Rest Day: Wednesday, September 2, 2015

We all understand that workdays work juuuuuuust a little bit differently than weekends, in terms of food, yeah? For those of us who don’t like the food prep lifestyle, anyhow.

For me, weekends I tend to do a bit more grazing, whereas weekdays, I run around like a nutso- maniac because, well, I’m a high school teacher who is less than a month out from presenting her master’s research findings and also tries to balance lifting like a beast and keeping the house and marriage in some semblance of order… weekdays are a bit hairy, and I have far less time to sit around and nibble shit. I also have very little time to eat during my workday, teaching 5 classes a day, and typically working on my latest thesis draft during my prep periods. Hooray for intermittent fasting!

Good morning, coffee!

My day starts out at 4:30. Yes. In the morning. 4:30 in the morning.

There is so much coffee- my husband gets up even earlier and gets that going, and even brings me a cup as I step out of the shower. He’s amazing, right? So by 5:30, or 6 if it’s a Monday and I had to wash, dry, and straighten my hair, I’m out of the bathroom with my face all done and my hairs all pretty, ready to get the day going.

Let’s get one thing straight: breakfast IS the most important meal of the day. But not because your health teacher said so (which has no scientific backing, all that metabolism boost bullshit, not a thing.) No, it’s because I haven’t eaten in at least 16 hours and I want whatever it is I eat to break my fast to be goddamn delicious. So every morning, I make myself a majestic lunch, suitable for longing stares in the teacher’s lounge during seventh period as I consume it ravenously. I go for a classic sandwich/salad/wrap, because these are my favorite foods. Something about all the little pieces, the chopping, the arranging, the combination options… I love that shit.

It’s a rest day, so today is a salad day. Remember: rest day means low carb, higher fats. Also, I’m currently embarking on a mini-cut, as detailed by 3D Muscle Journey, due to some overindulgence at a wedding in Wisconsin and a slight overshot on my TDEE, resulting in carrying just a tad too much fat for my liking, with a music festival coming up in less than three weeks. A mini-cut is NOT a full fat-loss dieting phase, or a contest prep, it’s just a quick and dirty couple weeks of reduced calories during a gaining phase for when you realize you’ve put on a bit too much fat, but intend to resume your gaining phase immediately after. So calories are a touch lower than normal, but will be back up to maintenance level by the time TomorrowWorld rolls around- less than 3 weeks.

Macro goals for the day are:

  • Protein: 125-130g
  • Carbs: <50g
  • Fats: 54-58g
Luckily, I have a third hour prep and then there’s a few minutes of break before my fifth period class, and then seventh hour prep… because I literally need EVERY ONE of those breaks to pee

Got my beverages for the day all ready to go- as always, Scivation mango BCAAs, a La Croix water that I’ll have with my first meal, a giant water, and DUH more coffee!

Prepped salad- what a beauty!

I had pulled out a baggie of pulled pork from the freezer, portioned out from a big ol’ Boston butt I had made a few weeks ago in the slow cooker. Yummmm, perfect on a high fat/low carb day. Using spinach as my base (I keep a 2.5 Costco bag of spinach in the fridge at all times) I build it up with avocados, onion, feta, cucumbers, red peppers, and pine nuts. I HAD a dressing, a lime infused olive oil paired with a serrano-honey balsamic, but, there was a dressing incident in my bag on the way to school, and I ended up just stealing a scoop of salsa from another teacher to dress my salad when lunchtime came around.

I break my fast during my seventh period prep time, 1245, which I split between eating and using as collaboration time to develop Economics curriculum with my department head.

Macro and ingredient breakdown on that work of art:

Hella spinach, though, right?

My last class ends at 1442, but I make it a point to get my daily grading done EVERY DAY before I leave school, unless it’s an essay or an exam, in which case I grade a specific number that I’ve set ahead of time. This has worked out supremely well, as I then stay on top of my grading and don’t have it pile up, nor do I bring it home, and i can spend my evenings lifting, cooking, and working on this blasted thesis. So I leave my classroom sometime between 3:15 and 4:30 each day- I aim for the earlier end on lifting days, and allow myself to stay a bit later on rest days, since I don’t have to allot time for lifting. I managed to get home at about 1600 today, not bad. But I was pretty hungry.

Taco meat: Way more delicious than it is aesthetic. Zack rocks at making taco meat.

A glance into the fridge reveals some leftover turkey taco meat from earlier in the week. Fuck yes. Weigh and consume. It’s not enough, so I pull out a cucumber, a string cheese, and some sliced turkey. Costco has these fabulous packages of sliced turkey- it’s not thin like lunchmeat, it’s, like, shaved? I buy it ALL THE TIME (along with my rotisserie chicken, obviously, they’re neighbors in the store), split a package into three, and freeze two to pull out later. Macro gem, and so easy.

Not fancy. But yummy.

Anyhow, I slice up my cuke, squeeze a little dollop of chipotle mustard on each slice, and top with a chunk of turkey and a slice of my string cheese. Ooooh, now I’ve created ghetto hors d’oeuvrs. Anyhow I get to eat 19 of them and I like that. Keeps my mouth busy while I check reddit quick before I start dinner.

“Lunch” pretty much always consists of a snack like this or an omelette, depending on how ravenous I am when I get home. Today, no chill, couldn’t do all the necessary prep work, so cold taco meat and cucumber slices it is. I’m just as satisfied, and can then focus more energy on prepping dinner instead.

Turkey weight is PRECOOK. I happen to know that the multiplier on this is 1.19- whatever the cooked weight on my taco meat is, multiplied by 1.19, is the uncooked weight. We eat a lot of tacos…

A quick text to Zack before I start prepping dinner tells me that he, too, has had a rest day. Hooray! I get to prep just ONE type of dinner tonight! I’m pretty accustomed to prepping one lifting and one resting dinner, so this makes me super happy. This means I get one less stressor in my day. Having defrosted some chicken thighs last night, I decide to make what I call a coconut milk adobo. I toss the marinade in a baggie with the thighs and leave it for about an hour.

Aside: My friend Leilani looked at me like I sprouted a tail once before when I mentioned this. Filipino folks don’t like you to fuck with their food, I guess, and this shit is straight up blasphemy. Anyhow, it’s adobo inspired (because soy and rice wine vinegar?), and I need the fats, so coconut milk seemed like a fun addition when I was experimenting. It turned out delicious, so now the recipe lives in my LoseIt recipe file and I make it on the regs. Whatever, Leilani, you’re not the boss of my kitchen.

Ugly? Maybe. Delicious? Mot definitely.

Being a low carb day, I decide to spiralize a couple of zucchini to serve my coconut adobo over, instead of rice, and my produce selection indicates that the asparagus needs to get eaten. Zack compliments the meal, asking if I had tried something new. Apparently I haven’t made this one in a while, but I’m happy he still/again likes it!

The sauce is just soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, a ridiculous amount of garlic, sambal, black pepper, and coconut milk with some spices, and it coats the zoodles perfectly.

Shut up, cat, you know I gotchu.

After dinner, I spend some time fighting myself to start planning my next Econ unit, having already set myself up a week or so ahead on US History lesson plans. It’s a losing battle, though, and I can’t focus, so I give up and make dessert. I’ll have to do some planing during their period when I normally work on thesis edits. Dammit Stephanie, get your shit straight, now you’re behind on EVERYTHING.

Have I mentioned before that dessert is an every day occurrence? It is. I MUST end my day with a little something sweet. On low carb days, this tends to be a little more difficult, so I typically save up some protein during the day so I can make a Beltsander brownie- you know the one- a microwaved protein shake, essentially. On a day where I have more carbs to play with, I’ll make some concoction with Greek yogurt and Oreos or whatever, maybe, but low carb days, especially when protein macros are high and the other two fairly low? A Beltsander will do just fine. I make mine fancy by using some of the leftover coconut milk from dinner and adding a splash of orange extract to the “batter.”

PROTIP: Stock up on different flavored extracts in the baking aisle, and add them to your Beltsanders! My collection includes mint, orange, vanilla, maple, coffee, hazelnut, rum, butter (buy this and add it to everything- it makes it taste like real baked goods, I fucking swear), almond, and coconut. The combination possibilities are endless!

I won this protein in an IG contest. Shoutout Vitamin Shoppe. It’s pretty good.

I make up the remainder of my fats and carbs in Arctic Zero and white chocolate macadamia nut peanut butter- fuck yeah.  This one is by Reginald’s Homemade, and I chose it because the fat to carb ratio is higher on the fats side than many of my other butters. Macadamia nuts are amazing sources of fats, FYI, and very low in carbs.

I’ve made really ugly food to share with you today. Sorry about that. Weekdays, though.

I adjust the amount of protein in my “brownie” and such based on whatever fills my macro needs for the day. Today, 25g does the trick, and leaves me with a few grams left over to fill in with fake ice cream and peanut butter. Can I get much more stereotypical basic fitgirl, though? OMGZZZZZ ARCTIC ZERO AND PBBBBBB!!!

At this point, I start to show my old lady colors. It’s freaking 8pm and I’m BEAT- I’ve been up for almost 16 hours already. I decide I’d like a cup of tea, though. I went to Target earlier in the day to stock up on clearance school supplies (shut up, don’t judge, I’m a teacher, remember? I have a weakness for colored felt tip pens and Expo markers) and OH MY GOD they had my favorite tea! They have all the fall/winter things appearing, and my favorite winter tea is out again- Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride!!! Whatever, it’s Celestial Seasonings, it’s not fancy, but I love it. So, tea, and then bed. I’m excited to be in bed before 10, actually, most nights I hit the sheets between 10 and 11, before waking up and doing it all over again… 4:30 is so. blasted. early.

Did I ever mention I’m not a morning person?

Ending macros for the day, then:

  • Protein: 128g (goal 125-130: NAILED IT)
  • Carbs: 50g (goal <50… yeah, nailed it, that’s fine, let’s not be nitpicky, huh?)
  • Fats: 58g (goal 54-58- boom)

Another successful day of eating stuff. I love eating stuff.

As an aside, this mini-cut is going great, but I’m really glad it’s only like 2-3 weeks long, and I’m itching to get back to my reverse. It’s my own fault, though, for letting the wine and festivities get the best of me, and for over-calculating my macros for a few weeks, getting a bit ahead of myself with the reverse, leading to some unintentional fat gain that ended up being just a bit more than I’m comfortable with before continuing. I do not recommend this protocol to the casual dieter, it’s pretty uncomfortable, if I’m honest, and the only reason I’ve implemented it truly is that I hope to compete again before the end of the year and I want my body composition not to get out of hand, requiring a lengthy prep diet. I’d have been OK at TomorrowWorld with a little bit more booty, but, on stage… not so much. Next post will be back to my regularly scheduled programming. And probably with bonus music festival photos.

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