Chronicles of Less Urban Living, Fresh from In the Night Farm

Tuesday Tallies: Extreme Edition

Tuesday Tallies usually offer a sampling of my typical, day-to-day food intake and work output, because I get so many questions about it. This week, however, was special. The menus reflect my need to support a tremendous amount of movement, thanks to the hefty job of moving 16 tons of hay, almost singlehanded, into winter storage.

As you’ll see in the menus and notes below, I ate more carbs, more calories, and more often than usual — and still ended up hungry enough by Monday night to cook up one of the richest, fattiest, most nutrient-dense curries I’ve ever consumed. It was delicious.

Tuesday

Pre-dawn workout: Stacked 1 ton hay in the cool of morning. Each ton is 20 100-lb bales. The stacks are 6 high. Must get a mask! Dust is unbearable.

Post-workout: 1/2 cup Greek yogurt with 3/4 cup fresh raspberries. Coffee.

Breakfast: 2 Savory Egg Muffins.

Lunch: Business meeting at restaurant. Large salad with mixed greens, tomatoes, blue cheese, and about 4 oz of steak.

Pre-workout: Larabar.

Afternoon workout: Stacked 1 ton hay. Used new mask. Thrilled to be able to breathe!

Dinner: Green salad with guacamole, roasted red pepper, and 6 oz grilled chicken. Almond butter and raisins.

Evening workout: Stacked 1 more ton.

Post-workout: Half a banana.

Wednesday

Pre-workout: Half a banana with coconut cream concentrate.

Morning workout: Stacked 1 ton hay.

Breakfast: 2 eggs over easy. Beet and kohlrabi hash. Bacon. Coffee.

Lunch: Baked sweet potato with butter. Green salad with guacamole and grilled chicken.

Afternoon workout: Stacked 1 ton hay.

Post-workout: Almond butter with dark chocolate and coconut oil.

Evening workout: Stacked 2 tons hay with Ironman’s help.

Dinner: Omelette with pepper jack cheese and onions. Zucchini sauteed in bacon grease. Greek yogurt with black raspberries.

Thursday

Pre-dawn workout: Stacked 2 tons hay with Ironman’s help.

Post-workout: Half a banana with coconut cream concentrate.

Breakfast: Green salad with avocado, tuna, carrot, and green olives.

Lunch: Hard boiled eggs. Half an apple with cold bacon.

Pre-workout: Half an apple with almond butter.

Afternoon workout: Stacked 1 ton hay. Singlehanded again. Missing Ironman!

Dinner: Sweet potato with butter. Sauteed chard and onions. Greek yogurt with black raspberries.

Note — I took Friday off as a recovery day. Fatigue is an injury waiting to happen. Started again full-bore on Saturday, which looked much like Sunday, except that I stacked 3.5 tons instead of just 2.

Sunday

Pre-workout: Greek yogurt with strawberries.

Morning workout: Stack 1 ton hay. Getting tough now. All 20 bales had to go up 5-6 levels.

Post-workout: Half a banana with coconut cream concentrate. Coffee.

Morning workout #2: Stack 1 ton hay. Another tough one, all bales going up high, and temps climbing into the 90’s.

Breakfast: Three eggs over easy. Sauteed chard and onions. Sliced tomato and avocado.

Lunch: Green salad with tuna, apple, and walnuts. Dark chocolate with almond butter and coconut concentrate.

Dinner: Kippered herring. Boiled sweet potato with butter and salt. Half a banana blended with cocoa powder and coconut milk.

Notes

I’m down to 1.5 tons on the trailer now, and weather has forced another rest day just in time. I was seriously fatigued for several hours this afternoon and only now feel better after eating a meal of 1500+ calories (mostly fat and protein).

Hopefully, I’ll finish stacking this load tomorrow, then it’s back to Oregon for another 9 tons. To support this level of physical activity (2-4 hours of heavy lifting daily) for an extended period (2 weeks or so), I’m doing everything in my power to assist my recoveries. Here are the steps I’ve implemented — feel free to post more ideas in the comments!

  • Eat. Lots. Calories are not a concern (ever, but especially under this workload). However, it took me about 5 days of heavy work to get to the point that I was able to consume more than 300-600 extra calories per day.
  • Eat carbs. Lots (relatively). My normal carb intake is around 65-85 grams daily, and I’ve had to concentrate on raising that dramatically. (Mark Sisson recommends an extra 100 grams for each hour of intense work above and beyond his standard “primal” recommendations.) I’m lucky if I can get up to 150g per day, though, even throwing in fresh fruit, dried fruit, squash, and sweet potatoes. This takes practice!
  • Sleep. At least 8 hours per night. No exceptions. (Well, there was one…and it cost me!)
  • No alcohol. Not a problem; I don’t usually drink, anyway. (Okay, I had one shot of whiskey while Ironman was in town. But that’s where I drew the line.)
  • No grains. This is easy, as I don’t normally eat them anyway — but if I were considering a cheat, this would not be the time. Asking my body to deal with gluten on top of this kind of physical stress would be downright foolish.
  • Maintain good posture. It’s easy to let tired muscles sag when I sit at the office, but that’s just a good way to strain already-weary obliques, traps, abs, etc. Sit up straight!
  • Hydrate. Water, primarily. Some coffee. And for goodness sake, no packaged energy drinks!
  • Electrolyte. It’s hot out there! Even when I come inside, it’s to continued sweating because I’m being stubborn about the AC. I’m adding more salt and potassium salt to my food than usual.
  • Increase fish oil. Judging by how my muscles feel (fatigued — but surprisingly, not at all sore), I think I may fall into a more “banged-up” category than usual on Robb Wolf’s fish oil calculator. I’ve bumped up my Carlson’s consumption by a couple teaspoons per day.

I’m over halfway! Load up and eat up…here I come…

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2 responses

  1. jem

    I hope you'll post a post summer photo. Non gym workouts that last all day give amazing results. Great menus….

    July 27, 2010 at 9:41 am

  2. You're not kidding! I was already pretty buff, but after 1 week of hay stacking, I detect visible muscular development, particularly in my arms, shoulders, back, and obliques. Cool.

    July 27, 2010 at 9:44 am

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