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Carotenemia

“You have to tell me if I start turning orange.”

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Here was my weekend in preparation for the clean food deluge that was destined to visit my stomach, on my first go with Crossfit Football:

Saturday evening: purchased 3lb organic chicken breasts, a few cans of coconut milk (king of the calorie-boosters), 2 packs of bacon (somehow, this doesn’t feel like enough)

Sunday noon: bought 10lb sweet potatoes (which should be enough for the week) and a few bags of frozen veggies (gotta get my fiber in)

Sunday afternoon: Cut up chicken, coated with red curry paste, tossed into a large cast iron pot with coconut milk, onions, and cauliflower. Voila, 6 servings of Thai curry, which will make up my lunches for the week.

Sunday evening: it became quite evident that I’d have to make up a menu for the week, every week, four meals a day, in order not to fall prey to french fry overindulgences, low-quality meat, and excessive processed dairy. This is what I came up with this week, as I tossed my Paleo Shepherd’s Pie in the oven (a layer of mashed sweet potatoes over a layer of ground meat +/- mixed veggies, in a Pyrex pan, 425 x 20 minutes or until the top is a bit crispy):

Sunday – 4 eggs/bacon, salmon/broccoli, large shepherd’s pie (1lb meat, 1lb potatoes)
Monday – 4 eggs/bacon, sweet potato/Thai curry, sweet potato/whey protein, shepherd’s pie (1 serving)
Tuesday – 4 eggs/bacon, sweet potato/Thai curry, sweet potato/whey protein, sweet potato/salmon filet
Wednesday – 4 eggs/bacon, sweet potato/Thai curry x2, smoked pork at my friend’ Billy’s July 4 party
Thursday – 4 eggs/bacon, sweet potato/Thai curry, buffalo burgers with some root veggie hash
Friday – 4 eggs/bacon, sweet potato/Thai curry, sweet potato/whey protein, *CHEAT MEAL*
Saturday – 4 eggs/bacon, sweet potato/salmon filet, sweet potato/whey protein, *to be determined*

“Mat Lalonde doesn’t cross the street without packing a lunch. We’re adults. We can prepare.” – John Welbourn

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So I had my meals set. After transferring the curries and an extra baked sweet potato into the fridge, I got a good 7 hours of sleep (which is about average for me, actually). The next morning, I fried up some bacon slices as I munched on 4 of the eggs I had hard-boiled the night before. Breakfast, done. I let a package of buffalo thaw in the sink and went to work with my lunch bag. After getting home at 5:00, I tore off my work clothes and tossed 4 sweet potatoes in the oven at 350 – one for post-workout, 2 for shepherd’s pie dinner with The Terrorist, and one for Tuesday’s Thai curry lunch. It’s a well-oiled machine. Time for the workout!

First, squats. 205 lb x 3 sets of 5 reps doesn’t not *seem* that tough. Hell, I was doing 245 x 5 (granted, only 1 set, but still…) Sadly, the third set was *rough*, and I barely got that 5th rep. Ditto for my shoulder presses, 120lb x 3 sets of 5 reps. And then came the sprints. I was already gassed, but I love me some sprints. I found a patch of grass that wasn’t too damp and did my 6 runs, 200m at 25-27 secs apiece. I got home and my whey protein and a freshly baked sweet potato were waiting for me. I topped the potato off with some salt and a few pats of grass-fed butter. Fantastic.

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I blame my unexpected weakness on not having anything to eat for about 5 hours before the workout, so I’m making the following tweak: split lunch into 2 meals, one of which is about 60-90 minutes prior to the lift. Let’s see if I lift better on a slightly filled stomach than a fully empty stomach. The next workout sounds especially brutal: 1 set of deadlifts (I’ll drop down to 345lb), and then alternating power cleans and pullups in a torture device called “Crossfit Disco”.

Next time: changing your mindset — training for a functional goal and not a physique goal.

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