Saturday, April 23, 2016

New Indian Food in Lawrence aka Cheat Day

Like I said, cheat days are beneficial during a cut. Well, today must be greatly beneficial!

Being a Market day, it started righlty so with a breakfast burrito.

When the Market ended, my parents and I walked down the street a little way to check out a new Indian restaurant that's recently opened. In fact, it's opened up literally directly across the street from India Palace. This is problematic in only one way. If this new place is really good, India Palace may close. The only reason that this is an issue is one of sentiment. India Palace is where Sidney and I shared our very first "official" date on December 17, 2013. But the past is the past, and the present is still very good. 

Moving on from that, the new place, called Bayleaf Restaurant and Bar, is, as I can confirm, really good. And since I know that my non-Indian ethnicity isn't the most credible judge of Indian cuisine, I have previously enlisted the opinions of two culinary-inclined friends from India. They both agree that Bayleaf is both incredibly authentic and tasty for an American-Indian restaurant. 

All I know, is that it tastes amazing. Literally amazing. 

I practiced perfect Buffetology, and I'm actually quite proud of myself. 

My first plate was, of course, the sampler. I tried the tandoori chicken, chicken tikka masala, beef meat ball masala (a first encounter), some chicken 65, and some fried thingies. Some fresh naan complemented all this nicely. 

My second plate was heavy on chicken and meat ball masalas and chicken 65. I did add some fried rice under the chicken tikka masala. I also tried some soup since my dad said it was spicy (it had a little heat).

After this plate, I planned on going hard in the gulab jamun paint. But right as I finished this second plate, one of said friends randomly walked in to the restaurant. When he joined us, I felt obligated (sup Andrew) to get some more savory food to partake in the social construction of group meals. That being said, I really planned on getting some lighter options, and way less of them.

As you can see, that didn't happen. As I was making my way down the buffet, I simply didn't realize how full my plate was getting. It wasn't until I was all the way back at the table that I realized my predicament. But it's not like I couldn't finish this food. After all, it was amazing! I got some more of the masalas, a lot more chicken 65, and some more naan. I also sampled the pea and carrot soupy stuff that my mom recommended. It was delicious as well. In fact, I didn't taste anything that didn't taste good. 

But after having eaten an entire plate more than I had planned on eating, would I have room for any gulab jamun?


These gulab jamun were smaller than gulab jamun I've had at other restaurants, but that didn't mean they didn't taste as good! I probably could've eaten more than the six picture here, but I decided to stop. This was a good decision as I began to feel quite full a short time later. But all in all, it was a great experience. The food was delicious, and the staff seemed eager to please. They were friendly and accommodating. I would return anytime. 

From here, I went with Andrew to a power meet hosted by the Strength Club at KU. Before my Bro days, I could often be found in the weight room in Robinson, taking 20 minutes between my sets of squat. Those were the days. But today, with the ghosts of Power Meets past, Scott was competing. With both Andrew and mine's support, Scott performed admirably. He easily bested my total PR by body weight, lifting 975 lbs at 168 lbs, totaling 5.80 times his body weight. My best was a scant 1,040 pounds at 185 pounds, for 5.62 times my body weight at the time. Good job, Scott. 

After the meet, I had the opportunity to show my parents around campus and around town. We sat with the newly-installed statue of Dr. James Naismith and his peach basket at the newly-built DeBruce Center, which houses the OG Rules of Basketball.  

It was a pretty neat moment. I then showed them all around campus, what's changed over the years, what's the same, and what's planned for the future. We then branched out to the rest of Lawrence for the Grand Tour. It was a good day.

I didn't eat anything for dinner. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Mac and Cheese Soup


Let me elaborate a little.

After my requisite brotein shakes and BCAA BroSciences, and after Sidney finished baking for the Farmers' Market, she and I were going to make dinner. We had in mind to make some roasted chicken thighs with some roasted potatoes. There was a lot of roasting scheduled for this evening. Sidney's mom decided that some macaroni and cheese would complement this roastfest nicely. The mac and cheese that she had in mind is the baked variety that has been feature on this blog at least once. ("The War of the Carbs" and "Mac-ing Me Crazy") Nothing too out of the ordinary about that.

We commenced preparations of the potatoes and chicken thighs. For the thighs, we put 'em in a pan, poured some salad dressing over them, and then sprinkled some Montreal Chicken Seasoning on top.


For the potatoes, we diced up some red potatoes, threw 'em in a bag with some oil, onions, and rosemary, shook 'em up, and plopped 'em down on a pan.


For the macaroni and cheese, we simply put some uncooked macaroni in a pan, threw in some shredded cheese, some milk, and some butter, and threw it in the oven.

Again, easy.

But there's a catch.

The chicken thighs, cooked in the pan on the grill, came out perfect.

As did the potatoes, which were baked in the oven.

But then there was the matter of the macaroni and cheese. This is precisely where the catch comes in. And we ain't talkin bout no little minnow you just caught out of the crick down yonder with that line hooked round your big toe. Oh no, I'm talking about that 1,500-pound marlin caught off the coast of Peru in 1969 by Alfred Glassell, Jr. But even that catch may not compare to this catch.

You see, it all started with a common problem most people have. We buy stuff, stuff it in the fridge, and forget about it. This has been the case with various cheeses over the past months. Being in block form and shrink-wrapped, no one was eating it. Sidney's mom decided to shred all this cheese so it would get used up more quickly. She was doing this with the idea that some of it (12 ounces, per the recipe) would get used in the macaroni and cheese. After she had finished shredding all the cheese, it was sitting in a bowl. Now read carefully. I thought all of this cheese was to be used in the macaroni and cheese. I payed no attention as to how much cheese it actually was. Well, according to some, it was too much. You be the judge. (The following is a video of this macaroni and cheese almost immediately after coming out of a 375-degree oven for about an hour)

At any rate, it was absolutely delicious!!! Especially when combined with the seasoned skin from the chicken, the cheddar and pepper jack buttery dripping goodness of this stuff simply cannot be denied!

It was by far the "greasiest" thing I've ever eaten, and that's saying something. I mean, I've eaten a deep fried bacon cheeseburger from Dyer's.

Some estimates place the amount of cheese around 24 ounces, others are more toward the 2 pound mark. But I would do it all again.

All said and done, I had these two large thighs, a medium thigh, and one small thigh. I had this macaroni and cheese, along with a small (couple bites) with each additional thigh. I limited my consumption of potatoes to this small serving.

So I don't really know how many calories I've eaten today. I felt pretty full, so that's not a good sign. But in the grand scheme of things, I didn't gorge myself. That's for tomorrow.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Wild Physics

I had my token brotein and BCAAs for breakfast again. 

For lunch I had one of those new Pure [B]rotein bars. I mean, you just can't beat 21 grams of brotein and only 180 calories in bar form, especially when it's in delicious "Chocolate Deluxe" flavor. Pretty much it's just a lot of chocolate with some brotein mixed in. And it's so good. 

That was it for a while. I had a date with my Physics TA at Buffalo Wild Wings. There were three of us total, which made for a good time. I learned a lot about Indian culture (my TA's home country) and how to tell a decent Indian restaurant from an inferior one. 

On the food side of things, I Schmitz started out with 16 boneless wings. There were 4 Parmesan Garlic, 4 Caribbean Jerk, 4 Asian Zing, and 4 Medium. I got 2 things of ranch with these, which wasn't nearly enough, but since it cost extra more wasn't worth it. 

Upon insisting that he pay for dinner, my TA persuaded me to order 4 more boneless wings. I got 4 more Medium ones with an extra side of ranch.

I guess it had been a while since I had been to BWW, but I was actually really impressed with how good these boneless wings were. I was pleasantly surprised.

And I may have gone slightly over my calories for the day, but this morning I somehow weighed 177.0 pounds, which is over 3 pounds lighter than the previous day. How that happened, I have no idea. But I think it's safe to say that I could afford these wings today.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Water Weight Loss

Today, I had two brotein/BCAA shakes. One for breakfast, and one for after the gym.

Here's the one after the gym.

Thanks to my friend Scott, my search for the perfect brotein bar is finally over. I've been looking for a bar that can effectively replace brotein shakes. One that has a lot of brotein, but also has relatively few calories. The bars I usually find either have 20 grams of brotein and 300+ calories or 10 grams of brotein and 190+ calories. But, finally, I found a bar with more ideal stats:

Yes, 21 grams of brotein and only 180 calories is almost miraculous for a brotein bar. I almost couldn't believe it. I had high hopes for this thing.

Upon unwrapping, it looked promising.

And the first bite did not disappoint! It tasted really good, as it's essentially chocolate covered chocolate with some brotein thrown in there.

It is still whey, though, so I wanted some "real" food at some point today. Sidney's mom made a wonderful frittata with a bunch of yummy goodness inside.

It was so good that I couldn't help myself. I uncontrollably got a second piece.

I still believe, though, that I was under my 1,848 calories for the day, as all I had had before this was 480 calories of nothing but brotien.

I also decided to drink as much water as possible this afternoon, just to see what would happen. I'll tell you happens when you do this. You have to go to the bathroom every 20 minutes like mad. But at least you'll be hydrated! And I don't know how believable this next little tidbit is, but it got to the point that I would weigh over a pound less after going to the bathroom than before. This happened regularly. I just kept drinking Blender Bottle after Blender Bottle of water like a possessed water addict. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


I had a another brotein and BCAA cocktail for breakfast. And due to some extremely poor planning, that was all I had until I got back home around seven and a half hours later. Oh well, I guess I'm getting extra lean today.

I was tempted to scavenge a little carbs and donor DNA from the bottom of a desk...

...but ultimately decided against it. I prefer spearmint over peppermint.

When I did finally eat again, it wasn't in the manner that I had expected. When I got home, Sidney belted a sweet treat at me. After regaining my bearings after this barrage of carbs, I decided that it wouldn't kill me to eat it. I decided to savor the process, which you can see beautifully depicted in a series of photos below.

I then had a bowl of "clean out the refrigerator" chili. It consisted of, well, who knows.

Concluding that something was missing, but not wanting to add many additional carbs, I opened the fridge and saw the solution.

Yes, I grabbed two slices of American cheese and torn them up. It turned out that these were more for show, as for some reason I couldn't really taste them. But then that's usually the case when I put cheese in chili. It always ends up looking better than it tastes.

After this bowl of chili, I still needed much more brotein and calories. But brotein is the most important thing. I didn't want to just drink 5 scoops of brotein, for multiple reasons, so I decided to cook six eggs and drink 2 scoops of brotein.

And that brought me pretty close to my goals. I was still a little under on brotein and calories, but at least I won't be getting huge! Abraham Lincoln's "Emaciation Proclamation" comes to mind right about now.

"Four score and seven pounds ago, when I still had muscle..."

Alright, it's obviously time for bed.

Monday, April 18, 2016


I had a brotein shake and BCAAs for breakfast.

I had a granola bar for lunch.

I had some more brotein and BCAAs after the gym.

I had a solitary CRUNCH egg when I got home.

And then I was invited to join Sidney's family for dinner at el Potro in Bonner Springs. I hadn't eaten very much at all, so I wasn't really worried about going too far over my calorie limit. But I did have quite a few chips.

Now, I know it looks like it, but I didn't eat 2 full baskets. Each one was split approximately three ways. And a lot of leftover little crumbles were left in the bottom, so hopefully I didn't eat too too much.

For my dinner, I ordered some chicken breast slices and shrimp with cheese and delicious sauce, with black beans and rice for my sides. I did get some corn tortillas on the side, but they were small. There were 4, but they were small. This whole thing was very delicious.

No dessert later, I think I came out alright on my calories. Brotein is a different story, but I did have quite a bit between my shakes and this chicken.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Cheaters Always Win

Life lesson No. 1: Cheaters always win. Ok, so maybe that's not always true. But in my case, it is. You see, I'm not talking about cheating in school, cheating in athletics, or any other forms of cheating that the average non-bro might be thinking of. No, you see, I'm talking about diet, and specifically, cutting. Whereas some people believe that, when cutting, it is absolutely imperative that you always eat exactly the amount of calories, brotein, carbs, and fat that have been BroScienced by some Brofessor somewhere on the internet, I subscribe to a slightly different bro-ology. By no means are my methods free from BroScience (they're actually riddled with it), but I use it in a way that makes more practical sense in my daily life. And you know what? I still get results. So there.

By practicality, I mean that I don't stress too much if I go 100 calories over or if I fall 30 grams of brotein short. It happens. And I don't agree that this strict guideline must be adhered to every day for years and years. For instance, I've actually done pretty well in the past week staying right around my goals, so, in my mind, I've earned a "cheat day." What this means, and what I didn't mention a week ago when I went on my cheat-a-thon, is that cheat days are actually important in the cutting process. You have to be smart about it though. 

It all starts with basic thermodynamics, which I find to be incredibly oxymoronic. Anyway, this can be applied to physiology in that if you burn more calories than you consume, you lose weight. It's easier to track this over the course of, say, a week, since body weight fluctuates drastically throughout the day. 

Common knowledge, though antiquated slightly, is that a 3,500-calorie weekly deficit will equate to a pound of weight loss. That being said, there are some additional modifications that need to be made. 

  1. While fat has 9 calories per gram, and one pound is ~454 grams, you would expect a pound of fat to have around 4,080 calories. But since adipocytes only contain about 85% fat, or 386 grams, that comes out to about 3,470 calories. 
  2. With this logic, the 3,500-calorie deficit idea makes sense, superficially. But when losing weight, it's impossible to lose only fat. There's also going to be some muscle loss. A couple ways to reduce muscle loss while cutting include resistance training and eating a lot of brotein, hence why I go the the gym 3 times every week and strive to eat 185 grams of brotein every day.
  3. Now, this may work for a while, but you can't just eat 3,500 calories fewer every week and hope to maintain the same rate of weigh loss. In a process called adaptive thermogenesis, the body actually feels as though it's starving, so it reduces the amount of energy it uses for basic biological parameters. While this can have several negative side effects, it also means that less calories are burned. This is where cheat days come in. 
The main reason people on diets tend to burn out and fall off the bandwagon is because of this last point. They could be doing everything else perfectly, but if you don't account for the body's adaptation to this new level of energy intake, weight loss will plateau. So, in BroScience theory, if you give you body more food than it's used to, it'll realize that it's actually not starving. Makes sense, right? This worked for me last year, so that's what I'm doing this year, too. My daily energy expenditure, based on basal metabolic rate and activity level, is somewhere around 2,310. Eating around 1,850 calories per day is a 3,220 weekly deficit. If I kept this up for too long, my body would adjust to this and I'd stop losing weight. So I take one day every week and eat a little bit more. 

The important thing to remember is that cheat days shouldn't be all-out pig out days. For instance, if I ate 3,220 calories more on my cheat day than I burned that day, I would have effectively negated the previous week of cutting. So cheating is eating a little bit more, but not a whole lot more. 

So let's finally get to the only part of this post that anyone will ever read. Here comes the food I ate on this cheat day.

I couldn't find my Blender Bottle this morning, so I was unable to have my breakfast brotein shake. After my shift at Mrs. E's, I had a few chicken tenders with ranch. I also decided to try a few "Italian sausages" but discovered they were really just hot dogs. I also got some grilled peppers because they looked good. 

A little later, Sidney and I made the trek to the coast. And by coast. I mean Red Lobster in Legends. It really was surprising how good the biscuits are.

They are served warm and have a wonderful garlicky and buttery taste that is impossible to resist. I should note that on cheat days it's still good to eat mostly brotein, but these were just too good.

I think I ended up eating like 4 of these things.

We also ordered some kind of lobster artichoke dip with some fancifully colored tortilla chips. I just kept wondering where in the world they found red corn. First it was red Granny Smith apples, now red corn??

Instead of a salad, I ordered a potato bacon soup. It was also really good, especially with the dunking therein of biscuits.

For my main course, I had to exercise extreme will power to not order one of the many pasta dishes on the menu. Many of them sounded quite delicious, but I was strong. I ordered the garlic grilled shrimp skewers. After another bout of willpower, broccoli was decided as my side.

It also came with wild rice, but, in my defense, I had either forgotten about this or just completely didn't notice it on the menu. Either is equally possible. But the entrée was good, and relatively carb-free. Being reasonably full, and me not wanting to eat excess carbs, neither Sidney nor I ordered any dessert.

And that was the precise moment my willpower ceased to exist. On the way home, Sidney asked if I wanted to stop by Sonic and get some ice cream. The next thing I knew was...

But, as you can see, while my remaining willpower was not nearly enough to prevent me from ordering ice cream, it was just enough to help me order the smallest size they had. At the end of the day, I'd call this cheat day a success. Until next time, DON'T CHEAT!