Last week was a weird week, between the long weekend, and a slower week at work, my first phase of working with a nutritional coach, it was just all a bit odd. Not bad odd, just different, and we all know how well I deal with different. Let’s start with some things I used to do well, then stopped doing so well, and now am re-discovering. I’m talking about diet and meal prep mostly. Around late summer, and fall last year, I got really into my meal prep, grilling a ton, loads of chicken and veggies. Sometime around the holidays last year, when my volume really picked up, the rest of my life just got put on mute. And eventually it even crept into my diet and training, which is why I think I fell off for a month or so. But that was then. This year I’ve said it’s all about optimization, finding ways to use the same time, the same energy, and get more out of it. To that end, optimizing diet is a huge piece and getting a solid meal prep done every week pays dividends come wednesday or thursday.
This is what my meal prep days look like. I cook breakfast every day, so I obviously don’t prep that, and I generally have time to cook dinner, though this week I opted to cook it ahead of time as well. So what you’re looking at are just lunches, for the week, Monday through Friday, 2 lunches a day, plus some overflow just in case. All said I plan for 12 meals. I just recently started working with a nutrition coach, and we’re only in Phase 1 of a 3 phase system, but check him out if you feel its right for you (Mike @ Dynamic Nutrition). As far as sharing specifics, I’m a bit between a rock and hard place because he sells a product, that I am consuming, so I can’t just turn around and share it with the internet. I can say it really isn’t all that different from where I was before, and its very Crossfit, Paleo, Zone friendly. Focusing on good performance metrics for eating, quality food sources, good variety, etc, etc. The biggest things for me were keeping enough variety that my body is getting a good spectrum of nutrients, and ensuring that carb consumption stays high enough. Since I used to be quite fat, the whole “getting enough carbs” thing has always been a tug of war between my mind and my body.
What I can share, is how I meal prep. First step, caffeinate. Basically I take the amount I plan on consuming, for this case we’ll say 8 oz. of chicken at every lunch, so 6 days, 2 lunches, is 1 lb a day of chicken. Then do the same with dinner, 12 oz let’s say, 5 dinners, is roughly 4 lbs of beef. I don’t really measure the green veggies, I don’t think I’ve ever heard a nutritionist say “whoa bud, take it easy on the leafy greens…” so just ad libitum there. Then I grab 4-5 japanese sweet potatoes, and 1 other rooty vegetable, like a carrot, parsnip, or beet. For fats I’ll grab a couple jars of almond butter, some guac, and avocados, then cook with coconut/EVOO. I like to keep things as simple as possible. For flavor I use salt, pepper, and hot sauce, I like a certain brand called “Belly Smoke.”
From there it’s just a matter of cooking it all, for the chicken I just grill it with salt, pepper and an olive oil/hot sauce mixture of about 2:1. Then let the chicken cool, slice and measure it into portions for whatever you’re eating that week. The same goes for the sweet potatoes, always peel them first, then cube, put them on baking sheets with some salt and your oil of choice. I always cook at 400 degrees, and just know they’re done when they’re squishy.
This video will save you a lot of hassle when it comes to prepping sweet potatoes. At least it did me. For the green veggies, it really depends on what you grabbed. If it’s something like asparagus or brussel sprouts, just a quick roast in the oven to cook them through is enough for me. For leafy greens, I like to simply steam them in a large pot. I’m not super creative with veggies yet, I might never be, I don’t mind tasting my veggies. The internet is a wonderful place, go find some recipes if you don’t like mine. Not that these are really recipes. Once everything is cooked, the pans go into the sink, and the scale comes out.
I use Reditainer brand tupperware that I got from Amazon, it’s cheap, fits my meals nicely, stacks wonderfully in the fridge, and seems to hold up nicely to the back and forth from home to work. I start with the chicken, cut it up, weigh it out, tare, add veggies until I feel like theres a good amount which usually is around 4 oz, then tare again, add my sweet potatoes, again about 4 oz for me, but that changes on volume, carb intake, etc. Then repeat that 11 more time, as you’re done prepping!
B. Back Squats @ 70% 1RM; 5 reps x 5 sets; rest 2 minutes
10 minute – Run @ Easy Pace
10 minute – Row @ Easy Pace
A. Fat-Grip Double-Overhand Deadlift – Build to a 1RM
230 + bar
Airdyne :30/:30 x22
30 Squat Cleans @ 155
30 Calorie Row
5:28 (1:00 row) triples to 21
Split Jerk – Build to a 1RM
Airdyne :30/:30 x 24
This weeks training shouldn’t really be all that surprising, at least it wasn’t to me. Nothing really stood out as different or unusual. I’ve been working with my PT on some “Postural Restoration” techniques, which focus on aligning the pelvis and rib cage to promote better mechanics, and I can honestly say my joints feel better than they have in a long time. Squatting still feels weird, largely because I think things are actually moving in ways they’re supposed to finally and my musculature just isn’t used to that yet. So Monday’s 5×5 work was really interesting. That 70% felt much heavier. Tuesday continues the tradition of just sweaty aerobic work, my favorite…Wednesday was actually quite humbling, I’ve never done anything with a fat bar before, and pulling with one was not at all what I expected. Not only is it fat, but it has no knurling – it was a funny feeling when your legs lifted the weight, but it just fell out of your hands.
Thursday, being an AthleteWOD rest day, naturally mean Airdyne work, and a quick Marc Pro session to follow. Still one of my favorite habits. They should really sell these two together, dear Rogue Fitness, package these up. Friday was a really interesting WOD, being a taller guy, squat cleans are not my best movement, and I had based my pacing strategy off a couple other AthleteWOD guys, which I quickly fell off pace with. The funny part, is that I didn’t really put together that I could crush a 30 calorie row, so I didn’t necessarily need to set a blistering squat clean pace. So while the work split up a little differently, my end time ended up being right there with everyone elses. An interesting lesson about embracing that athlete you are, not trying to be one you’re not. Saturday was met with a new split jerk PR, while only 10#, I’ll take the jump, and based on the video I’d say I probably have at least another 10# in the tank, which is good cause my clean max is 295, and it’s nice to move those together. Sunday I bumped up the volume of Airdyne work, if you haven’t noticed I’m adding 2 minutes every other session, so I’ll build to 30+ minutes, then probably unload and then switch to a longer or tougher interval. Eventually the goal would be to build to either an hour of :30/:30 or :60/:60 or something along those lines. Really its just a way to get in more work, regardless of the protocol. I don’t think theres anyway to do Airdyne intervals and not get better conditioned.
That was a lot – I guess I had more to say than I realized. Hopefully you all still find this stuff interesting. Good luck meal prepping – keep working hard!