A Week In The Life

by Frost on June 30, 2011

Fun fact: To get the final chord in the studio version of Day in the Life to sound right, the band brought three pianos into the studio and hit the final E major simultaneously on each.

Today I’m going to share my diet and exercise schedule over one (good) week of my life. I invite you to criticize it, suggest changes, and share your own regimen in the comments. It’s not always easy doing the opposite of what everyone in the world says is good for you, so we need inspiration and encouragement from wherever we can get it.

Food

Monday to Friday, the first eight hours of my day are fairly consistent – a big cup of coffee in the morning with lots of cream, and a big steak salad for lunch. I used to fast until 1pm every day, but have recently incorporated a mid-morning snack of berries, fruit and mixed nuts, which improves my energy and endurance for lunchtime workouts.

Dinners vary. Either a lovely girl cooks me a delicious paleo meal of meat and vegetables, or I cook for myself, in which case I eat bacon and eggs 80% of the time. Yes mom, I will start cooking grown up meals for myself one day. Here are the dinners for the week that  just passed:

Monday: Bacon, 4-egg omelette with Brie and Salami, chili on top of the eggs

Tuesday: Bacon, 4-egg brie and avocado omelette

Wednesday -Steak, lobster, asparagus

Thursday – Large sushi platter at Japanese restaurant, two glasses of wine, miso soup

If I’m hungry late at night, I’ll have a snack of nuts, berries, dark chocolate, coffee cream, and (sometimes) a small scoop of ice cream

Weekends are trickier. In my experience, the hardest times to eat Paleo are social situations where the only food available is grain-and-carb based. Summer isn’t as bad though, because I can usually just bring my own food to throw on a BBQ. This past weekend, I had two dinners that consisted of double bacon cheeseburgers covered in fried onions, mushrooms, avocado and hot sauce – with no buns. Great conversation piece at parties. Massive weekend breakfasts are my most frequent indulgence, and I usually incorporate french toast or pancakes at least once – this week was no exception.

I also supplement with 10 fish oil capsules daily and 100mg of Zinc before bed most nights.

Alcohol-based drinks are my biggest vice, and while I often try to limit my booze intake to “reasonable” level, i.e. 10 or fewer drinks per night, drink liquor or wine instead of beer, and avoid sugary mixers, sometimes I just gotta go out with my brahs and smash beers. This past weekend, I took it easy one night and had only (!) eight or so in and tonics the next.

Exercise

Wednesday – Lunch hour yoga in a park

Thursday – Two hours of beach volleyball

Friday – Chest and back workout (5x heavy sets of pullups, bench press, reverse pushups and shoulder presses)

Saturday – Nil

Sunday – 1 hour hike, hockey game

Monday – Pull workout (5x reverse pushups/pullups, bicep curls, back extensions) 2 hours ultimate frisbee

Tuesday – Leg workout (5x deadlifts, 5x jump squats), 1 hour hike

Wednesday – Push workout (5x bench press, shoulder press, incline dumbbell press)

Also in addition to that, I walk an average of an hour a day to and from work.

*

It’s pretty sad that my weekly schedule, which I think is pretty lax in every respect, probably lands me in the 95-99thth percentile of North Americans. I mean, I never spend more than 2 hours/week in the gym, and some weeks I skip it entirely. I drink way too much and I eat junk food fairly often. I read and write about nutrition and fitness a lot, but overall I don’t really feel like I’m making many sacrifices in my life to be healthy. Meanwhile, the vast majority of people look and feel worse than me, even though many of them are slogging through awful diet and exercise regimens.

Overall, I award myself a B- for this week, health-wise. And I’m OK with that. No need to be a religious nut about your health.

To improve that score, I would have to do some or all of the following:

– Eliminate all cheat meal. No thanks.

– Drink responsibly. Yeah right brah!

– Go to bed at 11pm every night

Of those changes, the early bedtime is the only one that appeals to me in any way. The problem is that I often have trouble falling asleep before midnight, even though I know how much more refreshed I’ll feel the next day if I do.

So my Freedom Twenty-Five PhD homework for this week: Hack my sleep. If you’re following along at home, here are a few links to get you started:

Five Tips to Get a Great Night’s Sleep (MDA)

The Definitive Guide To Sleep (MDA)

Relax Like a Pro (Tim Ferriss)

Sleep: You’re Doing it Wrong (Nomadic Neill)

Readers, commenters, lurkers: How do you get the sleep you need? What evening habits contribute to better quality sleep for you? Also – tell us about your regimen, your goals, and the progress you’re making towards them.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Laws of the Cave June 30, 2011 at 8:53 pm
Laws of the Cave June 30, 2011 at 6:27 pm

The more often you fall asleep at 11, the easier it is.

Occasionally I’ll slip into a very natural sun-down/sun-up sleep patterns, and I find it’s easier to go to sleep once you fall into it. I have more trouble just “waiting” till I’m tired.

Jack Dublin June 30, 2011 at 3:34 pm

I’ve found I need to ‘hard reset’ my sleep schedule 2-3 times a year. I keep a Friday night clear and make protein coffee( coffee, cream, whey protein and almond butter).
Then I stay awake and do what I want. I usually pepper the next 20 or so hours with light quick exercises. At about eight o clock Saturday night I crash.
I figure a few coffee and video game all nighters are worth several months of good sleep.

NomadicNeill June 30, 2011 at 2:39 pm

I have an unfortunate habit of going to bed late… mostly due to playing guitar ‘just before going to sleep’.

Something to keep in mind, if you do go to sleep earlier is segmented sleep, where you wake up in the middle of the night. It’s supposedly quite normal.

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