Next phase: recomp. A li’l bit scared.

I’ve been trying to figure out what my food should look like in this next phase. I’ve run through a bunch of calculators and they’re all very close.

Pictured is what I entered in MyFitnessPal for my new goals.

Macro Goals

Mind you, I’ve been maintaining a 1200 calorie diet for years now – that is currently ~450 calorie deficit to cut fat. As you can see below, I’ll be eating substantially more, a LOT more on workout days, maintaining on rest days.

I don’t know if I can get to 2060 calories. I’m confident that I can’t get there today. I just had dinner which puts me at 1150 calories o.O – I’ve planned a post-workout chocolate peanut butter, protein shake for this evening before I start my fast.

Even today I’ll be at 1500 trying to eat more.

Let me back up. I can get to a 5000 calorie day and did so 5 days of my last cycle (I was 7 days late). But we’re talking about a medium pizza, chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookie dough, ice cream. I can probably get to 10k if I start early and drink some calories, too. I can do that and not feel sick. Oh boy can I binge! SUGAR!!

But that’s not what I’m talking about here. Getting 2060 calories that involve 150g of protein? Protein makes ya feel full for a very, very long time. The food I’m eating is veryy filling what feels like forever.

And if I’m being honest with myself, I am straight up scared of gaining weight. Ultimately there will be gains both in muscle and fat, I’ll have to do a fat cut phase again in the future. But I also need to feed the muscles that I’m working so hard.

I’m 153lbs, 32.9% body fat today. If my body fat goes in the wrong direction then I will make some modifications. Possibly lifting more, possibly cutting back on food a bit. Right now my goal is generally to lose fat and gain muscle. That’s a hard one, but whatever.

I’m here for it.

And I will continue fasting. Which yes, makes it harder to get more food in. But it also gives my body a break to process insulin, go through more autophagy ,, and generally give my digestive system a rest. The fasting will be more for mental clarity, to avoid diabetes, to drop my cholesterol, and because it’s freaking cheaper and easier than eating all the time. Food is $$$ and requires cleaning up after. Crikey, what a pain!

Sometimes, life surprises us

Actually, fuck “sometimes.” Often?

Often is more accurate.

Surprises can be delightful, or they can be traumatic. Or anywhere in between. I’ve had my share of traumatic experiences in the last decade. The surprise there was how evil some “people” can be.

Those surprises made the current state of the world much less surprising. That’s unfortunate.

But in the last few days I’ve had some good surprises.

I let someone know I’d been uncomfortable with a situation that happened some time ago. I expected misdirection, redirection, blame, dismissiveness.

Instead, they also expressed discomfort and we agreed on how to move forward.

A surprise: a delightfully pleasant one.

And today, I had a non-human surprise. My partner and I had identified some probable poison ivy in the yard. Unfortunately, the “poison ivy” was climbing my fence – the only reason that my dog stays here! So it came to be choppin’ time.

I chopped chopped chopped. Lots of vines, not all looked like poison.

And then… I saw them.


Berries. I stopped and thought to myself, “does poison ivy flower? Does it have berries?” What about those thorn/spike things? Is that a feature of poison ivy?”

So I got my phone from the house and identified the plant: blackberries. Poison ivy does not have spikes/thorns. I stopped there, still not sure if the stuff flowers.

I stopped chopping. Yes, the fence still needs care – but I want to see what I can do about not killing off all the berries in order to protect the fence. On a cool morning.

And so… surprise. The thing I had earmarked as “bad” was… not only not bad, it was entirely misidentified. I had labeled one thing — something I wanted — as a bad thing.

And so… healing. It all comes back to healing.

EMDR. Reprocessing trauma and learning how to be me safely in the world. Learning. Growth. A reminder that things can turn out to be good.

So I ask… dear world: please continue to surprise me in the delightful way, because right now things are looking pretty fucking grim in “the world” (I mean the close-to-disUnited States) and I could really use some more … optimism.

And lastly but of course, not least… happy birthday mom. I miss you. Thank you for sending some berries to eat, along with that tiny dash of hope. ❤️

Cooking and fear

I worry about wasting food. Not wasting food as in “Oh that portion was too big, I’ll throw out the waste.” But wasting food as in, “I just spent all this time cooking and it’s inedible, now i have to throw it out and figure out my meal and clean up up the mess!”

So I’d never even try. The whole thing was too much emotional load.

Then last week, I was channel jumping on YouTube when I ran across a video about why restaurant vegetables taste so much better than home-cooked vegetables.

Now, I’m not a cook. I can make a few, staple dishes, mostly with predictably edible results. But… I’m sick of them. Totally sick of my normal meals.

Those meals include: chicken & veggies (basically a skillet meal), soft tacos, pasta, homemade pizza (on pre-made crusts), various egg dishes, pancakes. Oh, hot dogs. I can make a hot dog.

With where I am at on my health journey that set of food simply won’t work. It’s high calorie, high carb. Except the chicken and veggies which are – in my version – very heavy and only come out well about 40% of the time. Edible about 95% – good? Only about 40%, and that’s being generous.

If I want variety, deliciousness, and health – it’s time to cook.

When I ran across the headline of this video it piqued my interest. I can boil veggies and I can burn ‘em. I can microwave steamfresh veggies, which is what I normally do. But Nathan and I used to roast veggies and make this delicious roast chicken & veggies meal. I’d like to do that again. And other variations.

I was intrigued by the video’s headline. Ethan is an excellent explainer, so I watched a few times and bought fresh beets at a local farm.

Today, I was sitting here bored and aimless and figured I’d give it a go. Why not? I was hungry-ish and wanted something to snack on (though I do limit snacks as well, don’t y’know they’ll ruin your dinner?) and figured that if I really did screw this up, it would be ~25 min wasted, I have other snack like food that’s healthy, and it was only a single beet.

So I cut it up and used the parboil -> broil method from the video.

And for the first time, on my own, I actually got the Maillard reaction. That kind of crispy, slightly blackened, but delicious thing that happens.

What I did? I sliced up the beet, put in two extremely generous pinches of salt, boiled the slices for 6 minutes.

While that was happening, I loaded the sheet pan with a lot of EVOO and heated the whole thing up.

After boiling, I moved the sliced beets into the pre-oil-heated pan in my Ninja Foodi oven-thing for ~12 minutes. I could hear them start to crisp up as I placed them in the hot oil. I added some minced garlic and a generous helping of balsamic vinegar.

The result is as follows:

Parboiled + Broiled beets

That is: these came out perfectly.

All that is to say: I finally got over my fear of failure and made some absolute deliciousness. This is an approach I can easily repeat in the future, and apparently will even work on the tons of frozen veggies I have.

It feels good to try something new, especially something I’ve so carefully avoided in the past. Maybe this will help me with motivation to try more cooking.