The Gain Train

Last weekend, I started the horribly detested task of meal prep. I told myself in the past I never wanted to do it, but alas, here we are. Mid-last week, I started feeling like I didn’t want to keep eating the same thing every day unless it was healthy. For example, for the past couple of years, I’ve been pile-driving fig bars into my mouth every day- figs are fruit, they have a lot of calories, and I really liked them, so why not, right? However, I’m trying to only eat healthy meals right now.

What I did was make a list of the optimal foods to eat, and then I made a daily plan of what to eat and when to eat (depending on my day-to-day work and work out schedule). Luckily, I switch off between meats every day, and my dinners are always different, courtesy of my mom. Thankfully, she wants to be healthy too, so our dinners are pretty supreme.

It turns out meal prep isn’t that bad, though I’ve had a lot of free time on my hands lately, and I’ve been trying to relax more on weeknights. I save all my extra work now for the weekends. Instead, nights are for television and meal prep. I don’t like meal prepping for the whole week because meals will go bad, so instead, I just plan the day before.

So far, it’s only been a week, but everything’s going well. I’m waiting for the moment where I get sick of everything and fall off the wagon. Clearly, I don’t have much faith in this, but what I do have is determination.

I’ve also started HIIT, which isn’t so bad either, but I do work up a huge sweat (normally, I’m not much of a sweater). I told myself I’d never do cardio either, but alas, here we are. I know that I have very low lung strength and I just feel really out of shape whenever I need to do any “cardio” things. Talk about discouraging…

In addition to these new additions to my workout plan, I’ve also tried to cut down my gym time. I actually am able to cut my time in half if I take shorter breaks, do circuits, and basically ignore my friends, the last of which is kind of sad. But I must sacrifice!

Back in my third year of college, I started eating as much as I could, not all of it necessarily healthy, but in that college life, I found it hard to do right for myself. I didn’t even work out. Then I started working out last year, but I wasn’t able to get in all the calories I needed. I ate as much as I could, but nutrition wasn’t really my priority. I was whatever about abs. I made lots of gainz in the first several months, as is normal when one starts working out regularly. Then it kind of plateau’d and I stopped worrying about nutrition altogether this year and I’ve just been working out because I was so used to it, and I just wanted to maintain. Suddenly, last week, I felt a great motivation to really go all out. Hence, all the changes to my lifestyle.

I think cutting out sweets has been the hardest thing, because they’re literally everywhere. At least it’s been easy not to drink fruit juices, soda, and alcohol, all of which I’ve cut out from my diet previously, anyway. I learned that I actually do like apples and tuna and brown rice. And it’s scary because I’m hungry almost every hour of the day. It kind of sucks being hungry all the time, but I don’t feel as bloated and gross as I did back in my third year (when I was “bulking” and not lifting and gained 30 lbs. of grossness and felt a perpetual need to poop throughout the day).

I predict the next step, if this doesn’t work out for me, is to take more supplements. I can’t even afford this lifestyle. So maybe I should just stop when my gym membership expires. I just want to be blessed with one ab so I can say that I did it and then I can go back to being pudgy.

I figured I’d edit my list of October goals, just to reorganize it. I also realized that these are goals that I’d like to take into November too.

Active goals (to schedule in): exercise/nutrition, research, figure out life

Passive goals: save money, show appreciation, watch TV

Everything kind of goes hand in hand. Relaxing more and working more on weekends saves me money by not going out (not to mention, I will opt out of eating out because of the nutrition factor, anyway). I’m able to focus on exercise and nutrition during the week, and can turn on the TV while meal prepping on weeknights. I leave any extra downtime for researching new things. Everything kind of just falls into place.

Food Lab

  • What is going to happen to my food lab if I’m all healthy and shit now?! Good question, but that can only be answered in time. I feel like I can still cook things, I just can’t eat it all myself. Hence, my friends can be my test subjects.
  • Pork belly with vinegar BBQ sauce: pre-health-craze-mode, modified from spoonforkbacon.com, I decided to use an oven instead of a grill because it was less unpredictable. This is definitely my most difficult and labor-intensive recipe to date, taking 4 hours of cook time, and more for prep time. Luckily, I had a team working with me. It turned out mostly good (maybe I was just starving to death), but some of the skin was not crunchy towards the middle- I’m not sure how to remedy this (problems may have included that the belly was frozen at first, I scored the skin too deep, or maybe I just cooked it wrong). But the skin that was good was perfect and crunchy, the fat was perfect and melted in your mouth, and the actual meat was perfect and tender. I was apprehensive about the vinegar bbq sauce at first, but it paired really well with the pork. It was also my first time cooking with beer, and just to let everyone know, I cooked this with a porter. I’m definitely obsessed with pork belly now, and I’m ready to find the perfect way to make it. When you work so hard for one recipe, it’s a fantastic feeling when it turns out well.
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~ by Btab on 18 October 2015.

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