Hey Bro whatcha eating?
What should I eat?
“But so and so says…”
“I heard you should…”
You know the saying: “the more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know.” This is very true for me and the subject of Nutrition. When I was 20 I thought I knew it all: eat lots of protein in every meal, and you’re good- the rest doesn’t matter. When I was 24, I thought I had a better grasp on it; lean meats, lots of vegetables, fruit, and healthy fats. Now I’m 30. I’m taking notes on my energy, stepping on the scale, doing body fat tests, and just doing constant checks to see if what I am doing is working or needs some tweaking. Why? Because its not just about the protein.
I thought a good way to get into the topic of nutrition would be to highlight some of CrossFit Streets’ coaches and look at there nutritional notes as well. I asked the following questions:
1. What Goals are you currently working towards? 2. How many times a day/week do you train? 3. What does a typical day look like for you? (times of meals/workouts/wake and sleep) 4. Is there anything you avoid (food not burpees)? 5.What supplements do you take and why? 6a). Do you have “cheat meal?” 6b). How often is this cheat meal and what does it look like? 7. Finally, what has been a “game changer” for you and your nutrition?
1.What goals are you currently working towards?
– Taking care of my body (ie. mobility before and after working out)
– Getting stronger
– Stronger Dead Lift and Back Squat
– Better technique with Olympic lifts
– Improve Press, Back Squat, Aerobic base, Gymnastic skills.
– Working on ‘feeling’ good, keeping weight at 200-205lbs.
Do you have a goal? What is it? Might be smart to work backwards from it.
2.How many times a day/week do you train?
– I aim for 3 days a week
– Usually just 1 hour unless it is Saturday and then sometimes 1.5 hours
– Once a day, 4-5 workouts per week.
– Once a day, 3-5 days per week. Usually aim for 4 and some times get talked into another one.
– Once a day, 3-5 times per week.
– Typically 60-75 minutes
– Rarely over 75 min.
– Rarely twice a day, once a month?
– Have been pretty good in last 3-4 months of adding in a single day of mobility to iron out tight spots.
Most of the goals were about strength and feeling good/better. So it makes sense not to over do it with multiple WODs a week/day.
3.What does a typical day look like for you? (times of meals/workouts/wake and sleep)
– 7:00 am: wake up
– 7:45 am Breakfast: bacon & eggs coffee or tea
– Start work 8 am – 5 pm
– 9:30-10 am: yogurt with berries and granola
– 12:30 pm Lunch: chicken salad, pita or sub
– Coach at Streets Mon – Thurs 5 pm – 8 pm (try and work out during my breaks if possible)
– Evening: shake after my workout
– 8:30-9:30 pm Dinner: protein (Chicken, Salmon) and veggies
– Early wake up
– Breakfast: eggs toast or eggs/bananas/almond flour
– Lunch: tuna/salmon or beef of some kind (burger) and a salad
– WOD then protein shake, Quest bar/paleo donut, banana, watermelon
– Dinner: chicken, salmon or beef/sweet potatoes or white rice/peas, carrots and or cucumber whatever veg is good/in season
– Also getting better with water
– 6am: wake up
– 8am: coffee (usually 2)
– 9am-ish: (this time can vary a lot) eggs (maybe bacon or sausage or cheese)
– 1pm: WOD
– Post WOD: water then protein shake
– 3-4pm: meal – Meat and veggies, depending on day maybe rice, potato, oatmeal
– 7pm: lately another shake, with some type of fat.
– Arrive home around 9pm, another meat and veggies meal sometimes a starch.
– Pre-bed: scoop of peanut butter
– Bed 10:30 – 11pm
– Fat sources are scattered through the day as needed.
– Lots of water.
– 6-7am: wake up
– Breakfast: eggs, coffee
– Coach all morning OR off all morning doing admin/grow the business
– Maybe a snack of trail mix and fruit
– 1pm: WOD, protein after
– Meat, veggies, rice
– Coach 4-8/9pm OR off all night with family
– Some kind of protein, vegetables and starch
– Sleep at 10-11pm
– Roughly 5-8 hours of sleep depending on the night
We all need more sleep.
4. Is there anything you avoid? (food not burpees)
– Pasta and rice, just not fond of them
– Anything with sugar (I try to limit the amount of bread i.e.bagels) AND eating late at night
– I avoid alcohol
– Spinach, upsets my stomach
– A glass of milk, I sneeze and it upsets my stomach
– Quinoa, I just don’t like it
– I eat everything else, human dumpster.
– Too much: cheese, bread, white rice
I just ask why? If you really don’t like something that’s fine, but what if it could help you with your goals? Also what if you are avoiding it because you think you should be, but in fact it is very healthy and or beneficial to your goals and needs.
5. What supplements do you take and why?
– JAKTRX Recovery – helps with muscle soreness and recovery
– Fish Oil – joint health and muscle repair
– I take JAKTRX protein after a WOD
– Coco Wodder – for hydration
– I use protein powder – helps recover from workouts, get my daily requirements without spending to much, tried food for post workout and felt terrible.
– Creatine – My current goal is strength gains.
– BCAA – recovery, easy for me to under eat- finds this helps maintain muscle.
– JAKTRX recovery: less soreness day after workout, keep me alert the hours following workout. Does not upset my stomach either. Keeps me lean…
– JaktRX Hydrate: I have a noticably higher amount of energy and mental clarity. Long days are more manageable. Way less muscle soreness.. way better recovery, especially during hot summer days or after longer workout sessions.
We all use it, protein shakes and BCAA’s. Have you ever tried them? Not saying you can’t get results without them, but it’s there for you to try.
6. Do you have “cheat meals?” How often, what does that look like?
– YES, I enjoy wings and Swiss Chalet so I tend to have them at least once a week
– Aww Yes I CHEAT, I try to limit this, lately I’ve been slacking :). My wife Steph is a good influence with food (she is paleo)
– Toast or bagel with real peanut butter or almond butter
– Ice cream (but try not to have in house) once in a while thing or we go out for ice cream
– I just have some bread throughout the day that I should cut back on
– Yes, it can vary a lot, generally once to twice a week, all depends on goals, motivation, and time of year (I love Christmas)
– It could be just a high carb meal, something containing sweet potato fries. Or can get pretty crazy like pizza, donuts, ice cream. Nothing is really off limits. I do know however what will effect me and how. Pizza and ice cream don’t come with expectation of a great workout or high energy the next day.
– I cheat almost every time it’s available… never at the gym. Always if it’s a homemade something. Usually on weekends.
– Chips, alcohol, bread, pizza, nachos, wings, shawarma, desert….ice cream the day before a big lift day. Always PR or at least feel very strong.
Side note: it is only a cheat if it is unplanned. I just used the term so everyone would understand it.
If we are going to have a meal outside the norm it is important to know why and how it will affect you.
7.What has been a “game changer” for you and your nutrition?
– Less coffee or caffeine
– More water
– Eating better quality meals
– I love how I feel when I eat cleaner. Perform better than Dan & Drew. (I’m regular), but seriously, I just feel better
– All game changers have come from paying attention to performance and how I feel, so I think that has been the greatest game changer: paying attention. Also not being afraid of experimenting. Examples range from trying different types and brands of supplements, to diet changes, paleo/zone, 3 big meals/6-7 small meals etc. I have learned a lot from just trying different things out, this has led to a better understanding of what works for me and also what others might be going through if they are trying similar things out.
– Committing to lots of water each day. No Gatorade- old habits die hard
– Cutting out bread from regular diet
– Not worrying so much about WHEN I eat food but rather WHAT I eat when I do eat
– Eating food appropriate for my daily activities. inactive = less cal intake. active = lots of cal intake.
– NOT stressing about eating. Physiological response is my body knows not to hold onto any foreign/shitty food and I end up excreting it quickly. I hope that makes sense.
So lets look at the similarities: getting stronger, feeling good, 1 workout a day, wake at 6 – 7am, eggs, protein shakes, meat, and veggies. From that it looks like we are almost the same athlete doesn’t it?
Yet, look at the differences: carb choices (rice, potato, fruit, bread), cheat frequency – weekly to whenever, dairy, some daily some completely avoid. And what we avoid is probably the biggest difference ranging from spinach to sugar.
I am not saying that any one of us is perfect, we could all probably dial in what we are doing even more, but in saying that, what would that look like? Dan would not be eating more of the super food spinach, he might just be choosing his ice cream timing appropriately so he can always crush his workouts. Sounds great right? Well if Paul tried that, do you think he would be feeling “regular-” I doubt it. I won’t be offering to spot him any time soon if that is the case. Also, what if one of our goals were different? What if one of us wanted to loose weight, run a marathon, up our CrossFit game to compete in the Open? What would have to change then?
So what is the point of all this?
The point is we need to stop thinking there is one magical thing you are missing or need to add to your nutrition. Track your workouts; are you improving? Track your sleep, energy levels, mood, and mood swings, bowel movements, skin irritations etc. What is happening? Healthy? Fit? Different? Same?
Monday Aug 3/15
Back Squat: Warm up sets @ 95/135/185
5/225 – 5/245 – 5/265 – 5/285 – 5/305 rest 2 min between sets
Monday Sept 14/15
Warm up @ 95/135/185/205
5/235 – 5/255 – 5/275 – 4/295 – 3/295 rest 2 min between sets
Looking at this example tracking sheet. We know that this person did “worse” in Sept then they did in Aug. So we know something needs to change. Maybe they just had a poor sleep the night before and everything else was the same. Track it. Maybe they were off work in Aug and had no stress. Track it. Maybe they were doing a Paleo challenge in Aug and now they have been off track the last couple weeks. Track it. Maybe they are on a Paleo challenge now and something isn’t working. Track it.
Think about it this way: if I told everyone they had to snatch 135 for 10 touch and go reps no matter what, I didn’t care the sex, age, experience, or ability. What would happen? A few would be fine, others wouldn’t show up, there would be lots of injuries, and there would be some of the ugliest snatch attempts in history. So if we aren’t all expected to perform the same how and why would we all eat the same?
Some of us could benefit from just choosing a different cereal in the morning, while for others, suggesting cereal would probably lead them to get a full body rash and some very different bathroom experiences.
So next time you are sitting with a group of friends talking about what is for dinner, don’t feel like you are doing everything wrong. If things are moving in the right direction, keep going, if your fitness growth has stalled, change something, something from diet to sleep to eating times, etc. If you aren’t sure what to do, ask someone. We are here to help. Remember: it’s not one size fits all, but we can help you figure it out. Track it.