I’ve had a few folks message me and a couple brave enough to Comment (hi Michelle! Hi Kristen!), so sounds like a few of us will be doing Pomroy together starting on Monday (thank you, Amazon Prime LOL)!
As I blogged about HERE, I am re-starting after having some success, then going off the program while travelling.
I just realized, however, that if you are starting Monday, and getting the book on Sunday, that there is some prep that you might not realize that you will need to do for Monday. So I thought I’d blog a “jump start.” This is going to be a long post, but I hope it will be worth it. (It will be if you’re going to start this on Monday.)
You won’t be able to read the whole book in a day.
You definitely want to read through the whole book for the Whys and Wherefores of all this. Also, the recipes are super good and not that difficult (HERE is the beef jerky one I blogged about – Nom Nom Nom!). But the crux of the whole thing is basically being prepared, food-wise.
When you get the book, go to Kinko’s, and copy some pages. Post them on the fridge.
The photo that I posted on the right shows pages from the book that I copied and put on my fridge. This is enormously helpful. It allows you to cycle through the Phases and know immediately if you can eat whatever you’re about to put into your mouth.
Here is a list of the sheets to copy, and where to find them.
1. Long-Term Weight Loss Goal & Food Portions Sheet: page 105-107. This lists all the food categories you will eat in each of the 3 Phases, and how many ounces or cups a portion is for you. If you have to lose more, you have to eat more. I’m in the 20-40 pound range, so I copied that chart. It makes it easy for me to know how much of a particular food to have (or not!) in a specific Phase.
2. Phase 1 Food List: This is found on pages 52, 77, 78. On page 53 it gives you the protocol for eating in Phase 1, but as it’s just that on the one page, I wrote it onto the bottom of the page 52 copy (saved the extra dime at Kinko’s). I go into this below as well.
3. Phase 2 Food List: Pages 60, 79, 80. Once again, the protocol for eating is on page 61, so I just wrote it on the bottom of page 60. I go into it below anyway.
4. Phase 3 Food List: Pages 68, 69, 80, 81, 82. Because the summary of the foods you can eat goes to 2 pages for Phase 3, the “protocol” is on page 69. (This just means you get to eat more food! It’s a good thing! Worth the extra dime at Kinko’s! ;-) )
Along with the sheets, you’re going to need a food scale.
Look. I know this a pain in the neck. But in all honesty, I found out (a few diet plans ago!) that I was eating too much protein. (Wo)Man up. Get a food scale. I don’t know if there is a Bed, Bath and Beyond near you, but we are constantly getting 20% off coupons from ours. Go there, or get one off Amazon. THIS is the one that I got – it’s easy, efficient, and you really only have to do it for the first few weeks until you get a handle on how much is “X ounces.” (It’s super small too, if you want to carry it with you.) Do it.
However, if the idea of buying a scale makes you throw your hands up in the air and reach for your keyboard to switch to reading something else, then, fine, don’t buy a scale. It’s only to weigh the protein – the rest is all in cups and tablespoons. And if even that freaks you out, fine, guesstimate.
But if you’re really going to do this, all in, then do it right. If it doesn’t work for you, you will be able to 100% say it didn’t work. But if you do this half assed, or even 3/4 assed (I have a big one, that’d be a lot of ass), and then you don’t get results, well, can you really tell if it worked? If you’ve done Weight Watchers, or are in AA, or if you have taken your Level 1 in Crossfit, you know that these very diverse entities are all 100% based upon one thing – accountability and measurement/ keeping track. If you’re religiously logging your Crossfit PRs to the 1/4 of a pound but not willing to weigh your food for a little while until you get the hang of what 6 ounces looks like, hmmmmm.
Take your measurements. And a photo or three.
Speaking of keeping track, on page 109 is a chart to take your measurements. I personally took more, because I’m a bit OCD about all this. I used the chart that Dr. Sara Gottfried suggests, which includes taking two belly measurements. I believe I blogged about this when I was doing her program (100% committed, no success). If not, basically take these:
1. Waist and Hips: measure your waist at your belly button, and also one inch ABOVE your belly button. Don’t hold your breath, be sure the tape is parallel to the floor, yadda yadda. Then measure your hips. Calculate the waist-to-hip ratio by dividing the belly-button waist measurement by the hip measurement, to get your “shape.” If it’s 0.80 or less you’re a pear. If 0.81-0.85 you’re an avocado. If over 0.86 you’re an apple. The higher the number, the higher the risk for diabetes, stroke, etc. (I’m an avocado).
2. Height: measure your height as it really is, not as you think it is. :-) I measured mine and was quite upset to find out I’ve lost 2 inches somewhere in the past 50 years. Harrumph. Take the “one inch above your belly button” measurement and divide it by your height in inches (or centimeters, whichever you used). If your ratio is 0.50 or higher, it’s in the danger range.
Drink 1/2 your body weight, in ounces of water, a day.
This sucks. I’m not much of a water drinker, and you’re not allowed to “count” herbal tea, water with lemon, etc. Gotta tell you, this is the hardest part for me. A best friend swears by her CamelBak Eddy Water Bottle (pictured above) and so I ordered one. Any port in a storm, bay-bee.
Because I’m not a big water drinker, and I’m an old lady, this means I’m running to the bathroom about every 20 minutes. But I heard an analogy once that works for me, so I will share it with you.
If you’re not a big water drinker, your system is like an old, dried-up sponge. If you run water on it . . . it runs straight off! The sponge isn’t able to absorb anything, because it’s so dried up and crunchy. But if you take your time and put it in a bowl of water, ultimately, it will puff back up and be useful again.
This is like your cells. If you aren’t giving them enough water, it’s not like they will immediately shout Hurray! and take it all in greedily. They’re like the dried-up sponge. So you need to be prepared that it will take a while before they are able to utilize the water that you’re going to be pouring onto them. Until that point – just remember the dried-up sponge (as you’re running for the restroom). Not very pretty, right? That’s what your cells are like.
Persevere. (I type this to remind myself, you realize. I really hate drinking water.)
Below, I’m going to give you the basic protocol for each of the three phases. This is not supposed to take place of you buying the book! It’s just for those of you who are waiting on the book, want to start Monday, and need to go shopping.
Here’s the basic deal. On Monday and Tuesday, you will be eating high-glycemic carbs and moderate protein. No fat. You need to eat every three hours, so if you get up early and go to bed late (shame on you . . . you need your sleep!), then you need another snack after dinner. The protocol goes:
The veggies and fruit are specific in each Phase. But let me give you an idea. Let’s say you aren’t hungry for Breakfast and are running around trying to get your family organized. Make a shake for the “grain/fruit” meal. If you have 20-40 pounds to lose, here’s the recipe for a quick shake:
3/4 cup uncooked steel cut Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free oats
1-1/2 cups fruit
enough water for your blender to blend it. (NOTE: In Phase 1 you can have unsweetened rice milk, so if you’d rather use that instead of water, you can, but you’ll have to subtract those carbs from your oats. And no, NOT soy, almond, coconut, dairy, hemp, cashew, etc. – pay attention, you ;-) )
What? Uncooked steel cut oats in a shake? Uncooked? Yup. It makes it a little “chewy” (nutty?), but it’s FAST and it’s EASY. So as part of your shopping list, you want to get these oats. If you have a gluten-free aisle they’ll be there at your grocery store, or you may have to (wo)man up and go to Whole Paycheck oh I mean Whole Foods. I actually ordered a whole box of them off Amazon.
The interesting thing about this is it also reminds you to “chew” your smoothie. Our bodies don’t understand smoothies as food (instead of drink) unless we “chew” them. This is important! Chew your smoothie. The oats will help.
As for the fruit, go and get frozen fruit from Trader Joe’s or your grocery store.
Fruit that’s on the list for this Phase includes berries, cherries, mangoes, papaya, peaches, pears, pineapple, watermelon.
Believe me, you can make a delicious shake with frozen fruit, oats, go. Did you know that you can cut up watermelon, freeze it, and it works just fine? I didn’t either ;-) Berries, not so much. Watermelon, yupperoonie.
Et voila, breakfast, done.
For the snack fruit, I happen to like oranges, and they are on the list (as are apples, apricots, grapefruit, pears). You can of course use any of the fruit also mentioned above, but I need a snack fruit that I can carry. Stock up so you’re ready. Again – I’m writing this all out not so that you can short-circuit buying the book, but so you are ready for Monday. You’ll find the food you like to eat once you get the book and buy accordingly, but if you get the book on Sunday and are going to start on Monday, it’s going to be a squeeze to have the right food in your house to be successful. I’m listing the most likely candidates here.
In Phase 1, the difference between Lunch and Dinner is no fruit at Dinner.
The veggies that you can have in Phase 1 include beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, celery (including tops), cucumber, kale, lettuce (except iceberg), mixed greens, mushrooms, onions, spinach, sweet potatoes/yams, tomatoes, zucchini/squash.
So here’s the deal. I often can’t even really eat a “regular Lunch” because I’m so on the go. As such, I cut up a bunch of the veggies that are on ALL the Phases’ lists (kale, greens, lettuce, cucumber, celery), put them in a plastic bag, and throw them in the freezer. As the amount of veggies is Unlimited (no measuring), I can therefore throw a couple handfuls into the blender with whatever else I’m supposed to eat (fruit/grain in Phase 1), then have a piece of protein (usually chicken breast or deli meat). You can, of course, make an awesome salad but remember – no salad dressing in Phases 1 and 2, though you can use fresh-squeezed lemon juice.
Phase 1 protein includes lean ground beef, ground buffalo, lean ground turkey breast, nitrate-free turkey/chicken/roast beef deli meat, pork tenderloin, water-packed solid white tuna. It also includes a bunch of beans (as in chickpeas) that are high in vegetable protein. I’m not much of a bean person, so I am sticking with animal protein.
What about protein powder?
As I said, I sometimes make a shake for Lunch. I almost always make one for Breakfast. The thing about protein powder on this eating plan is that it has to ONLY contain what you are allowed to eat in that particular phase. Since in Phase 1 you’re allowed rice, in my mind, rice protein is fine. But remember, you need to read the can, and the carbs are going to count towards grains, plus you need to have as much of the protein as required in that meal. It’s too much math for me. I personally have used Bulletproof Collagen Protein because it’s all grass-fed protein, but you need to use a ton of it and it’s expensive. So it’s sort of a last resort if you ask me. It’s also whey-based and you’re not supposed to eat dairy, but again, sometimes it’s “any port in a storm.” There are some beef-based protein powders, but I haven’t personally tried any.
Dinner, as you can see above, is veggie/grain/protein. The grains include brown rice (as rice, cereal, crackers, pasta, tortillas), steel-cut oats (you know that already), quinoa, spelt (pasta, pretzels, tortillas), sprouted grain (bread, tortillas), teff, wild rice. So this will likely be similar to what you would “normally” cook for dinner if you’ve been eating Paleo. Just watch the portion size.
I’ve mentioned this before, but if you cook up enough quinoa, or steel-cut oats, or “whatever” for the week on Sunday, you can cut a “slice” of it when you need it and eat it. If you’re not a microwave person (I’m not), then re-heat it in the oven on low or put it in a non-stick pan and “dry fry” it warm.
Phase 2 foods (Wednesday and Thursday) are very high protein, high vegetable, low carbohydrate, low fat. The protocol goes like this:
I already posted her beef jerky recipe, which is easy and amazing – HERE is that post. Otherwise, you have to snack on things like the aforementioned nitrate-free deli meats, hardboiled egg whites, or just cooked lean beef, pork tenderloin, white meat chicken/turkey, water-packed tuna.
NO VEGETABLE PROTEIN THIS PHASE, NO FRUITS, NO GRAINS, NO FAT.
The veggies in this phase are “liver supporting, alkalizing” greens. So that means leafy greens, onions, garlic, kale, mustard greens, watercress, lettuce, asparagus (no asparagus in Phase 1), cucumbers, etc. There are some things not on this list that were in Phase 1 (carrots, for example). If you freeze up a bag of veg to use for smoothies, there are a lot of greens that overlap, such as lettuce, cabbage, mixed greens, spinach, chard, so stick with those so you can use those greens for all Phases.
This is certainly the most “boring” Phase. If you’ve eaten Paleo for a long time, it’s completely familiar to you, but you have to be careful about the No Fat part.
This is SUPER important, because the idea is that for four days you’re giving your body NO fat but keeping it happy with other things, so it will use YOUR fat for that macronutrient. Then, in Phase 3, you GIVE it fat, just as it’s coming around to realizing that there has been no fat all week and that it might want to start conserving what you have.
Phase 3 is the high healthy fat, moderate carbohydrate, moderate protein, low glycemic fruit phase.
The eating protocol goes like this:
Breakfast: fruit, fat/protein, grain, veggie
Snack: healthy fat, veggie
Lunch: fat/protein, veggie, fruit
Snack: healthy fat, veggie
Dinner: fat/protein, veggie, grain/starch
Very basically, the veggie portion includes all the veggies from both lists. HOWEVER it also includes avocado.
The fruit portion, however, is basically berries, cherries, grapefruit, peaches (no apples, oranges, pears, etc.).
The protein portion has some additions, like shrimp, scallops, lamb, lobster, fattier pork (chops), dark meat chicken/turkey, crab, whole eggs. (The reason the list matches fat/protein above is because something like a whole egg has not only fat but also protein in one “package.”) You can also use vegetable protein, such as unsweetened almond/cashew milk, or almond/cashew cheese, and lentils.
The grain portion is ONLY steel-cut oats, quinoa, sprouted grain bread/tortillas, wild rice.
The healthy fats include avocado (mentioned above), coconut, coconut milk and coconut water, hummus, raw nuts and raw nut/seed butters, coconut/olive/sesame oil. Remember portion size though – for example, if you want to lose 20-40 pounds, a portion of avocado is 3/4 avocado (I think if you have less to lose it’s 1/2 avocado).
So what would, say, a snack look like? Raw nut butter on celery. Or what might breakfast look like? Make your usual steel-cut oats, greens and berry smoothie, then also eat 4 ounces worth of hard-boiled egg. I personally throw raw egg into the smoothies, but I get organic pastured eggs from a local farm. Or maybe you add coconut water and some protein powder (see above) to the smoothie. You get the picture. You could also edit my egg muffin recipe a bit (use turkey bacon!) to have little protein/fat/veg “bombs.”
As a side note, my husband makes Bulletproof Coffee every morning into which he adds a couple egg yolks for extra fat. He was throwing the white (the protein part) away, but I now have him save it into a little bowl that he puts in the fridge. This allows me to use the egg protein. You could theoretically do the same during the week, using only the egg white part for Phases 1 and 2, then save and use the yolks during Phase 3.
I know this is a long post, but I realize that some of you are getting the book on Sunday, with the idea of starting (with me) on Monday. I wanted to be sure that you at least have what you’re going to need for Phase 1, presuming you can shop during the week for Phases 2 and 3. But with this blog you could be ready to roll for the whole week
IMPORTANT: Only Do Phase-Appropriate Exercise.
If you’re a Crossfitter like me, this is a big change, since Crossfit tries to include a bit of everything on each training day. Talk to your coach beforehand if it’s important to you that they “know what you’re doing.” Some coaches get sore if you pick and choose what you’re doing. If (like at my Crossfit box) there are lots of folks who are doing bits and pieces of the WOD (or their own thing altogether), then practice your rowing or run repeats on Monday and/or Tuesday, your heavy weights Wednesday and/or Thursday, and then . . . this is hard for me to say . . . don’t go on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Do something else.
Personally, I printed out the Bikram yoga routine, and on Friday, I put on some “tinkly winkly music” (as my husband calls it), went out into my garden, and did the Bikram routine, but in a very calm fashion. We’re re-setting our bodies here, and part of it has to do with lowering stress hormones, etc. Go for a leisurely walk on the weekend – not a killer hike. Relaxxxxx . . .
Our bodies and stress.
Remember – there are only two sorts of stress in “caveman world” – (a) you’re being chased by a tiger, or (b) you’re in famine. Being chased by a tiger includes blood-pumping adrenaline, etc., so if your body perceives that it’s under “stress” of some other kind, the only thing it knows is famine. So it will hold onto all its “precious” body fat . . . no matter how much you have! There’s no “convincing” your body otherwise through “logic.” So for this four week period, do what you’re told. ESPECIALLY when it comes to the exercise portion!
I know this was a long post, but if you’re starting Monday and getting the book on Sunday, I thought I’d better give you a head’s up on what to buy and what to expect. Don’t work out on Monday and go for a new deadlift PR. DO work out on Monday and row your brains out. Prepare that freezer bag of greens. Get your snacks organized.