Tuesday, July 2, 2013

New Stuff

What a craaaaaazy year.  Just crazy.  Jaysus.  If you had asked me 365 days ago where I'd be today, I would NEVER have told you that I'd be a full-time CrossFitter.  Nor would I have imagined that I could give 0 shits about measuring my food anymore.  Sometimes I am truly fascinated how the smallest decisions and life choices can completely change the course of our lives.   Not only MY choices, but the choices of others, as well.

An ex of mine introduced me to CrossFit last year, and I fell in love with it.  People talk about drinking the kool-aid all the time.  I don't have the patience to explain why I like it in this blog, because I've already explained it once.  Now that we've settled that, I'd like to discuss how my training has evolved this year.  I no longer train in body part splits.  I did that for 4 years, and while it had its place for aesthetic purposes, that's no longer what my training is about.  Now I train for function and for performance, not a look.  I'd rather be able to clean and jerk my body weight, not have the best glute-ham tie-in.  I do not think 1 form of working out is superior to the other...they're just different.  I'm having a blast with my training.  I feel strong, athletic, powerful, and beastly.  I feel better than I have in years.  Every time I step into the gym I try to best my most recent performance.  I compete against myself, I use others to push me, and I thrive off of the energy in the room.  If it's a cult, count me IN.

My eating habits have changed this year, too.  CrossFitters typically follow the Paleo Diet.  For those who are unaware, Paleo instructs us to eat what the caveman used to eat: meats, nuts, seeds, fruits.   Processed foods bad, T-Rex good.  I agree with parts of Paleo, and I vehemently disagree with other parts.  Here's what I like about its implementation for the general public:
  • Elimination of processed buuuullllshit
  • Eat whole, real, naturally-occurring foods
  • Compose meals mostly around protein, veggies, and clean carb/fat sources
  • Don't fear fat!
Here's what I dislike:
  • Carbs = bad and should be avoided 
  • Keep nutritious carbs (fruits, etc) to a minimum
  • Use fat as your energy source
  • Dairy is bad
  • Glute/inflammation are the root cause of all illnesses and should be avoided at all costs
I read a lot of pro-Paleo articles that absolutely villainize carbs.  Carbs apparently are the #1 reason we're all fat and dying, didn't you know that?  Yeah, no.  A caloric surplus is the #1 reason we're all fat.  There are some people who will swear up and down and left and right that fat gain is not a result of being in a caloric surplus.  I can't say this enough, people: you gain or lose weight/fat by controlling your CALORIES.  You reduce the fat on your ass by reducing the # of calories you consume in a day, whether that be by eating LESS overall food or by moving that ass a little more, or a combination of both.

This is where I think Paleo loses a lot of people: it can be overly-restrictive and not practical for most people, especially most athletic people.  What's funny is if you look at the top performers in CrossFit, they don't adhere to Paleo like you may think.  Rich Froning, for example, drinks a shitload of milk.  Dairy is a no-no on Paleo.  But homeboy should really just have his own cow at this point.  Athletes typically need carbs, and a lot of them, to perform at the highest levels.  Paleo can look dangerously close to keto, and that's really my biggest problem with it.  Keto sucks so bad and is so, so stupid, unless you have a medical condition.  If you want to ruin your metabolism and completely eff up your body's ability to process carbs, then follow keto.  And fibrous vegetables are NOT carbohydrates.   So stop with that.

I guess the take home message for me on Paleo is this: eat whole foods as often as possible (at least 80% of the time or more).  Also, I'd like to say this: our boy, the caveman, is extinct.  We evolve as a species, and I think our diets should also evolve.  Sometimes innovation is a good thing...........just sayin.'

So, on my quest for nutritional perfection, I've created some new, really tasty recipes.  I've also discovered some ridiculous food blogs, which are linked over on the right side if you want to get your taste buds tingling.  

Protein Brownies

Protein is still a staple obviously, but I have a sweet tooth.  These are a perfect blend of sweet and healthy and I can eat 2 of them as a meal replacement without feeling like a jerk.

2 scoops whey (I used Ultra Peptide 2.0 Triple Chocolate)
1 c almond flour
1/4 c cocoa powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 c stevia for baking or any baking blend
2 room temp eggs
2 t vanilla
1/3 c coconut oil, melted
3/4 c almond milk
1/2 c dark choc chips (optional) 

Mix wet and dry ingredients separately and then combine.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 mins, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  You can add about 1/2 c applesauce to this for denser brownies, if you'd like. 

Protein Ice Cream

So I recently purchased an Ice Cream maker on Amazon.  This one, to be exact.  It's the tits.  All I do is mix up 1.5 cups of almond milk and then add 1.5 scoops of any protein powder of my choice.  Blend in Magic Bullet, pour in ice cream maker, and poof!!  Deliciousness ensues.  I've made a bunch of variations:

UP 2.0 Lemon Cream Pie + honey drizzle

Protean Vanilla Mint Swirl + homemade caramel + choc chips

UP 2.0 Butterscotch + homemade caramel

UP 2.0 Lemon Cream Pie + homemade gluten-free granola

UP 2.0 Lemon Cream Pie + blackberries + honey drizzle

I've found that Ultra Peptide 2.0 yields the best ice cream, as the fat content is higher than in most other protein powders.  The end result is a creamier texture.  Regular powders can be a bit more like ice milk than ice cream.  My favorite flavors are Chocolate Mint, Butterscotch, Lemon Cream Pie, and Cinnamon Roll.  Have fun with this easy recipe, guys - it's meant to satisfy that sweet craving that you have at the end of the night while also providing you with some extra protein for your mooscles.

Alright, that's it for now.  More later.  Holla!

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