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

  • 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!


  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

Fearless Nutrition Radio: Episode 2- Interview with Sean Croxton!

Hey guys!  I know I haven't done an actual post in a while ( I NEED TO) but I've been busy working on the podcast and getting guests lined up! This week Max and I had the pleasure of interviewing Sean Croxton of and he had tons of amazing information to share!  Takeaway: How can an old school food cause a brand new disease? #JERF Just Eat Real Food

Listen in iTunes here!  Please leave us a ranking so that I know you are listening and please leave a comment on the blog if you listened and what you thought!

Remember, if you have any fitness, health, or nutrition questions you would like to see discussed on the show, leave them a comment here, or send us an email at

Have a great week everyone!


Leap: that term can be met with one of two answers:

  1. Skepticism and what are you talking about? Leap? What??
  2. How high?

I find myself being on both sides of this answer depending on who the direction is coming from.  And I think this is the simplest factor in success of your goals and overcoming your fears and restraints. For years I’ve been struggling with eating right, exercising correctly for my goals, and devoting more time and brain power to thoughts about food and workouts than to the people who matter most in my life.

That’s where the skepticism occurs.  I can do research all day online about the best ways to eat or exercise, listen to different experts in the industry speak on health and nutrition, or have intense conversations with loved ones about how much more I could be getting out of life.  But if you don’t truly BUY IN to this, and are willing to Leap, you won’t meet your goals if you’re the one holding yourself back.

I’ve spent years meeting with different registered dietitians trying to find the right ones.  The majority I haven’t been able to make progress with.  Either they didn’t understand me and my goals, or they were completely wrong about nutrition and the sessions were spent with me educating them!  I’ve had a few who have been amazing—they knew what they were talking about, I believed them,  I respected them, and most importantly, I trusted them and looked up to them—almost like a boss or celebrity.

These are the ones where they told me to “Leap” and I respond “how high?”  Maybe you don’t have this problem with your goals.  I have no problem doing many things where I trust myself, but nutrition and exercise are the points in my life that I need the most guidance on.  Currently, I am putting my team together to help get my life in order.

  • I have an amazing family who I trust and love and who I know will always be there for me
  • I finally have a doctor who understand the implications of what disordered eating and strenuous exercise can do to your health and is keeping tabs on me
  • I have a great triathlon coach and friend who is helping me with my plan and racing who I really trust, and I also have a number of close friends in the triathlon community who support me
  • Finally, I have a new Dietician who is incredible.  Not only does she know far more than I do, she GETS me and she has been through the same struggles I have.  She is also extremely responsive and I can tell she actually cares!  I’m sure you all know what I am talking about—when someone truly cares, their input makes a world of difference.  She was straight up with me and said “do exactly what I’ve told you to do—I will not get you fat, I promise!”

So what do I think one the keys to success and change is?  Trust.  You must buy into the commitment you are making and trust those who are there to help you.  This goes for all goals—if you’re trying to lose weight or gain weight, you need to find a nutritionist you can trust.  Find a personal trainer who cares about you and wants to see you succeed and buys into that goal WITH you.  Finally, connect with your family and friends and get them on your team.

Thus, I’m ready to embrace this change heading into 2012.  But I’m not waiting until January 1st to start—instead I am already embracing next year and the ones to come after that.  After all, health and happiness aren’t annual  entities—they are life long.

My nutrition is improving too and I’m making the adjustments that my nutritionist and I have planned.  I’m eating much more fat from natural sources than I ever have in my life.  It really is so much more satiating and makes you feel so much better—grass fed meats, avocados, coconut butter and coconut oil, olive oil, nut butters, eggs, and raw organic full-fat dairy like whole milk, whole yogurt and cheese, and real butter.

Recipes coming soon!

I’m also focused on eating better around my workouts and during my workouts!  I made my first batch of paleo energy cookies last weekend and I’ll start posting some of those recipes.  The biggest limiter for me is sleep.  What do you mean 4 hours isn’t enough?  I know, I know… Amy, my nutritionist has also given me guidance on my strength training as well and her number 1 rule is, if less than 6 hours of sleep, not allowed to workout.  You won’t have the energy and your body will instead just secrete more Cortisol which can lower testosterone and other factors of increasing fat storage and hampering muscle gain.

My triathlon support team is also making progress.  I want to have my most successful year to date in 2012 and know I can improve when pairing a better diet and sleep with better training.  I looked at a few of my results this morning and I noticed that I have gotten faster, and raced longer, but not substantially from when I was a new triathlete to now.

So, 2012 goals—besides being healthier, happier, and a better friend and family member!

  • Do a full muscle-up!  Check out the video—basically a full pull-up into a dip (Means I’ve got to get stronger!)
  • Break 3 hours at the Boston marathon and possibly at another marathon later in the year
  • Qualify for ITU Long Course Duathlon Worlds
  • Qualify for ITU Long Course Triathlon Worlds
  • PR in every distance race
  • Break 4:50:00 in a half ironman race
  • What else?  I know I’ve got more that aren’t so result oriented and I’ll add them as I think of them

Speaking of change, I’m thinking about changing the name of my blog… the content wouldn’t change, but being that I write about more than just recipes, I’m considering the change.

Vote here and let me know what you think!

[polldaddy poll=5768602]

  1. What are your goals for 2012?  How are you going to achieve them- do you have a plan?
  2. Merry Christmas!

PowerBar Winners

Congratulation to : Michael McCollum



Send me an email and I'll get the bars out to you!

I'm finally starting to pick up some structured training again.  I'm going to be racing a half marathon in Clermont this weekend, at actually The National Training Center, so that should be a lot of fun!  Goals for this race: I have no idea lol.  Just do it and don't bail.  Also, goals for the week include going to the Lightning hockey game on Thursday as it's the last one I'll be in town for this year.

I'm headed back to DC for Christmas to see my family for Christmas next week.  So if you're in town and want to get together to hang out, or do some training let me know!  Especially anyone who reads but doesn't comment!

I've got a good post in mind for tomorrow of the next day, as well as some good new recipes so stay tuned!

Hope y'alls weeks are off to a great start!

1) What are you doing for Christmas?

2) Are you asking for anything in particular?