Feeling sick to feeling great / Day 4 – 5

Day 4
Started the day with scrambled eggs, mushrooms, baby spinach and some hot sauce. I also threw in some of the chicken I tore off the carcass on Sunday night. Drank down a cup of English breakfast tea.

Lunch looked beautiful. Leftover pulled pork with homemade mango salsa, a side salad, a hard-boiled egg and some blueberries. Unfortunately the berries were disgusting (that’s the last time I’m buying berries out of season) so I gathered them up and threw them in my freezer for a future baking project.

Just a few hours later I started feeling dizzy and strange, like I was off floating somewhere. I got paranoid and started Googling all sorts of “paleo dizzy” combinations. I came to the conclusion that I might have been going through some sort of carb crash. After feeling myself go pale and feeling like I was about to faint, I rushed to the bathroom and puked like crazy. I felt better immediately afterwards but was still pretty out of it the rest of the day.

I made the difficult decision of skipping Crossfit that night, knowing I had nowhere near enough energy for whatever they were going to throw at me, but at least my appetite was back. I kept dinner simple: I got a burrito bowl at Chipotle and skipped the rice and beans, added the fajita veggies, doubled up on the chicken and threw in the tomatoes and lettuce. I intentionally skipped the guacamole since I had all the ingredients for it waiting at home, so I made a giant batch of it and plopped a good amount into my bowl. After I ate half the bowl and much of the guac, I started feeling like my normal self again.

Day 5
Even though I ended up getting 10 hours of sleep that night, I was still feeling a little exhausted. I ended up skipping my usual breakfast since I still wasn’t 100%, but I fueled myself with a banana and some herbal tea later on.

I ate the rest of my Chipotle leftovers for lunch and left a comment on my Crossfit gym’s blog, asking my coaches why I could have gotten so light-headed and sick. One thing they asked was if I’d been eating enough fats the past few days. Well, I looked over my food log and realized I hadn’t at all, up until I ate that batch of homemade guac (the day before and today). No wonder I felt better after eating so much of it.

I also learned that I needed to up my food intake dramatically. Many of the processed carbs (bread, pasta, etc) I had been eating before the Paleo Challenge are much more calorie-dense than the meats, fruits and veggies I’m eating now, so it made sense that I needed to be eating more. I love food so that’s good news for me.

Though I knew I wasn’t going to do great, I ended up showing up to Crossfit anyway to give it all I had. The WOD (workout of the day):

    Bench Press 3×5
    Then 3 rounds:
    20 yd Bear Crawl
    10 KB Snatch
    10 Pull-ups
    10 Wallball

For the bench press I did (in pounds): 53 x 5, 58 x 5, and 63 x 5. When I was done I knew I could have started a little heavier, but since it had been months since I last tested myself I wanted to see where I stood. I’ll make sure to up it from the start next time.

The main workout was killer. First of all, I hate bear crawls, but compared to everything else that was the easy part. I used a 15 lb kettlebell for the snatches (five times for each arm). For the pull-ups I started off with a blue resistance band (takes off some of your body weight), thinking that would be enough. At the end of my first round my coach saw there was no way I was going to finish with just that one band, so he brought over an additional red band and I combined the two. Much better, but I still struggled until the bitter end.

By the way, when you do pull-ups with resistance bands, you attach the band to the pipe you’re doing pull-ups on, step into the band with one foot, stretch it all the way down, then cross your other foot on top of the first foot. When you do the pull-up motion the bands help to “bounce” you up a little bit, and the thicker the band, or the more bands you use, the less work your arms have to do to bring your body up. It’s still really hard.

Wall balls also suck. I used a 14 lb medicine ball. What you do is squat down holding the ball in both hands near a wall, and then use the explosive movement from standing up to hit a line marked off on the wall. Then when the ball falls back down into your hands you squat back down with it and repeat. Ugh.

I finished dead last and way behind everyone with a time of 8:38. Wasn’t surprised since I skipped breakfast and was feeling off anyway.

After talking to my coaches again, which gave me the encouragement to push on with the challenge, I did some research on more sources of good fat and learned that coconut milk was a great one. Of course! So I decided to make Thai red chicken curry for dinner using up the rest of the roasted chicken I made on Sunday night. I threw in a red bell pepper, a huge amount of broccoli, an onion, red curry paste (ingredients checked out), garlic, and cilantro, all cooked in olive oil. I finished it off with a squeeze of fresh lemon. After such a delicious meal I was finally feeling happy and satisfied. Yay!

Later tonight I’ll be tackling my initial Paleo Challenge workout. Hope I don’t pass out!

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