Macro-Friendly Black Bean Brownies


Happy Easter and long weekend! I had some extra time to bake this weekend, so I made some black bean brownies with my new kitchen aid mixer as well as the banana chocolate chip protein bars featured in my Baking with Protein post.

This is yet another recipe from Amanda Bucci – her original recipe is found on her YouTube channel here. In her recipe, she uses stevia to sweeten the batter, but I used honey instead. Originally I made them with only 3/4 tbsp of honey, but this makes them NOT that sweet at all – if you want them to take more brownie-sque and sweeter, definitely use more the honey!




  • 300g black beans
  • 15g PEScience Select Protein – Peanut Butter Cup flavoured
  • 125g egg whites
  • 2 eggs
  • 30g unsweeted almond milk
  • 100g pumpkin puree
  • 30g Cocoa Powder
  • 25g coconut flour
  • 40g oat flour (grind up 40g of quick oats)
  • 2 tbsp Chocolate Chip BuffBake
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 10g chocolate chips (optional)
  • 10g peanut butter chips (optional)


  1. Throw all ingredients except for baking powder and baking soda into a food processor and process all of it!
  2. Mix in baking powder and baking soda by hand.
  3. Pour into a buttered pan or muffin tin. Top with chocolate and peanut butter chips if you want!
  4. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
  5. Cool on a cooling rack.

Macros: 110 calories: 12.9g carbs, 4.3g fat, 6.4g protein for each brownies. Recipe makes 12 brownies!




The Last IIFYM Post: Part 3

I promised that I would do an IIFYM post on a day where I knew I was going out, and finally managed to remember to take photos and keep blogging in mind. 🙂 So here’s a final full day of eating, with sushi at the end of the day!

Previous posts:
What is IIFYM?
IIFYM – A Full Day of Eating

To plan macros for a day going out, I’ll input the food I know I’m going to eat out first. In this case, I wanted to eat a rainbow roll, seaweed salad, and 3 pieces of tuna sashimi.


Once that’s inputted, that allows me to plan the rest of the day around those macros. On the weekends, I tend to sleep in and have a huge brunch instead, so first on the docket in the morning (okay, so it was more like 11:30am, but that’s still the morning!) was french toast with Buff Butter, cheese, and a slice of bacon.

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BuffBake, for those who don’t know, is a nut butter spread that includes protein, chia, and flax. The macros are great, if you look at the picture above, 1 tablespoon of BuffButter is 4g carbs, 7g fat, and 6g protein! Since I had such a huge breakfast (my breakfasts are usually closer to 300-400 calories), that’s going to tie me over for a while.

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The current end of day totals. 400 calories is actually a typical meal for myself, so if I wanted, I could have a meal in the middle of the day… but I really wanted to eat some apple pie for dessert after the sushi restaurant, so once I also threw that into my calculations it left just under 300 calories.

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I also knew that I was planning on heading to a coffee shop with friends, so I added in a Chai Latte, and the end of the day looked like this:

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Good for protein, but fat was pretty far off. So I decided to add 15g of cheese, and a quarter of a tablespoon of peanut butter for a snack before dinner. This brings me over the total calories, and gives me more protein than necessary, but brings my fat closer to a level I want.

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It’s easy enough to eat 1 piece less of tuna sashimi, and I’m pretty happy with this. +/- 5g on all my macros on a day I eat out. 🙂 That’s essentially it. I throw in the food I know I’m going out to eat first, and then fit everything else around that.

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PS. There’s an extra rolls on the right of this photo, I did not eat all of that sushi. 😛

Meal Prep and Meatballs!

Today’s meal prep took way, way longer (total time of 2.5 hours) than expected because I didn’t realize that 1.44kg (aka 3.1lbs) of beef would make THAT many meatballs, but as it turns out, that’s a lot of meat.


A very quick run down of the ingredients in this batch:

  • 1.44kg ground beef
  • 175g Blue Menu Mushroom & Garlic tomato sauce
  • 191g zucchini
  • 16g parsley
  • 63g tomato (it was just what I had left, so I threw it in)
  • 113g red onion
  • 44g garlic
  • 130g bread crumbs
  • 20ml olive oil for frying

When forming each meatball, I put the whole pot of meat mixture on the scale, hit tare, and grabbed ~50g so the macros were equal for all of the meatballs.  I ended with 48 meatballs with macros of 8c, 2f, 4p each.



It was a pretty arduous process, chopping up/processing all of the vegetables, mixing everything, forming meatballs, browning them in the pan (which didn’t work as nicely as I had hoped), baking them in the oven, draining the oil, and then finally packing them all up.


After making meatballs, I still had to meal prep for the next day (which needed to include a packed dinner, which made things a lot more difficult to balance), and after much much fiddling, I found a nice mix of food that I wanted to eat but also fit my macros beautifully at the same time.


I haven’t quite decided when I’m eating each part, although the current plan is to eat the yogurt and most of the egg white + bagel for breakfast, the meatball lunch box for lunch (with the ryvita cracker as my ‘dessert’), and then the breakfast box + any leftovers from the bagel box for dinner.

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The macro process took forever today, at once point I was eating 4 eggs to make protein for the day, but once I realized I could just eat greek yogurt for breakfast instead of more eggs, it worked out pretty well. Originally, I was also playing with the idea of eating the meatball lunchbox twice today, but I really don’t like eating the same thing twice in a week, let alone twice in a week. Definitely a longer challenge than usual, but I’m glad it worked out.


IIFYM Part 2 – a full day of eating

Important Note: These macros and calorie goals are based on MY personal body and feelings. It works for me, so figure out what works for you! 🙂

If you haven’t read my previous post on what IIFYM is, you can check it out here!

Planning my macros, or also known as food tetris! As mentioned in the previous post, my macros look like the following:

  • Total calories/day: 1700
  • Carbs: 200g
  • Fat: 60g
  • Protein: 90g

I usually cook and plan breakfast and lunch the night before, and then decide what I want to eat for dinner after lunch time, but if I have leftovers, or if I already know what I want to eat for dinner then I’ll do the all at once. To make things easier, I have a couple of key “core meals” that have been saved as favorites in MyFitnessPal.

Breakfast Snacks Dinner
A “Starbucks protein box” Peanut butter cheerios Protein pancakes
MyOatmeal oatmeal Beef Jerky Chicken with sweet potato
Egg white sandwich with cheese  Small coffee – 1 milk, 1 sugar  Protein shake

Because I’m prepping for a gym day in this post, it’s a little different from my usual day in terms of the number of meals and snacks I’m eating, but all the key concepts are there.

The night before, I’ll prep my usual Starbucks protein box. This contains apple slices, grapes, a hard boiled egg, cheese, and bread.

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This particular day I didn’t have much time to cook a fresh dinner/lunch, but I did have leftover shepherd’s pie that I had made a few weeks ago and froze, so that’s what I decided to bring for lunch today (Note: I added my own Shepherd’s Pie recipe into MFP, which is what you’re seeing there, not some generic shepherd’s pie found on MFP!). I always make a point to bring dessert to work. I bought a box of Decadent Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies earlier this week, so I packed one of those as my dessert.


My favourite workplace snack is peanut butter cheerios (have literally eaten them every single day at work for the last 3 months), so I’ve measured those out as well.

I like training on an empty stomach, so I’ll throw in an extra snack before the gym that I’ll eat around 3pm – today it’s cucumber and humus (which I forgot to take a photo of!). In the morning on the bus ride, I’ll decide if I want to go for a coffee before the gym for a caffeine boost. So once all of my lunch and snacks are added up it looks something like this:



At this point, my daily total looks like this. Most of the time, this is when I stick whatever I made into the fridge, and head to bed. I almost always plan dinner the day of because it really depends on what I feeling like eating that day.

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I generally try to leave around 600-700 calories for dinner to give myself more flexibility at night, but the additional coffee plus that 90cal cookie knocked off 160 calories from the daily total.

Dinner is the most hectic meal to figure out because I’m trying to finish filling up my macros, while actually fitting in something I really want to eat. I haven’t had a deconstructed egg white sandwich in a while, plus I still have quite a bit of protein to eat today (and I’m not feeling particularly protein shake-y tonight), so that’s on the menu.



Normally I make the sandwiches with just half a cup of egg whites, but when I added everything up, I was still short on protein, so it’s going to be a really egg-whitey sandwich today. You also may notice that it’s only half a bagel. Bagels are particularly carb-y, but I’m willing to just eat half if it means I get to eat bagels. 🙂

Also, dessert. I picked up some Ryvita bran crackers (thanks Jeremy!) the other day and really want to try them tonight, so PB+Jam it is!


AND THAT’S IT! A whole day of macros. After dinner, the cycle starts all over again: I make up my breakfast and lunch for the next day before heading to bed.

The end of day totals:


I aim for +/- 5g for fats and protein, but because my carbs are so high already, if I’m under carbs, I’ll just leave them unless I’m feeling particularly hungry that night. As you probably could tell by the casual tone of this post, I eat depending on how I feel like that day. If I want to eat a bagel, I’ll generally figure out a way to fit it in, or if I’m really craving pancakes, I’ll figure that in somehow. As mentioned previously, the main reason I eat IIFYM is because it allows me to eat what I want while still working towards my goals, so pancakes, french toast, cookies, and peanut butter, here I come!

I will be doing one final post on IIFYM, except it’ll be on a day when I know I’ll be going out to eat, just so you can have an idea of how much crazier it can be.

As always, these macros and calorie goals are based on MY personal body and feelings. Most people don’t have such a high carb intake and instead have a higher protein intake. I have fiddled with my macros for a couple months before I got to these numbers. Even if you’re my height and weight, our macros can be incredibly, incredibly different depending on a million factors. Figure out what works for your body! 🙂