Tag: mealprep

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.

macros7

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!

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

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):

macros4.jpg

macros3

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!

photo-jan-03-8-52-13-pm

  • 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.

mfp

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.

gf_pasta_nutritionlabel_r

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!

photo-jan-08-3-44-10-pm

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!

photo-jan-07-11-11-42-pm


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!

lifesum_1000

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!

Photo Jan 09, 3 20 05 PM.jpg

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

It’s #turkeytuesday and Taco Tuesday!

Photo Jan 15, 4 50 18 PM.jpg

Many of you guys saw that I featured a recipe for mason jar tacos by my friend Tina here! I decided to make my own version of this delicious meal that could be eaten as lunch, a snack, or a fourth meal! Mine features avocado (because you know I love healthy fat) and Foster Farms Organic Ground Turkey (because I’m all about healthier, locally sourced ingredients from California,  my home state!). People always ask me why I use Foster Farms Organic Ground Turkey instead of beef for my tacos. And while I think beef tastes great, Foster Farms organic ground turkey is part of my healthy meal plan as a nutritious and lean diet with no hormones or antibiotics and a great source of protein. It fits within my daily macros, which is what I love! Let’s take a look at how to make this a really fun “turkey taco tuesday” — say that 10 times fast! lol Oh, and my tacos also happen to be paleo!

What you’ll need:

  • Mason jars
  • Veggies (diced and eaten raw)
    • Tomatoes
    • Mixed greens
    • Red cabbage
    • Bell peppers (mine are orange but use any color!)
    • Avocado
  • Foster Farms Organic Ground Turkey
  • Turkey seasoning
    • 1 tsp olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon chili powder
    •  1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
    • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Sriracha (optional)

How to make it:

IMG_1896.jpgFirst, I prep my veggies. I dice up all of the veggies, except for the avocado, which we will do last. The amount of veggies depends on how many of these you want to make! I use these for mealprep, so I usually make about 4-5 jars for the week.

IMG_1863.jpg

Then make your turkey seasoning by combining all of the ingredients mentioned above!

Now you’re ready to make the turkey. First, I heat a little olive oil on my pan before pan-frying the turkey. When the turkey is about 80% of the way cooked, I usually add in my seasoning. I don’t add it all in at once; I add it little by little as not to overseason, noting that it’s always easier to add more, than to remove! Be sure to cook it thoroughly. The Foster Farms turkey that I’m using is my lean protein of choice because low in fat, from California, and free range. Once the turkey is cooked, set it aside.

img_1861

Once all of your ingredients are done, you can start layering them in your jars. I start with the peppers, then cabbage, turkey, greens, tomatoes, and the avocado last! I make my avocados into avocado roses just for a fun garnish. Set it on top of the jar for a fun and beautiful treat. I might create a tutorial for that another day! Fun little tip about avocados: If you’re mealprepping, I would wait to top these until you’re ready to eat them. Also, if you want your avocados not to turn brown, sprinkle a little bit of lemon juice on them!

And voila! You are all done! Please let me know if you try this recipe and if you liked it! I also use a little sriracha for a bit of spice, and it comes out delicious!

If you try this recipe at home, please share pictures with me, because I love seeing the way you guys make your food! If you are interested in trying the same Foster Farms Organic Ground Turkey that I used, you can do so here: https://www.fosterfarms.com/fresh-turkey/organic/.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

Gobble gobble! This post was in partnership with Foster Farms. All recipes, ideas, and opinions are my own.

Taco Tuesday Mason Jar Salad by @fitchickscook

photo-jan-11-8-27-01-am
I love recipes that are not only easy to make, but are easy to eat, especially when on the go! A lot of my mealpreps need to be reheated, and most of us don’t have a microwave or stove in the car! (If you do however, we seriously need to talk!) lol.
For clean meals that can be consumed anywhere, look no further than my beautiful friend Tina, better known as @fitchickscook, who is this month’s featured recipe share! This recipe keeps really well in this Mason jar, and lasts for 5 days! Also, no reheating is necessary since it can be eaten cold. I also love how flavorful it is, and it’s refreshing and really fills you up. Not to mention it’s pretty to look at. This prep is so easy. Here’s how to make it!

What you’ll need:
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Shredded purple cabbage,
  • Cooked ground turkey meat in cumin, paprika, cayenne and chili powder with some salt and pepper or use an all seasoning spice like Flavorgod Taco Tuesday seasoning
  • diced red and yellow bell peppers
  • jalapeño rounds
  • finely chopped kale
  • canned red kidney beans
  • corn
  • green onions and cilantro.

Put it all together:

Layer your ingredients in this list from bottom to top in a 1 L Mason Jar. That’s it! Squeeze the day with a slice of lemon in it, mix it all up and enjoy!


About Tina:

photo-jan-11-10-21-49-amTina is a fit girl that hails from Canada! She believes that mealpreps and heathy eats are important to achieving her fitness goals, and she’s showing that abs really are made in the kitchen with her amazing transformation! In addition to her active lifestyle that consists of crossfit and hot yoga, she is also a banker by day and manages to fit it all into her schedule. Also big thumbs up to Tina for tackling the Whole 30 diet like a boss. For more inspiration, visit her Instagram by clicking here!