Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

These pumpkin cream cheese muffins are the perfect treat! All you need is one to satisfy that sweet, pumpkin craving that comes around this time of year!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 3/4 cup Sugar in the Raw
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 1/3 cup Organic Canned Pumpkin
  • 2 T. Cocounut Oil
  • 1 Whole Egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

For the Frosting:

  • 5oz 1/3 Fat Cream Cheese
  • 2 T. Sugar in the Raw
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Directions for Muffins:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with muffins cups, spray with non-stick spray
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda and spices. Mix well.
  • In a large bowl, combine wet ingredients.
  • Slowly mix in dry ingredients until combined.
  • Divide mix evenly between 12 muffins cups

Directions for Frosting:

  • Combine all ingredients together, whisking with a fork or an electric beater.
  • Top each muffin with 1T of frosting
  • Using a toothpick, swirl on top.

Bake for 22-24 minutes until toothpick comes out clean! I baked a little less, for a more “goo-ey” result!

Makes: 12 muffins

Macros: 5.5F 27C 4P

Autumn Harvest Air Fryer Gnocchi

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Trader Joes Ground Chicken
  • 1 Jar Trader Joes Autumn Harvest Creamy Sauce
  • 2 Large Zucchini (mine totaled 12 oz)
  • 4oz Chanterelle Mushrooms
  • 4 cups Trader Joes Cauliflower Gnocchi

Directions

  • Preheat Air Fryer to 400 degrees
  • Over Medium heat, brown ground chicken
  • Add gnocchi to air fryer, cook for 10 minutes, flip halfway through

  • In separate pan, sauté’ mushrooms until tender, drain water, then add to chicken
  • Brown zucchini over medium heat until tender, add to chicken mixture
  • Add sauce and simmer for 7-10 minutes on low
  • Pour over serving of gnocchi

Makes 4 servings

Macros for 1 serving: 27.5P 37.6C 18.4F

5 Ways to Make Your Morning Cup of Joe A Little Healthier!

Growing up in Washington State, I have grown up in the land of coffee. There is a coffee stand on virtually every corner and Starbucks even originated in Seattle, if that tells you anything at all! Washingtonians love their cup of Joe and I have to admit, it’s probably a pleasure in life i’ll never give up!

I started my coffee drinking habit because I worked in a coffee shop all though school and it was at my disposal. Of course, back then it was more like sugar and milk with some espresso shots thrown in. I have never been the black coffee kinda gal, and if you are a straight black coffee drinker I commend you, ya’ll are hardcore! Once I started becoming more aware of nutrition of how much sugar and calories were in some of those drinks, my mind was blown at how many calories people were taking down in a single drink!

Then started my journey to find ways to still love my morning coffee and make it taste delicious without being loaded with sugar and calories! Liquid calories are somewhat of a tragedy at times if you are watching your intake. They usually taste good, but don’t fill you up or keep you full for too long (unless we are talking a seriously loaded smoothie!). Plus, taking the time to actually chew our food helps signal our body that we are full and satisfied.

So why not be able to enjoy our coffee without all the added calories? Best of both worlds? Yes please!

Here are a few ways I love to spice up my morning (or afternoon!) cup of coffee while keeping it healthier and macro-friendly:

  1. Start with a black base. If you are ordering it out, instead of ordering as a latte’ (milk base) order it black or as an americano and build from there. This will save you a lot of calories since it’s a water base and not milk! If you are making it as home, same rules apply, just start with your espresso and water or black drip coffee.
  2. Add Your Milk or Milk Alternative. Asking for a specific amount of milk will control the calories. For example, instead of having them freehand pour your milk of choice in, ask for 1,2,3 oz, etc. or ask to pour it in yourself! I think it’s a common misconception that going straight for non-fat milk is the way to go, but often using whole milk, half and half or another milk like oat, almond or soy can take less milk and not many more calories to satisfy just as much! There are so many great milk alternatives out there now that if you don’t do well with dairy but like a creamy coffee, the options are pretty endless!
  3. Ask for it Steamed and Foamy! If  you add a smaller amount of milk, but ask for it steamed, it will still give a frothy, latte’- like base to your black coffee!
  4. Add Spice! Ask for cinnamon, pumpkin spice, nutmeg or vanilla powders to be steamed or mixed in, this is a great calorie-free way to add some excitement to your cup!
  5. Sweeten it up! While we don’t think artificial sweeteners should be a staple in your diet, a small amount in your coffee can add a little sweetness while not adding a bunch of carbs to your drink. Asking for sugar free syrup or using monk fruit drops, sweet drops, or stevia are all ways to sweeten it up a bit! If you don’t mind using some carbs up, some local honey will add just enough sweetness and still doesn’t break the macro bank! If you want the real deal you can always get your flavor of choice but ask for it half sweet, given most flavorings are pure sugar, usually half the amount is still plenty!

These are just a few ways to save on calories and still have a delicious cup of coffee! If you want to find new creative ways to order your coffee, we love following @macrobarista on Instagram for all kinds of fun ideas- macros included!

As Fall approaches, there’s nothing quite like a cozy cup of coffee! Shoot us a comment as let us know what your favorite way to drink your coffee is!

Cheers!

Katy

Taco Salad

Ingredients

  • 6oz Organic Chicken Breast, diced
  • 130g Organic Refried Beans (or black beans)
  • 85g Mixed Greens
  • 60g Mango Peach Salsa (we used Archer Farms)
  • 2 Hard Taco Shells
  • 3oz Mushrooms
  • 2oz Green Pepper
  • 1oz Red Onion
  • 28g Reduced Fat Mexican Cheese Blend
  • 40g Avocado
  • Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Seasoning

Directions

  • Sautee’ chicken in chili lime seasoning, add in diced peppers, onions and mushrooms, cook until tender. Remove from head and set aside too cool.
  • Warm refried beans, spread on the bottom of your plate.
  • Top with mixed greens, add chicken mixture
  • Add diced avocado, cheese and salsa, crumble taco shells on top!

Macros: 55C 25F 57P

Nothing Tastes As Good As Skinny (Scratch that- Healthy) Feels!

We’ve all heard the saying, “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels!” But what constitutes skinny?

Does skinny really feel that good?

Will being skinny be enough of a motivator to maintain that physique and discipline it takes?

Does skinny=healthy?

I would argue, that nothing tastes as good as healthy feels!

Skinny can come from starving ourselves, it can come from sickness, it can come from healthy habits and discipline, but it can also come from unhealthy habits too.

If we are motivated solely by physical attributes, it’s a means to being disappointed and burned out.

I used to be that girl, that constantly chased a certain look. I would kill myself in the gym and eat like a bird to try and be skinny and even when I was that, it wasn’t enough. I never saw myself as skinny enough and was never quite satisfied.

We need to chase something bigger, it’s human nature to appreciate something more and protect it more if we work hard for it and if it gives us a deep sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

It’s easy to eat fast food. It’s easy to skip the gym. It’s easy to sleep in. It’s easy to be too busy to prioritize ourselves. It’s easy to make excuses. It may even be easy to be “skinny” but none these things make you feel amazing from the inside out. None of them give you long term satisfaction. None of them give you the results you are really looking for.

Instead, what if we focused why we even want to look a certain way?

When you look that way, how do you think you would feel?

What would your life look like?

What would your daily habits be?

What would you have to say no to?

What would you have to say yes to?

What would you have to sacrifice?

What would you gain?

Personally, I started to find a love for pushing my body physically, it started with running and doing races and turned into Crossfit. It became a challenge for my mind and body daily to push myself and become a little better. Finding something that I enjoyed that made me healthier and stronger, naturally made me want to eat well. Once I started to shift my focus from what I looked like aesthetically to what my body could DO, my life changed.

I often get asked how I resist the temptation to eat “bad” foods. First off, there is no cheat foods or bad foods, food is food (that’s a song for another time)! But are some foods better for our health than others? Absolutely! We all know those foods that make us feel like crap and although I love pizza and cookies once in a while, I rarely have the desire to reach for those foods over the nutritious ones I know will make me feel good.

Just like anything else, eating well is a learned habit. All of those junk foods out there are made specifically to get us addicted! So we must make the conscious effort over and over and over again, to choose to eat well! The knee-jerk reaction to choose the good foods doesn’t happen overnight, but if you continuously make the effort, eventually it will just become habit.

More than anything you will become addicted to the feeling of feeling amazing. Then, the physique you want will just become a bi-product of the healthy habits you’ve created.

I know what I feel like when I eat well and exercise and i’ve engrained it so deep in my habits that now I know if I go too long without moving my body or if I eat too many crappy meals, I will feel like crap! Of course, I still have times where I indulge and I skip days of working out, but I always come back to my home base because I know that’s where I live my best, healthiest life.

Feeling healthy and engraining those habits doesn’t happen at the drop of the hat, it takes time, hard work and dedication! So here are a few ways you can start chasing the feeling and your ‘why’ behind true health:

  • Start small! Switch out one habit you know is holding you back, for one that is going to make you feel amazing!
  • Write down your ‘why.’ Put it somewhere you can see it everyday. Maybe this is to live a long life with your kids, to travel, to be able to hike or do something you love!
  • Identify current daily habits that are holding you back. Write down an action you can take to combat those habits
  • Get an accountability partner! Someone that has your best interest in mind, that wants you to succeed and will hold you accountable to your goals.
  • Don’t be so hard on yourself! Remember, we are playing the long game here. Slips ups will happen, the journey won’t be perfect, but if you keep going, you will look back and be so proud of the changes you have made!
  • Have fun! Living a healthy lifestyle shouldn’t be torture. Healthy foods are delicious and moving our bodies can be fun! Find new recipes, hire a coach to help you, find forms of fitness that you enjoy!

I want each and every one of you to feel how good it FEELS to be healthy. No more beating ourselves up because we aren’t skinny enough or don’t look a certain way. It’s time to experience true health from the inside out!

XOXO,

Katy

 

 

Quick & Easy Thai Red Curry Chicken

Thai Red Curry Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Organic Chicken Breast, diced
  • 1/2 Cup Trader Joe’s Red Curry Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Trader Joe’s Reduced Fat Coconut Milk
  • 8oz Zucchini, Diced
  • 4oz Crimini Mushrooms, Diced
  • 2oz Red Onion, Diced
  • 4oz (one whole) Green Pepper, Diced
  • 1/4 Cup Raw Cashews
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • White Rice or Rice noodles to pour over (not included in macros)

Directions

  • Cook chicken over medium heat in a large non-stick pan, add in cashews
  • When chicken is almost fully cooked, add veggies.
  • Cook until veggies are tender and chicken is cooked through
  • Add red curry and coconut milk and let simmer for 10 minutes on low-med heat
  • Pour over a bed of rice or rice noodles!

Serves 6 (4 if you want a bigger portion!)

Macros: 8C 7F 20P

Fiesta Shrimp Bowl

This bowl is so easy to make and a great, fresh Summer meal!

Ingredients

  • 5oz Shrimp
  • 1/4 cup White Rice
  • 30g Avocado
  • 2T Opa Avocado Cilantro Dressing
  • 1 Lime
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 25g red onion

For the Black Bean Salsa (makes 8 servings):

  • 1 can Spicy Black Beans
  • 1 can no salt Kerneled Corn
  • 1/2 bunch Cilantro
  • 150g Red Onion
  • 200g Red Pepper
  • 1 Lime

Directions:

  • Cook Shrimp in lime, onion and cilantro
  • While Shrimp is cooking, prepare rice
  • For salsa, chop onions, red pepper & combine with beans, corn lime and cilantro
  • Top your serving of rice with shrimp, diced avocado and 1 serving of black bean salsa. Drizzle with dressing and enjoy!

Macros with one serving of salsa: 54C 9.5F 26P

 

Alternative to Hitting Your Macros Spot On!

Let’s be real, some days and some situations will just not allow you to hit your macro targets right on the money, or maybe not even close to the money! But there are always ways to manipulate your day to create success in one way or another. Ultimately, if you are tracking macros you have a given number of protein, carb and fat grams to hit daily. Hitting these targets closely (we use a +/-5g rule of thumb) will usually create the most success, especially if you are active, making sure you have a healthy balance of the 3 will allow you to reach your goals and feeling your best!

However, those times will come where you might be traveling, having a busy day, you eat something that throws off your numbers, eat out or just really need a little mental break, and in these times you may need to improvise. If you are tracking macros it’s can be easy to fall into the trap of,” if I don’t hit my targets, i’m a failure!” But this is of course, just not true! This tactic of tracking your food is a great way to find the happy medium and not feel like your day is a total wash!

Hit your protein goal & calorie goal.

Since we cannot store protein, we need to make sure we are hitting that goal everyday in order to sustain and build lean muscle. Hitting your protein goal will keep you satisfied and help keep from over eating carbs and fats. If you run into a day where you are finding it extra tough to balance out all 3 macros, try hitting your protein goal and then using whatever combination of carbs and fats to add up to your calorie goal! This can also give a little more flexibility if you are feeling overwhelmed or burned out on tracking. If you are eating out or on the go this gives you more ease to fit things in, as long as you hit protein and calories, it can make it easier to fit different foods in!

If you have a specific athletic goal or a super strict weight loss goal, this option isn’t ideal, but is still great to use on limited occasions. If you want to a little more freedom, give it a try and see how it goes! It’s a great tactic to have in your back pocket in order to still feel in control, but also lends a little more wiggle room in your day!

Try it out and let us know how it goes!

Basil Parmesan Salmon (Air Fryer or Oven)

This fish is to die for! It is higher on the fat side, so plan ahead for it so you can work it into your day! Or, sub the mayo for light sour cream! You won’t be disappointed!

Ingredients

  • Olive Oil Non-stick Spray
  • 2, 4 oz Salmon Filets
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2T Parmesan Cheese
  • Fresh Basil
  • 2T Avocado Mayo

Directions

  • Preheat Air Fryer to 400 degrees, or Oven to 425
  • Squeeze Fresh lemon over Salmon, salt and pepper to taste
  • Combine mayo, cheese and freshly chopped basil in a bowl
  • Spread mixture evenly over each filet
  • Cook in Air fryer for 7-9 minutes or oven for 10-12 minutes

MACROS for 1 filet: 25F 0C 24P

Cheat Days, Refeeds, Free Meals & Diet Breaks- Should You Be Implementing Them?

No one should be living in a constant state of dieting, and let’s be real, most women are. What a miserable way to live right? Always trying to be in a calorie deficit to lose those pesky pounds you just can’t get rid of. But we would argue that the majority of people living to diet, never really reach their goals and are most likely frustrated as hell!

First, if we are living in a calorie deficit for too long, our body will start to resist change. This is why we run into plateau’s, our bodies are designed to survive and if they sense they are starving, they will give us the middle finger and try to hold onto body fat in order to live! The longer we diet, the more resistant they can become, so this is why implementing different protocols to “trick” our bodies or give them a nice break, can make all the difference in the world for progress!

Second, we all just need a little mental break sometimes. Not only a mental break, but we need to be able to socialize, enjoy the foods we love and have those moments where we aren’t focused on food or stressing about it. If we can take breaks from dieting, we can actually make more progress in the big picture. I like to compare these little breaks to a good night’s sleep after a long day. If we don’t rest and recover our body after a stressful day, eventually we are going to get too wore down and be forced to sleep. The same goes for our bodies, if we put too much stress on them with dieting, we will be forced to do something different, alleviate stress on our body and will usually be at a time we didn’t plan for it, which can often lead to unwanted fat gain! It’s ideal to plan these breaks in so that we can get the results we want!

There are several different ways we can implement these breaks for our body and what’s appropriate each person can vary. Depending on what your goals are and what your life looks like, one may work better for you right now, but then down the road that can change! Understanding the different options gives more flexibility and the chance to decide what will work best for you!

Cheat Day

This option is probably our least favorite of all the options, but it can work for some! This would mean that during your diet phase, once a week you choose a day to eat whatever you want. You don’t track, you just eat as you see fit. Now, you can probably already imagine how this could go sideways! If you are an “all or nothing” type of person, a cheat day can easily turn into an all-out binge fest and that’s definitely not what we’re going for!

Our goal at Flex Fuel is to create a healthy relationship and mindset around food, being able to enjoy foods we love while not feeling like we need to go crazy overboard because we are so restricted on other days. While a cheat day can give you a small mental and physical break, it also leave more room for error, and if you are that person that might go a little crazy with it, the after affects can be not-so-fun on digestion and energy if you are filling that day will low quality foods and a big surplus of calories.

If you are someone who feels they can truly enjoy the day, enjoy more calories and foods you love without going bananas, this very well could work for you!

Free Meal

This is below a cheat day on the freedom scale. Instead of having an entire day of no tracking and eating whatever you want, it’s condensed to one meal. This creates a little more structure in your day, so you track all day, aside from the one meal you choose not to, and eat whatever you want! This can end up being a happy balance if you are someone who really wants that mental break from tracking once a week but doesn’t necessarily need a full day of it! Again, making sure you aren’t someone that wants to totally binge in one sitting is important,  because that can be an unhealthy habit to start! This can be a nice little break for your body and mind.

Something to be aware of with the cheat day and free meals is if you are someone that is scared to eat in fear of gaining weight, these will most likely not work for you. Some people it is naturally engrained in them to under eat, so having the freedom to eat whatever you want, may work against you! Make sure you are in a healthy mindset before trying these out!

Structured Refeeds

These are a great way to implement higher calorie days into your week in a controlled, structured way. These days you still track, but they are intentional higher calorie to give more freedom in your diet and give your body a break from those low calorie days. This is like a mini-vacation for your brain and body and can help prevent binging, while allowing you to enjoy the foods you love! Refeeds usually consist of solely increasing calories in the form of carbs, the amount of calories you increase will be dependent on how big a calorie deficit you are in on the other days! Implementing a calorie increase in a controlled manner can also prevent more room for error and potential, unwanted weight gain.

Diet Breaks

A diet break is taking a full blown break from tracking, dieting and anything to do with it! This is a minimum of a week where you eat completely intuitively. Again, you want to make sure that you aren’t under eating, but this is important to give your body a break, let it recover physically from a calorie deficit and get your mind out of the “constant dieting” cycle. It’s important for us to know that we can take a week (or more- depending on the person) off of dieting and not totally back track! This is where having a coach comes in handy, so that this doesn’t turn into a free-for-all, let’s go buck wild, break…. but it serves as a substantial break, allowing your body and mind to recover and recharge!

The amount of time in a year that you should be dieting varies from person to person, but if you are in a dieting phase and haven’t implemented any of these options, or are not seeing the results you want, now very well could be the time to try one out! If you aren’t sure which option is right for you, we would love to talk with you and help you figure that out!

Remember, life should not be one big diet! We need to give our body and mind breaks, it will always take us further in the long run!

Give your bod a break!

Love,

Katy