Month: August 2017

Cali Girl Gets Macros!

Welcome to the wonderful world of macros which is both exciting and terrifying, for those who don’t know how to get started! Starting in January 2017, I decided to try using macros to calculate my nutritional goals because I saw a lot of people achieving great results with it. Below, I outline how to get started, but if you are already a macro veteran, you can bypass the How I Got Started section and scroll down to Lessons Learned.


How I Got Started

I heard the acronym IIFYM everywhere, and learned that it stands for “if it fits your macros!” I discovered that the site has a free macro calculator here: https://www.iifym.com/iifym-calculator/, so I used their free calculator, input the required information like age, height, weight, activity level, and goals. A lot of this is based upon how much exercise you commit to every day.

After entering your information and goals, the site gives your macros based on what you input (mine are below)! The great thing about it is that you can PERSONALIZE this to fit what YOU want to do with your body and what you want to consume. I actually adjusted mine a little bit to increase the protein, increase the healthy fat (to accommodate nuts and avocado), and reduce the carbs. The values all have a relationship (so as you change protein, fat, carbs, etc. the others change to fit within the same total number of calories). You can change it too! This is what I came up with for my goals.

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The IIFYM.com website has a place where you can sign up for their specific meal and fitness plans, but I decided that I’m going to put together my own meal plan. I love seeing how things work, and the DIY method is FREE! I asked around to find out what friends use to calculate daily macros, and the first app that was suggested to me was My Fitness Pal.

I downloaded the app, and it seemed very intuitive. You search for a food that you ate or plan to prep, weigh it, and input it in the app. The app then tells you the amount of calories and all of the macros in that food or meal! Easy enough right?

I started with chicken. I got a value pack of chicken breasts, cut them up, and weighed them on my food scale (I use that little “tare” button to offset the weight of the plate so that it’s not included in the weight of the chicken). The food scale that I have is unfortunately not available anymore, but here are a good selection of ones you can try from Amazon if you don’t have one already!

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From there, I input the foods from my recipes into myfitness pal individually. So if my recipe contains 6 ounces of chicken as seen above, 1 tbsp of basil, a dash of paprika, 1 tbsp of parsley, 1/8 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper, I enter all of those ingredients into myfitnesspal. From there, if I add a salad to my mealprep, I enter all of those individual ingredients as well to get the totals for that particular meal.

After entering all of the information in, this meal below came out to the following (I did not add dressing to my salad in case you were wondering why it wasn’t listed):

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As I mealprepped more and more meals to the week, I added them all into my app, under the categories Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Snacks.

I then can make sure that my calories and macros fit within the guidelines I got as a result from entering my information into the IIFYM.com website!

I have to say however, that I’m not extremely strict and rigid with the calories and macro counts; I just keep them in mind and make sure they don’t fall too far out of range.

And that’s it! You enter in all of the foods you prep, or if you’re not a mealprepper, you can just add foods per meal as you eat them and get a daily total!


Lessons Learned

And now… for the lessons learned. So much information all in one week!

1 // My Fitness Pal Contains Incorrect Information

I was going along and entering in my food, checking the calories/macros for all of last week, blissfully without questioning the information in the My Fitness Pal app. After all, MFP  was designed for this, and should be smarter than me, right? WRONG! Here are some reasons why your information might be incorrect

  • User Generated Errors – MFP contains foods that are generated by users, meaning that anyone can enter information and it might not be correct. If you search for and find these incorrect entries and add them to your meal plan, this incorrect information will throw off your totals. I made the mistake of looking for a complete meal and found this “Western Omlette.” I recreated it not knowing that the user who input this was incorrect!

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  • My Fitness Pal generated errors – MFP has “verified” foods, noted by a little green check mark as seen below. Most of the time they’ve been pretty accurate, but for some reason, several times I’ve calculated the calories based on the macros and sometimes they too have a slight margin of error. For this reason, I did some research and learned how to verify the calories using simple math.

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2 // Verify the Calories Based On the Macros

I learned that:

fat = x 9 (that’s a multiply sign)

carbs and protein = x 4

To show how this works, let’s look at a nutrition label for gluten free pasta.

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If use the basic formula here, Fat (1 x 9) + Carbs (42 x 4) + Protein (5 x 4) = 9 + 168 + 20 = 197. That’s pretty darn close to 200 (I think they round up). I now have learned to double check to make sure that the total calories look correct/are within close range to make sure my counts are accurate!

3 // Scan Your Food

My Fitness Pal has a scanner feature, where you can scan the barcodes of most foods and it will show the information without you having to enter it directly! This saves me lots of time!

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4 // Getting Your Totals

A really awesome person from Instagram shared with me that if you turn My Fitness Pal to landscape format, it gives you your total macros per meal and for the day! Being a person who keeps the rotating feature on my iPhone currently on lock (so that it doesn’t rotate), I had no idea and was adding things up manually! But look no further to modern technology…. woohoo!

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A Huge Variety of Apps

There are a lot of tracker apps for this, and MFP is not the only one you can choose from. I didn’t have a lot of time to try them all, but I did download Lifesum, and really liked its fun and sleek user interface as seen below. However I think based upon some of the research I did, most of these apps are about the same in accuracy, but MFP has a larger database of food. If you’re looking for more information and not sure which app you might want to use, this article (http://www.imore.com/) has a great detailed breakdown of some of the most popular ones! The article is a few years old, so if you know of some better apps feel free to leave a comment in the box below!

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To Sum It All Up

So remember those results I posted from the iifym.com website up there? It recommended my daily totals be: 1969 total calories, 153g protein, 105g fat, and 103g carbs.

This is my meal schedule for the week and my totals are 1982 calories, 149g protein, 105.5g fat, and 110g carbs. I came pretty close!

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Well that’s all, folks! I hope you enjoyed my recap of my first week with macros, and hope it helps you get started if you haven’t already. I’ll be posting my weekly meal plans on my Instagram page @caligirlgetsfit, so feel free to follow along and tag me in your photos so I can follow your journey too! I love that so many people are doing this and we are helping each other learn and get better. #strongertogether

With love and yummy tummies from California,

Shannon @caligirlgetsfit

From Day to Night, Outfits for All Occasions

It’s workout time with new gear sponsored by Zappos.

The one thing I love about summer is that it’s warm enough for outdoor workouts! My absolute favorite time for an outdoor workout is right around sunset, because it’s cooling down but still really nice out. I just got some awesome new workout gear from Zappos to keep me looking stylish and cool while I sweat. I’ve found an amazing little spot on the rooftop of a building in Oakland to work out. Luckily I can squeeze in my workout before date night with the husband.

Today was bodyweight exercise day – lunges, burpees, push-ups, and planks were all on the list. And after my workout was done, I got a chance to stretch and take in the view from above!

   

Wearing:

Nike Sportswear Gym Classic Capri

Nike Dry Performance Cushion Low GFX Training Socks

Nike Pro Indy Cooling Sports Bra

Red Nike Hat

Nike Free Shoes

Date Night #OOTD With the Husband!

It’s funny because I had a whole post on Instagram the other day about high heels are bad for our posture, so I’m always looking for shoes that pair well with a dress but still keep me looking stylish. Luckily I shop at Zappos where they have SO many different types of shoes and you can even sort by the style you are looking for.  I found the perfect outfit for tonight; I know, I know, I always have some sort of sporty flair to my outfits, but I think this one is perfect for a casual night out to dinner and a movie!

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Wearing:

Puma T7 Dress

PUMA Basket Platform Strap

The thing I love best about Zappos is that their customer service is top notch, and things arrive so quickly. Shipping is usually free, and I literally got all of my stuff 2 days after I ordered, just in time for Friday’s activities! I would definitely recommend checking out the site if you’re looking for affordable and unique clothes and shoes!

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend! Happy Shopping!

Permission to Pause / Sponsored by Athleta

I’m one of those people who goes to yoga classes, and while attempting to twist myself into a lopsided pretzel have a million things running through my mind. It doesn’t  matter how many times the instructor has me meditate or try to focus on the present. Thoughts like, “What’s on  my grocery list?” “Is my car in a towaway zone?” or “Did I forget to respond to an important email?” race through my mind faster than a session of cardio HIIT. It’s ironic that sometimes we have to give ourselves “permission to pause,” when taking breaks should be second nature. Yet in a world where everything is fast-paced and things are expected on demand, it’s important to remind ourselves that taking time to focus on only ourselves isn’t selfish, it’s necessary.

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For the past few months leading up to my wedding, I had severe anxiety. It wasn’t because I was nervous about getting married or trying to make everything perfect, rather it was because I had so many things to do on my checklist that I was constantly worried about running out of time. I remember the days before my wedding I couldn’t sleep, and as I much as I kept trying not to, I constantly replayed my to- do list over and over in my head like a bad Justin Bieber remix.

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It wasn’t till my anxiety began to affect my health that my fiancee (now husband) was like, “you really need to relax.” And he was completely right. Not only had my anxiety affected me mentally, but it also began to affect my body negatively. It was then I knew things needed to change.

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After my wedding, I began taking more time for myself. The concept of permission to pause is so real to me because I experienced firsthand what it could be like if I continued in GO mode, never taking the time to relax or slow down. My health problems were the culmination of a few months, but what if that continued for years?

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Luckily one of my all-time favorite activewear brands, Athleta is running a “permission to pause” campaign, centered around mindfulness and restoration. The soft fabric and neutral colors of these pieces inspire me to relax, clear my mind, and take time for myself. Today I sat on a bench, enjoying my peaceful surroundings and thought about how thankful I am to have time to  myself to enjoy the little things. It’s not until we take time to pause that we can become the best version of ourselves when we start up again. I hope my story inspires you to take some time out for you today. And if you want to shop my the Restore line and my picks, you can click the links below!

Shop the entire line!

Studio Wrap

Restore Jogger Pants

Namaste.

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