Clean Eating Challenge – End of Week 2


Two weeks into my Clean Eating Challenge and I’m still learning how best to balance my meals, and about portion control – but this week I also got my best ever beep test score, and set two new personal bests in lifting.

This week was a bit of a struggle in places – I’ve been tired as I’ve been trying to fit a little too much in and not finding quite enough time for sleep.  I made up for this with a bit of a lie in (till about 9 am – not what most people consider a lie in!) on Saturday and Sunday though.  I think also I’ve not been eating quite right before and after exercise so this week I hope to fix that.  Thursday was meant to be a rest day, but I made the mistake of stepping into H3 (where I was going to do a light weight lifting session focusing on form) and got pressured into a beep test.

A common question I get from people seems to be ‘don’t you miss bread and pasta?’ – and actually I can honestly say that I really don’t that much!  In fact, one thing I got picked up on from my Clean Eating coach Hayley, is that I didn’t do my cheat meal well enough, nor did I have enough of them!  It’s important to eat something to replace your glycogen levels a few times a week apparently -so this week I’ve snuck in some cheat meals which even included a little bit of pasta. You really do get used to removing these things from your diet really quickly.

It’s also getting much much easier to plan a day’s meal.  I know roughly what a day should look like now, so putting it together means grabbing some pre-cooked stuff out of the fridge and throwing it into plastic tubs, but more on that later.

Exercise

Here’s the summary of this weeks exercise

  • Monday: Strength training – one rep max push press calculated at 70kg (a PB).  Lots of other strength based exercises including floor presses at 55kg
  • Tuesday:
  • Wednesday:
    • Morning: Speed strength training at H3, PB set on a power clean at 70kg
    • Evening: Defence Labs
  • Thursday: Beep test (score: 12.7 – a third PB, up from 11.7), and Olympic lifting class focusing on a clean and snatch grip deadlift
  • Friday: Gauntlet at H3 – evil evil evil
  • Saturday: Boxing at H3 with David Ward (if you’re looking for a boxing class in Nottingham,  he’s a great coach!)
  • Sunday: Rest day

Three PBs set in one week is pretty good!  I’ll admit a lot of this might have to do with not keeping good records in the past, but now I use the iPhone app ‘Strong’ to keep track of things.  It’s possible that in my CrossFit days I had been lifting equal of heavier, but certainly it feels like an achievement – it’s definitely the heaviest for the last 3 months.

One of my goals during my 8 weeks is to improve my posture, and this includes my form during deadlifts (and other lifts).  I often drop my shoulders forward during a lift – see the video below for an example of what I mean.

During the olympic lifting class on Thursday it was suggested to me that I worked on a snatch grip deadlift, as it will help work all of the muscles to keep the scapular back where it should be.  Also it was suggested by my boxing coach David Ward that any exercise involving rowing movements would help.  Specifically about how to draw the shoulder blades in towards each other as or before commencing the lift.  I think perhaps more time spent on the rower or doing weighted rows might be in order!

Diet

In terms of eating, I’ve found the key really is in the preparation. I’ve cooked up 4 chicken breasts (really high in protein and low in fat), and 8 portions of chilli (based off a recipe by Food Ninja Nottingham – I just added more beans to give a higher proportion of protein and carbs relative to fat).  Being able to just grab 100g of chicken from the fridge and throw it into Tupperware for day time snacks makes preparing my daily meals much easier.  I do the same thing with preparing quinoa and sweet potato mash – as my carbs often need topping up I can easily add these to my meals if they are pre-cooked and in the fridge ready to re-heat.

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I’ve also started to ensure I have carbs before and after workouts to give me the best energy levels I can whilst exercising.  I suspect I’ve been slightly under eating as I’ve not been giving myself a carb hit before exercise, which is recommended for those who are not focusing on fat loss but rather trying to improve performance.

At the bottom of this post is tomorrow’s menu which aims to have higher carbs in the morning, balanced meals/snacks though out the day, and carbs both before and after exercise (between Dinner and Snack #3).  Breakfast is a juice, hence the rather strange collection of ingredients, and so is ‘Dinner’.  It’s close enough to a 40/30/30 diet plan for me (38% carbs, 34% protein, and 28% fat – I’m quite happy to have the extra protein into the balance though!).

Oven Roasted Chicken Recipe

This isn’t really a recipe – as there’s really nothing to it.

On a Sunday night, I cook up some chicken breasts, and it’s good in the fridge till at least Friday (it’s gone by Friday!).  Simply put a small amount of oil in the bottom of a dish, add the chicken, sprinkle with herbs and spices of your choice, I use cajun rub.  Cover lightly with foil (this helps keep the moisture in so it doesn’t dry out) and put into a fan over at 180 degrees for 30-40 minutes depending on the size of the breasts. Check it’s cooked by cutting in half and making sure it’s not still pink.

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Goals & Progress

This weeks goal is to combine my power clean and push press into one clean and press at 70kg – which for me is just over body weight. I’m also going to re-do my number of pushups in 1 minute benchmark to check my progress there, and try to set a new PB on a strict press at at lest 50kg.

I’m not trying to loose weight, or really much body fat but here’s the graphs tracking them over the last month.  Body fat graph is largely nonsense due to it being measured by bathroom scales.

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A 40/30/30 meal plan

A 40/30/30… ish!   See above for exactly why it’s not quite perfect.

FOODS Calories Carbs Fat Protein Cholest Sodium Sugars Fiber
Breakfast
Morrisons – Banana, 100 g 103 23g 0g 1g 0mg 0mg 21g 1g
Natural Nutrients – Grass-fed Whey Protein, 15 g 55 0g 0g 14g 0mg 0mg 0g 0g
Raspberries – Raw, 0.5 cup 32 7g 0g 1g 0mg 1mg 3g 4g
Peaches – Raw, 1 serving 57 14g 0g 1g 0mg 0mg 12g 2g
Drink – Almond Milk – Unsweetened, 1 cup(s) 30 0g 3g 1g 0mg 118mg 0g 1g
Pineapple – Raw, all varieties, 0.25 cup, diced 19 5g 0g 0g 0mg 0mg 4g 1g
Kale – Raw, 0.25 cup, chopped 8 2g 0g 1g 0mg 7mg 0g 0g
Snack 1
Blueberries – Raw, 150 g 86 22g 0g 1g 0mg 2mg 15g 4g
Langley Farms – Natural Cottage Cheese, 100 g 104 2g 6g 10g 0mg 315mg 2g 0g
Seeds – Linseed, 10 g 53 3g 4g 2g 0mg 3mg 0g 3g
Lunch
chilli, 1 serving(s) 235 17g 6g 28g 53mg 71mg 2g 4g
Tesco – Quinoa Cooked, 170 g 196 31g 3g 7g 0mg 0mg 2g 5g
Snack 2
Chicken – Breast, meat only, cooked, roasted, 100 g 165 0g 4g 31g 85mg 74mg 0g 0g
Morrisons – Organic British Free Range Eggs, 58 g 88 0g 7g 7g 0mg 0mg 0g 0g
Tesco – Pink Lady Apples, 1 typical Apple 133g 71 16g 0g 1g 0mg 0mg 16g 2g
Dinner
Morrisons – Banana, 100 g 103 23g 0g 1g 0mg 0mg 21g 1g
Myprotein – Almond Butter, 25 g 163 2g 14g 6g 0mg 4mg 1g 3g
Green & Black’s Organic – Cocoa Powder, 2 teaspoon (2.5g) 18 1g 1g 1g 0mg 0mg 0g 1g
Snack 3
Steak – Rump, 200 g 308 0g 12g 46g 120mg 220mg 0g 0g
Cabbage – Savoy, raw, 100 g 27 6g 0g 2g 0mg 28mg 2g 3g
Carrots – Raw, 100 g 41 10g 0g 1g 0mg 69mg 5g 3g
Swede – Swede Boiled, 100 g 30 7g 0g 1g 0mg 0mg 4g 2g
TOTAL: 1,992 191g 60g 164g 258mg 912mg 110g 40g

 

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