Thursday, January 10, 2013

You put WHAT in your coffee?

As some of you know I’ve toyed with the “Paleo” style of eating for a little over a year now, some periods I was pretty strict, others not so much. I never gave up beans and dairy (b/c I thought giving up those things was dumb) but basically I cut out processed foods, all breads, pastas, etc.  I recently found two amazing podcasts that have steered me in a slightly different direction in terms of eating and fueling. At this point in the year, I am experimenting to find a fueling system that will get me through the amazing season I have planned come summer and fall.  

I completely admit that nutrition and eating-styles fascinate me.  If I could do it all over again, I would likely go into nutrition science and go down the career path of dietitian.  However, alas, at 30 I don’t think I can do it all over again so instead, in my spare time I will read and listen to nutrition information from others. Lately, I’ve been listening to A LOT of Vinnie Tortorich (on itunes look for the “angriest trainer” podcast or click on the link above) and John Smith from Garden VarietyTri Podcast.  Both of these guys are preaching a “no sugar, no grains” way of eating (John is actually on a plant-based diet but I’m not on that journey right now), there is a lot of information on their podcasts about what to eat, what to avoid and then, nutrition science-y terms like ketosis and being in a ketogenic state, etc.

Most of us, myself definitely included, use this period of the “season” to get to our “racing weight” so when high intensity training begins we can simply maintain what we have already worked toward.  With Paleo-eating I had cut most of my grains and sugars already but was still eating things like quinoa, sweet potatoes, honey, etc.  Actually, let’s back up the train for a second before I get into things—I want to disclaim that I am not 100% perfect with anything, I am not a doctor or nutritionist, and I am living my life—if there is a party, I’m going to drink some wine and may possibly have cookies or cake or whatnot but these things are “treats” for me not everyday occurrences.  However, lately, I haven’t even wanted any of these things.  A bite of an orange seems super sweet to me.  Okay, let’s get back on track here.

No grains and no sugar, ketosis, blah, blah...basically what these guys talk about is adding back FAT into your diet.  Yes, I said FAT.  Hence the title of this post.  I have been putting HEAVY CREAM in my coffee—yup, the good stuff.  And honestly, so far, I feel amazing.  I have more energy, I’m not nearly as hungry as I used to be and I feel “lighter” (though I’ve only lost about 2 lbs).  For example, yesterday morning I did an hour and a half workout, had my coffee with HC (heavy cream), had full FAT greek yogurt (about ½  a cup) a few blueberries and I wasn’t hungry for lunch until 2pm!  I haven’t been getting the dreaded 3pm sluggish feeling during the day either.  It’s been pretty great. Both Vinnie and John actually eat something called a "fat" shake in the morning.  They each have their own version but basically it's HC, full fat yogurt, kale/spinach/broccoli, a few frozen berries.  John also talks about something called bullet proof coffee that he swears keeps him full for 6+ hours.  I have not tried a fat shake or bullet proof coffee but am not opposed to trying either or both.  Maybe Mr. Pi will even try one of them with me, honey?

My plan is to work throughout the “off” season on becoming what’s called fat-adapted. (Note: the record-setting winner of last year's western states 100 is a fat-adapted athlete and several of my tri team buddies are seeing great results from their experimentation).  I like that already during long(ish) trainer rides I haven’t needed anything but water and I don’t feel like I’m hungry all the time and need snacks.  I know this way of eating won’t work for everyone and who knows what it will be like when I have to figure out what I’m going to eat for 140.6 training (things that Vinnie and John talk about are olive oil, olives, cream cheese, chicken broth, salt tabs, nuts, etc…right now, none of these sound appealing so I have some experimenting ahead of me).

Why did I decide to post this?  I guess for two reasons: 1) a lot of people are writing in and calling in to Vinnie’s and John’s podcasts with pretty dramatic results and, 2) it’s been on my mind a lot lately so I thought I’d share.

There you have it. I put heavy cream in my coffee and love every sip of it!