After wrapping up my first week back working out and dialing in my nutrition, I am feeling incredibly refreshed. It hasn’t been easy though! With limited amounts of sleep, juggling two munchkins, plus three travel days last week, making sure I put my time in and stayed on track with my nutrition was challenging!
Let’s start with the hard part: The Zone Diet. I won’t lie, after nine months of not really monitoring what I ate (not that I went overboard by any means), weighing and measuring food is rough! It is challenging for two reasons: first, I am always thinking about food (I swear this makes you hungrier), second, it takes a lot of extra work in comparison to just tossing food on your plate. I definitely feel like I am getting plenty of food, it is just having to tell myself I only get a certain amount of certain things with each meal that gets challenging. This week I have been reminded of a few of my bad habits- first off, I eat a lot of meat, more than I need. Secondly, I have a chocolate problem. I always keep a Costco bag of chocolate chips in my cupboard, and every night, I grab a handful for a special little treat. Given I do share a few of those chocolate chips with my daughter, I am still eating about half a cup each day. That giant bag of love may just have to take a one way trip to a friends house. Overall, I feel like things are going well. I know if I can hang in there for 30 days, my hormones will balance out, and the weighing and measuring will become second nature to me again. I decided to help keep me on track each week, I would make a specific goal to focus on. This week’s goal is going to be to cut out dairy. At Level One CrossFit Seminars, we talk about how dairy consumption can cause an inflammatory response in many people. The only way to really know if you are one of those people is to take it out for a while (4-6 weeks) and then put it back in and see how you feel. Week one starts now!
One more thing on the Zone! A friend of mine sent me a message asking me a few questions regarding the Zone. They were such great questions, I thought I would share a few with you and add my answers as well. I am sure if one person is wondering about it, many of you are! If you have Zoned before and would like to add to an answer, I would love it! Also, I thought I would post a photo and explanation of my favorite Zone meal of each week. Here you go!
-Do I need a scale? Absolutely! The only way to accurately measure your food is with a scale, otherwise your portions will slowly increase in size. I highly recommend spending the extra ten bucks or so to invest in an electronic scale. Having the ability to tare it out will save you a ton of time in the long run. I found mine at a Ross- go figure!
-Is there an app of the Zone? Yes. I have never tried them though. I am kind of an old-school journal keeper. However, I do use an app quite frequently I really like. It is called MyFitnessPal. You can log your workouts, sleep, water, and food intake on it, and it tracks everything extremely accurately. And the best thing? It is FREE and super user friendly! This app is extremely helpful when eating out too because it has just about every food imaginable on it.
-Can I eat dairy on the zone? Absolutely! Just note that some dairy products, like milk, will count for both a protein AND a carb. Take a look at the nutrition facts- if there is a balance of carbs and protein, it is a combo food. If the protein and carbs aren’t balanced, it could lean one way- for example, in a half cup of 2% cottage cheese, there are 4 grams of carbohydrate, and 16 grams of protein. That is equal to half a block of carbohydrate and over two blocks of protein, so just count the protein blocks, NOT the carbohydrate block. Let me know if that makes sense or not, I can go over it more next week!
Here is an explanation and photo of my favorite meal this week:
Four block breakfast:
Carbohydrate: whole wheat tortilla (1.5 block), 1 cup cherry tomatoes (0.5), 1 cup broccoli (0.5 blocks), 1.5 cup mixed berries with cinnamon on top (1.5 block)
Protein: 1 small sausage link (1 block), 1 oz roasted turkey breast (1 block), 2 eggs (2 blocks)
Fat: 1/2 avocado
So what about working out?
My first day back, I just went for a run. I decided to do 10 sets of 2 minutes of running, one minute of walking, and it worked really well! My lungs felt great the whole time, I felt completely revitalized by the cool Rocky Mountain oxygen. However, the last few sets of running, my hips were definitely getting a little taxed! Since then, I have tried to get as much variety in to my workouts as possible. For the most part everything feels great, just a little rusty! I am getting my hands back in shape and teaching my core where it is supposed to be (easier said than done!). I am planning on taking my first group fitness class this weekend and am jacked! Next week I am going to hop in to a few CrossFit WOD’s as well. I will be posting photos and measurements again this coming Monday, so will share with you everything about my first class back- should be interesting!
I hope everyone is having a great start to their week! Please shoot me any questions you might have, as well as any great recipes you have for the Zone! KJ out!