Yes We Pemmican, Part 2

Saturday, November 10 2012

Row 500m
Super Rack
Keg Drill
Hip Extension with a band
10 Front squat with an empty bar
5 Strict presses 

Barbell Gymnastics:
Spend 15 min to establish a 1RM Clean and Jerk

Note: if you have difficulties with the movements in the workout, spend this time practicing the movements and figuring out which weight to use

“Tommy Mac”
2 rounds
12 Burpees
12Thrusters (115/75)
12 Burpees
12Power Snatches (115/75)
12 Burpees
12Push Jerks (115/75)
12Hang Squat Cleans (115/75)
12 Burpees
12Overhead Squats (115/75)

 – 22min cap – 

Note: Use one weight for all barbell movements of the WOD. This is a high volume workout. Consider scaling to 1 rounds instead of 2. 

Cool Down:
Quad on the Wall
Pigeon on the box 
10 Wall Extensions 



 Making it work!

  Frank’s Self-Study Continues…. (Read Yesterday’s post if you missed it!)

There was only one issue that concerned me, which came from this excerpt from NeanderThin, “Studies of contemporary Inuit (Eskimo) have shown that when people eat a totally carnivorous diet they must obtain at least 70 percent of their calories from fat, or they will face malnutrition (called “rabbit starvationby the Inuit).”   The book quotes the Artic explorer Stefansson on the effects of fat deprivation combined with a low carbohydrate diet (i.e. removing carbs but not replacing them fats):

If you are transferred suddenly from a diet normal in fat to one consisting wholly of … [lean meat] you eat bigger and bigger meals for the first few days until at the end of about a week you are eating in pounds three or four times as much as you were at the beginning of the week.  By that time you are showing signs both of starvation and protein poisoning.  You eat numerous meals; you feel hungry at the end of each; you are in discomfort through distension of the stomach with much food; and you begin to feel a vague restlessness.  Diarrhea will start in from a week to 10 days and will not be relieved until you secure fat.  Death will result after several weeks.”

What’s crazy is something similar actually happened to Diso in his experiment (read Part 2 now)!  Armed with the knowledge that at least 70 percent of my calories needed to come from fat, I noted the nutrition content from one pemmican bar, and played around with this online Calorie Calculator by Macro-Nutrients.  One pemmican bar from US Wellness Meats contains 248 Calories, 12g of Protein, 24g of Total Fat, and 0g of Carbs.  Therefore, according to the online calculator, a pemmican bar has a Carb/Protein/Fat ratio by calories of 0/18/82.  I planned on eating nine bars a day for grand totals of 2,232 Calories, 108g of Protein, and 216g of Fat per day.  I ordered one hundred honey and cherry free pemmican bars and was ready to go!

Every morning I measured my ketone levels, my weight, and my body fat percentage.  Unfortunately the body fat tester I used was kind of cheap and the results fluctuated a little, so I don’t trust them that much: 

Monday  151lb/Negative Ketones/10.6% BF
Tuesday  150lb/ Trace Ketones (5 mg/dL)/10.6% BF
Wednesday  147.5lb/Small Ketones (15 mg/dL)/10.9% BF
Thursday  146lb/Moderate Ketones (40 mg/dL)/11.1% BF
Friday  145lb/Small and Moderate Ketones/11.3% BF
Saturday  145lb/Small Ketones/10.3% BF
Sunday  145lb/Small Ketones/10.4% BF
Monday 143lb/Negative Ketones/8.2% BF  (Ate normal food again Sunday night)

The week was a total success, and in my opinion, the hype was confirmed.  Some of the effects I didn’t even realize until after I reintroduced carbs and was able to compare the difference.  The whole experience reminded me of traveling abroad.  There is an initial culture shock when you arrive in the foreign country, but you soon acclimate to the new environment and it becomes normal.  But there is also a secondary culture shock when you return home, where you get a fresh perspective on traditions and customs while you readjust. 

When I first started the week it sucked.  It was so hard to take down three bars per meal due to the taste, but by the third day I was craving it and pounding bars.  I had a couple of headaches in the beginning, but they went away and never came back.  I never once was hungry during the entire week, and was never full either.  It was really weird, my stomach actually felt empty at all times but I was perfectly satiated.  Because of that I could eat a pemmican right before or right after a workout and I felt exactly the same.  I lost weight as expected.   I ran 1k repeats at the track and swam 100m repeats at the pool with no energy crash.  I also PR’d on my Snatch in costume on Halloween.  I had very little waste, but when I did go to the bathroom everything was fine.  I never had to shop for food, or cook and clean in the kitchen.  In fact, I didn’t even have to think about food!  I can’t tell you how amazing that is, to not have to constantly plan and think about my next meal.  The only side effect was having to pee all the time, which is how your body flushes out excess ketones it doesn’t use.

The only downside during the week was social, not physical.  I had Halloween, my Dad’s birthday dinner, my best friend’s engagement party, and the PCF Beach Cruiser triathlon all fall on this week.  It’s not fun when people are eating steaming fajitas or toasting champagne right in front of you and you can’t partake.  I also had to explain what I was eating and justify the experiment to family, friends, and strangers probably about a hundred times before the week was over.  The number one question: “Why?”  I’m glad I did it, but I’m also glad it’s over!  I am eating normally again, and feel like I’ve gained the weight back already.  Now I’m back to getting hungry, feeling full after eating, having to wait two hours to digest before I can work out, burping, pooping, and carrying around Tupperwares of precooked food everywhere I go.  Reverse culture shock for sure!  But just like going abroad, you bring back a few customs with you, which is why I crave fat more than ever and still eat a pemmican or two a day.  

Can humans exist in a society free of refined carbohydrates, processed foods, and genetically modified organisms?  Can humans persevere and survive through harsh winters without any plant material whatsoever?  Is it possible for humans to go hunt and exercise without carbo-loading right before?  Yes we pemmican! 

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