triathlon and family can mix

Posts tagged “21 day sugar detox

Recap – Week 47

Thumbs up for running.


Swim – 2:00:00 – 5400m
Bike – 1:47:27 – 59.83km
Run – 1:31:03 – 19.20km
Strength – 1:30:00

Total – 6:48:30

Finally got both of my scheduled runs in this week.

On Saturday night, I went counter-clockwise around my ‘Ranchlands’ route; not too much of an original name, but it works and my wife knows where I am with a short description. What I realized is that clockwise is a hard climb from km 1-2 then a slow decline for the rest of the track. Going the other way, I avoid the hard climb and replace it with a slow climb from km 3-6.

Coming around the corner heading home and looked at my watch, 36 minutes. It was going to take me another 5 to get home, so I decided to take a little detour and increase the distance by a km. I ended up at home in 44:41 and just over 9k. For a route that took me 45 minutes last year, I added distance and ended around the same time. A great run on a great evening.

I even got my clothing right, not too hot or too cold. Awesome.


I have a handful of normal routes that I take on both the bike and the run. I have given them names like ‘Bearspaw’, ‘Glen Eagles’ or ‘Varsity’ not to be cute, but to have a short way to describe where I am going and how long I should be. After Saturday, I realized that I am going to have to redraw my routes from last year; not a bad problem to have I reckon.

Top Posts
Ironman Tattoo
Recap – Week 46
If It’s Broke

So I have been hammering the non-optimal foods over the last little while. I have been so hungry after swimming 3 days a week along with my other training that I haven’t been able to get full. As of this morning, my body has gone on strike. I will spare the details, but long story short, my body is saying ‘no bueno’.

Time to get back into a Paleo focus for the next couple of weeks. I am not going to attempt a 21 Day Sugar Detox during Christmas, that would be crazy…..

Question: How do you stay safe when running solo?


Guide to Making Lunches

Nothing makes it harder to eat decent than takeout at the office.


I read a lot of posts about how cooking for a Whole 30 challenge, 21 Day Sugar Detox, or Paleo Challenge becomes cumbersome, leading most to quit. There are too many options within a 2 minute walk to that can derail you faster than you can say ‘muffin’.

In my experience, the key to sticking with any diet you choose is to have on hand, ready to go lunches and snacks at the office.

Well, never fear dear mortals.

This is something I struggled with for a long while. I could never figure out the logistics of cooking, storing, and not having it spoil in the fridge. After experimenting with a couple of ideas I gathered from many sources, I came up with a plan that allows me to do the bulk of my prep/cooking before Monday morning strolls around, leaving just assembly the night before.

Grill Protein Ahead of Time
My BBQ is full of two types of protein at some point during the weekend. Typically it is chicken thighs and steak, but I also use pork chops, roasts, and sausage. I typically under cook them a bit (I like a medium steak, so I cook it to medium rare) and once it comes out of microwave the next day, it is just perfect. Once they are done, I portion out Monday and Tuesday and stick them in the fridge; everything else hits the freezer. Each night, I take out a portion of protein, and it is thawed by breakfast the next day. Before you ask, the meat is just as good after being frozen.

Chop Veggies and Store in Fridge
On Sunday evening, I chop enough veggies to fill huge glass bowl, and store for adding into salads, stir-frys, or just to chomp on while working at my desk. The trick, fill the bowl with some water so that the veggies don’t dry out for Thursday and Friday.

Practice and Perfect Kitchen Tasks
I used to hate chopping anything in the kitchen. Dull knives, slippery food, and warped cutting boards made each experience suck. Using the skills in the Four Hour Chef, I learnt how to chop efficiently and now I can fire through a large pile of carrots with ease. I also learnt how to saute properly, flip without using a spatula, and pretty much cook without too much effort. This is the single most important point for me. If I enjoy being in the kitchen, making a great meal is a pleasure, not a task.

Eat the Same Thing
They say variety is the spice of life, but in this case, variety will kill your progress almost before it starts. Meal planning is daunting; there is a reason why nutritionists, authors, and websites are readily available (for a charge of course). By using the points above, you can make a weeks worth of meals in about 30 minutes. Sure, you eat the same thing each day, so then make something you like.

Frozen Veggies
A bag of frozen veggies in your freezer is worth it’s weight in gold; at least it is in my house. They make it so easy to portion out for breakfast, or make a quick meal when you are on the run. Most stores will carry organic varieties and the process of picking and transporting them makes them just as nutritious as the fresh kind.

So take the time to make your breakfast and lunches for the week. With a little bit of effort, you can save a lot of time during the week.

Question: Do you have any other tips?

A Food by Any Other Name

Would taste as sweet.

images (1)

Did I just kinda quote Shakespere? Thanks English 10.

One thing that is tough about the Whole 30 Challenge, 21 Day Sugar Detox, or any other sugar eliminating challenge is the countless hours spent reading ingredient lists. Some products you just know it isn’t even worth reading the ingredients, but there are some out there that rational thinking says “don’t worry about it” then they let you down faster than a partner that doesn’t show up for a training ride.

I got to thinking yesterday that I would write down some of the products that fit that category. Some have the potential to be Whole 30 compliant, and some just make me wonder “what is the point of adding sugar to that?”.

Taco Seasoning
Yeah, a spice package with the first ingredient being Maltodextrin. If that isn’t bad enough, the fifth ingredient is sugar. No wonder it always makes taco Tuesday at our house popular.

Whole Wheat Bread
Nothing to worry about on a Whole 30 or 21 Day Sugar Detox, but marketed as ‘healthy’, glucose-fructose/sugar is the second ingredient. In the Paleo community, this isn’t helping the case for bread.

Tomato Sauce
Some of the brands I have looked at have more sugar than a piece of fruit. This is one where I feel it isn’t needed. We found one with no sugar added, and it is actually the best sauce we have tasted yet.

Not taking into account that Bacon it typically sourced from less than ideal hogs with horrible living conditions and highly medicated, where all of the toxins are stored in the fat (which is 60% of Bacon), it is packaged with both sugar and nitrates. Sorry for the rant, I am still a little disappointed that Bacon is so bad, but soooo good.

Hot sauce, yeah, hot sauce; second ingredient is sugar. I thought I could use it to spice up a plate of vegetables, or top some fried eggs with. Not so much.

One of the most important things I have learnt from all of this sugar research, not all sugar is created equal. Here in Canada, hiding under the label of glucose-fructose is High Fructose Corn Syrup. HFCS has a whole list of issues that I care not to write about, seeing as my education can’t be further from what is needed to do so properly. Check out this link, or this one, if you want some more detailed information.

If food companies try to hide sugar by masking the name of it in the ingredient listing, then it throws up a red flag. We stay away from the stuff.

So be diligent with your ingredient lists people.

Question: Have you come across any surprising products?

Recap – Week 32

Race week. My favorite kind of week.


Swim – 1:13:37 – 3440m
Bike – 2:18:53 – 65.15km
Run – 1:26:42 – 17.81km
Race – 2:23:23 – 51.5km
Total – 7:22:34

I have been kicking around the idea of a weekly recap for a while now. Like I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I am not sure if my life is interesting enough to fill an entire post each week, but I reckon it is worth a go.

My triathlon season came to a close this past weekend with a great race for both me and my daughter in Lake Chaparral. I didn’t hit my goal of sub 2:15:00, but with the slight issue I had on the run, I am happy with my result. I may have gone too hard on the bike, or I may have slacked a bit on my run training the month previous. Vacation can do that to you. I still improved on my time from last year by a full 8 minutes and placed in the top 10.

Monday was a holiday, so I used the day off to head for a long bike ride. To sum it up in one word, wind. It was a slow ride out at 25km/hr, but with the wind at my back coming home, it was much better. I averaged 55km/hr peaking at 62km/hr heading into Calgary. Had a great time. Run Tuesday with 3x3min Fartlek intervals. I had a hard time jogging between the intervals and ended up walking between 2 and 3 for about 2 minutes. This was my first indication that my run fitness may not be as good as I had planned. No matter, I finished the run strong and chalked it up to a rough day.

Began my taper on Thursday with a short run to loosen up my legs and started to get ready mentally for my upcoming race.

Race weekend started on Saturday with the Kids of Steel for my daughter. We had a great time even though she didn’t rush too much. Hey, if it isn’t fun for a 6 year old, why even do it. Right? After her race, I slung the wetsuit on for a quick swim around the course to get my sighting targets and take my equipment for a test run. All good. Race went decent on Sunday morning, even though some kids (I assumed kids) knocked over the portable toilets and smelled up transition. Placed 8th overall with a decent swim and great bike. Mentioned my run fitness, yeah, I struggled there.

So that is the end of my 2013 Triathlon race season. I had a good year racing, with decent performances in all of my races. I still have a bunch of run races scheduled for the remainder of the year, including my attempt at a 10k PR in early September. We are heading out for a well deserved vacation in the coming weeks and this time I am going to leave the bike and shoes at home. I think I earned the upcoming days off.

I have read a lot about the Whole 30 program over the past 6 months. It makes a ton of sense, but while I was training hard, I shied away from it as I was concerned about the restrictiveness of the program. I have hit the non optimal foods pretty hard over the past months as mainly my will power has lacked along with my planning. I think it is about time to hit the ‘reset’ button and give the Whole 30 a rip, so starting September 1, I am in.

I will create a separate page dedicated to my challenge, charting my progress and some of my meals along the way. You all helped me complete the 21 Day No Sugar Detox, so I am calling on you again to help me this time around.

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Seems to be a pattern over the past 3-4 months. Ironman must be in full swing as that post has been top spot for a long time now. Congratulations if you became and ‘Ironman’ over the past year; I can’t imagine doing it myself right now. Possibly in the future.

21 Day Sugar Detox – Week 3

That’s all. 21 days down.


I couldn’t be happier with my progress. I stayed the course and finished the challenge in what has to be the toughest time of the year. Man did I have to pass on a lot of great treats. I know I have talked a lot about having to resist temptation, but honestly after the first 5 days, it was pretty easy to say ‘no thanks’.

I made a couple if mistakes, not willingly mind you, and hopefully if you decide one day to give it a rip, it will help you avoid the same mistakes.

Beware the pickled beets – The detox plan allows for 1 cup of beets per day, and for 2 nights (day 9 and 10) I had my allotment. On the second night my wife pointed out that they have added sugar. Crap, I had been so good checking labels up until then.

Effervescent Vitamin B – I picked up a cold mid week; Vitamin B tabs always get me back on the right track faster than anything I have tried. Desperate, I took one Tuesday evening and checked the label after; aspartame.

One of my goals that lead me to start this detox was to gain control over my sugar cravings. Check. I no longer crave something sweet after dinner, opting for an extra fork full of veggies or a handful of nuts instead.

So how do you get through 21 days? Here are some of the tips and tricks I used to complete the challenge.

Use the ‘limit’ foods to your advantage. It is a little sad, but I looked forward to my banana or green apple everyday. Toward the end, I would actually plan it into my day so I wouldn’t forget about it.

Find a great herbal tea to help during the cravings. I am a tea nut, so this one was pretty easy for me. New Dehli Delight, Organic La La Lemon and a straight up Peppermint, all from Davids’s Tea, were my go to ones.

Plan ahead. When heading out for lunch (as I do for business) or dinner with the family, make sure you know what you want to order before you get there. If it comes with cornbread on the side, ask for them to leave it in the kitchen. Easier to not eat it when it isn’t in front of you.

Pack your own food. As I learnt from the beets, hidden sugar is pretty much everywhere; second ingredient in beef jerkey FYI. So the best way for me to control the ingredients was to add them all myself.

I am interested on how my body will respond if I introduce sugar again. Obviously I will keep myself in check, no need to revert back to pre-detox eating habits. I will have one more post, next Monday, to explore the post-detox week.

Question: What is your experience in re-introducing foods after a detox? Any advice?

21 Day Sugar Detox – Week 2

14 down, 7 to go.


I have to admit, it hasn’t been as hard as I originally thought. This time of year with cookies, cake, egg nog, and numerous parties have made it tougher than it needed to be, but I have been able to stay the course. Head first right?

Sunday afternoon we visited my parents for a cup of tea. Now the biggest issue is not the visit, as one may expect, but the Cherry Pound cake she makes each Christmas. This cake is so good that me and my wife wait for it each year. Actually, my wife confirms in October that she will be making again. Guess what was on the table when we got there? Doesn’t take a rocket scientist.

Crap. Time to dig deep.

I am not the kind of person who expects everyone to cater to my wild ideas of nutrition. Hey, some people think I am bonkers for attempting this detox at this time of the year. So instead of avoiding the temptation, I searched out some walnuts in the pantry, poured a cup of tea, and sat at the table. I left their house after 2 hours without cheating.

So I now have 7 days to go, and I am trying not to plan all of things that I want to eat on the 24th. As of this blog post, there are only four items on my cheat list.

Chocolate (Dark) Covered Almonds – I could eat a whole bag.
Rice Crispie Square – Craving one since day 3
Hamburger – A good one, not a crappy fast food one
Pizza – This time, any place will work

Instead, I am planning on continuing through breakfast and lunch, with some brown rice with supper. No need to undo my hard fought progress.

Oh yeah, Cherry Pound Cake, I will see you on the 25th.

Question: What would you crave if you had to eliminate it for 21 days?

21 Day Sugar Detox – Week 1

Eight days and still going.


It has had it’s challenges, but for me the positives definitely out weigh the negatives.

The temptation has been there this week. I have had 3 Christmas get togethers all including dinner and dessert. Oh dessert, how I miss you.

The cravings have not been as bad as I originally thought. They are there, and a couple of times I have thought to myself, ” screw the 21 days, you can always start over in January.” After about 5 seconds, I snap out of it and remember that another 14 days won’t kill me.

A couple of tricks I have used to keep the course:

Eat enough at breakfast – If I get hungry before 1100, then I know I am in trouble the rest of the day. This is especially tough after a tough swim in the morning. I can’t explain it, but I am crazy hungry after a swim. So I added a couple slices of bacon to breakfast, wether it is coconut flour pancakes or egg nests, bacon goes with anything.

Make a cheat list – Have a place where you can write down all the things that ou want, but can’t have, until the 21 days is over. By writing it down, I have been able to release my attention from those pesky cravings, holding them off until ‘cheat’ day. Mine is a 8 1/2″ piece of paper taped to my fridge, easy to find, easy to read.

Have an alternative available – There a many options for an alternate to your craving. The 21 Day Detox offers a couple of recipes including ‘Sweetener Free Chocolate Almond Butter Cups’ which are awesome for kicking that after dinner sweet craving.

As for training, not much to report. Sweet potato has turned out to be a great recovery food and I have but all eliminated my protein recovery shake.

So with one week down, I am looking forward to week two.

Question: Anything you use to curb the cravings?