A little early for New Year’s resolutions, but as I’m only a few months away from a 50 mile run in the swamps of Florida, I decided to try some changes now and see how they work. First up, diet.
Now, I’m not trying to lose weight, but I’m aware that I could eat better than I currently do. I frequently give in to the dark side, so I wanted to see if a disciplined approach to improving my nutrition would work. To that end, at least for the next 4 months, I’m going to go on the Vegan/Paleo/Cheat diet. “Sounds intriguing!” I hear you say to yourself, “How does it work?” (By the way, I also hear some of the other things, but I’m not going to put them in print).
Here’s my plan. I will follow a comboVegan/Paleo diet when I can, which basically means breakfast and lunch. I have the most control (because it’s just me) over these meals for the most part, so I think I can stick to it. I will eat fruit (and the odd vegetable) for breakfast every morning. I may take in the odd egg, but rarely. If I drink a protein drink, I will use almond milk to mix it.
At lunch, it will be salad, generally without a meat product in it, but if I have to, turkey will be consumed. I may also have soup. For dinner, I will focus on simple lean meat and vegetables.
What I won’t be eating are processed foods, grains, refined sugar, and processed oils. So no chips, tortillas, rice or bread, yikes. But fear not, I haven’t tried and failed to cut these out of my diet (especially chips) before for nothing. Here’s where the genius of the “cheat” part comes in (thanks to my wife who knows me well). Three times a week, I’m allowed a cheat. Chips and salsa, breakfast burrito, etc. The condition is that a cheat is confined to a snack or a meal, not the entire day (I tried and failed to negotiate that).
So, basically, I’m going to try to eat better and see if reducing my grain and processed food intake improves my health/performance. I think the VPC diet sounds better than what I just wrote. If it doesn’t work, I will declare it all a fraud and go back to what I was doing before, as is my right. If it does work, expect a book next year in time for the Holidays.
To muddy the waters further, though, I will also be changing a few things about my exercise routine…
I hesitate to use any actual commercial name for what I’m doing, because my version is usually so far from what is recommended, I could probably be accused of misrepresentation. That being said, I’m loosely basing my additional training on CrossFit, and I’m adding more hill training to my regime (regimen?)
Essentially, I’ll be adding three strength workouts (squats, deadlifts and presses) during the week and will do a “workout of the day” or WOD on the days I’m not running (or on the days I don’t get to run very much). I will also decrease my mileage a bit, so that I’m only doing one “big” weekend (20 miles on Saturday and then again on Sunday) a month. What I hope to accomplish is greater strength with fewer hours, giving me more time back to spend with the family. The test will be Green Swamp 50 miler in March.
Week 1 Update
Well, after the first week of trying this, I actually counted 7 cheats on the diet. I need to do a little better if I’m going to actually see if this works. I also did my first WOD from CrossFit. After finishing, I thought “that wasn’t so hard” and only discovered the next morning that I was supposed to do what I did 3 times! No wonder. Also, because of work (he so easily blamed), I didn’t get nearly the miles in I wanted to. Green Swamp is in 14 weeks. Time to pick it up!
On to week 2!