Macros – What are they?

Macro-nutrients – What are they?

Macro-nutrients or macros for short, is essentially the bulk of what you eat. In our everyday diet, we mainly eat carbs, fats, and proteins and that is what macros are made of. When counting macros, we are counting the macros in grams.

 

What are macros?

Macros are carbs, fats, and proteins and they are the bulk of what we eat. Micronutrients are the vitamins and minerals and they don’t take up as much of our diet but they are still necessary for health. A carb, fat, and a protein all have different ways our body utilizes energy or rebuilds our system with.

 

Carbs – a carb or carbohydrate has 4 calories per gram.

Protein – protein has 4 calories per gram.

Fat – has 9 calories per gram.

 

Each macro is utilized in the body for a specific purpose

 

Today we will focus on carbohydrates and dive into them. Carbohydrates are probably one of the easiest macronutrient to consume. They are also the most hated macro.

Carbs are the body’s primary energy source. They are the easiest for the body to convert into energy for the body to use to help transport protein into the muscles, to help either with slow twitch (long endurance feats) or fast twitch (sprinting) muscle fiber actions.

 

Fast carbs VS slow carbs

Even within the class of carbohydrates, some are burned more quickly than others. Complex carbohydrates, such as starches, have a more complex structure than simple carbohydrates like sugar, so it takes a little longer for the body to break them down. Fiber, a third type of carbohydrate, isn’t broken down at all — it travels through the digestive tract mostly unchanged, adding bulk to waste and helping to move waste along to be excreted. Examples of complex-carbohydrate foods that digest more slowly are whole-grain breads, brown rice and vegetables. Examples of simple-carb foods that digest more quickly are refined-grain products, candy and cake.

 

Glucose and glycogen

Glycogen and Glucose are the two forms of sugar that your body employs to store and use as energy . Glucose is the sugar your body converts into energy. Glycogen is the sugar your body stores in both your liver and muscle cells. Your body can’t use glycogen directly as a source of energy, and cannot store glucose.

 

When you eat a well-balanced meal with both carbohydrates and protein, your body converts and absorbs the carbohydrates and part of the protein into glucose. It then attempts to maintain an even blood glucose level. When your blood glucose is too high, your pancreas produces insulin to convert some of that glucose into glycogen and then stores it for later use. When it is running low, it produces glucagon, a hormone secreted by the pancreas which stimulates your liver to convert some glycogen into glucose. Once converted, the glucose can be released into your bloodstream. (The glycogen stored in your muscles can’t be converted back into sugar, so it can only be used by your muscles.)

 

That is a simple bit of information about glucose and how our body uses it.

 

Realizing that all carbs essentially turn into sugar/glucose for the body to store and be used for energy. There are other things that could be going on if you have diabetes or other types of dis-ease but for the simplicity of it, we will leave the information about glucose, there.

 

For the first day of our tracking challenge, we will focus on tracking our food, whatever is going into our mouth we want to bring awareness too and owning it. What carbs do you notice you eat more? What do you like? What do you not like? Lets have that conversation!

 

Protein

Today we are going to go over the second of the three macronutrient, protein. For the average person, it is not the easiest macro to get into your diet without being intentional about it. Proteins are in –

  • Dairy, cottage cheese, cheese, milk, yogurt (especially greek yogurt)
  • Meats and fish
  • Beans and rice (a little, not sure good source but there is some) tofu, soy products, lentils

 

Protein is similar in calories as carbs, it has 4 calories per gram of protein.

Why is protein important? It is the building blocks for our muscles. The amino acids help heal and grow our muscles. Protein is an important component of every cell in the body. … Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

 

The majority of the “fun foods” are not usually good protein sources. It’s actually pretty hard to get good amounts of protein if you are not focused on that. Some people choose to not eat meat and that’s totally ok but I always just suggest they focus extra and should really know how many grams of protein they are getting to really make sure they are keeping and growing their muscle.

 

Why am i so obsessed with muscles? The more muscles you have the more calories you burn doing nothing at all. When you are dieting, it is easy to lose muscle over fat. Since muscle burns more calories (or energy), when you’re dieting and in a calorie deficit, your body wants to get rid of your muscle so that you can conserve your energy (or calories and fat). It is how we have evolved from back in the times where we had to hunt for our food. We didn’t just have a store we could go to, there were some days and weeks we as a species wouldn’t have food so our bodies had to preserve our fat so we could survive. We are really remarkable in that sense.

 

How much protein should you be eating? The best and most accurate way to know this is to know your lean body mass or to know how much muscle you have. There are different ways you can do this. There are machines that tell you your lean body mass. Otherwise the more generic answer to how much protein should you be eating is this:.

the American College of Sports Medicine recommends that to increase muscle mass in combination with physical activity, you need to consume between 1.2 and 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, or 0.5 to 0.8 grams per pound of body weight.

If you have any sort of questions, please feel free to share a comment or even just message me.

 

Motivation

Some days when you’re tracking food may be better than others. Some days will be easier than others. Whether it is an easier day or whether you only tracked once or not at all, give yourself some grace as tracking is only a tool to help you get to your goals. If you do it well or not does not define you as a person. Anything in life if we want to get good at something takes time, grace, practice, and consistency. So this is your reminder to take time and be kind to yourself. Figure out your goals, write them down, ask myself or a trusted friend to keep you accountable to those goals and/or help you create a plan of action with daily small steps. It is always in the small things. For they are really the big things.

 

Fats

Today we are going to go over fats! The either loved or hated macronutrient.

 

Fat per gram is a little higher in calories. Per gram, fat has 9 calories whereas carbs and proteins have 4 calories per gram. Fats will usually allow you to become fuller on less as they contain more “energy”. They are also digested a bit slower. Dietary fats are essential to give your body energy and to support cell growth. They also help protect your organs and help keep your body warm. Fats help your body absorb some nutrients and produce important hormones, too.

Sometimes when you go on low fat diets you may feel like your feelings are up and down as fat helps your hormones regulate. The key is to get a good balance of fats and other nutrients in your diet. Eat the healthiest kinds of fats, in the right amounts.Some types of fats are better for you than others.

 

Different types of fats – The difference between these fats lies in their chemical structure. All fats are made up of a chain of carbon atoms that are linked — or bonded — to hydrogen atoms.

 

Saturated fats

You’ll find saturated fat in foods like these:
Red meat — beef, lamb, pork
Skin-on chicken and other poultry
Whole-milk dairy products like milk, cheese, and ice cream
Butter, Eggs, Palm and coconut oils

Trans fats
French fries and other fried foods

Cakes, pies, biscuits, cookies crackers, donuts and other baked goods.

Stick or tub margarines

Microwave popcorn

Frozen pizza

Unsaturated fats

Unsaturated fats come mainly from vegetables, nuts, and fish. They’re liquid at room temperature. These fats are good for your heart, and the rest of your body. Within unsaturated fats are

Monounsaturated fats –

In foods like avocados, olive, canola, and peanut oil.

Polyunsaturated fats –

Flaxseed, corn, soybean, and sunflower oil, walnuts, flaxseeds, salmond, tuna, and other fatty fish.

 

There are two types of polyunsaturated fats: omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.

Omega 3 fatty acids come in three forms:

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) acid – found mainly in fish

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) – also found mainly in fish

alpha- linolenic acid (ALA) – from plant sources like flaxseeds, vegetable oils, and nuts.

Omega 6 fatty acids are found in foods like leafy green vegetables, seeds, nuts and vegetable oils.

 

That is a lot a lot of information. There is neither good or bad fats, there are just some that if you choose elicit different outcomes. You get to choose those outcomes by what you decide to put into your mouth.

 

 

Meal prep

Today we are going to go over meal prep and the benefits that you could gain from preparing. There is a quote that states, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. With any goal, having specific actions steps and then executing them with a plan is the best way to have success. For our weight loss and maintenance

 

Prepping food will look different for everyone. It really just depends on your lifestyle and what meals you want prepared. We have already gone over in the blog post I shared where we figure out one way to meal prep the proteins as that will help a lot. Now, we can figure out what other meals you may or want prepared.

 

It would be helpful to figure out how many times you want to eat. Some days are different too but become a little more consistent with your schedule and what you want that to look like will help you know what and when you want to eat.

 

To give some freedom, you are free to eat as many times or as few of times as long as you are hitting your calorie goals. With this challenge, we don’t necessarily have our macro goals as we are just getting into the rhythm of what tracking is and creating that habit. Eating six times per day is no better or worse than eating two times per day. We really just want to avoid crazy hunger as when hungry, we tend to not make the best food choices and don’t have as much willpower when it comes.

 

Usually picking one day per week to prepare some meals for the week is helpful. You can start with a few meals for the week. I know when i first started with meal prep i would prep a few meals that would last a few days. I would then prep again after three days. Really there is no wrong way to meal prep. There is only what is working for you and what is not working for you. But you do not know what that is until you start. You just got to start!

 

How do you start? Well, finding some good recipes that you like and that help you hit your carbs, fats, and proteins for the day. Also, foods with good amounts of fiber help keep you full and regular.

 

Fiber.

Dietary fiber — found mainly in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes — is probably best known for its ability to prevent or relieve constipation. But foods containing fiber can provide other health benefits as well, such as helping to maintain a healthy weight and lowering your risk of diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer.

Selecting tasty foods that provide fiber isn’t difficult. Find out how much dietary fiber you need, the foods that contain it, and how to add them to meals and snacks.

 

Dietary fiber, also known as roughage or bulk, includes the parts of plant foods your body can’t digest or absorb. Unlike other food components, such as fats, proteins or carbohydrates — which your body breaks down and absorbs — fiber isn’t digested by your body. Instead, it passes relatively intact through your stomach, small intestine and colon and out of your body.

Fiber is commonly classified as soluble, which dissolves in water, or insoluble, which doesn’t dissolve.

Soluble fiber. This type of fiber dissolves in water to form a gel-like material. It can help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Soluble fiber is found in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium.

Insoluble fiber. This type of fiber promotes the movement of material through your digestive system and increases stool bulk, so it can be of benefit to those who struggle with constipation or irregular stools. Whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, beans and vegetables, such as cauliflower, green beans and potatoes, are good sources of insoluble fiber.

The amount of soluble and insoluble fiber varies in different plant foods. To receive the greatest health benefit, eat a wide variety of high-fiber foods.

 

 

The Wellness Way

I am a fitness professional, I train my body both with stress and rest, I track my macros, I sleep, I drink enough water, I follow all of the instructions of “what to do” and yet, I felt like health should be easier than what I have been doing. I was still not able to sleep, had gas, having a hard time breaking plateaus, carried a lot of information, brain fog and digestion problems.

In October of 2018 I jumped and I decided I wanted to take my health to the next level. I wanted to identify why my body was acting up and was not operating at its highest level. I had been visiting Integrated Functional Health in Bettendorf Ia. I had some dramatic improvements and shifts in my body by working with Matt DeWild and he recommended I look into the work that Dr. Stacey Wiley at Complete Balance Chiropractic was doing with The Wellness Way.

I dove right in.

Dr. Stacey is a chiropractor that works through a system call The Wellness Way. She is amazing, personable and understands the real life application of trying to heal from the inside out. This system starts with testing. She will not treat without doing testing. There are no guesses or adjustments to programming without looking at the data first.

I followed Matt’s instructions and emailed Dr. about what I was looking to heal. She personally got back to me in less than 6 hours and then asked me if I would rather text her. I got a phone appointment that next week and we talked through the testing kits she would have me do.

I had to have my blood drawn by a local lab and then I completed 4 stool samples and sent them off to the lab as instructed in the testing kit. It would take 1-4 weeks to get the results back from the two labs.

My blood results came back the following Monday and she immediately got in contact with me because the results show that i didn’t have an intolerance or allergies to food (which i had been tested for before), but i had the antibodies for 17 different foods. All of which I had consumed the weekend before.

Antigens:

Having the antigens for foods means that when I consume them my body believes that they are a virus and attacks them vs. warding off many of the other viruses that we come into contact with. (This explains the years and years and years of constantly becoming ill). I have been in a constant state of war.

The biggest hurdle would be switching up my routine to accommodate new foods and avoiding this list:

  • Almonds
  • Beef
  • Casein
  • Crab
  • Egg Whites
  • Egg Yolks
  • Lobster
  • Cows Milk
  • Mustard
  • Peas
  • Peanuts
  • Pork
  • Scallops
  • Sesame
  • Soybean
  • Tuna
  • Bakers Yeast

I tackled this head on and communicated with the people in my life so they would know how best to support me through this discovery and learning process. I got to play with this for 3 weeks prior to my other test results coming back.

At this time i met with Dr. Stacey in person and we would talk about the supplements to add my routine to help combat.

The remainder of my test results would reveal that I did not have a candida problem (had always been told that this was an an issue), but i didn’t have a high count for a different yeast in my intestines (dysbiotic flora). Some of the symptoms that I experience from this internal yeast infection include: inflammation, gas, cramping, normal disturbance, fatigue, ear infections, acne and brain fog. I also found out that my immune response is upgregulated the tissue in my GI track is normally the first immune barrier and mine was angry!

In December I started on a course of supplements to help start to tackle and bring my system better into balance. I still track my macros and eat all the foods but now these things are added in to help out. I have 2 courses of supplements I take when I wake up and when I go to bed and then every time I eat i take a few supplements to help break down the food and help start to tackle the yeast.

When I first eliminated the foods that were on my list I immediately began to notice differences. I am less puffy, I can sleep better, I have no gas, and I am able to focus better. Spiritually, a whole different connection to my mind/body experience is different and a lot of fun. The cheetah print on my skin has started to change. The spots on my arms would turn red or purple at least 1 time per week if not every day. For the past 3 weeks they have been white.

on my skin has started to change. The spots on my arms would turn red or purple at least 1 time per week if not every day. For the past 3 weeks they have been white.

I am not perfect with all the foods but I avoid my list 85% of the time. It takes time to look at labels but once I learned what things work for me I have been sticking to those items. Aldi has been the cleanest grocery story to find things at and Thrive Market online has been a savior.

The Wellness Way has clinics all over the country and I would recommend checking them out if you are curious of how to optimize your body. Going through the hard time to walk out on the other side healthier has been worth it. This journey is not over with and I will update you along the way.

Fear and Love

“Love never brings fear, for fear is always related to punishment. But love’s perfection drives the fear of punishment far from our hearts. Whoever walks constantly afraid of punishment has not reached loves perfection.”
1 John 4:18

What is it you’re afraid of? What has you awoken at night or stressed during the day? What brings your soul anxiety?

Fear and love cannot be mixed together. They are like oil and water. They don’t mix. Could it be, that the fear you feel is just a place where love is not?

What if instead of fear, stress, anxiety, you delve into the realm of complete love knowing that you are in fact, a beautiful soul who is worthy of such love? knowing that, before you ever do anything good or right, you are loved? Knowing that you do not have to do anything, or be anything, that just as you are, right in this very moment, you are loved. You are perfect. There is no ifs, ands, or buts. There is no maybe later I can be deserving of love. there is no, if I get it right next time I will be deserving of love. These are all expectations we place upon ourselves to create the illusion that we can control who and what will love us when… When we are ready to love ourselves. Fully.

What if we took the areas in our life that are incomplete and we engulfed those areas in love? What would happen? Even the areas of our life we don’t like. Our procrastination, our doubt, our sickness, our hurt we wish would go away … Could we choose to own it. Own our doubt. Own our procrastination. Own our sickness and choose it. Not allowing ourselves to be victim of our circumstances but instead, taking ownership for the reality we see.

And still loving ourselves through that.

Could we possibly become fearless when we consume our hearts and lives in all the utterly gross places of ourselves that no one else knows, could we then choose love?

In choosing love, fear has no place.

Complete. Beautiful. Ownership. Fearless. Love.

Resolution vs. Intention

It is now the time to begin moving beyond the source of setting a resolution. Resolution is an acknowledgment that something is wrong if not good enough with the current pot present state. If the moment is perfect and you cannot change the now then you can only move forward. In the moving forward is the ability to set an an intention. Intention is the ability tans the outlook that you want something more. That you intent to create a new owls and that there is a possibility that you currently are not living into. Intention has a positive undying tone vs. resolution which is caring the past into the future. Interior is about seating yourself free and saying now. Now is the time and now again and that you intend to show up differently.

Set intention not resolutions because there is nothing wrong with the past and you are able to set yourself free from the way of being that you once were and you no long need to carry that experience from your childhood or last week into your future.

Your way of being was built as a protective mechanism so you would not have to feel like something was wrong, you were not good enough, your on your own and that you don’t belong. These beliefs no longer serve who you are becoming.

Setting an intention is being free to create your life as possibility.

Setting an intention is having integrity with the current situation.

Setting an intention is knowing that the universe will guide the path for your greatest growth. You may not know the how but you can create the “what”.

You get to be the one that explores the light between each. The path may not be of least resistance but it will be perfectly set up for you to grow the most and become who the universe has set for you to become.

And so it is.

Meal Prep, Meat Production

The macronutrient I struggled the most to get enough of was protein. I decided find the most organized AF way to hit my minimums.

Below is the mass production of turkey taco meat. I will make 30 or more servings of a single protein. I make 1 type of protein each weekend. This allows me to rotating the meat, I don’t get bored and have variety to choose from.

Step 1: Invest in Tupperware. For protein I have about 60, 1 cup containers (I like the rectangle so they stack nice in the freezer) and I also have about 60, 1/2 cup containers (also a square so they stack on the door and in the freezer).

Step 2: Measure /Weigh ALL of the raw meat.

Step 3: Enter these into you fitness tracker as a recipe; I use MyFitnessPal.

Step 4: Add seasoning to the meat and add these to your recipe.

Step 5: Cook all of the protein.

Step 5a: My trick to get finely shredded ground turkey is while and after you are cooking each batch, mash it up with a whisk. That 99% ground turkey is stubborn and this helps a ton.

Step 6: Re-weigh all of the protein. Divide this number by the number of servings or containers you have available

Step 7: Portion and let cool.

Step 8: Freeze

Step 9: Pull them out of the freezer as needed. I use the ice cold meat as the ice pack in my cooler for work.

The way you do fitness, is the way you do life.

However you are currently “doing fitness” or how you approach your health is also how you are showing up in all aspects of your life.

Think about it.

1. Do you make time for your health and fitness? Is this an area that you have made a priority? If so, then you are making time for family, friends and your health. You communicate your priorities and if something is not in alignment with this goal you make adjustments to accommodate both in your life.

2. When you walk into the gym are you a social butterfly? How else is this showing up in your life? Are looking for an escape or a release from what’s really important? You may eb-and-flow between focus and distraction. At work when you don’t want to complete a task, do you find people to talk to? When you are uncomfortable do you make jokes?

3. Are you avoiding your health and fitness? Are you confused even where to start? Where is this showing up in your life? There are projects that you are avoiding and you have not done the research to get started. There is a conversation you likely have been avoiding with an ex-girlfriend, a boss or a stubborn parent. There is a trip you have always wanted to take and you dream about it daily but have not started the planning.

4. Do you go between two extremes? All in or all out. You go balls-to-the-wall and go every day, only to find that in a week or two you burn out and go back to the other extreme of sleeping and not eating for your optimal health. How else does this show up in your life? Do you work day and night on a project and once it is complete you curl up on the couch with your favorite blanket for a week? Do you drink an entire bottle of wine and then claim that you will not drink again? Do you date a girl and see her every day but in a month you jump ship?

5. Do you have a systematic approach to your health and wellness? You workout on a regular basis, like clock work and never deviate from the plan. Sometimes the same plans goes on for months or years. How else does this balance show up in your life? But, do you also not have enough fun? It’s all routine and very little play. You are able to go to work and the gym but where is the adventure?

What do all of these have in common?

Choice.

Your circumstances do not define who you are or who you will be. Becoming aware of your way of being is the first step in becoming who you want to be and where you want to go.

You can catch yourself in your way of being. Notice the habits you get stuck in and take action to break the routine. In each of these cases you can only improve. Start with your approach to fitness and you may discover all the other avenues that your life can take. Hire a trainer to keep you accountable, find a friend that will workout with you but won’t let you be a social butterfly, put the workout into your calendar and set a goal.

Define your fitness and create your life.

And so it is.

Chipotle Lime Coleslaw Turkey Rachel

Leftover thanksgiving turkey that you’re getting sick of? Here is a way to mix things up for a zesty open faced sandwich.

Macros

127cal (makes 2 servings)

3.5C | 8F | 17P | 1Fib

Bread & Cheese not included

Ingredients:

  • 85g raw coleslaw mix
  • 10g Horseradish brown mustard
  • 15g Primal Kitchen, chipotle lime mayo
  • 5g white wine vinegar
  • Celery salt – to taste
  • Black pepper – to taste
  • 140g roasted thanksgiving turkey

1. In a bowl mix together coleslaw, brown mustard, white wine vinegar, chipotle lime mayo, celery salt and pepper.

2. Layer coleslaw over turkey on top of your choice of bread. Open faced sandwiches cut your carbs but still allow you to enjoy the flavor of your favorite bread. Add Swiss cheese to make it an official “Rachel” sandwich. I am trying dairy free right now so I skipped that add-on.

Wellness: Cheetah Print

For many years I have struggled with my health and wellness. From the outside I am put together, fit and “well”. The reality is that I have struggled. I have strugged with skin conditions, hormone inbalances, immune suppression, and digestive problems. I have spent close to $10,000 on testing, medications, doctor visitis and supplements. I have had all sorts of  diagnoses: gluten intollerance (which was then negated), candida, allergy to the female hormones, PMDD, high recommendation that I do not have children, and the list goes on.

About 5 years ago I was sick of everything and I quit going to doctors all together. I take care of myself and I figured my body would eventually just balance.

I experience highs, lows, frustration, saddness and insecurities. These are all symptoms you can’t see. From the time I was 12, I had a never ending menstrual cycle. To this day my hormones are all over the place, so I’ve chosen to go with an IUD.  Even with this, I still experience a cycle.

This year I have gone down the path of working to heal my life and try different experiements. My goal is to optimize my human performance in the gym and in my every day life. Personal development school, hiring coaches, trying new doctors and all sorts of things to live as long and as healhty as possible.

I can tell my gut health is not the best and I am consuming soemthing my body is adverse to because I have what I call “Cheetah Print”. You can see in this picture. There are some spots on my neck and chest. I call this my cheetah print.

The cheetah print covers most of my body. It changes colors depending on the time of year, the clothes I wear and things I eat. I’ve had them on and off most of my life. If I do a Candida cleanse, they can go away but that’s just as awful three months of just eating green beans, clay and protein.

I also recently learned that this is hereditary, a few of my aunts also have cheetah print. I’m lucky right now that it has not spread to my face. I do a lot of skin care because I have acne.

I experience a lot of anxiety and insecurities because of the spots. Ego sometimes takes over the human form and I just want the outside to match the inside.

I realize that the root cause is likely something I’m consuming. Now I and this platform are going on the journey of research, experiments and progress.

Here goes everything.

And so it is.

2.5 Minute Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

I love cake.

Having minimal macros can make this difficult so i needed to write a recipe that was quick and delicious!

Macros

509 cal /cake

55C | 10F | 54P | 13Fib

Topping not included

Ingredients:

  • 60g pumpkin purée
  • 22g chocolate protein powder
  • 138g liquid egg whites
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 2g stevia
  • 70g Dark Chocolate Kodiak Cake Power Pancake and Waffle Mix
  • 1 second spray of cooking spray

How to

  1. In a mixing bowl mix Kodiak Cake mix, pumpkin, protein, powder, stevia, and egg whites.
  2. Spray microwave safe bowl with cooking spray.
  3. Scoop cake batter into bowl.
  4. Microwave 2.5 minutes or until the center is stiff.
    • The bowl will be hot.
  5. Flop onto plate immediately exiting the microwave.
  6. Top with available macros. Pictured is Walden Farms Chocolate Syrup mixed with PB2

Spaghetti Squash How To

Step 1: Stab with knife

Step 2: Place on microwave safe plate or bowl

Step 3: Cover with plastic wrap

Step 4: Microwave 12 minutes

Step 5: Split open and scoop out seeds

Step 6: Scoop flesh into strainer

Step 7: Forget while you do 10 other things in the kitchen (about 10 mins)

Step 8: Serve