"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.”

- George S. Patton, U.S. Army General, 1912 Olympian

Friday, March 26, 2010

4500 Calories Of Goodness

I wanted to get an update on my diet posted, now that I'm right a the halfway point of my 21-week training program. Towards the end of January I made the decision (with the...um...help...of my wife) to eat more fruit. I decided and was determined to eat 10 pieces each day before consuming anything else (water excluded, of course). It was different at first for sure, and I had to count each piece to make sure I was really getting to 10. Then I discovered the Smoothie and my fruit intake took off. Now, two months later, I don't even think about how many pieces of fruit I'm eating every day. Without any effort at all, its a minimum of 25-30 pieces. There may be questions about how I got to this point, do I consume enough calories for my level of activity, etc. So here is a breakdown of a typical weekday (times are approximate):
  • 6-7am: 20oz of water to start the day
  • 8am: Smoothie consisting of 5 oranges, 3 regular bananas, 3 frozen bananas, 1 apple, 9 frozen strawberries (2 servings). This ends up being close to 64oz and I consume it in about 10-15 minutes
  • 10am-2pm: Bananas throughout the day at work, whenever I feel like I want something to eat. Typically I'll eat anywhere from 4-7 (for our purposes here, let's say 6).
  • 4pm: Smoothie consisting of many of the same things as the morning smoothie, but perhaps with some ginger or romaine lettuce leafs thrown in, and maybe a pear instead of an apple (or if fresh pineapple is on sale like it is this week, some of that). I drink this either when I get home from work or after my run, depending on the day.
  • 6pm: Dinner consists of various options: farm fresh eggs (usually 5 or so), a large plate of millet, 12-14oz of whole wheat pasta, or homemade taco salad (no meat or dairy). Regardless of entree choice, I usually have a combo of green onions, dehydrated red bell peppers, tomatoes (looking forward to an near unlimited supply come summer-time) or other toppings. Some days I may just make another smoothie in the evening.
It goes without saying, but I have a bottle of water nearby throughout the day as well. I don't know how much I drink, but it's enough that I rarely ever feel thirsty.

So here's the caloric breakdown of my fruit intake for the day according to NutritionData (I don't count calories because I don't care, but if you're wondering...)
  • 1 large banana: 121cal (x18/day = 2178cal)
  • 1 orange: 69cal (x10/day = 690 cal)
  • 1 apple: 65cal (x2/day = 130 cal)
  • 1 large strawberry: 6cal (x18/day = 108cal)
So I'm consuming approximately 3100 calories of fruit before I even get to dinner, which can easily be in the 1300-1600 range. So call it 4500 calories a day.

Holy cow! I'm sure some of you are saying. That's a lot. If you're looking at the number, perhaps. But what's behind the number? Or maybe a better question, what ISN'T behind the number? Fats. Oils. Refined sugars. Additives and preservatives. Processed junk. For those looking to have the calories vs. weight gain/loss debate, it'll have to be another day. And another blog. Frankly, it's a flawed discussion anyway because you can get to 4500 calories in many different ways.

Consider this: Research shows that a random mix of fruits will provide almost the same percentage of protein as mother's milk. Don't let that gross you out but instead focus on it nutritionally. Also, fruits provide the highest percentage of vitamins and the second highest percentage of minerals (behind vegetables) per calorie consumed.

I consume 4500 calories a day and never feel so full that I couldn't lace up my shoes and get out for a nice 5-miler. Yesterday, in fact, I had my afternoon smoothie about 30 minutes prior to my run and ran a 7:31 pace over 4 miles. Take a step to improve your diet. Cut something out. Put something in. Maybe try eating only fruit before Noon (as a starting point). I'm two months into this "diet," and its doesn't feel awkward or unnatural. It's just how I eat now. And I can tell it's made a difference in how I feel, how I perform and how I recover.


Anonymous said...

What about weight gain/loss? I'm up to 3 miles 3+ times per week, and am starting to lose some (needed!) weight. I've definately seen a increase in consumption, but I'm still losing. 4500 calories from fruit is still bound to pack on some weight right?

l95theses said...

3 miles is like 600 calories at the most I would think. I burn about 400-500 in 36 minutes on a 4 mile run going my max speed. You can't pack on weight from fruit. You can only stimulate your blood sugar levels while working out to double so that you can gain muscle. Unless your talking about gaining fat. Fat is much easier weight to put on. Muscle gain is much harder to pack. I've been 118lbs for 3 weeks. I've gone for a 5.5 mile and 3 four mile runs. Have not lost any weight from it. As long as you put enough glucose or fructose fuel back in from fruits your golden!