Food for Squat: Paleo vs. Macros

Hello, friends! I’m Laura Saar, a 6:00 am WOD-er, and I’m going to show you how I go about planning my macros. I will admit, the idea does sound tedious and overwhelming at first, but I promise the more you work with your macros and your menu plan, the easier it will get.

First of all, with the nutrition challenge that is going on right now, you should decide if you are going to go the paleo/primal route or the macro route. To be honest, it’s all about knowing yourself and how you operate. How I think about it is this: “How can I trick myself into sticking to this plan for the next 7 weeks and which route is going to give me the best results?!”

Let’s see.. pros and cons! Pros to the paleo route: you don’t have to weigh/measure your foods or really record anything down (although it is super beneficial if you do!). Your choices are limited to a specific group of foods, which might make it easier to say no to bad food choices and good choices are cut and dry. (I know I do well with rules and structure.)

Cons to paleo: If you have a metabolism like mine, you have one picky SOB of a body! I can “eat paleo” for weeks and weeks and see absolutely no change in body composition. If I eat too many fruits, or heck, if I eat fruits late at night, I often gain weight! It’s just how my body works, and as soon as I accepted this as my fate, life got much easier. I knew that I am one of those people that needs to pay attention to macros (proteins, fats, carbohydrates) in order to see the results that I’m looking for.

 

Pros to macros: You are aiming to get specifically what your body needs to thrive in whatever your goal situation looks like. Essentially, you’re feeding your body the most optimum nutrients to be the most bad ass version of yourself that you can be! WHAT?! Awesome right?!

 

Well… the cons to macros: it’s time consuming and it’s a commitment. Plain and simple. It just is. You have to weigh/measure/record everything so you know exactly where you are in your day. You need to plan out your days ahead of time (or, for an after dinner snack, you’re going to end up having to eat 102 grams of protein, 12 carbs, and 22 grams of fat…) Yes, it’s time consuming, but if you sit down and do it consistently, it becomes very quick and easy.

 

Another con to macros: since you don’t necessarily have specific food groups that you need to eat/stay away from, it’s very tempting to start macro counting in your cookies and doughnuts. THAT isn’t the issue. If you can eat 1 donut 1 time each week, and count it towards your macros, YOU ARE AMAZING!! That’s totally fine. If you’re like me, though, where you have the very best intentions to eat just the 1 donut, then you end up eating 3…. And then 3 tomorrow because you got the sweet tooth stuck in your mind… and then you eat a pizza because “eff it, I already messed this up…” That’s where we have some problems. Know yourself.

Essentially, what I’m trying to tell you: Choose the path of least resistance. If you see awesome results while eating paleo, choose paleo! If hitting your macros every day makes you feel like a freakin’ beast, choose macros! Know yourself and what it’s going to take to hit your goals.

Now, whichever plan you choose to attack, I would highly recommend doing some pre-planning for your week. Otherwise, you’re going to get home one night, be starving, and make bad decisions. It’s just going to happen.

How in the world do I even start planning out my macros?! I’m glad you asked….

Start by finding your macro goals at a website like macronutrientcalculator.com. Then, download a handy app like myfitnesspal (and add all of your crossfit friends!)

Now, start by adding in a base of what you want for breakfast, lunch and dinner. So, maybe for breakfast: 2 eggs, 1 orange, 1 c. oatmeal, 2 T. avocado….. and for lunch: 6 oz. chicken, 2 c. broccoli, 6 oz. sweet potato, 1 c. blueberries… and so on. Add in mid morning and mid afternoon snack ideas too, if you’re into that kind of thing!

THEN, go look at where you are with that day in regards to your macro goals and start tweaking those serving sizes of your food. Maybe you need WAY more protein in your day. Go back to your lunch and make it 10 oz. chicken and maybe 3 eggs for breakfast. Do you see why it’s important to plan this out ahead of time?! Keep tweaking until your daily goals are met and then, just follow your plan.

If you have questions about planning your macros or your paleo goals, I can help you or your amazing crossfit coaches can as well!

Okay, enough yapping! Here’s a fun recipe, if you’re needing some comfort food!

 

Loaded Mashed Cauliflower

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  • 1 head Cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 T. butter
  • 4 strips of bacon
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar
  1. Steam the cauliflower in a steamer or in a covered pot with about 1” of water for about 12 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, crisp the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat.

  3. When cauliflower is tender, drain water and add cauliflower, butter and a dash of salt and pepper to a food processor (or you can just a mixer or blender).

  4. Puree. Stir in the cooked, crumbled bacon, sliced green onions and shredded cheddar. YUM!