Nutrition tips and goodies from the blog

Weekly posts with tips to help you create healthy habits and lifestyle changes.

Finish the Year as Strong as You Started It!

January 1st is always that time of year when people vow to lose the weight, save money or travel more, but why do these things have to wait until January? Why not start now? Each day is not guaranteed, so why spend all of November and December letting ourselves spiral further and further away from what we want out of life? 

We don’t have to. There is no difference between December 2nd and January 1st. Choose to take action now and once the New Year comes you will be that much closer to what you want. 

WRITE IT DOWN. Write your goals down, put them where you can see them every day. If you have them in your sights, you are likely not to ignore them. Include the steps of action it takes to get there, for example, if your goal is to lose weight, you might write down: Lose the Weight. Steps of action: meal prep, workout Monday- Friday and track daily food intake. Whatever your goal may be, keep it in plain sight so you can’t hide from it!

ACCOUNTABILITY. We all need someone to help us stay accountable to our goals. This doesn’t have to be your best friend, but you it should be someone that can be straight forward with you and someone whom you don’t want to disappoint. It can be easy to make excuses as to why you need to skip the gym or eat that cookie if you are just answering to yourself, but knowing you have to report back to someone can be a game changer. This doesn’t mean you would fail if you tried to go it alone, but it does make your chances a lot higher of succeeding having that person cheering you on and holding you to your word. 

Lose the “All or Nothing” mentality. Life is all about balance. There will always be birthdays, holidays, vacations, special occasions and unexpected events. It’s how you handle these times that determine your success. We set goals because they are things we want and dream of and most of the time they can seem bigger than us. Usually they require us to go through some hard times and if we throw in the towel every time things get hard, we will never get there. Let’s use Thanksgiving as a recent example. This holiday is centered around food, most people indulge on this day and enjoy all the delicious food, which is great and you should!! Where people go wrong is deciding that they messed up and should just let themselves indulge the rest of the week, or through all the Christmas parties, Christmas and go out with a bang before the New Year. This mentality is dangerous and can lead into a deeper hole than you would have been starting January 1. 

Any time you have a party, holiday or any other event that throws you off your game, know that tomorrow is always a new day. Stop making excuses, put it behind you and get right back to it! Even if you feel you have week after week of events that throw you off, 4 off days and 7 on, is better odds than after 3 off days saying “screw it” and a month or two later you forget what direction you were headed. Always jump back on the saddle and don’t let your goals slip away.

Keep your eye on the prize and don’t wait until tomorrow. It may seem cliche’, but every day truly is not a for sure thing. Today is the day to chase whatever it is you want. 

At Flex Fuel we take so much joy in helping our clients live a healthy life now. If you are thinking about joining our team, please don’t hesitate to contact us, we would love to chat and help you get to where you want to be in your nutrition journey. 

Email us at: info.flexfuellife@gmail.com

Love, 

Katy

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Bonus!: Here’s a yummy recipe to try this week. Easy Breakfast Casserole that you can eat all week long! 

  • 1 pound Honey Suckle Turkey Breakfast Sausage 
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 whole eggs (yolk included)
  • 1/3 cup 2% milk
  • 1 (20 ounce) sweet potatoes (about 3 medium potatoes)
  • 2 cups shredded mexican blend cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 2 stocks thinly sliced green onions

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Add the sausage to a medium saute pan. Cook over medium-high heat until browned, crumbling the sausage with a spoon as it cooks. Remove sausage with a slotted spoon and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Reserve about 1 tablespoon of sausage grease in the saute pan, discarding the rest. Add the onion and green pepper* to the saute pan, and saute for 5 minutes until cooked. Add the seasoning and saute for an additional 2 minutes until fragrant. Pour the vegetable mixture into the mixing bowl with the sausage. Add finely chopped, lightly steamed sweet potatoes and 1 1/2 cups cheese to the mixing bowl with the sausage and veggies. Stir to combine.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and black pepper until combined. Then add them to the potato mixture, and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into a baking dish, and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Then remove the aluminum foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes and the top of the potatoes begin to slightly brown. Remove and let the casserole rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with green onions and serve!

Serving Size: Makes 8 servings

My Fitness Pal: Breakdown and a Peek into my Daily Food Log

Planning for the week ahead I was trying to think of something practical I could write about that everyone could use. I get a lot of questions on the best way to log and track foods, so I thought i’d do my best to break it down here and hopefully clear any questions up! Feel free to comment below with any questions or with anything tricks you may have found make things easier!

We encourage our clients to use My Fitness Pal App to track their food. There are other apps out there that work just fine but we have found MFP to have the largest data base of food and have the best accuracy when it comes to nutrition facts. Keep in mind no app is perfect, so always double check your entries! 

When initially signing up for MFP, we recommend downloading the premium version. This is $10/mnth or $50/year. This will allow you to set your macronutrient goals specifically down to the gram, if you don’t have premium it will only let you set it by percentages, which can end up setting your numbers off. Premium version also allows you to set different sets of numbers on different days, which is great for those of you who have several sets of numbers. This keeps you on track and leaves less room for error.

When setting your numbers you will want to go to GOALS=> CALORIE AND MACRONUTRIENT GOALS=>Set your Default Goal (I usually use workout day numbers for this for those of you with more then one set of numbers!)

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Once you have your personal Macros set, you can start tracking your food and easily know how many macros you have used up and how many you have left.  If you go to DIARY=>Scroll to the bottom to NUTRITION=> you can check your macros there to make sure you stay on track. Make sure you are looking under “Nutrients” so you can see you progress in grams, not by percentages. 

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Adding your food in at each meal, you will need to pick the best selection in MFP or if there is a barcode to scan, you can scan in the package. Any food in MFP that is Green Checked is the best option. These are certified and the nutrition facts are usually the most reliable.

After you select your food, you must adjust the serving size accordingly.  For example: You can select Egg Whites where 1 serving=46grams. If you want 3 servings you can adjust serving size to 3. This can be done with ounces, grams, Tbs, etc. You can always adjust serving size or number of servings to make it fit what you need.

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Once you log a food once, it will be saved into your frequent Foods and easy to access for the next time! The more you log the quicker and easier it will be over time!

This is an example of my day completed and how close we want you to hit your numbers! It can be done and the sooner you create the habit of hitting those targets on point, the sooner you will see progress. It can seem daunting at first to weigh out all your food and hit your numbers that precisely, but once you do it consistently it will become second nature!

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I’m currently on a bulk, so I am aware my sugar is high!! My numbers look like this DAILY. Always within a gram or two of my targets! When first starting to track, I always planned my day the night before, now I usually go through my day and just log as I go because it is easy for me to do now. If I ever want a special treat, I plan ahead for it and make sure I fit it in! 

I hope you all find this helpful! Follow me on My Fitness Pal, username katyann53186. I will be going over how to create a recipe in a future blog!!

Have an awesome week, stay on track and always feel free to email Mallory or I with any further questions at personal emails or info.flexfuellife@gmail.com

Katy

A Look Into My Weekly Grocery List and How I Start Each Week Fresh!

No, I don’t always pop up out of bed on Monday stoked my alarm went off at 4am but I do try to choose to be thankful for the opportunities I have and do my best to make each day filled with purpose.

Looking at the week from a nutrition standpoint and setting myself up for success in that area, it always begins with a shopping list and the dreaded trip to the grocery store! Im always super proud of myself when I can make myself get up and going early on a Sunday morning and get to the grocery store when there is only a few other early risers there, grabbing their eggs and bacon for Sunday morning breakfast or their football game supplies. 

I admit I am a major creature of habit and a lot of times I have to force myself to step out of my food box and add more variety in my diet. I could eat a lot of the same things for a solid month or more and not think twice. It is a new goal of mine as of recently to take the time to change things up and so far it really has served me well. Here is an example of some staple items I make sure to have in the house each week:

  • Proteins: Turkey Burger (93/7%), Egg Whites, Whole eggs, Lunch meat (as all natural as possible!), Chicken or Fish, Turkey Bacon.
  • Veggies: Zuchinni, Yellow squash, Romain lettuce (salads or lettuce wraps), Spinach (add into scrambles, etc. for extra greens!), broccoli, asparagus, Onions, carrots.. anything else that looks fresh and appealing!
  • Fruits: Bananas X2 (we eat a lot of nanas in our household!), Apples, Berries of some sort (add into smoothies, oatmeal, dessert!), avocado.
  • Starches: Purple potatoes (loving these lately-all the colors!!), sweet or baby red potatoes, brown rice, butternut squash, Dave’s Killer bread- thin slices!, Organic Rice Cakes, Tortillas.
  • Dairy: Organic half & half (coffee addict!), Kerrygold Grassfed butter, Greek Yogurt, Arctic Zero or Halo Top Ice Cream (when I need a sweet treat!), reduced fat Cheese pre-shredded (time saver!), Laughing Cow cheese.

Yes- I pretty much buy all of this every week, some things every other and I definitely try to change things up and things may vary depending on what’s in season. I always make sure to pack in as much veggies as possible- get those greens!!

Life is crazy busy for all of us, doing food prep and staying on track can feel overwhelming, especially mid week when we are in the thick of it all. A few things to keep you on track at the beginning and throughout your week:

  • What Are your Top 3 priorities? In what order?
  • What Is Your biggest Nemesis during the week keeping you from your Goals?
  • What Makes you Happy?

Ask yourself these questions and keep them in mind throughout the week. Keep  your priorities in line, keep whatever it is that gets in your way in your control and most of all do what is going to truly make you happy!! 

Don’t wait until the “next Monday” to start chasing your goals, too many Mondays will fly by and before you know it months and years will be gone! Make a plan now and set yourself up for success!

Whatever your journey may be, take on this week and crush your goals, don’t let another week fly by without doing the things you really want in life! 

Pancakes with Peanut Butter and Berries

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Sometimes you just need a fat stack of pancakes to get going…. Love this pancake recipe and it’s super filling!

Blend:

50g banana

1 Dannon light and fit vanilla yogurt

40g oats

138g egg whites

 Mix in 100g blueberries, cook on skillet into 4 cakes. 

 

Heat together @waldenfarmsinternational pancake surup/3oz strawberries/1 T peanut butter! 

Sunshine, BBQ and Minding your Macros

Now that this time of year has finally come, it seems like every weekend the temptation of a big juicy burger and a beer never goes away! There are lots of different ways to make this time of year macro friendly, whether you are grilling at home or gathering at friends or family. Here are some ideas to help you succeed!!…

  • Plan ahead!! Decide if you want to indulge on a burger with a bun, have a beer or eat some potato chips, you can have these things as long as you plan ahead and make the rest of your meal fit around it! 
  • Choose Lean meats and ask yours to be grilled with no added oils or glazes. 
  • Go bunless! Premake shish kabobs, wrap your burger in lettuce or slice your grilled chicken over a bed of lettuce for a yummy salad!
  • Low-Cal condiments! Mustard, hot sauce and reduced sugar ketchup are good go-to’s. Condiments can quickly add major macros to your dish if you aren’t careful!
  • Snack on veggies instead of reaching for the bag of chips! These will fill you up much faster and save you lots of carbs and fats!
  • If you associate summer bbq’ing with alcohol, reach for low cal beverages like light beers or liquor with flavored soda water. Try drinking a big glass of water for each drink you have, these will help from over-indulging and keep you hydrated!

Counting macros does not have to stop the summer fun! Plan ahead and you will succeed! Always keep your goals in plain view and it will be easy to stick to the plan in situations like these!!

The Daily Struggle… Balance and Keeping a Healthy Mindset

Many people always put their job first, or their kids first and swear this takes precedent over healthy eating. This does not have to be the case, you CAN excel in your career, in raising a family and hitting your goals in the gym. 

There are million different diets and eating regimens out there, and new ones popping up all the time. Whichever one you choose, somewhere along your diet road, you will slip up, it’s inevitable. We are human beings and it’s a fact of life. How you deal with these slip ups can make the difference in long-term success or failure. Even if you succeed for 30 days straight, on day 31 you might “reward” yourself with a cheat meal and then another, and another, until you are back to where you started. We start to develop the mindset that, “well I screwed up so I might as well just quit.” Then starts the never-ending cycle of stopping and restarting diet after diet. 

In order to succeed, you have to be okay with failing. Failing is what makes us learn and makes us stronger. The next time you have a drink too many, eat that piece of cake, or go back for thirds, remember that tomorrow is always a new day. Cash it in as a weak moment, and know that that one cheat will not ruin all the hard work you have put in. A week of weak moments will ruin your progress, so stop it with the “screw it” attitude or that guilt trip you put yourself on when you slip up! Buck up and make the conscious decision that you will not let it stop you and that you are not a failure!

Enjoying life and being able to “cheat” with a healthy mindset is why I love Flexible Dieting. If you want to have a drink with friends or have a piece of pizza with the family, you can! If you go over your given Macronutrients and mess up, tomorrow is a new day and you know exactly how to get back on track and hit those numbers on the head the next day! The main goal is to develop a healthy  mindset with food. Let’s eliminate the guilt trips and reach our goals while enjoying all the yummy foods!! 

Taking the Next Step

Growing up I was raised in a health conscious family, but like most Americans, we would always go back for another helping of pasta, a second bowl of cereal, or one cookie turned into five. The next morning I would wake up and go for a long run to “burn it off,” swear by low fat foods, starve myself all day, only to repeat a binge meal the next. Doing this, I was able to stay in decent shape, but there were always days I hated my body, wished I could lose just five more pounds and felt like the only way to truly get the body I wanted was to eat bland food and very little of it. 

Out of high school and entering college, I became an avid runner. Even running several half-marathons, I still wasn’t satisfied. Soon I found Crossfit, which brought much more variety into my workouts. Finding a new love for the barbell, I watched my body transform into a much more muscular physique. Like the majority of other Crossfitters, I strictly followed a Paleo and Whole30 diet. Doing this I felt much better in my workouts, I slimmed down and swore this was the only way to eat. Continuing to put on muscle, I just told myself that the “puffy” look I had was just the sacrifice I had to make to have muscle, be strong, and compete at a higher level. Over time I began to ask myself, “if I work so hard in the gym, why am I still so uncomfortable in my own skin?” I knew I needed a change to feel better about myself, but what kind? Will I have to quit lifting so heavy? Do I need to eat less? None of this sounded appealing, I didn’t want to give up something I loved and I definitely didn’t want to starve myself!!

Now, by no means do I want to bash Paleo or Whole30, I still to this day think they are awesome ways to clean up your diet, get on the right track, and even see great results. I just hit a point in my journey where I knew to become leaner, a better athlete and really love the way I looked, I had to take the next step. I took my Crossfit Level 1 Certification in 2012 and this was the first I learned of the Zone Diet. They taught this way of eating, but I had purposely ignored it because it required weighing and measuring your food. There was just NO WAY I could commit to weighing and measuring all my food! Way too much work, just not practical and I’m just way too busy to have time for that!! Over the next couple years I kept hearing various crossfitters talk about Zone and I saw an opportunity pop up online. My gym, Thorbeckes Crossfit, had been following Crossfit Invictus programming. Invictus is very reputible and they were advertising their 12-week nutrition challenge. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to commit myself, have an actual nutrition coach, and take that next step. I joined and over 12 weeks I saw great results. However, I took some short cuts, I would partially weigh meals, eye ball foods, and “treat myself” on the weekend. I was watching my portions closer then I ever had, really made sure I was getting a good balance of Protein, Carbs and Fat at each meal and kept my eating clean. I saw great results doing this, but over 12 weeks, I ended up a little bummed out that I didn’t see more extreme results.

A few months later, scrolling through social media, some “before and afters” caught my eye. I was then led to a coach that I immediately signed up with to begin Flexible Dieting. At this point, I was ready to take my commitment to nutrition to the next level. Over the next 18 weeks, I weighed and measured every single thing that I ate and drank. What I thought was going to be way too time consuming, socially paralyzing and a diet prison, became the most freeing, exciting thing i’d done in a long time. I had control of my food, I had no guilt, I was seeing absolutely amazing results physically, my mindset towards food became healthier then ever and my performance in the gym was skyrocketing. Was this real life?! I was eating clean, yet more then I had ever eaten before and enjoying treats that I love without having to punish myself the next day. I knew I had to learn more and spread my new found knowledge with as many people as possible.

Flex Fuel Life was born! My best friend Mallory Long started Flexible Dieting at the same time I had, and we knew almost instantly; that we wanted to create a place where people could experience what we had. This was something that no matter what age, activity level or lifestyle, people of all different walks of life could achieve success.

Starting this business just felt right. We knew going into this, we are in the right place. Its like crawling into bed after a long day, or putting on the perfect pair of shoes; it feels so, so good, to be on the right track, and helping others to boot. 

I write this post to challenge you. Take a chance on yourself and make a commitment to make you feel awesome about YOU. I truly believe this is not just about outward appearance and physical change. It changes how you feel on the inside, boosts your confidence and gives you a healthy relationship with food. 

Love Ya’ll!!

Katy