Friday, February 28, 2014


(Recipe servings will vary based on number and size of chicken breasts used)

Throw in all of the ingredients


4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 jar of paleo-friendly salsa (look for a jar that doesn't have any foreign ingredients--I find mine at Whole Foods; Trader Joe's usually has some good options too)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
Juice of 2 limes
1 Tbsp black pepper
1 Tbsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper

After 6 hours on Low 


Wash and trim chicken
Put in the bottom of the crock-pot in a single layer as best you can
Evenly distribute garlic, black pepper, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and cayenne over the top of the chicken.
Juice the 2 limes over the chicken
Cover the chicken with the salsa
Put the lid on and set the crock-pot to cook on Low for 6 hours
Once it's done cooking, let it cool and shred the chicken. 

Photo credit to my amazing fiancé-- thanks, Max! :)

This is a simple but flavorful and easily digestible protein that you can use in any meal or snack. I toss it into my salads and Max loves to pair it with his broccoli, rice or sweet potatoes. It's great since it's something we both eat which makes my life that much easier when it comes to cooking for the week. Also, if I ever get into a bind mid-week and we start running out of food it's easy to put into the crock-pot before bed and it's ready to go the next day. Problem solved, no need to panic -- block on my friends!

1 oz of shredded chicken = 1 block of protein

Thursday, February 27, 2014


Here are a few of the quick reference guides I kept and still keep at my finger tips. 

These will help give you an idea of how to make blocks out of the foods you already eat and balance each meal/snack. It may seem like a lot at first but you will figure out the measurements for the foods you regularly eat and you won't need to depend on these for long.  They are great to keep handy in case you have to grab a meal on the go and don't know how a food blocks out. I keep these saved in my camera roll on my phone so I always have them handy. 

Here is a downloadable excel file this is pretty intense but does a lot of work in terms of block breakdown and meal/snack composition.

These are great for measurement conversion based on the details in the charts above -- it makes it much easier to create 3, 4, or 5 block meals without measuring out each Tbsp or tsp-- sanity, check!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


(# of servings depends on number and size of potatoes used -- this is the ideal post-WOD carb)

I used Japanese yams here, but any type of sweet potato will work!


3-4 large sweet potatoes, cut into 1" cubes
coconut oil, in the liquid state*


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
Oil a large baking sheet (preferably with edges, this will come in clutch when it comes time to stir the potatoes) with coconut oil. 
Toss the cubed potatoes on the pan and mix to coat them in the coconut oil -- add more oil if needed.
Bake for about 20 mins until the sweet potatoes are tender, I usually stir potatoes in the pan about halfway through just to help them cook more evenly.

*Cheater note: you can also use coconut oil spray (found at Whole Foods, Trader Joe's or online), it makes this whole process much easier!

These are great post-workout, both easily digestible and very very yummy.  I will toss about 4.5oz of potatoes with cinnamon and a small handful of raisins into tupperware, shake it all up, grab my protein shake and go!

It tastes so good it's basically my reward for completing my training session and quite honestly I feel like I am missing out on my rest days when I don't have this little piece of heaven. It's also really easy to make a big batch of the potatoes at the beginning of the week so that you have enough to make a post-WOD snack all week long.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


What does a day look like for me?

As I mentioned, every body is different but this is what I have currently found to work the best for me based on my schedule and current training regimen. 

4:50 AM: Pre-workout (1 block)
1 Block Muffin + greens powder multivitamin 

5:30 AM: Session I
During my session I sip on Blox Aminos(watermelon flavor)

7:00 AM: Post-workout
~4.5oz of roasted sweet potatoes with a small handful of raisins and cinnamon + Progenex Recovery protein shake (Loco Mocha flavor is the shiz!)

10:30 AM: Breakfast (3 blocks)
3 eggs w/ Frank's Red Hot + 1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats w/ 1 tsp Coconut Manna

2:30 PM: Lunch (4 blocks)
6 Tbsp white rice + veggies & greens + 1 cup spaghetti squash + 4oz turkey breast + 1/2 an avocado w/ Frank's Red Hot 

5:00 PM: Pre-Workout (2 blocks)
Protein Pancakes 

8:30 PM: Dinner (4 blocks)
3 blocks of white sweet potato & greens w/beets + 4 blocks ground turkey + 1/2 avocado w/ Frank's Red Hot

Monday, February 24, 2014


What is this blog about?

People who know me, know that I am pretty (OK.. Super) disciplined about what I eat. I am that way because I have found it makes a huge difference for my energy levels and performance as an athlete. I am very passionate about my nutrition, health and training and how different components of these things interact and affect the body. 

I have always been a pretty clean eater and have eaten Paleo for the last 2 years or so. Until recently, I felt that was enough to make sure my body was getting what it needed.  A few months ago, my coach, Ben Bergeron (man, he knows his stuff!) recommended that my fiance and I try Zone. I had considered Zone before, but was always intimidated by the seeming complexity of it so had never given it a shot. I figured I was eating well and felt good with Paleo so there was no need to further complicate things. Ben made a valid point, 
"Everything you do in training is based on the ability to measure quality of movement and quantity of movement. Why you wouldn't you do the same with your diet and nutrition to make sure you are maximizing your performance?"
Touché, Ben, Touché
He walked both Max and I through a normal day and showed us when and how to incorporate each of our blocked meals into the mix. We were all in so I bought us a scale that night to start weighing and measuring. We were off on this new adventure together. If you can someone to join you at the start of the process, do it.  After about three months, I undoubtedly think that this is best nutrition regimen for athletes who are looking to maximize their training and performance. 

That is my purpose with this blog - to share my knowledge and experience and to decrease the intimidation and complexity factors of the Zone diet.   

Things to remember: 

1: There is a transition period. Every body is different and will react differently to a new routine. Stick it out for at least two weeks to let your body adapt and learn to function off of the new regimen -- adjust blocks, times, and food types until you feel that you have reached a state of balance.

2: You will become a walking zone, block calculator for the things you eat (which you will find are probably a lot of the same things). This will kick in after the first 2 weeks or so, but you will not need to depend on a guide or chart for a majority of 

3: Keep it simple -- carbs, protein, fat -- that's it. If you think in these terms, it will be easy to create meals or snack of any block size.  

4: Zone is highly adaptable, especially for athletes. You can adjust timing and blocks based on your training regimen and volume so manipulate accordingly. 

*Disclaimer -- I do not eat 100% paleo since I have found that my body needs added complex carbs to account for my activity level.  I have incorporated rolled oats and white rice into my daily routine both of which are gluten free but not technically 'Paleo'.*

Sunday, February 23, 2014


(Recipe makes twelve 1 block muffins)


6 eggs
2 scoops protein powder (42g protein) -- I use chocolate flavor here
3 1/3 bananas
 3/4 c apple sauce
2 Tbsp Coconut Butter, slightly melted** (link below)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda


Preheat oven to 365 degrees.Mix or blend bananas and applesauce until well mashed. 
Add in eggs, cinnamon, coconut butter and vanilla and mix/blend until combined again. 
Add in protein powder and baking soda and mix until well combined. 
Pour into 12 muffins greased muffin tins and bake for about 15 mins until done.

** This is the coconut butter that I buy, so easy and shipped right to my door: Nutiva Organic Coconut Manna

Once again feel free to substitute coconut oil or a nut butter for the coconut manna -- just make sure to keep 18g of fat in order to keep the recipe balanced. 

These are a great pre-workout snack. I grab one every morning at 4:50am on my way out the door for my morning session. They are just enough to give me energy to hit both a strength session and tough metcon.


(recipe makes 12 blocks)


2 bananas (the older, the better)
1 c oats(gluten free, rolled)
6 eggs
2 scoops protein pwd(6 protein blocks - 42g) -I used chocolate
7 Tbsp chia seed/coconut mix (see link below)**
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Baking soda

12 total blocks which I made into six 2-block snacks -- 2 blocks each
3.8oz = 2 blocks


Blended the bananas, eggs, cinnamon and vanilla
Add the oats and pulse
 a bit just to chop the oats

Add in the chia mix, protein powder and baking soda and blend just until mixed
Cook in a skillet that has been greased with coconut oil

I ended up with about 16 pancakes and then weighed them out and found that 1.9oz was 1/12 the recipe so 3.8oz is 2 blocks which is what I was looking to create for a mid-afternoon snack on my way from work to my afternoon session. Goal was to create something that was easily digestible and easy to eat on the go and so far this looks like a winning and delicious combination ;)

This is the link for the Chia mix Spectrum Essentials Chia and Flax Seed Decadent Blend
You can also get the chia mix at whole foods which is where I discovered it.

***You could also substitute coconut butter or any nut butter (usually about 2 Tbsp = 18g fat (12 blocks) for these options) for the chia mix.***