I hope you are all enjoying your Saturday!
My healthy living has sure been suffering lately! I know that all parts of life, including health and fitness, has it’s ebbs and flows. I’ve learned that my sanity requires me to take a break sometimes. I’ve also learned to fully enjoy that break so I can regain my motivation and hit it hard when the break ends.
I’m definitely much happier when I have goals, am disciplined and am working hard. But, slackin’ a bit makes me happy too….as long as it’s not for too long!
My “birthday weekend” is officially under way and I’m sure I’ll be eating plenty of my favorite not so healthy foods. I haven’t decided if I want to indulge in one of my favorite cupcakes, favorite mini bundt cakes or favorite cookies!! Choices, choices, choices. I’m sure a burger may be in my near future as well. Ha ha.
Oh, and we had a fun night out on the town last night with some of our best friends, Kevin and Kelly. We became friends about 11 years ago when we lived in New Hampshire. I’m so happy that they just moved back to Utah this past year. Yay!
So, we went to P. F. Changs for dinner (I didn’t take ANY pictures!), then we went to The Escape Key, a fun place where they lock you in a room for an hour and you try to find clues to break out of the room. It’s a lot of fun!
When we got there, we were paired up with another cute couple who helped us break out of the room, but out of respect for them (since I don’t know them personally!), I blocked their faces out. They were a lot of fun though and we enjoyed getting to know them.
You may remember, we went to The Escape Key last year with some of our other friends and loved it too.
After The Escape Key, we stopped by Baskin Robbins for ice cream cones! Yum. Their Mint Chocolate Chip and Rocky Road have been my favs for years!
We had such a fun night, BUT the madness WILL end! I have big plans starting next week!
Soooo, starting next Wednesday, February 10th, I’m going to count Macros. Yay! I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, but the timing just hasn’t been right. So, I am committing to stick to my Macro plan 100% for one month, until March 10th. I may continue counting Macros after that and I may make it a permanent part of my lifestyle, but for now, I’m just focusing on ONE month.
Whenever I start something new and/or make goals, I really like to define a start and end date. When I know I have an official “end date,” I’m much more motivated to stick to my guns and not waver from the plan. The hope is that once I reach that “end date,” I’ll love what I’m doing so much that I won’t want to quit! Sometimes after I hit an “end date,” I’ll take a day or two off and then get back to work. It just depends on how I’m feeling.
Anyway, I’ve been wanting to count Macros for a long time now. I was first introduced to the concept a few years ago, but it always seemed so tedious and overwhelming to me! I couldn’t imagine counting all the Macros of everything I ate all day long….every day! It sounded maddening.
However, since then I’ve learned a lot more about it and it doesn’t seem quite as complicated. I could write a whole post just on Macros, but for now I’ll just do a quick summary….
Soooo, Macros is short for macronutrients. There are three types of macronutrients; proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Each macronutrient yields a certain number of calories; One gram of Protein yields 4 calories, One gram of Fat yields 9 calories and One gram of Carbohydrates equals 4 calories. I actually remember learning all of this stuff in several of the health and nutrition classes I took in high school and college and maybe even the human biology class I took too! It was always interesting to me.
Anyway, I think the easiest way to count Macros is to first identify how many calories you want to consume. There are a zillion different tools online that can help you determine how many calories you should consume to reach your goals. Since this is just a quick summary, I won’t go on and on about the calorie part of it.
Right now, I want to consume about 1500 calories per day; this is a good number for me that should allow me to lose some weight at a healthy rate, maintain my muscles and help me not to be too hungry. If I get a lot of cardio in in one day I may decide to increase the calories a bit too…just for that day.
After you determine how many calories you want to consume, you need to figure out the percentages of Macros you want to consume too. A typical Macro counting plan is 40/40/20; 40% carbs, 40% protein and 20% fat, but I’m going to follow a 35/40/25 ratio for now. I think that by cutting carbs just a bit and increasing my healthy fats, I’ll be able to lose fat, lose weight and gain muscle! Soooo, I’ll be consuming approximately 132 grams of carbohydrates, 150 grams of protein and 41 grams of fat each day.
If you’re an uber organized, logical, numbers type of person then this plan will really appeal to you. It is very straight forward and practical.
What I love about Macro counting is that it is educated calorie counting! What I mean by that is that you’re not just simply counting calories; you are making sure your body gets quality calories and a balance of nutrients that will help your body the most! If you just simply count calories, you WILL lose weight, but you’re body might not get all that it needs and you may be a lot more tired and hungry in the process.
Most of the junk food we all love to eat is loaded with tons of carbohydrates and fats! Sooo, when we’re conscious of the ratio of carbs, proteins and fats we’re putting into our bodies, we CAN’T eat very much junk food! It naturally limits the “crappy calories” we consume. I love that! I also love the flexibility Macro counting allows; you can have a little bit of junk food every day if you want to, but you just have to be conscious and mindful and make sure it’s fits into your Macros.
I think the simplest way to keep track of Macros throughout the day is by using an app such as My Fitness Pal. In My Fitness Pal, you can set the number of calories you want to eat and also set the percentages of Macros you want to consume! Soooo, throughout the day as you enter your food into the app, you’ll always know exactly how your ratio is doing! Then, you can adjust the Macros you’re eating at each meal to balance out your desired percentages. Make sense?
It sounds a lot more complicated than it is, I promise. I’ve counted Macros a little bit here or there before, but I just haven’t committed to go “all in” yet. Soooo, I’m excited to fully commit!
Here’s a list of some of the things I’m planning on eating;
Protein: lean meats, cottage cheese, low fat cheese, plain Greek yogurt and protein powder.
Carbohydrates: vegetables, fruits, oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, rice cakes and Ezekiel bread.
Fats: avocado, nuts, nut butters, butter, olive oil, coconut oil, whole eggs, some cheese and a little fat from meat
Thankfully I really love all of these foods! I’m also planning on consuming lots of Green Smoothies, Protein Shakes and other interesting vegetable concoctions.
A couple of posts ago, I shared my Blueberry Yogurt Green Smoothie and Vegetable Soup that I’ve been making. Well since then, I’ve been coming up with all sorts of interesting “vegetable concoctions!” Some are definitely better than others. Ha ha.
I’ve been making a bunch of random veggie mixes in my Vitamix lately, and I’ve discovered that if I add a little bit of fruit to my “vegetable concoctions” it significantly lessons the “gag reflex” reaction of them! I made this one the other day that turned out decent…
I just opened my fridge and chucked everything into the blender! It included zucchini, carrots, bell pepper, 1/2 frozen banana, 1/2 apple and a bunch of mixed greens (spinach, kale and chard.) I mixed it all up with some water and a little ice and chugged it down. I’ll be honest, it wasn’t awesome. I really don’t think bell peppers were meant to be pulverized and drunk….hee hee. BUT, I chugged it down anyway and knew I was doing my body a favor!
I must say that when I’m consuming something that I know is uber healthy, I really don’t care if it tastes absolutely wonderful. With that being said, I make plenty of green smoothies and protein shakes that are YUMMY! All of the ones I have listed in my Recipe section of this blog taste GOOD! However, they don’t pack in as many veggies and NONE of them include bell peppers. Ha ha. I really do love chucking TONS of veggies in the blender and drinking them up….even if they make me want to hurl.
I’ve heard about people adding cooked meats to their green smoothies….I haven’t dared do that one yet! Ewwww.
Well, I think I’m going to end this by sharing a bunch of cute pics I’ve taken lately…
My sweet baby slept through our entire Costco shopping trip the other day!
I wish I could fit into a cart like that. He looks so cozy! Thankfully Kev was with me so we could use two carts. I couldn’t resist taking a picture of this snoozing angel. Love him!
I snapped this beautiful picture of the sunrise when I drove my daughter to school the other day…
So pretty! I love where I live and the beauty that surrounds us every day! Even though I’m getting quite sick of winter, I really do enjoy all four seasons. I look forward to each one; I just get sick of winter quicker than all the other ones! Spring sounds fantastic right about now!
I took this funny picture of my dog the other day that I had to share!
We bought that Halloween costume for him a couple years ago, but I dressed him up in it the other day just for fun. When he laid down on the floor, I laughed and laughed and laughed….and took a pic! Love him!
Well, that’s all I have to say today. I hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend and if you’re watching the Super Bowl tomorrow, I hope you have fun and eat lots of good food! Love you all!