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Mama Kaylene is BACK!

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Kaylene has been with Flex Fuel Nutriton from the start. She orginially signed up to lean down for her wedding day and since then has celebrated a couple of anniversary’s, a pregnancy and the birth of their son, Bo. Her journey is such a good example of the phases we all go through in life and how your nutriton should change with them. We sat down with her right before the birth of Bo and will link that blog below in case you missed it. Now, one year later, we are sitting down with her again to chat all things baby, fitness and life! 

1) We’ve got to watch you get married, celebrate your pregnancy and have your son Bo who just had his first birthday. Through each of those different life stages, your goals have changed. What would you say you’re currently aiming for?

Right now I think my main focus is trying to get back to planning my meals and hitting my macro goals more consistently. Days are crazy with a one year old and sometimes I let the planning and prepping slide which just makes things more crazy! I’m also working on getting back my strength that I had pre-pregnancy. I have all my skills back and for the most part movements all feel normal. Now I just need to get buff again.

2)      How has your nutrition changed from pregnancy until now? 

Honestly it has mostly stayed the same. I continued to track through pregnancy, and while I wasn’t perfect, it definitely helped me stay away from the “eating for two” mindset. Bo is very allergic to milk, eggs, and peanuts, so up until a week ago I haven’t been able to eat any of that. In a way it helped me to eat more healthy foods. It is so nice now for the first time in about a year and a half I can eat whatever I want with no limitations! But overall my nutrition throughout has focused on hitting my macros and getting in that fiber! 

3)      What has been your biggest struggle post pregnancy? Your biggest victory? 

Right after Bo was born the hardest part was making sure I was eating throughout the day! I think I started tracking macros about two weeks after he was born because I realized I was not eating nearly enough. Besides that the biggest struggle has been being patient. I really expected my body to bounce back quickly and that was not the case at all. It has been a slow process, but I’m happy with where I am at now. I think my biggest victory is getting to have so many PRs at the gym, because everything post baby is a post pregnancy PR! Getting up on the rings again a couple of months and getting my ring muscle up on my first try was probably the most exciting victory. Knowing I hadn’t lost it after not doing any in so long was pretty fun.

4)      In our last testimonial, we chatted all things pregnancy (if you missed the first post, we’ll link it below). You were able to give tips you found helpful to other expecting mothers. Now that you’re one year post pregnancy, what is some advice that would be helpful to mothers who are just starting their fitness/nutrition journey post baby? 

Take it slow. Especially with the fitness part. I HIGHLY recommend going to see a pelvic floor physical therapist. My midwife was not going to give me a referral at first so I was going to pay out of pocket and go anyway. I finally wrote her a list of all the reasons I felt it was important to go and she wrote me a referral. It was probably the best decision I made post baby. Listen to how your body feels (but more importantly listen to your pelvic floor PT) and don’t push the heavy weights. Those will come back with time!

5)      If you could go back in time to right after having Bo and tell yourself one thing that you know now, what would it be? 

That a year goes by so quickly! Consistency is key, especially with nutrition, and even when it felt like I wasn’t making any progress I really was (it was just slow!)

6)      2018 is closing. Any big goals? 

Strength, strength, strength! My lifts are all still not what they were, but I know I will get there! I probably won’t hit those goals before the year is up, but that is okay. I think other than that just getting more consistent with planning my days the night before or the morning of, and doing some more prep on Sundays. I know I am more successful with hitting my macros when I do these things, but time gets away from me and it doesn’t always happen.

Kaylene’s story is one we can all relate to. Plans in life change, exciting things come up but that doesn’t mean your nutriton has to take a back seat. If you are interested in learning more about what plan is right for you, hit the ‘Apply for coaching’ cutton at the top of this page and shoot us an email. We are happy to jump on a call with you and chat about what you’re currently at! 

 

Thank you Kaylene for sharing your story! 

Read Kaylene’s post baby interview HERE.

 

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Dieting is dead, welcome to the Flex Fuel life

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Its hard to stand in a room full of people, all eyes on you, and talk about such a touchy subject….the broken world of dieting. Luckily, its easy to talk when you’re so passionate about the topic and it was actually hard to squeeze in everything we wanted to say in an hour, we simply couldn’t. The things we were able to talk about, things like the importance of protein, fats and carbs in your diet were hot topics within the group. Another hot topic was how most people come to us actually under eating and the diet industry is mostly to blame for that. For years, we’ve heard to lose weight you must eat low fat, low carbs or try the numerous diets like the HCG diet, the 1200 calorie counting diet, or the cabbage detox…really the list could go on. The one thing these all have in common is that it leads people into believing food is the enemy and to lose weight, the less we eat, the better. Those diets teach that in order to see results, you have to take drastic (yet unsustainable) measures like eliminating entire food groups or practically starving yourself, or that you have to follow a specific meal plan and that is SO wrong. Those misleading diets create damaged metabolisms for so many and ultimately set people up for failure. This is why we are doing these seminars, to educate people, discuss why we love flexible eating so much and to shed some light on the messed up ideals people have about dieting. We want to get people talking and show them that it doesn’t have to be that way, that what they’ve been taught about fad diets is wrong and start a movement, that dieting is dead. 

    This is just the start for us. We will be doing seminars as often as possible in any gym that will have us :) We want to get to know you and meet the people we are serving! If you already are a client with us, hopefully we can come to your gym, your territory and talk to others about Flex Fuel. If you’re not a part of the Flex Fuel family, you may be wondering, what the heck is Flex Fuel in the first place? What do they even offer? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Let me fill you in on what exactly we are and why you want to be part of our team, let’s pretend you just signed up….Welcome to the Flex Fuel life! 

1) Personal one and one coaching    

    We are a nutritional coaching company with an emphasis on flexible eating. We work with clients to provide a macronutrient prescription specific to their goals and lifestyle. There are plenty of online macro calculators where you can plug in your basic stats and out pops a generalized macro prescription. There is a major flaw in that! Those calculators do not take in to consideration that every.single.person. is different. We all have different lifestyle factors that come in to play; different goals, diet histories, food allergies, stress levels, sleep patterns, work schedules, and what your current food intake looks like as far as calories and food quality. We look at all of that. Upon signup, we will have you fill out an intake form because we want to know all those details, including the basic stats like age, weight, height, measurements and starting pictures. Those details make a huge difference in where you are starting with us and what adjustments we make along the way. A generalized calculator cannot do that. 

2) Weekly Check ins

    Once we get all the information we need, we send you your personalized starting macronutrient numbers along with a weekly check in day, a check in check list and a sheet to document your data. At weekly check ins we review your data from the previous week and how close/far you came from your daily targets. We want to know if you had any major stressors that week, how your sleep patterns were, how was training/activity level, in general, we want to know how you felt that week! What did you struggle with? What were small victories for you? What were some big victories for you? Again, we want to know it all! Our clients are not just numbers on a screen, we know each and every one of them in detail because we want to create a healthy lifestyle that enables them to reach their goals yet is something they can sustain long term. 

3) Accountability and support

    Having a nutrition coach is huge. We all do better when we have someone to be accountable to, its a proven fact. Katy and I both have coaches we answer to because it keeps us accountable to our own personal plans. Signing up to be part of our Flex Fuel team gives that element of accountability. You have a coach to check in with every single week and if you’re struggling during your week, you have that support to reach out to for help, how cool is that?! 

4) Coaches who care

    We care about every single one of our clients. We want you all to reach your goals and we want to do it in the healthiest way possible. That means we might not always tell you what you want to hear but by being able to evaluate your weekly data without personal bias or emotion, we can make the right changes from week to week. Its easy to be following a plan on your own and have the feeling one day of “I feel fat!” so the next day you overcompensate for that and eat much less…which then leads you to binge 3 days later because you’re starving and so begins the vicious cycle. We know this process can be a roller coaster of emotions and we can help you work through those emotions but we as coaches are able to separate emotion and factual data in order to make the best decisions possible surrounding your plan from week to week. We also want to teach you tools that you can take with you and utilize the rest of your lives and we do that by educating you as much as possible at each check in. If you want to know why we are making a certain change, or our thoughts behind a certain plan, ask! 

5) A community of like minded individuals 

    We have a private Facebook group you’re added to upon signup. Its a great sounding board for questions, to read about tips and tricks from other people who are following a flexible eating lifestyle and to share favorite recipes or items you love! There is so much strength in community, and its awesome to get to know people who are working towards their goals just like you! 

 

Flex Fuel is so much more than coaching nutrition basics. We know there is much more detail that goes into creating a plan than a generic online calculator or food plan and the emotion that goes hand in hand with lifestyle goals. We work with each individual to create the best plan possible and when you sign up, you’re not just signing up for a generic macro prescription, you are signing up to join a team of people who actually care and can help you reach your goals. 

 

We are currently working on our 2018 calendar and filling up weekends with Flex Fuel seminars. If you would like us to come and talk to your gym, please email us at info.flexfuellife@gmail.com

 

If you want to know more about Flex Fuel and want to attend one of our seminars, sign up for our weekly emails at www.flexfuellife.com, we’ll be sending out emails for upcoming seminars. 

 

Have a kick ass week! 

Mallory

 

Eat to LIVE!

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Establish That Your Nutrition is a Priority

If we want to live our lives to it’s fullest potential, our health directly affects this. It is easy to say we don”t have time to prioritize our nutrition but I see two main problems with this:

1. If we don’t prioritize our health now, it will take away from our overall longevity and quality of life at SOME point. Don’t put off doing what you can NOW to live a long, healthy life!

2. If we don’t prioritize our health now, it directly affects how we feel about ourselves, inside and out. If we feel our best, that translates over into other aspects of life like our mood and how we treat others, our energy in our days, staying present and alert in our jobs and relationships and being able to be active and physically do what we want our bodies to achieve. 

It is easy to think setting aside time in your day to plan and prep your food is selfish or other things are more important. However, knowing this small step will have a direct affect on the big picture, , it is necessary! In the long run it will be less stressful if you take this time to set yourself up for success!

Establish Your Non-Negotiables

Aside from nutrition, what are the non negotiables in your life? Family? Work? Date night? What do you want to be your main focus, the things you put all your energy into? What do you want to look back on and know you were fully present for? 

Got them?

Good, now anything that is NOT in your top 3, eliminate. 

There is only so much time in a day and there is only so much energy we can give. Make the energy you do put out, quality and towards something you really, truly want to invest in. 

Can we give some energy, at some point to those other things lower on the list? Sure, life changes and priorities can change, but always be real with yourself. Ask yourself what is going to give you your BEST life and what you can live without. 

Establish What Nutrition Plan Fits Your Life

Everyone expends energy differently in their day. This is why it is SO crucial to focus on you, your life and what YOU want and need. No one else. Focusing on what others around you are doing and achieving is a waste of time! No two people are the same in the amount of sleep, food, recovery and activity they need. 

There is not only one nutrition protocol! At Flex Fuel we are constantly learning, growing and striving to find what works best for you as an INDIVIDUAL. If you are doing the exact same diet or macro intake as your best friend, it is most likely not what is appropriate for you! 

If you are struggling to make your nutrition plan fit into your lifestyle, it is time to take a look at why it’s not working and what the steps are to making it work! Your nutrition plan should give you the freedom to LIVE! 

Need more guidance? Shoot us an email, comment below or just dive in and sign up, the time is now!

Live it up today!

Love,

Katy

 

To Drink or Not to Drink?? That is the Question!

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I think the real reason for this is I drink much less frequently than I did in my early to mid twenties and I eat much cleaner and balanced now as well. Now when I drink alcohol, my body is much more sensitive to it and being used to clean, whole foods filling my 1800-2000 calories a day, it goes on strike wihen I try to replace those calories with not-so-nutritious alcohol. 

Don’t worry, this post is not going to shame you for drinking, I love a good drink just as much as the next person! I just want to address the subject and some common questions we get. Hopefully I can bring a little more clarity to the subject and help you make a more educated decision next time you do….. or don’t, tip one back! 

We love macro counting because you can fit the foods and drinks you love into your daily macronutrient intake. However, does that always mean that just because you can fit chocolate cake or a piece of pizza into your macros it’s the best decision for your health? Is that big margarita going to make you feel like a million bucks the next day? Not always, but it also doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy those things.

Our bodies require protein, carbohydrates and fats to function. There are 4 calories to 1 gram of carbs and 1 gram of protein, 9 calories to 1 gram of fat and 7 calories to a gram of alcohol. When we consume protein, carbs and fats our bodies immediately get to work to metabolize our food. When we drink, our body doesn’t recognize it as one of those three necessary macros and wants to rid of it as quickly as possible so instead of metabolizing our food, it works on the alcohol instead. This can result in our body holding off on metabolizing our food and runs the risk of storing it as body fat instead of using it as fuel! 

So when should you just say no to that drink and when is it okay to indulge? I say tell me your goals and that will give us your answer! 

Is significant weight loss and body composition change your current goal? If the answer is yes and you really want to do everything in your power to get there, I think it is best to skip the drink. 

“But Katy, one glass of red wine a day is good for your heart health!”

Sorry Charlie, but NOT drinking wine every day is better for your heart and your waist line! I hear all the excuses in the book, but at the end of the day your body is going to respond to clean, whole foods much better than it is to alcohol. 

Is your goal to get shredded and see a 12 pack? Again, I would definately keep the liquor limited. Yes, there are plenty of super lean individuals out there that drink but it is going to be easier and you are going to feel a lot better if you pass up the drinks. If you are in a caloric deficit, your calories are already super limited so to fit alcohol into your macros is probably going to mean that your food intake is going to be super limited. Splitting up an already low caloric intake between alcohol and food is tough to do and can often result in an unwanted binge. It can already be a challenge mentally to adhere deficit macros, let alone when you are drinking part of those calories. 

Is your goal to find the balance of healthy eating, yet enjoy your social life? If you fall in this category of coarse you can have a lean body and look amazing! You may just have to be okay with a little slower progress or not walking around with 6 pack abs 24/7. This also doesn’t mean if you are in the above two categories you can’t have a social life, obviously! This group just may be a little more lax than the others. If you love those Friday or Saturday nights out with your friends or significant other and you don’t want to track during those times or you want an extra drink or 3, then that is okay! You just have to know where you stand with your goals and that things may not move as fast if you are doing this. 

At the end of the day, you know your goals and you know how alcohol affects your body. I encourage you to be honest with yourself and what your goals are. Before you tip one back, ask yourself if that drink is in alignment with your goals. At Flex Fuel we strive to help you create a plan that works for your life, while simultaneously helping you reach your goals. This looks different for each person and if you need help figuring out which path is best for you, we are happy to help you figure that out! Life is not black and white and neither is your nutrition journey! 

Cheers,

Katy

 

 

Taco Tuesday (or any day!) Macro Style!

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Actually everyday I pretty much think about tacos or any type of Mexican food. On our recent trip to Arizona, we found delicious Mexican food everywhere we turned and im pretty sure I could have eaten it for every meal! Okay, maybe except breakfast. It seems like tacos are all the rave these days and the great thing about them is they are filling and can be made in a way that is healthy and not jam-packed with calories! I thought I would give a few different alternative ideas that you can use next time you get invited to taco Tuesday with your friends or want to make some yourself but don’t want to blow your macros. Feel free to comment below with way you love to fit your tacos into your day! 

 

1. Go for the corn tortillas!

If you want your taco in a tortilla, corn is the way to go if you are trying to keep calories low. Your average corn tortilla is smaller and therefore the macros are lower.

Macros for 1 tortilla: 1F-13C-2P

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2. Pick Lean Meat

Filling your tacos with meats like chicken or fish will keep calories down. Steak and pork are much higher in fat and will sky rocket calories fast! If you are cooking at home, using those higher fat meats are much easier to measure out, but in a restaurant they will be much harder to guesstimate. When you guess on lean meats, there is much less room for error. If you are cooking at home, you could do half and half to get a mix and still keep calories down! Sub out ground beef for a leaner version or ground turkey or chicken!

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Macros: 

4 oz chicken: 4F 0C 35P

4 oz Tilapia: 3F 0C 30P

4 oz Sirlion Steak: 16F 0C 31P

4 oz Pork: 16F 0C 31P

4 oz Ground Beef (85/15): 17F 0C 21P

**all of these are general macros, make sure to weigh and measure the specific meat you are using!

 

3. Watch where your flavor comes from!!

How you season and cook your tacos can make or break your caloric intake. It is easy to double your calories just by how you cook and season them! Tacos can still be just as delicious while choosing low macro options for flavor!

*Cook with minimal to no oils. Measure out your oil you want to cook in, if you need any at all! You can also choose to sautee’ your meat in salsa and that will give you huge flavor without the calories! If you are at a restaurant, request they cook it in no oil, or even in lime juice!

Macros: 

1T Olive Oil: 14F

1T Butter: 12F

1T Coconut Oil: 14F

 

*Low calorie sauce alternatives. All the delicious sauces can add up quick. Here are a few options that will keep your macros happy!

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Fresh Salsa 2T : 0F 4C 1P

Light Sour Cream 2T: 2F 3C 2P

Reduced Fat Cheese 28g : 6F 1C 1P

Franks Red Hot Sauce: Macro Free!

Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime Seasoning: Macro Free!

 

4. Skip the Tortilla! 

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*Sautee’ all your taco toppings and pour over a bed of lettuce!

*Roast a bell pepper and fill it up!!

*Wrap up your toppings in a leaf of romaine lettuce! 

*Sub out tortilla for Non-fat refried beans or black beans for more protein and more nutrients! 

 

Hopefully this gives you some more ideas on how to enjoy the simplicity and deliciousness of Taco Tuesdays! Post your pictures and recipes and let us know how you enjoy!

 

 

 

Avoid the Chicken Blues: New ways to spice up that plain, bland chicken!

 I love it all, I dare you to name one kind of candy I don’t like because I don’t think it’s even a thing. It’s also crazy to think it’s almost February which means for a lot of people, those new years resolutions are already a month old and now is that time where a lot of people either stick to their guns or slowly start dwindling. Stick with it, do the things you really don’t want to do, to get the things you really want. One of my resolutions is to mobilize more. After a super long day the last thing I feel like doing is coming home and stretching but I have been doing it and I feel SO much better when I do. The benefits it produces far outweigh those 20 minutes exta minutes of couch sitting. 

Now that we are almost a month into January, those new habits we have started to create can slowly start to feel like a chore- boring and unexciting. The excitement of sticking to your new workout regimine and busting your rear in the gym might be losing it’s sparkle, or all those new, healhty foods you have been incorporating might be getting old real quick. Im a firm believer in keepin’ things spicy. Whatever you are doing, do it with some sass. Make the monotonous things in life fun. Don’t let things get dull, that is where the temptation of throwing in the towel sneaks in and we lose our fire to keep going. 

In blogs to come I want to continue to help you all to find new ways to keep things fresh. Today I wanna talk about chicken. Yes, chicken! It’s that staple item that is packed with protein, lean and can go with almost any dish. Fad diets are often known for their “chicken-rice-broccoli,” basis and for good reason. It is clean, lean and easy! One of the joys of flexible eating is you can eat what you want. You can make that chicken come to life! I wanted to take this basic, staple food and give you some ideas on how to switch it up so you don’t get the chicken blues. 

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Texture

  • Diced- cut up your chicken into small cubes and stir fry in a pan! Add to stir fry or pasta!
  • Strips- cut long-ways into strips! Top on a salad or serve restraunt style with some homemade sweet potatoe fries!
  • Shredded– Cook whole breast first, then with two forks, shred apart. Great in burritos or on taco salad!
  • Whole Breast– bake in the oven whole for a simple, easy approach! 
  • Ground– you can buy it ground at the store, make it into burgers, meatballs or integrate into any recipe!

Spice It Up!

  • Lemon Pepper- Great zesty way to add flavor in a simple way.
  • Pesto– Set a side some extra fat allotment- it’s worth it! Great smothered over a whole breast or use as sauce on diced chicken with pasta or zuchinni noodles!
  • Fresh garlic- In my opinion, the best way to flavor blast any kind of meat!
  • Thyme and Rosemary- These go great together and put a different spin on things!
  • Curry powder- put a thai twist on things! Serve with stir fry veggies and top with some peanuts!
  • Taco Seasoning-  can’t go wrong with a little mexican flair! 

Cooking Method

  • Bake- Prep it and then put it in the oven! 375 degrees is usually a safe bet. 
  • Pan Fry Use cooking oil of choice, changing up your oils can change up the taste! Play around with coconut oil, olive oil, avacado oil, sesame oil and more!
  • Crockpot– Throw in the crockpot in the morning on low with seasonings of choice, come home at night to tender, delicious chicken!
  • Insta-pot– my new fav method. You can put a whole batch of chicken in and it’s done in 15 mintues! It practically falls apart it’s so tender!
  • BBQ- throw it on the grill! Char broiled chicken will have you thinking it’s summertime in January!

Accessorize!

  • Stuff it- cut into the middle of your chicken breast and fill it with cheese, spinach and mushrooms, ham (more protein!) marinara, peppers or whatever tickles your fancy!
  • Top it- caramalized oinions, bacon, alfredo, bbq sauce, soy sauce.
  • Pair it– combine it with pasta, veggies, potatoes, put in in a burger or a quesadilla! Get creative!

Don’t give up on this easy staple, I challenge you this week to do something different with the same ol same ol!! 

Have a great week and keep it spicy!

Love,

Katy

 

The Myth About “IIFYM” and Why Whole Foods Matter

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My boyfriend and I get to leave this coming week for Miami to compete in Wodapalooza. Im so stoked to get to experience such an awesome competition and get to test all the hard work i’ve been putting in the gym lately. Leaving this week means im always extra busy trying to get all the things done, as well as prepping to stay on top of all my work while im there! Keep your eyes peeled, i’ll be posting updates of all the fun things happening in Miami, as well as how I fuel my body while traveling and competing!

The Hydrostatic body fat testing re-visited our gym at the New Year, it was last here in October so some of us got to retest and others got to test for the first time. I don’t think there is one method of testing that is 100% accurate, but I do think this method is pretty close and as long as you stay consistent with what you are using to test, you will be able to see the general direction you are headed. I have done this testing probably six times over the years and I have to say ive become more and more emotionally detached from the process which im happy about. This day can be an emotional one for everyone getting tested and I do my best to tell everyone to look at it as data and numbers that have nothing to do with your identity or how you feel about yourself. When I say this im speaking to myself as well and I have to say, going into this last test I really felt i’ve grown a lot mentally because I felt happy with my results, knowing ive worked hard and im in a constant state of trying to better myself. Im not the leanest or lightest ive been, but I am the strongest and most confident i’ve ever been. This truly has come from just growing mentally and emotionally, through my physical journey. Not to say some days I don’t struggle still, but I can say I have progressed in a big way! So don’t let numbers define you, let your hard work and efforts do that.

Im telling you all about my personal journey right now because this is how I came to writing this blog topic. So bare with me a little longer and we will get down to the subject at hand. 

Going on almost two years, I have been eating a super high carb, low-moderate fat diet., this has always worked for me and I feel great doing it. Im super active and my body runs off of carbs well. Recently, I had to switch things up for a few different reasons, to a high fat, low carb diet. This was a temporary thing I did for about a month and it forced me to change up my food variety, get creative and really look at what I was putting in my body. It is easy to get in a rut and even if it “fits your macros,” it may not be the best food option for your body. One thing I learned very quickly is on a high fat, low carb diet, there aren’t many “dirty” foods you can eat. Now, don’t get me wrong, I ALWAYS pack in veggies into my day and get in all my fiber and H2O, but I still love to make room for some goodies. Not even necessarily goodies like twinkies but even things like graham crackers or a beer. Most bad foods are high in fat AND carbs, so I couldn’t make any of that fit and im thankful for that, even though I was pouting about it for a solid month. Now that the month is done, I really have little desire to eat anthing processed, sugary or even foods that aren’t “bad” but just aren’t optimal for MY body. I feel so much better and noticed a huge difference. Like I said, it’s not like I ate a ton of crap, but over time I allowed more of it than I should have into my diet. 

All of this leads me to my topic, The myth about “IIFYM,” (If It Fits Your Macros) and why whole foods matter.

If you have been tracking macros for any period of time, you have experienced the freedom it can give you in your diet. This aspect of tracking is awesome and is one of the reasons it works so well long term and in real life. However, with that freedom comes a responsibility on your end to make the right choices. Anyone telling your that it absolutely doesn’t matter whether you get your carbs from cookies or vegetables is lying straight to your face! It DOES matter. This is a pretty controversial topic in the IIFYM world, so feel free to do your own research and form your own opinions about what works best for you, but this is my opinion through research as well as personal experience. 

So why should we choose clean foods over the dirties? Here are just a few of the reasons, although there are many more!

Micronutrients Matter.

We emphasize hitting your macronutrients, but what about all your Vitamins and minerals? Making sure you are getting all your vitamins and minerals is just as important and ensure that your body is functioning properly. Deficincies in any vitamin or mineral can lead to problems! Some common micros to make sure you are getting plenty of are vitamin C,A,D, K and B-complex vitamins. Along with Potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron. Check with your doctor to see if you are deficient in any of these. If you are filling your diet with processed, nutrient-lacking foods, it is likely you won’t hit your micronutrient targets. Packing in all the veggies and lean meats will ensure you get the recommended dose and then if you happen to be deficient in one area still, THEN you can supplement as needed. 

Gut and Digestive Health.

The digestive pathway is the way food enters and exits our bodies. Along the way food is broken down, nutrients are extracted and then waste is eliminated. Poor food choices can hinder the proper function of the digestive process and lead to poor gut health, causing our bodies to be unable to break down food how it should and wreaking havoc on our gut. Eating healthy, clean, whole foods will allow our digestive system to work properly and let our body run like a well-oiled machine. 

Burn more calories-while you eat!

Our bodies have to work much harder to break down whole foods vs breaking down processed foods. The amount of energy a food contains in the form of calories, isn’t necessarily the amount our bodies absorb and use. Every food is different and the more processed the food, the less our bodies have to work to absorb it. They are much more easily digested and therefore our bodies are quick to store them. On the other end, whole, minimally processed foods are much more work for our bodies to digest. It takes more energy to break them down and utilize them and in turn our body is burning more calories just to digest them!! I don’t know about you, but im all about that!

Energy.

Eating whole foods without all the added crap, will help keep your energy levels up through the day. Often times it is the added sugars, preservatives and crappy food that isn’t allowing our bodies to stay alert throughout the day. Lean meats, complex carbs, nuts and leafy greens are just a few of the foods that will help keep your body fueled and energy up throughout the day. Avoid the mid-day crash by simply replacing that sugary cup of coffee with some energy boosting food! Not to mention, fueling your body properly and timing it around your workouts, will give you the boost you need to kick some butt in the gym! 

Satiation.

In the heat of the moment of hunger, it is easy to go for the quickest, most convenient thing, but in the long run this is the worst choice if you are grabbing something processed. Grabbing a snickers may satisfy you immediately, but an hour later you will find yourself wanting more. If you take the 10-15 extra minutes to put together a snack full of veggies, lean meat and/or good fats, you will stay satisfied for several hours in comparison. Filling your allotted food for the day with all of the veggies and whole foods will leave you much, much more satisfied than filling it with twinkies and cereal! 

Again, one of the great things about “If it fits your macros,” is that you can enjoy the foods you love and we completely support doing so! This process is all about balance and fueling your body in the best way possible, all while making it work for real life. Whether you have been tracking for years or are brand new to the process, I encourage you to look at what foods you are putting in your body and ask yourself what you can improve. Each day is an opportunity to improve in one way or another, even if it’s the smallest change each day, it can make a big difference over the long term! 

Have a killer week and eat your veggies!!

Love, 

Katy

 

 

 

 

Eat This or That Part 2: Nutrition Labels and Serving Sizes

The stores this time of year look similar to a scene from Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, filled with peppermint candy canes and chocolates. Tins of cookies stacked miles high, cheese trays and crackers, chips and dip on pretty much any isle end cap, I can see why the 1st of the year brings so many diet resolutions. I don’t think its only because its the 1st of the year and feels like a new start, I think for most people, they’re just down right sick and feeling lethargic after the flood of holiday treats. 

With the New Year approaching, a lot of people will be trying to eat healthier but in the sea of misleading advertisement on whats healthy, its hard to decipher whats what. I know a lot of people have ideas of what is healthy but when it comes to what you’re eating, read the labels. The best choice is to stick with whole real foods, you know, the ones that come without a bunch of ingredients on the nutrition label. Think proteins like chicken and beef, fish, vegetables and fruits, eggs, nuts, beans and healthy fats like coconut oil and olive oil. Just try and eat real food more often than not and keep the processed foods to a minimum. Of course there are times in life where you’ll consume something that comes processed in a nice shiny wrapper and thats okay, we aren’t expecting perfection but just be mindful of what you’re eating. You may think you’re making the smart healthier choice but looking over the shelves in our local grocery store, there are a lot of pretty labels that pull the wool over our eyes. One of the first things that stood out to me was the added sugar in almost EVERYTHING. Condiments, soups, pasta sauce, breakfast cereals, breads, and the one I’m going to show, low fat yogurt are full of added sugar. Companies sneak sugar in everything to make it more appealing to your taste buds and when you think you’re making the healthier choice, really, you’re consuming just as much sugar as you would be if you had drank a pepsi…yuck. 

Growing up, my household was full of yogurt eaters. My mom and sister ate one every day and I grew up with the idea that yogurt was a healthy snack. I hated the stuff but would try and force it down as an afternoon snack in high school thinking it was the better choice for me. Not all yogurts are created equal and some may have less added sugar than others but this is a prime example of why we should all be reading our food labels. Yogurt has its benefits sure, it contains nutrients like calcium, vitamin B-2, vitamin B-12, potassium and magnesium but so do many vegetables and fruits and those come without the added sugar. 29 grams of added sugar to be exact.

yogurt-donut.jpeg

This single serving container of Tillamook strawberry low fat yogurt has 29 grams of sugar. Thats only 8 grams less than a can of Pepsi and actually 4 grams more sugar than that doughnut. You could eat that doughnut and be consuming less sugar than the yogurt. According to the American heart Association, the maximum amount of added sugars a man should consume daily is 37.5 grams, for women its 25 grams. This one yogurt that many people believe is the healthy option puts women over their entire daily allotment and puts men dang close, no wonder we have an obesity epidemic. There is a laundry list of reasons why sugar is bad for our waistlines and our heart but its also creates a viscous cycle of intense cravings. The more of it we eat, the more our body craves it. Added sugar is everywhere and if anything, I just want to point out to you all how important it is to read the labels because what you think may be a smart choice, could basically be sugar water packaged in a pretty container. 

The next topic I wanted to include in this is about serving size. While eating real whole foods is important for our health, portion size is just as crucial. For example, coconut oil is a healthy fat and coming from a paleo background, I used to cook EVERYTHING in that delicious stuff. I figured if its healthy, whats the problem? The thing is, it still comes back to the basics of calories when monitoring weight and drenching everything in coconut oil is not going to help the number on the scale. Plus, have you actually measured out an actual tablespoon of coconut oil or olive oil? It isn’t much and if you think of that actual measurement compared to what we pour in the pan before we sauté some veggies, you would realize how much you’re actually consuming. This is why we emphasize how important it is to weigh or measure your food whenever possible. What looks like a little drizzle of olive oil on your chicken could easily be a full tablespoon and magically your fat intake for the day went from 50 grams total to 64, thats 126 additional calories. Multiply that by 4 days of dinners at home that week and bam, you’re over by 500 calories for the week.

Here’s another visual below, the left is an actual weighed out portion of almonds and the right picture is a handful I grabbed. Doesn’t look like a huge difference visually but the macros tell a different story:

almonds.jpeg

         Picture on the left:                                                                           Picture on the right:

         17 fat                                                                                                 31 fat

          8 carbs                                                                                             14.6 carbs

        7 protein                                                                                            12.8 protein

        213 calories                                                                                        388 calories

You grab a handful of almonds assuming thats about the serving size and you could be a lot further off your tracking than you think. That coffee creamer you use in the morning could easily go from 1 tablespoon to 3 if not measured. In your mind it was just one guesstimated tablespoon though so thats all you have to log, right? Not so fast. One day of that isn’t going to throw off your hard earned progress but if thats something you start doing multiple mornings week to week, it starts to add up. 

Another thing to be mindful of is when eating out. Restaurants typically toss veggies in olive oil, drizzle it over your grilled chicken and suddenly your low fat lean protein with steamed veggies you ordered is packing a much higher fat content than you thought. Being mindful of these things when eating out is going to play a huge part in your progress in the long run. Restaurants are all pretty accommodating when it comes to special requests so by being aware of the fact they could use oils to cook and requesting none, you are making your guesstimates for your meal much closer. 

I know you can’t weigh and measure everything you eat, thats no way to live and flexible eating is supposed to be flexible. I just want to shed some light on these topics to show you how important it is to weigh and measure your foods when you can and in situations where you can’t, to be mindful. We are all perfectly imperfect humans trying to be better, healthier versions of ourselves, otherwise I don’t think you would be reading this blog ;-) By taking steps to becoming more aware and mindful of what we eat, you’re already making huge strides in the right direction. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas with your families and Santa brings you something special.  

Mallory

Mexican Chicken and Rice

mexican chicken and rice.jpg

Mexican Chicken and Rice! This is another delicious way to get lots of micronutrients in your meal, keeping macros reasonable and not sacrificing taste! You can definitely tweak things to make it your own!

••••••••••••••••••••••

•4 oz Organic ground chicken

•50g peppers

•2oz onion

•2oz mushrooms

•40g baby spinach

•150g Riced Cauliflower

•1 serving brown or white rice

Sautee’ ground chicken until almost cooked through, add peppers onions and mushrooms. Sautee’ until tender. Add in cauliflower and cooked rice. 

Season to taste with Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime seasoning. 

Optional toppings: Reduced fat Mexican cheese, avacado, drizzle of enchilada sauce! 

MACROS:(toppings not included)

44C-5F-30P

 

The Black Hole of Holiday Eating: Enjoy the Holidays Without Getting Sucked In!

Why is it that one treat is never enough? When we go into the holiday season it’s like all sense goes out the door and it’s acceptable to eat the entire plate of cookies! We use the fact that January 1st is right around the corner and we swear we will be on track come the New Year. Forbes Magazine had a great article on New Years Resolutions and stated that research shows only 8% of people actually achieve their Resolutions!! 8% in all of the U.S.?! That’s insane! Also, one more reason to start creating the things you want for your life now, not wait until the New Year!

American Holidays are so focused around food and drink, that seems to be what it is all about now. Everyone is posting their pictures of frosted cookies with red and green sprinkles, chocolate covered pretzels with crumbled candy cane on top, hot coco with peppermint Schnapps, all the wine and Christmas cocktails with a side of every delicious appetizer you can think up, and we haven’t even got to Christmas dinner yet! 

What if we shifted our focus? What if we broke the mold and brought a healthy treat? Or a fun game instead? Focusing on the fun and Cheer for the holidays instead of consuming an ungodly amount of calories could save a lot of us some serious pounds and regret! This doesn’t mean we have to cut out all things delicious and fun, but maybe we can just chill out a bit and stay aware of what we are consuming instead of pretending we aren’t going to hate the fact we took 5 more steps backwards in a matter of one month. 

So what can we do to avoid getting sucked in? I have a few suggestions that I hope help!

  • Establish What Your Goals Are. Whatever your goals may be, it is important to make them clear, even to yourself. Write down (right now!! Yes, NOW!) what your top 3 goals are right now in your life and keep them in your sights. Check out our previous blog, Finish the Year off As Strong as You Started It!, for more details on this. When your goals are fresh in your mind, you are more likely to think twice!
  • Do Something non-food related. Holiday cheer doesn’t have to revolve around all the food and drinks. This time of year has so much to offer, go out and soak it all in! Grab some friends and go sledding or ice skating, go check out all the Christmas lights up around your town, get together and do a fun holiday Pinterest project or go help out your local shelter. There is always so much happening, go and DO!!
  • Be “That” person and bring a healthy alternative to the party. There will be plenty of calorie loaded food there, so why not bring something you and others can snack on guilt-free? Make some clean, healthier cookies, a veggie tray with greek yogurt dip- make it exciting and make it into a Christmas Tree design! Like this– or even a fruit tray! Bring a low calorie drink option, I love the zero calorie cranberry ginger ale right now! Whatever it is, bring an option that you know you can resort to if there is no other calorie-friendly options.
  • Moderation. There will be the moments where of coarse, you must enjoy your grandmas homemade pie that only comes around once a year, but when these moments come, practice self control and moderation. Having that treat you have been craving doesn’t mean you need 5 pieces. Have a serving and then move on. One treat won’t destroy your progress, its the half a pie or week long binge that will. Eat the treat and then WALK AWAY!! 
  • Mind Over Matter. The mind is a powerful thing. You can convince yourself not to eat the cookie and that it’s not worth it or you can convince yourself it’s not that big of a deal and “i’ll get on track at the New Year.” In the face of temptation, put yourself in the shoes of your future self, tomorrow, next week or at the New year or when you try on that bikini and think about how you would feel about this moment then. I bet you put that cookie down. 
  • Enjoy the reason for the season. Focus on what this time of year is all about! Enjoy time with loved ones and giving to others around you. Soak it all in and don’t end this season wishing you had done things different!

I am so passionate about each and every one of you reaching your goals and going for them NOW, I hope this motivates you and gives you some confidence that you can get through this month and not feel defeated! More than anything I want you to enjoy the holidays, because this time of year is the BEST and should be enjoyed in every way! 

All the Holiday Cheer,

Katy