Tracking macros seems to have become a lot more popular in the past year or so. Maybe I am just noticing it more, but either way it is exciting that more people seem to be on board with eating healthy and managing their weight in a healthy way. There are companies, coaches, etc. that make a boat load of money on helping people track their food intake and set goals for them. People see such great results too! It isn’t the companies doing the hard work though, it is their clients. The companies are simply there to guide you and educate you along the way.
I have been consistently tracking my food for almost 4 years now. I’m not sure of the exact date that I started but I know I was nursing Anderson because my first macro goal was named “nursing goal”. I had to account for the extra calories that nursing would burn, so I could keep my supply up, workout, and lose the baby weight. Through nursing, a second pregnancy, and “regular” life I have stuck to my tracking.
Tracking looks a lot different now than when I first started. I did not track the complicated recipes like I do now and it definitely was not as precise. When I first started I would just guess or measure instead of weighing everything. Jumping head first into strictly tracking can be a challenge when you are learning as you go. I would use the big spoon and scoop out peanut butter thinking I was getting one tablespoon, when in reality I was scooping out 3 tablespoons. Nothing sucks more than weighing out your chocolate and peanut butter.
Every morning for my pre-workout meal I eat a serving of oatmeal. I was scooping out a serving, until I got a scale and weighed out the oats. You don’t think it’s much of a difference until you compare the actual amount and then start thinking about all the other foods you just measure the amount of. It all adds up quickly. If you measure all of your food instead of weighing it, you could be eating 200-400 calories more than you have allotted for yourself. That is a whole extra meal.
Until I got a scale, I was just making good guesstimates and always over eating my goal. Tracking was not something I dove head first into. I took a nutrition class at the gym and went from there doing my own research. My coach helped me set up a goal and I started trying to tweak the goal slowly based off of how my body was responding to the goal. Then when I got a scale I started weighing everything. I looked up nutrition facts on the USDA website for my meats and created tons of custom foods in my app. I started small on my recipes and went from there! Side note: you can follow people on the app and even copy their custom foods and recipes!
Fueling my body for my activity level is key. I don’t under eat and workout more to lose weight. I know what my body needs to gain muscle and to lose the weight. Muscle burns fat ladies, pick up a barbell. Move some heavy weight around and be proud of what your body can do. You will burn fat and tone up all those jiggly spots you keep trying to cover up. Trust me. Don’t waste your time trying to eat 1000 calories a day to lose weight. That is purely miserable and not to mention does not work for long term weight loss.
I currently eat around 2100 calories a day. I recently dropped it from 2300 calories, to 2100 and I am slowly losing weight. Nothing drastic but still losing weight and body fat. If I was losing weight and NOT losing body fat I would stop with my current goal and up my calories. I don’t want to lose any of my strength. Right now I am trying to get stronger, cut some fat, and still keep my current workout schedule. Some people have to focus on just losing weight and build the muscle back up later, but that all depends on your current body type.
I don’t NEED to lose weight, I would be happy to maintain where I am at, but you get to a point where you are bored with just tracking the same goal and need to mix it up. Giving yourself a new goal, whether that is nutritionally, physically, or both can keep you from burning out. For me, tracking is part of my daily routine, like brushing my teeth, so I don’t think I will burnout on tracking, but I will burn out on always having the same goal. Mixing it up, keeps me focused and doesn’t allow me to be lazy about my nutrition. Many people will do cycles of massing, maintenance, and a cut to keep themselves dialed in and gain more muscle once they have plateaued on “regular” tracking.
Another way I keep myself dialed in is by constantly trying new recipes and tweaking them based on my macro goals. By not eating your typical boring meal prep food, I don’t feel deprived. Some people complain because my meals look too difficult, but I feel there would be complaining if my food was too boring. I don’t make up many of my own recipes, but I put my own spin on them to where I don’t over do-it on any of my macros. If you are just starting out, make sure you are not putting too much pressure on yourself to track down to the absolute gram or try meal prepping too many recipes and quit before you even get started.
New Food Review
No new food to review this week 🙂 Stay tuned for the new food review next week!
M E N U
Pork Loin Chops + Roasted Cauliflower Chickpea Salad
I am always a little hesitant to mess with your basic grilling recipes. Kabobs are easy, super healthy and can be done without a marinade, but I really enjoyed this marinade on the steak before. To round out the meal you could always add some rice or leave it as is for your low carbohydrate meal. You can easily meal prep these and grill them the night you plan to eat them or cook them ahead of time.
We usually cook these the night of since we are outside playing with the kids anyway, but I do prep them ahead of time. I forgot to add the pineapple the time before last and loved it the last time. It ups the macros a bit, so if you are eating your kabobs with rice you can skip the pineapple or just make sure you eat a little less rice than normal.
*Changes I make to meet my macros
Ingredients: about 8 metal skewers (or wooden skewers, soaked in water for 10 minutes) 1/3 cup soy sauce 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil *Omit 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 1 to 2 tablespoons honey *1 ounce 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper about 1.5 pounds boneless top sirloin steak center cut, diced into bite-sized pieces 1 red bell pepper, diced into bite-sized pieces 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, diced into bite-sized pieces 1 red onion, diced into bite-sized pieces 1 large zucchini, diced into bite-sized pieces * mushrooms, 3 green bell peppers, 1 red onion about 1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple, diced into bite-sized pieces * 1 cup pineapple salt and pepper, for seasoning to taste, if desired 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, cilantro, or basil for garnishing; optional
Pork Loin Chops + Roasted Cauliflower Chickpea Salad
Pork chops are a staple in our house. I love the new recipes that I have found that incorporate pork in new ways, but sometimes you just need simple. Coming back from a few days at the beach, I need easy. I love going on vacation, but sometimes a vacation with little ones isn’t really a vacation. The messed up schedules, eating out, and car sickness don’t exactly make for a relaxing time. Not for this mama at least. I am going to meal prep when we get back just so my week is not completely shot and wasted in the kitchen every night.
This cauliflower chickpea salad is one of my go-to sides when I am going to a potluck gathering. I usually leave out the quinoa because for some reason people cringe at quinoa the way they do with kale, so I just skip it. There is really no reason to add the oil, unless you like the taste of it. For me it is unnecessary to have all the oil of the fat. I sound like a broken record but I don’t like the invisible fats, I much prefer to taste my fat and have it be actual food like avocado or bacon. I will spray my pan with olive oil but I do not add oil to my dressings.
Ingredients: 1/2 medium cauliflower, cut into small florets *2 cauliflower heads the finely grated zest of 1 lemon fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper extra virgin olive oil *spray pan with oil 1 1/2 cups cooked, patted dry on a clean tea towel *1 can 1 teaspoon fennel seeds 1 cup cooked quinoa *omit quinoa 1/4 cup toasted almonds, roughly chopped *omit almonds a handful each of fresh mint leaves, flat leaf parsley, coriander (cilantro), roughly torn jalapeno lime dressing 1-2 pickled jalapenos, finely chopped *diced pickled jalapeños 2 Tablespoons the juice of 2 medium limes 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil *omit oil 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives *green onions fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
This salad has so much flavor and is so simple and macro friendly. It has it all protein, carbs, and fat. Olive oil does not have a pleasant taste to me, so I don’t use it in any of my salad dressings. It has a lot of useless calories. If I need more liquid, I will add more lemon juice or vinaigrette.
I usually skip the green beans in this just because Josh doesn’t like them. I monitor my in take of potatoes closely. I weigh and count everything. The eggs, potatoes, and tuna are the key players in this meal. If you like this salad, you really should try the toast version. IT. IS. HEAVENLY.
*Changes I make to fit my macros
Ingredients: • For the dressing: 2 tablespoons champagne vinaigrette * White Wine Vinegar 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard *1-2 Tablespoons depending on taste 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil *omit oil salt and fresh ground black pepper • For the salad: 4 ounces green beans *fresh green beans ½ pound small new potatoes *1 small bag 2 eggs *1-2 eggs per salad 2 small heads lettuce *romaine lettuce 1 cup baby heirloom tomatoes *2 pints ¼ cup assorted olives *1 Tablespoon per salad 7 ounce jar Italian tuna packed in olive oil, drained *1-2 pouches of tuna in water per salad ¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
This recipe is pretty identical to the 20 minute shrimp tacos I made a while ago, which were delicious. If you haven’t made them yet, run and go make them now! Seriously, one of my favorite salsas yet. The shrimp version had more ingredients in the salsa, but I like that this recipe is a bit more simple.
The only thing to really track in the salsa is the pineapple and tomatillos. The tomatillos are awesome roasted with the other ingredients. If you can’t find tomatillos, you can use verde and add garlic, jalapenos, and spices to a mixer, pulse together until blended well. These fajitas always turn into rice bowls for me instead of tacos. I love the salsa so much and the macros as so great that I can have a lot of it. If you are going low carbohydrate, then skip the rice and just eat in the tortilla or alone. Some fresh cilantro, lime, and avocado on top would really set this off.
*Changes I make to fit my macros
Ingredients: 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil *Spray with oil 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder 2 teaspoons smoked paprika 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder kosher salt and black pepper 2 bell peppers, sliced 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced 6-8 small flour tortillas, warmed *High fiber/Low carb tortilla or rice crumbled cotija or shredded cheddar cheese mashed avocado and limes *Omit cheese OR avocado ROASTED PINEAPPLE SALSA VERDE: 6 small tomatillos, husked *verde if you can’t find tomatillos 1 jalapeño 4 green onions juice of 1 lime 1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped 1 cup diced pineapple
Even though we are coming back from the beach I want to try something new. This recipe calls for sausage but I am going to use pork loin in it’s place. I don’t need the extra fat after come back from vacation. There is also a lot of butter, so I am going to but it back pretty drastically. If you are on the keto train, eat all the fat and skip the carbs. As for me, I am not doing keto, so I am going to take it easy on the fat and let the carbs and protein be the majority of my calories.
I am going to make life easy and get a giant can of sweet corn for less than $2.00 at the store and skip the ears of corn. I don’t want to make this dish too carb heavy so I likely won’t use the entire cup of orzo or I will make the servings smaller and let the kids eat the pasta as well. They probably won’t eat the meat, but I know they will love the pasta and corn mixed.
*Changes I make to fit my macros
Ingredients: 4 tablespoons salted butter * 1 Tablespoon 4 ears corn kernels, removed from the cob *2 cans sweet corn rinsed and drained 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves kosher salt and black pepper 1 cup dry orzo pasta *3/4 to 1 cup 1/3 cup dry white wine such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc *3 ounces 1/2 cup canned coconut cream or heavy cream *light coconut milk 1/2 cup grated parmesan or Asiago cheese *1/4 cup 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tail on or off (about 24 shrimp) 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning 1 uncooked Andouille sausage links, meat removed from casings *8-10 ounces pork loin chops 2 bell peppers, sliced *3-4 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil *spray oil if needed 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated juice from 1 lemon 1/4 cup fresh basil roughly chopped
E N J O Y !