Day 18: stage one half-way

Stage 1/A4

This post is coming a day late as yesterday I was B.U.S.Y.

I did my workout first thing in the morning, and lo and behold, the boy came with me! He has been telling me lately that my keenness about working out has inspired him to start up a steady lifting program again, too! I’m planning on converting everyone around me, they just don’t know it yet…

The afternoon was spent finishing up a paper, going to class, and then meeting up with my dad, who was in town with his students (he’s a college instructor). We went for dinner at a local restaurant that is pretty divine. I had the pork lettuce wraps, and we split an appetizer of sesame-crusted ahi tuna which was to.die.for.

Anyway, to the good stuff:

Straight Sets
Squats – 1 set of 12 @ 105 lbs, 1 set of 10 @ 105 lbs

Alternating Sets
Pushups – 2 sets of 12
Seated Row – 2 sets of 12 @60 lbs

Step-ups – 2 sets of 12 @ 25 lbs (each hand)
Prone Jackknife – 2 sets of 15 (medium ball)

I punched out a quick 10 mins of HIIT on the spin bike before I felt like crawling into a hole and dying (just kidding, but I was pretty tired)

So, the end of yesterday’s workout marks a somewhat exciting landmark for me: I’ve finished the first half of Stage 1, meaning I’ve filled 2 whole workout pages. Having never stuck to an actual program in the past, this feels like an accomplishment. When I finish the rest of the stage I’m going to do a re-cap of some of my gains and PRs.

a whole page of workout 'B's!

I also thought I would share a couple of quick and easy meals I had this week.

For breakfast this week I’ve been enjoying a lot of protein pancakes. I use Susan’s recipe, which I think is phenomenal because it is 100% real food, provides great macros, and is a GOOD portion size. Susan and I met last summer, and I think she is the bees knees. Her recipe is super easy, too – I’ve already memorized it – and is easy to scale down if you don’t want the full surving (e.g. on workout days, sometimes I’ll scale the measurements down from 1/2 cup to 1/3 cup if I’ve already had a pre-workout breakfast).

Today I used the recipe to make protein waffles. I topped these babies with 1/2c defrosted blueberries (warmed up in microwave so the juice acts like syrup!) and 1 T coconut butter mixed with water. Yum.

protein waffles with blueberries and coconut butter

For lunch, I’ve been having some pretty “plain” meals, but they are totally what my body is craving. Usually I’ll have a roasted chicken breast, cooled and sliced, alongside a bunch of fresh, raw veggies, all of which I eat with my hands (usually while reading). I’ve also been throwing marinated & baked tofu into that mix, which (if you like tofu) is also a fun finger food. This week my most exciting lunch was the one day I was at home – 2 sandwich thins (the weight watchers brand is only 110 cals and 21g carbs) topped with avocado, tuna, and tomato, served with a side of veg. Sometimes simple is best.

sandwich thins with tuna, avocado, tomato and veggies

For dinner, we’ve been having a random assortment of things, from stir-fries to roasted chicken, to thai curry (which I eat over Shirotaki noodles – you guys know what I’m talkin’ about!). Dinners tend to be  a bit ‘fancier’ for me as it has to be something palatable to the boy as well. And…truth be told, he’s been doing a lot of the cooking lately. My schedule this term is mainly evening classes and so I’m generally out of the house from about 7 am (though I return for an hour to shower after the gym, and make breakfast from 8-9am) until 7pm. He’s the bomb-diggity.

One last thought before I sign off for the weekend – thanks to all of you for reading! It is wonderful having blog ‘friends’ and a workout support on here, and I appreciate your readership and commenting on my workouts. It’s amazing encouragement!

Happy Friday!


17 thoughts on “Day 18: stage one half-way

  1. Loving all the foodie pictures!! And wow those waffles look great! I bought a waffle maker with the intention of making protein waffles but they always stick to the maker and fall apart!! I have no idea why 😦

    that’s awesome your guy is going to start coming with you!! It’s fun converting people! LOL

    • I often have the same issue with the waffle maker – I think it has to due with both the amount of grease on the maker (I use spray which seems to work ok) and the texture of the waffles… This recipe seems to work ok, but I’ve had others that don’t work in there at all. To be honest I don’t see what the big fuss over waffles is…pancakes are much easier and faster, not to mention easier to clean up!

  2. I love that you got your man to accompany you to the gym and not the other way around – that’s totally how it ought to be in my opinion.

    And I use an IDENTICAL recipe for my protein pancakes, it’s pretty ballin’ I agree. I had to take out the flaxseed meal because I’m not doing fat in my breakfasts anymore (well other than the fat in oats)but still, it tastes the same! I like to put 1 tbsp of natty PB on top (when I can eat it w/ fat) when it’s fresh off the stove because it gets all melty and is DELCIOUS

    • mmmm peanut butter on waffles, delicious indeed! Susan also has a trick to mix 1 T peanut butter with 1/4 c sugar free syrup – i’ve tried that and it’s stellar! Then you can just pour all over and/or dip…yum yum.

      peanut butter = god’s gift to man

  3. Yummy pancakes! And awesome meals, all together. 🙂 I am curious about how many grams of protein and carbs you eat in a day? I am having trouble finding a balance. I am scared to eat more carbs than protein, but on a 2000 cal diet you have to eat A LOT of protein if you are going low on carbs. I am eating around 200 grams of protein and around 150-170 grams of carbs. I don’t want to gain fat because of too much protein, but I am afraid of the carbs making me puffy and gaining. Ugh! Do you eat mainly veggies for your carbs? I’ve been trying to do that, but I always cave and end up eating some whole wheat bread with a meal, or a wrap/tortilla.

    I do that workout tomorrow! Can’t wait! But, I think I need to up my weights because I am not as sore as I think I should be.

    • So excited that you’ve started the program! Sounds like you are liking it so far, definitely keep me posted on how it’s going for you!

      As far as my macros go, I don’t actually adhere to a strict macro plan (e.g. # of grams per day). I follow the recommended caloric intake for me (according to the calculations in NROLFW) which is about 1900 on non-lifting days, and 2150 on lifting days, but I make sure that at the end of the day my ratio of calories come in at about 30-40% (protein), 30-35% (carbs), 25-35% (fat). I use and look at the little pie chart to check in 🙂 I usually end up eating between 150-175 g protein, 130-180 carbs (total carbs, not net), and 50-70g fat. I personally have found that lower carb and higher fat works well for me – I’ve definitely been seeing results already.

      That being said, don’t worry about it too much, especially about getting puffy from carbs. You probably won’t. The beauty about it is that you can also experiment, maybe try a week with more carbs, less fat, then try lower carbs, more fat – and see how you feel. The changes that happen during a one-week period are not going to last nor will they be difficult to change, so you can always switch it up again. I think the most important thing is that you are eating to fuel your body, and eating what your body is telling you to eat. If your body is craving carbs, you probably need them. The other night I had the biggest carb craving and so I ate a banana bran muffin AND a sandwich thin at 11pm at night! AND, i felt great the next day – my body just needed it.

      Hope that helps? Felt like a huge ramble with a lot of info…

      • Definitely not a huge ramble! It helps a lot! Really! I think I am going to try to do the experimenting with macros next week. Maybe lower carb/high fat, and then the next week moderate/high carb. I just got my NROL book in the mail today! I am so excited to read it!

        I was wondering, though, if you could give me some ideas of what you eat daily? Just to get some ideas for my meals and macros, etc.

      • Hey lady!

        Well I just had a look over at your most recent entry and by the looks of it, you are balancing all of your meals perfectly! It looks like you have been getting really creative and trying some fun things, things I had never thought of before (in other words, I might snag some of your ideas! haha). However, to give you an idea of what a couple days of eating might look like for me:

        *Workout day:*

        Pre workout – 1/2 protein shake Post-workout – 1/2 protein shake

        B – protein pancakes, 1 T peanut butter, 3 T sf syrup

        S – cottage cheese + strawberries/blueberries

        L – chicken breast, chopped veggies, 1/4c cashews

        S – homemade protein bar + something else (like celery or yogurt or fruit)

        D – thai coconut chicken curry with LOTS of veggies over shirataki noodles

        S – protein ice cream (with nut butter, sometimes banana)

        A LOT OF FOOD! haha.

        *Non-lifting days:*

        B – 1/2 c egg whites + 1 egg scrambled alongside 1/2 c oats + 1T nut butter/coconut butter + 1/2 c berries

        L – grilled beef, tofu, etc. on top of mixed veggie salad (often topped with hot sauce…yum), OR low sodium deli meat on flat roll with side of veggies

        S – 1/4 c dry roasted edamame beans + apple, or apple + greek yogurt mixed with peanut butter

        D – fajita salad: stir-fried chicken breast plus veggies (Mexican style) served over top of spinach/lettuce, eaten either with a tortilla or tortilla chips broken on top. Salsa as dressing, also topped with a bit of grated cheese and/or sour cream

        S – protein shake OR cottage cheese + cocoa powder + nut butter (but I usually make protein shakes/ice cream almost every night…..lately I’ve been getting kinda sick of them though!)

        Having said all that, I should mention that I have a fairly active social life that often involves eating out or going out, so I have to relax some of my meal ideas if I want to keep my friends 😉 So, for example, if I know we’ll be going out for dinner, I’ll try to construct a ‘balanced’ meal at the restaurant – last week i had a lean steak with fingerling potatoes and a side of roasted veggies. Not what I would have eaten at home, but it basically hit all my macros, and so it was good enough for me. I’ve learned that being flexible is what allows you to maintain a program (so that you don’t go crazy).

        Does that help at all? Hope so! 🙂


  4. 1) If I’m the bee’s knees, then you’re the cat’s pyjamas 😉

    2) YES to protein waffles. Best food ever. Must try topped with coconut butter sometime.

    3) There’s a New Rules of Lifting For Men if the boyfriend is interested! They just came out with an abs one that’s at the top of my to-buy book list.

    4) My other blog friend, Leah, from just finished Stage 1 of NROL and blogging about it. You should check her out for support!

    Okay. I think that’s all. Have a great weekend! xo

    • Thanks for the shout out, homeslice. By the bye, my Huz totally rocks the women’s program with me but has also done with men’s. AND there is a brand spanking new “Abs” book that just came out that I have yet to get my hot little hands on.

  5. wow those waffles look amaaazing! and woopee to being halfway through stage 1! when i started stage 1, i was like, what will it be like to be towards the end of the program? and now im like haa! no way! because time flies and at the end, gosh, you really learn so much through the program! best to ya and great work on your stage 1 lifting weights!

    • thank you! you’re so right about progress though – I’m already surprised at my gains. It’s so awesome to finally be sticking with a program so I can actually see changes happen!

  6. Thanks for the tips and meal plan! I think I need to make my meals more structured and around my workouts. Today I felt like I was eating ALL day, but I am still only at around 1700 cals. 😦

    I think I need to make sure my 6 meals have enough cals to equal around 1900 on non-lifting and 2100 on lifting. Also, I really want to do the shake before and after lifting, but I usually lift in the middle of the day. It’s hard to take a shake to work (I do work at a gym though =P). I think I will try it Tuesday. I work from 10-2 and then 4:30-7:30. I am thinking of just working out after 7:30, since my lifting only takes about 35 minutes. But, then when I get home I will want dinner, so is a shake necessary right after? Thursday I will be working 8-10 and then 5-7:30. So, I will probably drink 1/2 shake at 10, do my workout, then drink the other half after. What do you put in your shakes?

    Ha, sorry this is rambling. =P I am just really trying to benefit my muscle gains. I am STILL figuring out which macros are best for me. I am going to try to be more simple at first with my meals. Kind of start a base to hit my numbers, and then switch it up a little from time to time for variety. And, I am not worried about getting stuck in a rut. I like food ruts. =P

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