Thursday, January 29, 2009

S&M Blitz - The Final Chapter

The Blitz is over.  Many have asked me how I would splurge after (what would I eat first?)  The answer:  a pretty big handful of Jelly Babies.  They'd been taunting me daily for 10 days...  I had to take them down - one by one.  (Note:  is there anything better than that silky smooth sugar on a jelly baby??)  After that I pretty much went back to blitz-style eating.

I finished with a perfect record (minus one emergency Gatorade, as noted in a previous post).  The last few days went by in much the same way as the others - in a flurry of fruits and vegetables.

Here are my thoughts after the 10 days:

Why we did it:  I won't speak for Sacha but for me there were three reasons....  

1.  I had just injured my back and I knew my training was going to decrease for a week or two.  I wanted something physical to concentrate my energy on and to feel positive about while I was recovering.  Also, with the decreased training volume I would be better able to afford some fluctuations or mistakes in fueling and energy.

2.  Sacha and I are very healthy eaters normally but I wanted to max out and see if there would be some benefits in body composition, energy, performance, alertness, etc.

3.  Mental fortitude - I wanted to challenge myself mentally.  I wanted it to be tough, caveman-style living because one of the most attractive parts of the challenge was finding the willpower to stick to it. 

Positive Results:  

- I found, rediscovered, or developed a taste for a lot of foods I didn't appreciate before.  Many things I would have rarely eaten before (not for any particular reason) became staples.

- I found great alternatives for some of the less healthy items I used to enjoy.  

- I saved a lot of money - little or no eating out, packed lunches and dinners at home.

- I cooked a lot more with Sacha

- We ate some FANTASTIC meals "guilt free"

Alcohol:  Didn't miss it.  There were no "drinking events" to test my resolve and I don't come home dying for a beer.  Having said that I don't think there would be any harm in adding back alcohol in moderation.

Coffee:  Didn't miss it.  I drank lots of tea and found it was almost as good.  I prefer the taste of coffee but I don't rely on it to wake up or to pass the time.  I think I am lucky this way.

Sugar:  I didn't really think of myself as a "sweet tooth" type of guy before this but many of my cravings were sugar related.  I was forced to find alternate ways to satisfy the cravings....  dates, berries, larabars, oranges, cinnamon, raisins etc.  The "sweet" craving was a b*tch - it came on fast and made me grumpy sometimes - I'd find myself looking around for anything sweet that I could grab (which wasn't much) cursing the Blitz and counting the days.

Hunger:  At first I felt constantly hungry, I obviously wasn't getting enough calories.  I found that my body seemed to "burn" through the food a lot faster.  This was good and bad...  Good because it "feels" good to process something quickly, it's lighter and doesn't weigh you down or tax your energy.  Bad because it was easy to "underfuel" - I'd fatigue earlier in some workouts and I'd be falling asleep by mid afternoon on a couple of days...  This one is all about practice and getting the gist of what the body needs.  

Weight:  I lost 7lbs in 10 days.  I went from 191-184 (I am a hair less than 6'3" for those of you keeping score...)  That was a lot more than I expected.  I didn't intend to lose weight or have that as a goal.  I feel good about it though....  I am definitely leaner.  Lighter = faster so I will try to keep in this range or even drop a few more.  The trick will be to eat a lot more carbs (potatoes, beans etc.) so that I have consistent energy for workouts and life.

Conclusion:  I am planning to adopt many of the eating habits developed during the blitz - coffee will be back, and alcohol (moderate obviously), the odd dessert and a few extra carb sources but in general this is the way to eat - I feel quite confident of that.

That's about all I have to say about the Blitz....  ended up being a pretty lengthy post.
Lunch at my "desk".

Breakfast - 4 eggs, 1 red pepper, 1/2 avocado, fresh salsa, 1/2 orange (the other half 2 minutes later), one piece of ancient grains with hummus, tea

This soup was a staple...  Greek Red Lentil Soup (vegetable stock, lentils, garlic, onion, lemon juice, lemon rind, salt pepper, red chili flakes, fresh oregano, fresh rosemary).  AWESOME!

A typical snack - of which I had many....  those darker nuts are roasted almonds with lemon (from the local persian deli) - they are SO incredible.
Cheers and Happy Eating!

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Marcy said...

Wow you did awesome! I can't believe you made it that long without coffee.

Ryan Denner said...

Nice Work MJ - the blitz was definitely a success. Its hard being an endurance athlete and staying on such a lower carb diet, but it certainly can be done. Its good to know what you can do now. You will certainly find your happy medium!

Chloe said...

Congrats! All of that food looks awesome :) But a big congrats on no coffee. Not sure if I can function with out it! Maybe I'll try it for a week....

I have a hard time eating candy with faces on it. Weird. Enjoy your jelly babies.

James Greenwood said...

How about Sushi next week MJ?

Missy said...

First, let me say, I'm pissed, the 'kid' was supposed to pick me:) Second, if I don't get a jelly baby soon, I'm going to freak out....actually, I'm ok with no jelly babies but I'd kill for sushi right now. My diet must be low in lead. I'm with you on the $$$ savings - been eating home a lot more too! Congrats, way to go, you've got to be happy with yourself.

PC Ironman said...

I went pure for 5 days, had a lapse on day six, back on track on day seven and eight, and was about 50% on day 9 and 10. I did manage 10 days without coffee or beer or pasta. I cant recall how long its been since I did that. Good job. I know I dropped some weight with the omission of the aforementioned items alone, then add some workouts in and Im on my way to last years June weight.

Astrid said...

Very inspiring. Well done!