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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?

A Blogging Fiesta

Hellooo!! How was everyone’s weekend?? Everyone watch the soccer match? Don’t care? I’m indifferent, it’s Tour de France season people!!! :P

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I have this bad habit of walking into bakeries, not to buy anything, but just to drool over the things they have on display. I found one not too far from my new place that had some Toronto-style bagels (as opposed to Montreal style). I asked the clerk what made them Toronto style and she had no idea. Thanks.

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I had one for breakfast on Saturday topped with laughing cow cheese and egg whites.

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I don’t care what style of bagel this is, it was delicious. Getting things fresh from a bakery makes a world of difference. A million times better than any bagged stuff at the grocery store!!

After blogging yesterday, I really did drag my sorry butt to the gym. I told myself I’d take it easy, and that’s just what I did. 35 minutes of sprint intervals on the elliptical, 10 minutes on the rowing machine, and 15 minutes of torture on the stepmill. Amazing how good an hour at the gym can make you feel for the rest of the day!!

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Popped the rest of the tempeh in the toaster oven with chopped onion and bbq sauce. Stuffed it in a pita with feta, tomatoes and romaine.

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I perhaps owe my first born to Lori for introducing me to the bbq-feta combo. SO good!! I still enjoyed the tempeh, however be forewarned, it’s not for everyone. I’ve heard it get compared to stinky feet before.

For dinner I went in the opposite direction. Traded in my vegetarian protein for some animal protein.

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Went to the grocery store and found these pork loins on sale. I then made up the following combination in my head as I browsed the grocery store aisles. Most of my dinners are created that way!

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Seared the chops on either side first, then cut them up and added white kidney beans, whole mushrooms and pesto to the pan.

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Meanwhile, I prepared a salad of simple garden veggies, including beets and olives because they rock my socks.

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You know what happened next…

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Haha, you can see the difference between the low light in my kitchen and the natural light in my living room. Anyways, the pork-bean-mushroom-pesto combo was amazing. Another great grocery store brainwave!!

And would you believe it if I said I was in bed before midnight last night? Yup! My body needed it as it’s still trying to fight off a stupid cold.

I woke up 9 hours later and immediately threw on my running gear for what ended up being a very hot 4-4.5 miles. I’d had intentions of being out earlier to run before the heat set in, but I slept too long!! It actually wasn’t that bad for being my first run in almost two weeks. But I am so happy I didn’t sign up for a half-marathon this year. I can’t imagine training in this heat. I’ll take the stepmill in my air conditioned gym anytime ;)

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I was still sweating even after taking a cold shower. I’d dreamed of thick and fluffy oatmeal pancakes but somewhere something went horribly wrong.

I made my usual protein pancake recipe (with 1/3 cup measurements) and didn’t bother blending it. They stuck to the pan!! I ended up with what looked like scrambled oatmeal.

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Some people may have thrown them out, but not I. Instead, I slathered them in almond butter.

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Then topped with yogurt, strawberries, blackberries and sugar-free syrup.

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And you know what? They tasted fantastic!!

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Best scrambled oatmeal ever. I’d actually make this again and again it was that good.

I made sure not to fill up on too many pancakes though, I had to save my appetite!!

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Suddenly, I don’t feel so strange for taking pictures of my food ;)

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Angela and I decided that a big healthy-living blogger fiesta was in order once I arrived in the city. She picked Calico Cafe based on their yummy looking vegan brunch menu and their ability to take large reservations! SO happy so many people could make it.

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Angela, Jess, Jenn, Therese, Callie

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Jenn, Kristin, Angela, Laura.  

Seriously you guys, how freakin’ lucky am I to be surrounded by so many fabulous women?? Also, anyone else ever notice that healthy living bloggers are always gorgeous and well dressed?? Just sayin!

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I ordered a chai iced tea to drink. Picture on the left was taken with my stock Canon Rebel lens, picture on the right was taken with Callie’s 50mm lens. Apparently they’re only 150 bucks or so and take stunning food photographs! I want one.

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Like many vegan restaurants, the menu at Calico Cafe is very unique. I ended up with a vegan omelette: creamy seitan filling, with potatoes, salad, toast + jam.

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The waiter told me the omelette was a mix of tofu and cornbread, but wouldn’t reveal anything else ;) This was my first time trying seitan and I really enjoyed it. It had a similar texture to tofu and was perfectly spiced in this dish.

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Thank you for coming out everyone!! I had a blast gabbing with them about everything from photography to seaweed to yoga. Next Sunday we’re doing a blogger potluck picnic, so if you couldn’t make it this time, e-mail me at thegreatbalancingact@gmail.com for details!! :)

While delicious, my meal wasn’t very filling. I was hungry again by the time I got home.

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Angela was sweet enough to bring Glo Bars for everyone. I pretty much tore into mine the second I bust through the door.

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Impressed by the nutrition stats!

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I really enjoyed the taste of this bar. The peanut butter really stuck out, and the huge chunks of cranberry were nice. I also really dig the incredibly gooey and crispy texture. Thank you Angela!! Hopefully I’ll get to see you in Oakville soon ;)

 

On that note, I am going to wrap up this incredibly long post and leave you to the rest of your day. I’m off to read a book. Don’t be fooled by how smart that statement sounds, I’m reading Harry Potter for the gazillionth time ;)

 

Question of the Day: What was the best thing you ate all weekend?? I love asking this question because I always get such great answers!! Mine was the above “oatmeal scramble.” Kitchen disaster turned kitchen fluke!

A Waffleless Wednesday

Hello friends!! Another Waffle Wednesday without waffles! Boo! My Belgian waffle maker is actually in Ottawa right now with my sister. Long story, but I will be reunited with it once again in two weeks time :)

This time next Wednesday I’ll be landing in Calgary! Eeeee!!

Anyways, as always, I am getting ahead of myself again.

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This morning I brought back an old favourite – Oatmeal & Yogurt Parfait.

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I started with a base of rolled oats cooked with egg whites. Then topped with frozen berries.

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The layers continue with yogurt, fibre cereal and sliced almonds.

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First time having yogurt in over a month!!! It hasn’t changed much in a month ;) My belly digested it just fine!

I must also report that my family completely wrecked and demolished the pan of chocolate chip blondies in less than 24 hours.

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I played my part by having one as the pre-workout snack of champions. Blondie + apple. It was the perfect fuel!!

I dragged my mom to the gym with me today. We both wanted to do plyometrics and knew we’d need the moral support to get through it ;)

We started with 15 minutes on the elliptical to warm-up. The recommended warm-up time is only 3-5 minutes to get oxygen to your muscles. If you don’t warm-up, you demand too much of your body too quickly and you will tire out sooner. Obviously, my usual 15 minutes is above and beyond my muscular needs, but it’s just long enough to get my heart rate into a working zone. Personally, once it reaches that level through straight-up cardio, I can keep it pretty elevated during strength training. However, it doesn’t get that high with strength training alone. I just don’t have the muscular power yet to make my heart pump that much. Make sense? There’s a method to my madness!

Today’s workout had one upper-body move alternated with one plyometric move. It was brutal.

Back set:

Exercise Sets Reps Load
Two arm dumbbell row 3 12 20 lbs each
Squat jumps 3 24 bodyweight

Chest set:

Exercise Sets Reps Load
Push-up  3 10 bodyweight
Lunge kicks 3 30 sec each bodyweight

Shoulder set:

Exercise Sets Reps Load
Prone cuban snatch (on ball) 3 10 5 lbs each
Weighted jumping jacks 3 60 sec 5 lbs each

Ab set:

Exercise Sets Reps Load
Plank on bosu ball 3 45 sec bodyweight
Bosu ball russian twist  3 30 8 lbs

Triceps/Biceps:

Exercise Sets Reps Load
Cable pushdown  2 15 45 lbs
Cable curl 2 15 25 lbs

 

And then we collapsed into a sweaty mess :P No, it was an awesome workout and I’m glad I had my mommy to suffer through the squat jumps with me!

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I came home with images of meltycheesy pitas dancing in my head.

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Pepperoni + cheddar. Halfway through I remembered I forgot to put the mayo on and didn’t even miss it! Just goes to show that condiments aren’t always required.

Chocolate however is always a necessity.

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My mom and Nana are going to Newfoundland the day after I leave for Banff, so my mother gave me permission to polish off this box.

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I only just noticed today that it says “Newfoundland Wild Berries” on the box – no wonder they all had a hint of fruit!

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Apparently each box is different. I have no clue what kind this was or what kind of berry was in it. But I can tell you it was delicious ;)

I spent aaallll afternoon applying for jobs and getting life details sorted out. I found out yesterday that my subtenant in my old place isn’t moving in after all. She had some sort of falling out with my landlord, but still agreed to pay the remainder of my lease. Jeeze louise, what a headache!

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I took a break for a Honeybar Sweet & Salty bar. I lovelovelove this bar. It reminds me of those Nature Valley Sweet n’ Salty bars – but BETTER!

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Ingredients: Peanuts, honey, peanut butter, almonds, almond butter, crisp brown rice, kosher salt. Nutritional info here!

I had a special dinner date today – I got to see one of my best friends!!

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Meghan and I have been friends since the first grade and even lived together during part of our undergrad (oddly enough, one of my new TO roommies is named Megan too!) She’s living back at home doing fun things like working with monkeys and lemurs. 

Meghan is also a fabulous cook. I arrived to a beautifully set table.

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I want those placemats please.

Meg whipped up some General Tso’s chicken. I can’t remember all what was in the pan, but I recall garlic, ginger, soy sauce, chicken broth, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, and probably magical fairy dust because it was freakin’ good.

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Paired with coconut lime rice.

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And a salad dressed with Newman’s Own sesame ginger dressing.

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SO delicious!! I miss living with Meghan!!! I miss our Lost nights and MSN-ing each other when we’re too lazy to get out of bed and speak face to face ;)

I was lucky enough to have a dining companion by the name of Simon.

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Simon’s name is pronounced in a British accent ;) Meg also works at an animal shelter, and this is one face she couldn’t let go. I don’t blame her!!

Dessert was the perfect end to the perfect meal.

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It went with the rice!
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With chamomile tea. It made me sleepy :)

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Check out Meghan’s Mom’s mug – Supernatural!!

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The other bestie Erika got me hooked on this show and I squealed like a schoolgirl when I saw this.

I regret typing that. These are some things I should just not admit to on the internet.

Simon is not the only cute kitty face I came across tonight.

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Meet Peter. His proper name pronunciation however is “Pedro.” Don’t forget to roll the R… Pedrrrroo.

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Simon suffered brain damage from smoke inhalation in the house fire he was rescued from. He’s a little slow, but in the most endearing of ways :)

 

Gosh, I have turned into a crazy cat and dog lady. But I need to get my fill – I’ll be without pets soon :(

 

Question of the day: What’s your favourite kind of Chinese food? I don’t have a lot of experience in either traditional or North American Chinese food. All I know is that I genuinely love the taste of fortune cookies ;)

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