Sunday, May 17, 2009


  1. capitalpressure | May 17, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    My 5k time was 26:48. I hope your graduation went well Melody. Jeff

  2. tbferg | May 17, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    I don’t have a composition to share, but would rather like to ask for some suggestions from anyone interested in sharing. Lately, I have been struggling with my motivation, mostly with my nutrition. Work has gotten incredibly busy, and my stress level is through the roof. I have a long history of stress-eating, and I don’t think anyone will be surprised to know that what I crave is not lean meats and veggies. That, combined with a schedule that’s gotten so hectic that I can barely find time to get to the grocery store much less cook, has had a devastating effect on my eating habits. So, how do the rest of you cope with busy lives? And, any ideas on how to stick to a good nutrition plan on the go? All input will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for participating. (John & Mel- I hope it’s okay to use this forum for this type of thing.)


    • coach | May 17, 2009 at 7:00 pm

      Thanks TD,

      This is exactly what the site is for…!


  3. ashacooper | May 17, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    Happy graduation, Mel!

    Tamra, I have the exact same problem and have been struggling to come up with strategies. At the advice of Mel and John, I’ve started journaling. My schedule doesn’t always allow me to be as consistent as I should be, but during the times I have been able to journal, I have noticed patterns in when I begin to need a sugar/carb fix: 1) 3pm everyday (inculding weekends), 2) days when I travel for work, and 3) days when I return home from traveling. I’ve not been able to find a solution for problems 1 and 2, but Peapod has minimized my eating problems on days when I return home from a trip. For the past month, I have had the Peapod guys make a home delivery to coincide with my return trip home. This small step has helped in a major way. I no longer eat cereal, order pizza, or get a McDonalds hot fudge sundae, with extra hot fudge. Yes, I’m confessing my awful secrets. I’ve not yet figured out what to do about problems 1 and 2, so if anyone has any advice, I’m happy to hear. One other thing, I have begun to make some gradual changes to my overall diet as a result of trying to follow Paleo guidelines. For example, three weeks ago, I stopped eating the bread that comes before the meals at restaurants, I stopped drinking diet sodas (as of Monday, May 11), and earlier today I bought my first food scale. While my weight is where I’d like it to be yet, I must confess that I’m much stronger and happier – even with all the work-related stress – than I was two months ago.


  4. train2live | May 17, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    Michelle And Tamra,

    I can relate to the stress and traveling for work and how it can be disruptive to ones eating habits. I too have been under a tremendous amount of stress at work lately and I have been on the road for the past eight weeks with more to come. I have been fortunate that the only thing that has been noticeably affected is my performance in the gym (not completing workouts as fast as I have in the past, low capacity, less weight, etc). I am not sure if you can use me as a comparison to your situation, because I am an absolute maniac when it comes to my diet and exercise. However, reality is that I experience the stress and I am on the road a lot lately. So here are a few things that I do to help maintain the “plan”.

    When I am not traveling I stock one of my cabinets in my office with healthy snacks like apples, oranges, nuts (almonds, walnuts), Turkey Jerky, peanut butter, a protein shake or two that I can pour into a cup of ice, a few zone power bars, etc. I reach for these when I am on the go at work usually in the afternoon around 3:00pm when I crave something to eat. If you have a refrigerator available at work you can also cut up some peppers, broccoli, carrots, etc and store them in the fridge for a quick healthy snack at work. I do this at the beginning of the week and I also include some hard boiled eggs too. Bottom line is have the healthy stuff available for when you are hungry. It really does not require much effort.

    As for traveling, the hardest part for me is finding a gym that has the equipment necessary to complete the workouts. Second most difficult thing is remembering to stop working and give myself a break. I tend to work the entire time I am on the road, even back in the hotel room. I end up working long hours, staying up late and getting completely off my schedule. This can also play havoc with my eating habits too.
    To counter these issues I have begun to force my self to end the work day after 10 hours when possible…client commitments not withstanding. Doing so has allowed me the down time I need and enabled me to stick to my usual sleep schedule. I also bring a jump rope and the necessary equipment to rig up a body weight rower. These items are small and compact and pack easily. If I can’t perform the wod due to gym constraints. I will do a series of squats, pushups, body weight rows, situps, jump rope and burpies. I will create my own AMRAP with these movements. Another nice thing about doing this is that they can all be performed in the privacy of your hotel room.

    As for eating on the road, I also tend to take healthy snacks with me…nuts, power bars, etc. I avoid hotel restaurants and look for healthy menu options when dining out.

    I used to use travel as an excuse for why I ate poorly or didn’t work out. I realize that it does not have to be that way, it just requires a little bit extra planning and focus. I hope this helps…good luck.

    Dave “702” O

    • coach | May 18, 2009 at 11:02 am


      In case anyone is curious, this is what Dave takes on the road, in addition to a jump rope: It’s a simple suspension trainer. There are many on the market—this just happens to be one of the more affordable versions (the same company makes another model for half the price that we got Neil before he went to Laos). The TRX trainers that we have in the gym (yellow and black straps) cost twice as much and are not as sturdy.

      If you travel, or if you’d like more options for workouts at home, this may be worth the investment.


  5. coach | May 17, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Thanks, Dave! Excellent ideas. Your commitment to a healthy lifestyle is evident in your attitude, as well as on the gym floor.

    Ladies, I want you to first think about taking a “can-do” attitude to your nutritional choices, as they are, indeed, choices—you have the power at each and every intersection.

    Tamra, the most important thing you can do is find time to get to the grocery store and purchase healthy, easy-to-make items. This should be your first priority—even before working out. As Dave said, having the food available (the good food, that is) when you are hungry, and before you get overly-hungry, makes all the difference. My favorite items: turkey jerky, easy-to-cut veggies (carrots, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, broccoli) and honey mustard dressing, nuts, and fruit. Also, what does your schedule look like? Do you have any downtime? I know it sounds crazy, but is it possible to make some?

    Michelle, thanks for sharing! You are definitely making changes for the better. For issue #1—let’s look at what you are eating before the 3p hour, as well as the amount of sleep that you are getting the night before. The correct answers should be “a balanced meal” (you might be eating too many carbohydrates) and “eight hours of sleep.” Alternatively, your body might actually need food at that point in the day—try eating 2-3 ounces of jerky, an apple, and a few nuts, and see how you feel. For issue #2—pre-package the above items and take them with you!


  6. ashacooper | May 17, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    Thanks, Dave and Melody! Will try the new options and report back in a few weeks.

  7. tbferg | May 18, 2009 at 5:24 am

    Thanks, everyone.

  8. demonbowler | May 18, 2009 at 9:32 am

    I think journaling is key. The Monday after the “no-zone” icon appeared on the website, I committed to try eating paleo and recommitted to journaling. Rather than using other people’s formats, I simply created a word document and type in what I’ve eaten (and time of day), when I go to bed and wake-up, my WOD and other exercise results, and, occasionally, notes on how I feel. I’ve been under a lot of stress at work, as well, and even taking the time to journal can be stressful, but it allows you to be conscious and intentional about what you are eating and to make mid-course corrections.

    For instance, I’ve just completed 4 full weeks eating paleo. Looking back over my journal, I’ve had 149 meals or snacks over that time period. Of these, 10 had non-paleo compliant elements – legumes like green beans, rice, soy marinades, home made ice cream, cupcakes, pastries. And of these 10, 7 meals were in restaurants or at friends’ homes. I had 17 glasses of wine or beer over 15 of these meals – but the first week I had 9 servings of alcohol, the second 4, the third 3, the fourth 1.

    My biggest convenience food is nuts, seeds and nut butters. In fact, I was worried that I might be eating too much of them, but they haven’t seemed to have any ill effect on me. I like crunchy sunflower seed butter and almond butter, – recently, a friend gave me some home-made almond butter sweetened with a little maple syrup and cinnamon. I like to eat sunflower seeds in the shell while watching the Nats, but that habit (watching the Nationals) will only change your stress to depression.

    I’ve “lost” six pounds over the past four weeks, and may have made some marginal improvement in performance, but I’m not sure. My biggest issue is sleep. It’s hard for me to get to bed early, I often wake up several times, and lately I’ve had anxieties at work.

    I go to a local farmer’s market when it opens first thing Sunday morning at 9 am – it’s pleasant, I get the pick of whatever fruit and vegetables are in and buy grass-fed meats and fresh eggs. I typically run out of food mid-week and it is hard to get to a grocery store and I share your concern. Whenever you do have time to cook, cook enough to have leftovers the following day.

    I wonder if I drink way too much coffee, but it is a pleasure I would have a hard time giving up.

    Dave and Melody’s suggestions are excellent. In any event – I have no real answers – it’s a process and a journey – but I really endorse journaling as the optimum way to “stick” to a good nutrition plan. Also, you should take time to do some deeper reading about food, and I recommend “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” – which I think Melody and John recommended last summer and which is really excellent.


  9. sub-15 "Mike" | May 18, 2009 at 9:47 am

    I would echo all of the suggestions above. Like David O., I also keep healthy snacks on my desk. One thing I’d add is that when I travel, I make a commitment to do “hotel workouts.” Many are posted on this site. Today’s (Monday’s) workout is a great example of how hard you can push yourself with no equipment whatsoever. When I’m about to go on a trip, I usually (i) take stock of how many days I’ll be gone; (ii) look at my work schedule while I’ll be on the road; and then (iii) commit to specific workouts on certain days. Then I do them, no matter what. The result is that I drink less at ‘on-the-road’ dinners, knowing I’ll have to wake up early the next day to sweat on the hotel floor. Also, although it is hard to eat well on the road, most breakfast places can serve you cottage cheese and fruit, and asking for double meat on your sandwiches (and tossing one of the pieces of bread) isn’t that hard. In general, making a commitment to work out and eat right for short time, such as on a business trip — and then actually sticking to it — usually pumps me up. I feel recharged and recommitted to myself by doing something that is logistically such a pain in the butt, and I usually come back from trips like that excited to be back in the gym again. Hopefully that works for you.

  10. tbferg | May 18, 2009 at 9:59 am

    This is all great info- thanks so much for sharing, everyone. Sounds like journaling might be worth a shot, to make me face what I’m actually eating (I think I lie to myself a little about just how poorly I’m eating sometimes). It’s good to hear that others are stressed, but stick w/their nutrition- I think I am too quick to throw in the towel, so it’s nice to know that it’s possible to not go crazy w/food just because I’m stressed. Now, I just need to have some willpower and self-discipline, I guess.

  11. rella181 | May 18, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    To Ted…I just tried almond butter for the first time yesterday and I am now in love…

    Some thoughts…I am still learning how to coach myself out off those periods where I go off track but I constantly try to remind myself that I am not a machine…I am bound to get off track from time to time and all I can do is jump right back on the saddle…i.e. right now, I am 4 days into paleo after being off track for about 4 weeks (oy)…and of course I am feeling energized, already slimmer, and my mood is more stable…it can be hard to remember how good I feel on paleo when I’m stressed/overwhelmed and just want sugar or junk food…I try to make special notes of these high-points so that when another moment rolls around where I feel less-inclined to stay on track, I can refer back to them for inspiration…also, watching crossfit videos usually snaps me right out of my desire for not-so-great food and reminds me that I am working towards achieving an exceptional level of fitness and don’t want to screw that up…

    For me…it helps to write out a general plan of what I am going to eat for the day, the night before so that I don’t have to make any impulsive food decisions during the day…I also try to pack all my food for the day the night before I have school, work, etc, so that I can just grab it and go in the morning…and also I drink WATER, WATER and oh yeah, some more WATER

    Like Ted said, it’s a journey…



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