Sunday, October 30, 2011

Eating Crow

Oh yes. I said I would never do it.

In fact, I took a perverse kind of pride in refusing it.

For years I denied myself of it.

What on earth am I talking about?? MASSAGE! Glorious massage and it's many benefits.

I never knew that massage actually SPED recovery. No one ever told me that. Everyone always goes on about how much they hurt and then how much a massage hurts them and I would think to myself, "Why do you do it then?"

I honestly thought that it was a big waste of time and money. That was until a month ago when I got a massage and learned about all things massage from Maryna at Maryna Massage. She explained things in a magnificently simple way -- a tight, contracted muscle is like a closed fist. Keep working that muscle in that state and you can see how your risk of injury goes up.

Massage relaxes and elongates the muscle -- so your range of mobility is back! You CAN achieve the same result with a protocol of stretching/hot tub/hydration, it's just that massage gets you there quicker.

Why on earth did no one ever explain it like that to me before? Other than a nebulous, "It feels good."

(This is the same sense of frustration I feel over Ducks Unlimited. I really have no interest in pictures of ducks in a marsh. I am not motivated to do anything about it. BUT, when I learned that wetlands act as a filter for OUR drinking water -- that they actually serve a real, tangible purpose (something I can wrap my head around), then I am totally motivated to donate! Like, come on people, don't you have marketing execs to get the message out to make people interested instead of the same old commercial of ducks flying around and me feeling sorry for them???? And I am a big animal lover too....I digress. And yes, I managed to tie in Ducks Unlimited with my first massage. Heh-heh-heh.)

I also learned that you should stretch after every activity. I was quick to say, "Yeah, but I don't have the time/energy after all my swimming, biking and running." My "yeah, but" was put to rest with Maryna's rejoinder that the stretching routine can be as short as 1.5 minutes. That's right -- a minute and a half is fine! You don't HAVE to do 3 sets of 30 secs of all these stretches -- you can do 1 set of a 10-15 sec stretch and do your whole body. Now that is something I am motivated to do.

To date, I've completed 9 full iron-distance races and this was the first year I started using massage as a recovery tool. In the past, after every full-iron race, I'd experience severe swelling in my legs, ankles (the infamous Ironman cankles), and toes (sausage toes -- it feels very odd to have all your toes swollen to the point that they are touching one another.)

Maryna suggested I get a massage about 3-4 days after my next event to speed recovery. I did and she was right. The swelling went away and I could actually walk around with relatively little pain (relative is the key word -- it is still an Ironman -- haha!)

She also advised that I get a massage at least once a month -- so, yes, this old dog learned a new trick. Woof-woof!! Massage is now a part of my routine! :) :)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

2011 Great Floridian Ultra Race Report

What a crackerjack of a race!!!

Like many people, I thought Florida was flat...well it is NOT. Not in Clermont anyways. The wind and the false flats really work on a person. I found this course more difficult than IMC.

The BIG news is that I had a major swimming breakthrough at this race...I was 4th woman out of the water with a 1:05:16!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I didn't learn this until the end of the race whereupon I teared up and became very emotional. I've been working so hard on my swim, and the last two months I've started feeling really good in the water...a light-switch moment so-to-speak. I knew I was swimming faster than before, I could feel things coming together in the water, but to swim that well literally put me in tears.

I spent most of my life leery of the water -- not knowing how to swim. When I was 29, I had my first swimming lesson -- I remember my neighbour's grand-daughters told me to just swim like I thought I should (so they could see where to start). Man!! I remember taking three strokes and then having to stand up in the pool to catch my breath. Over and over again in the shallow end. Three strokes, stand up, lift my ribs out of the water (because the pressure of the water made me struggle to catch my breath). This is why I am still so emotional about this -- hard work...consistent work pays off. I still can't believe it...

The short and sassy version is this: 1st in age group, 4th woman overall -- 12:19:56
Swim: 1:05:16
Bike: 6:30:39 (One tough mother of a bike course!)
Run: 4:38:25

More deets below:

The swim was a 2 loop affair -- you get out, run across the timing mats and then run back into the water. At the start of the race, people started to line up on the beach and in the water. I kept asking people, do we have to go back to the beach? No one knew, so I decided to go out a little bit into the water between the people further out in the water and the people on the beach.

Had a good warm up swim and the usual pre-race teeth-chattering jitters. Then we were off! I ran flicking my knees out to get over the water (finally my NATURAL running form actually serves a beneficial purpose -- LMAO!!!) and then did a dolphin dive and took off.

The usual mass of people -- green cap to the left of me, pink cap to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with you -- Hahahahaha!!

Found a girl to draft off -- I take pride in my drafting ability -- this is one area where I actually brag about. Hee-hee!! Seriously, I do!! Hahaha!! And, I am a pretty good sighter too. She started to swim zig-zag, so I would keep swimming straight, but it seemed we were still swimming the same speed. I would angle in and draft off her again and again, until she went somewhere weird after the first turn buoy. Then I found Mr. Wonderful...

I found the feet!!! I did it!! I found this guy who was swimming much faster than me, but that if I worked, I could draft from. When I catch a good draft, it literally feels like I am being towed along in the water, and I feel my heart rate go down. This was very similar except that I had to keep working to stay with this guy...

He would inevitably pull away, and I would surge ahead to catch him again. Then, he would pull away again, and again I would surge. I only touched his feet once. See? I am a good little draftee! Hee-hee!

The second lap was awesome as I got back on his feet again. He was a poor sighter though, but he was WAY faster even screwing up then I was swimming straight. I learned that pretty quick. So, I allowed myself to swim right behind him, screw-ups and all.

At the last turn buoy, he frigging SURGED and I just couldn't catch him. I surged and surged and made my little arms go like a windmill, and I could see him slipping away. And as he angled away, this other guy was in front of me and I didn't want him to catch my drafting train. So, I just kept on hammering away and I was so happy when I caught up to him again. I really pushed myself during this swim!

Coming out into transition is a bit of a cluster -- there are all these kids that volunteer (bless them) but some of them didn't know what they were doing and I'd have preferred it if they just got the heck out of the way. They didn't really know how to wetsuit strip (at least the one I got)-- were giggling and fooling around, but that's par for the course, eh?

Same as when I ran to get my change gear bag, I almost took out this young girl I have no idea why she was running right in front of me or what purpose she was serving.

Another thing is that women seem to be an afterthought in this race told us which side the women's change tent would be on. I opened the men's tent, got an eyeful and a volunteer told me to go around the other side. I still didn't know where to enter the tent...I finally figured it out though.

The road LOOKS flat, but it isn't. I think that it is this plus the relentless head wind that sucks the life out of you. This was the hardest bike course I have ridden so far. And it is a clean race! You are out there ALONE. At various times you may pass someone, or they pass you, but on the whole it is you out there with the sun, the wind, the sweat. Wiping your salty boogers on the back of your hand and pedaling away. AYE CARUMBA.

The police were out in full force and they controlled the intersections -- these guys were AWESOME and did not eff around. They were serious looking dudes. During the 3rd lap, I thanked as many as I could.

I did miss a turn on the first lap (it's amazing knowing my sense of direction I didn't do more - Hahaha!) , but I figured it out in 100m or so, turned around and made the turn. :)

Coming off the bike, someone was yelling to another kid in transition, "Number 10!" She was too busy talking to her friends, so when I reached her she sort of yelled to FOUR other kids, "Number 10!" Then all four boys went running. I went running to the gear racks myself because I have no patience for this -- I'm not mad, but I like to keep moving. As far as I'm concerned GET THOSE KIDS OUT OF TRANSITION and let us athletes get the gear bags. Too many cooks in the kitchen.

My nutrition was good! No GI issues, I had talked and planned things out with my coach and lo and behold it worked! :)

The run was the usual Ironman fare -- wavering between fuzzing out and giddy endorphin rushes where I make best friends with everyone on course. Hahaha! I think it was somewhere on lap two where I started making personalized comments to the other athletes. Man, I talked to some afterward, and they were like, "yeah, you said such and such at the turn around!" I was thinking to myself, "Dude, you have no idea how many people I said stuff too!! Hahahahahaha!! I didn't even recognize some of the people!"

This one man was running with his bike jersey pulled up over his nipples, and when I saw him, I said, "I wish i could run like that." LMAO. he just gave me this really weird look. Personally, I think I was hilarious!! :D :D

There were 3 other women ahead of me: Fast Girl, Friendly Girl, Bikini Girl, and then me. Bikini girl passed me at the end of the bike ride, but started to really fade on the last lap of the run. I ended up 7 minutes behind her.

When the sun set, it was DARK. I felt like Darryl and his night-running antics. A guy handed me a glow stick and I clicked it around my neck. It was sort of hard to see though - there were parts of the trail that were totally dark and the green glow in my peripheral vision as it bounced underneath my chin was weird -- add that to general iron-distance fuzziness, and you can imagine how disorienting it was.

Some of the more prepared athletes had head lamps on. Mind you, I finished relatively soon after the sun had set, but it is a good idea nonetheless!

When I'd approach a police car parked at an intersection, their ole lights would be blazing and it just about blinded me! There was an aid station that had this really bright frigging construction light or something and you couldn't see except by tilting your head down . I was happy I still had my hat to help shade the light. LOL.

The last mile was awesome as I knew I was going to be done!! Hahahahahaha!! I could hear music and they had these 4 strobe lights whirling around pointed up in the sky -- YAHOO! Plus, I was 99.9% sure I was 4th woman overall, so that had me pumped too!

Food at the finish:
More kids volunteering -- they were great, but again, this one girl was standing behind the food tables and stuffing herself with the athlete food. Sigh. I went to get a piece of watermelon and no kidding, it looked like someone had gnawed them to the whitish part and put them back on the tray. I'll let you think about that for awhile. LOL.

The verdict:
TWO THUMBS WAY UP! This course will test you -- there are no cheering crowds (not to the extent at IM events) and you are on your own with the other athletes. There is a special bond between all competitors -- because of the difficulty and the solo nature of the event. This bond grows and solidifies with each lap of the run course. :) Awesome, awesome event -- I like that the distance is called "Ultra" - it has the feel of an ultra race -- low key, very personal journey. The volunteers (and yes I mean those crazy-ass kids as well) are AMAZING. They are great -- on my last lap of the run, I was thanking all of them too..when I wasn't going through one of my negative, fuzzing out phases.

This was my first non-m-dot race and it will not be my last! Despite my whining, I actually enjoy the low-key nature of things and going with the flow.


The residual effects:
When I left T2, I realized I had tied my shoes WAY TOO TIGHT. Oh brother. I thought to myself, "Well, you're in them for 26.2 miles so get over it." LOL! When I took them off at then end of the race, I discovered I had a new toe between my middle toe and "ring" toe. And it was blood red. This blister was the biggest one I've ever had and it was awesome. LOL! It actually was between my toes and went around to the pad of my ring toe. When I popped it with safety pin this morning, it SQUIRTED like an oil well in Texas. LMAO!!

My lower back muscles are crazy sore -- they were soooo sore during the bike too. Talked to a fellow racer today and he said it was because I was pushing the hills. Ahhh! So it was! I've had discomfort before when I am in aero and push hills, but as everyone knows, things hurt A LOT more in an iron-distance race.

The Pee Bag has been laundered as I type this -- sweet action!

Now...onto next year's races.....Muahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!

BIG thank you to my Bunler and my parents who support me in every way imaginable. To my amazing coach, Sara Gross who is shaping me into a triathlete. And to my bike Guru, Gord, who takes care of of my bike and taught me how to disassemble and then reassemble my bike. :) (And change flat tires.)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Paleo for Triathletes: Part 2

Or...Paleo-style in pictures...

Every morning, I have a 3 egg omelette with veggies, sun-dried tomatoes, and olive oil.

My omelettes are FULL of veggies: broccoli, kale, green peppers, and onions.

As you can see, I have prepped all my veggies before hand -- washed the kale and tore it off into chunks and crammed it in a container.

Then, I top it with this:

Avocado -- Julie style. 95% of it is good for me. :D

Hungry throughout the day? Here are a couple of my snacks that I can just grab and eat ASAP:

Snowpeas -- these are good to eat while your significant other eats potato chips They crunch and you are not left out! :)

Baby carrots -- no dip, just the carrot.

Whenever I drive pretty much anywhere: to the pool, to the city, wherever, I always bring a cooler and throw the whole bag of carrots, snowpeas, an apple, a banana, and 1 or 2 precooked chicken breasts. That way, when hunger strikes, I am prepared. (I have the most awesome wheeled cooler too -- it looks like a small piece of carry-on luggage.)

Pre-cooked chicken breasts taken with my shitty new camera.
I only paid $40 for it off the internet and it's waterproof too...the only downside?
It's really shitty.
And I keep discovering more aspects of it's shittiness...SIGH.

Here is my solution to cold cuts: The ingredients don't scare me...I'm weaning myself off this stuff too now, but it has helped my transition.

Here is a pic of some turkey sausage...Yeah, there are a LOT of chemicals in there, but there are not a lot of choices living in the armpit of the Canadian Rockies...:) :)

Plus, I need to appease the Polish side of me. Sausage....YUM. Hahaha!

And here we have my FAVOURITE FOOD OF ALL TIME.....

THE YAM!!! (Squash is there too, but the yam is the best!!)

I love yams - oh man, they are so good. I can eat them day in and day out and never get sick of them. I used to eat the skin, but it tastes like that stopped right away. Heh-heh. I prefer baked yams to anything else, but usually I am too impatient and end up nuking my yams...

Here's the lazy girl's way of making a dinner:
  1. Peel yam, then either poke holes or jab knife in all over the yam.
  2. Nuke yam for 2:30 - 3:00 on one side, and again on the other (approx).
  3. Cut up warm yam, then put diced chicken breast pieces all over it, some oil, salt, and some avocado!
  4. Presto! Your meal looks like cat puke, but it is really, really good!
Nuking yams make them a little chewy at the ends, so if you have the time to bake them, they are so much better...When I bake them, I peel them, slice them into big chunks or even disc sized pieces and put them in the toaster oven for 1 hour at 375 degrees F. I don't even use olive oil or anything -- you just throw them in there and they are awesome. Earlier this year, I would bake a couple of yams the evening before a long bike ride.

I carry them in a ziplock baggie in my bento box and whenever I need some fuel, just root around in the baggie. The yams do sort of turn to mush (and by sort of, I mean that the hotter is outside, the quicker they mushify) and your fingernails get a bit orange, but it's like blowing your nose when you run -- the good ole hand wipe on the hip. :)

(On a side note, I came in from a run a few months ago, and wiped my nose on my sleeve. Mike was so grossed out...saying to me, "You're at home now! You can use a kleenex!" Poor guy, 10 years with me and he still doesn't GET that this is what we athletes DO. Without thinking! You can imagine my delight, when my friends Tina and Andrew spent the night and I saw Tina doing the same thing!! YES! My people!! It's the same delight I feel when I get together with my tri peeps and out of the Crowsnest Pass -- we are all drinking out of our own water bottles, we eat chicken breasts and yams, carry bananas with us, and wipe our noses and wear our boogers all over our clothing and it is no big deal!! YAY! Hahahahahaha!)

Ok..back to paleo in pictures...

I don't even know why there are oranges in this picture. I don't even like oranges.
Normally there are way more bananas and apples there -- my fruits of choice. :)

Now, I learned a trick a couple of years ago from pro triathlete, Rachel Kiers....if you use frozen bananas in your protein shake, it's like a milkshake! There's something about the banana being frozen that bulks up the shake or something....and I have been a convert ever since.

Just remember though -- PEEL your bananas before freezing them. Because there is no way in hell you will be able to get that peel off otherwise. Trust me. order to prep for and make the world's best protein shakes...
  1. Buy a LOAD of bananas when they go on 50% off.
  2. Peel said bananas. (That is so legal sounding isn't it? LOL)
  3. Break bananas into small chunks and put them in a big ziplock freezer bag.
  4. Don't cram in as many banana chunks as you can though -- leave enough space so you can flatten the ziplock bag on its side -- this makes getting the banana chunks out wayyyyy easier. (They freeze into one big massive banana chunk other wise and no amount of smashing the bag on the counter will set it free)
Here are my ingredients of choice: (What's missing is my protein powder. I use a chocolate kind, but have an egg protein one on order...I am really curious to try out the egg one. It has no other ingredient in it other then egg!)

Almond milk, MAGIC OIL (this stuff is the bomb!), and YES I finally found coconut water here....
Well, technically I found it in Fernie -- close enough!

I also buy ground chicken/beef when it is discounted and make a bunch of meatloaves:

Yes, I know it looks like cat food. :)
But, it's better than that nasty bean loaf Susi made that one time... LMAO!!
I hope she doesn't read this! Hahahahahahahaha!!

And my little baggies of little potatoes...Potatoes are NOT Paleo so don't get all in a huff and a puff and start preaching to me. I DON'T CARE. These little suckers are good -- I also buy the yellow ones too -- boil some water, throw them in, cook until your fork goes into one easily, drain them, put them in another tupperware container in the fridge.

Don't hate me just because I have saponins in me. :(

And there you have it!

I have found that changing to a Paleo-style way of eating has been a real eye-opener. My goal is to go 100% Paleo, and the way my body has been responding, it's like it is naturally heading me in that direction.

Granted, there are times when I've not been nutritionally prepared and end up sucking down a big bag of Tostitos and 4 packs of Reeces Pieces that were in the back hall and part of a care package to be sent to my dear friend in South Africa, BUT....

on the whole, when I get hungry now, I don't want or crave bread and/or pasta. You know those times? When you go to the cupboard and open it and stare inside, looking for something....even though you know exactly what is in there, you stand in front of the cupboard staring as though in a trance, hoping a genie will pop out of there are say: "Ba-da-bing! Here is a Filet Mignon dinner all cooked and ready to eat -- just for you! YAY!" :) :) :)

I still will open the cupboard door and stare inside, but I end up going for some nuts or I actually open the fridge and eat a whole cucumber instead. Hahahahaha!

One other trick I've learned...hee-hee! Mike likes his taco salads, so there is usually a big bag of salty nacho chips hanging around. I am a very salty sweater, so sometimes all I really need is salt and I want to taste it...

So what I do, is dig both hands around the bag of chips and get them covered in salt and then lick my hands clean. No double-dipping though. That would just be gross.


Hope this helps any of you out with your nutritional challenges! Feel free to email me with any questions or comments -- or share your experiences!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Paleo for Triathletes: Part 1

This is my 7th year doing very first race was a sprint distance in Strathmore, AB in 2004. I had literally learned to swim 3 months prior, and had purchased my very first tri bike at the same time. The next year, 2005, was the year I really got into triathlon and completed my first Olympic, 1/2 IM, and full IM.

For the past six years, I've become fitter and fitter, but my body shape and size never really altered at all. For someone who trains as much as I do, I expected my body composition to be a heck of a lot better than it was. You wouldn't know by looking at me that I had done multiple IM's!

I am passionate about the sport, but my ego would still get a little bruised every once in a while when I would compare myself to other athletes. Why can't I "lean down?" "I am training 16 hours a week for weeks and weeks on end, and am staying away from junk food and eating clean...What am I doing wrong?!?!" This conversation would play itself over and over in my head.

I was so frustrated -- I had tried so many changes to my diet and nothing worked. I even tried fasting and severely restricting my food intake (the good ole FALLACY of calories in, calories out belief) and you can just imagine how successful that was...

Then, a little over 6 months ago, I stumbled (completely accidentally) upon the Goddess of Paleo, Nell Stephenson's blog. At last, someone put forth a common sense approach to eating and fuelling -- a way of eating that was EASY. I didn't need to go out and buy a whole bunch of new spices to make recipes that I would only make fact, I don't even really need to cook! (My kind of cooking is not having to cook. Heh-heh-heh.)

There are no recipes I have to follow. This was the biggest discovery -- that I didn't need to go out and buy a recipe book and make my life more complicated by following all these recipes. Let's face it, the LAST thing I want to do when I come home from a swim,bike, and/or run is to have to follow some recipe and an hour later I can eat.

When I am hungry, I want to eat NOW. Not have to dink around with a recipe...

My life is more simplified now, and my nutrition is stress-free: I don't follow recipes, I do meal assembly. I cook chicken breasts (that is the extent of my cooking), nuke yams, boil water (yes, this IS my kind of cooking!), and make omelettes. :)

The best thing about my conversion to Paleo? My body has leaned down completely on its own. I haven't had to restrict what I eat, I haven't had to go to bed hungry. I eat when I am hungry and my body composition has literally changed before my eyes. I have gone down 3 swimsuit sizes since March of this year -- without even trying. It's like my body is naturally doing this on its own. I've had friends not recognize me..and I was never a big girl -- always a size 6 at 132 lbs.

Now, here comes the disclaimer...(Hahahahahaha!)

I am not 100% Paleo. I do things that would probably make Nell's hair stand on end, but I am a thousand times better off than I was six months ago, and I am still a work in progress. :)

So what does it mean to eat Paleo? And how do you go about making the transition?

For those of you who have no idea about Paleo (like me) the biggies you need to learn is to eliminate ALL grains and ALL dairy. Let that sink in and terrify you for a moment:
  • No bread, pasta, oatmeal, rice, quinoa
  • No yogourt, cottage cheese, cheese, milk
I knew if I wanted to make a successful stab at changing the way I eat, I would have to make a plan. I decided to work on eliminating dairy first. I started by eliminating yogourt -- this was actually really easy as I always felt a little bloated after I ate it, but I never stopped eating it until now, as I thought "it was good for me." Next, I eliminated cheese.

I knew the whole eliminating grains thing was going to be an all-or-nothing affair however. There was no way I could get around do that half-assed...

So, I went to the grocery store and loaded up on bananas, carrots and yams. And I mean LOADED up. My BFF Charmaine came over to my house one day and laughed at my hoarder-like stockpile of yams and bananas on the kitchen counter. Hahahahaha!

Getting my carbs from carrots and yams -- especially yams , was the secret I'd been missing before in all my previous nutrition-clean up attempts. I would always try "incorporating more vegetables" into my diet in the form of salad...instead of a hearty veg like a yam or a squash. This was a key lesson for me.

I remember the first day I eliminated grains...I baked a butternut squash, then put some olive oil on it and ate it for dinner. I was satiated. SATIATED! For the first time in my life, I didn't feel bloated and heavy and craving chocolate cake like I would after eating 3 bowls of spaghetti. I was thunderstruck. And excited, as I realized I could definitely get used to this way of fuelling!

Now, I need to insert another disclaimer here...

I know a lot of athletes do just fine eating bagels and them I say "Good for you!" But for me, my body responds well by eliminating them. I am writing this series of blog posts for those athletes who have struggled like I have in finding an effective way to fuel and train for IM races.

I have received quite a few emails about the changes I've made to my nutrition, so I thought it would be helpful to share my experiences about my Paleo journey.

I have to plug Nell's blog again, as I have learned so much from perusing her archives, as well as emailing her questions. I've asked questions via her blog as well and she responds with lightening speed. She is an amazing resource.

So...onto the nuts and bolts of a Paleo way of life...You can eat anything you want from this list:
  • Meat (preferably grass-fed, but I am not there yet. I just eat meat from the grocery store: primarily chicken breasts and lean ground beef, sometimes a pork chop. :))
  • Eggs (I eat 21 eggs a week. I am not joking. I was actually shocked when I realized this, LOL!!)
  • Veggies
  • Fruits
  • Good fats (I eat A LOT of avocado, olive oil, Udo's oil)
That is the bare bones summary of what the Paleo way of fuelling yourself entails. There are a number of points to fine-tune things, but to get started I stuck with this list. Granted, at first I ate a bunch of cold cuts (really processed, bierwurst -- LOL!) but gradually, my body sort of made adjustments on its own and I moved away NATURALLY to less processed shit meat.

There is also the concept of timing your eating of fruits - say have an apple after a session instead of while sitting around...but initially, I found it better to just eat whatever fruit I wanted/craved. It is better to eat fruit than a frigging Pop Tart or a 100 calorie Thinsation piece of chemical (and honestly, now....those things are like the mini chocolate bars you get at Halloween -- you CANNOT eat just one.)

Again, over time, I naturally started to shift away from eating so much fruit and started to eat more a handful of baby carrots. Or a bunch of snow-peas. (Now I believe that the Paleo diet calls for an elimination of peas and beans, but I am a work in progress, and eating snow-peas are wayyyy better for me than eating a big bag of dill pickle chips.)

Another BIG lesson for me was the sheer amount of good fat I started eating. In fact, I noticed that when I consumed a hearty amount of good fat in the morning, I had no craving for sugary stuff in the evening. Again, there is a fine-tuning that goes on with the fat consumption...I now eat a lot of good fat throughout the day as well. "A lot" of fat = in terms of what I ate before I made the change to a Paleo-style diet. (Pure Paleo-istas, please forgive my selective way of adopting Paleo principles! Hee-hee!)

So, in a capsule, the things that really changed for me when I first made the shift to Paleo are:
  • The amount of meat I ate increased (like A LOT -- like I would eat the whole rotisserie chicken as a snack, and I am not joking. But remember, I train A LOT.)
  • I put avocado over everything.
  • I started taking Udo's oil 2-3 times a day (I have 2 protein shakes a day, and I put a Tbsp of the oil in each shake. This stuff made my nails stop peeling! It took a few weeks, but sure enough, my fingernails are hard for the first time in my life instead of soft and peeling.)
  • I don't take a strict all-or-nothing approach, I am not hard on myself -- I still consume whey protein, I eat snowpeas, I put Lipton onion soup mix in my meatloaf -- :)
  • I am in more tune with my body -- I eat a lot LESS nuts than I did before, and for me personally, I found it better to stay away from nut butters too. Nut butters go straight to my ass. However, coconut oil, and coconut manna, my body responds to -- in a good, ass-reducing kind of way. :D
Stay tuned for Paleo for Triathletes: Part 2!!

:) :) :) :)