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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Air Fried Dinner Ideas & Meal Prep

I’m not the most qualified person to have a blog that includes food because I really do creativity in this area.Give me a gym or even minimal equipment and I can be occupied for hours coming up with new workouts, but the kitchen….not as much.  My Fitness Pal is proof that a lot of meals get repeated, but it’s ok because I like what I like and my energy and creativity is harnessed in other ways. Aren’t you just so excited to keep reading?! Don’t abandon hope just yet, because I have a brand new appliance that has sparked the experimental flame in the kitchen and adding some new flavor to my staple meals!

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Best Choice Products was kind enough to send me an Air Fryer and to be honest, I wouldn’t have known what I was missing and would probably not have bought it on my own because as you know, I’m a bit of a minimalist in the kitchen. I think my minimalist tendencies actually work to my advantage with the air fryer because it is truly so simple and effective. I have tested a LOT in it over the past two weeks and I can safely say that it cooks most vegetables EXACTLY how I want to eat them--that roasty flavor, but with a crunch that I can’t seem to master in the oven. I would be lying if I said exactly how I know the little alien pod works, but from my end, I just cut the vegetables, spray with coconut oil and set according to the recommendation in the manual (usually 10-15 minutes) and it crisps them right up for me.

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Probably one of the best examples I can give to describe the simplicity is that while I was babysitting last week (and too nervous to put the baby down for fear of disrupting the peace), I chopped a zucchini with one hand, threw it in, started it, got it on my plate and ate my dinner without a peep from my sidekick.

Another quick example is the dinner we ate last night. When I saw “we,” my sister is living with Drew and me while she finishes school and we love it when our dinner times coincide, but sometimes it means we are waiting on each other to finish using the oven since we usually eat different meals. Last night, we each ate something a little different, but all used the air fryer in some way:

Carrie: Pork tenderloin with air fried potatoes and asparagus

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Madeline: Mexican cauliflower rice with roasted pepper, mushrooms, ground turkey and air fried zucchini noodles on top for crunch

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Drew: Cauliflower fried rice, air fried butternut squash and air fried chicken cilantro wontons from Trader Joe’s.

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Air Fried Meats

You may be wondering how the air fryer does with meats and to be honest, we have found that it’s better for smaller things like chicken nuggets, although the recipe book says salmon and steak are options as well (have yet to try).

All in all, it’s been a really fun new addition to our kitchen and I think it is 100% worth investing in if you prefer fried foods. I never cook with excess oil because of the unnecessary fats and to be honest, the mess and clean up. If you have a few recipes you can’t live without, this would be even more useful!


 

MEAL PREP

Lately, I have been simply tossing a big bunch of asparagus in the air fryer for about 12-15 minutes and the putting it with the rest of my lunch for the week in these glass containers provided by BC Products. Meal prepping my lunches is without a doubt the best use of an hour and a half on the weekends for getting ahead and staying on track throughout the school week. I really don’t like thinking about it each night before and wondering if there will be leftovers for dinner or if I’ll have to make something else, so I just do it all at once, measure it and log it into My Fitness Pal for the whole week. My schedule doesn’t allow me to go out for lunch, and it’s an easy way to save money by packing a lunch, so even if my job were from home or more flexible, I think I would still do it!

The Nitty Gritty: when it comes to weighing vegetables--

 raw is most accurate.

My typical procedure goes like this:

1. Cut vegetables for the whole week into a bowl on the scale (example: 200g asparagus, 186g zucchini, etc....and write each one down

2. I'll make a new recipe in My Fitness Pal with all the raw ingredients and their weights (it doesn't take long at all)

3. Cook them up and divide them evenly by cooked weight into my containers (example: 5 containers with 150g cooked vegetables each)

4. Log into my daily lunch a 1/5 serving of the recipe that was created with the raw vegetables.

It's really much quicker than it sounds and you can chop it, write down the weights and then log it while it's cooking. Then I like to copy and paste the lunches for the whole week!

It's really much quicker than it sounds and you can chop it, write down the weights and then log it while it's cooking. Then I like to copy and paste the lunches for the whole week!

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Tip: If you ever forget to weigh it raw, just SEARCH cooked butternut squash in our Fitness Pal Library and someone will have probably done the work for you!

Tip: If you ever forget to weigh it raw, just SEARCH cooked butternut squash in our Fitness Pal Library and someone will have probably done the work for you!

Day Dates, Carb Cycling and Protein Goals

For those of you who are familiar with the idea of tracking macros instead of calories (although they are similar concepts), let me offer some answers to BROAD questions that could help navigate a sometimes confusing conversation. I cannot answer extremely specific questions about what your personal macro count should be unless we work together in an 8 Week Coaching format, and that isn’t to be vague, it’s just that macros are the MOST individualized approach to nutrition and in order for your nutrition to accurately match all of the characteristics that make you who you are (height, weight, training style, goals, diet history, body type, carb sensitivity, non-exercise calorie expenditure, etc) I have get all the details to give you the best advice

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Many of the skills we learn in school during elementary grades are important to know (multiplication, cursive, how to use a dictionary), but if we are honest, we don’t implement them every single day. Macro counting is a similar skill because even if you weighing food,  tracking your macros in an app or looking at nutrition labels for the rest of your life isn't sustainable, it can help you understand principles that will keep your physical goals SO much more maintainable.

In order to fully know why counting macros DOES work according to your individual needs and goals, let’s understand why other approaches often don’t.

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While I don’t think there is any reason to “earn your Thanksgiving dinner” by exercising more than you normally would, I am hoping to incentivize you to not skip those workouts by sharing a little extra sweaty treat! It’s no secret around the blog or my Instagram that I love the variety, efficiency and RESULTS that circuit training in a strategic way brings to the exercise equation.

Enjoy this FREE 3-Day-Body-Burn as a preview into my favorite circuit-style workouts! Included is a lower-body, upper-body and HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout. Many of you have asked if this is a preview of the 8-Week Move Sweat Shred (there, I said it) Guide.

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These tips are beneficial for someone who tracks their macros or just strives to live a healthy lifestyle on the go. I would argue that the truest test of having a firm grasp on your nutrition is being able to sustain your habits during travel. It's necessary to realize that their is very attainable middle ground between packing every meal your are going to consume during your trip and not giving a second thought to your choices because you're traveling and it's just impossible to eat the way you would at home.

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Macro Misconceptions and Drew's Lost Bet ;)

I think that there are some misconceptions about this topic and my approach to macro counting, so let’s just clear the air :) The purpose of posts about macro counting is not to convince you that it is the only way to reach your fitness goals, or eat a balanced diet, but to shed light on an approach that has been highly successful for many people and could be for you.

I receive so many questions on instagram about how to implement this approach to eating that I am going to be offering some one-on-one “coaching” in January to help equip those who are interested with the tools to take the guesswork out of nutrition.

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