Spring Cleaning: Paleo Diet and My Brand New Training Schedule

My last race left me a bit frustrated with how I’ve been trying to shove everything into my schedule…balancing school, freelancing, internship, and personal relationships left very little time for training the last few months, and I’m fed up! I’ve gained a bit of weight (SUPER SADFACE) and frankly, that’s not okay. I’m feeling less energetic and pretty snappy at everyone. They were right…no running makes me cranky and moody.

Yesterday I vented my frustration to my boyfriend. He kindly listened (like he always does) and helped me balance my schedule for the upcoming month. I was able to squeeze in my new training schedule and balance my design work with school hours appropriately. Here’s hoping I don’t end up derailing myself in the first week! I have a tendency to create schedules and then immediately break them.

I’ve included about 15 hours of design work (enough for me to survive), 4 days of school, 2 days of internship, and four days of training. I haven’t actually drilled down as far as to plan out my workouts quite yet…first step is to slate the time for them. For running, I plan on running slow on one day, fast on another, and long on the third. For my swim/run workout, the run and the swim will be rather short (probably 5K run + 1mile swim). On my solo swimming day, I plan on swimming long (1 mile or more). On my bike/run day I will bike for 10 miles + run 5K. For my second bike/run day I will bike for 15 miles + run 10K. As I get stronger and work up my endurance I will incrementally increase all of my distances until I reach my race distance goals.

This morning as Shant and I were eating breakfast, I brought up the idea of trying the Paleo diet together. A few friends on Twitter and Facebook are currently paleo so I figured that it was worth a try. The Paleo diet is more of a lifestyle than it is a diet…the idea is to eat more like our ancestors then our modern-day diseased fellow man. Can it be that hard to eat like a caveman? It all seems pretty reasonable — eat nuts, fruits, vegetables, and meats (including eggs). I went pescatarian in 2005 — meaning that the only meat I eat is fish. From time to time I still crave chicken but none have passed my lips since then. This seems like a great next step since I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to go completely vegan.

This method of eating will give me some boundaries and keep me away from things like packaged foods, fast foods, and candy…all things I have in my possession right now. So far from my research, it seems like everyone has their own perspective and take on it (selected fasting, reintroduction of foods, etc.) but I am tailoring my consumption patterns for my lifestyle and training. Since Shant had been wanting to get healthier (and so have I), I figured that it would be easier if we tag-teamed and tried it for 30 days together, as some sort of challenge. We agreed to try it together, did some research, and went shopping! I spent about $80 at Costco and got the following items:

$6 – Medjool dates (3 lbs)
$5 – Raisins (5 lbs)
$10 – Almonds (3 lbs)
$7 – Oranges
$3 – Bananas
$7 – Red Potatoes (okay for endurance athletes!) (10 lbs)
$20 – Salmon (8 ct)
$15 – Cod (8 ct)
$7 – Eggs (60 ct)
$2 – Salad mix (3 lbs)

I also find that if I don’t plan my meals (similar to my training schedule) I go completely off kilter, so here’s the plan:

Breakfast: Scrambled egg whites and red potatoes
Lunch: Salad mix + Albacore (optional, since it’s canned and I don’t know how much I actually have)
Snacks: Oranges, bananas, almonds, raisins, medjool dates
Dinner: Broiled fish and veggies. Add red potatoes if it’s a training day.
……..and repeat until I run out of food!

Not quite sure how long the food will last me. Also not sure what to do about all the food I bought last week (25 ct. of croissants, Ezeikiel bread, 18 ct yogurt, frosted mini wheats, 12-pack of ramen) but I am sure they will manage in my fridge/pantry. So far I’ve tried to stick to this for lunch (no picture, but all I had was a chicken cesar salad without the chicken, without the cesar, without the croutons, and without the parmesan…so essentially all I had was tomatoes and lettuce!) and dinner — sauteed red bell pepper and onion with basil and oregano crusted salmon. So far so good!

Let’s see how long I can keep this up for. To keep ourselves accountable to each other, Shant and I have agreed to food-blog everything that passes our lips for the next 30 days! You can check it out at http://paleocouple.tumblr.com. So far I’m the only one that’s posted my meal, since he’s preparing all of this food for the week right now.

For this new meal plan, my goal is to make this a permanent habit. I started off my now-running habit as a 21-day challenge one year ago, and it stuck pretty well. Will this finally be the year where I stop battling the same 10 pounds over and over again? Will I finally get my eating habits on track? I finally feel like this is a challenge I can survive and that I’m in control again. Hooray!