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Paleo Challenge Day 1: Cravings

Jan 1, 2012 – Day 1
Brunch: giant egg scramble with avocado and salsa
Workout: hill sprints 5x150m
Dinner: Thai red curry chicken with broccoli/cauliflower
After Dinner: 2 glasses red wine, some chicken, a couple pecans
Future baby chickens consumed: 9
Sweet potato body count: 0
Inhaler puffs: 2

Two lessons from my first day of the new Paleo challenge. One, there’s nothing better than a good sleep, and there may be nothing worse than having to wake up at 6:30 and run to work on New Year’s Day after staying up till 2-or-so the night before. I credit my coherence at work to 1) coffee, and 2) my near-flawless hangover cure: a teaspoon of pure sea salt, eaten straight up, washed down with a glass of water, right before bed. I’d like to say this is due to some acute rehydration balance or a shutting-off of alcohol’s diuretic effect (the sudden salt load turns anti-diuretic hormone back on and forces the kidney to re-absorb water), but really, I have no clue. But it works.

Long story short, after my first Paleo meal of 2012, this giant 9-egg monstrosity:


I needed a nap, despite my visceral hate of sleeping in the afternoon. It gave me the energy to at least get up for a sprint workout, but after my first uphill run, I was *gassed*. I sucked on my inhaler a bit, and ran back up a few more times, barely making it to the top each time. A word on metabolic conditioning (the ability to ‘do more work faster’ that Crossfit espouses and trains for, making one a little better at everything from regular weightlifting to 5K running): the only way to get better at ‘met-con’ is to do ‘met-cons’. That’s my opinion. After 3 months of pure weightlifting and putting on 15 pounds from my last Workout of the Day, I’ve lost a good bit of my speed. I’m OK with this, of course, I think I like my body more now than I did when I was smaller.

To prove this, I did the infamous “Fran” workout on 12/30, just to see. (21 thrusters at 95 lbs, 21 pullups, then 15 of each, then 9 of each. For time, obviously.) Of course, I didn’t have a good bar to do kipping pullups, nor did I have the encouragement of a bunch of other Crossfitters, but I half-assed my way to a time of 8:10. The thrusters were easy, the pullups were tougher, and the breaks to catch my breath were pretty long. (For comparison’s sake, 8 months and 20 pounds ago, I did this workout in 4:23. I was kind of a freak.) I’m sure I’ll get some of that back with good nutrition and once-to-twice a week sprint sessions.

Lesson #2, before this gets too long: cravings are EVERYWHERE. I have a serious sweet tooth, especially after meals, and it was a good thing there was no chocolate in the house. I stared at a sugar packet for a good 5 minutes before I tossed in the garbage. If you’re doing the Paleo challenge or the 21-day Sugar Detox, or Whole 30, or anything, do yourself a favor and get rid of the cravings. Don’t trust your willpower, no matter how much it’s guided you well in the past. It also helps to be accountable to someone or several someones, and to document something, like in a blog. Results, menus, workouts, anything. You *can* change the outcome by measuring it.

Tomorrow: Day 2. The Hazards of Grocery Shopping. Weightlifting and Recovery.



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