Saturday, September 7, 2013

Nutrition and Exercise (CaveBoy Edition)

You've seen What the World Eats (and Part II) and I've shown you what I eat, but after a few weeks of watching the likes tic up on my Facebook page (thank you!), I'm willing to bet that at least 24% of you are more interested in seeing what I cook for CaveBoy.

Did I mention that I love data?

Since I last described our opposite fitness goals (more than a year ago), things haven't changed very much. I'm no longer looking to lose 10 lbs (done and done) but I'm still looking to keep my body-fat low. CaveBoy would love nothing more than to continue adding lean mass (and strength) everyday. To infinity. But even though our goals haven't changed, our nutrition and exercise routine has been a moving target.  

CaveBoy hit a wall a few months back, and although he looked amazing, he wasn't consistently posting strength gains. He started to become (understandably) frustrated when he considered how much work he was putting in to achieve such little result. He re-read all the strength training books and spent many late nights on the computer looking for answers.

When he finally selected a high(er) intensity workout routine, we learned quickly that his nutrition would have to change just as dramatically. The first week on his new schedule, he was zapped. He wasn't eating nearly enough (or enough of the right things).

When you change one, you have to change the other.
So we sat down to discuss what he was eating, when in the day he felt the best and worst, and how we could add the right type of calories to promote muscle growth and recovery (and keep him alert and focused while on duty). It wasn't an easy task, and it took a few weeks of trial-and-error to get it right.

One Day of CaveFeeding

And this is just what goes into his lunchbox.

On a normal day, CaveBoy wakes up and makes a cup of coffee, then fries five eggs to eat with a (pre-cooked) baked sweet potato. On the days he coaches (at zero-dark-thirty) he'll take a cup of Bulletproof Coffee with him to the gym, and then eat a real breakfast after his stomach wakes up.

At this point, I can't be sure of the order of operations. And I'm fairly certain that it changes from day-to-day depending on what time he works out, his appetite after the workout, what's going on at shift-change, and how many bad guys he has to deter, dissuade, or arrest.

In any case, at some point during his shift he'll consume 8 oz of Curry Chicken Salad with apple slices and almond butter, his lunch (in this example: 8 oz of Buffalo-Chicken Meatloaf with Sweet Potato Mash), one serving of Crustless Sweet Potato Quiche, and 4 oz of polish sausage in BBQ sauce with veggies.

When he gets home, he'll eat dinner (for example: paleo reuben bowls, with about 8 oz of meat). Then depending on how hungry he gets while winding down for the evening, he'll snack on plantain chips with salsa or nut butter.

CaveBoy eats 3600 - 4000 calories every day.

Our recently-developed combination of nutrition and exercise seems to be working. CaveBoy is PR-ing again! And he's much more energetic when he gets home from a long shift. We plan to keep this routine until he hits another plateau (it's inevitable!) and we have to re-adjust. 

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