Thursday, January 11, 2007

A strenuous, high-calorie day

Whew...yesterday was a complete bust with regard to practicing CR! I overate by more than a 1000 calories!

I have a good reason, however: in my work for the department of transportation, I occasionally have to do field work, which I conduct on bicycle (because it's bicycle-related work). So I spent more than eight hours yesterday riding around in the cold, getting cold from time to time (and getting warm from time to time too!), and covering the entire city from 6400 S. to 6400 N. If you're not familiar with Chicago, that's FAR, especially to be biking.

By the end of the day, I'd ridden about 55 miles. Using an online exercise/calorie calculator, plugging in a very conservative 4-hour time period (when I was one the bike for at least 7, plus stops and breaks) and "light" intensity level (when actually I was riding a bike loaded with gear, and riding against the wind--the cold, cold wind--much of the day), I burned at least an extra 2000 calories yesterday over my usual. There's no doubt that when you are doing that much extra exercise, you're going to need some fuel!

I started the day well enough, with an extra big breakfast smoothie. But my mistake was in not anticipating just how hungry I'd become later (especially given that hunger has been eluding me most days), and not bringing healthy, CR-friendly choices with me. But I was carrying a lot of gear and didn't have much room for 2000 calories worth of veggies, fruits, and lean protein sources, so I figured I'd stop somewhere for a salad at lunch time, eat the sardines and nuts I'd packed as a snack, and eat dinner at home.

Well, let's just say that at 1:00 pm, after four hours of riding in cold, windy January conditions, my body was not interested in a salad. I wanted carbs, carbs, carbs. I had a deep-down full-body hunger that I hadn't felt for several weeks. So I treated myself to a vegetarian burrito at a dynamite taqueria in the Pilsen neighborhood, the "Mexican" part of town (despite the name). It was delicious, and I savored every delicious bite. And as soon as I was done eating it, I was back on the bike, and riding for another four-hour stretch.

Dinner happened much the same way: it was 5:00, my body was out of fuel, and I was dying for a cup of hot tea, as it turned out, along with a moderately sized sandwich of turkey breast and swiss on an italian roll with mayo! (At least I decided to forego the greasy potato chips.)

The eating orgy continued when I got home, with nuts, lite chevre cheese, dry raisin bran cereal, and chocolate. By the time I hit the sack, I'd topped out at an astonishly high 2784 calories (an estimate, since I don't really know the nutrient info for the food I ate out)!

Now, I'm philosophical about the whole thing. I know that averages are important, and that if I think about it that way, I've added only 100-150 calories/day to my 10-day average, fewer to my 30-day average, and nothing even worth noticing over my year-long average (which, granted, is pretty far off still). So I'm not gonna freak out about one "ad lib" day here and there. I'm still new at this, I'm vulnerable to mistakes and poor planning, and I'm gonna give myself some slack for awhile.

There's also another lesson in this: even at 2784 calories, I still fell short of important nutrients while exceeding targets like fat by 164%! It's very, very important to be honest with one's self and plug the foods we ate into the software even if they were nutritionally disastrous. Being reminded, eleven days into my CR practice, how easy it is to get dreadful nutrition out of massive numbers of calories is instructive. If I'd consumed 2784 calories using only the usual foods on my CR menu, I'd have exceeded every nutritional target by more than 100%, and probably still recieved enough energy to make it through my long day of bicycle riding. Very instructive indeed.

Here's the menu and crunch:

Menu for January 10, 2007

Kefir,lowfat,Trader Joe's 1 Cup 110
Egg, white, raw, fresh 1 cup 126.4
Blueberries, frozen, unsweetened 1.02 cup, unthawed 80.6
Flaxseed oil 1 tbsp 120.2
Spices, cinnamon, ground 2 tsp 12
burrito, vegetarian, Taqueria El Milagro (all guestimates) 1 Burrito 968
Bread, italian 2 slice, large (4-1/2" x 3-1/4" x 3/4") 162.6
LOUIS RICH, Turkey Breast and White Turkey (smoked sliced) 75 g 75
Cheese, swiss 1 oz 107.7
Salad dressing, mayonnaise type, regular, with salt 1 tablespoon 57.3
Tomatoes, red, ripe, raw, year round average 2 slice, medium (1/4" thick) 7.2
Lettuce, green leaf, raw 2 leaf outer 7.2
Nuts, almonds, dry roasted, with salt added 3 oz (22 whole kernels) 507.7
Candies, SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Bar 40 g 212.4
Chevre,lite,TraderJoe's 1 Ounce 35
Cereals ready-to-eat, KELLOGG, KELLOGG'S RAISIN BRAN 1 cup (1 NLEA serving) 194.6

Nutrition Summary for January 10, 2007

General (100%)
Energy2784.0 kcal 186%
Protein130.8 g 116%
Fat131.9 g 264%
Carbs285.1 g 150%
Fiber40.0 g 100%
Vitamins (80%)
Vitamin A8658.4 IU 289%
Folate295.3 mcg 74%
B1 (Thiamine)0.9 mg 72%
B2 (Riboflavin)2.6 mg 201%
B3 (Niacin)12.7 mg 79%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)1.7 mg 35%
B6 (Pyridoxine)0.9 mg 67%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin)2.7 mcg 114%
Vitamin C51.8 mg 58%
Vitamin D154.0 IU 77%
Vitamin E26.7 mg 178%
Vitamin K122.5 mcg 102%
Minerals (91%)
Calcium1524.8 mg 152%
Copper1.7 mg 185%
Iron19.2 mg 240%
Magnesium440.0 mg 105%
Manganese5.6 mg 243%
Phosphorus1197.2 mg 171%
Potassium2185.4 mg 46%
Selenium77.6 mcg 141%
Sodium4886.6 mg 326%
Zinc7.5 mg 68%
Lipids (88%)
Saturated50.4 g 252%
Omega-38.0 g 500%
Omega-617.3 g 102%
Cholesterol153.4 g 51%


Calyb said...

Finally got you linked in today! Slow, I know. Hey I really want to tell you how much I enjoy reading your perspective on CR. You have a great outlook (I would imagine on life in general as well!) Keep up the good work and the great writing! You are an inspiration.

April said...

Hi Chris,

That's really not all that much considering the astounding amount of biking you did! How do you feel today? Most men eat way more than that and don't even climb the stairs to the office.


Emi at Project Swatch said...

That's a ton of exercise - no wonder your body needed the extra calories. And you're right about logging all the accidental extras - I'm always tempted not to put down that bit of this or that, but that's just cheating myself.

and hey, you may have gone way over on fat, but at least almonds are super-healthy :)

April said...

Chris, where are you?

You know I absolutely rely on reading you every night! Where is my after dinner treat? Surely you do not intend for me to eat a dessert because you have not provided me with more intellectual entertainment?

Don't worry, I won't consume excess calories in the absence of an entry. But do blog soon!