Hey Kid, Go Ahead and Eat the Carbs. You’re Going To Need a Little Glycogen: Nutrition Beyond the Crossfit Ethos.

20170102_094655For a few years, I ate only nuts and seeds, all sorts of meat, some vegetables, wine and that was about it. I was always hungry and I was not very lean, but I was fit and it was ok. A feeling of rabid hunger was with me all the time. And I still was not very lean.  It felt like deprivation, and was simply making me crazy on the inside.

The problem was, as an athletic person, I did not understand how running on low glycogen stores was inhibiting my abilities. I did not understand the needs of my skeletal muscles, and what they recruit during a high intensity workout session. These particular muscles can store about 300-400 mg of glycogen, which is recruited when you engage in a high intensity workout, so why wouldn’t you want it to be there, ready for use?  Without those stores in place, you are vulnerable to a catabolic breakdown which involves your muscles consuming themselves for fuel. And yes, there are many arguments for a ketogenic diet, but it just was not working for me. Plus I like my giant assed muscles. Sue me.

I am a shitty amateur weightlifter who runs around like a maniac and tries to be as explosive and as strong as possible. Maybe you are like me. And  you might want to eat some carbohydrates. You’ll feel better, sleep through the night, have fluffy dreams and you won’t be as hungry. I don’t know how many carbs you should eat, but maybe you should start thinking about 3-5 grams per kilo of lean body mass.

So here is an hour you can spend on Sundays and set yourself up for 4 days of tasty lunches. You can substitute brown rice for farro, to make it gluten free. Conversely, if you want less fat, you can lower the feta amount but that will also lower the protein.

Farro with Cannellini Beans, Chicken, Asparagus and Feta

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Macros/Serving: P 49 | F 11| C 43. Fiber is 5 grams per serving

The recipe for cooking the farro comes from Charlie Bird restaurant in NYC. Cooking it in vinegar will cause a pungent aroma in your home, so if you prefer use broth. But the vinegar deeply flavors the grains and eliminates the need for a ton of seasoning when you are done.

Ingredients

  • 180 grams dry farro (If using brown rice for gluten free, it will change the macros slightly: P 47 | F11 | C 45 and 6 Grams of Fiber)
  • 12 ml olive oil
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained. (Or make your own. You will need 244 grams cooked beans.)
  • 600 grams raw chicken breast, cut into thin slices
  • 211 grams of asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 112 grams feta cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • 1-2 Tbsp spice blend of your choice (I used piri piri)
  • 2 bay leaves

Directions

  1. Season the chicken breast with the spice blend and salt and pepper. Use half the olive oil and sautée in a non-stick pan until it is cooked through. You may need to do this is 2 batches depending on the size of your pan.
  2. Bring to a boil the apple cider vinegar and 2 cups of water. Add the farro and bay leaves. Lower to a simmer, stirring now and again, until all the liquid has been absorbed. You need n0t cover the pan. This will take 30+ minutes.
  3. Season the asparagus with salt and pepper, Sauté in remaining oil until tender.
  4. Divide the farro, cannellini beans, chicken, and asparagus equally among four sealable containers. Top each with 28 grams of feta.

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