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Nutrition Diet, supplements, weightloss, health & longevity

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Old 08-08-2006, 04:56 AM   #1
Gorm Laursen
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This is a somewhat opiniated post. It might step some people on their beliefs, which always is far more worse than stepping them on their toes. I just felt like bringing some new elements into these ongoing discussions on diet and recovery. IF you are one of those who feel the heel, by all means shoot this post to splinters. It's there for the same.


As I read through the posts, a lot of discussion is going on about these subjects, and alot of people are having all sorts of opinions – based more or less on scientic data and/or personal/second hand experience. Trying to pull these opinions upon my own life have often left me with nothing but the feeling of failure to live up to the prescriptions of this-and-that-theory.

'Sleep 8-9 hours in a completely dark room', yeah right! Have none of you kids that get ill once in a while and wakes you 5 times a night? Don't any of you make love to your wifes/husbands for more than a hour, chatting and cuddling afterwards, sacrificing this for sacrosanct sleep? Don't any of you have worries that leaves you thinking way past bedtime? And as you wake in the morning, all you're haunted by is the thought of not having had enough sleep. The thought might leave you soon, but is it good to start your day with a failure? You gotta love your sleep deficit, otherwise you'll end up as a well rested grump.

'Follow the Zone: Eat carb/protein/fat ratio 40/40/30', ok, so I have to bring fish oil capsules or nuts and hard cheese or dried meat everywhere I go, in case I meet a friend and gets invited to a beer? Come on guys and gals! Drinking beer in friendly company is far healthier than following the Zone, didn't you know?! I personally believe in black coffee and willpower over the Zone. Besides I have found, after trying to follow the zone, that my cooking simply degenerated into something not worth eating. And everytime you dine out you cannot follow a conversation because you sit there, trying to divide the meal into 40/40/30, scraping on the plate, thinking of bad excuses as you don't want to change the evening's main topic of discussion from Interesting Discussion to: My Current Eating Habits aka Just About The Most Boring Topic Ever To See The Light Of The Day as it will enevitably do if you try to explain yourself.

'Recover properly', ok, this I can follow, but what can one do if – as before mentioned – the kids get ill, and you can't get that good, deep sleep? What if you come home after training and receive a phonecall just as you enters the door, and it's your old mother? Do you cut her of, saying 'Sorry mom, I gotta prepare my post-exercise snack so I can get those beloved proteins whilst in the Window of Opportunity. I really haven't got time to speak to you!'?

Man wasn't designed for post-exercise meals. If food were scarce, you feel the hunger and you'd have to go hunting, which consists of alot of walking, a good sprint, some stabbing and slashing and then – as the buffalo lies there, you grab a Zonebar or a protein shake? I don't think so. You carve the beast, eating a little raw meat (which is first digested way beyound the window of opportunity), and deadlifts/squats/farmer walks the whole thing back. Then your wife prepares a meal – this may take as long as 2 hours, as a fire has to be prepared and the meat has to be cut - and if you're lucky, she'd found some roots for you while you were out hunting - if it's the season for it. Other times of the year it's a feast of nuts, seeds and fruits that you simply walk leasurely to pick and eat in abundance, doing nothing but scratching your mates' back once in a while. Perhaps you get stalked by a lion after eating 2 pounds of hazelnuts and you have to deliver the sprint of your life?! Do you stop the lion, asking it to come back 2-4 hours later, as you first have to digest and get properly hydrated before you run?

We're meant to function in all sorts of environments, so why do some of you so strongly believe that there is only one or a few way to do things?

What all this boils down to is: Why do you train? Why do you eat? Why do you sleep?

You train to get stronger/better/fitter, but if you train all the time with pre-exercise snack in your belly, what do you do if you meet an obstacle in real life on an empty stomach? Completely full stomach? In the middle of the night, not properly rested? Train according to life, I say. Train on empty stomach, full stomach, rested, unrested, all kind of different conditions, so you know your own reactions to all sorts of stimuli, and not just your prefered stimuli. Make a stunt out of it: 'I can eat 12 pound of chili con carne and do 100 burpees just afterwards!' You gotta admit that's more cool that having something as lame as 'best time'.

And with regards to foods: the way to the heart goes through the stomach, but the way to the stomach also goes through the heart: Eat because the food is delicious, not because it contains certain macro- and micronutrients. The only diets I have ever grasped the bigger idea of is paleo, because after following it you quickly realize that potatoes and pasta are nothing but meaningless stuffing and without it your food simply becomes far more delicious and secondly the warrior diet because it gives you a whole day of joyfull waiting to that great feast the evening will bring - it's like love! And it's what life's about: Joy and surplus, not this protestantic self-tormention of prescription and prohibitions.

Feel free to comment ...
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Old 08-08-2006, 05:10 AM   #2
Jesse Woody
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Wait, there was a baby in that bathwater! ;)
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Old 08-08-2006, 05:28 AM   #3
Frank M Needham
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LOL! That is some funny stuff Gorm, and well said my friend. I've not phrased it quite that way myself but have had many similar thoughts, and, I've not been involved with this for very long yet. I take most of the stuff given as a guidline and thats it, something to aspire to and if I miss the mark I'm not gonna have a cow over it as life is to live after all. Not being in the Zone all the time doesn't bother me the least. On the other hand, having a standard to measure is a good thing.

Having a newborn in the house makes a mockery of all efforts from any adult to have a routine! If anyone says otherwise I'll call you out now :-) My son has been gassy for several days now and that is not conducive to anything 'cept hair pulling! My wife has not slept a good stretch for nigh a month now so how can I quibble about not getting 9 hours?!

We didn't get invited out to a beer :-( but we did get invited out to lunch after Church last weekend to a Mex joint that serves humongously sized portions, for cheap! I had a Chimichanga lathered with quacamole and sour cream that could have choked Henry VIII himself....I admit it, it was excellent!

Great post!
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Old 08-08-2006, 05:30 AM   #4
Larry Lindenman
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Elite performance is hard work. Nutrition is an important part of ELITE performance. Average performance is fairly easy to achieve. I have found, the older I get the more I have to tighten up on nutrition and recovery. 90% compliance is great. That's 3 "cheat" meals a week...plenty for your friends and eating out. I don't think anyone is saying: "You will suck if you don't sleep 8 hours every night and eat Zone." I think we're saying try to get 8 hours a night, it might help. The vibe I get from this post is: too hard, don't want to do it. If your doing the WOD as RXed, not getting enough sleep, and have poor nutrition, you will pay for it one way or another. Now if your doing HIT, or walking a couple of miles 3 days a week, no issues. In my 20 - early to mid 30's I could eat anything and never gain a pound. Go out drinking with friends until 3am and in the shooting house drilling targets for 5 hours straight, only to do it again the next day. Now in my 40s I have a tough time staying up after 10pm and 2 beers bloats me! You don't HAVE TO do anything suggested on this board, but eating whatever you want, staying up late, and drinking, pretty much makes you the average American, look around, I choose not to join that herd.
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Old 08-08-2006, 05:33 AM   #5
Larry Lindenman
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Sorry, your not American, OK average Denmarkian. Also, at 32 YO...see me in 10 years!
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Old 08-08-2006, 06:10 AM   #6
Chris Forbis
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Crossfit is about "forging elite fitness." As Larry said, it is hard work.

If you want to maximize your results to effort/time invested ratio, you might want to check out De Vany's blog and follow his advice. You won't be Crossfit fit, but your body comp will be good and you'll be able to do most activities that you want to.

(Message edited by forbis316 on August 08, 2006)
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Old 08-08-2006, 06:40 AM   #7
Elliot Royce
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My take is that there's no point in having a site where we strive for average fitness. Like you, I sometimes chuckle when I see "get 10 hours sleep in a dark room" and other hard to follow prescriptions. Nevertheless, busting your balls for 20-40 minutes per workout, which is the essence of CF, is not something that comes down to your circumstances - it's whether you're putting in the effort.

I do find the hardcore arguments back and forth on whether a vegetarian diet would ever yield fitness to be similar to the religious wars of the 17th century. But countries have gone to war over more trivial matters than a nightshade!

I think what you're missing is that you can adopt a Crossfit philosophy without being perfect. At 44 years old, I know I'm never going to match the physique, the endurance, the strength of an elite 20 year old athlete. But I can still be better than 95-98% of the people my age.
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Old 08-08-2006, 06:48 AM   #8
Ben Kaminski
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"Stop smoking"
Come on guys! Smoking helps you relax! Besides, if you try to quit and relapse, it's just another failure! Why would you do that to yourself when you could just keep smoking!

This is my attempt to show flaws in the above argument by expanding it to absurdity. The claim that it is easier and healthier to go down the middle of the road ignores the fact that we are chasing maximum health returns, which requires hard work and discipline as many have said above.
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Old 08-08-2006, 11:31 AM   #9
William Hunter
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Good rant Gorm!

I can tell you were really "in the zone" when you spilled that out. However, if you stop to consider, you could have had a nice recovery nap (or prepared a couple of zone perfect snacks) in the time it took you to type that out :-)

Being a busy father of 3 small kids I get you. I don't often sleep enough, I often have to grab food when I can, and I can't ramp up the intensity for every workout. I figure if I'm trying I'm doing better than most. While not elite, I'm easily in the best shape of my life over these last 2 years or so. I also like to enjoy adult beverages from time to time, sometimes past bedtime. I got the impression that part of your post was tongue-in-cheek, because you wouldn't hang out here if you liked to major in mediocrity.

Being raised Protestant I found your last sentence very funny.
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Old 08-08-2006, 02:14 PM   #10
Dave Campbell
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Great post Gorm. Many of us are older, with kids and other commitments. I do my best to strive for elite fitness, but I much prefer to have a life. When I see people talking of 2,3, or even 4 workouts a day, I think there must be better ways to spend your time. Develop relationships, spend time with family, plant a garden, read a book. CF has put me in the best shape of my life at age 42. It allows me a better quality of life so that I can do the things I love. CF is part of my life, but it isn't my life. If CF was my life, I might post better scores on Helen, but what's that going to mean in 100 years?
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