Monday, December 31, 2007

Day 176: Peace Out 2007

Ah, the holidays are almost over! Jan 2 is my favorite day of the year, when the madness is over, and this coming year on that date I am heading to Islamadora, 20 miles south of Key Largo, to Snorkel with my Dad. An auspicious start to the new year, and when I get back I will start working on my resolution: 159 lbs and under 10% bodyfat by March 21. So far, nothing and I mean, Nothing seems to be budging my weight from 165-168, feast or famine, I seem to have reached my set point, but I am going to make a mighty effort to break past it.

Block Target = New Years

Block Total = New Years

Time: 9:49

Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Blog in Town: Chad's DoomsDay Zombie Fitness

CFO Athlete Chad F has a new blog.

Check it out!

11AM 1 cup milk = 1 block

5 rounds for time of:
500 meter Row
50 Squats
30 Back extensions

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Day 174

3 Rounds
500 M Row
30 BW Bench Press
Time: 41:06

Block Total = 17 +1x fat, too much carb (alcohol)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Day 173: Back From the Negative Zone

I finally ate in the zone yesterday, and I feel great! It is amazing how good it makes you feel, and how hard it is to kick the crack (refined carb) habit once it gets going. It is like a drug addiction in a very real way.

7AM 1 cup milk,2 slices whole wheat bread,.5 cup fruit, 2 eggs, hamburger patty, 2 pat butter = 5 blocks

11AM ISS Oh Yeah! Bar (highly recommended) = 3 blocks +1x fat

3PM buttermilk chicken & creamed spinach = 4 blocks +2x fat

8PM Fish n veggies, 2 slices whole wheat toast = 4 blocks

Block Target = 17 +.5x fat

Block Total = 16 blocks +.75x fat

5K Row DNF

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Day 172: Crack House Confessional

Like many, I sort of fell apart over the holidays. I managed a few workouts, nothing spectacular and ate the following foods, among others:

Fried Chicken
French Fries
Lots of Bread
Artichoke Dip
Pigs in a blanket
and ... CHOCOLATE!


7AM .5 cup 2% milk = .5 blocks

9AM "Fitness Fanatic" = 7 blocks

3PM Indian Dal and Lamb = 4 blocks

Block Target = 17 +.5x fat

Block Total = 11.5 blocks



Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Day 171

"CrossFit Total"
Squat: 250
Press: 150
Deadlift: 325
Total: 725

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

Day 166: Adventures in Hypothermia

Here is one way to burn calories: ride a few hundred miles, mostly before dawn, in the rain in freezing cold conditions. I am not sure how many calories, exactly, this burns but it has to be lot. Brr... Good news is the steed held up well to the shakedown cruise. No problems, pretty good for a 22 year old bike!

What I ate today could not even be called zone. Let's not even pretend. I had two huge meals rich in saturated fat and refined carbs. At least they had protein in them.

None, but rode 200 miles.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Day 164: CrossFit East Bay @ Ironworks

I will be teaching CrossFit classes at Ironworks climbing Gym in Berkeley starting January 12th, 2008. Class Times will be Saturday and Sunday at 11AM. Mighty civilized of me, huh? If you are a member of Ironworks, the classes will be free. Pricing is HERE, and you might want to join now if you have been thinking about it, rates are going up. If you do sign up make sure to tell them I sent you please. The drop-in fee is a mere $10.00 and you can get a day pass for $16.00, so you can CrossFit then climb, or visa-versa. Mark your calendar and come to the first class!

5AM 1 cup 2% milk

11AM BIG Breakfast Sandwich = 5 blocks +2x fat

2PM .5 cup 2% milk = .5 block

Block Target = 18 +.5x fat

"Badger" (Actually Laura and I did "Beaver" on the rower)
Time: 35:45 (power clean)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Day 163: First Workout Back

No possibility of setting any records on Fran today. I just want to get in and do a WOD. I think I will do it with 45# and shoot for 10 minutes, very mild, just need to get my mojo back.

5AM 1 cup 2% milk


Block Target = 18 blocks +.5x fat

Block Total = 20 + extra carb

"Fran" (45#)
Time: 5:44

Monday, December 17, 2007

Day 163: Moose Milk Does A Body Good?

Milk is big part of my diet. I find it easy to stay in the zone by including milk, since it is a zone-perfect food, low gi and in the right proportions. I favor 2% milk, however 1% milk is actually recommended by Dr. Sears. European ancestry is helpful for milk tolerance, as we have developed the genetic ability to digest it as adults over the last 5-9000 years. Most people tolerate yogurt however it is not as convenient. If you are lactose intolerant you might try Goat's Milk, or Sheep, Camel Horse, Moose or Seal Milk.

I am down to 165.9 at least for a moment. This is not really a good thing, post-sickness I am quite weakened, and have not yet worked out, so I don't know how bad the damage is. I'll make up the walking lunges today and see how that goes. I did not eat enough yesterday and ended up sleeping 12 hours. As I said yesterday my only goal for this week is to recover from being sick and to listen to my body, I guess that is what I needed.

6AM 1 Cup 2% milk = 1 block

8AM Breakfast Sandwich with Salmon = 4 blocks

Noon 1 lb mixed vegetables in butter sauce, 6 oz Leg of Lamb = 4 blocks +1x fat

5PM 1 slice bread, hummus, ham = 2 blocks

9PM Dal Masalla, Lamb = 4 blocks

Block Target = 18 blocks +.5x fat

Block Total = 15 blocks

Workout: None

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Day 162: Climbing Back Out

Today is my first day post-sick of feeling normal. I lost some bodyfat from being sick, my scale reads a tiny bit shy of my lowest bodyfat reading since I started this process, and my waist measurements are as low as they have been as well. However I'm still at 168, my body just does not seem to want to go below this and it is frustrating. In any case I don't really feel like trying to be disciplined right now, I just want to get back to normal health, so for the next week, I am going to just try to do the WODs as RX, not trying to achieve any mind-blowing times here. I'll try to stick to 18 blocks +.5x fat, but I'm not going to really restrict myself. If I feel like I need more, or less, or more carbs, I'm not going to argue with my body, I just want to feel 100% by the end of the week. That's my current goal.

I probably will do Lau's evil sandbag workout on Monday: 21-15-9 100# Sandbag C&J/Box Jump 24". On the other hand I might just take off to parts unknown on my new ride, pictured above.

Block Target = 18 +.5x Fat

Block Total = 12

7AM Breakfast Sandwich with Salmon = 4 blocks

11AM Builder Bar = 3 blocks

2PM Trader Joe's Flatbread Pizza, 1 oz lamb = 5 blocks

400 Meter Walking Lunge

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Day 162: One Way To Lose Weight (Not Recommended )

Good News: Down to lowest Recorded weight (166)!

Bad News: From getting the stomach flu. Horrid.

The last few days have been a wash due to sickness. I'll get back to fanatically documenting everything tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Paleo No-No?

Those of you who follow this blog know of my disenchantment with the Paleolithic Diet. It seems that we have, indeed, evolved to the point where we are not genetically indistinguishable from our paleolithic ancestors, which is the central tenet of the paleo diet:

Rapid acceleration in human evolution described
Mon Dec 10, 2007 5:43pm EST

By Will Dunham

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Human evolution has been moving at breakneck speed in the past several thousand years, far from plodding along as some scientists had thought, researchers said on Monday.

In fact, people today are genetically more different from people living 5,000 years ago than those humans were different from the Neanderthals who vanished 30,000 years ago, according to anthropologist John Hawks of the University of Wisconsin.

The genetic changes have related to numerous different human characteristics, the researchers said.

Many of the recent genetic changes reflect differences in the human diet brought on by agriculture, as well as resistance to epidemic diseases that became mass killers following the growth of human civilizations, the researchers said.

For example, Africans have new genes providing resistance to malaria. In Europeans, there is a gene that makes them better able to digest milk as adults. In Asians, there is a gene that makes ear wax more dry.

The changes have been driven by the colossal growth in the human population -- from a few million to 6.5 billion in the past 10,000 years -- with people moving into new environments to which they needed to adapt, added Henry Harpending, a University of Utah anthropologist.

"The central finding is that human evolution is happening very fast -- faster than any of us thought," Harpending said in a telephone interview.

"Most of the acceleration is in the last 10,000 years, basically corresponding to population growth after agriculture is invented," Hawks said in a telephone interview.

The research appears in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


The researchers looked for the appearance of favorable gene mutations over the past 80,000 years of human history by analyzing voluminous DNA information on 270 people from different populations worldwide.

Data from this International HapMap Project, short for haplotype mapping, offered essentially a catalogue of genetic differences and similarities in people alive today.

Looking at such data, scientists can ascertain how recently a given genetic change appeared in the genome and then can plot the pace of such change into the distant past.

Beneficial genetic changes have appeared at a rate roughly 100 times higher in the past 5,000 years than at any previous period of human evolution, the researchers determined. They added that about 7 percent of human genes are undergoing rapid, relatively recent evolution.

Even with these changes, however, human DNA remains more than 99 percent identical, the researchers noted.

Harpending said the genetic evidence shows that people worldwide have been getting less similar rather than more similar due to the relatively recent genetic changes.

Genes have evolved relatively quickly in Africa, Asia and Europe but almost all of the changes have been unique to their corner of the world. This is the case, he said, because since humans dispersed from Africa to other parts of the world about 40,000 years ago, there has not been much flow of genes between the regions.

(Editing by Sandra Maler)

© Reuters 2007. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.
Reuters journalists are subject to the Reuters Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Most Amazing Thing. Ever.

I have done a bit of skydiving which is incredibly thrilling, but this is the most amazing thing I have EVER seen. Enjoy! Check THIS out too!

8AM 1 cup milk = 1 block

10AM 1 egg, 4.5 oz pork loin, 2 slices diabetic lifestyles bread = 4 blocks

2PM Muscle Milk Bar = 3 blocks

Block Target = 14 blocks

Block Total =


Monday, December 10, 2007

14 Block Diet Day Eight: weigh-in

I seem solidly stuck at 170 lbs, however I have lost about 1/2 an inch on my waist this week, and my BF scale reads 13%, almost the lowest it has ever been. Perhaps the insane thruster/SDHP workout did something odd to my metabolism.

I'll try again to stick to the diet (fell off last few days) and avoid alcohol, see if that helps. There are a few holiday event coming up, it might be tough to do.

Block Target = 14 blocks

Blocks Total = 17 blocks
Workout: Press 3-3-3-3-3-3-3

Sunday, December 9, 2007

14 Block Diet Day Six: F minus

I got a motorcycle today and my OCD kicked in. No time for anything else.

Block Target = 17

Block Total = 22 +1x fat

Workout: none

Saturday, December 8, 2007

14 Block Diet Day Six: Cheat Day!

Kettlebell seminar today @ CFO. Fun. Somewhat amusing hearing people who don't know about CrossFit talk about generalized fitness. I ate a chocolate donut right before this, it was tasty, but I felt woozy for the first hour. Next time I eat a donut, I will have it with a protien source. 1 donut + egg white omelett = about 4 blocks +2x fat.

Cheat Day!

9AM Waffle, 2 eggs, 2 slice bacon, 2 small sausage, butter = 5 blocks +3x fat

11AM Chocolate Donut = .5 block protein, 3.5 blocks carb 10 blocks fat

3PM TJ's Wrap with 1/2 bread removed = 4 blocks

4PM builder bar = 3 blocks

Block Target = Any

Block Total =

Workout: Deadlift 3-3-3-3-3

Kettlebell Seminar

Friday, December 7, 2007

14 Block Diet Day Five

I got a comment yesterday that the article posted was short on sources. here is a more comprehensive one from Quackwatch.

"Organic" Foods:
Certification Does Not Protect Consumers

Stephen Barrett, M.D.

If you, as a consumer, want to purchase a fake or a fraud of one kind or another, should your government guarantee your right to do so? More than that, is your government obligated to prosecute one who, knowing of your propensity for fraud, tricks you into buying the genuine in place of buying the fake? Remembering that "your government" is all the rest of us, is it right for you to take our time and money to underwrite such ridiculous exercises as making sure you are cheated when you want to be cheated? And must we penalize the man who breaks his promise to cheat you?

These astute questions were raised in 1972 by Dick Beeler, editor of Animal Health and Nutrition, who was concerned about laws being adopted in California and Oregon to certify "organic" foods. Those laws signaled the beginning of efforts that culminated in 1990 with passage of the U.S. Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA), which ordered the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to set certification standards. Although USDA had opposed passage of the act, the Alar scare plus a campaign by environmental, consumer, and farm groups persuaded Congress to include it in the 1990 Farm Bill [1].
As directed by the law, the Secretary of Agriculture established a National Organic Standards Board to help develop a list of substances permissible in organic production and handling and to advise the Secretary on other aspects of implementing a National Organic Program. In 1992, the Secretary appointed 15 people, 8 of whom were industry members. The board held 12 full-board meetings and 5 joint committee meetings and received additional input through public hearings and written submissions from interested persons. It presented its recommendations to the Secretary in 1994 and issued 30 subsequent addenda. Regulations were proposed in 1997, modified in 1998, and are now in effect. As of October 21, 2002, producers who meet USDA standards are permitted to display the seal pictured here on their packaging.

Total retail sales of the organic industry reportedly rose from $1 billion in 1990 to $7.8 billion in 2000 [3]. "Certified" organic cropland production expanded from about 400,000 acres in 1992 to 1,350,000 in 1999 [2]. Despite this growth, the organic industry represents a very small percentage of total agricultural production and sales—only about 0.3% of U.S. cropland and 0.2% of U.S. pasture was certified organic in 2001 [3,4].
Nebulous Definitions

The term "organic foods" refers to the methods used to produce the foods rather than to characteristics of the food themselves. The most common concept of "organically grown" food was articulated in 1972 by Robert Rodale, editor of Organic Gardening and Farming magazine, at a public hearing:

Food grown without pesticides; grown without artificial fertilizers; grown in soil whose humus content is increased by the additions of organic matter, grown in soil whose mineral content is increased by the application of natural mineral fertilizers; has not been treated with preservatives, hormones, antibiotics, etc. [5]

In 1980, a team of scientists appointed by the USDA concluded that there was no universally accepted definition of "organic farming." Their report stated:

The organic movement represents a spectrum of practices, attitudes, and philosophies. On the one hand are those organic practitioners who would not use chemical fertilizers or pesticides under any circumstances. These producers hold rigidly to their purist philosophy. At the other end of the spectrum, organic farmers espouse a more flexible approach. While striving to avoid the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, these practitioners do not rule them out entirely. Instead, when absolutely necessary, some fertilizers and also herbicides are very selectively and sparingly used as a second line of defense. Nevertheless, these farmers, too, consider themselves to be organic farmers [6].

Passage of the Organic Foods Production Act forced the USDA to develop an official definition. On December 16, 1997, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service proposed rules for a National Organic Program [7]. The proposal applied to all types of agricultural products and all aspects of their production and handling, ranging from soil fertility management to the packaging and labeling of the final product. The proposal included: (a) national standards for production and handling, (b) a National List of approved synthetic substances, (c) a certification program, (d) a program for accrediting certifiers, (e) labeling requirements, (f) enforcement provisions, and (g) rules for importing equivalent products. The proposed rule defined organic farming and handling as:

A system that is designed and managed to produce agricultural products by the use of methods and substances that maintain the integrity of organic agricultural products until they reach the consumer. This is accomplished by using, where possible, cultural, biological and mechanical methods, as opposed to using substances, to fulfill any specific function within the system so as to: maintain long-term soil fertility; increase soil biological activity; ensure effective pest management; recycle wastes to return nutrients to the land; provide attentive care for farm animals; and handle the agricultural products without the use of extraneous synthetic additives or processing in accordance with the Act and the regulations in this part.

The weed and pest-control methods to which this refers include crop rotation, hand cultivation, mulching, soil enrichment, and encouraging beneficial predators and microorganisms. If these methods are not sufficient, various listed chemicals can be used. (The list does not include cytotoxic chemicals that are carbon-based.) The proposal did not call for monitoring specific indicators of soil and water quality, but left the selection of monitoring activities to the producer in consultation with the certifying agent.

For raising animals, antibiotics would not be permitted as growth stimulants but would be permitted to counter infections. The rules permit up to 20% of animal feed to be obtained from non-organic sources. This was done because some nutrients (such as trace minerals) are not always available organically. Irradiation, which can reduce or eliminate certain pests, kill disease-causing bacteria, and prolong food shelf-life, would be permitted during processing. Genetic engineering would also be permissible.

Health-food-industry trade and consumer publications expressed widespread dissatisfaction with the 1997 proposal. The Henry A. Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture, for example, called it "Fatally flawed." [8] The Organic Farmers Marketing Association stated:

The definition of organic as written in the proposed national organic standards lacks the holistic approach central to organic practices. The proposed rules take a reductionist approach to organic food production that eliminates key concepts such as the health of the agro-ecosystem and biodiversity on the farm.

The USDA received more than 270,000 comments on the proposed rules [9]. One distributors' association official wrote that if the rules are implemented, its members would seek to buy its agricultural products from foreign sources. Others complained that the proposed fees were too high. Other objections included permitted use of amino acids as growth promoters, antibiotics (when necessary to save the animal's life), synthetic animal drugs, food additives, and animal feed from non-organic sources. Certification agencies with "higher standards" objected that they would be prohibited from stating this on their labels. Some poultry farmers objected to provisions enabling intermingling of range-free poultry and other poultry. However, the vast majority of the objections pertain to the provisions that permitted irradiation, genetic engineering, and the use of sewage sludge as fertilizer [10]. The final regulations,published in December 2002, eliminated these three provisions. Canada, which in 1999 became the first country to establish a national organic standard, also excludes these methods [11].
Premium Price—For What?

The organic rules are intended to address production methods rather than the physical qualities of the products themselves. In a news release that accompaied the 1997 rules, Glickman stated:

What is organic? Generally, it is agriculture produced through a natural as opposed to synthetic process. The natural portion of the definition is fairly obvious, but process is an equally critical distinction. When we certify organic, we are certifying not just a product but the farming and handling practices that yield it. When you buy a certified organic tomato, for instance, you are buying the product of an organic farm. And, consumers are willing to fork over a little more for that tomato. They've shown that they will pay a premium for organic food. National standards are our way of ensuring that consumers get what they pay for.

I disagree. Many consumers who "fork over a little more" believe that the foods themselves are more nutritious, safer, and tastier. But the USDA proposal itself noted that, "No distinctions should be made between organically and non-organically produced products in terms of quality, appearance, or safety." In other words, no claim should be made that the foods themselves are better—or even different! Some consumers believe that buying "organic" foster agricultural practices that are better for the environment.

In 2003, Rodale Press began publishing the New Farm Organic Price Index, which compares the prices of about 40 organic and conventionally grown foods. The organic foods tend to cost signiifcantly more, as they have in previouly published studies.
More Nutritious?

Organic foods are certainly not more nutritious [12]. The nutrient content of plants is determined primarily by heredity. Mineral content may be affected by the mineral content of the soil, but this has no significance in the overall diet. If essential nutrients are missing from the soil, the plant will not grow. If plants grow, that means the essential nutrients are present. Experiments conducted for many years have found no difference in the nutrient content of organically grown crops and those grown under standard agricultural conditions.

Many "organic" proponents suggest that their foods are safer because they have lower levels of pesticide residues. However, the pesticide levels in our food supply are not high. In some situations, pesticides even reduce health risks by preventing the growth of harmful organisms, including molds that produce toxic substances [12].

To protect consumers, the FDA sets tolerance levels in foods and conducts frequent "market basket" studies wherein foods from regions throughout the United States are purchased and analyzed. Its 1997 tests found that about 60% of fruits and vegetables had no detectable pesticides and only about 1.2% of domestic and 1.6% of imported foods had violative levels [13]. Its annual Total Diet Study has always found that America's dietary intakes are well within international and Environmental Protection Agency standards.

Most studies conducted since the early 1970s have found that the pesticide levels in foods designated organic were similar to those that were not. In 1997, Consumer Reports purchased about a thousand pounds of tomatoes, peaches, green bell peppers, and apples in five cities and tested them for more than 300 synthetic pesticides. Traces were detected in 77% of conventional foods and 25% of organically labeled foods, but only one sample of each exceeded the federal limit [14].

Pesticides can locate on the surface of foods as well as beneath the surface. The amounts that washing can remove depends on their location, the amount and temperature of the rinse water, and whether detergent is used. Most people rinse their fruits and vegetables with plain water before eating them. In fact, Consumer Reports on Health has recommended this [15].Consumer Reports stated that it did not do so because the FDA tests unwashed products. The amount of pesticide removed by simple rinsing has not been scientifically studied but is probably small. Consumer Reports missed a golden opportunity to assess this.

Do pesticides found in conventional foods pose a health threat? Does the difference in pesticide content warrant buying "organic" foods? Consumer Reports equivocates: "For consumers in general, the unsettling truth is that no one really knows what a lifetime of consuming the tiny quantities of foods might do to a person. The effect, if any, is likely to be small for most individuals—but may be significant for the population at large." But the editors also advise, "No one should avoid fruits and vegetables for fear of pesticides; the health benefits of these foods overwhelm any possible risk."

Manfred Kroger, Ph.D., Quackwatch consultant and Professor of Food Science at The Pennsylvania State University, has put the matter more bluntly:

Scientific agriculture has provided Americans with the safest and most abundant food supply in the world. Agricultural chemicals are needed to maintain this supply. The risk from pesticide residue, if any, is minuscule, is not worth worrying about, and does not warrant paying higher prices.


"Organically grown" foods are not inherently tastier than conventionally grown foods. Taste is influenced by freshness, which may depend on how far the products must be shipped from farmer to consumer. What kinds of locally grown fruits and vegetables are available varies from community to community. Whether they are organically or conventionally produced is unlikely to make any difference.

In the early 1990s, Israeli researchers made 460 assessments of 9 different fruits and vegetables and no significant difference in quality between "organic" and conventionally grown samples [16]. The Consumer Reports' study found no consistent differences in appearance, flavor, or texture.

Organically produced ("range-free) poultry are said to be raised in an environment where they are free to roam. To use this term, handlers must sign an affidavit saying that the chickens are provided with access to the outdoors. A recent taste test conducted by Consumer Reports rated two brands of free-range chicken as average among nine brands tested. Its March 1998 issue stated few chickens choose to roam and that one manager said that free-ranging probably detracts from taste because it decreases the quality of the bird's food intake [17].
Better for the Environment?

Many buyers of "organic" foods believe that the extra money they pay will ultimately benefit the environment by encouraging more farmers to use "organic" methods. But doing this cannot have much effect because "organic" agriculture is too inefficient to meet the world's food needs. Moreover, the dividing line between organic and conventional agriculture is not sharp because various practices are not restricted to one or the other. For example, "organic" farmers tend not to use pesticides, but faced with threatened loss of crops, they may change their mind. If certain patterns of pesticide use cause more harm than good and there is a way to remedy the situation, the people concerned about it can seek regulatory solutions. I don't believe that paying extra for food will benefit anybody but those who sell it.

Special Healing Powers?

Many offbeat practitioners recommend organically grown foods as part of their alleged treatment regimens. The most extreme claim I have seen comes from A Perfect Healing, a small Florida-based nonprofit in "committed to the use, education, research, and agriculture of organically grown foods and nutritional supplements in the recovery from disease."[18] Its Guidestar summary claims:

Organic foods embody thousands of antibiotic and anti-viral elements that are present only in highly composted organic soil. When we eat these foods, they deposit these elements absorbed from the soil into our bodies, where they can then go on to patrol and clean out all forms of disease and prevent further attack. Even cancers and other forms of seemingly non-infectious disease have been cured this way. These disease fighting elements and the high level of nutrients that organic foods receive from such a nutritious soil are very powerful. They have been proven to return many a diseased individual back to health [19].

The Bottom Line

The revised rules went into effect on October 21, 2002. The latest USDA definition states:

Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; petroleum-based fertilizers or sewage sludge-based fertilizers; bio-engineering; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled "organic," a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too [20].

A comprehensive review published the same year concluded:

* Studies comparing foods derived from organic and conventional growing systems were assessed for three key areas: nutritional value, sensory quality, and food safety. It is evident from this assessment that there are few well-controlled studies that are capable of making a valid comparison. With the possible exception of nitrate content, there is no strong evidence that organic and conventional foods differ in concentrations of various nutrients.
* While there are reports indicating that organic and conventional fruits and vegetables may differ on a variety of sensory qualities, the findings are inconsistent.
* While it is likely that organically grown foods are lower in pesticide residues, there has been very little documentation of residue levels [21].

Nevertheless, if you want to pay extra for your food, the U.S. Government will help you do so. Violators of the rules can be fined up to $10,000 per violation. But organic "certification," no matter what the rules, will not protect consumers. Foods certified as "organic" will neither be safer nor more nutritious than "regular" foods. Nor is there any logical reason to conclude that they have any special disease-curing properties. They will just cost more and may lessen public confidence in the safety of "ordinary" foods. Instead of legitimizing health nonsense, our government should do more to attack its spread.

1. Larkin M. Organic foods get government "blessing" despite claims that aren't kosher. Nutrition Forum 8:25-29, 1991.
2. Greene CR. U.S. organic farming emerges in the 1990s: Adoption of certified systems. USDA Agricultural Research Service, Resource Economics Division, Information bulletin No. 770, June 2001.
3. Dimitri C, Green CR. Recent growth patterns in the U.S. organic food market. USDA Agricultural Research Service, Resource Economics Division, Information bulletin No. 777, Sept 2002.
4. Data: Organic production. USDA Economic Research Service, Oct 18, 2002.
5. Rodale R. Testimony. New York State public hearing in the matter of organic foods. New York City, Dec 1, 1972.
6. USDA Study Team on Organic Farming. Report and Recommendations on Organic Farming. USDA, July 1980.
7. National Organic Program; Proposed Rule. Federal Register 62:65850-65967, 1997.
8. Youngberg IG and others. Beyond the "Big Three": A comprehensive analysis of the proposed National Organic Program. Greenbelt, MD: Henry A. Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture, April 30, 1998.
9. Public outcry to organic regs. Natural Foods Merchandiser 19(12):36, 1998.
10. National Organic Program: Final rule. Federal Register 65:80547-80684, 2000. (Dec 21, 2000)
11. The National Standard of Canada for Organic Agriculture. Ottawa: Canadian Organic Advisory Board (COAB), June 1999.
12. Newsome R. Organically grown foods: A scientific status summary by the Institute of Food Technologists' expert panel on food safety and nutrition. Food Technology 44(12):123-130, 1990.
13. FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. Pesticide Program: Residue Monitoring 1999, August 2000.
14. Organic produce. Consumer Reports 63(1):12-18, 1998.
15. Healthy ideas: Wash your produce. Consumer Reports on Health, 10(3):5, 1998.
16. Basker D. Comparison of taste quality between organically and conventionally grown fruits and vegetables. American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 7:129-136, 1992.
17. Chicken: What you don't know can hurt you. Consumer Reports 63(3):12-18, 1998.
18. Who we are. Animal Concerns Community Web site, accessed July 16, 2006.
19. A Perfect Healing. Guidestar Web site, January 31, 2005. [Requires membership to view]
20. Organic food standards and labels: The facts. USDA Web site, accessed Oct 21, 2002.
21. Boume D, Prescott J. A comparison of the nutritional value, sensory qualities, and food safety of organically and conventionally produced foods. Food Science and Nutrition 42:1-34, 2002.

6AM .5 cup milk = .5 block

8AM 5 oz chicken thigh, .5 package dal, 8 oz vegetables = 3 blocks

Noon 3/4 cup cottage cheese, 1/2 apple, 1/2 cup berries, 9 almonds = 3 blocks

4 PM 1 lb green beans, 1 package Trader Joe's Tuna Curry = 3 blocks

8PM 1 lb green beans, 4 oz pork = 2.5 blocks

10PM 2 Manhattans, 3 oz cheese = 3 blocks

Block Target = 14 blocks

Block Total = 15 blocks

Score: 126

fasted run .5 mile upon awakening

6 miles bike ride, flat, fixed gear, low intensity

Walk 4 miles

Thursday, December 6, 2007

14 Block Diet Day Four

Here is a great expose on organic food, which is, in my well-informed opinion, mostly a big waste of money. You might as well just set your money on fire as to shop at "Whole Paycheck".

Organic food exposed
Issue 16 of Cosmos, August 2007
by Elizabeth Finkel

It’s a booming trend, driven by public perception that food produced minus pesticides and fertilisers is healthier and better for the planet. We examine the science to see if the evidence stacks up.

I love my local organic food store. From the moment I enter, I enjoy the aromas that greet me and the folksy look of the place. But is organic food really any better for me? The perceived wisdom is that it's more 'pure' and 'natural', devoid of disease-causing pesticides; that organic farming "generates healthy soils" and "doesn't poison ecosystems with toxic chemicals".

Organic food is riding a surge in popularity; across the globe, sales of organic food are burgeoning. The global market in 2006 was estimated at close to an impressive US$40 billion (A$47.9 billion) by Organic Monitor, an industry research body, and growing 20 per cent annually in the U.S. and Canada.

And where consumers go, the multinational food companies follow: everyone from Uncle Tobys to Kraft, Heinz, Kelloggs and even Coca-Cola has jumped on the bandwagon. And developing countries are joining in too: China's organic exports grew 200-fold in a decade to reach US$200 million in 2004. Australia is also a major exporter, and plans to increase its organic produce by 50 per cent by 2012.

But is this belief in organic food based on faith, or evidence?

THE SURPRISING FACT IS that this mass migration to organic food has not been on the back of scientific evidence. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find comprehensive evidence that organic food is healthier – either for us or the planet. Nevertheless, in the public consciousness, organic farming is unquestioningly bundled with the reigning moral imperatives of sustainability, protecting the environment and reducing greenhouse gases.

Certainly there are historical reasons for concern. In the 1950s and 1960s, the pesticide DDT was blamed for the widespread thinning of bird eggs across North America, and the rapid decline of the bald eagle and peregrine falcon. Over-intensive grain farming in the U.S. Midwest led to fertiliser run-off into the Mississippi River that ultimately created a 20,000 square kilometre dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, as algal blooms sucked up available oxygen. Soils that were tilled for decades without crop rotation or replacing organic matter led to dust storms that wreaked havoc across Australia in the 1960s and the American and Canadian prairies in the 1930s, the latter so vividly depicted in John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath.

These days, modern farming techniques have evolved after decades of pressure from the environmental movement and decades of work by a generation of scientists inspired by environmental awareness. In fact, conventional farming is starting to look a lot like organic farming.

The earthworm-rich soils, so prized by organic farmers, are being achieved through contemporary no-till (or no-plough) techniques. In Australia, most farmers use rotation to get crops out of synchronisation with weeds and to return nutrients to the soil. Natural predators are being used to control pests, and companies such as Dow Chemical are producing safe, short-acting pesticides. In fact Dow's latest pesticide, Spinosad, is also happily used by organic farmers because it is naturally produced by bacteria.

"There's been a quiet revolution in Australian farming over the last decade," says Mark Peoples, the assistant chief of the Division of Plant Industry at Australia's national research agency CSIRO.


8AM 1 egg, 3 oz salmon, 1 slice diabetic lifestyles bread, .5 apple = 3 blocks

8:30AM .5 cup milk = .5 block

Noon 10 oz zucchini, 1 package Trader Joe's Yellow Tuna Curry = 3 blocks

3PM 1 package smoked oysters, 1 slice diabetic lifestyles bread, tablespoon avocado = 2 blocks + 2x fat

6PM Muscle Milk Bar = 3 blocks

9PM 5 oz chicken thigh, .5 package dal, 8 oz vegetables = 3.5 blocks

Block Target = 14 blocks

Block Total = 14 blocks +.2x fat

Five rounds for time of:
Run 400 meters
75 pound Sumo deadlift high-pull, 21 reps
75 pound Thruster, 21 reps
Time: 26:44

Bike Ride 10 miles, flat, low intensity, fixed gear

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

14 Block Diet Day Three

I'm deep into the fat-burning zone. This is day 3 of 14 blocks + added cardio. I'm feeling it. I was so wasted yesterday I could not do the WOD. I may go do it if I'm feeling a bit stronger today.

8AM 1 cup milk = 1 block

9AM 1 egg, 3 oz ground turkey, 1 slice diabetic lifestyles bread, 1/2 apple, .5 pat butter = 3 blocks

1PM 1 lb broccoli, 1 package Trader Joe's Tuna Currey = 3 blocks

4PM 1 serving smoked oysters, 1 slice diabetic lifestyles bread = 2 blocks

8PM 5 oz chicken breast 3 glasses red wine = 5 blocks

Block Target = 14 blocks

Total Blocks = 14 blocks

Six Run/Walk Repeats, One Minute Each, upon awakening, fasted
Distance: 1.5 mile (slight grade)
Time: 12:20
Speed: 7.2 MPH

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Day 141: On Target

Jasper Johns, "Target With Four Faces".

I feel back on target to get rid of the last 10 pounds or so of excess bodyfat and go from merely average to actually lean. I ate well yesterday and did my first fasted sprint repeats this morning, first thing. I did seven sprint (if you could call it a sprint) intervals of one minute and walked one minute in between each sprint.
Total Time: 13:00
Total Distance: 1.35 miles, all uphill
Average Speed: 6.23 MPH

I liked this, and was happy I could run, including hills, without my knee bothering me.

Here is more information on fasted cardio.

Here is information on fasted cardio and HIT.

10AM 1 egg, 3 oz ground turkey, 1 slice diabetic lifestyles bread, 1 apple, 1/2 pat butter = 3 blocks

Noon .5 cup milk = .5 blocks

2PM 4.5 oz pork loin, 10 oz Tuscan vegetable mix, 2 tablespoons Masala sauce = 3 blocks

8PM 3 ounces salmon, 2 slices chicken pizza, 32 oz beer = 8.5 blocks

Block Target = 14 blocks

Block Total = 15 blocks

"Michael" (sit-up/superman, at home, no equipment)
Time: 19:45

Front Squat 5-5-5-5-5

Sprint Repeats x 7 (see above)

Monday, December 3, 2007

Day 140: Those Annoying Last 10 Pounds

I have looked back over my blog to see what has worked, as I seem to be stalled at just about 170 lbs. My all-time low (in the past twelve years or so) was a few weeks back at 166.5 lbs and 13.5% bodyfat (144 lbs of lean mass). Today I'm at 170 and 14.5% bodyfat (145.5 lean). If I can lose 8 lbs of bodyfat in four weeks without sacrificing any muscle I will be at 9% bodyfat which would be an all time measured low. Here is what I plan to do for the next month:

  • Eat 14 blocks Sunday afternoon through Friday afternoon
  • Follow fairly strict zone principals
  • Stay fairly strict on the weekend
  • Weigh and measure my food
  • Add cardio in the form of four-six 20 minute bike sprint intervals per week, one minute on, one minute off, upon awakening, in a fasted state.
  • Moderate alcohol intake: treat alcohol strictly as a carb and stay in the zone

9AM 1.5 cups milk = 1.5 blocks

10:30AM 1 egg, 2 oz ground turkey,1 slice diabetic lifestyles bread,.5 apple .5 pat butter = 3 blocks

2:30PM 1 package Trader Joe's Tuna Green Curry, 10 oz green beans = 3 blocks

6:30PM 3 oz pork loin, 1 apple, 6 raw almonds = 2 blocks

8:30PM Chicken Ceaser, 1/2 slice foccacia = 3 blocks +1x fat

Block Target = 14 blocks

Block Total = 13.5 blocks +.25x fat

5 minutes of Double unders
5 minutes of 95 lb Clean and Push jerk
3 minutes of Double unders
3 mintutes of 95 lb Clean and Push jerk
1 minute of Double unders
1 minute of 95 lb Clean and Push jerk

Total 481

Bike ride 6 miles, fixed gear, flat, low intensity

Run 2 miles low intensity

Sunday, December 2, 2007

What Not To Eat Part Three: Juice

Now here is a sacred cow that I don't recommend anyone eat. Juice, while it does have some positive nutritional content is a hyper-concentrated form of sugar. not only is it very high GI, but any liquid food, due to having such a large surface area will be rapidly absorbed into the digestive tract. This combination is a one-two punch to the pancreas resulting a massive spike in blood sugar. In addition, all of the fiber is stripped out in the juicing process.

Block Target = 17 blocks + .5x fat

11AM 2 slices buttered toast, 2 eggs, 2 sausage patties, fruit = 4 blocks +2x fat

4PM 4 ounces of chicken in curry sauce, 1 slice diabetic lifestyles bread. 1/2 cup berries, 2 ounces coconut, 8 raw almonds = 4 blocks + 1x fat

7PM flatbread pizza, 3 glasses wine, 3 oz chicken, 1/2 lb zucchini = 7 blocks

Block Target = 17 +.5x fat

Block Total = 15 +1x Fat

Workout: None

Saturday, December 1, 2007

What Not To Eat Part Two: Ketchup

Here is another item we could probably live without. On the plus side it is not terribly calorie dense, but it is astounding how much ketchup some folks can use: it would be pretty easy to add an extra 1/2 carb block without realizing it. If you use it indiscriminately you could probably add 2 blocks to your meal (2 oz ketchup, or about 2 of those little containers like the one pictured above. Use it in moderation. Alternative: mustard.

Block Target = 17 + .5x fat

Block Total = 20 + extra carb in the form of too much alcohol

Workout: Team Workout at CFO

Friday, November 30, 2007

What Not To Eat Part One: Jelly

Jelly and jam are a huge waste of calories. They add insignificant nutritional content to the diet, cause a huge spike in blood sugar, and are extremely concentrated, therefore easy to eat too much of. I was reflecting today that my parents were vehemently anti-candy, but thought nothing of plying me daily with jelly, which is basically spreadable candy.

Block Target = 17 blocks + .5x fat

Block Total = 20 blocks

Workout: Pull-up ladder
16 +12

10 muscle-ups

Bike ride 3 miles flat, fixed gear

Walk 3 miles carrying 10 lb med ball (I really gotta get a car).

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Day 136: Muscle Milk 'n' Oats

I recommend Muscle Milk 'n' Oats by Cytosport for a quick fix in the morning:

- 4.5 blocks protein
- 3.5 blocks carb
- 4 blocks fat

Add 1/2 an apple and it is zone perfect.

This is not quite as good as steel-cut oats (higher GI) but it takes about 29 minutes less to prepare. It is also expensive, but it is so worth it to start the day conveniently in the Zone.

Get it here: Muscle Milk 'n' Oats for about 1/2 price from Amazon.

You can get it at GNC too, it's a lot more expensive.

15% Off and Free Shipping with any $100 purchase at

8AM 1 cup milk = 1 block

9AM Muscle Milk 'n' Oats, 1/2 apple = 4 blocks

Noon 6 oz ground turkey, 2 slices diabetic lifestyles bread, cup veggies = 4 blocks

4PM 2 oz roast beef, 1 slice diabetic lifestyles bread = 2 blocks

9PM 4 oz chicken, 1/2 lb veggies, 1 slice diabetic lifestyles bread

Block Target = 17 +.5x fat

Block Total = 15 blocks

Run 5K
Time:22:15 - hills, I might have screwed up the mileage, but I was running fairly fast for me.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Day 136

Carbohydrate Molecule

6AM 1 cup milk = 1 block

9AM Breakfast Sandwich, 1/2 lb green beans = 4 blocks +2x fat

2PM 1/2 lb green beans, 1/2 cup marinara sauce, 2 oz ground beef, 4 oz ground turkey, Parmesan cheese, 1 slice diabetic lifestyles bread, pat butter = 4 blocks +1x fat

6PM ounce nuts = 10 blocks fat

9PM Dinner at Dona Tomas: Not recommended, the food quality has slipped atrociously. About 6 blocks + 1x fat

Block Target = 17 +.5x fat

Block Total = 15 +2x fat

CrossFit Total
700# (PR is 860#, ouch)

10 Muscle-Ups

Overhead Squat 125x15 (fail, got 125x12)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Paleo Day Nine: ABORT!

Ancient Egyptian Farmer, Circa 7000 BCE

I'm ending the paleo experiment early for the following reasons:

  • After nine days on the diet I am slightly fatter
  • After nine days on the diet I am slightly weaker
  • After nine days on the diet my general sense of well-being is lessened
  • I don't like the food selections
  • My compliance is only fair, possibly leading to the negative results.
  • Eating such huge meals is not comfortable
  • I am certain I can come up with a diet that is better for me personally
  • I cannot eat enough protein
  • I cannot eat enough carbohydrate
  • I have absolutely eaten too much fat
I am going to finish out this week, back in the zone, 17 blocks +.5x fat, which I think should be my maintenance level at my present level of activity. Then I am going to go back to what I have found to work to try and get this last stubborn 10 lbs of bodyfat off and build some muscle:

Four weeks at 15 blocks, with added cardio
Four weeks at 18 blocks with added 5x5s

I was inspired to do a little poking around the internet by another CF/Zone blog, which gave a glowing, and, in my well-informed opinion, misguided, plug to "Raw Foodism".

Medical vegetarianism and Raw Foodism

Vegetarianism is sometimes engaged in for medical reasons, especially in situations where meat is not well-tolerated by the patient or where the patient's cholesterol levels might be particularly high.

However, medical vegetarianism is far more often the province of quacks; many alternative medicine practitioners have recommended vegetarian diets for many of their patients (Martin Gardner discussed the matter at some length in chapter 18 of his seminal Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science). A great deal of propaganda goes along with altie vegetarianism; Gardner wrote of some vegetarian activists of the 1950s talking about the phantom threat of "necrones" (a never-defined alleged property of meat), while others have selectively interpreted features of the omnivorously-adapted human digestive system to support the idea that humans are really meant to be plant-eaters.

A subset of medical vegetarianism is raw foodism, the idea that raw foods are healthier for the human body due to the presence of more active enzymes. In practice, these enzymes, having evolved to work in a plant environment, do little or nothing in the human body, and are also destroyed in the digestion process. In addition, raw foodism tends to be ignorant of the fact that cooking and other forms of processing actually destroys significant amounts of toxins (real toxins, not the imaginary ones invented by alties) such as cyanogens in manioc, as well as protease inhibitors and lectins in legumes, along with reducing some complex proteins and polysaccharides to more digestible forms. A sizable number of raw foodists are also "juicers", consumers of large quantities of fresh vegetable juice (a major guru in this area is Jay Kordich, aka "Jay the Juiceman").

6AM 1 cup milk = 1 block

8AM Breakfast Sandwich (2 turkey sausages, 1 egg, 1.5 oz cheese, 2 slices diabetic lifestyles bread, 1/2 tomato, slices onion, 1 apple, teaspoon oil, tablespoon lite mayo = 4.5 blocks + 1x fat

Note: I felt MUCH better after eating this!

Noon 6 oz lean ground beef, 3/8 cup steel cut oats, 1 apple, 12 raw almonds = 4 blocks + 1x fat

5PM 1 slice diabetic lifestyles bread, 2 oz roast beef, lite mayo = 2 blocks

7PM 1/2 hot dog, 1/2 child popcorn = 2 blocks + extra carb

9PM 6 oz ground beef, 1/2 oz cheese, 2 slices diabetic lifestyles bread, 1 apple, lite mayo = 4.5 blocks + 1x fat

Block Target = 17 +.5x fat

Block Total = 18 blocks +.5x fat, little extra carb

Workout: None (rest day)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Paleo Day Eight

Another righteous paleo meal: 1 lb broccoli, 1 apple, 4 oz steak, nuts = 4 blocks. I did OK yesterday, about 95% compliance. After doing this (well trying to) for a week, I think the best diet for me would be dabbling in paleo, but allowing dairy, yams, figs, and some other compact carb sources to avoid having to eat like a cow. Moo. Also coffee and red wine should be allowed, but consumed in moderation. Finally, a small amount of refined carbs might be consumed from time to time: perhaps pizza, chocolate and things of that nature a few times a week. Of course staying in the Zone is the key to all things dietary.

6AM 1 cup milk = 1 block

8AM 4 cups mushrooms, 1 cup berries, 1 egg 2 egg whites, canned oysters, coconut milk, nuts = 4 blocks +2x fat

Noon 1 lb broccoli 3.5 oz steak = 3.5 blocks

8PM salad, 1 slice ham, bit of cheese = 1 block

9PM 1 lb broccoli, 1 cup berries, 12 almonds, coconut milk, 6 oz ground beef = 4 blocks +2x fat

Block Target = 16 paleo blocks (high fat ok)

Block Total = 13.5 +1.25x fat

Palo Rating = 90% (milk, coffee, bit of cheese)

Workout: weighted pull-ups 1-1-1-1 (1/2 volume week, last day)

Max Rep Pull-Ups: 36 (PR)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Paleo Day Seven: Prather Ranch

What I am learning about the paleo diet: I can't do it. It is just too restrictive. I'll muddle through for week two, but I don't seem to be able to do much better than 70% compliance. It certainly has shown me that I could eat way more fruit and veggies than I would have believed.

Above is Prather Ranch Meat Company. Really excellent products, which I highly recommend. You can find Friend of CrossFit, Scott, at the Lake Merritt Farmer's Market on Saturday Mornings.

7AM 1 cup milk, 1/2 caf coffee = 1 block

8AM 1 lb broccoli, one apple, 4 oz steak, 1/2 oz nuts, teaspoon olive oil = 4 blocks +1x fat

Noon 2 oz Prather Ranch Buffalo sausage, 1 apple = 2 blocks

2PM .5 cup milk = .5 block

5PM 3 oz beef, coconut milk, nuts and fruit = 3 blocks +2x fat

8PM 3 oz beef Trader Joe's Vegetable Medly = 3 blocks

Block Target = 16 paleo blocks (high fat ok)

Total Blocks = 13.5 blocks + .75x fat

Paleo Rating = 95% (coffee, milk, tiny bit of butter, sugar in veg mix)

"Elizabeth" (1/2 volume, 45# clean, push-ups)
Time: 3:20

bike ride: 6 miles, low intensity, flat, fixed gear

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Paleo Day Six: Carnivore Carnage

Here is the aftermath of yesterday's goose-fest. Yum.

7AM 1/2 cup milk = 1/2 block

9AM 2 eggs, 1 egg white, 2 slices ham, 2 cups vegtables, 1 apple, 1 teaspoon olive oil = 4 blocks (low carb)

Noon Prather Ranch Buffalo sausage, apple = 5 blocks

5PM steak salad = 3 blocks (low carb)

8PM Ethiopian meat plate, salad = 3 blocks (low carb)

1AM Thai Duck Curry, Fish Patties, 3 beers = 6 blocks + 2x fat

Block Target = 16 Paleo Blocks (high fat ok)

Block Total = 21.5 +.5x fat

Paleo Rating = 70% (beer)

"Nancy" (2.5 rounds, 1/2 volume week)
Time: DNF

Friday, November 23, 2007

Paleo Day Five

Another righteous paleo meal: 3/4 lb broccoli, 1/2 apple, 6 oz ground turkey, 12 raw almonds = 4 blocks (low carb)

It is truly incredible how hard it is to eat enough on this diet. I was shooting for 22 blocks yesterday (Thanksgiving) and managed only 17, even eating as much as I wanted for Thanksgiving dinner. Interestingly, when the massive carb-fest was rolled out, I really was not that excited, and I passed on butternut squash soup, turnips, stuffing, bread, gravy, various pies, etc. I just had meat (antelope, elk, moose and deer), greens, way too much wine and a small ice cream for desert.

9AM 1/2 cup milk, coffee = 1/2 block

11AM 3/4 lb broccoli, 1/2 apple, 6 oz ground turkey, 12 raw almonds = 4 blocks (low carb)

4PM 6 oz steak, 1 lb green beans, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1/4 cup mango, 1/2 oz nuts, 1/3 oz lite coconut milk = 4 blocks + 2x fat

8PM 4 oz goose, 3 oz lamb, 3 glasses red wine, greens, green beans, 5oz cheese, 1 tiny slice bread = 8 blocks (low carb) +3x fat

Block Target = 20 (another thanksgiving dinner)

Block Total = 16.5 +1.5xfat

Paleo Rating = F (red wine, 1/2 cup coffee, milk, cheese, tiny piece bread)

Workout: None (rest day)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Paleo Day Four: We Are Not Cows

4 block pure paleo meal: 1 pound zucchini, 1 apple, 6 oz ground turkey, 1/2 oz nuts (above).

I am struck by the incredible, nearly bovine, amount of food that must be consumed on this diet. I am finding it somewhat nauseating. Coach G has stated that for elite athletic performance the Paleo Diet won't cut it, because you just cannot consume enough carbs, and I would tend to agree. I'm on a weight loss protocol right now, and should be eating 16 blocks. I have failed to do so on the last two days. I cannot imagine being able to eat my maintenance of around 18 blocks. Even 16 blocks, assuming 1/2 the carbs come from veg and 1/2 from fruit is around 8 POUNDS of food! 18 blocks from all veg sources would equal 20 lbs a day of food. No thanks. For sure if you are having trouble controlling your caloric intake through will power, this should do the trick.

No wonder those Paleo dudes were so buff, imagine carrying around 5 days worth of food (40 lbs!) whilst migrating, hunting, foraging, etc, along with everything else. I imagine they must have walked huge distances loaded with perhaps 80 lbs of gear, all the time. Amazing.

There is just no way I could sustain this diet, however I think 1/2 paleo, mostly zone is a lifetime sustainable lifestyle choice.

10AM 1/2 cup milk, 3 oz chicken, cup broccoli = 2 blocks (low carb)

Noon 4 oz tuna, 3/4 lb green beans, 1/2 apple, 1/2 oz nuts, teaspoon olive oil = 3 blocks +1x fat

4PM 1.5 package canned oysters, 1 oz bourbon = 2 blocks

8PM about 1 lb elk, moose, antelope and deer meat, 1/2 lb greens, 5 glasses red wine, small ice cream = 10 blocks

Block Target = 22+ blocks (Thanksgiving)

Block Total = 17

Paleo Rating = F (copious amounts of alcohol, small ice cream, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup coffee)

15 Muscle-Ups for time (1/2 volume week)
Time: 9:00

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Paleo Day Three: Mixed Results

Pictured above is a zone-perfect 4 block meal which is also 100% paleo approved. 6 oz ground buffalo, 1/2 lb green beans, one apple, 1/3 oz nuts

I probably ate the lowest GI meals of my life yesterday and there were some notable effects. Firstly, I find this diet very boring, there is no way I could sustain this in the long term. However, eating so much fruit and veg, is very, very filling, and I could not eat 16 blocks, only 12.5, and I was not at all hungry, nor am I now (6:30AM). I also needed less than 7 hours of sleep. My performance yesterday was a mixed bag, I felt weak, but did get a PR in the Overhead Squat; 120x15. My weight has been holding steady at around 168-170 and 13-14% bodyfat. I think this protocol will help me push past that sticking point (in fact I am down to 167, a new low).

On the coffee front, there is just no way I am giving up coffee anytime soon. I took Kirsten's advice and had a 1/2 caf medium coffee this morning. So far so good.

6AM 1/2 cup milk, 3/4 of a small coffee = .5 blocks

8AM 2 egg whites, 1 egg, 4 cups mushrooms, 1 cup blueberries, 2 oz coconut milk, 2 tsp olive oil, 3/4 oz nuts = 3 blocks +3x fat

Noon 6 oz ground turkey, 1 lb zucchini, 1 apple, 2/3 teaspoon olive oil, 1/2 oz nuts, 2 tablespoon avocado = 4 blocks +.75x fat

3PM 4.5 oz chicken leg, 1 apple = 2 blocks (high protein)

9PM 6 oz chicken leg, 1/2 lb broccoli, 1 cup blueberries, 1/2 oz coconut milk, 1/2 oz nuts, 6 oz beer = 4 blocks +2x fat

Block Target = 16 paleo blocks (high-fat ok)

Block Total = 14 blocks + 1xfat

Paleo Rating = 90% (1/2 block milk, 1/2 cup cup coffee, 1/2 beer)

"Helen" (1/2 volume week, 1.5 rounds)

Bike Ride, 2 miles, fixed gear, flat, medium intensity

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Paleo Day Two: Cave Coffee

My inner caveman does not seem to want to exist without coffee. I can give up dairy, bread, rice, sugar, alcohol, chocolate, etc, etc, without any particular cravings or discomfort, however life without coffee seems intolerable.

I have been looking over some of the data on elevated insulin response due to caffeine ingestion, and, unfortunately, it seems equivocal.

Consider this:

Caffeine ingestion elevates plasma insulin response in humans during an oral glucose tolerance test.

We tested the hypothesis that caffeine ingestion results in an exaggerated response in blood glucose and (or) insulin during an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Young, fit adult males (n = 18) underwent 2 OGTT. The subjects ingested caffeine (5 mg/kg) or placebo (double blind) and 1 h later ingested 75 g of dextrose. There were no differences between the fasted levels of serum insulin, C peptide, blood glucose, or lactate and there were no differences within or between trials in these measures prior to the OGTT. Following the OGTT, all of these parameters increased (P < or = 0.05) for the duration of the OGTT. Caffeine ingestion resulted in an increase (P < or = 0.05) in serum fatty acids, glycerol, and plasma epinephrine prior to the OGTT. During the OGTT, these parameters decreased to match those of the placebo trial. In the caffeine trial the serum insulin and C peptide concentrations were significantly greater (P < or = 0.001) than for placebo for the last 90 min of the OGTT and the area under the curve (AUC) for both measures were 60 and 37% greater (P < or = 0.001), respectively. This prolonged, increased elevation in insulin did not result in a lower blood glucose level; in fact, the AUC for blood glucose was 24% greater (P = 0.20) in the caffeine treatment group. The data support our hypothesis that caffeine ingestion results in a greater increase in insulin concentration during an OGTT. This, together with a trend towards a greater rather than a more modest response in blood glucose, suggests that caffeine ingestion may have resulted in insulin resistance.

I did find some pro-caffeine articles such as this one, by the Nestle research group in Switzerland. Grain of salt.

6AM 1/2 cup milk, coffee = .5 blocks

8AM 1 egg, 2 egg whites, 4 cups mushrooms, teaspoon olive oil, 1/2 grapefruit = 3 blocks

Noon 1/2 lb green beans, 6 oz ground buffalo, 1/2 apple, 1/3 oz nuts = 4 blocks

7PM Noon 1/2 lb green beans, 6 oz ground turkey, 1/2 apple, 1/3 oz nuts = 4 blocks

9PM 1/2 oz nuts

Block Target = 16 paleo blocks

Block Total = 12.5 paleo blocks, plus nuts

Paleo Rating = 97% (.5 block milk, medium coffee)

Clean and Jerk 3-3-3 reps (1/2 volume week)
154 (fail)-154-154

OHSQ 120x15 (pr)

10 Muscle-Ups

Bike ride 3 miles, flat, fixed gear, medium intensity

Monday, November 19, 2007

Paleo Day One

This is turning out to be harder than I thought. My caveman might have to discover coffee tomorrow, as I might just be too hopelessly addicted to function without it. I have barely gotten anything done today. Arg.

CFO dynamo Ev R is going paleo too: more early agrarian, with dairy and one cup of coffee allowed.

7AM 4 eggs, 1 grapefruit, 1/2 cup berries, coconut milk, nuts 4 paleo blocks

Noon Beef, pork, vegetables = 4 paleo blocks

4PM 6 oz Ground buffalo, mushrooms, banana, coconut milk nuts = 4 paleo blocks

8PM 6 oz ground ground buffalo, 1 lb green beans, coconut milk, nuts = 4 paleo blocks

Block Target = 16 paleo blocks

Block Total = 16

Paleo Rating = 97% (little bit of butter)

Workout: Walk 5 miles, heavy pack

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Tomorrow I stride into the valley of Paleo. I'm a bit scared. I've been enjoying a bit of red wine for the first time in a while, but alas that must end for the next few weeks. DISCLAIMER: I'm eating anything put in front of me on Thanksgiving, I'm not a masochist!

Here are my allowed foods:

  • Meat (any)
  • Eggs
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive Oil

And just to be clear here are the not allowed foods:

  • Anything Processed
  • Grains (bread, rice, etc.)
  • Sugar
  • Coffee
  • Alcohol
  • Tubers
  • Dairy

6AM 1/2 cup milk = .5 blocks

8AM 2 slices diabetic lifestyles bread, 2 eggs, 2 oz beef, bit o veggie = 3 blocks

11AM Pure Protein Bar = 3 blocks

3 PM 1/2 lb green beans, package Trader Joe's Tuna Green Curry, glass red wine = 4 blocks

6 PM 1/2 lb green beans, package Trader Joe's Tuna Green Curry, glass red wine = 4 blocks

9PM Trader Joe's Flatbread Pizza, glass red wine = 5 blocks + extra carb

Block Target = 16 blocks

Block Total = 19.5 blocks, extra carb

"Filthy Fifty"
Time 21:20 (pr)

Saturday, November 17, 2007


I'm a huge fan of Blue Thunder.

Blue Thunder Information

310 Calories

32 G Whey Protein Isolate

16 SuperActivator Ingredients

Yohimbe, CoQ-10, Ginseng

High in BCAAs

NO Aspartame

Product Profile:

Amount Per Serving
Calories 310
Cholesterol 5mg
Total Carbohydrate 43g
Sugars 17g
Protein 32g
Niacin 10mg
Phosphorus 1.27g
Chromium 60mcg
Sodium 290mg
Potassium 190mg
Caffeine 58mg

Serving Size: 1 Bottle

Package Size: 22 FL OZ


OK so there is a bunch of weird shit in here that probably does nothing, as well as some gross preservatives and colors (which are probably harmless) but I have used this product for over 10 years and it does give a good boost and has a favorable macronutrient profile to facilitate recovery: just add 12 almonds to make it zone (about 4 blocks)

6AM 1 cup milk = 1 block

8AM 4 oz ribs, 1/2 lb green beans with sauce = 2 blocks

1PM 1/2 Muscle Milk Bar = 2 blocks

4PM Cato's Bacon Cheeseburger, with part of bun removed, beer, salad = 5 blocks, 1x fat, extra carb

7PM Beef with Green Beans = 4 blocks

Block Target = 16 blocks

Block Total = 14 blocks, .3x fat, extra carb

Birthday WOD
100 reps minus your age Jumping Pull-Ups
100 reps minus your age Jumping Dips
100 reps minus your age Push-Ups
100 reps minus your age 45# Thrusters
100 reps minus your age Double-Unders
Time: 9:42

20 Muscle-Ups

Friday, November 16, 2007

Day 124: Better Body Comp

Here is another positive body composition collage clockwise:

12.12.05 210 lbs 30% bodyfat 147 lean
12.12.06 181 lbs 18% bodyfat 148.5 lean
11.01.07 171 lbs 14% bodyfat 147 lean
11.15.07 168 lbs 13% bodyfat 146 lean

6AM 1 cup milk

8AM 1/2 lb Greens With Envy, 3 egg beaters, 1 egg, slice toast with bit of butter = 4 blocks

Noon: Blue Thunder, 12 almonds = 4 blocks

4PM Builder Bar = 3 blocks

9PM 8 oz Trader Joe's Hawaiian Style Ribs, cup veggies, 2 glasses red wine = 4 blocks + 2x fat

Block Target = 16 blocks

Block Total = 16 blocks +.4x fat

Time: DNF

Completed first two rounds + two thrusters in 3:55, could not continue, legs were about to seize up. I did not stick to my partitioning scheme, and did the first 21 thrusters unbroken. Major mistake.

15 Muscle-Ups, including 2x3 consecutive from a bent arm, kipping (pr)

Monkey Swing to Bar Muscle-Up (video of this when I get it dialed, fun)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Day 123: Amazing Floor Routine

Here is some amazing video via my brother from another mother, Christian Witkin.

6AM 1/2 cup milk = .5 block

10AM 1 lb Trader Joe's Greens With Envy, which I cannot recommend highly enough, 7.5 oz ground turkey, 4 oz lite coconut milk = 5 blocks

1PM 6 oz ground turkey, 2 slices diabetic lifestyles bread, lite mayo = 4 blocks

4PM tuna curry with 1.2 lb of spinach = 3 blocks

9PM 2 glasses red wine, Spanish cheese plate, quail (Cesar) = 4 blocks

Block Target = 16 blocks

Block Total = 16.5 blocks

Workout: none, rest day.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Day 123: Muscle-Ups

I have struggled with the Muscle-Up, but it is finally coming along. It would never have been possible for me without the combination of The Zone and CrossFit.

8AM 1/2 cup milk = .5 blocks

9AM Breakfast Sandwich = 4 blocks

Noon 1 cup Greek Yogurt, 1 scoop Max Muscle Gourmet Protein Powder, 1 cup blueberries, 1/4 oz almonds = 3 blocks

3PM Turkey Burger = 4 blocks

9PM 2 apples, two tablespoons peanut butter, 1 package tuna curry, 1 fish taco = 8 blocks +2x fat

Block Target = 16 blocks

Block Total = 20 blocks +.75x fat (totally starved after "Linda").

Time: 22:35 (pr)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Day 122: Paleo

I'm going pure paleo for two weeks starting next Monday (Cave Connie started today): no dairy (eggs ok), no coffee, no alcohol, no sugar, nothing processed at all, nothing that a caveman could not have rustled up.

The Diet (From Bob Hogden):

The rules of the Paleolithic Diet are simple: Only eat what was available to the early hunter-gatherers. Foods which are edible raw. All other foods should be avoided. In effect this is the factory specified diet.

Do Eat: Meats and Fish, Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts, and Berries.

Do Not Eat: Grains, Beans, Potatoes, Dairy, Sugar.

On this diet you don't count calories or carbs. You eat when you're hungry and stop when you're full. I snack all the time on nuts and fruit. Any food of any kind from the "Do Eat" list is OK. All foods from the "Do Not Eat" category are strictly forbidden--no exceptions! It takes some will power at first, but after a week or two the cravings for the old foods go away.

I am going to further refine this diet by applying zone principals as well.

5AM 1 cup Milk = 1 block

7AM open face breakfast sandwich with diabetic lifestyles bread and egg beaters, leftover tuna curry = 3 blocks

Noon Turkey Burger with veggies = 4 blocks

4PM 1 cup Greek Yogurt, cup blueberries, 1/4 oz almonds = 4 blocks

8PM 2 glasses red wine, chicken & green onions = 4 blocks

Block Target = 16 blocks

Block Total = 16 blocks

7 rounds for time of:
95 pound Sumo-deadlift high-pull, 10 reps
10 Ring dips
Time: 6:54

Monday, November 12, 2007

Day 121: Adjusting the hormonal carburetor

My diet has fallen off a bit, I think I have been eating too much fat and/or chocolate (Mmm. Chocolate). I blame Halloween and my birthday. Anyway, it is not an "official" weigh-in today, but I'm back up to 172.5 and 14% bodyfat. The good news is that my lean mass is back up to 148.5, perhaps due to the hormonal effects of being obsessed with the muscle-up. Fellow CFO Zone-CrossFitter (and soon to be CF Certified Trainer), Connie M., and I (and hopefully CFO Powerhouse Ev R.) are going to go Paleo for two weeks starting next Monday. I'm reducing my block count back to 16 this week and sticking with it.

Click for details on the Paleo Diet.

7AM 1 cup Milk

9AM Breakfast Sandwich on Diabetic Lifestyles Bread with Egg Beaters = 4 blocks

Noon 1 package Dal Makhani, 1 package spinach, 5 oz chicken = 5 blocks

3PM 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt 1/4 serving Max Muscle Protein Powder = 2 blocks

8PM 1 package Trader Joe's Green Curry with Tuna, 1/2 bag Trader Joe's Vegetable Medley = 4 blocks

Block Target = 16 blocks

Block Total = 16 Blocks

Complete as many rounds as you can in twenty minutes of:
5 Handstand Push-ups
10 L Pull-ups
15 Steps, Walking Lunge
Rounds: 9 + 2 LPU

15 OHSQ @ 115# (fail, got 14)

Bike ride: 8 miles, hills, medium intensity, fixed gear

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Day 120: B-Day M-U

Today is my 41st birthday, and I continue to make performance gains using a combination of CrossFit and the Zone. I got Muscle-ups from a fully extended position today, another major accomplishment. I'm holding my breath for the constant gains to end, but so far, so good.

7AM 1 cup milk, builder bar = 4 blocks

Noon builder bar = 3 blocks

1PM Brunch at Rick And Ann's About 8 blocks +1 fat, too much carb

7PM carbolite + almonds = 1 block +3x fat

9PM Dinner at Thai restaurant = 6 blocks +2 x fat

10PM Toblerone Bar = 6 blocks carbs

10 Muscle-ups

Block Target = 17 blocks

Block Total = 28 blocks +1xfat, low protein (arg!)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Day 120: Friends Don't Let Friends Eat Vegetarian

Did you know I was a vegetarian for almost 10 years? If you know me this may be hard to believe. I am now a solid, even reactionary, carnivore. If there is one thing I have seen over and over, it is that vegetarians, especially vegans, do not succeeded at CrossFit. It seems there is something about animal protein that facilitates high performance. Of course it is possible that a more thoughtfully constructed vegetarian diet could facilitate high performance, perhaps vegetarians just tend to eat too much carbohydrate?

Here is the mother of all articles on why not to be veggie!

An excerpt:

Dear Dr Groves

I agree with most of your points concerning the poor reasoning of most vegetarians. As a fairly observant zoologist, pathologist and sometimes farmer I can add even more.

As you and I know, most vegetarians are motivated, at least in part, by their view of the immorality of exploiting animals. Most of them, of course, are city dwellers who have never had the opportunity to till, plant and harvest a field with a vegetable crop.

Crop agriculture, even if inveterbrates are excluded, is devastating to small amphibians, reptiles, nesting birds and mammals. Even the occasional larger mammal is injured during the cropping process. Unavoidably, the plow destroys burrows and young. Harvest machines kill some animals directly and expose others to the tender mercies of predators. Many times, I have watched as coyotes and hawks follow my tractor feasting on the victims of the plow and reaper [hey, but it is nice for these predators].

Really, how could it be otherwise? Vegetables and cereals are the foods of many animals. For rodents, crops are a real bonanza in terms of food and shelter. They multiply rapidly which only increases the tally during field preparation and harvest.

To my thinking, there is little question that raising animals for meat, especially if they are not fattened with agricultural products, is far less devastating to animal life than is agriculture. If one acre of land produces one sheep a year for slaughter, one life is taken. If one acre of land is put into cereal production the cost in just mammalian life can be measured in the dozens or more.

Of course, animal death due to cropping is "invisible" and therefore doesn't happen. Lamb chops in the market are visible and vegetarians weep for the victim. I know that these realities have no impact on animal-rights types -– they are not nearly so concerned with animal death and suffering as they are with animal death and suffering due to deliberate human actions. Their emphasis is, in fact, not on animal welfare but on the control of other human beings.

Ron B.

7AM .5 cup 2% milk = .5 blocks

8AM open face breakfast sandwich with egg beaters and Diabetic Lifestyles bread = 2 blocks

3PM Big Lunch at La Mediterranee: 4 Levantine Meat Tart (click to order), hummus, salad, fruit, cheese = 8 blocks +1x fat

9PM 1/2 package Dal, 6 oz beef, 1/2 lb green beans = 4 blocks

Block Target = 17 blocks

Block Total = 15 blocks +.5x fat

Block Total =

Row 1000 meters
25 Double-unders
Row 750 meters
50 Double-unders
Row 500 meters
100 Double-unders
Time: 12:55

15x110# OHSQ

10 Ring Muscle-Up For Time:
Time: 11:00