Dinners

N = 1

An experiment of one.  What works for one person may not work for another.  People are different and thus respond differently to different stimuli.  Some may be incredibly healthy on a vegan diet and some may thrive on a paleo style diet.  It’s all about what makes you look, feel, and perform better. So beginning last week, I have been seriously trying to be better about my eating plan the my nutritionist has helped me design.  Yes, Chuck, embracing eating a little more and seeing what my performance does.  Now, granted, I’ve only been doing this for about a week, and my sleep hasn’t been on point, but I have felt good, especially amid a big training week.  I have been focusing on workout recovery, even when it comes to the times when I know dinner will be coming soon after the workout, I am still eating.  And it’s good, because it always turns out the dinner never actually occurs soon after the workout, ha!  Why does it take me so long to prepare it every night?  Damn squash fries…

The  biggest changes are just working on being more consistent, even on lower volume days, knowing that I’ve created a deficit during the big days.  I’ve been reading a lot from some of the top pro athletes who have experimented with optimizing recovery and eating more, better, quality foods.  We’re not talking Snickers bars that I’m shoving down, but sweet potatoes, coconut milk and oil, grass-fed meat, chicken, etc…. even all natural, organic bacon! (Yes, me!)

As Robb Wolf says, “try it for 30 days” and if I don’t like it better, I can go back to the way I was before… but we all know that wasn’t getting me anywhere.  I’m RACING this weekend!!

And I’m determined to focus on eating appropriate calories during this race so that I perform optimally.  I usually just try and eat “just enough to get me through” so that I can “save up” calories for my post-race dinner.  This is moronic.  If I want to be great, I need to fuel that, plus that deficit is going to be so big all of it will be used (including that dinner) to fuel me and help me recover.

Speaking of previous race, I’m realizing that I’m good, but I’m not great.  I’m stuck maintain habits that have kept me “good” as well.  I have a world champion coach with 16 years of experience who is asking me to change a few things.  If I want to be great, wouldn’t listening make sense? Clearly, my way is adequate, but not ideal.  So embracing this, I am ready to move forward.

We had a great training day at Fort DeSoto this weekend and it was a lot of fun to just hang out and enjoy the beach afterward.  Can’t complain about having this in my backyard:

And speaking of good food—here were some delicious, however, not very appetizing (and I’ll admit to that) meals from the past weeks!

So I can’t wait for the half ironman Sunday!  Wish me luck!

  1. Have you made any big changes in your life lately?
  2. What’s your n=1 for 30 days?
  3. Anyone racing this week??

 

Rants and Raves

I know I haven’t done a written post in a while, but that’s because I’ve been putting together some podcasts that I hope you all can listen to! First I want to talk about a few things that have been awesome lately... and then a couple rants I have- one being really important.

So- things I’m loving:

  • As I’ve said before, that my computer can read articles to me--but this time, the WAY it reads some words. My favorite is “Paleo”, which it reads “Pahh-lee-oh”.  Also, if anyones types “xoxo” it reads it as “Sockza”  Haha, explain that to me.  And just to let you know, I imagine you all in real life sounding like a computer robot since I have the computer speak your blog posts lol.
  • Brussell Sprouts.  Really! I love vegetables and they are a new way to incorporate more variety.
  • Full fat coconut milk: Check it out- here I mixed it with spaghetti squash and cinnamon... so bomb:

  • The fact that I still got some high-intensity workouts while I was traveling to Nashville last week. Also met up with my man JC there, who owns www.JCDfitness.com.

  • My swims the week before last--I swam over 15,000yds! Hoping to repeat that this week
  • I signed up for 2 races next month- The Gasparilla half marathon on March 4th and the Ocala HITS Half Ironman triathlon on March 25th!  I really need these to test my readiness for Boston so I’m really looking forward to it!  Not thrilled that I have to race against my coach though... but at least he’s not in my age group!
  • FEARLESS NUTRITION RADIO! The podcast I have started with a friend of mine.  We did our bios in the first episode and had an interview with expert Sean Croxton last week.  Pretty cool that we’ve been able to line up some VERY acclaimed and esteemed guests to interview!
  • I ate bacon.. no really!  For the first in my life and all on my own!  Here I made bacon wrapped chicken:

  • I went to Disney last weekend and rode the Rock n’ Roll coaster for the first time... fun picture:

  • New threads: Fly?
  • I downloaded Instagram

  • Joined Pintrest.. not a bad way to collect recipes and workouts I want to try

Now a couple rants!

  • First, I don’t know if any of you have listened to the podcasts!  We haven’t had many questions come on or any comments.  These take a lot to work and I really want to bring you guys a lot of benefit!  Please let me know if you have any questions that we can answer and guests you’d like to see.  I’ve got nutritionists, pro athletes, and health gurus lined up and I really want to keep this up!
  • Next- I was watching the show “Fat Chef” on Food Network.  I love Food Network and I appreciate what they are doing but it just highlights again to me how many (I didn’t say all!) “Registered Dietitians” really have no idea what they are doing.  The nutritionist wanted to put a 340 pound woman on an 1,800 calorie diet. Clearly she had no idea about the actual laws of thermogenisis where that woman’s metabolism is actually going to be HIGHER than an average-weight person. Not to mention she’s probably burns twice as many calories as the average person as rest due to the fact of supporting and moving all that weight around and the calories needed to maintain it. The right way to do this is to lower calories below maintenance, but this is still going to be a significant amount of calories which will slowly be tapered down as the woman’s weight decreases proportionately.  Sorry, but that just drives me crazy, same with the Biggest Loser, that these “Celebrity dietitians” don’t know things such as this.  Sorry.

Ok, if you read one, read this one.  My dad sent me an email last week asking if the changes I had made in my life lately were truly benefitting me.  And he was asking completely earnestly.  I took this back to my nutritionist as she has been helping me with a lot of things- prioritizing nutrition, sleep, and all that etc. Basically, she called me out real hard.  I had to be honest with myself and my dad and to her!  Have I done any of the plan that I’ve time, money, and focus on doing?  NO!  Not really.  Yeah, I’ve changed my diet for the better, but what good is that if I am not sleeping enough and not making the lifestyle changes that will allow this better, healthier paleo diet to actually work!

How can I expect to increase my testosterone, beat the iron deficiency that has caused me to become anemic, and to release my fears and comforts with foods if I don’t take the first steps to get me there? So basically, I need to harden the fuck up and step it up.  If I can focus so hard on the other things in my life like working out and eating, why can’t I put the remaining piece of the puzzle into place? I am committing to do (I’m sure you’re laughing and saying “gee Chuck, you’ve only said that a MILLION times!”) but now, the harsh reality that my nutritionist has brought to light has got me focused.

Thank you all for reading.  Now go listen to my podcast!

Questions:

  1. What questions do you have for the podcast?  What guests would you like Max and I to have on the show?  We really can get some “famous” people on there!
  2. Do you have any tasty recipes or ideas using coconut milk?
  3. What are you ranting and raving about this week

Mile 6.5 got really dark...

The Disney World Wine and Dine Half Marathon was last week... on Saturday NIGHT, starting at 10:00PM.  It was cool, but makes for a really hard day to plan for? My parents were in Orlando visiting--my aunt got some rooms so they came down to stay.  Kind of cool that the race fell on the same weekend!

I did a short run and dip in the pool in the morning then ate and headed to Disney... what a magical place

I made the expo cut off by about 10 minutes since it somehow ended at 4 and I guess I didn’t even think about that.  I then checked into the hotel and saw my parents before taking a HARD nap lol.

The busses took a while to load, but I got the start line eventually no problem.  The gun went of and we were serenading with music, fireworks, and Mickey and Minnie.

I started strong, running at about the pace I wanted to. The course was “flat” but a lot of it was on the roads that connect all the Disney Parks so we had a lot of On and Off ramps on the highways to climb as well as bridges.  Honestly, my favorite part was running through different parks and actually sped up. Everything was going great till I got to about mile 6.5...

Something hit me... not a bonk but just that odd feelings of “this is kind of hard... am I enjoying this? Do I have to run 18 miles in the hills of Las Vegas next month? Am I ready? What am I doing with my life?”

Like, for a while I just felt ...unhappy? May that’s not the word I’m looking for but I can’t put my finger on it.  I continued to push through the race and my overall pace was not where I wanted, but I ran hard.  I ended up doing like 1:29:21 for 13.3 miles which came out to a 1:28:00 even for 13.1.

Nowhere near a Personal Best but it was ok, especially running at night.  I finished 32 of 8300+ and won my age group. But I didn’t feel right.  I felt bloated and fat, which I know I looked, but had no idea why.

I drove back to Tampa that night with the plan of a good dinner (since I wasn’t going to eat a true dinner before the race) and getting a long ride in the morning.

I ended up going to bed too late and knew I couldn’t ride far on that little sleep.  I slept in a little and did a medium length ride with a solid brick run!  I then headed back to Disney and spent an awesome day in Epcot with my family!  I stayed the night and we went to Animal Kingdom in the morning.  That’s kind of where the trouble started for me.

I just didn’t feel good.  All I could think about was that I was tired, hadn’t worked out, and didn’t know when I would be able to.  At about noon, I decided I was going to go home so I could eat food that didn’t make me anxious, get a nap and get a workout.

I got home and ate, but then couldn’t drag myself up to get a good workout.  I barely did a bike workout and realized how freaking upset and mad I was at myself- I had a horrible training day and basically bailed on my family who I had no idea when I would see again.  Things sucked.

The following day, I smashed a workout which was good, but I still felt bad about leaving my family.  When you have problems like that- suck that shit up and find your priorities.  I decided to clear my schedule and take one more day off from work Wednesday.  I had a great workout in the morning then headed back (AGAIN) to Disney to spend one more full day me family.  Just me, my mom, my dad, all day in the Magic Kingdom.  It was seriously one of the best days I’ve had in so so long and it was so amazing to see them again.

This brought me out of that dark place I went into on Saturday night.  I know this sounds like it was just me feeling sorry for myself, but it's not.  Take every moment you get to do some magical and savor it.  Tell your family you love them, prioritize your life, avoid things that aren’t moving you in a positive direction.  I am so glad I made that decision to go back and spend the day with them- the weather was gorgeous and I basically got to re-live some childhood memories on Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, and Space Mountain.

I’m in a much better place now, but there were parts of that week that were still tough.  Suck it up, learn from it, move forward, live life, enjoy life!

Make sure you know where your priorities are and tell those who you love just how much you love them.  Tell your friends how much you appreciate them.  A lot of you guys I have never met, but the impact you play in my life is without match.  Thank you all.

Right now I am in Chicago and in the morning will be running the Urbanathlon!  I’ll be sure to post on this next week so stay tuned. Thank you all

  1. How do you overcome a tough struggle?
  2. Are you excited for fall?? (Ever made fries from pumpkin?)

If you don't know who you are...

...How can your dreams come true? My triathlon season is 5 days away from kicking way back up into high-gear.  On Sunday I'll be in DC racing the Nations Tri- a pretty big and competitive Olympic distance race. I am feeling very confident about myself and firmly believe that what you believe is what you will make happen.  The opposition is going to be fierce so I will take it for what it is, however, after doing some research lately, I'm coming to believe that our minds are our only limiters and that believing in yourself, you can push through any pain that you believe limits you!  After this race, I have a week off before Ironman 70.3 Augusta, my third half ironman of the season.

But lately I've been somewhat questioning myself- not questioning my ability, but questioning WHO I am racing for.  Recently, it has seemed that I am not grinding through hard workouts solely for myself, but so that I can work harder, work more, and live up to the expectations of the people who follow me.  Whether it be coworkers, friends, my family, and even all the other triathlete I interact with on Twitter... What if they are doing more that me, what if they rode their bikes 60 miles and I only rode 50? Well what F**king if?!  If I do "less" than another person, does that make me a worse athlete?  Does it mean that I then need to eat way less to make up for that?  I'll let you decide on what you think the answer is...

Who cares?  I need to race/train/LIVE for me, not anyone else. But this being said, let me train, race, and eat because of them, not for them. It is motivation to see the success of others- people who have turned from non-athletes to Ironmen, of for people who cannot do what I do as much as they'd like to. Or even for those who have NO desire to do anything I do--I know my mom is absolutely no way wants to do a half-Ironman, but I do know that she is proud to watch me race in HEALTHY, competitive, properly nourished fashion.

So who am I? I'm someone who races for the love and passion of it all- not to be "better" than anyone else, or, God forbid, for an excuse to all myself to eat.

What really has me excited and nervous though, is my impending ITU Long Course Championships triathlon in Las Vegas in November.  This race, as I've mentioned, is on the world stage and is going to require a lot of hard work from me starting... well a month a go, ha. I got my registration notice in my e-mail today and have to sign up by the end of the week (gulp!)  The race is like a 3/4 ironman so it will be the longest race I've done to date.  But you know what?  Who knows when I will get this chance to be part of Team USA again?  It will be hot, hilly, windy, and unforgiving... But I'll finish... and I'll finish strong.

And check out the new Team Apex Endurance gear I'll be repping for the rest of the season!

I missed all the rides I had planed this weekend, but was really proud of myself for getting out and putting in work on my own.  Sunday I did a 4.5 mile run, 25.5 miles bike, 3.2 mile run, 60 minutes on the spin bike (20 miles), and another 1.6 mile run. Then Monday, I used the same format, but made the outdoor ride 10 miles longer.  Dude, the wind was BRUTAL this weekend!  This was all on the old Felt too, as the my baby, my B12, is en route to DC!

So if you're in DC this weekend, let me know and let's meet up!

I also know its been forever since I've blogged!  Here's a quick recap of my why and whats been going on:

First I was in New York with the family for a day (and got to meet up with Katelyn!)

After that, the family and I went to a lake where I got to spend another day with them before jetting off the Virginia Beach for work

After spending the week in Virginia Beach, it was back to Tampa for a weekend or so. Got some good training in and some awesome homemade grub.  I've basically just been using coconut oil to bake butternut or sweet potatoes fries... um like every night. So healthy, and if it tastes good, why not, right?? I have like 30 different variations now, haha, so just ask if you want to know what they are.

Then, later that week, I had to fly to Atlanta for work for a couple nights.  Finally I'm home, but I'm flying to DC Friday morning for the race! And, yay, I get to fly home just hours after the race to be back at work Monday... whoop whoop!

Think about something you do that your are passionate about... now ask yourself WHY you are passionate about it?  Rekindle that love for it and do it for you!

  1. What is that thing you are most passionate about and why?
  2. Best thing you had to eat this week? And how do you use coconut oil, if you don't, any reason why?
Have an amazing week!

Throwdown! (Paleo-Blogger style)

well right now I'm up at Lake Conesus in upstate New York with no Internet so I'm posting from my iPhone! However, as the INITIATOR of a Paleo-recipe throwdown challenge, my opponent, Lori from www.whatrunslori.com, had to post hers yesterday, I have to make the best of surroundings and post mine. So no pictures, however, they will come along with the VIDEO for my recipe! The challenge was to make a paleo recipe using Ground beef and Coconut cream/milk! Weird I know, right? But I had to make it hard... It's a throwdown!

So what I came up with was coconut meat sauce! Here is the recipe for one person-ish - 1/2 pound grass-fed ground beef - 1/4 cup real coconut milk (in the video I add another 1/4 cup of water, but don't do this) - 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms - 1/4 cup diced onions - garlic and onion powder to taste - touch of chipotle powder

Start by browning the ground beef, the add the onions and mushrooms into the pan with the juices. One the onions are truculent, add the coconut milk and let simmer. Serve this over a delicious baked and shredded spaghetti squash!

Tasted great! Now head over to www.whatrunslori.com and check out her Paleo Coconut Cream Olive Meatballs

Now YOU be the judge! Leave a comment on my blog or hers with your vote. HOWEVER, be fair because her blog is prettier than mine and has nicer pictures ; )

But my recipe video will be up soon!

Leave a vote and have a great weekend guys!