I’m always fascinated with other people’s habits, so when Robb Wolf started writing about his training and eating habits, I thought I would do the same. This is both a way to offer information to the curious of mind, but also as a longer journal entry for me to keep track of where I’ve been.
Let’s start with the one most people are interested in – nutrition. Ever since starting CrossFit 10 years ago, I’ve gone down deep rabbit holes of Paleo, Zone, Gluten Free, Intermittent Fasting, If It Fits Your Macros, Whole30, Keto and all other sorts of “diets.” Unless it’s a 30 day challenge, I’ve never been 100% strict with any of these. (Sidenote: I’m learning more about Gretchen Rubin’s “Four Tendencies” and as a Rebel, I tend to defy both outer and inner expectations, so I’m sure this has a lot to do with not sticking with habits. You can take the self-assessment quiz here)
Since having a kid, we’ve definitely gotten more lenient when it comes to having grains and cereals in the house. This isn’t to say we eat pasta every night for dinner, but I might have an English muffin with brunch on a weekend. The same goes while we’re out to eat. If I get a burger, I eat the bun. Or if we’re with friends and order pizza, I’ll eat it. I know, it’s crazy talk. I know that I probably won’t feel great afterwards, but that’s the choice I make in the moment.
I have done stints of counting macros (Zone, IIFYM) ever since 2008, but I rarely do it for more than a month at a time. A few months ago, I invested in an InBody biometric scanner for the box which has proven to be very informative by giving accurate body fat percentages and basal metabolic rates (BMR) for people. Based on my information, I am generally sitting around 160-165 lbs, 10-12% BF, and BMR of 1770 calories (I’m 5’8″). I use that information with some general principles about macros to get the following numbers if I’m counting macros:
Following these numbers consistently made me feel MUCH better in workouts, although that’s relative and I discuss more below in Training. The biggest change when I do count macros is the fact that I need to eat breakfast. Left to my own devices, I’ll just have coffee and not eat until lunch. I’m still trying to balance eating in the morning, but ALSO be on point cognitively since eating any amount of carbs usually gives me foggy brain and/or sleepy. If I want to be my sharpest, fasting is the way to go, but that might mess with how I feel in workouts.
In terms of WHAT I’m eating, breakfast used to be Kettlebell Kitchen breakfasts, but now can vary from omelet+potato hash+toast to pulled pork+sweet potatoes. Lunch is usually a Large Athlete meal from Kettlebell Kitchen (meat + veggies + starch). I really like the KBK meals for taste, plus they give me a variety of veggies that I would never do on my own. Dinner is usually meat + veggies and if I need to make up carbs, I have a container of white rice in the fridge. If aesthetics were my only goal, I’d ditch the white rice altogether, but for now it works if I need to hit my numbers.
Pre-workout I’ll do 10-14g of BCAAs and a pre-workout stimulant if I feel like I need a boost. Probably not the best reason, but it is what it is. Post-workout I almost always have a shake of Equip Prime protein (beef isolate) + Equip sweet potato powder. I like the beef isolate better since I’m sensitive to dairy (still like my ice cream when the occasion calls for it!) and the sweet potato powder gives me a whack of carbs (25g). If it’s a longer or more intense workout, I’ll do two scoops of that. No fat since it slows digestion and post workout I want fast digestion to replenish muscle glycogen.
I find weekends are harder to control mostly because of social plans or simply going out to eat and not being able to weigh and measure. Some people bring their scale to the restaurant, but I’m not in a place where I feel like I need to do that.
Coffee is consumed every day. If I’m coaching in the morning, it’s a DIY black eye by combining a Nespresso lungo shot + Starbucks K-cup. If it’s the weekend, I’ll usually do a Nespresso lungo shot + pour over at home. Starbucks order is a venti black eye, nothing extra.
The only consistent supplement I take is a Zinc, Magnesium, and B6 combo (Optimum Nutrition ZMA). During winter months I try to do Vitamin D (25,000 IU) but it’s not consistent mostly because I forget to take it each day. Fish oil is also sporadic.
This one has taken the biggest hit since opening the box. In the fall I tracked my hours for a business mentor and it ended up being about 70 hours of work/week. I’ve since implemented better systems so I’m not as busy, but I’m still working on it. I’m usually in bed around 10pm and luckily have never had trouble falling asleep right away. I get up at 4:30am most days and out the door by 4:45 to coach the 5:30 class. Having a 2-year-old who likes to wake up at 1am/3am/whenever he wants doesn’t help the sleep situation, but it is what it is. One day a week I drop off Connor, so I might sleep in til 6:30am, but he’s usually up before then. Same thing on weekends.
I don’t usually take naps, but there are definitely some days that I feel drained, so I will either nap at the box or go home early and catch a snooze. If I do, it’s usually 30 minutes and I naturally wake up.
Since opening Kanna last year, my main focus has been on the business. A lot of people open CrossFit boxes because they love working out – I’m not one of those people. I enjoy working out, but mostly for the social atmosphere. I would much rather run a successful business than be a stud athlete. (The two aren’t mutually exclusive, but it’s a fine line because of this non-renewable resource called “time”)
As I said above, I tend to be a Rebel in terms of habits and expectations, so I really don’t have a routine when it comes to working out. If I’m sore or just not feeling it, I won’t workout. In a given week, I’ll usually end up doing 3 or 4 WODs, almost always with the class. I’m not on any extra program like in the past (Smolov, Hatch, etc), but in the past year have hit a 330 front squat, 430×4 deadlift (in competition), and 52 unbroken pull-ups.
Going back to the nutrition piece, I naturally tend to undereat, so counting macros helps keep my fueling high and it definitely benefits my workouts. Even though I don’t feel “energized” before the workout unless I take preworkout, there have been times that I surprise myself with how much I lift or do considering my low levels of sleep and fact that I only do the class workouts. These times are usually correlated to when I’m keeping track of my food intake and wouldn’t be surprised if they’re caused by the extra calories.
Mobility has always been a struggle for me, so I’ve been playing around with some MobilityWOD material, but have yet to get in a routine with it. There’s that Rebel tendency again – ugh!
I just signed up for the Broad Street Run (10 miler) in May, so I’m looking forward to warmer weather and getting outdoors for some lower intensity movement. I feel a lot better with Vitamin D and will supplement in the winter, but the actual sun always feels better.
Besides running the box and doing family stuff, I’m not doing much else. I’ve long since given up paid photography gigs. Weddings are out of the question for the amount of time they take both for the actual wedding day and the dozens of hours needed to cull and edit (yes, wedding photography is expensive for a reason) Family photography is probably doable, but I’m trying to focus solely on Kanna for now.
The amount of books I’ve read has gone down dramatically, but I do listen to a lot of podcasts (Regulars include How I Built This; Girls Gone WOD; 3-2-1 Go Project; and then depending on the topic, Brute Strength; CrossFit; Tim Ferris; Tony Robbins; Julie Foucher; Two Disabled Dudes; and other random podcasts dealing with business and/or fitness) I should probably mention that I also started a podcast for Kanna, but need to get on a more regular schedule of putting content out on that platform.
In terms of travel, we’ve been able to go away for long weekends thanks to Coach Dori and Lam holding down the fort. No long trips yet, but that’s the goal. A lot Kanna has to do with travel, so at some point I should probably live up to what I say, right? I’m glad we did trips to Peru, Tanzania, Iceland, and Mont Blanc when we did, so I’d like to get a longer trip on the books in the next year or so.
Well, that all turned out longer than I thought, but if you’re still reading this, thanks for your attention. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments and I’ll get back to you. Maybe I’ll even turn it into a podcast episode!