Saturday, February 13, 2016

Broscience Series: Macronutrient Polarization

My meals are so rarely one sided as they were today. For instance, even in my carb-heavy meals, there is at least a dash of brotein. Likewise, when I'm completely bro-ing out on brotein, there are usually at least a few wayward carbs to be found lurking in the corner of the (usually round) plate. But there are always exceptions. Today, as a whole, was one of those exceptions. 

Breakfast is where it all went wrong (and oh so right). I was informed that there were doughnuts awaiting my arrival, their (and my) breath abated. Unfortunately, I made a terrible assumption in my mental preparation. Usually, when I eat doughnuts, I only eat two. To ensure this, I only get two. It didn't even cross my mind that there could be more than two doughnuts waiting for me. So, I frolicked into the kitchen, ready to eat my two doughnuts. What I found quickly unraveled my mental state. 

Not only did I find two doughnuts, I found 2^3 doughnuts, all right there and place conveniently in a box. I started off strong, my willpower allowing me to only take two. I chose a classic glazed and a chocolate cake with chocolate icing and beloved (dreaded) sprinkles. 

But, as is sure to happen in situations like this, a giant wrench was thrown into the cogs that made up my formerly ironclad mental fortitude. Sidney grabbed a doughnut of her favorite variety, a long john, but, upon biting into it, discovered that it was filled with Bavarian cream. Although most would consider this a positive surprise, she was not having it. That was the precise moment I lost it.

Upon proclaiming her distaste for the pastry, she handed it off to me. It's hard enough to resist a doughnut, but an extra long, chocolate iced, Bavarian cream-filled doughnut being handed to you by the incredibly beautiful woman you love is a whole different ball game. What I mean to say is, it was literally impossible to resist. Literally. Thus the third doughnut.

After having eaten and thoroughly enjoying this unexpected treat, I may have found it an opportune time to stop eating. But the doughnuts tasted so good, and I was so hungry! My inner dialogue included me convincing myself that since I already had a third doughnut, I may as well have another. Thus the fourth doughnut. 

At this point, having eaten four doughnuts, all bets were off. I was predictably still hungry, so I went back to the magic box of carbs. I was unpleasantly surprised to only find about 60% of doughnut left. Besides the feelings of horror that came from the realization that someone could actually eat less than a single doughnut, I was disappointed that the doughnuts were essentially gone. Being extremely generous, I split the remnants of this doughnut with Sidney. This left me with roughly 30% of my fifth doughnut, for a total of almost four and a half doughnuts. 

Next time, I might go for a clean dozen. Stay tuned.

Having eaten probably well over a thousand calories, none of which came from brotein, I could feel my hard-earned gains fading away. There is only one way to move forward in this situation.

I kept eating, but less carbs and more brotein. 

I only ate about a tenth of the food on this plate, as this was the entirety of Sidney's leftovers from a previous lunch. Essentially, I had a few bites of chicken tender.

I didn't eat again until dinner, which was essentially the polar opposite of breakfast. Whereas at breakfast I ate all the carbs and none of the brotein, for dinner I ate all of the brotein and none of the carbs. 

I had three chicken thighs and two legs. It was a nice departure from the carbs of earlier in the day. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Pre-Valentine's Day Valentine's Day Dinner

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, what better way to prepare for the feast to come than with a rehearsal feast?? Not being able to think of a better alternative, my fiancée and I started preparations for a home-cooked gourmet dinner.

The dinner would consist of a spring salad bar with options including apple and gorgonzola with candied pecans and the more traditional croutons and red peppers with ranch dressing. I chose the latter, but out of the six people present, I think I was the only one.

Accompanying this dinner were several sides. The first was peas. I do not dislike peas; however, upon placing other items on my plate, I found that I scarcely had room for any additional items. The peas bore the brunt of my rejection, but they rebounded nicely, with everyone else taking generous portions.

There was also bread, available in two varieties. One was sourdough, which is my bread of choice. Given the option, I will always choose sourdough. The other was a bread that included Kalamata olives baked throughout. Not being an olive fan, I did not partake in the consumption of this bread. The third side was baked potatoes. Now, I'm sure the entrée is no longer a secret. So far we've got a salad, some bread, and potatoes. Only one thing could go perfectly with all three.

Steak! (Obviously)

But not just any steak. Oh no, these babies were filets. And they were thick filets. Expertly seasoned with salt and a dash of pepper, I opted to grill them, for I am the Grill Master.

After 5 minutes on each side, they were off. Back inside they came, ready to be devoured. There were slight variations in thickness among them, and, admittedly, some were more rare than others. But, it worked out alright based on the doneness preferences of everyone present. So, with all the pieces finally having congealed, it was time to eat!

I placed exorbitant amounts of butter on both my bread and potatoes, because butter. I took one of the thicker filets, and all I could do was stare at it.

When I cut into it, gloriousness smiled back at me.

Yes, I know this seems extremely rare. And it is. But let me tell you that this is not the most rare steak I've ever eaten. That honor belongs to last year's Valentine's dinner, for which we also cooked filets. Only that time they were cooked in a pan. On that occasion, the level of doneness of my steak led me to comment that I felt like it was trying to crawl back up my throat. It was essentially raw with slightly seared edges. But I ate it, I didn't get sick, and it was delicious! It's much the same story this year, but, again, with a more well-done (slightly less raw) steak. And again, it was delicious.

But the story does not end there. A gourmet dinner the likes of this one simply cannot end here. A classy dessert is very much in order. Luckily, my wonderful mother sent me a little surprise.

This was a small sample of the many chocolates and candies that she sent me. I had many.

To complement this dessert, my fiancée made our traditional dessert. And what is that traditional dessert, you ask? It is none other than the wonderful crème brûlée. Our first attempt was perfect, and it's been just as good every time since. It's incredibly rewarding to make, due in large part to the laborious nature of separating eggs yolks, waiting for cream to almost boil, not scorching the cream, baking just long enough, and the resolute patience required during the incredibly difficult chilling period. Plus, it's super fun to caramelize the sugar. 

This is culinary perfection, plain and (not so) simple. 

*Note: I ate my customary brotein bar for breakfast, and, for lunch/preworkout, I had two granola bars and a mandarin orange. I then had 2 scoops of brotein after the gym.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Brotein Broverload!!

When spending more than 12 hours away from home, it can be challenging to maintain gains throughout the day. I like to eat at fairly regular intervals, say every three hours or so. I don't mean multi-course meals, but just some calories to keep my metabolism churning away. This is generally where my beloved bars come in really handy. They are perfect for those midday snacks, but the problem arises when I must go from 0900 to 2100 without leaving campus. There are plenty of places to get food, sure. But at the same time I don't feel like spending copious amounts of money on food. So I bring food. Again, this is where the bars come in handy. They don't need to be chilled, so they eliminate the need for me to carry around additional baggage. Bottom line: they're just really convenient. But when those 12 hour days crop up, it becomes a little ridiculous and monotonous to tote around upwards of a half-dozen bars (I like to eat two for lunch, because, let's be honest, 170 calories worth of food is just plain not enough).

But today, I was blessed with a gift from the gains divine. Broseidon, via his favorite pawn Brodysseus, bestowed upon me 240 calories worth of pure gains. What I'm talking about is a bag of potato chips. I ate these after I had exhausted my stores of bars and directly before my 2-hour physics lab. All the fat and the carbs were sure to give me a much-needed energy boost, all the while helping me get huge. 

Sure enough, this bonus held me over, although barely, until I could ultimately return home and make some serious gains. I didn't waste any time getting to it, and, surprisingly, I ended up eating more than I had expected. But no matter! It's far better to over-eat than to under-eat when trying to get huge. I'll just get bigger than I thought, and faster too!

I ripped open the fridge doors, retrieved yesterday's chicken, supplemented it with some grilled chicken thighs, and popped all of it into the nuclear reactor.

I know that this may seem like a lot. After all, the plate is almost completely covered in delicious gains. But, of course, me being a bro, this was simply not enough. And it's not like I'm forcing myself to eat to misery; I am just generally really hungry. And, not worrying about calories, I eat until I feel like I got an appropriate amount of huge. Once I feel like I've gotten big enough for one day, I stop. Getting big: it really is that simple, folks.

For bookkeeping purposes, this second plate brings the tally to 3 legs and 4 thighs. I was one leg away from eating the bottom half of 2 chickens. I thank them very sincerely for their contributions.

And, being a non-lifting day (and also being quite full), I opted against any carbs, sweet or otherwise, and skipped dessert altogether.  

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Bars, bars, bar, again with bars! Haven't we all had enough bars?! Quite simply, no! They're too convenient and quite tasty. One brotein bar for breakfast, and three granola bars for lunch/pre-workout. I had my usual two scoops of pure brotein after my workout.

This is where interesting developments developed. Being a shade over three weeks into the semester, I deemed it the right time to purchase a required lab manual. As such, I begrudgingly sauntered to the bookstore and purchased a lab manual. This is really where things get hairy. The bookstore is in the Union. This very quickly becomes incredibly important.

You see, I have a healthy love affair (more of an unhealthy addiction, really) with a delicacy known as the Crunchy Chicken Cheddar Wrap. It is only sold at a few places, and it is the best thing available at any food service location on campus. That being said, one of those locations happens to be in the Union. The bookstore, being on the 2nd level of the Union, is only a paltry 20 steps away from the blissful wrap mentioned above. And I, having not had the pleasure of enjoying one in a great long while (3 months, perhaps), and having just come from the gym in need of some serious recovery, quickly convinced myself that I should get one. With the decision made, I, almost without touching a single one, hurriedly traversed the 20 step case and got in line.

There are couple things to know about the Crunchy Chicken Cheddar Wrap. It starts with a 12-inch cheddar jalapeno flour tortilla. Shredded lettuce begins the procession of delicious fillings. Then, as the name implies, fried chicken tenders are first chopped and then placed atop the lettuce. Following soon after is a shredded cheddar-jack blend. After this point, I deviate slightly from the prescribed fillings. I emphatically veto tomatoes, and instead add a modest portion of chopped red onions, followed by an additional slice of cheese (pepper jack, of course!). Then, to top it all off, I opt for a rather copious amount of chipotle ranch complimented by a little bit of hot sauce. It really doesn't get better than this. My mouth is analogous to Niagara Falls at this very moment. 

To all those who know and who are familiar, this is a magical sight. The anticipation is incredible at this point. 

The flavors just come together and compliment each other so well. Actually, though try as I might, I cannot accurately describe this experience with any kind of justice being served to this artful creation. Also, as a bonus, it's a good source of carbs and brotein, which is perfect for a bro fresh out the gym!

But as good as it is, it certainly isn't filling in the slightest. Trust me, I've previously eaten two at a time and felt none the heavier. It really is more about quality over quantity. But a lack in quantity won't help me get huge. 

That brings me to dinner, where more deliciousness was in store. It came in the form of more chicken, this time legs and thighs, perfectly baked (this means they're as healthy as can be). Steamed broccoli and diced potatoes with a dinner roll round out this wonderfully tasted bud-tingling gains fest. 

So far, it's been a far superior day from a food perspective. But, as now I fully trust you see coming from 10,000 miles away, it's time to end it right. I went to the gym today, so that can only mean one thing. Ice cream for dessert! 

Carbs = huge!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Back to the Bars

My wild and crazy citrus experimentation phase didn't last long. I reverted back to the comfort and convenience of my bars. I had brotein bars and granola bars. The portability and gains just can't be beat with these things. As per my usual bar treatment, I had one for breakfast, a couple for lunch, another couple for a mid-afternoon snack, and one for an early evening bridge into dinner. These things literally sustain my life for 75% of the day. I am forever indebted to them for the immeasurable life and gains they have provided me over the past month or so.

Moving on to dinner, I tried my hardest to repeat last night. Unfortunately, I didn't eat enough to warrant, or even permit, the building of three sandwiches. I also lacked any additional provolone cheese. So, I toasted up a couple buns, got some pepper jack (which is secretly my favorite cheese anyway), loaded up some pepperoncini beef, and, as an addition, warmed up some mashed potatoes as a nice wholesome side. And as mentioned just previously, there wasn't quite enough beef, along with the potato addition, to justify the carbs of a third bun, so I just ate it out the bowl. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Orange You Glad I Didn't Say Brotein Bar?!

Yes, today was a weird one. Let me start off by saying that I did not have a single bar of any kind today (well, except for a barbell). But no, that's right. I didn't have a brotein bar for breakfast, and no granola or cereal bars were consumed for lunch. But don't despair. I found a way yet to get my morning and mid-day carbs in, and in a tasty way.

As a kid, I had two favorite foods. One of them was good old ramen noodles. Yes, I am that basic. My other favorite was mandarin oranges. You know, the kind that come pre-peeled in the can soaked in a little sugar. I could eat those things by the can. And to this day, they remain one of my all-time favorites. And that brings me to today. In lieu of my traditional bro bars, I had some mandarin oranges. Now, these were not the canned variety, but rather the W. Murcott Afourer variety of southern California mandarins, which are quite often marketed as a children's food. So be it, but I don't care. I'll flaunt my mandarins all over campus without a hint of shame. I had one for breakfast, two for lunch/pre-workout, and another for a post workout snack/recovery/gains.

While I'm on the subject of recovery, I may as well mention the other recovery snack I thought would be a good idea. You see, since I reintroduced leg day into my weekly workout routine, I have been gradually upping the intensity. Likewise, today was the most intense yet, with some front squats, barbell lunges, and quadriceps extensions. This all but destroyed my legs, so I needed extra recovery today. And the best way to recover is to eat some carbs, which is where that fourth mandarin came in. But, like I said, today was extra intense, so I needed more than a solitary mandarin. I went to a clutch player in the world of the carb, and it goes by the name of chocolate.

Yes, that's right. I will get huge, one M&M at a time.

When it came time for dinner, I still needed more carbs, but I also recognized my need for brotein. I had 2 scoops after my workout, but that was about it for the day thus far. With that, I loaded up a few toasted buns with some Pepperoncini Beef and a couple slices of provolone.

I was actually rather full after this hearty meal, so I took five. After said five, I headed to the freezer to complete my recovery/gains cycle for the day.

One can simply not go wrong with any moose tracks variety of ice cream, especially one with a chocolate ice cream base. And legend has it that if the carbs you eat for recovery taste exceptionally delicious, your muscles will better respond because of a lack of stress and a thus a better mind-muscle connection. I can feel my muscles getting huge as we speak.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Super Foods 50

The superfood craze has no doubt changed the way people view nutrition. Partly created and spread by the rise of nutritionism, so-called superfoods and products made with and containing these enigmas have sprung up all over the place. Yet definitive criteria for categorizing a food as super remains a blurry line or two surrounding a massive grey area. So I will attempt to concisely debunk a few rumors and decisively clarify what it means for a food to be labeled as "super."

First, for a food to be super, it must be consumed on Super Bowl Sunday during the game or immediately prior to kickoff of the Super Bowl.

That's it. It's actually quite simple, really. 

With all the mysteries made clear, I'd like to introduce some of my favorite superfoods. 

My all-time favorite superfood is easily the classic hot wing. Notice how I intentionally used the specific term "hot wing" and not Buffalo wing. There is a very important difference. Granted, there are no set-in-stone rules defining what either variety of wing is, Buffalo wings are generally not breaded while hot wings generally are. There are also slight differences in sauces, of which I will not get into at this time. But back to hot wings being my favorite superfood. Not just any hot wing will do. My all-time favorite hot wing hails from the infamous Hooter's chain. For whatever reason, wings from this place seem to be quite polarizing, with people either loving them or hating them. I fall on the love side of that spectrum, and every wing that I eat inevitably gets judged with Hooter's as the crispy-fried, golden-brown standard. I prefer the Medium and Hot flavors for both their spice level and flavor. And I, being me, have oceans of ranch to go with these wings. Curly fries are usually ordered for a beautifully paired side.

I'll tell you right now that I usually start off with a fair amount of curly fries and exactly 8 wings. Then, after having finished the fries and wings, I go back for 8 more wings. Most of the time, this is the perfect amount. At this point I'm usually adequately full to the point that I want to stop eating, but not so full that I feel uncomfortably so. Some nights are different, however. Tonight was one of those nights. I started off on par: I got some curly fries and 8 wings. I sat down, watched the kickoff of Super Bowl 50 (Super Bowl L), and commenced eating. It had been a while since I had had these wings, so I took my time and enjoyed them. 

When they and the fries were gone, I got up to get more. I proceeded along my usual routine of reloading with 8 more wings, only this time I got a second serving of fries. I usually limit myself to a single serving of fries in order to maximize available free space allocated to wings. But it was Super Bowl Sunday. Go big or go home! I refilled my ranch and headed back for the couch.

I enjoyed these, too, while watching the game and famous commercials. In what seemed like no time, though, this second plate was also empty. I didn't feel too entirely full, and the wings tasted especially good tonight. I went back to find that only 6 wings remained. I grabbed them up along with the few straggling fries that remained and again refilled my ranch. 

It turned out that this was the perfect amount. After enjoying these wings and fries to the highest possible potential, I was full. I did not want to eat any more food, which is how it should be. I ended up with 22 wings and a moderate amount of fries, and I was happy. I watched the rest of the game satisfied and huge. 

But that was just how my day ended. And while there wasn't much other food to talk about today, breakfast was rather significant. It was especially significant when it comes to getting huge. After eating so many carbs yesterday, most in the form of simple sugars, I would usually decrease my carb proportion for the next day or so. But, being Super Bowl Sunday, I decided to go all in and throw caution to the bone chilling winter wind. I had 2 Bavarian Cream doughnuts from a gas station and a glass of milk. It was sooo worth it. 

As you may be able to imagine, after eating all this food, including yesterday, at this moment I feel like I'm about 30% body fat. Only time will tell, but right now, I feel HYOOOGE!!!