*The Route 56 Challenge: Day 46*
With ten days left in The Route 56 Challenge, I feel a bit like a parent preparing to send his child off to college. The end is near and I could only hope that each challenger will walk away with some tools for life without the scoreboard. Some of the best lessons of the challenge have yet to be had, especially for those that have been particularly compliant.
In a weird way, I look forward to the changes in perception that will come when folks try to consume processed foods again. Or, how horrendous some folks will feel after that first big milk shake. Sure, the power of feeling good is strong, but I am confident that some of you will learn more from the contrast in how you feel now versus how you feel when you consume foods that you used to eat with little or no recognizable consequences. It may turn out that the painful pizza hang over on Day 58 is a more powerful lesson than any progress from Day 1 through Day 56.
So, you’ve got a general guide for foods to gravitate towards and a guide for foods to steer clear of. When life rolls on with Day 57 and beyond, you’re probably going to want a little more to go on, however. How do you dial in a complete approach to nutrition relative specifically to you?
This is your journey. It’s time, if you haven’t already, to tinker with your nutrition and begin to learn what works for you. Any nutritionist, coach, doctor, friend, or family member that proclaims blanket ratios of nutrients for you (33% protein, 33% carbohydrate, 33% fat) is completely ludicrous, unless it’s a place from which to start the type of “tinkering” I’m talking about. Though some things are true across the board (i.e. sugar recruits insulin), many people operate differently with regards to daily nutrition.
My progression went like this.. During my first offseason with the Padres, my strength coach, Stephane Rochet, sent me a food plan Olympic weightlifting champion Natalie Burgner put together. It was a Zone plan and it was the first time I ate food for performance. It had be weighing and measuring my food very specifically, and I saw tremendous gains in my performance with this first attempt at intentional nutrition.
From there I decided to drop the Zone-factor of weighing and measuring my food and to focus on the quality of the food I consumed. This brought me to Paleo, which freed me up to consume as much or as little food as I’d like as often as I would like. Again, massive changes were a result. With the main difference in this approach being removing processed foods like grains and dairy my body composition, strength, and recovery improved. Plus, I felt much better.
My tinkering then turned to an experiment to completely remove fruit and nuts from my diet in an effort to harness some abuse in those areas (Note: Fruit and nuts are a common crutch for folks “eating clean.”). Sure enough, I saw another tier of outstanding improvement in performance and body composition.
Now, I’m playing with more consumption of tubers and look forward to trying intermittent fasting and potentially grass-fed butter. The lessons I’ve learned from this type of tinkering outweigh any insight I’ve gained in my research. I know I operate best on about 80% protein and fat, and I get my carbohydrates as they come (mostly in starches after training sessions and in vegetables at dinner).
That’s my story. I hope you read it and look forward to taking on your own nutritional adventure.
7 Front Squats (95/65)
7 Back Squats
7 Overhead Squats
5 Front Squats
5 Back Squats
5 OH Squats
3 Front Squats
3 Back Squats
3 OH Squats
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