Consistency Over TIME = Habit & Lifestyle Change

My weight loss journey began back in the winter of 2013. I stopped getting on the scale once I saw 199 pounds on my 5’3” frame. I was in my mid-thirties and struggling to keep up with my young niece and nephew while playing. I knew it was time to take control of my lack of self-control with food! I started tracking what I was eating and started working out. The weight flew off at first…then I plateaued. I never ate terribly along with working out very consistently but I still could not kick the last 15-20 pounds that I knew would help me feel better in my own skin!

In May of 2021, I started working with Morgan and Taylor at Mac Out Nutrition. I was ready to have help to figure out why I couldn’t get below 139 pounds and why I couldn’t see any more changes in my body (muscles and toning). I had counted calories, followed food restriction plans, and various other dieting tricks. However, nothing was lasting or showed results like I was hoping for. Right away, when I started following the plan Mac Out Nutrition had for me, the scale went down some but what I noticed even more was muscle definition and areas of my body that were shrinking! I wondered if I would ever be able to tone areas that I had stretched my skin out with poor habits in my teens and twenties. Now, I’m seeing that it is possible to tighten and tone those areas…and keep going!

This amazing sister team offers perfect advice, support, encouragement and plans for anyone wanting to make a true change! It’s not an overnight miracle pill but a plan that will help you see how to change your relationship with food! A balanced and adjustable meal plan is perfection! I never had to say “no” as long as it fit within my goals! This is my new norm for food from here on out! It works!

 

 

Sara Butler, Mac Out Nutrition Coach, Certified Personal Trainer

 

Meal Prep Tips from Mac OUT Nutrition Coaches

Everyone has their own version of meal prep. Whether it’s planning for an entire week of meals or preplanning the day ahead, it’s completely individualized – that’s the beauty of flexible nutrition. One size does not fit all and my only recommendation is to do what works best for you and your schedule!

Here is a variety of personal meal prep tips from the Mac Out Nutrition coaches:

TAYLOR GRGURICH: I rarely meal prep for an entire week. Yep, I said it. I don’t use “I’m too busy” as an excuse, I just rather spend my Sunday afternoons with my son and with flexible eating it’s 100% doable! I fill my fridge each week with fresh fruits and vegetables and purchase staple protein items to have on hand that are fresh or frozen. I usually stick with frozen style or rotisserie chicken, eggs & egg whites, tuna packets, chicken sausage links and of course I can’t leave out the beef and pork in my deep freeze. I typically work from home 3 days out of the week so for me, I don’t necessarily need to meal prep a weeks worth of meals to eat flexibly. Days that I work in the office, I prep my meals the night before always – improves my health, saves money and time in the mornings.

Being 21 weeks pregnant, my food palate isn’t the same everyday so I have to change it each day on what sounds good to me. Typically I can only eat smaller portions nowadays but very frequently throughout the day. This usually consists of 3 medium sized meals and 2-3 snacks per day. With pregnancy I eat a lot more carbohydrates so my snacks usually contain a fruit or yogurt/granola/fruit bowl of some sort. There’s nothing wrong with snacking throughout the day, but having a plan each day in general on what you will be eating and when makes the biggest difference!

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MORGAN PIPER: Meal planning/prepping has become a weekly routine over the past couple of years. Breakfast and lunch are often similar meals most days. For breakfast, I always try to balance my plate with protein, Carb & Fat (egg or cottage cheese, cheese & ham or bacon, whole wheat muffin or toast). Most days I have a protein shake after my workouts to start fueling my muscles!

Lunch is also balanced!  Incorporating proteins, carbs & fat (ground beef, steak, chicken or deli lunch meat for protein, cheese or a dip spread for fat, and tortillas, whole wheat bread or sweet potatoes for carbs).  If I am working outside my home, I always pack my lunch the night before so it is easy to grab the next day before I head out the door.

What I have found that works best for my family for dinner is choosing 2-3 types of proteins and 2-3 types of carbohydrates that I will have during the week.  Since I mostly work from home, when making the protein or selected carbohydrate, I make sure that we make extra so I have it available for at least 1-2 more meals.  When making extra portions when cooking, it cuts down time spent in the kitchen and sets me up for success!  I do have to admit that I don’t really care for some leftover vegetables so that is something that I make fresh, which takes about 5-10 minutes. (I do like asparagus leftover). Planning simple meals and breaking down each meal to protein, carb & fat has helped me stay on track and simplifies flexible eating.

Example of one week Plan & Prep for Dinner:

Sunday: Grill Pork Chops (make extra),Bake 2-3 larger sized sweet potatoes (cut up into 1/3), Fresh Veggies

Monday: Same as Sunday, maybe change up veggie or carb for couscous

Tuesday: Carne Picada (make extra), Corn Tortillas, Fresh Veggies

Wednesday: Using leftover carne picada, adding black beans and sweet potatoes (already prepped) for a stuffed sweet potato

Thursday: Grilled Chicken (make extra), Couscous (make extra), Fresh Veggies

Friday: Use leftover chicken & prepare chicken tacos or buffalo chicken with leftover couscous

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LESLIE BENNER: Meal prep, such an important part of macro tracking.  Due to busy schedules, I often try to keep my meal prepping very simple.  I also try to complete my prep on the weekend, however, sometimes it happens to be Monday when it gets done.  What’s most important though – I’ve taken the time for myself to be prepared for the upcoming week so I can stay on track and reach my goals.

  1. Protein:  I prepare plenty of protein (especially ground turkey and chicken) to have readily available for the meals I want to make during the week.  This also means that if I don’t have a plan for my meals one day, I have the protein I need for the day ready to go!
  2. Veggies:  I roast A TON of veggies, such as carrots, cauliflower, zucchini, and green beans.  I like having roasted veggies on hand so I can throw them in a tortilla with some protein for a quick lunch or have them as a part of my dinner.
  3. Breakfast:  Breakfast is one meal I try to prep for the entire week.  I do not have time in the morning to cook or put something together.  Currently, I am loving baked oats.  I make a pan and then divide it into portions for the week.  Adding fruit and yummy nut butter makes it a delicious breakfast (and gives me some carbs and fat)!
  4. Items I always keep on hand to add to meals and/or eat as snacks: Greek yogurt, egg whites, carb balance tortilla shells, protein powder and bars, Sola or Ezekiel bread, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, and fruit (raspberries, strawberries, bananas, and apples)

During the work week, my meals often look the same.  I am ok with that!  It’s easier and convenient for me!  However, on the weekends, when I do have more time, I am able to add more variety into my meals by creating and trying new recipes.  Meal prepping doesn’t have to be elaborate or complicated, it’s about choosing what is going to help you feel successful during the week!

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MORGAN COOPER: When it comes to meal prep, I keep it very simple and basic. I’m one of those people who does not get sick of food very easily. I’ve probably been prepping the same thing every week for over 6 months now. I will usually switch out my breakfast, but lunch and dinner stay pretty much the same every week.

Breakfasts can be yogurt and granola, breakfast sandwiches, oatmeal / oatmeal bakes or egg scrambles. If you want any of my breakfast recipes and more details just let me know!

Lunch is super quick and takes me less than an hour to prep start to finish. I cook 2lbs of ground turkey (93/7%) and add in 2 packets of low sodium taco seasoning once it’s fully cooked. After I mix the taco seasoning in, I add in some fresh spinach (usually ½ a bag, sometimes the full bag) and stir around until it’s wilted. I divide that mixture into 5 containers for the week!

Dinner is also pretty simple. I’ve been on a crockpot kick lately. It’s so easy to cook in bulk! All I do is throw some chicken in and dump a full jar of salsa on top. I let it cook on high for about 3.5 hours. When it’s done I shred the chicken and throw it back in so I can mix it with the salsa. I measure it out equally into containers. I do 5oz per container but you can adjust that depending of your macros and needs. I also add 100g of COOKED jasmine rice to eat container for my carb. For veggies I’ve been making Brussel sprouts. I use the air fryer to cook my Brussel sprouts and it is a GAME CHANGER. I slice the sprouts in half or quarters, toss them in olive oil and sea salt and throw them into the air fryer. I’ve been cooking them for 6 minutes at 380 degrees F, take them out to shake around and flip, and then cook it for another 6 minutes at 380. They are delicious! Lastly I add about 75g of brussels to each dinner container, then my meal is complete!

Meal prepping is 100% worth it! It may be time consuming, but once you get in your groove you can usually prep pretty quick. It helps me so much to stay on track during the week, especially when I’m busy.

Macros:

Lunch: 302 calories

36.2g P / 8.7g C / 12/8g F

Dinner: 375 calories

49.3g P / 34.7g C / 5.2g F

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SARA BUTLER: Meal prepping doesn’t always mean cooking for hours every Sunday!

Every week I do my all to make sure I have extra protein prepped for lunches and quick dinners. With working full-time, running multiple side ventures, a husband with crazy work hours and a busy teenage son, time is limited. However, it doesn’t take much to cook extra meat/protein on the days we are home to make sure I stay on track with my macros. If we are grilling, we usually grill 2-3 different protein options so that there are choices for all of us and leftovers to add to future meals. After dinner, I’m usually packing my lunch with leftovers to take to work the next day. It makes it easier when all the options are still out on the counter.

For added fiber and carbs, I make sure each week I have plenty of romaine, spinach, frozen veggies (broccoli, green beans, asparagus), potatoes (sweet, red, Yukon or hash browns) and tomatoes on hand. Grabbing staple items each week helps me stay on track. Other staple items I like I have each week are a few apples, canned light syrup peaches and always frozen blueberries to add to Greek yogurt or cottage cheese. Ensuring I have good nutrient dense options keeps me from snagging my teenage son’s snacks that are…not so healthy. Food prepping could just be making sure the fridge and pantry have good choices available once you get accustomed to what carbs, fats and proteins work great for you (and what meals you like to have on repeat)!

 

As you can see nutrition is completely individualized on how it can fit into your lifestyle! Wanting to learn how you can incorporate small steps of meal prep into your lifestyle? Click HERE to “Get Started!” 

Valentine’s Day Cocktails + Alcohol into your Macros

Whether it’s after a long day or week of work, a birthday party or a holiday celebration alcoholic beverages can be involved. A popular question I get quite frequently is, “Can I drink alcohol while counting macros?” The answer is, YES you can – but it’s important to count it into your macros.  

Macronutrients consist of carbohydrates, protein and fat. Calories from alcohol are NOT classified under any of these macronutrients as they are empty calories containing zero essential nutrients. To give you a better a picture on how this looks, if you scan or look up a light beer on My Fitness Pal, it will contain about 95 calories/ 3g carb/0 g fat/ 0g protein. Let’s break this down macros to calories and see if this equals out to 95 calories.

Reference:

4 calories per 1 gram of carbohydrate

4 calories per 1 gram of protein

9 calories per 1 gram of fat

If the above is calculated out mathematically.. This is what it shows from your light beer.

3 g carbohydrate x 4 calories per gram = 12 calories coming from carbohydrates

95 calories from the light beer – 12 calories = 83 calories that are simply not accounted for within those macros. We have to account for those 83 calories some way into our macros – – – > here’s how to properly track that light beer.

You can track 3 different ways. As a carbohydrate, fat or both carbohydrate AND fat.

Tracking as a carbohydrate: 95 cal / 4 cal/g = 24 g carbohydrate

OR

Tracking as a fat: 9 cal / 9cal/g = 11 g fat

OR

Tracking as a carb + fat = 

Carb = 47.5 cal / 4 cal/g = 12 g carbohydrate

Fat = 47.5 cal / 9 cal/g = 5 g fat

Keep in mind that alcohol contains empty calories so we must account for it as a carbohydrate, fat or both carb + fat. Once you calculate what your usual drink contains, it will become like clockwork! In My Fitness Pal there is a simple way to create drinks or recipes that you can quickly add into your macros without doing the calculations each and every time you want a beverage. Quick add option is available as well! 

**If calculating for a mixed drink, calculate based off of the liquor calories and make sure to add in the mixer. **

Take a Peak at some Macro Friendly Valentine’s Day Cocktails and/or Mocktails!

Love Bug Cocktail

4 oz Red Cranberry Juice (14C, 0.5F, 0.5P)

2 oz Lime LaCroix (0C, 0F, 0P) *Can use diet Lime Soda as well*

1 oz Vodka ~ 64 cal – Tracked as a fat 64 cal/ 9 cal/g = 7 g fat (0C, 7F, 0P)

Lime for Garnish

Add Ice

Total Macros: (14C, 7.5F, 0.5P)

Makes 1 Serving

 

“Be Mine” – Moscow Mule

2 oz Vodka ~128 cal – Tracked as Carb + Fat – 64 cal/ 9 cal/g = 7g fat & 64 cal / 4 cal/g = 16gC

3 oz Diet Ginger Beer

1 tbsp grenadine – (14C, 0F, 0P)

½ c halved Strawberries (6C, 0F, 0P) – Cut in half, mix in drink

Add Ice & Serve in Copper Cups

Total Macros: (36C, 7F, 0P)

Makes 1 Serving

**Any of the above drinks can be made into Mocktails, simply take out the alcohol.**

 

Be sure to grab our guides at check out consisting of Travel, Restaurant/Fast Food, How to calculate alcohol and macro cheat sheet! Click here for these guides.

How to Create Sustainable New Years Goals

Here we go, we’re already over halfway through the first month of the new year! Some of us have BIG goals to crush from financial to educational or nutrition/fitness related. No matter what your goal is, is it completely off the wall from your normal routine OR is it something you truly can accomplish and sustain within this New Year?

January is always a busy time for nutrition and fitness programs! All health services are overloaded and diets generally are in full go. Mid spring these services usually slow down or taper off and gyms start to decrease in capacity. Every. Single. Year. 

So let me ask you this? Why not set reasonable goals, goals that you can sustain and have flexibility for a lifetime? I can’t tell you after someone learns I’m a dietitian they start talking to me about a certain “Fad diet” and how they have learned what foods are “good” and “bad.” Conversations usually lead me to saying, “you know, you really can eat all foods in moderation unless you have a medical reason or allergy.” I usually get the confused look and the questions filled with doubt.

You really can eat everything in moderation. That’s sustainability without restriction and let me tell you, I’m here for it. 

Let’s talk about nutrition or fitness goals that look a little different than previous years.

Instead of making a goal to go to the gym 6 times per week when you haven’t exercised ever, try 2 times per week.

Instead of plunging into a Keto or Atkins diet when you love carbohydrate rich foods like fruits, pastas, bread etc., maybe try to incorporate 3 vegetables into your normal diet every single day? It’s a healthier step and not so restrictive. 

Instead of saying I’m never eating out, try limiting restaurant foods to 1-2 times per week?

Instead of saying “No” to pop, try limiting it to 1 beverage per week.

See what I did? I created common goals and switched them to more realistic practices. I think it’s great each of us have big goals for ourselves, however, big goals can not be achieved without creating small, flexible changes first. Being goal oriented and having something to crush is empowering. Just remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

 

Through our personalized nutrition coaching, you will make sustainable changes that align with your current lifestyle through our flexible, macronutrient-based approach to nutrition. We’ll arm you with a solid nutrition foundation that will help you set goals and create progress you can sustain for a lifetime – not just a quick fix – and provide guidance every step of the way! Click here to “Get Started”.

3 Macro Friendly Holiday Desserts

Dessert is by far the #1 dish we look forward to on the holidays. Below are a few macro friendly options that would be fantastic to take to a holiday gathering that will satisfy your sweet tooth! Yum!

1. Strawberry Pretzel Salad

This high protein spin on my favorite holiday dessert is SO good, similar to the original!

Mix together for a perfect treat! 

All you need:

1 cup Two Good Strawberry (or vanilla) yogurt

2 oz low fat cottage cheese

1 cup SF Strawberry Jello

1 oz diced strawberries

10 pretzel twists

Macro breakdown: 24P, 3F, 21C

Kate Lyman Nutrition

2. FunFetti Protein Cake

Who doesn’t love cake? My brother-in-law, Cory, made this recipe and I can’t get enough of it! Cake is the perfect dessert for ANY occasion! Holidays, birthdays, rainy days, etc!

Cake Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups (159g) Kodiak Cakes Buttermilk pancake mix 

3 scoops (93g) Quest Vanilla Milkshake protein powder 

1/2 cup (96g) Swerve granular sugar substitute 

2 tsp (8g) baking powder 

1 cup (240 mL) unsweetened cashew/ almond milk 

1/2 cup (120g) unsweetened apple sauce 

1/2 cup (122g) canned pumpkin 

1 large egg (50g) 

2 tsp (8g) vanilla extract 

4 tbsp (40g) sprinkles 

Frosting Ingredients:

4oz. (110g) fat-free cream cheese, softened to room temperature 

1/2 cup (120g) 0% plain Greek yogurt 

31g (1 scoop) Quest Vanilla Milkshake protein powder 

2 tbsp (24g) Swerve granular sugar substitute 

1 tsp (4g) vanilla extract

All you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and spray two 8″ round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. 
  2. Mix the dry cake ingredients in a large bowl. Keep sprinkles set aside. Add wet ingredients and whisk together until smooth. Fold 2 tbsp of sprinkles into the batter.
  3. Pour half of the batter into each cake pan. Bake for 22-26 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow cakes to completely cool before adding the frosting. 
  4. For the frosting: Blend the cream cheese and vanilla extract until smooth and pour into a medium sized bowl. Add the Greek yogurt and protein powder, mix thoroughly. 
  5. Frost the top of one cake before placing the second cake on top. Frost the top and sides of both cakes together and top with remaining sprinkles. Enjoy! Refrigerate after serving. 

Makes 8 slices, each: Cal: 200, F: 3g, C: 32.5g (2.5g fiber), P: 21g

Breanne Freeman, Master Your Macros

3. Mini Pumpkin Pies – Perfect for Thanksgiving! 

Morgan P. created these delicious mini pies! Prepare pumpkin filling mix  – {making the mix from the ingredients from the back of the pumpkin can}. Pour 1/4 cup mix in each mini pie crust. Bake at 350 degrees F for ~1 hour. Simply top with whipped cream! 

Macros for each WITH whip cream: 2.4P, 6.7F, 16.5C

Try new recipes! Look for healthier alternatives or substitutions while still incorporating your favorite foods and treats within your diet. To learn more about how to incorporate your favorite foods and still reach your goals, set up a call with us and get started!

 

Flexible Nutrition: A Lifestyle

I am not your typical dietitian. Or maybe how you think a dietitian “should” be. Most (not all of course) of my peers went to the gym at least once if not twice a day, dressed their best for each class and would make announcements such as “I would never put my food in a microwave.” I did not fit into that stereotypical “type A” dietitian persona, let’s be clear too, nor did I want to. At the time, I rarely made it to the gym, wore sweatpants everyday and definitely wore out my microwave, indulging in frozen meals or whatever Aldi had on sale for the week.  

I chose the dietetic field simply because I love all food and the human body has always been fascinating to me.  I’ve always had the desire to truly help someone improve their health… without the use of medicine. These are good enough reasons to go into the health and nutrition field, right? 

Moving forward to my first job as a dietitian at a local grocery store. What an experience, I really was grateful for the opportunity. However, I was a glorified meal prep organizer and online shopper at a supermarket.  I say that lightly with a smile on my face, I truly enjoyed my time – But I knew I had knowledge to share and felt like I wasn’t helping people with their health goals like I wanted! 

I’m a work in progress and so is my eating. My intake has evolved from frozen meals, to learning how to balance my meals with lean protein, veggies and complex carbs with the occasional BBOPS or foods that I enjoy. I’m not a perfect eater and I will never claim to be, but I’ve learned what has worked best for ME. Flexible nutrition – has 100% changed my all or nothing mindset. 

This goes to show that No ONE is immune to struggling. Not even the experts. 

Flexible nutrition. Sound familiar? 

A short summation of flexible nutrition is learning how to balance your plate while still eating the foods that you love and enjoy that fit into your macronutrient goals. Macronutrient or “Macros” are what your body needs in order to function properly consisting of protein, carbohydrates and fat.  

Eating shouldn’t be full of restrictions, certain timelines on when you can eat, or cutting out any food group. It should be learning how to fuel your body with essential nutrients while still eating all foods, especially those that you love. 

Like potatoes? Enjoy!

Steak? You betchya!

Donuts? My Friday favorite!  

Get past diet culture, remove the guilt and say YES to finding what works best for YOU!  

Through our personalized nutrition coaching, you will make sustainable changes that align with your current lifestyle through our flexible, macronutrient-based approach to nutrition. We’ll arm you with a solid nutrition foundation that will help you set goals and create progress you can sustain for a lifetime – not just a quick fix – and provide guidance every step of the way! Click here to “Get Started”.