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Big ups to Josh Howey and Danielle Worden!

Josh finished 4th in the state for wraastling and Danielle finished 3rd in the state for powerlifting

Entries in campus improv eats (19)

Campus Improv Eats: Sabal Is Still Alive Somewhere Out There

Sabal sent in a meal for Campus Improv Eats this week.

Here's the breakdown:

  • Protein - chicken
  • Carbohydrate - spinach, strawberries, watermelon, honeydew, trail mix (though I don't see any M&Ms in there!)
  • Fat - avocado, almonds, trail mix, dressing (olive oil-based)

Win or loss. This is definitely a win, assuming there is around 4-5 oz. of chicken tucked under the spinach. He has lots of fruit and veggies in there, which is why the dried fruit in the trail mix is not a bad thing in this instance. Lots of fat. Nothing to complain about here!

Next time. One thing Sabal did add that wasn't pictured was 16 oz. of water on the side. I talked about this with Mel a little while ago, but I personally noticed the difference in my thirst when my carbohydrate sources come from fruit/veggies compared to not fruit/veggies. If, say, I have oatmeal for breakfast instead of fruit, I'll feel really thirst afterwards - even if I drink a ot of water with it. I don't know if getting a lot of your hydration from fruits and vegetables is a legit thing, but I feel like it is with me. When I look at a meal like Sabal's and see good sources of carbohydrate, I want to make sure they aren't forcing water down. If he's thirsty, drink water. If not, don't.

Campus Improv Eats - Fry's Tupperware Tales

Last week Ashley and I were talking about food for a second after a session and she told me how she's really done a good job of cutting out sugar and a lot of grain/starch stuff. Here's a picture of a typical lunch she'd have:

Here's the breakdown:

  • Protein: chicken
  • Carbohydrate: cauliflower, onions, peppers, looks like some spinach too
  • Fat: presumably cooked in oil

Win or loss. Surprising as this is, I consider this a loss, and this is the downside of "going clean" with your diet. Yes, Mel and Jacob might have me killed for this one because this meal is very high in food quality. If this was a meal for someone that was trying to lose weight really quickly, then I'd be fine with it for now. But Fry is 1) not trying to lose weight and 2) also involved in this thing called CrossFit that really kicks you in the nards at least three times per week. Bottom line is she needs more carbohydrate to thrive in workouts. Carbohydrates really help give us energy in the right balance; too much means you're diabetic, too little means you'll crash. She probably has about 20-grams of protein there (3-4 blocks) and, despite that heaping mound of veggies, probably 3-4 grams of carbohydrate. Okay that's exaggerated. Probably like 7 grams. But you get the idea. When you try to reduce carbs to the extreme, you throw yourself off balance, which I don't think is good some someone with Fry's activity level and body composition.

Next time: Do what she did a second later:

Geez Fry, these pictures look crazy professional! Lighting, white background, good stuff!

Yes there is sugar in the pear. Also, it's a real pear. Not peal-flavored candy. Now she's close to balanced, though wouldn'tbe a bad idea to throw some slivered almonds or something on the veggies.

Pics of the Week: Mel's Campus Improv Eats on Scouts Field Trip

Over MLK weekend, Mel and his son went on an annual ski trip with the Boy Scout Troop and he sent me some food pictures to be included on Campus Improv Eats. Slim pickins' I tell ya, and for someone who seems as dialed in with nutrition as he does, this couldn't have been pleasant. Here's what it looked like:

Here's the breakdown Mel included in his email:


  • Pic 1 - My dinner Sat. night pre-snow tubing, at the ski resort.  Clockwise from the top, curly fries (shared with son), sparkling water, bowl of chili w/ cheese on top, chicken sandwich, and that pinkish stuff is fry sauce (mayo + ketchup), made by me.  After a few bites of the sandwich, I bailed on the top bun; it was very stale.  Everything else in this pic was eaten in its entirety.
  • Pic 2a - This is the spread for the "continental breakfast" the Scouts got on Monday morning, before the long drive home to NC.  From l-to-r, 1% milk (the horror!), Gatorade, hot chocolate, lemonade (in the 5-gallon cooler), apples, and flavored oatmeal.
  • Pic 2b - Spread, continued.  From l-to-r, clementines, protein bars (20g each), various muffins, sweet rolls, and other pastries; bananas, more apples, and honey buns.


    Pretty much all carb, all the time!


Win or loss: Neither. It's like that Michigan/Northwestern M00N game.

Notes: Boy I've been there my man. Not scouts, of course, but food choices like the the South Park mascot election. If you want to stay balanced, this is where planning ahead comes in handy. And the two most critical food choices to plan with, in order, are 1) fat and 2) protein. There will always be carbohydrate. Always. I promise. In some way, shape, or form. There is never not a carbohydrate selection available. It's usually unfavorable, but still possible to balance. Similarly, more often than not, there is some form of food-type substance that was alive and running around at one point in time. Thus we have our protein. (Breakfast, as you see in the picture, can be an exception.) Good fat (nuts, seeds) are rarely offered. So when packing ahead, look there first.

If you don't want to plan ahead, I would honestly say to just eat as much food as possible and not worry about quantity or quality. It's going to be unhealthy either way. I would much rather be unhealthy and feel full than unhealthy and feel hungry.

Campus Improv Eats - Mr. Stein

Who is Mr. Stein, you ask? He's Hunter and Zack's dad. He drops tweedle dee and tweedle dumb off to the 4:30 session then assists me in making fun of their general freshman awkwardness for the entire hour. My kind of guy.

I always talk about if I had to make a choice, I'd rather have a parent eat the way we tell them than to work out the way we tell them. Mr. Stein hasn't pulled the trigger on joining the Champions Club himself (yet) but he's already lost 10 pounds in the last month balancing protein, carbohydrate, and fat. Here's a meal he sent me this weekend from everyone's favorite Father's Day takeout, Chicken Shack:

Text message: "I'm peeling off the breading"

Here's the breakdown:

  • Protein: chicken
  • Carbohydrate: potatoes, peppers
  • Fat: n/a

Verdict: Bigtime win. Mr. Stein opted to not take a cheat meal (though it would have been justified) and kept balance despite the temptation those Checken Shack potatoes put on you. He also made two good judgements: remove the skin (Eric Cartman probably took it) and added in some cut up peppers from his fridge. You'll notice that there are no nuts or seeds, which is why I gave the fat an n/a in the breakdown. But if you don't see how something is cooked, you can assume there is some kind of less-than-favorable fat source involved, so rest assured there is plenty here. Probably. See below. Mainly, this is good to show that you can usually keep balance no matter where you're at.

Next time: Listen to your body after eating this. If you are full for 3 hours after, then you're good. If you're hungry, you may have wanted to add some almonds on the side, especially to compensate for how quickly those potatoes will wear off.

Campus Improv Eats - Bewick For Dinner

This evening Nick Bewick sent me a picture of his post-4:30 pm-workout meal: the classic spaghetti and meatballs.

Here's the breakdown:

  • Protein: Meatballs. Balls of meat. Four fantastically round, gooed together, probably spicy, meat chunks.
  • Carbohydrate: The noodles. Pasta sauce.
  • Fat: I think the label he sent me said there was some fat in the sauce.

Win or loss: Loss. Look, I'm Italian and I absolutely love any and all forms of pasta. Olive Garden is glorious, and white bread is best used for spaghetti sandwiches. Unfortunately, noodles (even the "healthy" kind) are very dense in carbohydrate, making it very hard to balance out. I understand it can get tricky, because if you balled up the noodles, they'd probably cover asmuch area as the meatballs, and it would be easy to think you're even up on protein and carbohydrate. But in reality, for the picture above, there is about thiiiiiiisss much protein and thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiissssssssss much carbohydrate. Change the noodles to broccoli and the carbohydrate content would probably be so low you would need to add more. And yes, this is post-workout, but I still prefer to use common sense; you can never go wrong with finding balance.

Next time. Two option here (assuming the spaghetti has to be eaten): my first preference is to count this as a cheat meal and just load up as much pasta on your plate as you can until you start growing spaghetti hair like those Play-Doh things. In other words, count your losses, enjoy the spaghetti, and just get back on track with the next meal. Number two would be to just cut the noodles not quite in half, but close to it, keep the same meet content, and add some nuts with the balls of meat (lol) to compensate for the noodles not holding you over for long. It's important to remember that you can still find balance in classic meals like hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, and spaghetti if you really want to.

Campus Improv Eats - Baby Josh 7/20

Mrs. Bennis is one of the most frequend food-photo-senders in the gym, along with Alyssa Jabara. Earlier this week, Mrs. Bennis sent not her own meal, but Josh's. Here's what it looked like:

Here's the breakdown

  • Protein: Cheese stick and some kind of sausage link
  • Carbohydrate: Apple
  • Fat: Peanut butter

Win or loss. This one is a win for sure. And this brings us back to one of Coach Glassman's early famous quotes, "the needs of the elderly and the professional athletes vary by degree, not kind." He was talking about the fitness needs and workout program, but the same can be said for nutrition. I never noticed it until listening to a few recent interviews, but the idea behind the "Kids Menu" at restaurants is really stupid. Common sense would tell you that if parents are ordering salad or salmon, or chicken, or steak, the Kids Menu should be the same thing, just scaled in portion. But instead, it's hot dogs, mac & cheese, spaghetti, and hamburgers. Josh is 8 years old and never stops moving. Ever. This is probably a perfect lunch for him in terms of quantity; 2 blocks of protein and carbohydrate, and around double the fat. Maybe a tad bit more of everything, but probably not.

Next time. Now that we have the quantity down, let's see if we can work on food quality. Best place to start is with the fat - if possible, use real peanuts instead of peanut butter.

Campus Improv Eats - Maddy

So now that the kids are away from school, we get the opportunity to see what some of gthe food choices are like at home. I had a conversation with Maddy Wesner this morning after her workout and we dug into the nutrition side of things, and how she needs to keep balance. Here's the meal she had when she got home:

Here's the breakdown:

  • Protein - 1 cheese stick
  • Carbohydrate - grapes and strawberries
  • Fat - peanut butter

The verdict. Win. Yes the peanut butter is probably Jif. The cheesesticks came from a cow that was probably not grassfed and sprinkled with Tibetan holy water. And she might be a tad low on the protein. But this is a great start towards balance. In the camp of quality vs. quantity, I would love to have both. If I had to pick one for someone to start with, it would be quantity because of 1) it can be applied more realistically to situations kids will see such as lunch room, restaurant, friend's house, etc. and 2) it starts to build the habit of categorizing food.

Next time. Add one more cheese stick and you should be golden. Maybe a few extra grapes or strawberries too.