Rest day/Make ups
This time last year… Anthony wrote on The Plan.
A Different Paleo Challenge, or May This Be the Most Useless Post You’ll Ever Read
As always, I followed the recent paleo challenge with great interest, excited to see new folks embracing the lifestyle and to hear about the struggles and successes. Congratulations to the many who participated. I had to pass on this challenge because, when it started, I’d already become an unwilling participant in another paleo challenge.
My paleo challenge began on May 11. Right after I hopped off the bus across from my office building, I tripped on the sidewalk, landed on my chin, and spent the rest of the day in the ER. Diagnosis: fractured and dislocated jaw, front tooth knocked out of place, stitches in my chin, sprained finger, and badly bruised knee. The fix: jaw wired shut for four weeks. Recommended diet: anything that fits through a straw.
One of my first emails from the ER was to Coach Bryce to get recommendations for protein shakes and supplements, which I thought were my only options. Once I got home from the hospital, I started researching jaw surgery diets, and discovered that people in my position consume everything from soup to pizza — through a straw. This was good news for me, because after a few days the steady diet of protein shakes upset my stomach and wasn’t sufficient to sustain a decent energy level, not to mention it was not satisfying. I also dropped eight pounds within the first week.
I decided to try duplicating my regular diet as closely as possible, which, along with the greens and reds supplements Coach Bryce recommended and suggestions from Chris Summers and other CFC members, helped stabilize my weight and made me feel more satisfied. For example, before jaw surgery, my pre-workout meal was 3-4 ounces of turkey with avocado. Post-jaw surgery I liquefied the turkey and avocado in the blender, strained it, and consumed it through a straw. I made turkey chili with broccoli, spinach, and roasted red peppers; eggs with spinach; sole with tomatoes, capers, and olives; salmon with balsamic vinegar and garlic; kale soup; a variety of vegetables liquified with low-sodium vegetable juice; and roasted chicken breast with shallots, Dijon mustard, and cayenne pepper.
Granted, I spent two to three hours every evening preparing food for the next day, but the payoff was greater satisfaction from food that had more flavor, even if it lacked texture and beautiful presentation. I still consumed protein shakes, but usually as snacks when at work, and always with Coach Bryce’s recommended supplements.
I cannot say that this diet necessarily improved my performance at the box. The trauma to my whole body (not to mention the fact that I couldn’t breathe through my mouth) slowed me down even more than usual and I definitely was (and remain) skittish about moves that might cause me to trip or hit my chin. But I believe the effort to stick to a paleo plan helped me to continue participating in the strength program and to get through the workday without a major energy crash.
After four weeks of having my jaw wired shut, I transitioned to rubber bands to stabilize my jaw. Now I can open my mouth some, and I can eat soft food. I’ve replaced the blender and strainer with a food processor, which cuts down significantly on food preparation time. Another four weeks and my surgeon will remove the rest of the hardware and I will start the necessary dental work to repair the damage my klutziness caused my teeth. I am hoping for some chewing action by then; the one thing I have not been able to enjoy is a huge salad with lots and lots of crunchy vegetables, some chewy protein, and a lovely vinaigrette.
I hope this will be the most useless post you will ever read, as I would not wish this situation on anyone. But if you found that the three-week paleo challenge changed your game for the better, then if nothing else, know that it is possible to maintain it no matter what the circumstances. Eat well, visit the box often, and always pick up your feet when you’re walking.