Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Lighter Shade of Paleo

If you are a regular reader of my blog you know that I'm best friends with Joe Friel I met Joe Friel this December at a Winter Base Training seminar that was held here in Maine at Orthopedic Associates Performance Center.
You also know that I take what the man says very seriously.

Here is proof of our "friendship":

Yes, I will use any occasion and any excuse to post this picture of me and my BFF, Joe Friel

How's THAT for motivation??
While at this conference he discussed nutrition and body composition and of course, I was fascinated with everything he had to say. It's one thing to READ it but it's a whole 'nother story hearing it right from his mouth.
Mr. Friel provided a little formula that he uses to determine body comp for his athletes; it is not based on body fat percentages, total weight or traditional measurements that are used in most fitness plans I have seen or read. He breaks it down into pounds per inch and then based on this number he has been able to break it down by athlete performance - Front of the Pack (FOP), Middle of the Pack (MOP) and Back of the Pack (BOP) runners and triathletes.

FOP 1.7-2.0
MOP 2.1-2.2
BOP >2.2

FOP 1.9-2.1
MOP 2.2-2.3
BOP >2.3
Curious where you stand?
Here is the formula-
 body weight divided by height = lbs per inch

In order for me to get my body into the FOP category, I would need to shed just about 8 to 10 lbs. I do think this is completely doable and with the proper nutrition (it's all about what you eat folks!) I should be at my perfect racing weight in no time.

I had read a couple of books about nutrition and weight loss for athletes and most of what I read did not jive with what typically works for me or with my basic understanding of nutrition. I found most plans a little too carb heavy for my taste. Don't get me wrong, I think carbs are our's just the quality of carb that I think is important.

So I have been reading about Paleo and borrowed Dawn's book, The Paleo Diet for Athletes (as mentioned in this post) and while I am only 5 chapters in and have been skipping around the book, reading this section and and then re-reading that one, I find that my own personal philosophy falls more in line with this kind of nutrition.
Clean foods, staying away from commercially raised meats and fish, ditching processed foods. Keep it simple. Make it yourself. Lots of fruit, veggies, lean proteins, nuts, seeds and berries. The basics of my current eating lifestyle.

Don't let the PALEO title scare you...THIS version of Paleo--for the ATHLETE has been altered a bit to meet our needs a bit more. You can eat starchy veggies like potatoes as well as grains-- "You may also select grains such as corn, bread, a bagel, rice, and cereal to continue the rapid replacement of carbohydrate stores".

I find that this is a Lighter shade of Paleo- A bit "friendlier" if you will and certainly, I am finding it easy to adjust to this pattern and style of eating. It's all in using those carbs to refuel your body at the right times around your training schedule. Makes sense to me!

So while I am not totally submerged into a Paleolithic eating lifestyle or even following TPDFA to a tee yet, I am making some changes and I feel good. I do not feel tired. I do not feel deprived. I am not clawing at the drawer with the hidden truffles (Lola's treats).
I also subscribe to a philosophy of balance and moderation.
If I want a truffle, I will have one-not six.
But I also have goals to achieve and races on the schedule and I find that this is a big motivator for me.

Hubby has my kryptonite in the house-potato chips-and I haven't nibbled a single chip.

A couple resources that have made it easy to find great, family friendly recipes:

Everyday Paleo
We have been making several of Sarah's recipes over the last couple week just because they are so delish!! My favorites so far? Paleo Chicken Piccata (I skip the wine) Everyday Paleo Chili Verde and Chicken Chili Soup. You don't have to eat Paleo to enjoy these dishes. They are now doing a podcast too!

Paleo Perfectly
Cait does a great job having fun with Paleo, taking recipes and tweaking them into Paleo friendly versions- Molten Chocolate Babycakes? Lemon Squares? Sounds good to me! Her entire family eats Paleo and she has fun making kid friendly recipes like Chicken Nuggets and Fries, Cookie Cutter Eggs, Pirate Pork,

Paleo Diet Recipes
This site has a great list of you favorite condiments made Paleo friendly! Even if you don't eat Paleo, who wants to eat ketchup loaded with High Fructose Corn Syrup and chemicals anyway??


AM! said...

Hi there!
First, that is TOO cool you met/and heard Joe Friel. My first tri book was by him. He's one of the masters!

and also...had to reach out and let you know my dear lil’ blog www.goalsfortheweek domain name expired and was taken by some search engine computer this week. AGH!!! I’m so sad! So I just procured and am trying to pass it along to all my bloggy friends out there. So please, please ‘follow’ me now there. THX! It feels so weird to not be linked up in blogland! And sorry if you see this comment all over the place.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for letting me know about your blog addy change! will update :)

Emz said...

You & Friel look freaking awesome. You. Know. I. Love. That. Shirt.

Love all this info. I suck at nutrition most days. I'll be checking out those recipes --- for sure.

Unknown said...

EMZ- def chck 'em out. Yummmo
Girl if you struggle with nutrition then dang!! how'd you build those amazing abs!!??
Oh wait..that's right, you rock out the TM into the 20's (miles).AhhhhMAAAAAZing I will eat meat only for weeks on end before I do that!! LOL

KovasP said...

The lighter shade of Paleo sounds more palatable. I'd have to lose 40 pounds just to make it into the MOP range. Sigh.

A Prelude To... said...

Yep, that formula worked for me and made total sense!

I have to admit that although I have both the Paleo book AND Paleo For Athletes, in the past I've always tried to just go strict paleo (which I've told you was really hard for me), thinking that once I would get to training season and ramped up my mileage, I would switch to Paleo for athletes, but I never make it that far in my paleo endeavors. Maybe I should re-read my TBDFA copy again.

Thanks again for the formula. That was very confirmatory for me.

Teamarcia said...

Love the JF pic!
You've inspired me to get out my Paleo book and give it a shot already!

BTW The Caveman had burgers for breakfast--grass fed of course!

adena said...

Thanks for the links, some of those recipes look really great and will fit into my plans perfectly.


That's an interesting calculation. I'd be interested to hear how it takes muscle mass into account. Currently, I come out at 2.2, but even at my ultimate, never ever have I seen this number on a scale goal weight, I'd still be at 2.02.

GetBackJoJo said...

hmmmm...another formula for determining race weight! This one is a little more friendly than some...
Thanks for the site suggestions. I really struggle with the paleo thing. I crave bread by about 4 pm everyday.

Unknown said...

TMB-If I recall correctly, they way they came up with these numbers are from where the athletes fall into the finish based on body comp.
FOP Athletes tend to fall into those numbers and so on...I think it is more of a guideline then a rule~

Jason said...

So what happens you are 2.16 for triathletes? Not exactly FOP and not exactly MOP. Guess I should just drop a few pounds and get that FOP slot.

And while everybody is loving the JFriel picture b/c of JFriel I am loving it because Chuck is right there. Did JFriel laugh at the shirt?

Chuck would never wear Jennifer Did an Ironman shirt in a picture with JFriel.

Unknown said...

Jason!! You just gave me the BEST idea for WHEN I do complete an Ironman!! :D

Jess @ Blonde Ponytail said...

You are so on your way to your goal! Your eating is WAY in line and on par with FOP!! You inspire me to clean up my eating!!

Unknown said...

That's an awesome picture! :) Do you call him Joey or JF when you talk to him??? HAHA

I like that equation a lot. And I'm super interested in the Paleo for an Athlete. Please keep us updated on all of your findings. I may have to check out that book!

And good for you for avoiding the potato chips. That's will power!

Chloe said...

Yes - keeping your food simple makes you feel sooo good!! But right now - I'm on the road all week. UGH. I miss my 'made at home' dinners. It's crazy how crummy your body feels when you eat what people consider 'normal foods' and not your 'crazy ass whole foods that triathletes eat' :)

Cait said...

Thank you Jen for mentioning my blog. I really do love food and I love eating Paleo. What few people know is how much nutrition affects a child's behavior. My boys are better people eating paleo. :) I will keep coming up with as many inventive recipes as I can. Keep working hard mama!! You look awesome!!

Robin said...

Hmmmmm.... Interesting. I come out clearly as BOP in his categories (no surprise, I'm well into the Athena category), yet I am also 19% BF. Also as a data point though, I've been in the top 10 women in most of my races the last few years. Placed in my AG in all but one.

At 5'7" and 163 pounds, I would have to lose 23 pounds to 140 get to "FOP" status according to his numbers. The lightest I've ever been is 148 (and that was at 16% BF) and that still puts me at MOP in his categories. Sigh. I don't know how I could get lower than that without cannibalizing a whole lot of muscle mass.

Unknown said...

Robin-again, I think it is more of a guideline as to where triathletes tend to fall. This is a perfect example of how not everyone fits the "rule". Keep doing what you're doing because obviously, ITS WORKING FOR YA!!

Colleen- I call him "THE MASTER" LOL :) I will certainly keep you posted on my efforts and results of eating Paleo

Cait-no problem! Thanks for the initial spark of Paleo inspiration. Next time you are in Maine girl-you are SO kicking my butt with a CF workout kay??

Alex said...

very interesting, Jenn. I am vegan and so this is a diet that wouldn't come naturally to me, but I have definitely tried to make some changes - and so to rely less on bread :) (Oh, how I love you, bread!). I'm trying to time for carbs, too, so that I eat them when I've trained or I'm about to. but it's hard when you're vegan, especially a vegan who doesn't want to eat a lot of soy.

I definitely want to drop some pounds. When I was a runner in my 20s I weighed a good 20 pounds less than I do now... ! I'm hovering at the FOP weight now but hoenstly I am MUCH faster when I weight less. Darn!

Heidi Austin, PT, DPT said...

looove that calculation - that's awesome. big fan of the paleo diet but am not going to lie and say i follow it 100% of the time...