Macro Meal Planning 101

Ask and you shall receive!! You all wanted to see how to take a macro count and turn it into real food-- a meal plan-- so here we go!

Let me just start with the disclaimer: these are MY macro numbers and copying them will not be beneficial for you since we are unique and many unique factors contribute to a person’s macro count. If you need YOUR macro count, I recommend the personal Macro Consultation ($55)

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The advantages to pre-logging your meals and snacks the day before is that it takes the “tetris” out because all you’ll be doing is eating! Taking a little extra time to log the day before and then simply stick to your plan makes a world of difference for me and minimizes opportunity to feel overwhelmed and adopt the “screw it” mentality.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

Step 1: WORK BACKWARDS:

What I mean here is log your FAVORITE things first. Whether this is dinner with your family, a nightly treat, or just something that is non-negotiable to you. By doing this, you can build your day around those entries and not have to give anything up!

Step 2: PROTEIN:

This is the macro that most people struggle with most, so be sure you’re chipping away at it by including a source at every meal or snack. There is nothing more annoying than getting to the end of the day and needing 35g of protein but having no carbs or fats left to work with.

Step 3: BE FLEXIBLE:

You might have every meal for the day planned and prepped and logged, but then a friend asks to go out to eat or your work meeting has a catered lunch and you have to take a deep breath and realize that macro counting does not have to be perfect to be effective! In those situations, just try to order something that you can at least estimate the ingredients or maybe find a similar entry in MFP database and MOVE ON. I know for some people that is harder than others, but success comes from habits and habits only stick when they allow life to be lived in the process!

MY MACROS

(P.S I’m 5’3 and about 115 lbs—- for perspective):

Carbs: 175g

Fats: 45g

Protein: 150g

1705 Calories

THIS IS THE TOTAL OF EVERYTHING YOU SEE BELOW— pretty close! I’m always trying to get within 5-7g carbs and protein, and then within 3-5g of fats if possible (since they are 9 calories per gram)

THIS IS THE TOTAL OF EVERYTHING YOU SEE BELOW— pretty close! I’m always trying to get within 5-7g carbs and protein, and then within 3-5g of fats if possible (since they are 9 calories per gram)

A few things you should know: I do not care at all how the macros are dispersed throughout the day as long as I’m close to my totals in the end! Some days look different than others and I’m more than ok with that. Consistency is where the results come from, so try not to get bogged down in the minutia of tracking!

I’m the first one to admit that I’m not a food blogger-- it’s never pretty and most of my food is fairly simple (but yummy!) You can follow along for the visuals in my Instagram stories, but I wanted to give your the entries straight from My Fitness Pal. Once again-- the biggest advantage you can give yourself is 20 minutes portioning out the foods you enjoy, NOT trying to replicate someone else’s meal plan…. It is a little bit of an investment, but you will look forward to your foods!



Breakfast (pre-workout snack + post workout meal)

54C/10F/44P

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Lunch

34C/6F/28P

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SNACKS

28C/13F/25P

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DINNER

38C/4F/33P

(I added soy sauce as flavor and didn’t track it— I’m not perfect!)

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MACRO CAP

26C/9F/22P

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There you have it! Nothing but food— no secret combinations, just consistently trying to hit my numbers and enjoy the precision and felxibility of tracking macros.

You do NOT have to spend lots of time in the kitchen in order to track! Just spend the time inputting things into your app at the beginning of the week, be willing to be imperfect and rest assured that your effort will pay off!

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WINNERS: TIGHTER TOGETHER 30 DAY CHALLENGE

It’s short, intense, and with the help of a community striving for the same physical and internal improvements, you will thrive! I never could have accurately described Tighter Together until I completed with over 1300 likeminded men and women. We had individual macros, but were all on the same workout schedule pushing through and encouraging each other! We came together to offer answers to common questions on the Facebook page, cheered with other in their triumphs and picked each other up on their low days.

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My Macro Meal Plan

Meal Plans

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How and When to Use them with Macro Counting

To be perfectly honest, having a meal plan sounds pretty restricting, especially to people who have found all of the freedom that counting macros brings! With macro counting you are not eliminating foods of any kind, you are simply arranging the foods and portions you choose with a daily goals for each macronutrient category (carbs, fats, and protein). So if we can eating ANYTHING, why are we talking meal plans? Well, sometimes life is busy and sometimes people get overhwhelmed when they can eat anything they want and a little structure goes a long way.

So the kind of meal planning I’m talking about is flexible and PERSONALIZED to your macro numbers. It takes the tetris out of trying to fill your protein at the end of the day because you have already mapped out meals that help you fill your goals, so simply eating the food you planned gets a successful day of eating every day!

My meal plan example is based off of macros that are probably NOT your macros. A person’s macros dependent on highly specific characteristics and I don’t recommend winging them. One of my favorite aspects of Tighter Together challenges is that hundreds upon hundreds of people given CUSTOMIZED macro counts. I read each questionnaire and am confident that you are eating in a way that is going to be effective for you and your needs. The details for participating in that challenge can be found here.

My Current Macros:

Carbs: 170g

Fats: 45g

Protein: 150g

So those are the totals I’m looking to fill with the meals I eat throughout the day. I’m truly not picky about the ratios of each in my meals as long as the totals add up at the end of the day.

Also, my meals are not fancy! Most of them are put together quickly with relatively basic ingredients combined in different ways that I enjoy eating! Some people thrive with recipes and others don’t-- I’m a simple girl when it comes to flavor combinations and I find that with some good seasonings, I’m happy!

(Favorites: Everything But the Bagel from Trader Joe’s, Garlic Salt Seasoning (TJ’s), and 21 Seasoning Salute (TJ’s)

Also, the “recipe” I’ve been making for lunch is adapted from Lillie Loves Macros blog and the main things I have changed are: spaghetti squash instead of pasta and then I leave out the chicken from the dish, and also use Fat Free Mozzerella as my topping instead of breadcrumbs. But I have made her recipe as called for and it’s DELICIOUS!

https://lillieeatsandtells.com/skinny-mushroom-and-thyme-pasta-bake-with-chicken-and-creamy-cauliflower-sauce/

And here is one she has made with spaghetti squash!

https://lillieeatsandtells.com/creamy-cauliflower-spaghetti-squash-casserole/

Meal 1: (breakfast) 31 Carbs / 4 Fats / 22 Protein

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Meal 2 (morning snacks): 29 Carbs / 8 Fats / 38 Protein

Fage 0% Greek Yogurt + Rice Cakes


Meal 3 (lunch): 38 Carbs/ 2 Fat / 24 Protein

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Meal 4 (snack): 28 Carbs/ 12 Fats / 11 Protein

Better Oats (maple flavor)

(chocolate drizzle) 10 grams dark cocoa powder + 7g Powdered PB + 1 liquid stevia and a little water mixed together— sometimes I get it too watery :(

1 Tbs Jiff Peanut Butter

ALSO: I had added Walden Farms Sugar Free Caramel Sauce to this so the colors are a little scary! (Peanut butter is underneath)

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Meal 5 (dinner): 19 Carbs / 2 Fats / 24 Protein

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Meal 6 (treat): 26 Carbs / 16 Fats/ 26 Protein

This picture is not my current daily bowl, but I have included the information in the MFP screen shot! I add a little water + 1/2 Nutribullet of ice and BLEND

PROTEIN ICE CREAM RECIPE

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Totals:

Carbs: 170g

Fats: 45g

Protein: 144g

I wanted to show you my app entries as an example, but I won’t necessarily take the time to log them each day since I know from my first day and my meal plan the totals!

Once I know that my meals for the week add up to my totals, I just eat! I know what the approximate sizes of the portions and ingredients look like, BUT I will measure/weigh out things like peanut butter and proteins just so I get those correct. Lower calorie foods like zucchini and cauliflower rice I’m not concerned about being perfect.

What If you Eat Out or Plans Change?

Let’s say it’s a day that we go out to eat of plans change unexpectedly-- what happens? First of all, if I’m this accurate 5/7 days a week, then I know the unplanned things will not derail my consistency, so I don’t fret, I re-arrange! I usually will just pull macros from my dessert and dinner and eat something that is generally balanced from a restaurant and call it even. If I know I didn’t get close to the calories I would have consumed with my normal dinner + dessert, then I’ll still make my protein ice cream (maybe leave out the chocolate). And I DON’T STRESS.

This Stresses Me Out

I tell every client or new friend that there IS a learning curve that comes with a much more intentional and accurate way of eating, but there are also ways to simplify! So if logging things into your app daily is becoming a chore, make a meal plan that FITS your macros and just eat! I promise it’s better than winging it :)

You should also know that these macros are NOT my personal fat loss macros, so when Tighter Together rolls around and I am eating with a different goal, my macros will change. Be sure you are eating in a way that supports your current goals. For those of you who need help with macros, I HIGHLY recommend participating in Tighter Together as it gives you fat loss macros AND the tools to transition to maintenance macros afterwards.

TIGHTER TOGETHER DETAILS

Cost: $50.00

Sign Up Dates (shop page of the blog): January 1-14th

Start Date: January 14th

UNLIMITED PARTICIPANTS (unlike 1-1 Macro Coaching)

Switzerland: Fairytale

A little preface to this blog post: I do not plan these trips, nor can I take credit for the itinerary or leg work that goes into them. I am in charge of snacks and it’s a role I take quite seriously, but other than that….I’m a beneficiary of Drew’s research and planning.

I’m going to keep the bulk of this post related to the itinerary and travel details with a few comments and tips along the way…..the photos can do more describing than words afterall.

A few details— we pack a LOT into our trips. Drew and I slept in 8 beds in 16 days— we were not staying put very long, but that’s in an effort to see as much as we could! For some people this would probably be more exhausting than vacationing, but everyone is different! We were also splitting lodging with two other couples and that helps save money! We shopped at grocery stores for breakfast and lunches at every stop we made! Switzerland is an expensive country, so it’s important to save where you can!


Day 1: Flights: Greenville - Newark- Geneva

We arrived at 7:45 am, but it was the only day we had in Geneva, so we wanted to make the most of it! We hit most of these that day!

-St.Pierre Cathedral

-Reformation Wall

-cemetery des rois

-Calvin Auditory

-Reformation Museum

-Madeleine Church

our typical grocery store lumches!

our typical grocery store lumches!

Day 2: (rental van)- Geneva- Chamonix, France- Zermatt


This was a travel day, so I knew I wanted to wake up and get a workout in. It ended up being a little more of a memory than I anticipated with an encounter that left me upset, but here’s the full workout written up in this IG post.

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I also have to include a funny story (and second workout from this day). When we arrived in Zermatt, we already knew that no cars were allowed in the city. You can taxi in small electric cars or walk. We had been sitting all day and are all fairly adventurous, so we decided to walk to our aribnb with all our luggage. Little did we know it was actually a 30 minute hike to our Chalet on the side of a mountain. We were all sweating and laughing and dying by the end and we joked how easy of a walk it was the rest of the time since we felt so light without our baggage.


Day 3: Zermatt

Zermatt is the place I find my mind wandering back to the fastest— it had all the charm, the amazing Matterhorn and it was absolutely the highlight of the trip for me and the place I feel like embodies Switzerland

This was literally the front yard of the aibnb Chalet we rented!!!

This was literally the front yard of the aibnb Chalet we rented!!!

We took things a little easy in the morning and went for our daily trek to the local grocery store which was down in the town (about a 15 minute walk). We usually ate out one meal a day, so breakfast and lunch everyone bought what they wanted and it worked great! I know that lots of people get a little overwhelmed with travel and then trying to find healthy options in new places and it can be tough! I will say that the U.S. prioritizes snack foods (especially health-conscious options) much more so than I found in European grocery stores, but I always make sure to bring my own protein bars because the rest is easy to find elsewhere! I really enjoyed by stash of ONE Basix bars (there is actually a 20% off discount through this link!) for hikes and just snacking! There was so much chocolate being tasted and shared because we were in the Mecca of Swiss chocolate, but having a chocolate chip cookie dough bar made it that much easier to take a taste, but then be done knowing I had a great alternative!

20MOVESONE Saves you 20% on the bars!

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That afternoon, we did the “Five Lakes Hike” as a group. It was beautiful and not difficult or strenuous for anyone. We played a game the whole week that started on this hike-- one person chooses a category “favorite ______” and everyone answers. By the end of the hike it was pretty much anything that anyone wanted to know, but it was hilarious and we all learned some things to say the least.


Day 4: Zermatt

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Helicopter Tour- This was such a neat experience! We all said it was worth the money for the 20 minutes and it felt like plenty long to be up in the air. We got to fly all around the Matterhorn and surrounding peaks!
Later that day, we took the Gornergrat train to the top for amazing views of the Matterhorn and decided to hike down to the town. In retrospect, we probably wouldn’t recommend this just because it was the downward incline for so long was tough on everyone’s knees. There was just no relief or many flat portions at all, so it got rather old after 6-7 miles. I will say that the views were incredible for almost all of the hike (especially the first 3 miles).

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I will just insert that eating out 1-2 meals a day can get tough, and for the majority of the time we kept it to once a day, but it’s easy to feel like you are unable to make healthy choices while traveling and it’s just not the case. After this hike, we went to a restaurant and I got a grilled chicken sandwhich (protein + carbs), without cheese or condiments (I always recommend adding your own) and they let me substitute a side salad for the french fries. When I got back home, I had oatmeal with some peanutbutter and was plenty satisfied. It’s just being willing to take the time to adjust a few things, keep portions in mind and do the best with your current options. What more can you do?

I’m telling you— the  ONE bars  were a life saver

I’m telling you— the ONE bars were a life saver

Day 5: Zermatt to Grindewald


Stopped at Oeschinen Lake, took a gondola up and then walked about 30 minutes to the amazing lake!

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Ended up taking a train that evening to Wengen for sunset and dinner. It’s an amazing view down into the valley of Lauterbrunnen and we had some delicious pasta at a restaurant in town appropriately called “Pasta and More.” One funny thing we noticed is that you kind of have to hunt down your waiter if you ever want to pay and leave. We tried lots of tactics throughout our trip, so if someone knows the proper way to wrap up a meal in Europe, let us know! We always felt like we were those “hasty Americans who never relax.”

Day 6: Grindewald


Our friends decided to travel to Bern for the day while Drew and I opted for the gondola ride up First and the 10 mile Schynigge Platte hike. Truly an amazing hike that I couldn’t recommend more! The first 2-3 miles are the toughest climb, but if you’re in good shape or are willing to take breaks, it’s stunning! I truly think this hike is in my top 4-5 and we have done quite a few epic hikes!

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Day 7: Grindewald to Mennagio, Italy


We stopped and toured the Aare gorge on the way and also made a pit stop at an epic bridge and jump off rocks in Lavertezzo

I’m going to save the Italy part for a second blog post, but hopefully this will get your mind turning for some travel plans-- Switzerland was truly a fairytale and I would recommend it to anyone!

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If you have specific questions, I’ll recruit my travel agent husband to help you out!









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