I reached out this past week on my Instagram and asked for suggestions on what this week's blog should be about. I had a handful of people ask me what "diet" I currently follow, so I figured I'd answer that Q. Originally, I wanted to answer 3-4 Q's, but this one deserves a post to itself.
So! What's my current diet?
Currently, I follow a 90% vegetarian diet (I'll get into the 90% thing in one second,) and I track my macros. I went vegetarian mid-summer 2017. In 2015 I was vegan and ended up eating meat again in 2016. I decided to go vegetarian primarily for ethical reasons, but secondarily for health benefits - I'll post a whole separate blog about WHY I personally chose to eat vegetarian.
Yes, vegetarian means...no meat.
BUT MICHELE HOWDOYOUGETYOURPROTEIN?!?!?!
Beans, nuts, seeds, vegetables (yep, they have protein,) protein powder, greek yogurt, kodiak cakes, the list goes on! Contrary to popular belief, you don't need meat to get protein, survive and be healthy.
I also limit my dairy consumption and it has helped me tremendously in terms of bloat, digestion and weight loss. Yes, I eat eggs. I eat greek yogurt in smoothies. I supplement with both vegan and whey protein when I need to. In terms of cheese...I love it, but it's a weakness for me, so I limit it, but do indulge here and there....because nachos.
I want to touch on what I just said about protein supplementation. I do my very best to eat whole foods as much as possible and I do a great job at it, for the most part. Whole foods make me feel the best, keep my skin clear, my tummy flat, my digestion regular and overall, my body functioning in tip-top condition. BUT, sometimes I'm on-the-go and need protein post-workout. Sometimes, I'm short on hitting my protein macros for the day. In those cases, I do supplement with protein powder. I'll put it in smoothies, in acai bowls, in pancakes, in oatmeal etc.
Other supplements I take daily are fish oil (see this is where that 90% vegetarian thing comes in,) B-12, a Calcium-Magnesium-Zinc complex and a Probiotic. If you'd like me to elaborate on why I take each of these, shoot me an email and I can most definitely write a post about supplementation in the future.
Here's a little more insight on what I mean when I say 90% vegetarian. When I eat and cook for myself, I eat 100% vegetarian. When I go out to eat, I order vegetarian options. But, I do take a fish oil supplement (fish = not vegetarian.) If I'm somewhere with a shrimp cocktail appetizer, I might have one. My boyfriend and I cooked his parents an anniversary dinner that included bacon...I had some bacon. I refuse to restrict and limit myself just because I eat one way the majority of the time.
As a person and as a coach, I preach "everything in moderation." You want a glass of wine on Friday night? Drink it. You eat healthy 6/7 days/week, good for you! I eat primarily vegetarian and THRIVE that way, but if I want a chicken nugget, you bet I'll get me a chicken nugget!
Make sense? I hope so!
Now onto the second part of my diet - tracking my macros.
I'm sure some of you have heard of macro tracking before, maybe you've tried it or practice it now. But for those of you who don't have a clue, or need a refresher, here ya go!
Foods are made up of macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fats and alcohol.) Macro tracking is simply keeping a log of what foods you're eating throughout the day, with the goal of hitting a certain amount of each macronutrients per day.
Why not just count calories?
Every single person's body is composed differently. A person my height with more muscle, fat or who has a different activity level than I do is going to need a different amount of calories and macronutrients than I am. Macro-tracking is completely individual and what works for one person, works for that person alone.
For example, a 30 year old woman, weighing 150 lb, at 5'7", who works out 3-5x per week, needs about 2,200 calories a day. Her macronutrient breakdown would be 167 grams of protein, 86 grams of fat and 195 grams of carbs.
Where as a 30 year old woman, weighing 150 lb, at 5'2, who doesn't work out at all, only needs 1,650 calories per day, 122g protein, 63g fats, 142g carbs.
The examples go on and on and I could write a whole post about macro-tracking alone (which I will) but the benefits of macro-tracking are vast. Tracking allows you to be hyper-aware of exactly what you're putting into your body and what macro-breakdown is going to be optimal for your goals (fat loss, maintenance or weight gain.)
I've tracked my macros on and off for the past 2 years and have loved it every time. It allows me to narrow in on my goals. I know people who have tracked every day for 5 years, and I know people like me, who track a few weeks here and there, just to make sure they're fueling their body properly.
I won't share my current macros with you all because they won't benefit you (like I said above, everyone's macros are individual - so what works for me won't work for you...unless you're a clone of me....which would be weird.) But I WILL tell you that I eat over 200g of carbs a day and have lost weight doing so! Constantly, I'm trying to teach my clients that carbs aren't the enemy. You can love carbs and if you eat them properly. they'll love you back!
But here I am getting preachy and off-point.
The last thing I want to talk about is hydration and what I drink. I drink water ALL THE TIME. On average, I drink about a gallon and a half of water a day. Other than that, I don't drink much else besides water. If I need caffeine, I may indulge in a zero calorie White Monster, but that's rare. I cut all caffeine out of my diet back in February 2018. In terms of alcohol, I don't drink much of it at all. I may have a drink socially, but when I do, it's usually vodka and some sort of zero-calorie mixer. On special occasions, I'll have a mimosa or if I'm feelin' frisky, maybe some whiskey. But overall, I drink alcohol maybe 1-2x per month.
That's basically the breakdown of my diet! I hope it has answered what those of you who asked, wanted!
In summary, 90% vegetarian, lots of fruits and veggies, macro-tracking, I love carbs and drink loads of water. As someone who struggled with food for a LONG time, I can say that the way I'm eating now is the best way I've ever eaten.
Until next time,