Macro/calorie tracking, I’m sure many of you are familiar with the drill. You track all the food/drinks you consume to the gram and use an app or website such as myfitnesspal to add it all up for you. The more premium sites will break down the macronutrients into carbs, fats and proteins and allow you to set personal daily targets. Tracking macros is commonly used by bikini fitness competitors, weight lifters and can be used as a weight loss tool.
After seeing various fitness/insta friends track their macros (all for very valid reasons) I decided to do it for a few days and see what it was like. The reason I don’t track macros is that I don’t feel I need/want to restrict my diet that much – I’m not actively trying to lose/gain weight and I try to maintain a balance with my life, spontaneously eating what I want when I want. I believe that eating should be a pleasure, not a chore or hassle.
Here are my thoughts having tracked for 3 days:
- Tracking macros takes a lot of time and effort. Weighing things out into exact portions and entering them into the app isn’t a quick task….especially when you’re used to just chucking dinner in a pan and getting on with it.
- Staying under your daily sugar target is tough. Most foods with some form of carbohydrate in them contain sugar, but macro tracking makes you realise just how much. Fruit, drinks and even snack bars have surprisingly large amounts in!
- Reaching your protein goal is very hard!! When you consider that my protein target is roughly 125g and there is 6g in an egg….you see the problem.
- Snack bars are very high in sugar – even the ‘healthy’ ones.
- You start to obsess over measuring even the tiniest of things, like 10ml of milk for tea. Normally I just pour milk in my tea without faffing – this made making a simple cup of tea into a 5 minute task.
- Reaching your RDA for vitamin A and C is so easy. I snack on carrots a lot and carrots contain high levels of both these vitamins.
Personally, although I found it interesting to see the macro break down of the food, I feel it would be unecessary to do it long term – I very much prefer to be spontaneous with food and not have to worry about whether I’ve gone over or not hit my target. Most of the exercise I do is cardio based and therefore it is also far less significant to track macros.
For more info on tracking macros, check out some articles from Ben Coomber. If you decide to track macros, t’s always best to seek professional advice to help you work out what your personal ones would be otherwise you could get them incredibly wrong!!!
Whether you’re a morning person or not, I’m sure you’ll agree that every now and then you get a little tired of having the same breakfast over and over again. If you’re like me, often the days I decide to switch things up and have something different are the days I am short of time and cannot spend hours perfecting pancakes.
By providing your body with a nutritious, nutrient-dense breakfast in the morning you’ll help ensure that you keep your body fuelled for the day ahead. Here are a few ideas you can use to mix up your mornings:
Porridge topped with fresh fruit, seeds and nut butter
Simply add 3/4 of a cup of oats (I used Delicious Alchemy) with 250ml milk and a splash of water into a pan and simmer until you reach your desired consistency. Pour into a bowl and top with fresh berries, chia seeds and nut butter!
Toast with scrambled eggs, mushrooms and dwarf beans
Add a spoon of coconut oil into a frying pan and gently fry the mushrooms and beans until lightly cooked. Toast the bread and slice in half. Place the bread and vegetables on a plate and then crack 2 eggs into the frying pan. Avoiding too much stirring, cook the eggs until lightly done. Pour the eggs onto the plate and top with fresh chives.
Fluffy Protein Pancakes
For the perfect pancake recipe, check out @hannaheats_’s recipe on her website here. Fill with nut butter, banana, a cheeky spread of Nutella and seeds.
Greek yoghurt topped with Granola, frozen berries and coconut flakes
Place 200-300g of yoghurt (greek or natural) into a bowl – I often stir in a scoop of protein powder depending on how I feel. Top with frozen berries, granola, nuts, seeds and coconut flakes!
Tag me in your posts on Instagram @beth_heddle , I cannot wait to see your creations!
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As a Coeliac, I find it so hard to find gluten free granolas in the supermarket that aren’t full of sugar or being sold for a ridiculous price. I LOVE to snack on granola, so much so that I have been known to eat an entire bag in the space of an hour over work (terrible I know, but when it tastes so good how can you not?!).
I’ve tried to make a range of types of granola and this has to be my favourite (with peanut butter granola falling very close behind!). I absolutely love the flavour of coconut and the crunch of pecans – this recipe combines the two which never fails to impress.
This recipe is perfect with milk and fresh banana slices, as a topper for yoghurt or a crumble, or as a snack out of the jar! It isn’t greasy so don’t be worried about eating it as a snack!
- 100g gluten free jumbo oats
- 30g chia seeds
- 50g pecans, whole
- 50g mixed seeds
- 1/2 tsp carob powder (optional)
- 1/2 tsp mixed spice
- 60g jumbo raisins
- 50g flaked coconut
- 40g coconut oil, melted
- 40g date nectar (or maple syrup/honey)
- Preheat oven to 160°C. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
- Add all dry ingredients [excluding raisins] into a bowl and mix until well combined.
- Add the melted coconut oil and date nectar into the bowl and stir until all the oats are coated.
- Pour onto the tray lined with baking parchment and bake for 10-12 minutes until the oats are just starting to turn golden. Remove from oven and stir in the raisins.
- Return to the oven for 10 minutes until the granola is well toasted.
- Leave to cool before serving!
- Store in a sealed jar/container for up to 4 weeks.
We all love a chocolate fix after dinner lets be honest, no matter how amazing the dinner, it never had us 100% satisfied. Why not make your own to give your Christmas Party a personal touch?
These mints are super simple to make, you don’t need a mould or hours and hours for setting and you only need 5 ingredients plus a set of snazzy cookie cutters.
- 1 egg white
- 1 drop lemon juice
- 350g icing sugar
- 1 tsp peppermint extract
- 100g dark chocolate
- Place the egg white in a bowl and whisk until it is frothy (3-4 mins).
- Add in the drop of lemon juice and stir well.
- Split the icing sugar roughly into 3 (150g, 100g, 100g) and add in each in turn, ensuring the mix is well combined between each addition.
- Stir in the peppermint extract.
- Roll out the mix onto a flat surface (dusting the surface with icing sugar to prevent the ‘dough’ sticking) roughly 7mm thick.
- Use cookie cutters to cut the sheet into smaller shapes. Continue until there is no mint dough left.
- Place on a tray and refrigerate for 2 hours until hard.
- Melt the chocolate and dip in the mints.
- Place back in the fridge to allow the chocolate to harden.
Mince pies are such a traditional Christmas treat – no doubt they’ll be served at every house you visit, every shop you pop into and I’d be very surprised if you’ve not had one in the last couple of days!
These mince pies are so easy to make, are healthy and yet still taste so delicious. They’re full of easy-to-find nutrient dense ingredients and make surprisingly little mess (always a bonus at this time of year)! You’ve got every allergen covered as they’re gluten free, egg free, vegan and dairy free too!
For the Tart:
- 350g medjool dates (or another type of date, soaked in boiling water for an hour)
- 250g ground almonds
- 50g quinoa flour (can subsitute any type of flour instead eg. wholemeal flour, brown rice flour etc)
- 5 tbsp coconut oil
- 3 tbsp water
For the Mincemeat Filling:
- 200g diced apple
- 180g sultanas
- 100g dried cranberries
- Juice and zest of 2 large oranges
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Icing Sugar (I used Sukrin)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Place all the mincemeat ingredients in a pan on the hob and gently simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Whilst the mincemeat is simmering, add all the tart ingredients into a strong food processor and pulse until a dough forms.
- Bring the dough together with your hands and roll out on a flat surface to about 5mm in thickness. Use a cutter to cut out 24 circles, and 24 small stars.
- Grease a muffin tray with coconut oil and gently press in the tart circles so that they fill the tray. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove these from the oven and scoop tablespoons of mincemeat into the tart cases. Add a star to the top of each mince pie. Bake again for another 10-12 minutes until the mince pie is golden.
- Allow to cool before removing from the tray (they will harden as they cool).
- Sprinkle with icing sugar and enjoy (not all at once!).