Changes and Challenges

I had another triathlon this weekend… but since my past 2 posts have pretty much all been about triathlons, I’ll keep this recap short, ha.  This race was at the country’s “Number 1 Beach” at Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota, Florida, about an hour south of Tampa.  It was gorgeous, although I would definitely want more waves if I was going to spend very long there.  But the sand and water were beautiful… you could actually see the bottom!

For the race, I finished 3rd in my age group and was generally pleased with the results, although not elated.  This was a train-through race, meaning the only taper I did was a short workout on the day before, which in itself was still tough considering I’d run 9.5 miles the day before, a 30 mile bike ride, and 1800m swim.

This beach is on the Gulf of Mexico so the water was extremely warm, which doesn’t really make for fast swimming.  It was also pretty choppy considering there weren’t really many waves.  My swim split was awful so we won’t even get into it lol.

The bike was ok- I average right about 21 mph.  Also had a fun little crash where the chick next to me didn’t seem to want to move over during a turn and I had to slam on my brakes to avoid smashing into a car.  Couple scrapes but nothing remotely serious.

The run (to my surprise) was totally along the beach.  Ha, ok the beach is pretty and all, but damn.  The sand is hard pack, meaning its pretty firm and not hard to run on, but still not nearly as easy to run on as pavement.  I was able to hunt down a lot of people who were ahead of me from the swim and bike and ended up with the 6th fastest overall run split.  My average pace was about 6:38 min/mile which I was ok with later on once I found out how I did comparatively.

This was also my first race since I had been trying out a Paleo lifestyle/diet.

Now, I know some people may have issue with this: “you’re cutting out an entire food group”, “all fat is bad for you”, “saturated fat causes heart disease”, “cholesterol clogs your arteries”, ”you need grains!”, “you won’t get all your vitamins and minerals.”

While I am not a paleo hardcore advocate, I have done plenty of research, consulted with many people and experts, and will never push this way of eating on anyone else.  I can’t even say I’ll eat like this for the rest of my life- that would be absurd.  However, to all the critical statements above, I have plenty of evidence and research to refute:

While my diet will be lower in carbs, it will be higher in fats which are burnt as a fuel source.  I am also still including carbs in the means of fruits, squashes, and sweet potatoes… I could probably eat butternut squash fries or sweet potato fries every night and not get sick of it

Next, fat is not bad for you!  What is important here is where the fat comes from—all fat that is “created” is bad, i.e. trans-fats.  What is also important is your Omega 6 to Omega 3 balance.  Ideally, these should 1:1 or 2:1 but our diet has most people eating about 20:1 or much much more.  The fat should also be pure and come from grass-fed sources, not from grain-fed animals like is found in most commercial meats.  Remember, “you are what you eat eats”

It has also been proven that saturated fat does not cause heart disease.  It can be exacerbated, however, from things like processed carbohydrates and excess sugars.  I just heard of a study that “showed that saturated fat corroborates heart disease.”  However, this study looked at people eating Egg McMuffins with hashbrowns: White, processed English muffins, pasteurized commercial cheese, trans-fatty margarine spread, and potatoes made in vegetable oil.  I think we have a lot more at play here… plus, the saturated fat would have to come from egg, which is relatively not that high in saturated fat.

Speaking of eggs, I won’t get started on how many articles show that egg yolks don’t raise cholesterol.

Finally, I’m getting tons of vitamins and minerals from the fruit, vegetables, nuts, squashes, sweet potatoes, organic dairy (Most paleo diets leave out dairy, but I am still including it right now—but in organic and raw versions where I can find it), and grass-fed meats.  In fact, I’m probably getting more vitamins now since so many vitamins are fat soluble and my diet now actually has that fat to absorb it!

This is a tough one for me though—the adding of fat.  Since ‘”fat” is what spurred my eating disorder so many years ago, it’s still a tough bump for me to get over.  I am hoping as I eat this way and hopefully see only positive outcomes, that I can change my mindset forever.

Many people also think that paleo just means going low carb because it makes you leaner or lose weight or whatever.  This is what you will see in published studies on “what is the best diet” etc.  In fact, the reason for moving these grains—and most importantly wheat—are for the negative effects the reap on your body.  They have an impact in your digestive tract and cause many issues which I will go into in another post.—I’ve written enough as it is haha.

So, there you have.  I’ll let you know how I progress, but don’t think I won’t still have some awesome recipes!  Here are some of the meals I’ve been making lately as well a bonus recipe video at the end!

What do you think of the paleo diet—are you for or against it?

Would eating this way really be any different, from a societal standpoint than if someone followed a vegetarian diet?


14 thoughts on “Changes and Challenges

  1. Congrats on placing in your age group, again!;) And wow…swimming in the ocean and running on the beach, two things I am not sure how I would feel about in a triathlon, haha. (I know, I probably shouldn’t be scared of swimming in the ocean, but I am! I’m scared of the waves! Mostly because I suck at swimming;). I am excited to hear how the diet goes. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Again, AWESOME job on your races! Yeesh! I know how the Gulf of Mexico is!!! I just hope you never have to swim in Galveston! Stay away from the 70.3 there!!!! DIRTTTTAYYYYY!

    LOVED your video! Bahahaha, such a man. “I’m just going to eat these right off the tray!” less dishes–woot! Looking forward to trying out the recipe this week!

    Great post! 😀

  3. Nice job on your race! I am fascinated by the paleo diet and really want to find out more about it! I’ll probably start reading up becuase I’ve been curious for quite a while.
    My biggest issue would be sticking to it… Im not going to lie – I LOVE grains even though I don’t think they are very great for us. Im sure after a while it would be easier once the body gets used to not having them. I might try this in a few years when I live on my own and buy my own food. And have a more solid recovery from my ED. 🙂

  4. Haha major probs for going crunchy my man. Smooth is never the way forward. Love the vid by the way, roll on the feerless food channel 🙂 although I must admit although I’m a fan of prog it was a little too epic as background for me.

    Great work on the races as always my man I forsee you having an awesome season this year. I must admit I don’t fully agree with paleo, don’t think I’m quite ready to do without grains yet but I agree that processed grains aren’t the way forward and we could definitely do with consuming lower quantities of them. Then again tubers and pulses have fed nations for millennia so can’t knock them either. Ah nutritious food is all good.

    Good on you for tackling your issues with fat head on though buddy, I’m still a little shy of the lipids, I’m sure you’ll only see good things happening as you up your intake 🙂

    I was also wondering if I could ask you a bike question. I’ve done a bit of damage to the front forks of my roadie, can send you some specifics if that would be ok?

  5. First – congrats
    Second – Is the bike alright?

    As for Paleo –
    Overall- I don’t like it from a restriction standpoint, you workout hard – you deserve to eat any/everything you want. That said if you don’t feel limited and/or aren’t doing it out of fear of “bad foods” though, and it makes you feel better I’m not as against it.

    From a nutritional standpoint – LowER carb is better than low carb IMO – I think a ketosis diet would be straight up dumb for an endurance athlete.

    Short answer – be like me, high carb, high saturated fat, high everything 😀

  6. Yay for egg yolks!!! 🙂 I can’t watch the video at work (shhh, don’t tell anyone I’m commenting while at work, hehe), but your pics from the paleo-life look yummy! I don’t think paleo is really all that different from anything. I like my carbs, but when it comes down to it, almost everything I eat is already paleo-friendly. Gotta love anything with real food!

    Congrats on even finishing that race–I can’t imagine having to swim fast in the Gulf this time of year. It can get like a bathtub. And running on sand? Ick. Sounds killer!

  7. Ahhh. Chuck. I absolutely love the video. Maybe I’ll learn to cook like you eventually because I’m clearly unskilled.

    I have a lot to say so hopefully I hit everything. First, I agree completely with you about egg yolks and fat. I’m glad to see it is working out well with you. I knew you had wanted to try it when we were hanging out and I’m glad you finally went through.

    Um speaking of your biking. I biked for a solid 9 miles last weekend. I was so proud ha. It was the culmination of all my workouts ever in my life. Your workout before your tri seems to intense and you did pretty well!

    Ah and finally I sent you an email asking how ya were doing (since my phone is still broken booo) but perhaps you didn’t get it or are extremely busy (totally understandable since I’m a lazyass). Anywho-hopefully you are doing well and I’ll see you in a couple weeks. 🙂

  8. Pingback: a night off the feet & into the kitchen! « cisforcourtney

  9. Amazing job on the races Chuck 🙂

    This Paleo style diet sounds interesting, and after doing some reading I can definitely see the benefits behind it. I am interested in seeing how you like it!

    And I love the video 🙂 Great recipe, and the editing was absolutely pro! Of course I like the wristbands too 😉 I have the same ones on right now!

    Hope you have a great day tday Chuck!


  10. Aww, yay! I love the video! It’s so well made! I need to try that recipe. Congrats on the race…you’re a stud!! Hope you’ve had a great weekend chuck!

    Katie : )

  11. Oh all your food looks delicious- especially that avocado pudding smoothie! Love it, love it, love it. I especially love your take on Paleo and you giving it a try. It’s fun to try new things to see if they work or don’t. It’s all about experimenting, right?

    I must say, I LOVED your video! You’re so great at speaking to the camera!!! Seriously. And I love how you set up the whole video with the ingredients on the side and such. What’s your “on-camera” secret?? 🙂

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