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Even More Steak and Eggs: Plus Plants vs. Animals!

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  • Even More Steak and Eggs: Plus Plants vs. Animals!

    I know we already have four threads devoted to Steak and Eggs, but I'm going to throw my hat into the ring anyway. I'm a little late to the party, so I'm going to begin tomorrow and extend the challenge out four weeks from there. Quick background:

    25 year old male
    5' 9" 174 pounds, ~16% body fat

    I normally follow a leangains regimen with compound barbell exercises 3x weekly with lazy macro cycling and 90% primal food. I eat one meal a day at 6:30 PM and I'll be doing the same with steak and eggs. I fast intermittently and frequently so if 100% adherence to this challenge is possible for anyone, it is for me. I'm tentatively going to steak and egg for four weeks from tomorrow, though if I get results beyond expectations, I'll carry it a few more from there.

    After the SO and I went shopping for my meat and meat, she watched me delicately packing the 12 lbs of raw beef into zip top bags and said, "you know, I'm gonna go vegan for 4 weeks, just to balance you out." She normally eats almost as much meat, cheese, and yogurt as I do so it'll be tough for her too. I'm already jealous of her lettuce and broccoli though... So here we go. Plants vs. Animals. On my one carb refeed day per week, she's going to have some animal products and I'm going to OD on dates, yogurt, blueberries, and pancakes.


    8.25 lbs steaks, some sirloin and some top round cut from a single roast
    4 lbs grass-fed organic 85% ground beef
    48 organic, cage free eggs
    4 sticks butter
    heavy cream and half & half

    Let's do it!

    Last edited by ajm422; 05-03-2013, 06:31 PM.
    I'm a weak man...If I give myself a few feet of leeway, I burst through all of my prohibitions.

  • #2
    This should be interesting.


    • #3
      Cool idea! I would take measurements and body fat %. Make sure you do the same intensity of training and lets see the results. I realize men and women quite often respond differently but it will be fascinating to compare results.
      Recent Blog:


      • #4
        I love the face off picture! How long before you are using those forks to grab off the other's plate?


        • #5
          Neat idea-will be interesting to see tbe outcome


          • #6
            It's like Thunderdome for food. This is awesome.

            (I'm rooting for animals)
            be the hair that knots with my hair
            - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
            primal since oct. 1, 2012


            • #7
              Day 1 was fantastic. We walked all over DC, gardened, lifted weights, and ate vegan/meat. For lunch she had a salad with beans, and I had beef liver and 6 scrambled eggs. For dinner she had a pepper stuffed with veggies and I had 19 oz of sirloin and 3 eggs, sunny side up. Lots of butter all around, and I had a glass of wine with dinner. My workout was amazing - so much energy. Can't imagine being sick of steak and eggs!

              I'm a weak man...If I give myself a few feet of leeway, I burst through all of my prohibitions.


              • #8
                With respect to training, we both do the exact same regimen. It's a reverse pyramid type setup utilizing compound barbell exercises, low volume, and very high intensity. Most days we walk around in varying degrees of sore. Here is our weekly setup:


                Deadlift 1: 4-6 reps at 90% 1RM
                Deadlift 2: 6-8 reps at 75% 1RM
                Deadlift 3: 8-10 reps at 65% 1RM
                Shrugs: 3 sets of 10 reps at a high intensity, usually failing on the final rep


                Bench press 1: 6-8 reps at 90% 1RM
                Bench press 2: 8-10 reps at 70% 1RM
                Bench press 3: 10-12 reps at 60% 1RM
                One-arm DB rows: 3 sets of 10 reps
                Overhead triceps press: 3 sets of 10 reps


                Squat 1: 6-8 reps at 90% 1RM
                Squat 2: 8-10 reps at 75% 1RM
                Squat 3: 10-12 reps at 65% 1RM
                Weighted chinups 1: 8-10 reps + 15 lbs
                Weighted chinups 2: 10-12 reps + 5 lbs
                Weighted chinups 3: 12-15 reps at bodyweight
                (she can only do a few chinups so she does barbell rows instead)

                Saturday (optional)

                Weighted dips 1: 8-10 reps + 25 lbs
                Weighted dips 2: 10-12 reps + 15 lbs
                Weighted dips 3: 12-15 reps + 5 lbs
                DB chest flys: 3 sets
                Calf raises

                Lately my energy has been high and my recovery periods have been shortening so I toss in the Saturday workout. My chest is disproportionately weak compared to my deadlifts and squats so I want to get extra volume in. The SO sticks to the 3 days per week training. With respect to other exercise, I LOATHE running, so I get my movements in by bicycling to work (6 miles round trip, 5x per week) and she does yoga 4-5 days per week.
                We'll see how the fat loss goes! So far I'm a little alarmed at how fast the weight is coming off. Though I only started this diet in earnest yesterday, I spent 3-4 days beforehand easing into it. I started the week at 179.2. This morning I'm 172.0. Mostly water, I know, but it's still wild to see how low the scale will go in the morning.
                I'm a weak man...If I give myself a few feet of leeway, I burst through all of my prohibitions.


                • #9
                  Great photos! I got a chuckle out of the face-off, glad to see you are having fun with this. It is interesting to see the weight drop so fast initially, I would only get a bit concerned if your workouts stopped progressing and your strength decreases.
                  Recent Blog:



                  • #10
                    This looks very interesting, plus it sounds like an adorable, fun project to do together. Looking forward to updates and results!


                    • #11
                      Today was a good day. No training, and no real movement aside from house cleaning. Dinner, however, was spectacular. We don't have a fume hood above our range and the house smokes up at the slightest sear of a steak. When the fire alarm goes off, the fire department is notified and a fire truck rolls up to the house. This has happened roughly 5 times in the past year and it is embarrassing and terribly annoying. To get deliciously seared steaks without grilling in the back yard, I had to turn to sous vide...

                      Drop the steak in a warm water bath. I use 130 F for rare/medium rare. I like my beef bright red and bloody.


                      The meat will be cooked to medium rare perfection, but the outside still needs to be seared. Otherwise it tastes like boiled mutton. For this, you can use a 500 F skillet, but that would just smoke up the house and put me back at square one. So, I turn to my friend the propane torch. You have to sear the meat sometime. Some people advocate searing before the meat goes in the bath, but at this point the meat is either refrigerator cold or room temperature. I find it takes longer to get the meat up to Maillard temperatures when I torch before the bath. Others advocate searing after the bath right before plating. However, I find the meat can cool down a bit while I'm searing it and is lukewarm by the time it hits the plate. Thus, I take it out of the bath, sear, and throw it back in. First, pat it dry and torch:


                      This smells delicious. Here's a picture of the steak I had tonight with only one side torched. You can really see the difference.


                      Here's the meat back in the bath, just sitting at 130 F. At this point, it could sit for hours (theoretically) though too long and you must worry about bacteria growth. I let it sit there for about an hour while I vacuumed the house and my girlfriend cooked her tofu stir fry.


                      And here is the steak all finished! It comes out of the bath, onto a paper towel so I can dry it, and I like to hit it once more with the torch to make sure the outside is nice and hot. Then you can plate it up on the plate you remembered to warm in the oven.

                      I'm a weak man...If I give myself a few feet of leeway, I burst through all of my prohibitions.


                      • #12
                        Torch, torch, torch. It's especially awesome because you can stick the torch in all the nooks and crannies and on the sides. It's tough to sear these areas with a grill! It usually takes me ~5 minutes of torch time before I'm satisfied with the browning of the steak.


                        Four eggs, sunny side up. I like to cook these over low-medium heat. I get some butter nice and foamy, toss the eggs in, cover, and let rest for 3-4 minutes. This leaves the yolks nice and runny.


                        Here's all the food plated! Time to eat! The SO's tofu stir fry is in the background. I tried a nibble of the tofu and found the texture unappealing, but it tasted nice and smoky. I don't think I'll be going vegan any time soon.


                        The magic of sous vide. The lighting in this photo is damnably awful, but if you look closely you can see the most perfectly medium rare steak. The outside is browned and seared, there's no gray gradient on the perimeter, and the meat is dark red from top to bottom. This is by far the best way to cook thick steaks to a perfect temperature and still get a perfectly seared outside. In the past, I have worked two water baths simultaneously to cook my own steak rare/medium rare and a guest's steak medium. They both came out perfectly - an easy feat when you can just let the seared steaks sit in the water bath indefinitely until you're ready to plate. This allows one to make sauce, cook side dishes, and have the meat nice and hot when it hits the plate. I imagine I'll be perfecting my sous vide technique over these next few weeks...

                        I'm a weak man...If I give myself a few feet of leeway, I burst through all of my prohibitions.


                        • #13
                          Cant see the photos yet, but I am drooling at your description. Funny that the words, "tofu stir fry" didn't elicit the same reaction.


                          • #14
                            So on April 1st, I weighed 182.6 lbs. Last Monday, I weighed 178.2 which means I lost roughly a pound a week through April using sensible nutrition and weight training. I consider this to be a good long-term fat loss rate. This morning I'm 172.0. That’s 6.2 pounds in one week. Of course, this can’t all be fat loss, but I think a lot of it is. Two things happened last week: 1) I fasted for 44 hours and 2) I began easing into the steak and eggs diet on about Wednesday. Between Wednesday and Sunday I had very few carbs – mostly yogurt, berries, and non-starchy vegetables. I had a few dates and some dark chocolate here and there, but nothing to speak of. (Though Friday is an exception - that was a massive carb day). But I also didn’t have too much fat since I was gobbling down some chicken breasts and lean ham I had lying around so that I could start steak and eggs in earnest without letting good meat spoil. I think I actually had a very, very massive calorie deficit last week.

                            So Monday: my weight is 178.2. I consider this to be a “true” weight. I hadn’t been fasting, I hadn’t been restricting any nutrient, and the circumstances of my Monday morning were just like every other Monday morning. I had a nice big post-workout supper at 7:00 PM and then didn’t eat again until Wednesday evening at 6:00 PM, roughly 48 hours or, as pklopp explained in his IF post, about 44 hours in the post-absorptive state. Just prior to my Wednesday evening meal, I was at 174 lbs, which I expected. That meal was glorious – I had almost an entire loaf of bread, 12 oz. of chicken breasts, mountains of refried beans and broccoli, and a simply gigantic bowl of homemade Greek yogurt with a heaping of frozen blueberries, honey, walnuts, and chia seed. It might have been 3 solid pounds of food. Oh, and 3 local beers, too. After the meal, I was 180.2 – 6.2 lbs of food and water. Awesome.

                            You’ll notice that this meal was very low fat. The only sources of fat were in the yogurt and walnuts, and the bits of oil I used to sauté the broccoli. While this meal was huge, it wasn’t particularly calorie dense. Just really high protein and fiber. The next morning (Thursday) I was only 175.2 lbs. This is 3.0 lbs under my “true weight.” I figured I’d rebound back up to 177-178 in a day or two, but my weight actually kept going down. By then I was eating mostly protein and fat so I surmised that it was all water weight and depleted glycogen. After all, I bike to work 5 days per week and lift at comical intensity levels. Well, Friday morning I’m 173.2 lbs and my girl and I know we’re starting extreme diets the next day. So we have a (reasonable and prudent) last hurrah. After squats and chins, it’s frozen yogurt, bread, cheese, beans, fruit, and lots of other things. I don’t count calories anymore, but I had been for years so I’m a really good estimator. I think I ate almost 3,000 calories and roughly 300 grams carbs. I was sort of afraid of the scale the next morning, but at least it would be nice to be back to “true” weight.

                            Saturday morning, post-binge: 172.8. Saturday is steak and eggs (and liver). Basically zero carbs except for the glycogen in the beef liver and one glass of wine. Sunday morning: 173.2. Sunday: just steak and eggs. Zero carbs. This morning: 172.0. I wonder if this is my “true” weight now. I surly couldn’t have lost 6.2 lbs of fat and lean body mass in one week? Or could I… I’ve rigorously calculated my TDEE using both Katch-McArdle and Harris-Benedict, and the average is 2,400 calories. So between Monday weighing sessions I expended 16,800 calories. My confident calorie estimates for the intervening days:

                            Monday: 1,600 calories
                            Tuesday: 0 calories
                            Wednesday: 2,550 calories
                            Thursday: 1,490 calories
                            Friday: 3,000 calories
                            Saturday: 1,480 calories
                            Sunday: 1,550 calories

                            This comes to 11,620 calories, or a … 5,180 calorie deficit. That’s 1.48 lbs of fat. So, I guess we can’t explain it away with math. In any case. It’ll be interesting to see how my weight varies both this week during strict steak and eggs and after next Saturday’s carb up. There’s an anecdotal fat loss phenomenon in the fitness communities known as the “whoosh,” in which no change is seen on the scale for a few weeks while fat is being continually lost. Then, one day, whoosh! The weight is gone! Maybe this is what happened. Maybe I’m underestimating my TDEE. Maybe I’m overestimating my calorie intake (though I very much doubt that). Oh well. I look WAY better in the mirror now than I did 5 weeks ago, and I have the photos to prove it. I’ll post before and after photos at the end of this steak and eggs challenge. Thanks for reading!
                            Last edited by ajm422; 05-06-2013, 08:01 AM.
                            I'm a weak man...If I give myself a few feet of leeway, I burst through all of my prohibitions.


                            • #15
                              Way to go! Love the whoooooosh. Can't wait to see the photos!
                              be the hair that knots with my hair
                              - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                              primal since oct. 1, 2012