Eating for your macros: simplified

First things first... What is a macro??? A macro, or macro-nutrient, is a nutrient that provides calories or energy. Macro means large, so these types of nutrients are very essential to maintain a healthy body weight and keep your metabolism running properly. The second thing you need to know is that eating for your macros is not a fad diet. It is simply the daily nutrients and vitamins your body requires from food. By eating the right amount of these three nutrients, you can optimize your lean muscle mass, increase energy, fuel your brain, and stop cravings in their tracks. Plus, you can minimize the number of supplements or vitamins you take in a day since you will be getting your nutrients from actual food.

The 3 macro-nutrients are:  

•    Lean Protein
•    Complex Carbohydrates
•    Healthy Fats


The average person usually requires about 40 % carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 30 % healthy fats. If you need an easy way to track this I suggest using the app My Fitness Pal. After you fill out your profile, you can see what your recommended macro and calorie intake should be for the day. You can find your macro percentages by scrolling down on your daily food log and tap on the bar that says nutrition. Although this is a great way to track your nutrients, I do not recommend using it for an extended period of time or to drastically count calories. Track for a couple days or so to get the gist of what an average day looks like, and then maintain by tuning into your body. 
Now we need to know how to properly fill our daily macros. Your body will tell you if you are not fueling properly by feeling tired or craving foods. The easiest way to keep in balance is understanding which foods fall under what category. Here is a list of healthy foods that will feed your body power energy.


Macro-nutrient list


Carbohydrates

•    All Vegetables (yes, vegetables are carbs, and the best ones that provide the most energy)
•    Fruit (berries are the best fruit because they are low-glycemic)
•    Sweet potatoes
•    Beans and legumes
•    Pumpkin
•    Oats
•    Buckwheat
•    Brown rice
•    Quinoa
•    Bread (my suggestion is Ezekiel bread or Udi's Gluten Free if it's not fresh)
•    Granola
•    Whole grain or brown rice pasta

Protein

•    Meat
•    Fish
•    Chicken
•    Eggs
•    Protein powders
•    Chia seeds
•    Hemp seeds

Healthy fats

•    Avocado
•    Olive oil
•    Coconut oil
•    Avocado oil
•    Butter or Ghee
•    Nuts (organic, raw)
•    Nut butters
•    Dairy (partial protein, partial fats; count accordingly)


As always, our food should be organic. Check out my blog How to read labels to get a better understanding of what to choose when grocery shopping. This will guide you toward making better choices and knowing what is added to your food. Now you have all this information but you have to somehow put it on your plate and in your mouth. Here are some simple healthy meals that will fill your macros, and fuel you with energy to be the best you.

Breakfast

•    1/2 cup brown rice or quinoa, 2 scrambled eggs half an avocado
•    1-2 pieces of toast with ghee, 2-3 eggs, almond butter on toast
•    Chicken sausage and veggie scramble over quinoa
•    Plain coconut yogurt or organic plain yogurt, top with berries and nuts
•    Overnight Oats
•    Pumpkin Shake
•    Buckwheat Breakfast

Lunch

•    2 chicken sausages, sweet potato with coconut oil and cinnamon on top
•    big salad with tons of veggies, piece of protein, nuts, avocado, olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper
•    veggie or chicken stir-fry with avocado or coconut oil
•    tuna (made with olive oil sandwich) with tomato and lettuce on Ezekiel bread
•    3 hardboiled eggs and nuts on a big salad
•    quinoa bowl with kale, nuts, hummus, olive oil, balsamic vinegar

Dinner

•    4-6 oz protein, 1/2 cup brown rice or quinoa, veggies with butter, ghee, or olive oil
•    sautéed tofu and spinach in avocado oil and sesame seeds over brown rice or quinoa
•    meat sauce over spaghetti squash, a little Parmesan if you eat dairy
•    brown rice pasta tossed with olive oil, tuna, peas, carrots and onion
•    breakfast for dinner?? 3-6 egg white omelet with a side salad and a piece of Ezekiel toast

I'm sure you are catching my drift now. These suggestions are in no way intended to be the only options of food to eat. Play around with it. If you go way over your macros in one meal (a huge bowl of pasta) you can even it out by lightening up on that nutrient the next meal. The most important thing is to fill your plate with healthy food first to eliminate the bad. Eventually you will crave less junk food and enjoy feeling better from real food. Remember to keep it simple. Staying in a normal balance of whole food macro-nutrients is a sure-fire way to reach your goals.

XO Jaclyn Renee

** A core principle of the Jaclyn Renee Wellness program is to choose organic whenever possible. This includes all fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, flours, nuts, and even spices. Reducing your exposure to pesticides and chemicals is a major part in healing your body and preventing disease.