broth have sugar added – yet today I spent about 20.  It’s not just the prepping and the cooking and the cleaning (I must have done about half a dozen sink-fulls of dishes, never mind what got put in the dishwasher); you have to spend time figuring out whether any damn thing you put in your mouth is allowed, and that takes time, mental energy, and (in my case) an always on Internet connection.

I  have access to the Internet, a basic knowledge of cooking, and a wide array of kitchen gadgets.  And this is still turning into another part-time job.  How are folks who already have multiple jobs supposed to do something like this?  Or folks who don’t have easy access to grocery stores?  And that’s not even taking into account the fact that if you really do paleo “right,” it can be pretty expensive (that’s a topic for another post).

I’m sure that this is the first of many times this month I will be giving a hearty Fuck You to Paleo.  But for now, I need to sign off.  I have a motherfucking pot roast to carve.

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F*** You, Paleo

Boot camp to the head

Another grueling boot camp session – and this was just the other assessment workout.

First, I couldn’t really finish the strength set before the assessment workout.  It was supposed to be 30 straight dead lifts (with dumbbells, increasing the weight after each ten reps) and 30 “curtsy” lunges, each side (with dumbbells, increasing the weight after each set of ten reps on each side).  I gassed out somewhere in the second set of lunges…I just could not keep getting back up, and I didn’t want to push myself.

After a rest I did the assessment workout:

  • Row 1000m
  • 50 squats
  • 30 strict presses (dumbbells)

Again, I ate today the same as yesterday.  Consistency.

I am pretty sore.  We will see how I feel in the morning.  My plan this week is to hit three Boot Camp workouts (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday).  Assuming I survive, next week I will try to scale up to 4.

I’m finding that I don’t have much energy at the end of the day for long posts, so hopefully I can post some more entertaining stuff over the weekend.

Boot camp to the head

Things I can’t do, apparently…

…include running 400m without getting gassed.  Once, let alone 3 times.

Today I did one of the two “benchmark” workouts that will be used to measure how my fitness has increased at the end of the challenge.  I took the “beginner” level workout, which was three rounds of…

  • 400m run
  • 10 sit ups
  • 10 burpees

There were 7 minute intervals, so when you finished your set, you rested until the next interval mark.

I am…not in good shape.  Let’s just put it that way.  Even the warm-ups pushed me.  One of the things I have been struggling with is the fact that, post-injury, I lost a lot of conditioning due to my recovery time.  I spent about 5 months doing little to no exercise (outside of the 3 or so months of physical therapy), so when I started to get back on the mat…I felt it immediately.  That, plus the heat, kept me off the mat for most of the summer.  And so here I am now, with terrible conditioning.  Oh, I am sure it will get better with time, but right now it is super frustrating.

I pretty much ate the same today as I did yesterday.

Things I can’t do, apparently…

Fall down nine times…

…get up ten.*

Here’s the skinny: I was pretty fat, found martial arts and got thinner, then got injured and got fat again.  I am back on the mat now (taking it slow), but wanted to do something to kick start my weight loss, so I joined a 30-day nutrition/weight loss challenge at my gym.

The nutrition component is Paleo.  If you don’t know what that is, it’s that thing where you eat like a caveman, if a caveman could shop at Whole Foods.  I’m biased against it to start with, but I decided I can try just about anything for 30 days (except Clown College. that’s a non-starter). The nature of my bias will be explained in a future post.  The exercise component is a stripped down version of Crossfit, 3-5 times per week.

Today was Day 1 for eating.  I’ll try my first workout tomorrow.  I’m not a stranger to exercise, or hard physical activity, but I am a bit nervous, due to Crossfit’s extreme reputation.

Anyway, here’s what I ate today:

Breakfast: Fritata (egg, sausage, peppers, zucchini)

Lunch: Chili (beef, carrots, onion, celery, peppers, tomatoes, tomato sauce)

Dinner: Chicken (lemon/garlic, herbs), spinach (sauteed with garlic), broccoli (steamed)

This was supposed to be a short intro post.  More tomorrow.

*That’s the saying that inspired this blog.  The Internet attributes this to Jon Bon Jovi, which just can’t be right.  But as a practicing martial artist, it’s the definition of “success” that matches most closely with my own experience.

Fall down nine times…