6 oz steak, 2 cups mashed cauliflower, 1/2 cups broiled carrots with cumin and cinnamon baked in oil – my zone/paleo meal
Zone and Paleo are quite controversial because they can be 2 separate ideas or they can be mixed into 1 idea. A lot of CrossFitters have mixed the concept of Zone/Paleo. I’m not an expert but pretty intuitive with many things and these are my thoughts.
The Zone Diet portions your carbs, fats, and proteins at every meal and snack. Depending on your size and activity level, your portion sizes are different and depending on how far you dig, ratios can be adjusted, too (let’s not get into that). It’s suggested to weigh and measure all of your food the first few weeks of starting. All of the benefits of eating Zone claim to be similar to this of paleo (harnessing disease, lowering inflammation, having more clarity, athleticism skyrocketing, and more). Zone, however, although encourages a meal primarily of meat, veggies, nuts seeds, fruit, and oils (paleo), shit food is also portioned. You can figure out how to create a zone meal with potato chips and ice cream. When you give someone an inch, they surely take the entire yard.
“You CANNOT weigh and measure shit food and get the same results.” That came from Robb Wolf on Zone vs. Paleo. Someone in the gym just came to me the other day telling me her co-worker does the zone and loves it! She just finished a meal that included a gatorade and 1/2 a crappy sandwich (what do you think gatorade is, protein, carb or fat? what if it says 0 sugar? What the hell is it? EXACTLY my point!) This can be OK if it’s your first week on the zone – it’s a learning experience with discipline on portioning. If you’re 2 years into Zone, and that’s your lunch, then you’ve taken that yard.
The only reason I think Zone is beneficial versus paleo is You can mess up paleo in the same way – The only vegetables you like are potatoes, corn and green beans (all which are not paleo, except for the controversial green bean). So, you eat very little meat (because conventionally your advised to not eat a lot), very little vegetables (because they aren’t appetizing), and you turn to tons of fruit and nuts because you’re always craving food trying to satisfy hunger. Honestly, you’re going to feel somewhat good even with this unbalanced daily ritual because the toxic food you used to eat is no longer in your body. It’s going to catch up with you and you’re going to be dissatisfied with your meals because your portions are unbalanced, and you may not feel energetic, and you’re most likely not going to lose the weight you wish you did. All the sudden paleo doesn’t work. Meat fills you, veggies give you essential nutrients and slow burning energy, and fat balances it out to keep you fuller, longer.
Let’s take a look at The Zone Diet portions – and I’m going to try to make it as easy to understand as possible and not get too technical.
If you’re a female you need 3-4 ounces of meat at every meal, 2-3 portions of carbs at every meal, and some fat at every meal (1/4 an avocado, small handful of nuts,oil used in baking). Your snacks should have 1 portion of each category twice a day between meals- if you’re a guy, then 1.5x or double everything I just stated.
1 portion of vegetable/fruit (they are both carbs and in the same category. Females need to choose 2-3 portions!
- 12 spears Asparagus
- 1 cup broccoli raw (2 cups steamed)
- 1 cup brussel sprouts
- 2 cups cauliflower
- 1 1/2 cup eggplant
- 1 cup leeks
- 1 cup okra
- 1 cup raw spinach (4 cups cooked)
- 1 cup yellow or zucchini squash
- 2 cups celery
- 3 cups cucumber
- 1.5 cups chopped green pepper (2 full peppers)
- 1 whole head iceberg lettuce
- 3 cups chopped mushrooms
- 1 cup onion
- 1/3 banana
- 1/4 of a whole cantaloupe
- 1/2 apple
- 1 tbs. raisins
- 2 dates
- 1/2 cup blackberries, blackberries, grapes, or honey dew
- 1 whole kiwi
- 1/3 pear
- 1/2 cup cubed pineapple
If you take a look, 1 whole lead of lettuce is 1 portion – i can eat a quarter of head of lettuce and still need 2.75 more portions. It’s made of very little nutrients…You know how you go to a restaurant and order a salad, and you’re starving an hour later? You only ate 10% carbs! In addition to the salad, you needed 1 whole chopped tomato on top, 1/4 cups of onions, 2 cups steamed broccoli, and 1 cup okra to make my Carb portion complete. Of course you need meat and fat options on the salad, too.
Do you see why you’re hungry?