Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Paleo for Athletes

I've been a healthy eater my entire life. Not much processed food, lots of healthy stuff. However, I've also had severe acid reflux and insomnia periodically for years. I can remember being 5 years old and still being awake when the alarm went off in the morning. That sucks! It still sucks and makes me cranky. I refuse to take medication for acid reflux or insomnia for the rest of my life and I've been searching for solutions. Perhaps I have a food allergy or intolerance that I've never really known about? In any case, I'm going "paleo" from now on.

WTF is Paleo? You've probably heard about the Caveman diet: meat, fruit, vegetables, no grain, no dairy. That's it! Of course, I'll focus on lean protein (mostly fish and seafood) and will still have occasional dairy. I'm not going to be a Nazi about this. The goal is to feel great, fuel my body, and hopefully get rid of this f-ing acid reflux! As an endurance athlete, I won't be "strict paleo," and will make special exceptions during and after workouts. So far, it hasn't been much of a stretch, though last night I really wanted a steak. We haven't had any meat in the house except poultry and seafood, so this was weird. Whatever. I ate the steak. It was delicious.

There are some variations/versions of paleo in which people eat tons of fat or raw meat or all kinds of stuff. That's not for me. I'm also not going to play fetch with stones or crawl around in bushes or hunt wooly mammoths. I'm going to eat clean, greatly reduce grains, and focus on lean protein and fruits and veggies and train like a triathlete. Also, I'm still going to eat vinegar, occasional cheese and I'm going to imbibe delicious adult beverages from time to time.

You might be curious what I'll be eating, so I'll check in periodically and list my meals. I eat a lot and frequently. As a scientist, I like to crunch numbers, so I've been keeping track of calories, protein, carbs, etc. for the past several days. It's amazing how many carbs I eat, even without consuming any grains. Plenty. I'd much rather eat raspberries than wonderbread.

3 egg whites

huge salad with mixed greens, spinach, apples and a dijon balsamic vinaigrette
salmon with orange

Lara bar (only contain fruit and nuts, no crap): necessary before swim practice

turkey and some vegetables. Not sure because I have swim practice tonight and that messes up my eating.

Yes, it's a lot. I bring about 10 tupperware containers to work every day. Can't wait to see how this affects my training!

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