Training Day: Saturday, January 30, 2016- Exercises in Estimation

So here’s a new kind of But What Do You Eat post for you. Up until now, I’ve showcased all home cooked, carefully weighed and calculated days. But let’s face it, not every situation in life is going to call for this sort of precision. So today, I’m going to make things a little complicated. I’ll still be cooking at home, but I’m going to get a little more estimate-y on you.

Also I want frozen yogurt and I’ve been holding out on it for a week because usually I’m too lazy to put pants on and drive to get it in the evening, but I know tonight I’ll do it. I believe in myself. I can do this. Pants.

This is also the first post I’ll be making where my calories are quite high, for a person of my size, perhaps. My lifting days right now have my macro goals at 120P/315C/47F- well over 2100 calories. And I will fully admit, I’m struggling to hit them most days, ending up with sometimes 600-900 calories left after eating dinner, resulting in massive, massive “desserts,” which typically include a protein bar or Greek yogurt, fruit, and cereal. One gets so accustomed to eating low calorie, voluminous foods that it becomes difficult to break out of that and eat more calorically dense foods- we are, after all, creatures of habit. BUT when the goal is gain muscle, eating a little bit more is key!


I woke up feeling creative, so after hitting my squats like a boss, I stopped at the bodega to pick up a couple of ingredients. I had pressed some tofu yesterday and threw it in some marinade before hitting the gym- some soy sauce, a bunch of chopped lemongrass and garlic, and a bit of rice vinegar. I was craving a banh mi- my favorite sandwich (YES even above a turkey sandwich!) something fierce! The bodega didn’t have any daikon, so I ended up with a fusion banh mi, using jicama instead, and a bolillo instead of a baguette. Vietnamexican!

The tofu is pressed overnight, cut into 8 flat squares, marinated (I did not count the marinade in my calculations- honestly the amount of low sodium soy sauce it soaked up would have been negligible, and the rest of the ingredients were calorie-negligible as well, so there’s no need to complicate it), and baked at 250 for… I have no idea how long. Just look at it. It takes a while, but it’s totally worth going low and slow because it gives the tofu a nice non-squishy, substantial texture. On top, some quick pickled veggies- thickly matchsticked carrots, red onion, cucumber, and jicama with some pickled jalapeños (I always have a big jar in my fridge- they’re super easy to make and make everything so, so delicious), soaked in some of the jalapeño juice, some fresh cilantro, and of course, Sriracha.


The bolillo roll was the only thing that gave me some trouble estimating. I didn’t buy it in a package- it was made fresh moments before I bought it at the panaderia. As usual, I took to the internet and my LoseIt app. I checked a few entries on LoseIt to see what an average bolillo looked like, in terms of macros. Having been at this weighing and measuring game for a while, I have a pretty decent idea of what a food should have in it. Then I took to finding an entry that had a weight attached, and weighed my own bolillo. It was a whopper, at 131g. What I found was a Market Pantry bolillo that weighed in at 57g. Doubling this, the macros seemed to match up pretty well to what I anticipated, so I simply entered 2 servings of that entry, confident that it was close enough.










Would I do this on contest prep? Probably not within the last few weeks. But right now, a few calories in ore direction or the other is not going to make or break my diet or my physique. And this sandwich is freaking amazing.

Oh yeah- and this cookie. OHMYGAWD THIS COOKIE.


MyProtein sent me some stuff to try recently, and I have to say I was skeptical about this cookie. Having been let down by every flavor of a very popular “protein cookie,” I did not have high hopes for these. And the macros made me even more suspicious. If that other brand couldn’t manage to be good at the crap macros it had, how on earth could these cookies be good with macros of 10F/20C/37P?


So I ate half of one, just to try it.

And they are MAGICAL. So soft, flavorful, and satisfying- these are chocolate mint and they are SUPER minty. I can’t wait to try the other flavors!



  • 120P – (34)= 86 remaining
  • 315C – (91)= 224 remaining
  • 47F – (15)= 32 remaining


Having had a biiiiiiiig satisfying breakfast sandwich, and planning to spend a bunch of time cooking dinner, I didn’t feel much like lunch, just a bit of a snack. Of course, I can’t leave the bodega without fresh ceviche, and I had stopped this morning… so ceviche with jicama slices was readily accessible, and so, so delicious.

Straight from the container, on the scale, no shame. I’m the only one in the house that eats it anyhow.


I started cooking dinner while I was eating my ceviche. I had some pork stew meat that I had bought on clearance (don’t judge- the clearance meat section is great for when you want to feel creative on a deadline. I’ve bought all kinds of things I otherwise wouldn’t have, and most have turned out awesome!) and wanted to take a second stab at adobada. I even picked up the proper dried peppers for it- Guajillo- when I picked up all the other things I needed for the previous meals.


  • 86P – (14) = 72 remaining
  • 224C – (28) = 196 remaining
  • 32F – (0) = 32 remaining


Now, I’ve been asked a couple of times about my adobada, having mentioned it before. Unfortunately, my recipe is sort of not a recipe. It just happens organically on this one. Each component is negligible in calories- dried peppers, chicken stock, vinegar, spices… so I sort of eyeball and estimate, which is not typical for me on ANYTHING, but, works for the adobada for some reason, and I’ll try to give at least a vague idea of how it goes.

KIND-OF-THE-RECIPE: I began by toasting my peppers (about 4 of them) in a pan with a tiny bit of oil until they smelled spicy. Then I covered them in about 4 cups of chicken stock, a splash of white vinegar, and a squirt of lime juice, as well as 4 whole cloves, a few pieces of orange peel (I dehydrated some and keep it in a jar in my spice cupboard just to have on hand, but fresh would be great, too, or 1-2T orange juice), and once it got to a boil, turned the heat off and covered it for about 10 minutes.

While my peppers were hydrating, I patted my meat dry, then seasoned with a mix of salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, and oregano, then working in batches, slightly browned it. That Maillard reaction makes food taste so much better! Straight into the crock pot with the meat! In the browning pan, I tossed a whole onion, sliced, and a couple of bulbs of chopped garlic before tossing them into the crock pot as well, along with a bay leaf.

Once the peppers have sat for a while and softened, I removed the aromatics and put the peppers, along with about 1/2C of the fluid, and one or two canned chipotles in adobo in the blender, adding more liquid if needed, until all of the peppers are liquified. The sauce then joins the peppers and pork in the crock pot, which is turned on high for four hours, stirring a bit as needed if you, like me, like to just fuck with things that don’t need to be.



Once the house smells amazing and the pork is super tender, take it out, shred it with two forks, and serve atop corn tortillas with some green cabbage (I don’t think that’s traditional, but I like a little crunch in my tacos), chopped onion, cilantro, avocado, and queso fresco!




We also had some cilantro lime rice- just make some rice, and stir in some lime juice, a little butter, and fresh chopped cilantro- as well as some black beans, which I served in some of the spicy sauce from the crock pot.

Not my most aesthetic dinner, or my most precise recipe, but goddamn delicious!







My mouth pleasantly burning, I took to my app- did I have enough macros left for frozen yogurt?! would I have to put on pants tonight?!


Macro-math: using the “remaining” macros after calculating post-lunch

  • 72P – (39)=33 remaining
  • 196C – (83)=113 remaining
  • 32F – (15)= 17 remaining


Oh yes. Plenty of room. Lactaid and pants, it is! I stuck my smallest scale in my pocket, and off we went.


I happen to know that Yogurtland posts their nutritional information by WEIGHT, which is absolutely incredible, ad a fairly new development. Previously, I had to do a bunch of math to figure out the difference between an ounce by weight and an ounce by volume, and it made it almost not worth it to know exactly, unless I was prepping, so I’d do a close estimate. But Yogurtland saves the day, and we head there, already having entered 9 ounces by weight of frozen yogurt into my app, and having a bit of wiggle room left for toppings. Because I was going to fall slightly shorten protein, I asked my husband if we could come home and have froyo while watching an episode of Anthony Bourdain that I had found- we are planning a trip to Australia next month, and I always watch any of his shows about a place before we go. I wish there was an episode of The Layover for Sydney or Melbourne, but, Parts Unknown will suffice. One home, I’d pop a couple of Think Thin Protein Bites on top of my froyo to account for some of that protein, and increase the deliciousness.


I also chose a little bit of crushed Butterfingers, some Reese’s, and like 3 mini caramel cups. Because YOLO. Usually I stick some fruit on there too, but the salted caramel praline and cookies and cream frozen yogurt base didn’t lend itself to fruit so much. I chose both fat free options, with 40 calories per ounce.









Now, before I even leave the yogurt shop with my green plastic spoon (Zack always lets me have the green one, even if the other one is pink, because it’s my favorite!), I know that I haven’t hit my macros as closely as I normally do. But I’m not upset. I’m eating frozen yogurt, and I made some incredible food. I’m happy. I’m happy to have done these things and still managed to stay aware of what I’m eating and how much. Let’s see the math, with dessert:


  • 33P – (23)= 10 remaining
  • 113C – (123) = -10
  • 17F – (16)= 1 remaining

I missed my protein by a little bit, and went over the same number of carbs. Seeing as both carbs and protein are 4 calories per gram, I’ve managed to stick to my overall calorie goal for the day, even if the macros are slightly off.


Do I punish myself for this? Absolutely not. We laugh and laugh about the tiny lambs hopping around with Anthony Bourdain, enjoying our dessert, knowing that he’s for sure going to eat one of those adorable creatures, but that I will likely NOT be joining in the lamb feast in Australia.