I’m writing a lot this week because I can. The wife is at her parent’s house in Long Island, New York, and I have a lot of free time. She kinda sorta hates me writing all of this stuff because I’m sitting in my office and she’s out with the dog in the living room. I exist in my mind, and it’s very freeing to be able to take some of this and put it on paper, so to speak.
So I’m hitting the internet with a deluge of posts this week.
First up, I want to go into how I plan my eating for the next day. This is a concept my wife can’t stand. On any given day, at 5:15, she’s just wondering what she’s hungry for. Then starts the “what am I going to have for dinner?”. “There’s no food here”. “What about me for dinner”?
So yeah, in my post yesterday, I mentioned how when I cut the cord to the wife’s dinner problems, my world opened up.
I also may have sent this picture to her as she was pulling out of the driveway Sunday, so not sure how that went over. I was pretty happy with myself.
So, it’s not like I go and eat lunch at Denny’s for my meal preparation and figure out the rest of my life around that. Usually, the dinner or evening before the next day I’m mapping out for tomorrow. I start with the basics…I need my goddamn coffee in the morning, so I have my coffee pre-programmed in with a recipe in MyFitnessPal. Pop it right in. As I also mentioned yesterday, the trainer has me on 2,400 calories a day.
Next, I really like these “overnight oatmeal” recipes I found online. More on that further below. So I know I want to also have oatmeal prior to going to the gym. So I’m going to plug one in for dinner and breakfast.
I have like 15 frozen meals at the moment in my freezer from all of my prepping. I think I want to grab a chicken to take with me for lunch at work to get me some lean protein and carbs with brown rice and broccoli. This meal is a little low on fats, so maybe I’ll grab a different one for dinner. By the way, if you measure your chicken by weight after you cook it, multiple it by 1.4 to get what the actual caloric values are. When you cook meats, they lose water and yes, it’s a significant amount of weight. So I put roughly 6 and a half ounces of chicken in each meal and that is 8 ounces for nutritional value. Generally speaking, my poultry meals are lower in fats.
Next, I am looking to get a meal with a decent amount of protein, but I need some fats. I just made up some bacon-wrapped turkey burgers last night. I stored 6 in 3 containers in the freezer and left one out for use. So let’s add the turkey burgers. I’m going to eat them on whole wheat rolls, add a touch of mayo, lettuce, tomato, and onion.
I have breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a pre-workout meal here. Here’s the bacon-wrapped turkey burger macros. Because I make this up from time to time – look, it has all of the suggested items I always use!
Am I done? Looks like I have 295 calories left. At this point, from doing this for 4 months, I know I’ve gotten in the ball park of my 40% carbs, 30% fats, and 30% protein. I also know that getting 30% of your calories from meats only is hard to do. I can leave those calories be, but I don’t want to get into the habit of shorting calories because I’m also trying to build muscle. I have tons of energy to go to the gym….because I eat properly. When you start shorting your calories a lot, you start getting fatigue, and you’ve just re-entered your cycle of couch potato.
Let me check and try and get closer to my macros…
OK…fats are kinda dead on, but I need some protein here that also doesn’t introduce fat. What about my whey supplements with milk? You know what, maybe I’ll have that immediately after I get home from the gym? I’ll probably eat my oatmeal cup around 4PM in preparation for the gym, then get home around 5:30-5:45. I’ll pop the shake at 5:30 and eat my dinner at like 7:30. I figure I’m still a few calories short, and I have some honeycrisp apples in the fridge. Hell, good source of a couple more grams of fiber and it will help keep my feeling fuller. I’m going to add that to my lunch to get me some fiber. Maybe I’ll eat it mid morning or mid afternoon.
OK – let me check back for the final tally…puts me at -5 calories for the day.
OK- I see here my carbs are a little high. Not bad. As long as you’re close to your macros, it’s good. Whatever those macros are your professional recommends, that is. What I know from my breakdown here (which goes on when you scroll) is that each of my oatmeal cups are 45g of carbs. I have 1 tsp of honey in each, but the rest of the carbs are from oatmeal mostly, which has some decent fiber in it.
Next, I just want to take a peek at my overall stats for this day to include micros as well as things like fiber. Maybe there’s a lessons learned here. For example, I thought it was GRRREAT to each a bunch of snow crabs two nights in a row for lean meats. Gained like 3 pounds. It wasn’t real “fat” weight, it was indeed water weight. When I went back and checked my sodium for those days, it was somewhere north of 7,000. That’s a ton. I lost the water weight in a few days, but you have to keep your overall health in mind here. This is why oatmeal is better to have as a carb than sugar. Maybe the calories are the same for the portions weighed, but one provides a ton of side benefits. Sugar is not necessarily the devil (it kinda is), but try and cut back on it. Remember, sugar is just one type of carb. Carbs are good. But not all carbs are the same.
Overall stats below…
This literally took me about 30 seconds to do, as I mentioned, I’ve been doing this now for 4 months. It’s now 7:04PM. I know every morsel of food going into my mouth tomorrow. That is my rule. I make slight exceptions for my cheat meal – but I generally have an idea what that is (like my beloved cheese steak) and I will plan appropriately for it by putting that on the menu right after my coffee. The rest of the day I plan around that. So I can have my cheat meal as whatever the hell I want…but I also try to hit my macros and stay under my calories. This, my friend, is how people “live in moderation”. A skill I was not born with lol.
Next….the overnight oatmeal.
I’ve been seeing this all over the place on youtube the last month or so when looking up prep stuff. I didn’t think much of it. Well, I tried it, and I’m in love. I kinda sorta souped up the recipe a bit.
The other day, I made one with strawberries and another with PB2. I’m not much of a candy and dessert person, but if I’m down for that game, the name of the game is chocolate/peanut butter. My mom has been trying to get me to try PB2 forever, and I finally did it. I wasn’t a huge fan of the strawberry one, but that’s just because I find a lot of strawberries as kind of bitter.
The general gist of these is:
- milk (or almond milk)
- greek yogurt
- chia seeds
The proportions you mix up is up to you. Overnight, the chia seeds absorb liquid and everything sort of solidifies into a denser greek yogurt. Very satisfying. Tremendously satisfying, and gets my peanut butter fix with 1/3 the calories. Here’s how I made my peanut butter ones:
- 1/2 cup milk (I needed more milk to dissolve the PB2)
- 1/3 cup greek yogurt 2%
- 1/3 cup oatmeal (I just made a batch which has 1/2 cup oatmeal, as I wanted more carbs/fiber to use these before the gym)
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp honey (gives a little sweetness)
- 1 tsp cacao nibs (my latest batch had two tsp. Some people use cocoa powder, which I’m going to try, but I had the nibs laying around and wanted to try them)
- 2 TBSP PB2
You put this in the fridge overnight, and in the morning….voila!
- 353 calories (completely satiated me until noon and I had it at 7AM)
- 8.9 g fat (compare this to the recipes that call for peanut butter)
- 49.9 g carbs
- 14.8 g protein
- 151 mg sodium
- 472mg potassium (I might chop a banana and add to one of these at some point)
- 24% of calcium for the day
- 14.4% of daily iron
- 7.3 g of fiber
Once you make the base up…it’s easy to customize with frozen fruits. I’m considering maybe even adding whey (chocolate) and a banana to a recipe and use it as a recovery meal after a hard planned workout. Might help the chocolate peanut butter obsession as well…lol.