Healthy Daily Menu 2

Healthy Daily menu

I am loving the fact that this menu has me eating Kirkland cookie dough protein bar twice in one day!  Protein bars are not just for the grab and go snack.  I mostly use them for that but I love playing around with them to see what I can create.  This menu to an all around macro friendly day.  Use it for HIIT workout training days as well as strength training.

The serving size is different for everyone depending on their weight, height, gender and fitness goals.  For that reason I have not put serving amounts.   However,  Click on the links for the delicious recipes!

M1:  Whole wheat egg while breakfast sandwich with Canadian bacon, cheese and fruit.

M2:  Rice cake with PB2 and 1/2 cookie dough protein bar

M3:  Salad with cucumbers, avocado, grilled chicken, apples and cottage cheese

M4:  Okios Triple Zero Greek yogurt with 1/2 cookie dough protein bar

M5: Apricot chicken, quinoa and steamed broccoli

M6: Skinny Pop popcorn

Breaking Through the Nutrition Chaos

I bet diet gets searched more often on google than Kardashian or The Bachelor.  (I checked; on google and diet is searched more than the two combined).  There are so many diets and everyone has an opinion.  Some are realistic and others, well they are just stupid (I won’t name names but I am looking right at you Pinterest).

If you are looking for the perfect nutrition plan for yourself it may or may not be the one that your best friend is using to give her amazing results.  It seems counter intuitive I mean it worked for her, right?  It helped her go from what she was to what she is now and you want that.  That is the problem.  Did she look just like you in her before picture and did she have the same goals as you?  If the answer is no, then don’t do what she is did; it will not get you to where you want to be.

Each person has a specific goal in mind and how they want to achieve that goal.  Do you have a lot of weight to lose?  Are you wanting to put on more muscle?  Do you want to increase your endurance?  Do you have less than 10 pounds to lose but very little muscle and want to change both?

Each one of those fitness goals requires a different nutritional and exercise plan.

When someone asks me how many calories I eat a day my response is always – It depends on what I am trying to achieve.  This is not me being vague nor not wanting to share my calorie consumption.  It is me being honest and not leading you to believe that if you eat the same way I do you will have the results you want.  This is the most misunderstood aspect of nutrition.

Today, I want to help you figure out how to start a  nutrition plan that will help you achieve whatever fitness goal you might want.

There are two common methods for making a nutrition plan.  Here is a basic explanation for the two.

Calorie Counting:

This is the number one way people start to lose weight.  They get their food journal or app and start plugging in every calorie that went in their mouth, calorie and calorie out.  Is it effective?

Yep, most of the time.

Calorie counting can be beneficial to weight loss but it can also be done in ways that won’t benefit you.  Sometimes calorie counting can make someone think that it doesn’t matter what they eat; as long as they stay under their daily caloric intake they will lose weight.  If only that were really true, all my dreams of being able to eat cookies, ice cream and kettle corn for every meal would come true! Like when I was in Europe for 2 weeks…Every. Single. Day.

Just because you have 500 calories to spare for the day doesn’t mean that at 9 o’clock at night it is OK to eat the maple glazed doughnut (delish by the way!).  Yes, this delicious doughnut may follow the rules of calorie counting but how much of that is fat are you consuming late at night.  How are you going to use that fat and sugar as energy to burn while you are sleeping?

You won’t.  Those calories will stay fat.

Your body’s metabolism has already slowed down for the day so all that energy you get from those fats and sugar will be stored for later use.  Most of the time in area’s you don’t want it.

Imagine it like this: We all like having extra cash right?!? Think of the food as money and your body as the one who controls the money (we all hate that person!).  For example, after your bills are paid and the money has been spent you get to the end of the pay period and you can’t think of anything else to spend your money on (like that would every happen…),

Then by some crazy surprise you get an extra $500!

Sweet, right?!? Now what do you do?

You work all week with no time to spend it so you put it in savings. Dang, you are so smart!!  That is exactly how your body works.  You most likely don’t need the energy through the night so your body breaks it down and stores it for later.  That is not the desired effect.

To make this easy to understand here is an example of what it would look like for a client trying to lose weight:

Calorie Counting Example

Betty is a 160 pound, 30 year old female, 5’6′ and wants to lose 20 pounds.

To lose this weight at a quicker pace she would want her net daily calorie intake to be around 1600 calories with 5 days of workouts. This number is calculated based on her Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) with a 20% decrease in calories.

The more weight she loses the less calories she can consume daily because her TDEE number will change because her weight has decreased (remember a calorie is a measurement of heating water, so less mass means less energy required for the same result).  If she stays within her daily caloric intake and eats wholesome foods she is bound to lose weight; especially in the beginning when there is more weight to lose.  If she chooses to eat small amounts of high calorie/unhealthy foods it won’t help her get to her goal.

I am not saying this method won’t work.  At times I have used calorie counting for many clients to help them get started and I have seen results.  I have also seen the reverse affect where people have not lost weight or even gained weight.  The body can be very fickle if you are not fueling it correctly.  Counting calories does however have its virtues for people who just need an idea of where to start when it comes to weight loss.  This isn’t a complicated and tedious nutritional plan that requires a lot of extra planning. However, it does not encourage a complete understanding of the nutritional value of food.

Counting Macro-nutrients

First off, what is a macro-nutrient or what us fitness peeps call a Macro?  Simply put, they are your three components of the everyday diet.  Carbohydrates, fats and proteins.  This method allows you to play with the total amount of grams per macro in your daily diet versus the amount of calories consumed.  It can easily be adjusted and easy to find where the flaws in your eating are. You are given a lot variety on what you feel you can eat throughout your day.  Nothing is off limits if…
However, it can be very tedious and time consuming.  It makes you become the “nutrition fact checker” at the grocery store. You really have to plan ahead and figure out what your whole day will be before you even start eating.

All this time and effort can make a huge difference in achieving very specific fitness goals.  If you really want to bulk up or get extra lean, counting your macros is the only way to go.

Let’s look at what the same example above would look like with a macro lifestyle.

Macro Example 1

Betty is a 160 pound, 30 year old, 5’6″ female and wants to lose 20 pounds.

There are two ways to calculate your macro amounts.

First, her macro-nutrient ratio could be something like 40P, 40C, 20F (proteins, carbs, fats).  To figure out how many grams per macro she would consume daily here is the math to find out:

Protein = 4 calories per gram
Carbohydrates = 4 calories per gram
Fats =9 calories per gram

 

Protein

40% of calories are for protein
1600 x .4 = 640 calories
640 / 4 = 160g

 

Carbohydrates

40% of calories are for carbohydrates
1600 x .4 = 640 calories
640 / 4 = 160g

 

Fats

20% of calories are for fats
1600 x .2 = 320 calories
480 / 9 =36g

 

Her macros would be 160g P, 160g C,36g F

Macro Example 2

The second method doesn’t use ratios based on macros themselves but instead a ratio of your current body weight to gram.

Betty  wants to lose weight so she should consume a higher lean protein diet.  To do this, it is best to make the protein intake a ration of 1:1, 1g protein to 1 pound of body weight. Sometimes this can be a lot of protein for someone to consume when just starting out.  Starting a little lower will help introduce high protein into her every day diet.

So we will start Betty at a .8g per 1 pound of body weight which will encourage weight loss and be easier to incorporate.

Protein

.8g per body weight
160 x .8 = 120g
120 x 4 = 480 calories

 

Next we move onto fats.  This should be the lowest consumed macro. Because she is on a weight loss plan, this ration will be on the lower end of .25g per 1 pound of body weight.  This can vary depending on your fitness goal:

Fats

.25g per body weight
160 x .25 = 40g
40 x 9 = 360 calories

 

Whatever we have leftover is going to be used towards her carbohydrate consumption.

Carbohydrates

480 + 360 = 840 calories
1600 – 840 = 760 calories
760 / 4 = 190g

 Her macros would be 120g P, 190g C,40g

Here is where macro’s can be really effective.

If Betty lost the weight and now wanted to lose a little more fat and increase her muscle mass she would only need to tweak her macros.  If she was just counting calories her calories wouldn’t change and she likely would not see a difference in her muscle mass.  Here is what her new macro’s would look like.

Her TDEE would change from 1600 to 1900

Betty’s new weight is a 140 pounds

Protein

1.2g per body weight
140 x .1.2 = 168g
168 x 4 = 672 calories

 

Next we move onto fats.  Because she is still wanting to lose a little, her fats will only increase a little. This ration will be .30g per 1 pound of body weight.

Fats

.3g per body weight
140 x .30 = 42g
42 x 9 = 378 calories

 

Whatever we have leftover is going to be used towards her carbohydrate consumption.

Carbohydrates

672 + 378 = 1050 calories
1900 – 850 = 850 calories
850 / 4 = 212g

 Her macros would be 168g P, 212g C,42g

I know what you are all thinking.  She should be a math teacher!

Ok, maybe not. Chances are you were probably thinking how different her macro’s changed based on her fitness goal. Your fitness goals determine your nutrition.  It is never a one size fits all.  Counting macros can be a lot of numbers to think about every day.  If  you can break it down by meal everything looks much more manageable.

 

Daily Macro chart

Now that you know your options how do you apply it?

That’s the trick.  You need to figure out YOUR  fitness goal and then you can establish a nutrition plan that is going to help you achieve YOUR goal.  After some trial and error you will get the hang of it and it can become second nature.

Nutrition is only as complicated as you choose to make it.  Have fun with it!!   Enjoy the idea of trying new foods and finding recipes you love. Own up to your food weaknesses and do not eliminate them but find how they can make you stronger, happier and healthier!  Because life isn’t sweet without a little sugar. 😉

 

How to break through the nutrition chaos

Related posts

Nutrition 101, 102, 103… Where do I start?

 

Weight training daily menu

Healthy daily menuThis healthy daily menu focuses more on a higher macro number for carbs.  This is great for days were your muscles need those extra calories for growth and development during weight training.  Protein is still high while keeping the fats lower.

The serving size is different for everyone depending on their weight, height, gender and fitness goals.  For that reason I have not put serving amounts.  If you have questions about what would work for you please comment below.  However, I have provided recipes! Click on the links for the delicious recipes!

M1: Protein smoothie (protein powder and frozen berries) with English muffin, PB 2, banana and honey

M2:  Cottage cheese and apples

M3:  Chicken and Quinoa fried rice (I replace the rice for quinoa) with carrots sticks

M4:  Oh Yeah One Protein bar

M5: Grilled Steak, broccoli and baked sweet potatoes (This recipe is close to what I do.  Eliminate the butter and italian seasoning and replace with 1/2 tsp paprika)

M6:  Halo top

Related Posts: Daily Healthy Menu

 

Daily Healthy menu

Mom! What’s for dinner??

I can cook it, but don’t ask me to photograph it.

I know there are many that are a jack of all trades.  I like to believe that I can do anything.  I mean, I don’t doubt that I could if I put every moment into trying but how much do I REALLY, REALLY want to be good at food photography?

Now, when I say I want to be a jack of all trades I can confirm without a doubt I will never be a food blogger.  In the process of creating this blog I attempted some food photographing.  My attempt was laughable.  I took photos of food but it by no means was food photography.  My pictures made my cooking look like my 5 year old did all the work.  That just wasn’t going to make you want to say “Yum, let’s cook that for dinner.”  So despite my best efforts and lack of support from my amazing husband (who supported me 100% on the fitness blog) I decided it was in the best interest of everyone if I didn’t do the whole photography thing.  (Husband edit: You can’t teach a pig to fly; you can’t teach my wife to take photos.  Even Pinterest has its limits).

I want to give you the best possible nutritional information I have to help you achieve your goals.  This includes delicious and healthy recipes.  I have a pile of them to share.  I have found some I love, some I have altered so I can love it and some I have created and love.

So, what is my plan to get you the recipes you need?

Easy, link you to the other food blogger professionals!

Totally a cop out, I know.  I have plenty of recipes I will share and know that you will benefit from getting the recipe form the food blogger themselves.  I will, from time to time, post a recipe I have created but it will be just that, the recipe.  No fancy pictures.  Well maybe one of me inhaling it.  That is fancy!

So here is a list of my top 5 dinners that are quick and that my family loves them. BONUS!

  1.  Stuffed peppers.  So I kind made this recipe up. I found this recipe that is pretty similar to mine and she has some yummy pictures that I lack.  I add a can of black beans and 1 tbsp chili powder and replace the rice with quinoa.  The filling is so versatile! It is why I love this recipe so much.  I will make extra filling and put it on a sweet potato with a dollop of Greek yogurt for a yummy lunch the next day.
  2. Crock Pot Curry lentils.  This recipe makes enough to feed an army!  It is AWESOME! I usually freeze half and still have enough for dinner and a leftover night. You can add some grilled chicken or throw it over some brown rice if you need a heavier carb day.  Sometimes I just eat it alone with some veggies as a side.  It is a great dish to play a round with and change up. I really love the recipes from her site, Pinch of Yum.  Check them out
  3. Sweet and Spicy Pork Tenderloin.  Now, I am one that loves to savor the taste of my creations.  To taste them just as they were cooked.  No fancy sauces or toppings.  If you were to ask   my husband, this is one of his favorite dinners. However,  You would have me fooled because of his constant need to smother it in gravy.  Please do me and your health a favor and just enjoy   the amazing taste this recipe offers WITHOUT the gravy.  (Husband edit: But if you really want to enjoy this pig…) This recipe comes from the Biggest Loser Quick & Easy Cookbook.
  4. Garlic Lime chicken.  This is one of the easiest recipes I have and sooooo good!  I found this recipe somewhere years ago.  Nothing tastes better than grilled chicken, in my opinion. You       can make it to be really simple and just add some veggies on the side or  saute some peppers and onion for fajitas.  I will take the leftover marinade and pour some over the peppers while         they are sauteing. It adds a great flavor! Lettuce wrap for lower carb day or on a carb balance tortilla for higher carb days.  
  5. Chicken and Rice Soup.  I found this recipes years ago while looking up recipes for leftover thanksgiving turkey.  It is incredibly delicious with leftover smoked turkey but I don’t have that year  round.  I switched it up and add chicken instead of turkey and sometimes I replace the rice for quinoa.  It is a simple soup with a lot of flavor.

Nutrition 101 or 102 or 103…Where do I start?

All of us fitness coaches, trainers and athletes know that nutrition is key and we will continue to tell clients that.  Do I tell my clients this?

Sure do!

However, it is easy to say nutrition is key when you know what works and doesn’t.  Nutrition can be the hardest part for many of us busy moms.  It is easy to get caught up in making sure the kids get off to school on time, come home clean the house and maybe take a shower all before the thought of even feeding ourselves will happen.  With nutrition the same rules apply as fitness.  Take time for yourself.  Make fueling your body a top priority.  When you can make that a habit, you will see your hard work pay off.

So, before we can even get into posts about you should and shouldn’t eat here are my rules when it comes to nutrition and how to make it not so complicated.

NEVER skip breakfast! We demand ask nicely for our children to eat a good breakfast before they go to school so why shouldn’t we before our day is in full swing?  Breakfast doesn’t have to be a fancy homemade low card, sugar free banana nut muffins with a blueberry glaze (insert eye roll). My favorite go to is an egg white breakfast sandwich. Nothing fancy and no special recipe. Just quick, easy and yummy!

Eat what your family eats. The only exemption from this rule is for breakfast and lunch. However, Don’t make Cheese stuffed ravioli and breadsticks for your family and you eat a salad instead.  This is so depressing and not the example you want to set.  If that is what you made that night, eat it.  Eat the right portion size and don’t over indulge.  You want to teach your family that eating healthy is good but not restricting.

What do you say when your kids ask “Why is mommy not eating with us?”  “Mommy is not happy and can’t eat that.”

HECK NO!

You learn and teach moderation and self discipline. Find alternatives to recipes and make them healthier.  It isn’t every night that the family gets to splurge!

Cold turkey doesn’t work for everyone. While your totally ripped friend never eats sugar sometimes that isn’t realistic. Don’t compare yourself to them but instead make what works for you.

I LOOOVE me some sugar.  A fabulous cookie, good chocolate, cinnamon roll, ice-cream (I am talking the whole pint of ice cream) or some apple pie. Drooling…. I am obviously not a cold turkey kind of gal, did you notice?? What works for me is not cutting it out completely but choosing to limit my intake.  Others need to cut it out completely.  Find what works for you own it and control it. Don’t hid behind it.

Work to Eat. I live by this on a daily basis. Part of my motivation to workout and workout out hard is so I do not feel like I am a slave to eating the perfect nutrition every day.  Most of us women were not blessed with that amazing , eat what you want and not gain a pound, metabolism like most men.  Don’t get me wrong, age catches up to them and their metabolisms change. I won’t deny having smiled a little knowing my husband was now  “watching what he ate” due to him getting older.

Make food taste yummy and never boring. This is the number one problem that occurs with most of my clients and many people I have given advice to. Some people just hate to cook. I love to cook, bake and EAT.  It is what I would do all day long if I could. Cookies Baking is my specialty!  But for others the idea of making dinner is so exhausting they rather starve.

DON’T!

Healthy food can be fun, quick and so yummy.  This recipe is a favorite of my families and is prepared and in the Crockpot in 30 min or less.

Eat multiple times a day. Five times, no less. Your metabolism fuels off of calories that you eat. It can go into a sleep mode if you don’t continue to feed it.  When it sleeps you are not burning those precious extra calories.  Those are like gold to me. You want to keep it awake and busy.  This means you eat good foods every 3 hours or so.  Sweet, right?!? I knew you would like this rule!

Finally, plan a head. Make a weekly or even monthly calendar of your meals. I like to make a lunch and dinner menu. Knowing exactly what you need to make encourages you to actually do it.  Lunch can sometime be hard for me to squeeze in something that takes time so I prepare in advance.  I will have a day set aside to just cook the things I need for the week.  No, this is not me putting the exact same food for each day in Tupperware and refrigerating them.

Could that be any more boring??

I want to be excited about what I get to eat that day. Instead I will prep by boil a large batch of eggs, cook some quinoa and extra chicken breasts to throw into salads, or cook up sweet potatoes.  If I am being overzealous for that week I might even chop up veggies for dinner meals I have for the coming days.

Now, I don’t spend 3 hours cooking in the kitchen prepping for the coming week.  Just make extra when you do cook and refrigerate.  It makes the choice of eating the slice of delicious Costco pizza or eating your chicken and quinoa already prepared at home WAY easier.

This is a great menu I found that lets me plan my workouts and meals all on one sheet. You can get the free printable by clicking here.

 

That’s it.  Easier said than done, right?!?

Now, this is just the basics of what to do for nutrition.  There are so many more “rules” to follow when it comes to applying them to weight loss.  I won’t leave you wondering for too long.  Many more posts to come on nutrition but for now don’t get frustrated.  Start with the basics.  It is all up to you on how you want to change your body, mind and life.  Be the one in charge and in the driver seat enjoying the ride.  The back seat isn’t for you anymore.