What I actually eat (Cyclical Intermittent Fasting edition) $25-$35 p/wk

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What I actually eat (Cyclical Intermittent Fasting edition)

I hereby readily admit that I am “insane”; at times over-acknowledging – that I feel thus exemplarily towards such an admission. From $25 budget/s, reconstituting my two-years expired TVP, two hours of volume training, and up to 19 hour fasting window/s.

Rinse & repeat five days per week. Welcome to Resilience 2.0.

How much can you buy out of $25-$35?

In short – not a lot of food.

In fact, I seriously doubt that persisting on $25 per weeks- for multiple / 4+ weeks at a time is ever conducive towards maintaining overall objective fitness meritocracies. Unless replenished with a higher budget via no more than $35 once every three or four weeks; then THAT in my opinion – potentiates a more viable, pragmatic possibility. 

The last five months have forced me to tinker inbetween LONGER periods within Keto+IF than HC+IF to see if the above budgets are possible WITH some opportunistic hypercaloric refeed periods . I still adamantly believes that despite witnessing my own training and fitness decrements – Keto/LC + IF still what makes reduced calorie consumptions possible.

Recalling way back to my $20-$25 Keto Pescan-Vegan intervention in 2016; would I condone this to be repeated all over again? I’d say comparatively to where I am now – most likely no. 

Irrespective either HC or Keto IF = I hereby declare this new nutritional intervention – “Cyclical Intermittent Fasting” to be marginally possible for maintaining fitness resilience. Given the slightly higher weekly budget of $25 for several weeks strict, followed by $35 replenishment once every three or four weeks.

I call it a “Cyclical” form of Intermittent Fasting; as a deficit principle suggesting five days of 16-18 hour fasted, 6-7 hours of feeding window within CONSISTENT caloric deficits of no more than 25% off maintenance. But still allowing surplus 48 hour refeeds allocated in the weekend to mimic the hormonal re-adaptations similar to CKD principles.

What I actually eat (Intermittent Fasting edition+refeeds) $25-$35 p/wk

So how much can we buy out of this? An initial first week of expenditure for seven days of consumption = $30.50* are as follows; across up two hours of shopping, up to four different outlets.

  1. 500g economy beef mince = $3
    (be sure to strain and drain away the excess polyunsats after cooking with boiling water). 
  2. 2x sardines in springwater = $1.20
  3. English spinach 1 bundle if I’m lucky = $0.70
  4. 1/2 cauliflower shortdated if I’m lucky = $0.50
  5. 1kg of carrots = 50c.
    NOTE to all o f you Keto-Talibans out there trotting your pitchforks out – read my thoughts below.
  6. Just one carton of 600g egg = $2 (700g if I’m lucky)
  7. 3L full cream milk = $3
  8. 500ml olive oil (or 500g of matured cheese block) = $4
  9. 1kg full fat yoghurt = $3.5
  10. at least 350g worth of Mayonnaise or mustard = $2
  11. Up to 500ML Dark or light soy sauce (watch the carb content) = $2
  12. FOR REFEED – 900g oats = $1.30
  13. FOR REFEED – 400g rice puff cereals  = $2
  14. FOR REFEED – 1kg white rice  = $1.40
  15. FOR REFEED – 4kg of potatoes = $1.50 if I’m lucky
  16. FOR REFEED – 500g pasta = $0.65c
  17. Condiments = tomato paste = $1.25
*(this can be lowered down to $25 – $26 upon next week’s actual spending amount; as refeed carbohydrates and condiments can be saved for next week’s consumption there after) 

As you can see that is not a lot of food. This equates up to only roughly 1400-1500 (food only) calories per day for five days. Of course that depends on which nutritional macros (keto or standard high carb). And that for refeed periods – you will most certainly be reliant on supplementary proteins (not included in the budget) to make up for any lack of carbohydrate supplies.

Go read my previous recipe/s here, here and here (all three utilising supplementary protein powders as contributing main food resources) so that you can work out in your head as to how much more is required. Sooner or later you’d realise – alongside with my very own apology – that things are a lot tougher than what is suggestive here. In my case whenever those run out, I am left with my two years (yes two) expired TVP / Textured Vegetable Proteins. Yes, what was once my previously long forgotten and sub-optimal food “substitute”; now returns to the spotlight once again.

Sample outlook – Weekdays.

AM (both KETO & HC+IF)

We’ll begin with breakfast….nothing!

Well almost. I’ve decided that intakes of Vitamin D must still be taken seriously. In one way or another. So when or how would this best be approached?

Simple, begin the day with up to four fish oils and up to 5x Vitamin D; chugged down in water with MSM / organic sulfur; – to help bone-level GH hormone homeostasis and for everyday mobility.

“What? This is utter fasting heresy! Die, traitor!” , Says the Fasting-Taliban/s. [pitchforks out].

As much as I feel somewhat ambivalent on MEGA intakes of Vitamin D, as well as against beliefs on abstaining from it altogether; due to spread fear mongering about calcium leeching, or kidney failures from overdosing, etc, whatever the case may be – some intakes ARE STILL needed. The question is, when or how? I can’t take it in the evening. On the basis of personal experiences for many years – that Vitamin D at night seriously impairs my sleep.

The only pragmatic way therefore is to take it in the morning….Even then here’s another dilemma, Vitamin D is useless without any fat intakes. So what else can I do? I can’t just guzzle down coconut oil or MCTs – because I am not training so soon in the morning. So the only pragmatic way of utilising it? Fish oil.

Pitch forks down. For pragmatism sake. It’s 40 calories from here onwards until evening.

All afternoons (both KETO & HC IF)

Warm apple cider vinegars, pinch of bicarb soda and knife edge amount of cream of tartar to help bring up potassium levels.

Besides from that, coffees and/or teas. As simply dark as pitch black. I recently have been realising that not all instant coffees are the same.  I found myself mixing inbetween one with the other just to get that chocolatey aroma. And as usual – ALCAR still remains, under my opinion only – still an essential supplement to add to the coffees (up to 1.5g used) to help maintain cognitive alertness away from depression + anxiety. And in some cases – some warmth especially now during winters.

About up to three cups of coffee in total (or four if my day starts early). The fourth / last cup  counts towards my preworkout training aid as explained below.

Breakfast! Preworkout @ 5:30/ 5:45PM (both KETO & HC IF)

Either my usual BCAAs (if unflavoured – mix with sugar free lemonade)  or tinkering to my long-lost forgotten paradigm – Targeted Ketogenic preworkout liquid meal of no more than 25g of carbos.

This TKD approach however, requires more resources. I mix 150ml of reduced fat milk, some more water, 16g of dextrose powder, 2 grams of creatine monohydrate and 10 grams of unflavoured whey protein or pea protein powder supply.

Why adding protein? I know that given from my last write up – eating enough calories within short-er feeding window will prove difficult. Further, I still to this day do not have a voracious appetite even after knee-bleedingly painful 300 rep lower leg workout session.

What if it’s a rest day (Wednesday)?

On Wednesdays, I prolong my fast up to eighteen hours.I am only hungry when I am not training hence I try to eat more close to maintenance as attempts (2000-2100 calories) but still at arriving at an overall weekly deficit.

I’ve written this before and I’ll say it again, it makes NO conducive, evolutionary purpose to eat on caloric surplus if you are not physiologically hungry. I am far more PRIMALLY compelled to SAVE RESOURCES if I am not hungry; especially after training. Disagree? Good. You have something for your-selves to stand for.  Keep believing what works for you.

So at seven PM – I drink a 35g powder worth of protein supply (mixed unflavoured + flavoured whey / peas) with 150ML worth of full cream milk and more water. To fill time from now on till dinner I simply made another round of warm apple cider vinegars drink with sparkling water, with liquid stevia on top and vanilla essence.

Postworkout – 8PM (both KETO & HC IF)

Up to 45g of mixed unflavoured + flavoured whey / pea protein supply with copious amount of liquid stevia or monk fruit powder.  On 200ML reduced fat milk or 100ML full cream milk. Equates anywhere between 30-40g of protein content.

On Many days without milk – I resort to use yoghurt + water. Taste okay actually.

One thing I’d note however – IT MUST BE FULL FAT yoghurt. Though if I have no choice, fat-free phobiasque brethen would do albeit without much taste or rewarding substance.

Dinner – 9:15 / 9:40PM

KETO / LC + IF

First proper meal, horray. Two boiled eggs, 100g to 200g worth of vegetable weighted content, 100 to 120g of weighted meat protein content (not a lot unfortunately), 15ML of olive oils or 30g worth of butter or 60ML of coconut cream, either way with dijon mayonnaise or low-carb soy sauce.

English spinach + liberal use of carrots + rutabagas have been my staple combination lately. However I still do use 100g of cauliflower + 100g of daikon radishes on the stove with soy sauce if I feel like making a low carbo noodle soup.

One important finding I find so far seems to be an interesting repeat of how I felt long ago in trying to discern between consuming Saturated Fats VS. Unsaturated Fats intakes. With Saturated Fats – particularly on good old butter and coconut creams = I feel much more “warmer”. A defenite rise of bodily temperature that is so sorely needed during colder seasons. Where as monounsaturated fats – surprisingly less so, accompanied with unexplainable “burning” sensation.

Regardless, I believe that stomach acidity MUST be maintained or be prepared to be eventually prepped towards my first dining event of each day. Hence, I usually take up to two DIY betaine capsules (measuring anywhere between 100 to 125MG amount each) to assist digestion of each Keto meal/s.

HC + IF

I may not be able to have daily purchasing power of consuming ten eggs per day. I consider them still an essential staple; regardless if it’s eaten with carbs or without carbs.

So in HC+IF days I’d have one boiled egg with up to 250g of boiled rice alongside with 150g of boiled potatoes. 100g dry weight of Cauliflowers, spinach, carrots and/or frozen green beans – still makes up the bulk of my greens. Protein intakes is more or less the same to that of Keto + IF but at times – lower to ensure that glycogen up take is more or less already taken care of from the carbohydrates.

Next meal – 11PM

If I’m rich – I’d be having my whey / pea protein cheesecake. Or otherwise or up to 50g cheddar cheese. On HC+IF days – I’d have a bowl of 50g oats, boiled water, 15g of WPC serve, 80ML full cream milk, and sweetener. Alternatively (still if within HC+IF format) – I’d get those flat lebanese bread with copious amount of greek yoghurt, lemon/lime or pinches of stevia.

Last meal/s – 11:30PM to past midnight

Protein fluff featuring no more than 10g worth of  powder used.

Alternatively if I have no carbonated water for making any fluffs – I would prep (hours before hand) – a protein pudding instead by hand stirring 10g of whey / pea, with up to 3g of guar gum with pinches of xanthan, 15g worth of frozen raspberries, 40ML full cream milk, 25g of yoghurt and some water (no more than half a glass worth). Stir and whip with a fork about six minutes, you will be surprised how thick and pudding like it will get in due time alongside with freezer time.

Irrespective of either HC+IF or KETO+IF – I will always unwind with a 45g worth of whey / pea protein powder shake with 150ML full cream milk.

Sample outlook – Overall calories & Refeed day/s.

Top: HC+IF Bottom: KETO/LC+IF

Overall calories

My “average” intakes within WEEKLY period/s of KETO/LC+IF intervention ranges inbetween sub 1500s to 2000s (though higher ranges are a RARE luxury). For HC + IF – ranges inbetween 1900s to 2200s. I’ve come to conclude that HC+IF is far easier to gorge for higher calories – but still – at a cost…of more resource consumptions, obviously.

Keto/LC+IF as it currently stands – believe it or not – remains my MOST often used periods of intermittent fasting regiment.

My sentiments on HC+IF is positive only when resources availability allow for it.  Carbohydrate consumptions is much easier. Hands down, but also at an additional cost – of greater hunger pangs I find throughout each fasting window/s. This can be either a blessing or a curse – as I find my hunger patterns to potentiate more insulin responsiveness and glycogen uptakes upon exogenous calories.

But alas, pragmatism overrule hedonism. HC+IF would find me more anxious towards establishing volumous “flavour” as opposed to appreciating the nimble but significantly more – nutritional “values” on the KETO / LC intervention. Difficult to explain succinctly, but my thoughts have not changed ever since I wrote my first ever Keto anniversary feature article in 2016.

About refeed day/s

2017 Food for thoughts Keto anniversary (CKD) Part 2/3

My structure for refeed day/s more or less proceeds similarly from what I wrote previously in my CKD Anniversary; which I’d advise everyone to read should time permits them. Nonetheless, people who are devoted “Fast”-eners – are not going be happy with what I’m about to say. Refeeds are still necessary. Disagree? Good – I don’t care. Do what works for you.

You have as much of a goal for standing up what works for “you”.Why then I wonder, would anyone morally “disagree” with what I’m going and exploring at the moment? I preach pragmatism. Not speculative idealism. On the basis of resources and leverages structural limitations.

Refeeds are the only “filling-the-gaps” metabolic opportunities to help one recuperate through the insane stresses of deficit weekdays; but still may not be enough at addressing existing physiological ailments eg. disc injuries. Even though my injury is one and quarter years old; it still haunts me whenever I descend during corrective ass-to-grass squats. Or even my beloved alternative wide stanced Jefferson Rows.

Qualitatively also, refeeds still must be strategised upon the most sensible selection of foods and if budget allows – diverse palatability to keep you within sanity.

Within $25-$35 per week? A silver lining in the cloud still is visible, if somewhat further clouded away from comfortable diversity.

My thoughts & lessons.

Here comes my five month progression of thoughts on Intermittent Fasting thus far.

1/4

Fasting to save resources is never a relaxed “choice”; but a Primal response against Structural Dictatorship beyond consent.

If anyone think that all this is driven by choice. They are wrong. Because they only assume that I still have every ongoing luxury – of dismissing all of this is just a mere “choice”. Having a choice always assumes that something else is expendable to support such a selection or choosing.

“Choices” represents a desire to select or to experience – one out of many DESIRED possibilities. What if – the range of ideal possibilities in front of you are structured and/or dictated beyond your will or consent? You will be left on your own biological accord at experiencing towards FEWER AND FEWER POSSIBILITIES. To the point whereby my possibility to “life” at this present moment –  is to simply “survive”. With less – and lesser purchasing / acquisition power, you guessed it – resources.

Oh wait, Pedestrian Normalcy shouts back at me. “Blame your willpower!”. “Get a job!”  “Grow a pair of **cks. Be a man! Your willpower sucks“.  Here we go again – moral comparison roller coasters for faring who “sucks” the worst. Goodbye, pragmatic realisations & productivity. Hello, Survivorship politics ad nausaeum.

“Willpower” assumes something else is expendable to meet a concerned objectivity. One lack of something or there-of – will pose a series of implications. Aka. Domino-effect. Just by having sociologically / qualitatively restricted access to resources, the following implications will inevitably occur; as a result from holding-on or simply “exercising” to this speculative “Willpower”:

  1. Witnessing continuous need for preservation / continuous calculative apprehension of resource wastage.
  2. lethargy from complete 24 hours fast/s (I am yet to experience a complete 24 hour fast/s but one day a possibility)
  3. Increasing risk of injuries, loss of connective tissue strength from up to 25% daily caloric deficits during resistance training; despite preparatory guidelines AND regular intensity reductions. (eg. even with prewarmup sets, foam rollings, static + dynamic stretches, etc).
  4. Decreased cardiac outputs, potentially leading to failures; from prolonged caloric starvation.
  5. Increased risk of metabolic damage from prolonged calorie deficits, leading to prolonged Physiological Insulin Resistance. This remains debateable (adverse VS beneficial); towards achieving the much-publicised aspect of “longevity” or “anti-aging” – but nonetheless worthy enough to mention it as a possible worsening marker towards Metabolic INFlexibility.
  6. Increasing forced acceptances of consuming questionably expired foods and goods – eg. two years of expired TVP. Or one and quarter month old mayonnaise. Possible outcome? Destroyed beneficial gut bacterium = worsening immune function.   
  7. Increasingly lack of validatory support for sociological homeostasis. Increasing reception of Pedestrian contempt/s, and/or stigma of being labelled “dole bludger”. Being passed at numerous unsolicited advices, judgments for sociological “burden” or  blame,  Survivorship Biases, etc. Possible outcome? I’ll leave it to your judgment. 

…So on and so forth.

I remain confident, that as from what I wrote in my book, evidently spoken out of witness and inquisition –  still adamantly believe that “violence” is more or less structurally coerced or perpetuated from outside -> in.

I am thus willingly label myself as “insane” not because I feel desired to this by “choice” but rather I am perpetuated to it by structural coercions and impositions beyond my consent.

And for anyone think or suspect I’m “lazy”? Again, a delusional luxury.

“Left” + “right” weight indicates TWO DIFFERENT SCALES BEING USED.

2/4

Nothing is infinite. Train nimble. Be prepared for training deload/s. TKD+IF isn’t (consistently) magic.

From 67.5kg post 48 hour refeed to as low as 63.9kg in just four days. Fantastic. Up to THIRTEEN EXERCISES across two and quart hours of pure grit, 6×5 limited rests (less than 30s), four days per week. Wonderful. 

…But at what cost? Please don’t argue with me that Ketosis gives off an unlimited source of energy. If that’s true – explain to me why we already are oxidising ATP just from breathing air itself. 

I actually was convinced; for believing that KETO/TKD+IF preworkout intervention regiment would temporarily aid at prolonging training endurance. But not for long. My own training journal convictions so far indicated no consistent improvements from one day to the next. It at least does not bring about magical healing to my already sore connective joints from prior heavy Jeffersons or ATG Bell squats. In addition, the gastric effects prior to training were at times embarrasingly intrusive.

Perhaps indeed – no intervention/s no matter how far it is modified – remains convincingly “magic” for all times and circumstances. I shall borrow a quote from Elliot Hulse – “Everything works. Until it doesn’t.”

What “works now” remains only at best – a speculation for tomorrow.  Sure, it hurts seeing each and every exercise records slowly plummet from one day, one week to the next. The human physiology has all sorts of pragmatic contingencies in place, should tomorrow’s ordeal called “training day” begins, all over again. One such sign/s of contingency? Pain.

“Pain” – as I slowly learn to accept – is a  GOOD thing to both reconcile and reflect. I don’t need to envy anyone whose objectivist pursuits and records overwhelms my already degenerating L4/5/S1. At least I have a marker and reminder to my own Humility. That’s what injuries are for.

Speculation meets pragmatism. Self-sensible Volume and Productivity reigns – over short-lived egoism and 5 minute set breaks followed by gossips + chit/chats.

3/4

Do not demonise / completely exclude higher carb vegetables.

Complete elimination = self-masochism.

Yes, you need to remain aware that you will have limitations within $25 purchasing power per week. Yes, you have to remain sensible that this is called low carbohydrate for a reason – hence lower than 100 net grams. But also – you need to be aware that you are Human; with limitations with how far you can live in subsisting on just spinach, cauliflower or kale for the rest of your life.

Have some garlic, carrots, pumpkins, rutabagas / swedes. During times whereby chicken livers aren’t available – these are great sources of Vitamin A and Potassium per 100g.

Oh, that includes onions too, unless of course if you DO severely and genuinely do have a FODMAP response from onions – then I’d see no reason why on excluding it altogether. In my case, I am using it succintly for flavouring purposes. Nothing more.

A note for the paranoid – remember that tomorrow – immediately will become yesterday. Rejoin the human race for a while (8/7 hours feeding window or less). Soon you can then reclaim and practise your self-authenticity during the next 16 (or 17) hours of fasting window before you know it. Rinse and repeat.

4/4

Embrace higher protein intakes. Experiment low and high intakes.

I don’t honestly know why or how such universal dogmatic fear on protein intakes came about to us witnessing epic proportion of debates from one extreme end to another.

I am not even sure if such debates are actually ever conducive nor productive. Every little variable of living, training volume, intensity / formatting, and sociological status / accessibility to resources, overall food quality,  sleep quality, etc – all adds up to convincingly variable judgments. Speaking only from my own convictions it is clear – that an individualised experiment between high versus low intakes – is inevitably necessary. 

Think about it. Protein is an essential macronutrient. It is inseparably as however it is defined – “of first and prime importance”, in Latin.

If we were to deprive ourselves of this macronutrient – then surely – something else must come from somewhere as alternative substitutes. Is it thus carbs or fats? What if those things are restricted as well – what are we looking at then, as further confounders at universally judging whether high or low protein intakes are “better”? Low carbohydrate status? High carb status? Or overall total caloric intakes?

There is however something I suspect along the lines of Auto Regulation; if such a thing is medically “correct”. Speaking from my own physiology – increasing protein intakes from any one meal or from that post workout shake – my body just knows and expects intuitively – that I look forward for my next meal bearing less protein content. Could this therefore be my inquisitive marker to better determine if higher or lower intakes is “better” for me? Perhaps. There is still much to learn within these nuanced and complex physiological response to protein intakes.   

Nevertheless of all importances – this rings true as the bottom line – I let my own bodily & hunger response as hints, metabolic cues – dictating to me what it needs. Not by what meta analysis “paper” out of averaged  statistical biases telling me what to do.

There is after all something everybody needs to understand what YMMV stands for. It is truly an underestimated confounder to everything else beneath all the worshipping behind what “Science” is. If everyone believes that Science is all things finalised objectivities – then they are missing the point. They perhaps unknowingly left their own individualised “selfs” – far and away after having been convinced at taking away home every averaged statistical conclusions and averaged assesments. Now then, the individual effort for determining if he/she is indeed ‘average’- is another story altogether.

Closing word.

This evening as I’m typing this line; marks close to my new Fasting record of nineteen (19) hours and 45 minutes, since 12:45 AM the preceding morning. 

Or perhaps more interestingly that I almost forgot – that today is my 33rd birthday. 

I am neither exhilarated or sad; in finding out just how time flies – when my mind and body – are channelled towards one thing – survival at less and lesser – resources.

One thing is certain – from all the money I saved from cutting my own hair to this day reconciling what I learned from Fasting – I am still not immune for tomorrow’s possibility – for not able to keep up with increasing costs of living.

So what do I want for my birthday “present”? I feel increasingly convinced more than ever – that I do not long much for material presences.

…I simply need just food. Meaningful food to the human physiology.

…for allowing me to continue where I always have been. To have every implicit reason to question every explicit coercions.

 


And that wraps up my feature writeup on Intermittent Fasting! Please leave me your thoughts and feedbacks below!

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