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Exhaustion, IF, Cheating, Napping and Insomnia ...a very complicated question

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 17, 2011 at 4:30 AM

So when I'm out paddling, I have my meal structure pretty down pat. 2 of my 3 meals per day are paleo. I get up when the sun comes up and go to bed when the sun goes down. I paddle 4 to 6 hours a day and sleep well at night. At the end of that week, I'm pretty tired but I don't feel so awful. The problem? I'm in camp the next two weeks, and then for another week after that. When I have to be in camp, I'm so much more exhausted.

I work 6 days a week and am constantly busy. I have my own cabin with a kitchen and my original plan was to cook my own food to eat. But I'm finding I'm so exhausted in the morning I can't get up earlier than 5 minutes before I have to show up at SAD breakfast at the camp dining hall. I get to bed around 10:30 or 11 and get up at 7:30, just in time to make it to breakfast at 8am. I have leftovers that I cooked and froze ahead, that I microwave for lunch. There is little time for snacking because I'm out on the water all day (driving boats and teaching sailing and such) I usually have time to microwave leftovers for dinner. Sometimes, I have to drop everything to go drive 3 hours to the beach to rescue kayakers, pick them up and take them somewhere and sometimes spend the night and next morning with them. I sleep as much as I can, like at most reasonable opportunities like when we're on a 2 hour ferry ride etc. Here are specific questions:

  1. If I have dropped everything and I'm driving and I get hungry the only option is fast food. Is it better to IF (and risk not getting enough calories for the day) or eat as paleo as possible at a fast food joint?

  2. Would it be bad for me to get a large quantity of my daily fuel I need from food I can inhale quickly- like let's say coconut oil? I asked another question and everyone said I wasn't eating enough, but its gonna be hard for me to eat more without those extra calories being SAD. I'm totally willing to eat coconut oil by the spoonful if that's ok to do for a couple of weeks. Would that give me the energy I need? It would be better than getting the calories from VERY crappy SAD dining hall food right?

  3. My lunch and dinner leftover meals are pretty small portions- like dinner easily fits in the palms of my hands put together. Should I try to push myself to eat more even if I'm not hungry?

  4. Is adrenal fatigue real and is it possible I have it at the moment?

  5. I get to the point of exhaustion mid day and sometimes tell my staff member to call me if he needs help (he can run a couple of activities without me) and I take a nap, or when I'm driving I take a nap on the ferry. I feel like this really negatively impacts the quality of my sleep that night, but I can't stay awake mid day.

  6. Does drinking a cup of coffee in the morning (to help me wake up and function- I've never been like this before btw) making everything worse?

  7. Do you think my body just can't keep adjusting its sleep patterns from week to week?

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on July 18, 2011
at 12:52 PM

This is great advice. I too find myself more sluggish if I've had a rushed morning. I wake up at 5:30, start with a walk/jog with the dog, then get ready and still have 15-20 minutes to either relax or make breakfast. I used to be a night owl, but I find my time in the mornings so essential I am happy to go to bed early. 8)

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on July 17, 2011
at 06:38 PM

I just thought of another one, just did it this week, I made a big pot of spaghetti sauce full of veggies and herbs, bit red wine, and ground pork. It was so thick and heavy, we ate it without zoodles. You can do the same with a pot of chili, and can work in the crock as well!

Medium avatar

(2169)

on July 17, 2011
at 05:17 PM

Thanks! I hadn't even thought of avocados. Don't know why that didn't cross my mind! I have been using my crockpot during the day. I hadn't thought about using it at night! Most of my frozen leftovers are crock pot. I'm totally doing it at night instead. Thanks for the great advice!

560821f3e7352455c3ebc2283d424f2e

on July 17, 2011
at 04:00 PM

Good ideas. Also tinned fish (sardines, tuna, salmon) with some hit sauce or mustard are good portable meals. Remember can opener!!

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4 Answers

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345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on July 17, 2011
at 02:03 PM

Just a few suggestions for you to add quick things to your meals: keep lots potatoes/sweet potatoes in your kitchen, not optimal to microwave them, but probably the easiest for you. Carrots too!

Crock pot (larger the better): sounds like maybe you could literally toss in chicken, pork, veggies even those pototes and have it cook overnight so first thing in the AM you have enough for two meals. It sounds like cooking it overnight might be the safest option for you since you might take off during the day for a rescue/retrival.

Avocados are just as good in fat as coconut oil (in the scheme of things at least) this is something you can toss in a backpack or with your lunch. Also take fruit (fresh and dry), nuts and dry coconut, access to jerky?

Can you get to the store and stock up on these things????? I'd say you need to plan each week out, purchase enough meat, chicken so you can cook large amounts overnight. Once you get the first week or two down you should just roll.

In general I think the key for you is planning! It sounds like what you need is a very healthy, and balanced set of meals. But I can see how your schedule would make it complex without proper planning.

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on July 17, 2011
at 06:38 PM

I just thought of another one, just did it this week, I made a big pot of spaghetti sauce full of veggies and herbs, bit red wine, and ground pork. It was so thick and heavy, we ate it without zoodles. You can do the same with a pot of chili, and can work in the crock as well!

560821f3e7352455c3ebc2283d424f2e

on July 17, 2011
at 04:00 PM

Good ideas. Also tinned fish (sardines, tuna, salmon) with some hit sauce or mustard are good portable meals. Remember can opener!!

Medium avatar

(2169)

on July 17, 2011
at 05:17 PM

Thanks! I hadn't even thought of avocados. Don't know why that didn't cross my mind! I have been using my crockpot during the day. I hadn't thought about using it at night! Most of my frozen leftovers are crock pot. I'm totally doing it at night instead. Thanks for the great advice!

3
560821f3e7352455c3ebc2283d424f2e

on July 17, 2011
at 04:04 PM

I would prefer to IF than eat try to eat paleo at fast food places. I seems to set off cravings etc no matter how careful I try to be. Again try to carry snacks/meals so not faced with that problem. Can you pack a coolbox with food for when you are out and about.

1
Bee33f6da1beec1cf15e3e7003f0120d

(351)

on July 17, 2011
at 08:07 PM

I know that you're exhausted in the mornings, but I'm sure you'd find that forcing yourself to get up 30min earlier, have a big, nourishing breakfast, and focus yourself for the day would pay off. Loved the crockpot stew for breakfast idea, try making breakfast your "dinner", rather than trying to catch-up on your nutrition and calories later in the day. I haven't read much of the primal sleep stuff, but I've always found that I'm much more tired throughout the day if I haven't given myself enough time to wake properly before I go out. I would recommend you give yourself more time, even do a simple 5min meditation or some yoga moves/stretches, just something to welcome the day, rather than resisting it.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on July 18, 2011
at 12:52 PM

This is great advice. I too find myself more sluggish if I've had a rushed morning. I wake up at 5:30, start with a walk/jog with the dog, then get ready and still have 15-20 minutes to either relax or make breakfast. I used to be a night owl, but I find my time in the mornings so essential I am happy to go to bed early. 8)

0
E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on July 17, 2011
at 11:35 AM

How many carbs do you eat? What does a typical meal day look like?

I would definitely make all your meals as big as possible. Dried fruit may be another quick portable option if you have access to it.

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