This week I’ve noticed a trend that I have to put the kibosh on…losing my interest in veg. It’s been a bit of a rut for a few days. What I had on hand just wasn’t all that appealing. Roasting them was going to take a bit too much effort.
change cuisines - think Mexican, Greek, or Asian (stir fry or sautee)
build more salads
pre-cut some veg
Uhhh, I’m gonna have to dig a little deeper too. It’s just fuel. No need to get all attached to the tastes of things. :)
The Whole 30 Journal - variance in strength (20 days in)
Trained this morning. One of the things Melissa asked me to watch for was declining strength. So I worked up to heavy deadlift since I have a good benchmark weight there. Answer: a little decline. Not huge, but just noticeable. Sounds like Jordan needs some more protein/fats. Lucky me.
Workout Journal + Chat with Dallas and Melissa (The Whole 9 Life)
Trained today. Things went well. Not as much pop as usual, but I’m working through that. Recording weights used as benchmark for strength loss/gain and post Whole30 goals.
What was done:
*RAMP + Core: Kneeling chops - 2x10ea
*Power: Power cleans - 1x6, 5x3 - 205# + 2 fails at #215 (meh - gotta work on technique)
Deadlift - 3x12 - 185#
Bench press + Inline SA overhead lunge on half foam roll - 3x12/6-8ea - 185#/12kg
Face pulls + Hardstyle swings - 3x12/12 - 90#/24kg
KB snatches + Overhead doubles static hold (active rest) - 30:30(a) for 3min - 16kg
KB Swings + Speed rope - 15:15 for 7min - 20kg
Now for the good part. I ran into Melissa Hartwig (first), then Dallas Hartwig (after) and talked Whole30, my energy and recovery, and some tips and tricks.
First on workout energy:
Mellissa - on low performance energy and long recovery times: need more protein AND healthy fats for b-fast and lunch (for me)
Melissa - on low energy in general: need to make sure, as you transition from using sugars to body fat as energy, to get enough carbs to sustain solid energy throughout the day and through workouts. That is usually some starch (not white potatoes). So yams, taro, banana, etc.
Dallas - on intensity and Whole30: there’s a bit of a dichotomy between the Whole30 and extremely intense training. For example, my training at Gym Jones, CrossFit Opens, Marathons, Tri’s etc. Those activities require glucose (lots). On Whole30, you’re eliminating any added sugars and grains (where most athletes get their carbs), and only getting carbs through starches and fruit/veg. Advice: put your intense training goals on hold for 30 days and mix in some longer/low intensity work (which is a great thing to mix in anyway), use medium/low intensity intervals (like 20:40 and 30:30 with lower intensity movements), etc.
Dallas - on moodiness: you’ll likely see some moodiness from days 1-12, but after it should normalize (subside). If you see moodiness beyond that, it’s likely that you’re still in acceptance phase and there are other stressors that need to be addressed as well.
Dallas/Melissa - on post Whole30: use the post Whole30 guide at the end of the eBook to step through the re-introduction of foods. They’re very methodical about it. For example, you do a full dairy day and then you go super clean for 2-3 days after to watch what happens to your moods, your sleep, your skin, your GI, etc. (in order of likeliness to be affected first/last).
My own notes: Eggs are a must. We ran out today and I’m like “shit!”. Avocados are a must (see note above about dietary fats and training). Breakfast and lunch should be the same size as dinner - need to break a longstanding habit here. Must do pre-post training meals as prescribed in the Whole30 guide.
So I experienced the haters for the first time last night. People that legitimately wanted to derail me by slandering “health” and saying things like, “you’re going to die just like everyone else” and such. Jokes abound.
My thoughts? I’m generally pretty cerebral about this stuff. I am too respectful of these particular people to yell profanities at them and tell them that they wouldn’t know health if it jumped up and bit them in the ass.
What is health? What is wellbeing? I know, but do most people? While I generally believe that most people have a basic cognizance of health and wellbeing, I don’t believe most people see it as holistically as it really is. Science has come a long way, using data that was never there in the past, in understanding what truly impacts and creates people’s wellbeing (Gallup/Healthways). But, it’s still pretty nebulous for many folks. To clarify, from what is being seen in the data, wellbeing encompasses the physical, psychological, social/emotional, financial/economic, and environmental. I’m positive these notions and concepts will continue to advance and be better understood.
Back to the beginning, why would these people hate on me for taking 30 short days of my life to experiment with a change in my diet? Simple, they don’t understand health. It’s so vast, and so mysterious, and so mythical. They have baggage from doctors who may have misdiagnosed or mistreated their conditions or diseases. They are jaded by their failures and the failures of other to attain health. They are constantly bombarded by fads and trends that over promise and under deliver. They feel unempowered to make a lifestyle change. They lack self-confidence and self-efficacy around healthy behaviors and attitudes. For one or many reasons, they work to prevent others from being empowered to make the changes they’ve failed at making.
One other thought, diet is especially polarizing for people. Eating is deeply psychological and emotional. There are myriad mores and etiquette associated with food. When you abstain from food that everyone else is enjoying, often mindlessly and automatically, you are silently rejecting them. It’s a silent attack on their behavior. No wonder people are so sensitive about “healthy diets”. On top of that, most them over the years have, as mentioned above, over promised and under delivered, even sometimes done more harm than good.
I may be wrong about some of this stuff, but for what it’s worth, I’m writing it anyway.
Workout journal + The Whole 30 Journal Entry - Day 14
Let’s talk about moods. I’m learning a bit about this body “detox” thing and apparently I’m still in acceptance phase. Psychologically, and maybe physically too, I’m still adjusting to this new diet. Since it’s so dramatic, it’s probably a big shift for the “automatic” processes. So, honestly, I’m bit more moody than normal. Jordan, I’ll talk about myself in the third person for a second, is a pretty even keeled guy. I ride pretty steady. I’ve found over the last 14 days that I’m a bit short-tempered, even get a little “man rage” going. Gotta be aware of that. Just take it eassssssy.
Now that I know this, I’ll pay really close attention to my moods when I reintroduce some foods when I transition to the Whole 9.
Another thing, and I think I have a solution, my energy is not the same during training. I’ve struggled with that. My recovery is at least a day or two longer. I’ve gotten DOMS a few times from training this month where I rarely had it all year prior. Stuff to watch. Here’s part of the solution: when I make my smoothie, I’m going to add 1/4 can of canned yams. Hopefully that will help. I think it will.
I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m getting this training structure from Alwyn Cosgrove’s New Rules of Lifting for Life. Alwyn’s stuff is world class. There are loads of talented fitness experts out there, but I just don’t see or read about many coaches/trainers that solve exercise problems like he does. He’s super practical, very much about utility (goal), and Mr. science guy too - he’s follows the evidence. It’s a great mix. I have a lot to learn, and I’m stoked about that journey. If I’m doing something wrong, as soon as I know about it, I’ll find out why, and how to fix it.
Again, felt a bit sluggish and I fueled up better this time. Had a solid breakfast with eggs, avocado, and grapes. Had a pre workout snack of 3 apple slices and almond butter + 1/2 banana. I was thinking I didn’t have enough carbs so I added the banana.
Post workout was…yet again…1/2lb organic ground beef patty, avocado, pico, over medium egg, and 1 yam roasted with olive oil and s/p…in the form of yam chips.
“A little learning is a dang’rous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.”—Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism
The Whole 30 Journal - Week 1 in the books and feeling like a million bucks.
A few random thoughts - in unorthodox journalistic style I saved the best for last.
I learned a few things about eating out this week. It’s hard. Extreme PIA for waiters and waitresses.
Otherwise, the ebook is solid on recommending how to order and what to ask for.
On another note 1 WEEK DOWN! Feeling like a million bucks. Except, traveling this week, and maybe super-sensitivity to low quality ingredients and/or crappy cooking oils like veg/peanut oils seemed to have an effect on me overall. I’m pretty sure even though I asked in every case, I got exposed to some of that crap. I’ll know better when I’m eating at home again and only getting the best, unadulterated stuff.
Also, for two or three years now, training as much as I do, and having a few little knee issues, I’ve regularly taken Aleve for anti-inflammatory purposes. Had surgery on my left knee for a tear in my patellar cartilage last May. Again, more, fairly consistent Aleve to reduce inflammation from training. Since going on The Whole 30, I haven’t taken Aleve once. I literally have no fluid or swelling in my knee at all. Loose as a goose…no tightness. I’ve trained as normal, in fact Monday and Wednesday sessions were wicked on the knees. Wednesday was GVT Front Squats. That is:
*Speed/agility work on the field with some bear crawls
Front squat - 10x10 (135#)
Good morning - 4x12
Plate slide ham curls - 4x12
That’s 100 reps of front squats and no inflammation in my knee at all after a good few years of consistent inflammation.
I’m suggesting that my chronic joint inflammation could very well be correlated to diet. Purely anecdotal yes. Real, yes. Hmmmmmm.
Workout journal + The Whole 30 Bonus Journal Entry - Day 6
A note about today’s training and workout on empty - this is what I believe so far and what I’ve gathered from discussion and reading. Please clarify or correct if I’m wrong:
So, I talked to Melissa Hartwig, just briefly, a few weeks ago about training on The Whole 30. She said, you’re really focusing on getting your body to tap into one of its best energy sources: body fat. When you load up on sugary fruits and pre-intra-post workout drinks, even when they’re “sugar” free, you’re telling you body, hey, use this sugar instead. It gets used to that. This is re-training you to use dietary and body fats for energy. Fats sustain you, metabolically speaking, much longer than sugars.
DID survive traveling, yes. Barely. I didn’t plan well. Brought a bag of raw almonds and a larabar (both “eat occasional” choices) and downed them both before we got in the air. Had nothing left for last night or pre workout this morning. So I chugged a double-strength cup of green tea I brewed and refrigerated overnight. Felt sick for the entire conditioning circuit. Last time I do that.
Anyway, sorry for the book, but I had to digress on the info above.
D1 workout today. GVT - German Volume Training *Laps and Field warmup *Conditioning - 4xstairs running (rest 60s after 4th) - 4xstairs hops (rest same as above) - 4xstairs skaters (rest same as above) *Strength: - 10x10 Front squat (135#) - 4x12 good morning - 4x12 plate slide ham curls (25#) *Finisher: - 3x10yd reverse uphill bear crawls
Oh, and BTW recovery from Tues nights slayer Gym Jones training session was perfect. I felt fine yesterday and working out today. Good stuff.
Here’s to planning better! Progress folks, progress.
Workout journal + The Whole 30 Bonus Journal Entry
What was done on Day 4 of The Whole 30:
So my mantra will be <insert Arnold’s voice> “GET TO THE CHOPPA!!!”
3x10 of ea. Clean, FS, Good Morning 2x10 ea. way KB round the world Then for time: 30x Strict Press @ #75 40x Pull-up 50x KB swing @ #53 60x Sit up 70x Burpee Finished this in 16:55 (meh). Had to go across the gym for stuff and burned time. Couldve maybe shaved a minute. Energy was decent, not great. First time with this series and maybe no pre/during supplements. Plus: 3x5 resisted lateral jumps (ea) 3x5 resisted broad jumps 2x5 resisted 50ft bear crawls 500m row (1:50 - meh)
Post workout meal was grass-fed skirt steak and organic chicken thighs marinated in white wine vinegar, EVOO, and dried ancho chile, red chile, fresh garlic, s&p, and fresh lime juice. Grilled, to medium/done, then seared hot n fast in my wok to finish. So, fajitas basically, with sautéed sweet peppers and mushrooms (same seasoning). Ate about 8oz of meat and two portions of veg. Added about fist size portion of watermelon. Drank a liter of water during my workout + a liter of water for post workout recovery and added a pinch of unrefined sea salt.
A short story of how, and why, I decided to try The Whole 30 Challenge. A couple of questions, that if you knew me well, you might ask:
Why are you doing this when you already eat healthy and look good?
What do you expect to get out of this?
Why do The Whole 30 and not just go Paleo or Vegetarian?
Where did you get all of this info?
So, we can safely assume that by the standards of most Americans, I eat a sensible, well-balanced diet and have much better than average health - that is physical, social/emotional, psychological, and so on. If you saw the national statistics in these categories, you’d see why I’m confident in writing that.
Also, a quick preamble about the behavior change process or transtheoretical model (TTM). There are five stages for healthy behaviors such as exercise, healthy eating, healthy weight, and so on. They are:
Precontemplation: not really thinking about it (the behavior)
Contemplation: thinking/thought about it occasionally OR you would consider taking action to adopt the healthy behavior in the next 6 months
Preparation: you’ve thought it <healthy behavior> and you’re ready to make a change in the next 30 days
Action: you’ve been doing <healthy behavior> for less than 6 months
Maintenance: you’ve been doing <healthy behavior> for more than 6 months
There is one (or sometimes a few) metric associated with each behavior. That’s how you say, I’m doing this healthy behavior. Ex. If you eat 5 fruits and veg everyday, you’re in action or maintenance for Healthy Eating (the behavior) as defined by the model.
Alright, so how did I get from eating sensibly, including my 5 F/V everyday, to The Whole 30 Challenge? It started by exposing myself regularly to great nutrition sources (content and programs) like Precision Nutrition (google it) and Jonny Bowden (google him), etc. So I read on the topic regularly. Sometimes I have questions I want answered, and sometimes I’m just surfing and reading. I always check my source to make sure they have credentials and know what they’re talking about. I also KNOW that things change quickly and frequently, so I take all of this with a slow, deliberate mindset.
Also, I’ve been reading and experimenting with intermittent fasting (IF), AND been reading a bit on elimination diets. This is what happens when you frequently visit good sources; this stuff just comes to you. It’s like frequenting a store, eventually you’re highly-likely to spend some money there.
The two examples above, are generally building self-efficacy, confidence, key knowledge, and at some point, unknowingly, building up the benefits. It magically happens when you read a lot from good sources, put good information (pictures, content, how-to’s, programs, etc.) in front of you, think about the subjects, etc. Before you know it, you’re trying something you may have never thought you would. Even something you may have thought, “I don’t need that”. In the final analysis, The Whole 30 is just an elimination diet and paleo, which is also a subject I’ve read a lot about, reskinned. There are some other things that need to happen to be successful long-term, but that’s another book. This is certainly not comprehensive either, just a stab at journaling the process.