Macronutrients: The Daily Jigsaw

Hellohello! Dropping in after a day off blogging yesterday. I watched the Movie Kick Ass instead of blogging last night, and might I say, it was indeed kick ass. A little more gory than what I can usually stomach, but it was both hilarious and imaginative as well :)

First things first, lets discuss waffle makers.

Seeing as I’ve been eating a ludicrous amount of homemade waffles lately, it’s only natural that I’ve been getting more inquiries into what kind of iron I use.

Behold, the Proctor Silex Morning Baker Waffle Iron.

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Cost me $30 at Walmart, use it at least once a week and have absolutely no complaints. Cooks fast and evenly.

It should also be mentioned that you must spray your waffle iron with non-stick spray even if it’s non-stick. Unless you like scrambled waffles, then do as you wish.

There are a million waffle recipes out there, but I prefer a high-protein version. I have three versions of protein waffles: oatmeal cottage cheese, dairy-free-ish, and new one that has yet to be named.

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Yesterday, I went for the new recipe because it requires fewer ingredients. I got a little creative for Waffle Wednesday, adding fresh blueberries and dollops of almond butter to the batter after I poured it on the iron.

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After 3-5 minutes it was smooshed to perfection.

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I used to have one of those waffle irons that made the two rectangles at a time, much like a panini press. I do not recommend those as the waffles are small and take forrreeverrr to cook. Like 10 minutes for two little ones.

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These are not full-size belgian waffles. I don’t fill the iron so I get two smaller ones instead of one big one. That way it feels like I’m eating more :)

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The pockets of almond butter cooked in were awesome!!

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Dipped in sugar-free syrup of course, because a waffle is not a waffle without syrup.

Now onto today’s second topic…

Balancing out your daily macronutrients.

As I’m sure most of you know, macronutrients are the three categories of food from which your body gets energy – carbohydrates, protein, fat.

I have to start out by saying that everyone’s macronutrient ratio is different. Some people do really well on high carb, others well on high protein. Me personally, I do best on a ratio between 40-40-20 and 33-33-33. The first number represents the percentage of calories in a day that comes from carbs, the second is the percentage of protein, and the last is fat.

I don’t track calories, so I usually just wing it. Every day doesn’t always balance out, and sometimes I just need to go with my cravings, but you get the point ;)

My breakfast ratio is always the same 33-33-33. I always have a carb that comes from grains (bread, oatmeal) and/or fruit. I always have lots of protein with the addition of a good serving of fat. Sometimes they come together, like in the case of whole eggs or bacon. Sometimes I add them separately, such as adding protein powder and peanut butter. Every breakfast needs to have a good amount of all three ratios for me to feel satisfied for the rest of the day. This is the one meal that never changes and I’m most particular about.

The rest of the day, I just go with the flow :)

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Mid-morning I usually snack on some fruit accompanied by cheese or nut butter.

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Usually a little low protein, but lunch comes soon enough.

Lunch is typically a sandwich, pita, or salad.

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Sandwich and pita lunches are higher on the carb end. If I had nut butter in the morning snack, then I don’t stress about getting fats in my lunch. If not, I’d go for something like the above which has high-fat tofu balls.

My salad lunches however are higher on the protein.

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My salads are always a mass of veggies topped with a protein and a fat if I can sneak it in.

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The protein here is cottage cheese, but I also do tuna, chicken, pork, etc. My salad fats are nuts, full-fat cheese, dressing oil, or in this case a hard boiled egg with the yolk. The protein and fats are what keep me full!

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In the afternoon, I munch on something similar to my morning snack. Sometimes I grab a nutrition bar, wasa crackers, hummus, carrot sticks, or a protein bar of my own. I don’t stress too much over my in-between snacks, so long as they’re not too heavy on the calories and can keep me going until my next meal.

If my lunch was high on protein, like the above salad, then I have a dinner that’s a little more on the carb-y side.

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I’ll put my protein between some bread – like here where I had a spicy turkey black bean burger in a pita with sauerkraut.

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And I’ll go for a starchy vegetable on the side, like microwaved sweet potato chips!

However, if lunch was on the carby side, then I try to stick to protein and green veggies for dinner. Remember, I’m trying to balance out my protein and carbs for the day, with a few servings of fats!

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I had a tuna pita for lunch today, so instead of having more carbs for dinner, I stuck the turkey black bean burgers on a bed of frozen veggies with salsa and some laughing cow cheese.

Now, you may have noticed my snacks throughout the day still keep my carbs a little high. I balance it all out right before bed with a high protein snack.

My favourite is mixing around 40g of protein powder with cocoa powder, and dissolving it in a smidge of water to create a sticky “batter” like consistency. Strange, perhaps. But it’s absolutely delicious. More over, I find I wake up with less of a belly pouf in the morning when I eat straight up protein before bed instead of the bags of popcorn I used to eat ;)

Hopefully that gives you some insight on how to balance out your macros for the day! I never meal plan and just figure it out as I go. If my day so far as leaned toward one or two macros, then I just make sure I get a good serving or two of the lagging macro in my next meal. As I said at the beginning, everyone’s bodies respond differently to different macronutrient ratios, so don’t be scared to experiment!

 

Question of the Day: Do you focus on macronutrient ratios? Meal plan? Go with the flow?

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Posted on August 5, 2010, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. Meal plan for me!! Call me crazy but I love it!!

    I make a protein cookie before bed and it’s like dessert every night :)…with a glass of almond milk.

  2. I used to track my macros religiously. Now I just focus on getting a balance. Having some fat, carbs, and protein at each meal. I’m pretty sure my carbs are a bit higher. I might eat something like 50-30-20 and it works great for me. It certainly is important to consider getting in a balance of each of those though.

  3. I don’t necessisarly focus on macronutrient ratios too much, but I do take them into consideration. Like if I notice I’m low on fats, I’ll make one meal higher in fats or so on! I tend to always end up 50% protein, 30% carbs, 20% fat, but I don’t strive to hit those numbers or anything!

    And now I totally want that waffle maker. I always thought they were expensive.. looks like I may be shopping tomorrow!

  4. It depends.. isn’t that always the answer :p over the last year I’ve been either purposely trying to lose weight for a fitness competition or put on muscle in the off season, so macronutrient ratios are important to me, and I follow them pretty closely. Through trail & error I’ve learned that I do best on a high protein, medium fat & carb diet. When prepping to compete I’m all about meal planning, but one of the things I enjoy most about off-season is totally going with the flow and following my moods & cravings!

  5. Hey Susan! I try to be aware of carbs and proteins and fat just like you do – if I have a carb heavy lunch, I usually try to have a protein/veggie heavy dinner and vice versa. Seems to work out well and is actually what I crave most days. :)

    I just wanted to let you know that I did your heart pumping upper body workout again today and loved it just as much! :) I referenced it in my post this evening.

  6. I need a waffle iron! I am drooling over your waffle recipes. I love pancakes, but waffles are so much better, in my opinion. :)

    I balance my macros too! 40-40-20. Some days I have lots more protein than others, but that is how I prefer it. I do better on a high protein, lower carb diet. Love it!

  7. Very informative! Lately I’ve been trying to eat a higher protein diet and have noticed a lot less bloating and a lot more satiety. I admit I generally eat a low fat diet as I dont enjoy many fatty foods and find anything with too much oil upsets my stomach so much!

  8. I learned about spraying a waffle iron before making waffles the hard way haha. When the husband and I first moved in together I decided to make waffle for breakfast and it was a disaster, needless to say I didn’t bring that waffle maker back out for a few years. I now enjoy homemade waffles on a daily basis!

  9. I completely go with the flow! I’ll be honest I have never even thought about doing this before! I mean, I suppose I definitely notice if my breakfast was toast based, lunch was sandwich based and dinner was pasta based (probably because I’m stuffed!) but I just don’t really think about it otherwise.

    It’s super interesting though and I’d be interested to know what my ratios tend to be. I think I err on the low fat, high carb side of things. Mmmm….carbs.

  10. I do meal plan, as much to try and save on food waste as anything else really and I do like to try and make sure that I get a balance through the day between protein and carbs. I seem to do quite well on a high protein ratio but since I started training for my half I’ve added in a few more unrefined carbs for fuelage!

  11. greensandjeans

    I am not a meal planner. I usually try to listen to what my body is craving and figure out why and try to meet that need instead. Although, with my marathon training I do my best before, during, and after long run days to bump up my carbs and protein!

  12. Thanks for the info on the waffle iron. My uncle got me a huge one a few years ago and it is terrible! It either burns the waffles or turns them hard as a rock on the outside but still runny in the middle.

  13. I used to balance it down to the last number.

    But I don’t do that anymore…I try to balance it like you do now. Eat more carbs here, eat less later etc.

  14. I’m addicted to kitchen gadgets and now I decided to buy a waffle maker – how could I live without!?

  15. This was really interesting! I’ve been tracking calories on my iPod, and it also tracks macros. Even though I try to get lots of protein, I’m finding that it’s about 55% carbs, 18% protein, and 27% fat. I’d like to work on that though, because I know my “heart” likes carbs but my body likes protein! I think it’s skewing towards carbs more due to my 1/2 mary training, but in a few weeks my whole game will change, and I’m looking to work on this a bit as well. At least with all those carbs, I’m getting lots of fiber! But I need to make protein powder my friend again.

  16. I’m definitely a go-with-the-flow girl, but I do try to keep in mind the balance I’ve had throughout the day. Since carbs fill me up the best, I usually get most of them in the first two meals, and do a more protein/veggie shpeal for dinner, which – like you – leaves me with the least belly pooch in the morning!

  17. I am so glad you wrote about this! I have never paid attention to macros before (only calories in the past!), but lately I have been playing with protein intake and I just can’t figure out what is best for my body. Do you have any tips as far as figuring that out? I do believe it is different for every individual.

    • Just do what feels best for your body!! It takes a few weeks of doing one thing to figure it out. For years I was a high-carb vegetarian and that’s when I had my lowest energy. Every time I ate animal protein after that, the energizing effects of it were better than coffee!! That’s how I figured that I wasn’t meant to be a vegetarian. As for as the fat thing, I’ve noticed that I’m satisfied for an extra hour or two when a serving of fat is involved. It takes a long time to figure it out, and you really have to tune into your body. Maybe start taking notes on how you feel after meals and look for any trends?

  18. i always try to balance myself out! proteni with every meal, healthy fats, complex carbs! I tend to eat most of my carbs first half of the dy (or try to at least) jsut works better for my body!

    I made the best protein waffle this week and LOVE THEM!!!! the idea of pockets of nut butter makes me drrrooollll

  19. “microwaved sweet potato chips!”–you will have to give wayyyy more info on those! I would love to do that if they actually turned crispy rather than just like a cooked potato. Otherwsise it’s a mere 16 hrs in the dehyd. Which i refuse to do.

    Glad you liked my “it only took me 5 mins to update this recipe tab” kidding-comment. We defi have to meetup some day in person, you know we’ll be sarcastic and never having a quiet second!

    Macros…are you kidding me? I have NO IDEA what mine are. I would say 60-10-30 if I had to guess. I have no idea and until my body starts looking like sh*t, or I dont feel good, i wont bother tallying them LOL

    • Slice a sweet potato as thinly as possible, sprinkle with desired spices, lay flat on a plate (no overlapping!) and microwave the heck out of them. 7-10 minutes for just one potato. They’ll curl up and harden the longer they’re cooked. You can always throw them under the broiler for a couple minutes after too to crisp them up more, but it’s so hot here my apartment is currently a no-oven zone ;)

  20. i don’t usually follow ratios (too much work for me + drives me nuts), but i do aim to get balanced at meals. i usually know that is breakfast was carb heavy, lunch should be less so. if breakfast and lunch were devoid of carbs, i should probably up it for dinner. my only thing i could is veggie + fruit servings – aiming for 10 servings/day. other than that, i like to think the rest evens itself out :)

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