Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Sample Macro Diet Meal Plan

I love to see what other people eat. It always gives me tasty ideas for my own meal and snacks. That said, I wanted to share a sample macro diet meal plan that highlights a day of eating for me. I love using macros as a tool to keep me on track and balanced with regard to my food choices, so, hopefully, it will inspire yours too!

Please note: This Sample Macro Diet Meal Plan is just one day out of many days. The macro goals are specific to my own personal energy and activity needs. If you’re looking for a individualized macro calculation, please consider purchasing one from our Registered Dietitians. Their macro goals are a great place to start when it comes to achieving your health goals!

Sample Macro Diet Meal Plan

Sample Macro Diet Meal Plan

Breakfast: I love this new Meal Prep Mocha Overnight Oats recipe! It’s seriously so easy to make. Just prep a batch of individual portions at the beginning of the week, so they’re ready to go in the fridge. Plus, the dash of sea salt on top really makes the sweet mocha flavor pop. Delicious!

meal prep overnight oats recipe - mocha and coffee

Post-Workout: I drink this post-workout iced coffee almost every morning. My go-to combo is iced coffee with a splash of non-dairy creamer and protein powder mixed in. It’s such a tasty and protein-packed way to start my day!

macro-friendly iced coffee with protein powder mixed in

Lunch: I’m a big fan of leftovers for lunch, so I always make sure to cook an extra serving of my sheet pan citrus salmon with roasted veggies to have on hand. Leftover fish can be a little tricky to reheat, so I prefer tossing it in a skillet or air fryer instead of the microwave. It re-heats quickly and doesn’t make your house smell fishy!

one-pan citrus salmon, macro-friendly lunch or dinner

Snack: On my food prep day, I made a batch of my All the Seeds Protein Balls to have as a quick grab-and-go snack. They’re full of healthy fats, so they really hold me over until dinnertime.

macro-friendly protein balls for seed cycling

Dinner: I’ve made this One-Pan Chicken Taco Skillet recipe a million times now, and it just never gets old. I usually have all of the ingredients on hand. And, of course, I love how quickly and versatile this meal is. We typically serve them in gluten-free tortillas or lettuce wraps or over rice or cauliflower rice, but the options are endless!

Sample Macro Diet Meal Plan dinner recipe

Dessert: Ok, I might have a slight addiction to this new CNC recipe! Seriously, this Gluten-free Funfetti Mug Cake is a must-make if you haven’t tried it yet! 🙂

I hope you enjoyed seeing this Sample Macro Diet Meal Plan. I also hope it helped you brainstorm some ideas for your own eating habits. If you’d like to learn more about our one-on-one nutrition coaching, please read on for details and be sure to checkout the freebies below. They’re an awesome way to get started with macros and healthy eating in general! 🙂

Freebies for You

If you’re looking for FREE macro-friendly recipes (weekly) and meal plans (monthly), be sure to sign up for my email list!

Join my FREE 5-Day Macro Bootcamp to learn all about getting started with tracking macros!

And be sure to sign up for 3 Weeks Easy Meal Prep Dinners to make the most of your time in the kitchen!

Want to eat your carrots and cake, too? Check out my macro plan and nutrition coaching options!

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Intermittent Fasting For Athletes: Benefits and Concerns

To the average person, the idea of elite athletes skipping meals sounds like pure madness. Athletes are fine-tuned, well-oiled machines. Machines need fuel. You don’t see race car drivers running on empty to “promote training adaptations” in their vehicles. No, high performance requires high energy reserves.

Athletes need to eat, and eat well. Right?

But humans aren’t machines. We’re biological. The car doesn’t respond to training stress, but we do. We adapt, grow, recover, and build new capabilities in response to the stress we endure. You expose yourself to a ton of stress, recover from that stress, and end up stronger/fitter/faster on net. That’s training. And sometimes, high stress is exactly what we need to progress—a few heavy sets of squats, some rounds on the Airdyne, a killer CrossFit workout—as long as you can recover from it. A major modulator of our stress is the amount of food we have coming in. At least in theory, exercising in a fasted state could provoke a powerful adaptive response that athletes would find helpful.

So, does it stack up? What exactly can intermittent fasting offer athletes?

Benefits Of Fasting For Athletes

Increases In Growth Hormone

Growth hormone helps spur, well, growth. It improves immune function. It builds muscle, bone, and cartilage. Kids are swimming in the stuff, and they heal like Wolverine. Older adults who inject it enjoy improved wound healing and workout recovery. That’s why it’s a banned substance in professional athletics, and it’s why natural ways to augment growth hormone secretion can be very helpful to athletes of all stripes.

Fasting increases growth hormone, most likely as a way to limit harmful tissue degeneration and preserve muscle; so does exercise. Once or twice a week, I like to fast after workouts to extend and expand the GH release. That’s a slightly more extreme version of post-workout carb abstention, but it’s the same idea: withholding food and forcing your body to adapt. This increases growth hormone (important for fat burning and cellular repair) and speeds up fat adaptation.

Improvement Of Metabolic Flexibility

In experienced male lifters (5-year history of 3-5 days/week training upper and lower body, drawn from advertisements placed in bodybuilding gyms), fasting for 16 hours a day and eating for 8 increased metabolic flexibility.

Metabolic flexibility is the ease with which a person is able to switch between sources of energy—from carbs to fat and back again. For the average person interested in health and longevity, maintaining metabolic flexibility is an important way to live a healthy life. For an athlete interested in performance, health, and longevity, metabolic flexibility is absolutely essential.

If you’re metabolically flexible, you can burn fat for longer before switching over to carbs. You can burn carbs when you actually need them, right away. And afterwards, you can switch back into passive fat-burning mode to keep unnecessary carb cravings and insulin low and improve recovery.

Reduction Of Inflammation

To attain the training effect, an athlete must incur a big blast of inflammation (from the exercise) and then recover from that inflammation. Blunting the initial inflammatory response with drugs and even mega-doses of vitamins will impair the training effect. You can also reduce the training effect by training too soon after a workout, thereby stacking inflammation.

You need the inflammation, but you also need the inflammation to subside. Both sides of the coin matter. What fasting does is improve your natural ability to dampen inflammation. You get the big inflammatory response of a tough workout.

This is where a fasted workout can really shine. When you’re fasted, you’re in a state of very low inflammation. And then you introduce the workout, and inflammation spikes. It’s a big response, a heightened response—and you must adapt to it. Oscillating between fasting, training, and feeding lets you hit those extremes, those margins where peak performance occurs.

Maintenance Of Energy Expenditure

There’s something revitalizing about going without food for a decent period of time and then feasting. You could spend the week restricting calories each day or use fasting to arrive at the same weekly caloric load and the effects will be different. Chronic calorie restriction enervates. Intermittent calorie restriction peppered with intermittent feasting energizes.

For an athlete, chronic calorie restriction spells doom. They need energy. They need to be able to expend energy when they need it. Luckily, studies show that intermittent fasting is one way to “reduce calories” without reducing energy expenditure. Perhaps the main reason is that IF doesn’t necessarily lower calories; it just changes when you get them. In the bodybuilder study, the athletes in both the fasting and the control groups ate about the same number of calories. But only the fasting group lost a lot of body fat, and they did this without suffering a drop in energy expenditure. Pretty cool stuff.

That said, you can overdo it. Too much fasting for too long will depress energy expenditure, as would happen with any kind of chronic calorie reduction. It’s just that fasting seems to stave off the drop in energy longer than other forms of “dieting,” especially if you maintain your calorie intake.

Concerns About Fasting For Athletes

May Reduce Testosterone

In the bodybuilder study, the group with the 8-hour eating window experienced a drop in testosterone. As T is essential for muscle protein synthesis, performance, strength, and general vitality, this could be problematic for athletes (particularly male ones). Despite the drop in testosterone, though, they still gained lean mass, lost fat, and got stronger—so it may not be practically relevant.

May Be Hard To Get Enough Calories To Gain Muscle or Recover

Athletes do need more fuel than the average person. A big draw of fasting for weight loss is that it makes it easier to reduce calories by erecting illusionary barriers that we nonetheless adhere to. If you only have an 8-hour eating window, you can’t eat outside of it. If you’re “fasting today,” you simply can’t eat. It makes things really simple for people who otherwise have trouble limiting food intake.

The flip-side is that it can make eating enough calories difficult, especially for athletes who do need more fuel than the average person. In a recent study, lifters who ate inside a 4-hour eating window had a 650 calorie daily deficit, lost a little bit of body fat but failed to gain any lean mass, while the control group—who ate more calories and protein—did gain lean mass. The fasting group simply wasn’t able to eat enough food or protein. Despite that, the 4-hour eating window group still gained upper and lower body strength, and they didn’t lose muscle mass. I suspect they could have gotten great results with a few hundred more calories of protein.

As is the case with every study that attempts to collate the individual experiences and results of hundreds of humans into “trends” and “averages,” there’s a wide variety of personal responses to fasting among athletes. The name of the game is experimentation—you have to see what works for you. This week I’ll give some specific recommendations for specific types of athletes, as well as my own experiences utilizing fasting in the pursuit of better physical performance.

For now, though, how has fasting worked for you and your athletic pursuits? Does it seem to help or hinder?

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References:

Moro, T., Tinsley, G., Bianco, A., Marcolin, G., Pacelli, Q.F., Battaglia, G., … & Paoli, A. (2016). Effects of eight weeks of time-restricted feeding (16/8) on basal metabolism, maximal strength, body composition, inflammation, and cardiovascular risk factors in resistance-trained males.J ournal of translational medicine, 14(1), 290.

Tinsley, G.M., Forsse, J.S., Butler, N.K., Paoli, A., Bane, A.A., La Bounty, P.M., … & Grandjean, P.W. (2017). Time-restricted feeding in young men performing resistance training: A randomized controlled trial. European journal of sport science, 17(2), 200-7.

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Hello From Bald Head Island

Hiya summer friends! We made it to Bald Head Island for our annual family beach trip! I can’t believe we haven’t been here in a year. As usual we’re renting an oceanfront house to be right on the beach (and our family’s marsh house is rented out too, so it’s kind of a wash.) It’ been exciting now that we have three grandchildren. Next summer we will have four (my sister is 26 weeks pregnant!) We’ve had dinners of homemade veggie lasagna, mahi mahi, and an epic appetizer spread at the Shoal’s Club. Birch cried when we put his toes in the ocean, but he liked the pool a lot! He seems to like the beach if we don’t take him near the surf. The Bald Head Island Club just finished a HUGE resort-style pool complex with tons of child and toddler-friendly amenities plus a new restaurant. It’s such a great addition to the island. I’ll see you guys later with more pics – follow us on Instagram @Katheats in the meantime!

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Clean Eating Zucchini and Squash Recipes

These zucchini and squash recipes will be the perfect addition to your clean eating, healthy meal plan this summer! With 14 recipes for grilled yellow squash, stuffed zucchini, casseroles, and zucchini bread, we have something healthy and delicious for everyone to enjoy! 

Summer is here, which means that zucchini and yellow squash aren’t far behind. To make planning healthy, clean eating meals for your family easier, I’m sharing my favorite ways to use summer squash!

zucchi and squash recipes collage

What’s the difference between squash and zucchini?

Most of us are familiar with the yellow crookneck squash and green zucchini, but do you know that there are at least 10 summer squash varieties? Aside from the color and shape, zucchini is firmer and a bit sweeter than yellow squash.

Zucchini and Squash Recipes

Every single one of these recipes is made using unprocessed ingredients. As a result, you can be sure that you’re feeding your family wholesome, nutritious, clean foods! You can find what you’re looking for by searching through breakfast, lunch, side dish, and dinner categories.

How do I get the recipes?

When something catches your eye that you want to make, the process to get the recipe is as easy as zucchini pie! Just click on the image, or the link beneath it, and you’ll be taken to the recipe page. From there, you can print, bookmark, or Pin the zucchini and squash recipes.


Breakfast

slices of zucchini bread on white napkin

Zucchini Bread

If you love zucchini bread, this delicious, healthier version is perfect for breakfast or snacking. It freezes well, too!

 

stack of Clean Eating Breakfast Zucchini Fritters

Zucchini Fritters

These are definitely not your traditional zucchini fritters. This clean eating breakfast recipe is lighter (both in calories and in fat), but the fritters really fill you up and keep you going.

 

baked patty pan squash and eggs

Baked Patty Pan Squash with Eggs

This delicious breakfast recipe is one of my favorite ways to make baked zucchini and squash! It’s super simple to make and the flavor of the baked squash is delicious!

 

stack of potato pancakes made with zucchini and bacon

Bacon Zucchini Potato Pancakes, from It’s Yummi

These potato pancakes are delicious drizzled with honey! To keep the recipe clean eating, be sure to use whole wheat flour and nitrate-free, uncured bacon.

 

Zucchini and Squash Recipes for Lunch

Clean Eating Stuffed Zucchini

Clean Eating Stuffed Zucchini with TVP

This stuffed zucchini makes a delicious, high protein lunch. You can serve them warm or chilled.

 

bowl of Crookneck Squash Soup

Crookneck Squash Soup

This delicious squash soup is smooth and creamy. The clean eating recipe is my grandmother’s!

 

Zucchini and Squash Side Dish Recipes

roasted zucchini and squash

Roasted Zucchini and Squash

This easy summer squash recipe, for roasted zucchini and squash, has been the most popular recipe on this site for 8 years running!

 

grilled yellow squash in a bowl

Clean Eating Italian Herb Grilled Yellow Squash

If you’ve never tried bbq zucchini or squash, you need to fire up your grill and make this delicious summer side dish!

 

grilled zucchini in red serving dish

Grilled Zucchini

This grilled zucchini recipe is the perfect way to use up all that zucchini from your summer garden and still want to eat more!

 

Clean Eating Skillet Summer Squash Scramble

Skillet Zucchini and Yellow Squash

This is one of my favorite zucchini and yellow squash recipes! Although it’s incredibly simple, the sauteed vegetables have amazing flavor!

 

Dinner Ideas Using Yellow Squash and Zucchini

dinner of leftover turkey with zucchini noodles

Leftover Turkey with Zucchini Noodles

If you only eat roast turkey on Thanksgiving, you’re missing out on this delicious and easy way to use leftover turkey!

 

healthy squash and zucchini casserole

Clean Eating Squash and Zucchini Casserole

Not only is this squash and zucchini casserole healthy, but it’s also the perfect meatless meal.

 

slice of Zucchini Pie on white plate

Zucchini Pie

This clean eating pie recipe just might make you fall head over heels for summer squash. It’s the perfect pie, from the clean eating crust to the tender zucchini.

 

shrimp zucchini pasta with avocado alfredo sauce

Shrimp Zucchini Noodle Pasta with Avocado Alfredo Sauce

This clean eating shrimp zucchini pasta with avocado pesto alfredo is a delicious and low carb dinner!

 

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