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Rest Day

On Being an Athlete Who Doesn't Eat Meat

By Kate Reece

Coach Whitney H. first walked through the doors of The Brooklyn Lyceum to join CFSBK in late 2009 and though she now tackles WODs like a boss, she certainly wasn't born doing kipping pull-ups. Around that time, yoga and dance were her main focus along with managing a lululemon store. She got certified to teach yoga in 2010, started teaching full-time in 2013, and introduced Yoga for Athletes here last August. A few months and hundreds of hours sweating under barbells later, she took her Level 1 Certification and soon began coaching CrossFit. Oh, and all that time, she was still dancing.

Expending as much athletic energy as she does requires adequate nutrition, so we sat down (at the virtual dinner table known as email) and chatted about her journey with giving the ax to meat (har har!) and kicking ass at getting protein—so she can then kick ass at CrossFit and all her other endeavors.

CFSBK: I remember one of the first times I benched with you, I was stunned by the height of the arch in your back, and you told me it was because of dancing (and some injuries). Tell us about dancing, and when you feel like you started considering yourself an athlete. 

Whitney: I started ballet when I was three years old, then jazz when I was maybe five or six. I did gymnastics as well for a while, but around middle school the time commitments got a bit intense, so my mom told me to choose—and dance was the winner. I added in tap when I was 12 or so, and that was also when I started competing. I think I averaged 18 hours of class or rehearsal a week from that age on through high school. While I didn't necessarily consider myself an athlete in those years (because I wasn't playing high school volleyball or field hockey or whatever), I certainly spent a lot of my waking hours in the practice of form, rhythm, and movement as well as creating power, speed, and flow within those movements, which I consider athletic. I competed both as an individual and in a troupe, and after I got over the pee-my-leotard feeling of the very first "Nationals," it was great! 

CFSBK: When did you first start practicing yoga?

Whitney: I started yoga in my junior year of college. I was in a BFA program in Dance at Illinois, and Yoga for Dancers was the 8am class that no one wanted to get out of bed an hour earlier for (before ballet at 9am). I figured if I didn't try it once in the four years I was there, I'd kick myself. Once I committed, I was hooked. Even though I was waking up earlier and maybe getting less sleep, I had more energy throughout my days. My body felt better. I felt more balanced. I continued every semester thereafter, and when I moved to New York and started working for lululemon, a big part of my job was to get to as many yoga studios and teachers as possible. It was incredible. 

CFSBK: So where does becoming a vegetarian fit into all that athleticism? 

Whitney: I stopped eating meat halfway through my senior year of college. Basically, someone handed me a flyer on the quad about factory farming with all these pictures of little baby chicks being thrown in a dumpster and sad cows and all that kind of stuff, as well as some info about the environmental impact. I literally had never considered these things before, and so it shined a light on my narrow-mindedness. I read more about the topic and became interested. I had always been the person who said, "Why on earth would you ever want to do that? Meat is so delicious. That's insane." So becoming a vegetarian ended up being mostly about perspective. Whereas before I couldn't fathom giving something up that I was so accustomed to, I sort of took it upon myself as a way to expand my point of view and just give it a go. 

At that point in college, I had started cooking for myself for the first time and didn't really like handling meat anyway, so figured cutting it out wouldn’t be too hard. I ended up eating a lot more vegetables in the process, and I started feeling really good! The new habit stuck. It's also important to note that I'm actually a pescetarian or, as I like to say, a veggaquarian. So, I still incorporate fish and seafood into my diet. 

CFSBKAh, yes. Strict vegetarians can get quite feisty about that distinction. Talk to me about starting CrossFit (really starting CrossFit), and when you began noticing that what you ate affected how you performed.  

Whitney: I started CrossFit in November 2009 with David over at the Brooklyn Lyceum. For the first year (or even two?), my attendance was quite off and on. I was a bit scared and nervous most of the time and so found a lot of reasons to get out of going. I was practicing yoga, taking spin classes at Soul Cycle (yup), and working a lot. But, the interest was always there and as I got more confident, I started getting hooked. I think CrossFit is the kind of activity that the more results you see, the more results you want—so the more time and effort you put in. It's like an awesomely vicious circle of fitness and fun.  

To me, quantity is an important variable in the equation. If I don't eat enough—before class or something like Tough Titsday, or just in general—I get very light-headed, dizzy, and irritable. What we pleasantly call “Hangry.” But on the other hand, if I overdo it with heavy, starchy carbs or just too much at one meal, I get lethargic and unmotivated very quickly. Both of those can become a pattern over several days or weeks. Personally, I've found that eating several small meals throughout the day works for my lifestyle and my energy levels. This is obviously an individual preference, and everyone should experiment with what works for them. Coach Fox likes to make fun of me because he manages to always see me when I'm eating at the gym! 

And, of course, quality is crucial. In the LFPB Challenge at the beginning of 2013, I tried to go strict Paleo. I cut out all grains and legumes, restricted dairy, everything. Well... after three weeks of that, I felt bloated, unmotivated, and generally crappy. To make up for all my missing calories—I was SO HUNGRY—I basically stuffed myself with nuts and fruit a couple times a day. No bueno. So, for the last three weeks, after a brief and enlightening conversation with Fox, I added in quinoa, beans and lentils, and some dairy. I immediately had more energy and felt ready to move again.  

CFSBKWe just read that even Iceland Annie eats non-Paleo dairy for protein! And your answer points to the most common thing people tell you to watch out for as a vegetarian—getting enough protein. Has that been a problem for you at different points? How do you make sure to get enough and what are your favorite sources? 

Whitney: I definitely spend quite a bit of mental energy on the topic of How Whitney Will Get Enough Protein Today. Honestly, it can be challenging. Getting clear on the Zone classifications of macronutrients (carb, protein, fat) has been quite helpful, in terms of considering type and quantity. What's key for me is making sure that my kitchen is well-stocked in a variety of protein sources. Otherwise things go south quickly. Obviously, I have the "advantage" of still eating fish. Being a true vegetarian reduces the sources. 

The other consideration is variety and planning in advance so I don't get bored with the same stuff all the time. My go-to's include:

Eggs: I make little mini crustless quiches in a muffin tin that keep for a week (with spinach, scallions, and cheese), hard-boiled eggs, scrambled, etc.

Fish: I buy wild Alaskan canned salmon and smoked salmon (portable, lasts for a bit, and pairs with many things), a lot of Arctic Char (it's relatively inexpensive, good on environment/contaminants, and delicious), frozen shrimp, and sometimes frozen fish fillets (Whole Foods has good wild Pollack ones, although they still have a bit of breading on them), as well as anchovies/sardines for salads. I also make it a point to eat good fish when I go out to eat—though of course this can get expensive. Also: Fish CSA! 

Dairy: I almost always have Greek yogurt and cottage cheese at home. Add some fruit (berries with the yogurt, citrus with the cottage cheese) and nuts/seeds and you've got a complete snack or meal.

Protein powder: I've started using this a lot more in the past year. I do my best to get protein at each meal without it, but it certainly helps. Breakfast is often a bowl of plain oatmeal with chocolate protein powder, a spoonful of almond or peanut butter, and a sprinkling of unsweetened coconut. 

Lentils/Beans: I often make a big pot of vegetable soup/stew or chili so I have something hearty to go to throughout the week. Favorites are red lentil coconut curry stew with greens, rosemary white bean and mushroom soup, and black bean butternut squash chili. 

CFSBK: Beyond what you just shared, what does a typical day look like for you, eating-wise? 

Whitney: Here's one possible combo:

Breakfast: 1/2 cup (dry) plain oatmeal, 1 scoop chocolate protein powder, 1 tablespoon peanut or almond butter, and a sprinkling of shredded coconut. Black coffee.

Snack: Cottage cheese, grapefruit, and a few pecans. Or carrots and celery with hummus and maybe an ounce of cheese or a hard-boiled egg.

Lunch: Three mini egg cups (crustless quiches) and a whole mess of vegetables (favorites are roasted brussels sprouts, sauteed broccoli, sauteed kale, baked sweet potato, spinach salad, etc.), with maybe 1/4-1/2 an avocado. Or a mixed greens salad with canned wild salmon (I mix in a little bit of hummus and lemon), some veggies and avocado, chopped in, and a bit of fruit.

Dinner: Fish (probably baked Arctic char with a bit of butter and lemon) and lots of veggies. Or breakfast-for-dinner if I had fish at lunch!  

CFSBKSounds delicious! Where can we find some of your favorite recipes? 

Whitney: Well, it needs some serious updating, but I have some recipes on my blog, here. Anything with a picture of food is a recipe! 

CFSBKLastly, we're hearing great reviews about your coaching at CFSBK! How's is going? What's been your favorite moment so far? 

Whitney: Coaching has been incredible so far—rewarding and fun. I know I have plenty to learn and that wisdom comes with experience, but I feel I've started out on the right track under the tutelage of Coach David and Coach Fox. Leading barbell drills for the first time was an invigorating highlight: a mixture of not wanting to hit myself in the face with a bar while demonstrating, saying all of the correct cues at the correct time, and observing the athletes to see what's happening. Also, it was really enjoyable to watch people power through and kick ass on the Open WODs on Saturdays once I had already given them my best in the morning! Our community rocks.

What's been your experience with vegetarianism or some variant of going meatless? 

Reader Comments (29)

Tomorrow's programming:

Fitness: Snatch Segment Deadlift + Snatch + OHS
If you have a hard time organizing the pull off the floor, perform snatch from the mid-hang.
Performance: 1-1-1, then 90% x 1 x 2
Work up to a heavy snatch in 3 attempts, then perform 2 singles at 90% of today's best snatch.

Back Squat
Fitness: 3x5 LP
Performance: 70% x 8 x 4 (bias High Bar)

April 14, 2014 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

Maybe we can get this guy to come in on a Bench Press Monday. Whaaaat??


6am with Jess & McD for Monday's workout...

Bench - fitness LP - worked up to 65# for my work set....felt good and the bar moved smoothly

WOD: 6 rounds + 4 KBS w/ 12kg KB so I could keep my American swings organized

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNan

Wednesday's workout: Hit 88 for my best snatch -- same as my PR from last week, except this time I caught it low, not a power snatch like last week. So now I don't have to asterisk that weight in my mind.

HBBSQ 145x8x4. 8 is a long set!

Cash out: 1 mile run. Then 3 sets of 2 ring dips, since that's all I had time for.

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterStella

6am. Perf bench press @ 205 which is right at 70% of a recent 1RM. Thought the weight was too light on the first 2 sets. But it got heavy fast on the last set and I struggled with the final rep. Perf WOD: 5 rounds + 6 HPC. Holy smoked grip. Had a chance for a final MU, but aborted half-way through as my grip on the rings started to slip.

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

6am class with McDowell and Jess

Snatches: (40kg, 50kg 60kg) 65kg, 70kgF, 65kg, 60kg, 60kg
Didn't feel strong while snatching this morning, and I bailed on the 70kg snatch before even finishing the pull. I could tell it was going the wrong way. Anyway I dropped back down to work on McDowell's cues which, encouragingly, matched my own observations from last week: namely, gotta be patient at the bottom, especially when it's heavy. Was satisfied with positioning at 60kg, going to work on holding onto that as I move up next week. Just felt a little worn out today (3rd day on). (Also: I had 155 last week so Metric weights are clearly heavier.)

Fun day doing squats with Linda.
HBBS: 185 x 8 x 4
Could have done more. This actually seemed to get easier as I went along somehow, I think because I got more comfortable and found better positions.

Cash out: Erg Therapy: 2k in < 8:00. 70% effort was really nice. I think the Erg and I made a lot of progress in our relationship today. We're talking now.

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAlex C

Great write up, Kate. It's like Under the Hoodie but with a twist. I was also a vegetarian for 10 years before quitting cold turkey (I know Whitney will appreciate that, after her super nerdy pun yesterday) for the CFSBK paleo challenge in 2011. Incorporating meat and cutting out all the processed starches in my diet had a profound effect on me, physically, and I haven't looked back since, even though I had spent most of my life thinking meat was "gross" (this is still kind of true. Last week I ate a pork-neck (buche) taco in CA and in fact, it WAS kind of gross, but also, DELICIOUS). But now that I've been on both sides, I feel justified being that person at parties that drones on endlessly about their diet have more of an appreciation for people making the right choices for them.

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

6am with Jess and McDowell. I did Monday's work today - 135#x3x3 on the bench press. I've never bench pressed before, so I was kind of taking a guess at the weight, but 135# seems to have been a good place to start the cycle. It got heavy on the last two reps, but not too heavy. I'm looking forward to working on this more this cycle.

I did the fitness WOD with a 24kg kettlebell. 5 rounds + 8 kb swings. That's a heavier kettlebell than I'm used to, but it felt good, if kinda slow. I was surprised to have gotten through all of the burpee sets without stopping. Jess was right that the "rest" here was just taking them more slowly.

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterShawn

I forgot my phone today and I'm struggling at work without it. Good thing my friends are all over the gym blog. It’s a little scary how reliant I am on my phone :(

I have never tried or even considered trying vegetarianism or veganism. I work with a couple of vegans and they may have mentioned it once or twice ;) I guess I'm just happy with my diet the way it is. I do share the concerns about factory farming, etc. and try to select my protein sources accordingly. Inspired by Whit actually, I’ve also been trying to add more veggies to my diet. I’m failing miserably lately (pancakes are kind of like leafy greens, right?) but I feel great when I stick to it!

The LFPB forum had some really good threads about vegetarian/vegan protein sources that I shared with my vegan co-worker (also a Crossfitter), so thank you to those folks who shared.

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKMo

great interview with whitney! i was vegetarian from the ages of 18-26. i think i was a really crappy one at that, lots of TVP (textured vegetable protein) in various sauces at chinese restaurants in college and post college. lots of ramen too and fake meats, worse working in an office catered with wraps filled with soggy vegetables! i think now that im older i think if i was still veg, i would make hell of a lot better choices!!

last night's workout:
65# 3x5
6 rnds + 12 kb russian swings with 16kg (did both burpees and squat thrusts)

i am going to take note that i was able to do 65# but with some grinding towards the last sets, and as a short person, i have been using the plastic blocks but i dont feel so sturdy in them when i drive with my heels? i might want to try the plates next time under my feet and ill scale back next week!

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCamille

Make-up post from yesterday:

7:30pm class

Bench - worked up to 5x175x3. Last few reps were challenging, but not a slog, so I think this is the right place for me to start the cycle.

WOD - 5 rounds + 9 kb swings, everything rx'd. Cool with this. my goal is to be able to work more consistently through these AMRAPs, instead of powering through for 30 seconds and then taking 30 seconds off. the total seems to indicate I am getting closer to that goal.

Great interview with Whitney! OatmeaI + protein powder + almond butter = breakfast of champions. I was a vegetarian between the ages of 18 and 26. I made the switch because I was freshman in college and felt that eating mystery meat every day in the dining hall was not the best idea for me (and that I probably would have defaulted to cheeseburgers anyway). I fell in with a bunch of punk/hardcore kids that were super into veganism (and recovering from being straight edge), so there was always a thriving community around me of people who were, at a bare minimum, meatless. While it was as much for ideological reasons as it was for health, I eventually gave it up because I just wasn't particularly good at balancing a diet around vegetables and non-meat protein sources. I was basically eating pasta, tofu, potatoes, and cheese sandwiches all the time. It also began to feel like rather than eating super-processed vegetarian specific items of unknown provenance (hello, Morningstar Farms), I could have just as positive of an impact on the environment if I tried to shoot for locally sourced things. I started to learn more about how to cook, and just generally got interested in trying a lot of things I had ruled out for years. Plus, all the punk kids became DJs or noise musicians and got really into steak, so who was I to argue. It might sound kind of strange, but there was a certain amount of nostalgia fueling the backslide - I honestly missed being able to eat my mom and dad's cooking when i visited them, as vegetarianism was always a bizarre language to them that they never fully grasped. Weirdly enough, most of the things that were dietary staples when I WAS vegetarian (breads, pastas, rice, couscous, etc.) are things I seldom eat anymore.

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMichael C.

My experience with vegetarianism is pretty much like Michael C's above, from the ages to the punks to the pasta. Although my sift back to meat had more to do with my declining health.

BTW Michael - 3 sets of 175 reps at 5 pounds? You endurance junkie! I think think you mean:

175 x 5 x 3

Remember it as QRS. Quantity (times) Reps (times) Sets.

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFox

Haha whoops. Definitely was not benching for hours and hours yesterday.

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMichael C.

oooh thanks for the correction on the reps/sets thing! so 5x3 haha

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCamille

Great series Margie.

I once did "Meatless Mondays" for a bit when I was reading a lot of Michael Pollan and thought I was eating too much meat. A Monday would be something like oatmeal for breakfast, a beany salad for lunch and whole wheat or spinach pasta for dinner. I generally felt lethargic on those days and eventually switched it to Tuesdays because I didn't like starting the week feeling crappy. I have since learned that I don't do well with wheat so I might be able to do it better now.

There are many ways to skin the cat (usually a lot of flailing for me) and we're all different. I think it's great to see many of the popular bloggers in the Paleosphere taking a less dogmatic approach recently and are recognizing the high variability amongst individuals. The role the gut microbiome plays also seems like a promising new frontier. I personally like to tinker around to see what works for me. I probably tinker a little too much for my own good but I've learned a lot.

I definitely enjoy having the luxury of buying the majority of my meat from a farmer I know personally. Knowing exactly how that animal was raised gives me comfort and sure beats trying to make sense of a deceptive supermarket label. I know most of the world doesn't have that option, so I am very interested in sustainability and what is feasible on a mass scale. At the current rate, it sure feels like the demand of the ~7 billion humans will soon outstrip the planet's resources. World population has doubled since 1970. Some type of permaculture seems like the only way forward. It also seems inevitable that we're gonna have to get some insect protein in the mix at some point. Kmo knows.

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBen W

I'm really happy that this was chosen for a subject for the blog - many thanks to Whitney for her insights and for Kate in helping to put it all together. I have been a vegetarian - pescetarian, to be specific - since I was 13 or 14, half my life at this point. It started for animal rights and environmental reasons, and while those reasons are still there, I have to admit it's more out of habit than anything else. I remember my mother trying to figure out what to do with her daughter - the athlete - now that she wasn't eating meat. I remember she would cook eggs for me any time the family had chicken, cottage cheese in place of beef, and cheese otherwise. I give her credit for always trying.

With CrossFit, I have always felt like a bit of an outsider when it comes to the paleo part of the community. It just didn't seem feasible, especially because of my reliance, and general love, of all dairy products. I will say the CrossFit has helped be become far more aware of my diet. It's not just eating because I'm hungry, but it's to power me through the day. My diet is much cleaner than it was two years ago and I'm eating more real, whole foods.

Side note: I am a big fan of oatmeal and protein powder. It was my breakfast this morning with a banana - before I even read the blog!

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKayleigh

Kmo & Ben W: please say more about eating bugs. Need more info. Please don't tell me I ever have to eat a spider. I can't.

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

Bench Press 115x3x5

8 Burpees
AMRAP 8 mins

6 Rounds + 7 swings

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeter H

I ate a cricket-protein bar the other day. Only had a few grams of actual crickets in it, and no identifiable cricket parts, disappointingly. The bug-protein future seems to be pretty bland.

Spent a year eating a vegan diet because I thought it might help me with some chronic inflammation/RSI issues I was having. It didn't seem to. Also, following a few months at an ashram in India once upon a time, I avoided meat for a while to keep the India vibe I had. I eat more meat than ever now, thanks to being CrossHangry™, always.

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAlex C

I "was a vegetarian" for perhaps 3 weeks or so in college, my motivations had nothing to do with health or the environment, I was primarily motivated to impress a vegan girl who I wanted to date.

My "vegetarian diet" primarily consisted of tofuti cuties and cereal. I lost a bunch of weight which is not something I can ever afford to do so I switched back shortly thereafter. Lucky for me she became an omnivore about a month or two into us dating and we stayed together for over a year eating lots of indian food and sandwiches.


April 15, 2014 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

I love this thread. When I started crossfit a year ago and I was exploring other blogs, all the discussions about vegetarianism were so VIOLENTLY mean, unwelcoming and obnoxious. I appreciate this sane and down to earth conversation. Prior to starting at CFSB I had been vegan for about 6 years. I haven't eaten red meat or pork since 10th grade and had been vegetarian on and off prior to that. I was constantly annoyed by the "how do you get your protein questions," but as it turned out everyone was right (which annoyed me even more lol). As some of you know, around thanksgiving, I started eating eggs and a small bit of cheese, and it made a major change in my strength-which thanks to crossfit- I could actually measure. It was pretty eye-opening. Like Whitney, I tried the paleo vegetarian thing which stunk, but zone helped me to try to get protein with every meal. Always a work in process.

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBreebree

Thanks to Whit for sharing her experience with us! She definitely inspires me to cook more and to have sustainable eating habits. And Kayleigh, I loved reading your post!

I became a vegetarian in late 2010 for ethical and medical reasons that had been building for years. It was fine for a bit. I was broke in grad school so I also couldn't afford grass-fed meat, and since I have a cancer history, I was relieved not to be ingesting any crap with meat. I didn't really miss eating meat and my body and conscience were clean. But then I started training for half-marathons and couldn't seem to eat enough. Two weeks before my first race, I got mono and had to go live with my mom for a month. Given that I had raised a bunch of money for a charity and was 26 at the time, it was pretty embarrassing. I started training again after a few months of getting better and then the chicken dreams started happening. Like, I'd dream about eating chicken. I'd wake up wanting nothing but chicken. I started sneaking meat and then would dramatically confess to my vegetarian friends, who always graciously forgave me, probably because they always knew I wasn't one of them. Less than a year after I started, it was all over. That was three years ago, but my mom and one of my best friends will still sometimes randomly sigh and say, "I'm so glad you eat meat again." Guess I wasn't my best self as a vegetarian.

Then I met all you wonderful people at the end of 2012 and finally tried out this Paleo crap (plus some dairy) and feel better than ever. I'm two months into my meat CSA membership and love it!

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKate R

Yesterday's work today at 5:30 w/ Jeremy. Performance bench press at 100#. 8 feels like a lot of reps at once.

Fitness wod rx'd (Russian swings) for 7 rounds and 11 kettlebell swings.

I was a vegetarian for 6 years for ethical reasons. Felt like a hypocrite for continuing to eat dairy and eggs, so I decided to go vegan. Then I started having such intense and uncontrollable cravings for meat that I just abandoned the whole thing. That said, I have the utmost respect for anyone who manages to stick with their moral guns/vegetarianism.

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLaura Mc

6 rounds + kb swings + 2 burpees. Once, there was this time when I Rx'd this workout with a 24kg kb and pitched forward on my first swing like a clumsy doofus...oh, wait - that was today. Also, Fox totally called me out when I was resting at 5:15, which works for me as a motivator, so thanks, Fox.

Fab article - yea, Whit & Kate!

I dropped red & white meat (everything except for poultry & fish) out of my diet from 7th grade through last December. In 7th grade, I did it for ethical & moral reasons and I used to get really annoyed when I went over to my boyfriend's house and his parents would try to force feed me meat.

Then, I kept not eating it because for no apparent reason, meat totally repulsed me until last year. Also for no apparent reason, then I began craving it like crazy and went whole-hog (MEAT PUNZ!) when I ordered a duck ragu with creme fraiche and chives at al di la, shortly before the holidays. I mean, really. I couldn't help myself.

I was jealous as hell when I went to Ireland and all of my relatives not only knew the region that their meat came from, but could go to the butcher to request that their meat come from a particular farm, like their neighbor, so they knew how the animal was treated.

Also, whenever I talk about sourcing meat responsibly, I am reminded of the chicken skit from Portlandia.

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCourtney

Monday's WOD:

* 2 rounds of warm up 1, chest to bar pull ups on blue band
* Bench Press 3x5 #150, heavy but manageable
* 4.5 rounds at 1.5 pood, a little light headed which was weird

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRubikzube

I enjoyed reading through this post and comments! I was a vegetarian in my early 20s for about 2-3 years. I went back to meat because I got bored of what I was eating every day. Since then I still rarely prepared meat at home, I'd only get it if I were out at a restaurant. Since I discovered paleo early last year (paleo actually led me to crossfit not vice versa), I eat more meat than ever and feel really great.

I was on long island today and went to the 5 towns crossfit . WOD was a couplet of ascending reps of push presses (3, 6, 9, 12, 15 etc) and 20 double unders. AMRAP in 12 minutes. Fun WOD. I RXd at 65lb for PP. Got 7 reps of PP into the round of 21.

Today was that day where I feel like after 9 months of crossfit I FINALLY have double unders!! Tip of the day given to me was "Don't jump so hard." When I intentionally jumped softer, it was a whole new world!

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMichele W

Good AR class w/Fox tonight then 7:30 class.

It's been a while since I squatted or snatched and I really wanted to hit good positions (says the guy who f*d his back again recently). Pretty much succeeded. I did the fitness snatch complex in a ladder up to 133 then back down to 83. Didn't catch quite low enough at 133 but caught all the rest pretty well, which I'm happy with.

Wasn't sure what to do for squats since I missed almost all days last cycle. Ended up doing 205x8x4. This is about 70% of a not-very-recent 1RM and probably too heavy for the first day of a cycle. First set I thought "I can't do this" but I hit a rhythm by set 3 and it was actually fine, just a lot of reps. Happy I made it through but I'm sure I'm going to be very sore tomorrow. Fox wasn't kidding when he said people doing performance would notice a difference!

The article on veg + cf was interesting... I'm very interested in diet and nutrition. And I'm not a good cook so the link to Whit's blog was great too - I've been eating huge amounts of the same kale recipe for months now, and I like it, but hello variety!

I've been off-and-on vegetarian and occasionally totally plant based, and once I tried eating raw for a month (I ate honey so can't say "raw vegan" - people get upset about this stuff!). I felt really good on a raw diet, but I wasn't exercising at the time so who knows. Same with plant-based, I liked it but I spent a lot of time thinking about food, and I wasn't exercising at the time so it's hard for me to know what that would be like if I were doing HIIT at the same time.

When I first went vegetarian I was totally ignorant and ended up probably less healthy than if I were eating meat. Later I read more ("Eat to Live," etc) and tried out various diet changes. I was mostly vegetarian my first year of CrossFit and even though I supplemented with protein (vega brand), I noticed a difference when I started eating meat again. This January I tried a 100% paleo diet (whole 30 inspired) and it was pretty amazing in terms of quick recovery from workouts, health, etc. It made a very clear difference. Then I started running again and my metabolism totally melted down, hangry x 1000, insomnia, doom. Now I'm eating pretty clean but tons of food, definitely not all paleo. It seems better. I noticed the same thing when I was training for IM (pre crossfit days) - needed to eat, and eat, and eat, and eat, generally healthy but not too particular as to what. I don't know how Brendan Brazier or Scott Jurek do it.

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdave p

Little make-up post:

Monday's 8:30 with MeLo. Giving the ring dips/pistols/v-ups warm-up a college try this cycle. Happy to hit a few pistols unassisted on the left foot.

LP on the bench for me this cycle:

175x5x3 -- felt a bit heavyish actually. Going to see what 182.5 feels like next week and go from there.

WOD was a mess. Giant 0-for on the MUs. Thanks to MeLo for encouraging words throughout and for some tips that helped me get one after the WOD. Did the cleans at 155, unbroken for sets 1,2, and 4. Broke the third set into 4-2.


Pilates with La Cage this evening. How lucky was I to get a one-on-one introduction to ab scooping!

I thought KH did a great job making the class accessible and challenging, of being consistent with her cues, and working with my mobility and strength limitations. I love that she demanded that even a newbie like me perform the tasks at hand as well as possible. Highly recommend this class to all SBKers -- I'm going to try to be back more often!


@ Michele W -- congrats on the DUs! Byron, the owner at 5 Towns, is a friend of mine. I'm glad you had a nice experience there!

April 15, 2014 | Registered CommenterRyan

Stil on LI with the family for passover.

Clean and Jerk@65%x2x4
Snatch Push Press@65% of Snatchx3x4
Heavyish HBBS for the day- 385

I have not had any experiences with vegetarianism so i dont have much to contribute on that front. It is an interesting thing to change your diet drastically and see how your body responds however. I put on close to 40 lbs in the past year. Most of these GAINZZ came from the consumption of massive amounts of donuts, cookies, pizza, and ice cream. I've never felt better.

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJakeL

Great to read everyone's posts here today. I really appreciate the dialogue and hearing others' experiences.

My favorite line of the day, courtesy of Dave P: "hangry x 1000, insomnia, doom."

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterWhit H

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