1/3 cup oat flour or blended oats
1/3 cup oat flour or blended oats
Let’s talk food and what you eat. In my last post we talked about Meal Prepping and how to make it simple and more beneficial for your life style. But how do you choose WHAT to eat? That’s probably the biggest question I get from clients.
I’m a believer in the If It Fits Your Macros school of thought. No, this is not all about eating doughnuts and junk all the time and saying “This is good for you!” I like to eat healthy foods, but not ones that are plain and boring. So I often mix it up to keep myself from getting bored and off track, it’s also a great way to keep with your goals and still live your life.
So first, WHAT are macros?
Macros is short for macronutrients, our major nutrients found in foods. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
One gram of carbs contains 4 calories
One gram of protein contains 4 calories
One gram of fat contains 9 calories
Why are these so important?
Each macronutrient plays a different role in our bodies which is why it’s SO important to make sure you get a balanced diet and you don’t leave one out.
Carbohydrates. They are the most important source of energy for your body. Your digestive system changes carbohydrates into glucose (blood sugar). Your body uses this sugar for energy for your cells, tissues and organs.
Proteins are essential for growth and development. They help build lean muscle mass, and are the energy source when you do not intake carbohydrates. In short, if you cut out carbohydrates, you must use protein for energy which means breaking down your muscles and essentially slowing down your metabolism.
Fats help protect our vital organs, help us absorb fat soluble vitamins and provide us with a high density energy source. There are three types of fats (saturated, unsaturated and trans fat). No trans fat does not equal weight loss. It just simply has been shown that unsaturated fat decreases the risk for heart disease.
How do I figure how much of each I should consume?
It’s all about trial and error. Every body is different based on how often they work out, if they have a damaged metabolism from long bouts of dieting, and personal goals such as putting on muscle or losing weight. You can figure out your numbers through an online calculator but those are not going to take these types of things into account.
Having an actual HUMAN help guide you and adjust your macros accordingly as
your body changes is going to be better than any calculator you find online. Once, the numbers are figured out then you can use a food calculator to track your foods and make sure you’re hitting your numbers.
So you’re saying I can eat whatever I want as long as I hit my numbers?
Yes. And no. I will never tell anyone to eat crap all day and say it’s okay. There are still essential vitamins and minerals that you get from whole foods and not from processed foods. But under IIFYM, you can treat your self occasionally and not feel guilty. There is also a difference between having high glycemic index carbs (processed foods) and low glycemic index carbs (whole foods like brown rice, quinoa and potatoes). But that’s another post in itself.
What does this mean?
It’s possible to not have to “diet” to get the body you want. You don’t have to starve, deprive or go crazy trying to slim down.
If you want more help figure all this out, check out my different work out and nutrition plans I offer.
We’ve all heard the saying “Fail to plan, plan to fail.” Well, in light of the 21 day fix and general meal planning BLOWING up on my facebook news feed I thought I would write a post on my tips about meal prep and how I’ve found easier (and tastier) ways to make my life easier during the week.
I won’t lie, I used to be from the school of thought where you had to eat 6 meals a day and everything had to be carefully measured and portioned out for each meal. No salt, condiments or anything that would add any extra calories. Don’t worry. I have long since moved on from there. However, I do still meal prep. I work full time now as well as train clients after work and write programs for remote clients so cooking during the week is not very feasible for me unless I want to eat at 9:30 at night (ahem, I’m usually in bed by then). Meal prepping can be a daunting task, how do you pick what to make for the week? What do you cook ahead of time? What can wait? Will it go bad before you can get to it? Here’s some things that I have found to help me.
It seems obvious right? But I plan for the next week, probably Wednesday of the week before. I decide what I want to cook and make my grocery list. I make sure all of my meals are balanced, there’s always a healthy carb, protein and a good amount of vegetables. Also, I look at my schedule for the following week.
2. Keep it simple.
Don’t keep it so simple that you’re eating boiled chicken and steamed broccoli
everyday. But don’t try to make your own salad dressing and meat balls from scratch in one afternoon (Yes I did this and I was miserable). I pick dishes that are easy, tasty and healthy. My cook time on a Sunday is usually only about an hour long. Lately I’ve been on a kick with one pot meals, simple and less clean up!
3. Get comfortable with eating the same things.
I eat the same meal for lunch and the same meal for dinner all week. But it doesn’t bother me as long as it tastes good. If the meal I’ve prepped is a flop, then it gets a little hard to swallow down. Same goes for the opposite. If I LOVE a meal I’ve prepped I can’t wait to eat it every day. I know a lot of people like variety, so do I. I usually never make the same thing twice in a month so that I can keep it fresh every week.
4. Don’t even try to MEAL prep
If you’re just starting out, don’t try to cook everything. I hate to cook everything on Sunday’s in fear of food going bad. If I have the rare night during the week where I have time to cook again, I’ll prep that food so it’s a quick into the oven or onto the stove. Any little bit helps, so if you’re making something that calls for chopping vegetables or marinating meat, do that ahead of time and keep it in the fridge. I even do this with smoothies, I’ll chop up fruit and put it in a bag until I’m ready to throw it in the blender so that in the morning when I haven’t gotten my coffee yet, I don’t even have to think about it.
5. Skip a meal.
I don’t know if you noticed, but I don’t prep breakfast at all. I love eggs as much as the next person. But honestly, it just one more thing on my plate. I used to do overnight oats as well, but sometimes at night I just want to come home and veg out. So I keep breakfast non-cooked. I’ll have oatmeal that I can just throw in the microwave or yogurt with my own fruit and granola added.
Here’s one meal that I made this week and was SUPER easy and quick:
Pesto Mozzarella Chicken w/ Brown Rice and Spinach (Makes 4 servings)
1 lb chicken
4 tbsp pesto (or you can make your own)
2 cloves garlic
1 Package Spinach
1 cup uncooked brown rice
1 tbsp Olive oil or any oil of your choice
4 slices of mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice tomatoes. Finely chop garlic. Place chicken breast in oven safe dish. Spread 1 tbsp pesto on to each chicken breast and then top with 2 slices of tomatos. Bake for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, remove from oven, place mozzarella on top of eat chicken breast and then continue to bake for another 5 minutes.
Add brown rice and 2 cups water to a pot, bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes. Once brown rice is cooked remove from heat, add tbsp olive oil, spinach and chopped garlic to the pot. Cover and let it steam, and stir everything together.
Then divide however you would like, Tupperware, eat it right away, feed it to the cat. Whatever you please but you just made lunch/dinner for 4 days!
I’m constantly bombarded with ads on facebook for these companies that delivers pre-measured fresh chef-created recipe ingredients to your door. I’m sure you’ve seen them since there’s about a million of them out there right now, so A few weeks ago I set up my Blue Apron account, set my preferences (no vegetarian options, please I need my protein!), and waited for my first delivery to arrive via FedEx on a Friday evening. You can choose for them to send servings for 2, 4 or 6 people per meal and they send three meals a week. Shipping is always free and they charge $9.99 per person per meal. The food came in refrigerated boxes so even if you aren’t home when it is all delivered it will stay fresh until you get home (mine sat outside in the heat for 6 hours and was still cold when I opened it!) I love the fact that I didn’t have to go to the grocery store for anything.
Blue Apron assumes you have salt and pepper and oil, but otherwise, they include everything you need to prepare a complete meal, from the butter in our mashed potatoes to the lime we needed for huevos rancheros, all with instructions that were written out step by step. I was pleased to see they are making a conscious effort to support sustainable practices with local farms when got the farm fresh eggs for those huevos rancheros.
I’ve enjoyed the experience so far with Blue Apron because it gets me to try new recipes that I wouldn’t otherwise make because why in the world would I ever think to buy Sambal Oelek and make Hoisoin-Glazed Chicken meatballs? (They were delicious by the way.) I tend to be a creature of habit and buy the same type of ingredients over and over again, and make some slightly different version of each dish. My only complaint is that, even though I’m not vegetarian some weeks they force you to have a vegetarian meal and while the meals aren’t that expensive I would like to have SOME protein with my meal for a balanced diet. You can see the what they have available a head of time though and skip a week if you want. I tend to get a box maybe once a month, especially since we’ve been so busy this summer and I don’t tend to get around to cooking all the time.
So far my favorites have been:
Huevos Rancheros (If you didn’t notice I mentioned them twice already 🙂 )
Pan seared steak with smashed potatoes, snap peas and radish
Turkey Steam buns with quick kimchi (picture from their site because mine didn’t look as pretty)
Overall, I say give it a try! I haven’t had a meal that didn’t like at all. I have liked some more than others, but I haven’t really been disappointed!!!
Here’s an old recipe from my friend, Silvia, that I tried recently. I take no credit other than replicating the recipe and devouring! It’s super easy and if you aren’t avoiding carbs or gluten, you can also add a slice of bread or two and if you are avoiding those, wrap it in lettuce! You can also dress it up as you wish, I added a little guacamole to mine and a slice of tomato!
Tuna and Feta Cheese Cajun Patties
2 cans drained tuna
1 egg white
25 g feta cheese
tsp Cajun spice
Optional: colored peppers, onion or carrots
Chop vegetables if adding
Mix in a bowl with tuna, egg white and cheese and separate into patties
Cook in pan and keep flipping them until crispy on both sides