A few years ago my boss handed me a copy of A Week in the Zone by Dr. Barry Sears; it seemed most people in the company were trying The Zone. I'd been raised on good Germanic and Irish-style stick-to-your-ribs cooking and had become somewhat luxuriant in shape and size. I had tried the low-fat diet but, though I was extremely careful and exercised as well, nothing really changed.
The Zone, however, helped me drop twenty pounds and I was perfectly happy eating that way. I also kept exercising though my main aim there was to get more energy for my day. Unfortunately, I lost that job and fell off the Zone wagon, then became pregnant with my second baby. Somehow, in the last six years I've never managed to get back to eating this way. But, guess who's back?
Sorry for the slightly blurry photo, I was in a hurry to eat before it got cold.
Here's The Idea
A Week in the Zone lays out three different methods for following The Zone, I go by the Zone block method which means that I know about how many 'blocks' of carbohydrates, protein, and 'good' fat I should aim to have for meals and snacks. Snacks are mandatory, which is pretty popular with me. The whole idea is to treat food no differently than medication, eating well at regular intervals in order to keep blood sugar from spiking or dropping. Avoiding these highs and lows can help stave off cravings, moodiness, and exhaustion. (Though if you have young children nothing really helps tiredness but to wait for a couple of years before you can get to sleep more again...sorry.)
According to my gender and general body type, I'm aiming for four blocks each of carbohydrate, protein, and fat in a meal. What makes up a 'block' is explained in the book or you can read an explanation here. So I already had a one-block (in general) energy bar (the Chocolate Coconut Almond Mojo bars are amazing). They're generous on the fat blocks because they're mostly made with nuts so this left me needing a three-block breakfast, at least for carbs and protein. Later I added what's pictured above.
- Ham & Cheese Crepe made from cornmeal crepes I had leftover yesterday (figure two blocks of protein and probably one block of carbs)
- Grapefruit & 1/3 of a banana one of my favorite combinations of fruit which I dusted with flaxseed to add 'good fat' (figure two blocks of carbohydrate and a block of fat)
- one fried egg added to round out protein (one block)
This isn't the perfectionist on the Zone but it gets me back to the Zone. Hungry? Not anymore!
NOTE: There are a lot of products on the market that are branded as The Zone (energy bars and meal replacements) that I believe have nothing whatever to do with Dr. Barry Sears. Buyer beware. The REAL Zone is about being educated about food and living healthy, it's not about meal replacement 'diet plans' or short-term fixes!
Anyone want a step-by-step crepe recipe for my next post? I'll be working on photos and instructions. Watch this space!