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Look, Feel and Perform Better Challenge > Zone Q&A?

Many folks have emailed me and grabbed me in person to ask particulars about following a Zone approach to eating. So many that I figured we might streamline a bit So, any questions or comments or concerns are welcome here...whatdya got?

January 3, 2014 | Registered CommenterChristian Fox

I have 2 questions about the block chart in the CrossFit Journal article:

1.) Many vegetables are listed only under the "raw" section. Knowing vegetables reduce in size when cooked, what is a good way to convert this block portion to when it is cooked? Half it?

2.) I'm looking for something to replace corn tortilla chip to have with salsa, as a snack. I was thinking of plantain chips but don't see plantains or plantain chips on the chart. Is there a way to determine a 1-block portion when not on the chart?

January 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBeccaWolf

Hi Becca! I just googled plantains and it seems that they contain 48g carbs per cup (sliced) One block of carbs is 9g so 1/5 of a cup would be one block. In this situation I am sure it is ok to roughly guess what 1/5 of a cup is? I've started a thread for unlisted items we come across. Hope this helps.

January 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

Great question Becca- I was wondering the same thing about cooked veggies.
I can't remember if this is posted in the additional resources- but this pdf seems to have more food listed than the crossfit article- although at this point I don't remember:

This probably wouldn't give you a lot of bang for your buck, but sometimes I thinly slice sweet potato (a mandeline helps), soak them, and then nuke them for about 7 minutes. Probably kills any nutritional value- but it makes great potato chips.

January 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBreebree

@Becca - a little more than half, say 60%, should be about right for cooked vs raw for most veg.

About plantain chips and salsa...I would sub them as the same serving size. IMO I'd keep those plantain chips in the unfavorable carb spectrum even though they are technically a vegetable (comparable with corn chips) since they're a deep fried, starchy, sometimes food :) Or just have the few corn tortilla chips, unless there is a particular reason you have not to.

January 4, 2014 | Registered CommenterChristian Fox

no particular reason other than considering corn tortilla chips in unfavorable list. i'll keep them in the snack rotation, just not as a #1 go-to.

The forum is so helpful, love it!!

January 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBeccaWolf

Soooo.... When I used the calculator it told me I should be eating 12 blocks per day. I can definitely do that but I was wondering if it is ok to do 11 blocks some days, maybe on rest days. Is it better to do the same thing every day or can I vary it according to how hungry I am? I want to make sure I am not cheating if I do not eat the same amount every day.

January 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

Today I had the opposite problem. I was just starving all day, probably because I rowed 6K, and I snuck in an extra 2 block snack. Do you think this is still 'entirely clean' because it was Zone- balanced and I really was hungry, or should I enter it as '1 meal off'?

January 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

@Charlie - your goal should be to eat the same amount of blocks each day. You can play with the timing though. Try biasing a larger block meal post-training, but keep the blocks balanced. Upping the carbs will possibly lead to carb cravings. Also consider that while many people report that they feel ravenous after a long aerobic effort (like a 5k row), the opposite is true of shorter, high intensity efforts (like 8x250m row). Just something to consider.

January 10, 2014 | Registered CommenterChristian Fox

Thanks- now that you mention it, the days I have done the shorter sprint workouts, I have been less hungry. I am still figuring out the timing and ate 3 block oatmeal breakfast yesterday and wanted to keep more blocks for the evening as that is when I get really hungry so had only a 2 block lunch. That's obviously where I went wrong. These are things that I guess I will learn as I go along. I might have to start keeping a food diary too.

So, for the purposes of the challenge, do I lose two points for yesterday since I ate extra blocks? Everything was still zone- balanced.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

@Charlie - don't lose the points. Start right again tomorrow. Keep us up to date on how this goes.

January 10, 2014 | Registered CommenterChristian Fox

Ok, will do! Thanks Fox!

January 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie