Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Upping My Calorie Intake

Hey there cool potatoes!

Because potatoes are cool in fact.

And so are you.

Thus, the calling you of cool potatoes.



Ok, now onto the topic of today's post. If you're an avid reader of Steph 2 Chef or simply know a lot about me (for whatever reason... :P), you would be aware that over the passed few months I have been slowly- and safely, for that matter; that should be understood above all else; I have done this so my body can handle it and not die/ get injured :)- increasing my workouts in both length, intensity and all-round crushing it abilities!

My long runs have gotten longer, my HIIT workouts more intense for longer with minimal breaks, the weights increasing every time I feel a new sense of strength in my arms/ legs/ back/ whatever it is that is lifting said weight. You name it; I've been upping it!

And the reason for all that is because it simply feels right by my body. My body is at a season in life where it wants to be pushed, it thrives on the challenge of doing one more rep, or lifting a much heavier weight, or pushing itself to limits I didn't even think existed inside me!

So, yes, I've been upping it on the workout stakes and with that comes an appetite that pales in comparison to what I thought was a monstrous one prior to my increased workouts.

Again, if you know me, you know I eat. I need to eat. My body is an eating machine and more than once have I shocked a friend or peer by the sizeable amount of food entering ma belly!

So, what happens to a girl with an extraordinary appetite who decides that weight lifting is super fun?? She experiences a ravenous rumble that she never thought possible. I'm telling you friends, this new level of hunger brought about by an increase in my muscle mass; it's extraordinary and at first, i just didn't get it.

I would continue to eat normally, constantly tormented by thoughts of food, merely an hour after eating a meal, waking up extremely empty and ravenous and yet still powering through another workout and almost feeling guilty if I added an extra snack/ portion to my meal because I never needed that much before.

Come on Steph; wise up!! The level and intensity of workouts I'm doing now requires a heck of a lot more energy to power through, prevent injury and most of all make my workouts enjoyable and not ridiculously hard and exhausting. That and the amount of training I was doing, coupled with the level of hunger I was ignoring, probably meant that all those possible gains I had been wanting in my muscle mass was going straight to waste as the body was consuming my muscle just to live!

Let me paint you a picture:

When you come out of a workout looking like this:
 You need to ensure you refuel with enough food to sustain your muscle mass, promote energy throughout the day and recover like a boss so that you can come back swinging' for your next sesh! (always the hardest after leg day!!)

And so, I have been making it my mission over the last week or so to truly hone in on my hunger signals, to listen to the bod and feed it increased calories (be that extra food, or just more calorically dense meals) with higher protein as well as all those other essential food groups.

Especially breakfast; because they are not only my first-meal-of-the-day post fasting through the night, but also function as my post-workout recovery meal to help my body heal up and be energised for the day ahead:

 Here we have a BIG bowl of blueberry cheesecake oats with Mayvers Mixed Nut Butter on the bottom, crunchy PB in the middle and more mixed nut butter on top (I need even coverage of nut butter throughout my oats for optimal oat-eating enjoyment!
 With the goodness of rolled oats, banana, blueberries, almond milk, greek yoghurt and nut butter, this substantial meal ticks so many boxes being high in protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats- win, win, win!!!
 You can find the recipe for this bad boy here :)
 if it's not oats to fuel the hungry muscles than it will most likely feature some type of smoothie in there somewhere:
 This was a super delicious brekky featuring gingerbread oat balls (recipe to come) with a mango banana creamy green smoothie- so much goodness in one meal!!
 Into the Vitamin went 1 large frozen banana, 1 handful frozen mango, 1 large handfuls spinach, 3 scoops greek yoghurt, splash of water- whaz!
 Lunches have been no different as the mornings now usually feature a good long study sesh and thus a workout for the mind which requires a post-workout meal just the same!!
 ALL the steamed veggies with a torn up chickpea veggie patty.
 And when I say all the steamed veggies, I mean it- there were so many veggies in here!! Definitely filled me up this one! Pumpkin, parsnip, swede, sweet potato, white potato, carrot.

Funny story with this lunch:
 On this particular day, I had hit legs. HARD. And decided to refuel with an epic protein smoothie (coming up!) however, I didn't include any nut butter or oats in said epic smoothie and thus the hunger come lunch time (where I conveniently moved lunch time to 11am) was out-of-this-world.
 Thus this magical creation of who-even-knows-what's-in-there came about. I literally threw some microwave brown and red rice into a bowl with a tin of baked beans, some frozen peas, chopped tomatoes, spinach, hommus, a bucket of nutritional yeast and a sprinkle of water into a bowl and microwaved it all up for around 3-4 mins until warmed through and cheesey- tomato-y goodness had resulted!

It filled me right up and conquered that hunger bug... for a couple of hours at least! :P

And dinners:

So far from my workout at 5:30am I shouldn't even be hungry am I right??


Your body is constantly healing and repairing loooong after you've wiped the sweat of your face from your workout and my hunger levels are direct evidence of that!
 A substantial serving of steamed greens (including the stem of the broccoli- so good!!) with a baked sweet tater with a BIG dollop of nut butter- because a small dollop is downright...racist. Yep.
 Dinner also happens to be my pre-workout too. No I do not head on out to the gym at ridiculous hours of the night in my jimmies for workout #2 of the day, I'm not that crazy... yet. :P
Nope, this is the meal that will take me through to the morning when I do my fasted workout (my preference; food in the tummy makes me feel ill- everyones different!) and smash my goals even more!!

Finally, whenever you see a picture like this:

Which just so happens to be the glorious big protein smoothie I mentioned above; know that the amount you see in the jar is usually only half of the smoothie, the other half that didn't fit eaten straight from the Vitamix with a spoon as I try and shush the hunger monster.

To make this bad boy I simply popped 2 large frozen bananas, 1 handful frozen zucchini, 1/2 frozen avocado, 2 handfuls spinach, 3 big scoops greek yoghurt, 1 scoop Sunwarrior choc protein powder, 1 teaspoon raw cacao powder, dash of cinnamon and some water into the Vitamin and whizzed until smooth- so thick, so creamy and so so so delicious.... plus all those delicious extra scoops straight form the blender (pictured smoothie in freezer thickening up whilst I finish it off.

Now, onto my last point; post dinner, I always eat a little something. It may be out of habit, it may be to finally quieten the hunger bug, it may just be because I enjoy food and food should be enjoyed, but after dinner I will always have either some dark chocolate, a cup of ice cold soy milk, some raw mixed nuts or dates/ figs. Whatever it be, it makes me happy and again; fuelled for the day ahead!!

Aaaand that's that on the Steph having to eat more than she used to which was ridiculous in the first place!!:P

Your turn:
Do you go through seasons of your life where you are just so much more ridiculously hungry? How do you cope?
Best way to quell your hunger when it's just out-of-control??
Favourite breakfast of the moment?

I hope you enjoyed this read, it's something that's been on my mind recently as I eat and eat and can't seem to control the hunger levels! Also, I hope you have a glorious rest of your day, do something fun, smile lots and as always; EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS!! Bye for now friendly friends! :D


  1. That's really good! I also workout most days after school and I am always eating tons! I honestly eat even quite a bit more than you but I know I need the energy for the long days of school and refreshing workouts I get to do! Everyone can never believe how much I eat too hahaha :). All your meals look delicious!

    1. Lea,
      YES! A fellow eater! My friends honestly get gobsmacked at my food intake and I am A-OK with that because, like you said, girl needs it to function!!
      Thanks for your comment and have a wonderful day! :D
      Steph 2 chef :D :D


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