Tag Archives: macros

New PowerBar Protein Bar

Who hasn’t heard of PowerBar before? Decades ago, when you were a young athlete or a parent raising a child who played soccer every Saturday morning, when you went into 7-11 last minute to get them something with nutritional value there were two things you could rely on… Gatorade and PowerBar. PowerBar (who we’ll refer to as PB moving forward) was one of the first companies, along with Tiger’s Milk to create a candy-bar sized and shape product that had some nutritional value to it. Which leads us to the next question, who hasn’t had a PB before?

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Buff Bake: Nut Butter With a Purpose

Recently, we (might have) introduced you to a product called PB Crave that offered one of the best-tasting peanut butters we ever consumed. While the focus of the product seems to be tasting good, using natural ingredients, and something even greater, it isn’t a revolution in the field of healthy peanut butters (for the body). Buff Bake has created a line of products that is trying to accomplish that level of maintaining the joy of consuming peanut-butter-like substances while increasing the level of nutrition at the same time. The result? That’s up to your taste buds

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Buff Bake 3 Cookie Sample Pack (2.8 oz. each)
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What Are Macros?

These days the word “macros” gets thrown around all the time–heck, we say it tons. But sometimes we take things for granted–for example, in a very real world, many people don’t know what “macros” are. You might know that it has something to do with nutrition, eating, or something of the nature–basically what fitness people like to talk about. In this videoHungry explains what “macros” are in a great definition and gives some context to the word. 

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5-Minute Protein Pancakes

So I’m still prepping for contest, so I’m upping my protein and lowering carbs somewhat. It’s about two hours before my second workout (just cardio) and my tummy is rumbling. Hmmm…what to eat? I don’t want to eat any straight-up carbs (during this LAST week of contest, I’ll get my carbohydrate grams from other sources like veggies and shakes) like cereal or oatmeal, I don’t feel like having tunafish or a salad, but I could always use more protein. Hmm…oh yes–protein pancakes! I had played around with a recipe before, didn’t quite get it how I wanted it, so I used this recipe and altered it a bit to fit my needs. It’s extremely easy and filled me up without feeling sluggish.

Oooooh yes!

Oooooh yes!

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Chocolate Strawberry Lean Protein Shake

By complete accident, this is the most delicious, simple, and healthy protein shake I have ever made. It’s been about 90+ degrees all week here, and today I chose to wear long-legged under-armor (I’m a trainer so I wear workout gear to work), and unfortunately, the AC in the trainer office was broken. On the ride home, my heat kept rising and I knew I needed something cold, refreshing, and nutritious. After all, I am still prepping for contestThis is also the first time I’ve had protein powder since my protein shake hell week, so I was a little nervous because my at the end of that week, my body started feeling disgusted towards that stuff. But don’t worry, it was allllll good. Please follow this SIMPLE on-a-whim recipe for a healthy delicious protein shake. Here are the macros:

  • Calories: 193
  • Fat: 5.7g
  • Carbs: 11.5g
  • Protein: 26.5g
DELICIOUS.

DELICIOUS.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Silk Vanilla Unsweetened Almondmilk
  • 6 frozen medium strawberries [if you don’t have frozen strawberries, you can use regular and throw some ice cubes in]
  • 1 scoop MTS Machine Whey Chocolate Protein

[Yup. That’s it.]

Directions

  • Measure out a cup of unsweetened almond milk 
  • Place 6 frozen strawberries in the blender

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  • Put one scoop of protein powder in and blend! I let it blend for a while longer than usual, probably about 20-30 seconds.
DELICIOUS.

DELICIOUS.

THAT’S IT. Ridiculously simple. I was actually in awe when I first tasted it. I really didn’t expect it to be that delicious. What’s better than chocolate and strawberries? Exactly. Look at those macros and tell me this isn’t perfect. You will feel so full and so satisified after (I felt like this was a cheat meal because it was so delicious, but it was the opposite). DEFINITELY use this to stay hungry and fit! 

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BONUS KITTY PIC

Cuddle demons

Cuddle demons

Birdsall’s: The Best Ice Cream in the West

I find it  pretty funny that I’m writing this post after discussing clean eating, but who cares when you’re talking about BIRDSALL’S! We’re talking homemade, home-churned, quality ice cream from the mid-west. Yes, I’m making a big statement by saying an ice cream joint in Mason City, Iowa has the best ice cream in the West, but there it is. Many of you will never try this place because who plans a trip to Mason City? Well, we do as that’s where my dad is from and where my grandparents and other relatives live. It’s our family reunion spot and we hit Birdsall’s at least twice every day we’re there (not kidding).

Chris should be sponsored by Birdsall's because he's always the one demanding we go again and again...don't mind if I do!

Chris should be sponsored by Birdsall’s because he’s always the one demanding we go again and again…don’t mind if I do!

As you can see in the sign, Birdsall’s has been around for a long time. My brother and I (who you will see below) grew up in Mason City, Iowa every year as our parents would ship us off to our grandparents for the summer. Birdsall’s has always and will always be a highlight of our days there. What do you do in Iowa? People think it boring, but I know it’s tons of fun: movies, games, swimming, ping pong (lots of ping pong), delicious homemade food, and...ICE CREAM! Once Chris became a part of this reunion, he made Birdsall’s a priority and nobody in the family argued against him. Birdsall’s gets tons of business when we come into town. Chris even got a $13 turtle (basically a hot fudge sundae)–a quart-sized ice cream. It was as big as my brother’s head (and he has a big head!).

QUART-SIZED TURTLE. He ate the whole thing. Wow

QUART-SIZED TURTLE as big as my brother’s head. He ate the whole thing. Wow

Ping pong all day err day

Ping pong all day err day

Now you may think it’s expensive based on the $13 I say, but remember that’s an entire quart. Their ice cream is wonderfully-priced (perks of Iowa) and it does not match the quality of the ice cream (they should really charge more). If we were there a month or so later, we would be served with delicious, home-made, fresh peach ice cream. With real peaches in it fresh from that season. You know it’s quality when they have seasonal flavors.

Dad action shot

Dad action shot

My last name is Powell and we all say “it’s the Powell gene” when we over-eat ice cream…every night. Sorry, can’t help it, it’s in my genetics. And although I did frequent Birdsall’s while during contest, I pretty much stuck to my macros, but still didn’t do great things for me unless you count…HAPPINESS. Some of our favorites from Birdsall’s include the Frosty Malt–basically a Wendy’s Frosty but real. Like with real ice cream and real malt. It’s so refreshing and usually my go-to.

Frosty Malt

Frosty Malt

Mum chowing down

Mum chowing down

Other great flavors include peach (duh), chippermint, pecan, and raspberry chocolate truffle. I’m drooling as I write this. I’d have to say the all-time favorite with the most overall votes from the group would have to be the turtle: vanilla ice cream with hot fudge, caramel, and nuts. Now this may sound like a typical ice cream sundae–but it’s not. We have never been able to replicate this or find this anywhere else. People may offer it or they might even custom-order for us, but nowhere can you find this amazing quality-filled turtle where the hot fudge doesn’t harden. Every other place, even beloved Glacier, hardens. It’s amazing. And the turtle was what Chris ate quart-sized.

Turtle

Turtle

Don't mind if I do!

Don’t mind if I do!

If you’re travelling cross-country or even across the mid-west, do yourself a favor and stop at Birdsall’s in Mason City, Iowa. It’s hard to find ice cream that high-quality and the turtles and peach ice cream cannot be beat. Sorry if you’re on a strict diet right now (like I am), but hey if it hits your macros, go grab some ice cream! I cannot recommend this place enough and the joy it brings. There’s something for everyone. Birdsall’s is perfect for staying hungry and fit! 

Black and White Milkshake

Black and White Milkshake

a version of a Blizzard

a version of a Blizzard

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How to Do Clean-Eating Right

As I continue to prep for my contest, I am doing 99% clean clean eating. Since doing my protein shake hell beforehand, this seems like heaven. I’m sure if I went straight from eating normal to this, it would be a little miserable. However, it looks like my hell week paid off in multiple ways. I’m doing clean-eating not the way a yogi would, but how a bodybuilder would. This turns a lot of people off who don’t understand that word—as if I’m food-loading like a steroid-using pumped out scary woman. I’m not, I promise! Read on to learn how to eat cleanly and enjoy it. I’m seeing differences in my health, body, and strength already after almost 2 weeks.

Working hard during a Spartacus circuit

Working hard during a Spartacus circuit

I can’t claim to be a know-all, be-all about this subject. Sure, I know how to live a healthy life, but this specific diet is more so Chris’ arena, since he’s done much more research into bodybuilding, contests, and the sort. So he set this up for me. Depending on the week (this is a 6-week contest), I’m either eating between 1300-1400 calories or 1400-1600 calories (like this week! Good thing too as we were in Iowa for family reunion…), keeping my protein and fiber count high, my fat, sugar, and carb count medium-low, and exercising away 800-1000 calories a day. Yes, I’m working really hard, lots of workouts. The eating part hasn’t really been hard for me yet, because like I said earlier, I came to this after just consuming protein shakes.

Now you know my “macros” (macronutrients). Everyone will have different macros depending on their goal and body composition. Comment below with questions and we can help you out. It’s not too hard to do this:

  1. Eat lean protein. I’m a strange “vegetarian,” but I’ll eat any meat or fish that’s wild-caught or hunted. Lucky me, I can eat canned tunafish! For you meat-eaters, this part and protein-macro-intake would be a lot easier. I rely on my tuna, usually mixing with a complex carb and lots of hot sauce (mmm!). Other lean proteins include other types of wild-caught fish, egg whites, tofu, and black beans. These don’t contain too many calories or fat, but are high on the healthy protein scale so they’re perfect. Another huge one is protein powder where you can get a lot of protein without too much carbs, fats, or calories. photo 1 (7)
  2. Stick to complex carbohydrates. What would I eat with my canned tunafish? A slice of whole-wheat bread (we usually stick to Rudi’s organic) or brown rice. My carb intake usually doesn’t stray too far from that—yes, of course I get carbohydrates from other things like fruits and vegetables, but I’m talking about the certain “category.” And don’t forget my main carbohydrate for breakfast—oatmeal. No, not the instant crap, the “quick oats” or steel-cut. Another great carbohydrate that actually isn’t too high in carbs is sweet potato and boy is it delicious! photo 1 (6)
  3. Fruits are not a free-for-all. We’re watching our sugars and carbs, remember? Usually, fruit is a free-for-all for me, and that’s when I see my sugar count skyrocket. Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather you grab a handful of grapes than skittles. But for this contest, we don’t want grapes for fruit. The fruit you want to go for: bananas, apples, pineapple, blueberries and grapefruit. They have awesome benefits and don’t take you too far on the sugar or calorie scale. photo (15)
  4. Eat your vegetables! Again, you don’t want every single kind, some are more vitamin-intensive and calorically-dense than others. I will usually have some kind of vegetable with every meal, combining it with my brown rice and fish, or with my open-face tunafish sandwich. Stick to these veggies: spinach, asparagus, broccoli, and carrots. Go for dark greens and use sweet potatoes as carb substitute. photo 3
  5. Stay away from dressings, heavy oils, and the like. This is why bodybuilder’s meals seem so bland and boring. Most of them stray away from any seasoning whatsoever. However, that’s not necessary—as long as you do the right seasoning. With breakfast, I pour cinnamon on my oatmeal. Hot sauce? Try every meal. Run free with garlic. Be smart, you know what’s right and wrong. Don’t drench your salad with ranch, go for straight-up balsamic vinegar. This doesn’t have to be bland, use your seasoning (hot sauce is my absolute go-to).  
  6. Know your fibers: soluble fiber versus insoluble fibers. Right now, we definitely want fiber in our diet. And we want both kinds, depending on the situation. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel, making us have that full feeling and slows our digestion. Soluble fibers include oatmeal, beans, nuts, and oranges. Insoluble fibers are good for our gut too because they improve our digestion and have a laxative-like effect. These don’t dissolve in water so they pass through quickly and speed up the process of food and waste.  Insoluble fibers include whole grains, dark leafy vegetables, and root vegetable skinsphoto 3 (4)

Pretty easy rules to follow and understand. Let me give you an example of some meals that I cycle frequently:

  • For breakfast: 1/2 cup oatmeal, 3 hard-boiled egg whites with Frank’s hot sauce 
  • photo 4 (5)For snack: 10 almonds OR banana OR apple OR grapefruit

grapefruit

  • For lunch: 1 can tuna, peas, beans and Tapatillo hot sauce 

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  • For snack: avocado, pepper, bean, and onion salad 
  • photo 3 (9)For dinner: pan-grilled cod, sweet potato, and salad 

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  • For snack: protein shake OR carrots and hummus OR cabbage tuna wraps with 1 cup almond milk

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That’s one day. You can add or take from the above, with the knowledge you now have. Here are some other meals that are smart for macros:

Salad

Salad

Raw veggies

Raw veggies

Alright, that’s enough picture overload. I was just saying to Chris, I may be on a strict macro diet, but eating all of this food is enjoyable. I get fish and “chips,” I get tons of yummy vegetables, I get tons of hot sauce. It really isn’t that hard. You can do it too and your body will thank you. You feel so good, light, and healthy. You aren’t starving yourself, you’re giving your body what it needs. And hey, if it fits the macros, go ahead and have an ice cream like I did during my family reunion. Clean eating is one of the best ways to stay hungry and fit!

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BONUS KITTY PIC

Sajah hot in the apartment

Sajah hot in the apartment