A Week In The Zone

I’ve been following the Zone for 52 consecutive weeks (pretty cool, right?!). During the Spartan 300 Challenge last summer, my food log was mostly a shining example of solid nutrition, but there were some days that said things like, “brunch at Habanero – lots of chips” or “ice cream,” scribbled in red ’cause I use a red pen for nutritionally-bankrupt foods,

Even Barry Sears says that a slip now and then isn’t a tragedy; just get back in the Zone the next time you eat. Neat!
During I Am CrossFit, I’ve challenged myself to be even more diligent about the Zone: Can I eat right, have some fun, and still enjoy my Saturday morning breakfast tacos without making myself miserable or scribbling with red in my food log?

I believe I can.

For the next week, I’m going to share my Zone adventures with y’all. I’ll post photos — and recipes if I make up something particularly yummy — and if (when? if?) I slip and eat junk, you’ll know all about it.

I’m off to HEB to load-up on power-packed foods right now. My grocery list:

baby spinach
apples (Honeycrisp and Pink Lady)
oranges (Navel)
grapefruits (Ruby Red)
green bell peppers
fresh basil leaves

Mucinex DM
(Cedar Fever season is coming! Can you feel it?!)

lean pork chops
chicken breast
94% lean ground beef
ground chicken breast
ham steak
99% fat free Hebrew National hog dogs (for Dave)

1% milk
Danon Light & Fit Carb & Sugar Control yogurt
reduced-fat crumbled bleu cheese
reduced-fat feta
2% string cheese
2% Greek yogurt

black olives

cauliflowerfrench cut green beans
Ezekiel bread, sesame flavor (at our house, we call it Freak Bread)

Mission Carb Balance whole wheat fajita size tortillas (8 grams fiber, 12 grams carbs)
Peanut Butter Balance Bars
Chocolate Almond Brownie Balance Bars
(I like them much more than Zone bars.)

If you’re just getting started with the Zone, you might want to read this article from the CrossFit Journal called “Diet Secrets of the Tupperware Man.” It’s about how a regular guy figured out easy, not-too-much cooking ways to eat in the Zone. (If you don’t subscribe to CF Journal, shoot me an email, and I’ll pass along the article to you.)

There are also some good ideas at ZoneDiet.com — and I have a Zone cookbook that I’d be happy to share if you’re stuck for ideas. It’s taken me a long time to make food my ally and not my enemy, so let me know if you need ideas for making peace with your own particular food monsters.

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  • Erin Clare says:

    This is such a great post. And I’m looking forward to see what culinary yummies you come up with.

    Let me know how much of that list lasts you throughout a week. I’d like to know if my near $200 trip at HEB was mostly for staples I’ll use over and over, or just for single recipes. It shouldn’t have to be that expensive eating in the Zone right?

    Have fun at HEB (glad I’m not going) but if anyone can make up new and tasty recipes, girl it’s you! You have the drive, the knowledge and the creativity…and those bad-ass taste buds!!

    today’s word verification was “wingboo” otherwise known as Scary Chicken

  • Mallika says:

    Mel would you send me a copy of that article please? I would love to read it… thanks!