Jalapeno Popper Chicken

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jalapeno popper chicken macros

Thomas saw this recipe on Buzzfeed and decided to give it a go. I recommended some replacement options to reduce total calories & fat content. We used fat free cream cheese and low fat cheddar cheese to lighten things up. We also used less oil for frying and opted for a longer cook time in the oven. You can easily change this recipe to be low fat cream cheese, fat free cheddar, or even skip the breading! That’s why I love flexible dieting so much, it is so easy to adapt a recipe to meet your macronutrient needs. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did!


  • 2lb chicken breast
  • 4 oz fat free cream cheese (could do cottage cheese or a mix of the two instead for more protein)
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 egg whites, beaten
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

In a bowl mix together the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and jalapeno. Slice a pocket into each chicken breast to stuff the filling in. Stuff each chicken breast with mixture and seal shut. Dip the chicken into the flour, then egg whites, then bread crumbs. Brown chicken in oil on the stove. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and when the chicken is golden brown (about 3-4 mins each side)  transfer to baking dish and bake for 20 mins. Enjoy!

Macros (recipe makes 8, serving is 4 oz): 367 calories, 15g fat, 26g carbs, 36g protein, 2g fiber


Carb Cycling & Clients

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carb cycling macro coach iifym

IIFYM.com just released an article named “Carb Cycling: Advantages & Disadvantages. Now I won’t reiterate what was said, you can visit this link to read the article, but I would like to talk about a few points that can relate to my clients.

Many flexible dieters struggle with the same things (myself included!) like staying on track on weekends, feeling burnt out from dieting, or sometimes feeling overly restricted (after all, we’re still dieting). Carb cycling can actually help with all of these. The reason I love flexible dieting is because YOU choose how flexible you want to be! For those who are competing in bodybuilding, they choose to be more tedious with their diet to reach their strict goals. But for many of us (which includes most of my clients) we just want to reach our goals as fast as possible without losing our sanity or the weight rebounding. So how does carb cycling help with this?

Quick Summary

For the purpose of this article I will provide a quick summary of carb cycling. Carb cycling can be set up in many different ways. Just as the name states you’ll be cycling around your total carbs in different variations throughout the week. For most people this means they have 1-2 high carb days a week; this would also mean they have lower carbs the rest of the week to accommodate the high carb days. You can also cycle fat to have higher fat on low carb days, helping to keep you more satisfied. So, what’s the point of all this?

What it Comes Down to…

  • Contary to what some believe, there is not enough evidence to prove that carb cycling can promote more fat loss than having the same daily macro goal (this is assuming overall calorie intake is the same)
  • It CAN, however, help the client to stay more consistent with their diet by feeling like they’re given a diet break with their high carb days
  • Can provide an advantage to athletes by pairing their high carb days with an intense workout

How I Apply Carb Cycling to My Clients

As stated before, many of my clients are not athletes or competing, they simply want to get healthier and enjoy the process. I utilize high carb days for my clients in many ways. Since all my clients are different (and I do have some athletes!) I will list a few techniques I use:

  • Athletes/clients focused on increasing strength- provide high carbs for training, this is especially important if they are in a deficit. When focused on building mass and increasing strength, maintenance or a surplus of calories is preferred. In these cases you wouldn’t necessarily need to cycle carbs but can
  • Clients focused on body recomposition (mainten weight with goal of building muscle while losing fat)- high carb days for training, low carb rest days to promote more fat loss
  • Clients who struggle to stay consistent- lower carbs on week days, high carb days on weekends for more flexibility
  • Clients who are on an aggressive fat loss plan- since overall calories are lower I provide these clients with a high carb day but it would be a refeed day. A refeed day differs from carb cycling because we increase overall calories on this day (usually at our right under maintenance calories) to replenish glycogen storage and give the client a mental break

These are the four most common ways I use carb cycling for clients. Everyone is different so I use these techniques on a client to client basis and sometimes even tweak them to fit the individual’s need. Whatever makes the client stay on track is what we want to stick with. For me personally, I prefer having the same macro goal each day, it’s just easier! But I have utilized carb cycling in the past and do see the benefits of it. If you’re a current clients and are interested in implementing carb cycling, just let me know! If you have any questions drop a line below. Happy flexible dieting!

Macro-Friendly Slow Cooker Stuffed Shells

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 macro-friendly slow cooker stuffed shells

These delicious and macro-friendly stuffed shells are as easy as it gets! Since they’re made in the slow cooker there’s no need to cook the pasta shells ahead of time. Just assemble in the slow cooker, allow to cook, and enjoy!


  • 24 (1200g) Barilla jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 cup Publix 2% skim (low fat) Ricotta
  • 6 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 cup Sargento reduced fat 4 cheese Italian, shredded
  • 3 cups Publix 2% mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 large egg
  • 5 cups chopped frozen spinach, thawed
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Parsley, optional

Start by adding a layer of marinara sauce to the bottom of the slow cooker (about 2 cups). In a large bowl mix ricotta, 2 cups 2% mozzarella cheese, 1 egg, thawed spinach, garlic, seasonings, and parsley. Take (uncooked) pasta shells and fill each with equal amount of mixture. For you macro trackers you will need to weigh the total mix and divide by 24 to know how many grams of mixture each shell should contain. Layer the bottom of the slow cooker with shells, you will use about half. Once the bottom is covered in stuff shells top with 2 more cups of sauce and sprinkle your final cup of mozzarella cheese on top. Add your final layer of stuffed shells and top with remainder of sauce. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. When you are ready to serve top the shells with the Italian cheese blend and parsley, allow to cook covered for another 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted. Happy flexible dieting!

Macros (2 shells per serving, recipe makes 12 servings): 249 calories, 9g fat, 24g carbs, 19g protein, 1g fiber

To make these a freezer meal, assemble shells into a glass dish including the top layer of cheese, cover, and freeze. When you’re ready to make the shells allow them to thaw overnight, then cook covered for 45 minutes at 425 degrees, uncovering the last 5 minutes for cheese to melt.

Macro-Friendly Supreme Pizza

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Another delicious and macro-friendly homemade pizza by Papa Thom! I could honestly eat this every night, especially considering when Thom cooks I clean and this has basically no clean-up! Hope you enjoy the recipe, happy flexible dieting!

macro-friendly supreme pizza


  • Pizza dough from local bakery or Pillsbury pizza dough
  • 2.5 cups 2% shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup Prego pizza sauce
  • 1 cup sauteed peppers, mushrooms & onions
  • 6 oz Jimmy Dean turkey sausage crumbles

If you’re using dough from the bakery or made your own preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare area to get your dough ready, you can use a rolling pin or stretch with your hands. Flour your hands and sprinkle flour on your prep surface. Roll the dough in the flour until it is not sticky. Roll or stretch the dough carefully until you reach desired crust thickness. Place dough on pizza pan and cook 1-2 minutes, until the dough has a firm outer crust. Remove dough from oven and spread pizza sauce evenly across dough.

If you’re using PIllsbury dough follow the cook time instructions on the package.

Sprinkle half of cheese all over dough. Place turkey sausage on top and veggies on top, then add the rest of the cheese and place into the oven. Our dough took 18-20 minutes, we rotated the pizza 1/4 turn very 4 minutes. Once crust is golden brown, and cheese is bubbly remove and let sit on the pan for 3-5 minutes. Enjoy!

Macros (per slice): 281 calories, 9g fat, 31g, 18g protein, 2g

Macro-Friendly Chicken, Bacon, and Ranch Sandwiches

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One of the most common questions I get from clients is, “what should I make for lunch?” Lunches can get really boring. Always the same simple salad or sandwich. I tried to switch it up and make lunch fun with yummy macro-friendly sandwich that’s packed with protein but easy on the fat. If you have fat to spare add a slice of cheese or do real ranch (although, I think this Greek yogurt ranch tastes even better and fresher!). If you’re looking to save carbs roll this up in a low carb wrap or use Sara Lee’s 45 cal bread. Being on maintenance macros, I actually struggle to meet my carbs and protein. This delicious sandwich helped me get 40g protein in the most delicious way possible. Hope you enjoy this recipe idea. Considering it includes bacon how could you not? Happy flexible dieting!

macro-friendly turkey bacon ranch lunch


  • 2 slices bread (I used Publix’s butter bread)
  • 3 oz cooked chicken breast
  • 1 slice low sodium bacon (I used Publix brand)
  • 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 packet Hidden Valley ranch mix
  • Lettuce, tomato, onion to garnish, optional

Macros (for entire sandwich using 1 tbsp ranch, not including garnish): 313 calories, 8g fat, 25g carbs, 40g protein, 2g fiber


Macro-Friendly Meatloaf

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iifym flexible dieting meatloaf easy dinner


  • 2lbs 93/7 lean ground beef (weight uncooked)
  • 8oz white onion, chopped
  • 1 and 1/2 cups Progresso bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Heinz low sugar ketchup
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup Fair Life fat free milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper


  • 1 cup Heinz low sugar ketchup
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine beef, onion, bread crumbs, ketchup, egg white, and milk in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Place in a lightly greased loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour at 350, applying glaze halfway through. Enjoy!

macro friendly meatloaf iifym recipes

Macros (for 1/10th of loaf):  231 calories, 7g fat, 17g carbs, 22g protein

To figure out the exact macros of your portion follow these guidelines before cooking.

Easy Homemade Macro-Friendly Pizza

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homemade easy pizza macro friendly iifym

About once a week Thomas picks up a ball of pizza dough from our local grocery store and makes us a homemade pizza. It’s such a quick and easy dinner and my favorite part, there’s essentially no clean up! I realized how easy it is to make these pizzas macro-friendly. I’m sharing a traditional pepperoni pizza recipe but you can also make it with chicken breast (do a bbq or bufflalo style or even margherita!), do a taco style pizza using lean ground beef, or if you have the fat to spare make a steak & cheese pie!

If you’d like the recipe to our other versions just let us know!


  • Fresh pizza dough from local bakery or Pillsbury Pre Made Pizza Dough
  • 3 oz Boar’s Head turkey pepperoni (assuming you want all turkey pep on the pizza instead of the half & half we did)
  • 2.5 cups 2% mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Prego pizza sauce

If you’re using dough from the bakery or made your own preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare area to get your dough ready, you can use a rolling pin or stretch with your hands. Flour your hands and sprinkle flour on your prep surface. Roll the dough in the flour until it is not sticky. Roll or stretch the dough carefully until you reach desired crust thickness. Place dough on pizza pan and cook 1-2 minutes, until the dough has a firm outer crust. Remove dough from oven and spread pizza sauce evenly across dough.

If you’re using PIllsbury dough follow the cook time instructions on the package.

Sprinkle cheese all over dough. Place turkey pepperoni on top and place into the oven. Our dough took 18-20 minutes, we rotated the pizza 1/4 turn very 4 minutes. Once crust is golden brown, and cheese is bubbly remove and let sit on the pan for 3-5 minutes. Enjoy!

Macros (per slice using PIllsbury dough and turkey pepperoni): 264 calories, 8g fat, 29g carbs, 18g protein, 2g fiber

Ways to Decrease Carbs: Cauliflower crust, Flatout bread, or large low carb tortilla as “crust”

Ways to Decrease Fat: Dice up chicken breast and replace pepperoni, use a blend of low fat & fat free cheese (you do want some fat in the cheese to help melt)

Why Female Fitness Is Holding Itself Back

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By Stephen Correa, Jr.

Female fitness is fast on the rise. More and more women and girls are getting off the couch and in shape. Hell we even have female rugby back in the Olympics so if that doesn’t tell you the rise of the strong woman is upon us then where have you been? Moreover, I’d like to welcome you to the new age as the saying goes. Women are flooding powerlifting, weightlifting, crossfit, running, cycling, and many other sports. What a time to be alive in fitness.

For those who are unfamiliar with me, I’m Stephen or Coach, I have the ultimate pleasure of coaching 40+ of the most badass women you could hope to meet. They vary from very beginner to 4 Nationally Qualified powerlifters and 2 of which are IPL World Qualified. While those titles are earned they don’t make anyone of them on my team any more important than another. They all have different goals even though some do share similarities. They come from incredibly differing backgrounds, which is a testament to how fitness is not a vacuum of certain types of women. Being in a niche coaching 90% women on my team I have seen the good and the bad, the highs and the lows, and the truly disappointing in female fitness. When you coach so many ladies who all have social media accounts you tend to get sucked into hashtag holes, see idiotic comments from both genders, and the blind leading the blind. Indulge me if you will, as I ramble and rant on why female fitness is hindering its progression and maybe even offer a piece of advice or two.

I’m going to start with the simplest “annoyance” I’ve seen in the gym or heard. I had the absolute horror of having a Twitter account for far too long if I’m being completely honest. I no longer do because the stupidity outweighed any true benefit I could find. In my travels of the Twitterverse, I came across a repetitive theme in tweets. Ladies would get upset when a gentleman offered them a spot. These ladies would be so indignant that a man would do such a thing. Now ladies, I’ve been lifting since I was 15 which gives me 17 years of toiling in a gym and I have offered such help the entire time. I would afford a man the same courtesy. It’s not because I think either person is weak, I just don’t want you to get stapled by the bar while I’m around. Now that isn’t to say there aren’t chauvinists in the gym that are trying to exert some alpha male bullshit because it is the gym and those people do exist. However, let’s pump the brakes before we assume that the guy offering help is just being an asshole. It’s not hard to kindly say that you don’t need it but if you do you know who to ask. Ask yourself who the real asshole is, the one offering a spot or the one assuming they are just thinking you are weak? On the flipside, you gentlemen that offer help need to have some situational awareness. If you’ve seen this lady lift before and it’s clearly not a heavy load, just go about your workout. You’re not needed. Move on. Mind your business. It’s hard enough for coaches to get these ladies in the gym and strength training. You gentlemen just make it that much harder for them to want to.

This next part addresses the elitism and exclusivity that runs rampant in female fitness and hinders feminism within it. I will preface this by saying I’m not the most prolific feminist you’ll find. It’s not that I don’t believe in, it I’m just not as read up on it as other people. To paraphrase Hank Moody, I love women and have all their albums. You are the greatest creatures walking around on this spinning rock but you are holding yourselves back. This may be the section where eyebrows will be raised or disagreeing will happen, but seeing as this is an Op Ed piece this is just how I see it.

There is an incredible amount of elitism and exclusivity in female fitness. For a gender yearning for equality you’re not even trying to bring each other along in the process. Bodybuilders present this elite mentality whether with physique or bullshit title of “Pro.” That’s like having a record in a powerlifting federation. Who gives a shit? Yeah, you worked hard and earned it, but there are so many federations for both disciplines that the words “record” or “pro” are more watered down than drinks on two for one night at the bar. Then you have the strength side that claims superiority because of how much weight they can move. As a powerlifting coach that’s great, but that’s no reason to think you’re better than another woman in another discipline. Apples to oranges ladies. Don’t get me started on Crossfit. I may joke a lot, but I actually do enjoy Crossfit and many of their workouts that are coached by COMPETENT people. I take issue with this nonsensical bullshit mantra of forging elite fitness. Calm your tits, Crossfit. Like any other lifting discipline, you have 10% that may be elite and 90% hobbyists to intermediates.

Instead of knocking one for their style of fitness, be it lifting or cardio, why can’t there be an encouragement. “Yeah do your thing, girl.” You don’t have to share the same styles to encourage each other. I have 40+ women, but when it’s meet day for one of them the whole team is cheering even if they don’t powerlift or even have a clue what the updates mean. This is the team environment I’ve fostered among them and it’s something that women, as a team, should really strive for. Who cares if you have different backgrounds or training styles. None of that matters. You all share a common goal which is to better your health, physique, and hopefully your mind.

Another area of exclusivity that really pisses me off is this new hashtag I’ve been seeing on Instagram. The first version I saw was #girlswhoactuallylift. Now as I stated, I’m no scholar on the topic of feminism, but if this isn’t setting back the movement in fitness then I don’t know what is. Girls who actually lift? Merriam-Webster defines the verb LIFT as raising from a lower to a higher position. So whether it be your body weight, a 5-pound dumbbell or a 500-pound deadlift by definition you are all lifting. I challenge any elitist reading this to explain to me what in the actual fuck #girlswhoactuallylift means. You people are the reason that beginners don’t want to step in the gym. You are the reason that women have image issues. How do you expect to further getting women into fitness when you differentiate who’s actually lifting and who isn’t? Please just do all of us who are trying to get women in the gym to better themselves a favor and shut the hell up. You’re not part of the solution. You’re just furthering the problem.

Like the kitchen, men and women belong in the gym. It’s a great way to be proactive about your health, create a better self-image, and instill an active lifestyle. I’d like to think those are all things we want. I don’t speak for everyone, but I want equality between both genders and within the female gender. Let’s start by not focusing on differences, but rather uplifting each other for having the same common goal. Do your part to not be a shitty person to one another and I promise we can accomplish so much more together.

Macro-Friendly French Dip Sandwiches

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macro friendly meal french dip

Another awesome recipe by Thomas! After 3 and a half years of tracking my macros I am so happy to say that Thom has jumped on the bandwagon and has even become a master of macro friendly meals! Since he’s now the main cook of the house he’s been experimenting with some new recipes for the blog and this one was too good not to share. Super simple, amazing macros, great taste. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!


  • Loaf french bread
  • 1lb deli roast beef (or a sirloin for homemade)
  • 8 slices 2% provolone cheese
  • 1 cup beef broth, low sodium
  • 1 packet french onion soup mix
  • 1 cup water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pile 4 oz of roast beef on 1/4 roll of french bread and add 2 slices of cheese. Toast sandwiches open face in the oven for 10 mins or until cheese is golden brown. If you prefer softer bread roll the sandwiches up in tin foil and cook on a baking dish for about 15 mins. While the sandwiches are heating up add the beef broth, soup mix, and water to a pot. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low to simmer.  Enjoy!

Macros (per sub with 1/8 cup dip): 469 calories, 14g fat, 44g carbs, 37g protein


Curly Hair Update on Products

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Ask and you shall receive. As requested I’ve posted a video on my updated hair care routine. I am using Morrocco Method shampoo once a week and their conditioner daily. Their products are raw, vegan, 100% natural. Not the best smelling products but for how healthy and amazing my hair looks I don’t mind one bit. Plus the smell doesn’t transfer to my hair.

I use a wide tooth comb to detangle my hair in the shower and then I use Morrocco Method’s styling pomade. I allow it to air dry, I never use heat or harsh chemicals on my hair. Hope you enjoy the video!

Trader Joe’s Beef Tri-Tip Roast

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Thomas here. Mallory asked me to guest post today as I’m becoming the cook of the house while she takes care of 50+ clients. She’s pretty amazing!

trader joe's tri tip roast

This is not so much a recipe as a public service announcement. I was so glad to come across this unseasoned Tri Tip Roast at Trader Joe’s. The macros are insane at 5g fat and 24g protein. We have had all of the seasoned and marinated varieties and enjoyed them all, especially the Santa Maria. This time we bought the unseasoned version and gave it a go. I kept it simple and it turned out incredible. I highly recommend giving this a try!


  • Tri tip roast
  • 3/4 tbsp garlic powder per lb
  • 1/2 tbsp salt per lb
  • 1/2 tbsp pepper per lb
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

You can use a grill or cast iron skillet and an oven to cook. Heat grill or cast iron skillet to high and preheat oven to 375F.  Rinse meat and pat dry. Season meat with salt, pepper, and garlic powder on all sides. Lightly brush meat with olive oil.

If you’re using a grill sear 1-2 min per side on direct heat and then allow to cook 10-15 min per side on indirect heat.

If you’re using a skillet and oven, add any leftover oil to the pan and heat. Sear all sides of roast 1-2 min per side in cast iron skillet. Place Skillet in oven, cook 10-15 min, flip, and allow roast to rest, loosely covered in foil for 5-10 min.

Macros (for 4 oz uncooked meat): 140 calories, 4g fat, 0g carbs, 24g protein


We paired it with half a baked potato, Lean Cuisine mac & cheese, and steamable broccoli for a delicious dinner!

Looking for Motivators in All the Wrong Places

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As many of you know, in February of this year I started working with coach Stephen Correa Jr to assist me with my powerlifting goals. You may have remembered I previously worked with a coach and was extremely disappointed. I was losing faith in the fitness industry and the people who deemed themselves as motivators but were only motivated by money. Coaches trying to use every manipulative marketing tactic in the book, pushing bullshit products to their following, overloading themselves with clients and diminishing their value. I hesitantly hired Stephen, with high expectations and low hopes, and ended up pleasantly surprised.

I asked Stephen to guest post today because he provides a refreshing perspective on the fitness industry. He doesn’t sugar coat and like me he has high expectations for his clients as well as those who call themselves coaches in this industry. I hope you enjoy his dialogue as much as I do.

Looking for Motivators in All the Wrong Places

by Stephen W Correa, Jr

What is it about the fitness industry that makes us think it is out to motivate ourselves in the ways we do? Comparing ourselves to others on social media, using food as a reward instead of the sustenance that it really is, or calling ourselves fat, unworthy, or even a piece of shit. It is in these practices that we lose sight of how fitness is supposed to enrich our lives not tear them down and examine them under a microscope.

So many people get into fitness because they compare themselves to someone they saw on social media. They see the bodies, the sponsorships, the clothes, and the “fandom.” I use the quotations for fandom because it’s all bullshit. These people aren’t celebrities. 99.9% of the world doesn’t know who they are. It’s a microcosm of their life that is total bullshit. That same person that has 100k followers is also a server at TGI Friday’s so let’s calm down with the hero worship and fan girling here. I happen to coach a few people that would be considered “instafamous” and they are the most down to earth people you could meet. They know it’s just an image that helps them achieve their fitness goals but they do it to help people not create a glorified image of what your fitness life should be. Do not go chasing applause and acclaim. That way leads to madness. Don’t compare yourself to these people. You are not them and they are not you. Time frames and modalities may not be as interchangeable as you’d like. Just focus on your own goals and try not to become a shitty social media personality in the process.

These same social media personalities will throw around terms like “cheat meal,” “cheat day,” or “earned my cookie.” This is all bullshit. You’re not an animal needing operant conditioning which comes in many forms. You don’t need to earn your food. You need food to perform at a level commensurate to your activity. These people will eat a little extra ice cream and show the world how “dedicated” they are by doing extra cardio because they were “bad.” There are no good or bad foods. There is just food. Some are higher in nutrients is all. That being said, do these people really sound like figures we should aspire to be? For me it’s a no. These people are everything that unhealthy relationships with food embody.

Changing your mindset isn’t just about food. It’s also about viewing and motivating ourselves in a different and more productive manner. I’ve been on both ends of the weight and fitness spectrum. I was a very fat 230 pounds and I was a lean 165 pounds. Today I’m back to 230 but at a much different body composition and fitness goals. I’ve embraced the burly powerlifter look and I enjoy it. Does that mean I love what I see in the mirror every day? Of course not and I won’t bullshit you otherwise. I am happy though and that’s more than a lot of people in the fitness realm can truly say. That happiness didn’t happen overnight though. It took a long two and a half years to get there. I thought getting lean would make me happy and yes it did. Temporarily. The problem a lot of people run into in fitness is they are never lean enough, lean long enough, big enough, or strong enough. While these on a long term timeline are good motivators they can cause problems in the short term. You constantly start checking for abs. You try to push lifts to new weights instead of sticking to the plan. All the while you view yourself as fat, small, or weak. You’ve imprisoned your progress inside a negative mind. You may already be in a great place but in your mind you can’t help but find everything you think is wrong or that you’re not where you want to be on the timeline expected. I hate to break it to you but very few things in fitness progress in a linear fashion. You only make it harder when you’re not in a positive frame of mind.

At this point I’m sure most of you are thinking, “Shit, Malz, don’t let this guy guest blog for you again. He’s a damn buzzkill.” Really I’m just trying to say is, do yourself a favor and do this for you with a healthy and positive mindset. You don’t need the followers or the likes to be successful in your fitness goals. There is something to be said for working in silence and letting the results speak for themselves. This would normally be where there would be a call to action and when editing this I was told there should be. I disagree. We’ve become so reliant on others to motivate us, teach us, or give us tips that we don’t know how to do the work ourselves. Take it upon yourself to fix these problems. You only answer to you and your thoughts and no one can fix those. Move past the self-hate for the sake of your health and fitness. You’re fucking awesome. Start treating yourself as such.

Vlog: Staying on Track Out of Town

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First off, excuse my lack of activity recently. Between going on vacation, getting deathly ill, and my computer breaking I have been a little off beat these past few weeks but as I write this to you on my brand spankin’ new computer while breathing clearly through my nostrils with no pounding headache, I think it’s safe to say I’m back!

During our vacation to Orlando in June I filmed some Vlogs to show how I “stayed on track” while on vacation. When I say stay on track I simply mean that I wanted to continue working out and having structure in my diet. Currently I’m maintaining weight and loosely (honestly, rarely) tracking. I ended up losing 3lbs on vacation because, as you’ll see in the first video, I wasn’t meeting all my macros and was doing a lot of walking/physical activity. The first video covers the nutrition aspects of the trip. I show you the groceries I got, some of the items I picked while eating out, and my macro breakdown at the end of the trip. The second video includes the workout I used most of the trip as I had broken my toe so I was simply focused on maintaining upper body strength. I also added in Rebecca Kennedy’s workout because she met me at the gym.

Check it out! Please give it a like and subscribe to my page so I know to continue making more.

I have a guest writer next week who is my powerlifting coach, Stephen Correa Jr.

Fat, Carbs, Protein: The Importance of Each Macronutrient

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Timehop kindly reminded me that it’s been three years since I started IIFYM! IIFYM has gained a lot of popularity recently and for good reason. If you’d like to learn more about IIFYM check out this article. If you’ve already heard of IIFYM but are still unsure of what the value in macronutrients are this article is for you.  All a macronutrient is is a nutrient that the body needs in large amounts. In IIFYM we track fat, carbs, and protein to ensure we’re getting the right amount of nutrients as well as aligning our diet with our fitness goals. Each macronutrient plays an important role not only in our body composition but also our internal health. Let’s talk about how…

macronutrients iifym fat loss importance


Fat is the first macronutrient we will cover. Fat yields 9 calories per gram, as opposed to carbs and protein at 4 calories per gram. This is why foods high in fat are typically high in calories. Unfortunately fat is looked upon as the “bad” macronutrient but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Fat is essential for healthy skin and hair and dietary fats provide our body with essential fatty acids that it can’t produce on its own. Fat plays a vital role in regulating hormones for women. Too much fat in your diet can lead to too much estrogen, and vice versa.

Another important function of fat in our diet is to help us feel satiated, or satisfied, because fats increase the time needed to empty food from our stomach. Not all fats are created equal. Trans and saturated fats can damage the cardiovascular system by clogging arteries. Unsaturated fats are more heart-healthy and are generally found in vegetables. Monounsaturated fats, which are known as the healthiest fat, can be found in olive, canola, and peanut oils. Fat is the secondary fuel source for our body after carbohydrates. When we have depleted our muscles carbohydrates, fat based energy becomes available.

In terms of the right amount of fat for you, it varies based on your age, weight, height, etc. A good rule of thumb is that fat should not be more than 30% of your total calories. This usually puts fat at .3-.4g per lb of bodyweight. If you’re interested in learning what your custom macronutrients are contact me or check out my shop.


We all need carbs. Carbohydrates are the best source of energy for our body and we certainly all need energy! Carbs yield 4 calories per gram as opposed to 9 calories per gram for fat. Simply put, carbohydrates include sugars, starches, and fibers.

For a more complex explanation, carbohydrates are categorized into monosaccharides (glucose and fructose which can be found in honey and fruit), disaccharides (Sucrose, table sugar, and lactose, sugar found in milk), and polysaccharides (complex carbs like whole grains, vegetables, nuts, and some fruits). Our bodies can only absorb monosaccharised carbohydrates, which is circulated into the bloodstream through the liver as blood glucose. Our body puts this glucose to work in three ways: it can be burned immediately for energy, converted into glycogen in the liver or muscles to store energy for later, or if the body has an excess or glucose and all glycogen storage is full the surplus of glucose is converted to fat.

Carbohydrates will typically make up 50-80% of your total calories, depending on whether you are trying to cut weight, maintain, or bulk. Unfortunately the fad of low carb diets has left many people lacking important micronutrients as fruits and vegetables are a carbohydrate based food that we obtain most of our necessary vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants from.


Protein is the final macronutrient. Protein has 4 calories per gram, the same as carbohydrates. Your body is literally built from protein. Protein is necessary in building your bones, skin, cartilage, etc. but the main function of protein is to build and repair muscle. Protein’s value is derived from its amino acids, which are the building blocks to muscle tissue. This is why protein is necessary for muscle growth and recovery.

There are two vital components to building muscle: exercise and the right amount of protein. Without the right amount of protein you won’t have the needed amino acids to grow new muscle. Think of it this way, you’ve completed your workout and your body is working to repair itself (it constantly is!). Your body needs to repair its muscles so it looks for amino acids from protein to do so, if the amino acids aren’t available (not enough protein in your diet) your body will use amino acids from elsewhere in the body, sacrificing muscle you already have. Your body needs to stay in a positive nitrogen balance to not lose muscle.

The amount of protein you should consume depends on your bodyweight and fitness goals. The general rule for serious lifters is to consume at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. For those looking to simply maintain muscle .8 grams per pound is sufficient.


Although technically not a macronutrient, fiber is an important part of our diets. Fiber is apart of the carbohydrate macro and a compound only plants contain. Fiber does not provide you with energy but does promote efficient intestinal function as well as regulating the absorption of sugars in the bloodstream. There are two types of dietary fiber: soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fiber is slow to digest and will help you feel satisfied for longer. Fiber supplements do not provide the same benefits as dietary fiber provides other minerals and necessary nutrients.

An ideal fiber range is 25-40g per day. If you are not eating a fiberful diet slowly introduce more fiber as to not upset the intestinal tract.


Feel free to contact me with any questions!


Trader Joe’s Macro Friendly Finds

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We all love Trader Joe’s and for good reason! They have some of the freshest, low priced, high quality options around! Trader Joe’s has become home to some of my favorite macro-friendly finds. What I love most about them is their wide selection of pre-prepared items. Here’s a few staples I grab with great macros!

1.Trader Giotto’s Chicken Parmigiana has 11g fat, 16g carbs, 39g protein for 1/2 the dish. A perfect dinner for you and your loved one! Serve with a side salad or spaghetti squash.

trader joe's chicken parm macro



2. Trader Joe’s Chicken Asada has 8g fat, 10g carbs, 30g protein for half the dish. Another great meal to split with your SO. Serve with Uncle Ben’s 90 sec spanish rice and black beans.

trader joe's

3. Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt Spinach & Kale Greek Yogurt Dip has 2.5g fat, 2g carbs, 1g protein for 2 tbsp (28g). You can dip your raw veggies in here or some pretzel chips. Yum!


4. Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt Chicken Salad has 3.5g fat, 4g carbs, 14g protein for 1/2 cup. Keep at the office for a few days of lunch!


5. Trader Joe’s BBQ Chicken Teriyaki is 3.5g fat, 11g carbs, 18g protein for 1 cup (170g). Check out this quick and delicious meal to make with it!


6. Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Rice

trader joe's cauliflower rice iifym

Cauliflower rice is a great item to keep around because it can add volume to your meals. Throw in a cup in your oats or replace in your rice bowl for lunch. This low calorie, high fiber veggie will help keep you satisfied for many hours to come!

What are some of your favorite Trader Joe’s finds?

Choosing a Macro Friendly Meal While Eating Out

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A new video is up on my Youtube channel. It takes you inside how I choose a meal off a restaurant menu. This restaurant is local so the meals can’t be found in MyFitnessPal.

The first tip I can give anyone tracking macros while eating out is if your number one goal is to lose fat, overestimate your portions. Keep an eye out for lean protein options like chicken, fish, and turkey. Ask for any sauces, dressings, cheeses, or other toppings on the side. Finally, choose a wise option and close the menu. Most of the time we know there’s a better option on the menu than what we order. Be smart, there’s a time to splurge and a time to buckle down.

If you enjoy the video please subscribe to my channel!

Doritos Taco Salad

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Last week I took a surprise trip to Orlando so I could visit my best friend Rebecca and see her walk across stage for graduation. She just graduated from my alma mater, the University of Central Florida, exactly two years after I did. We actually just hired her as a coach for King’s Coaching! You will hear much more on that soon! Her story is absolutely incredible.

Her parents (who by the way, are THE most adorable people on this planet) threw a graduation party for Rebecca and boy was I looking forward to their cooking.. they don’t mess around! Her mom made, among many things, this Doritos taco salad that I could not get enough of. When I got home this week I decided I just had to make it! The macros ended up being pretty great, so I just had to share!

dorito taco salad macros


  • 1lb lean ground beef, cooked and drained
  • 8 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2 cups black beans, drained and  rinsed and
  • 1 serving 2% Mexican shredded cheese
  • 1/2 serving Fat Free Catalina dressing
  • 1/2 serving Doritos of choice
  • Jalapenos (optional, not included in macros)

Mix everything accept for Doritos in a bowl. If all servings will be eaten immediately, mix in Doritos. If not, add the Doritos to each serving so they don’t get soggy. Enjoy!

Macros: (per serving, makes about 4 servings 2 and 1/2 cups each): 320 calories, 14g fat, 19g carbs, 29g protein, 3g fiber

Macros without doritos: 250 calories, 10g fat, 11g carbs, 28g protein

Burger Bites

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burger bites iifym macros


  • 4 oz lean ground beef, cooked
  • 1/2 serving reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 wonton wrappers
  • Toppings of choice: I like doing a cheeseburger style with diced tomatoes and I make a special sauce by mixing ketchup with plain non-fat Greek yogurt and a little cayenne pepper or doing a taco style and dipping with pico de gallo and light sour cream

Mix beef & shredded cheese together. Take a wonton wrapper and place on an oiled baking sheet. Scoop 2 tbsp of beef & cheese mixture onto the center of the wonton wrapper. Take a second wonton wrapped and place on top. Now, to be able to get the wrappers to stick together you need to dot water around the outside of both wonton wrapper. Just stick your fingers in a bowl of water and run your finger across the wrappers. Crimp them together using a fork. You can brush a bite of egg white wash on the tops of the burger bites before cooking to allow for a more crispier outside. Bake for 5 minutes at 350 degrees, check the burgers and if needed flip them and cook for a few more minutes. Mine are usually done within 5-8 minutes. Enjoy!

Macros (for 4 burger bites, not including toppings): 413 calories, 14g fat, 32g carbs, 38g protein

Full Day of Eating While Cutting

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Uploaded a new full day of eating on my Youtube channel! This was filmed on Sunday, April 24th. I am currently doing a small 6-8 week cut. My macros for that day were 55g fat, 177g carbs, and 135g protein. Or something like that? They’re always changing, haha!


I love flexible dieting. I enjoyed bacon, popcorn, and froyo while still getting in my micronutrients! IIFYM FTW!

Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos

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Flexible dieting is my favorite because there are endless opportunities for meal ideas! This was a new and delicious recipe that will definitely be a frequent meal in this house. The macros are pretty great, too, but you could look into using a leaner cut of meat for less fat.

slow cooker shredded beef tacos


  • 2lbs chuck roast
  • Taco seasoning
  • Flour tortillas, small
  • 1 cup beef broth, optional (not included in macros)
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup diced green peppers
  • 2 limes
  • 1 bunch cilantro

Season the beef and sear on each side for about 2 mins (you can skip this step but it helps lock in the flavor). Add the beef to the slow cooker and set on low for 6-8 hours. You could add a cup off beef broth but I found it unnecessary. While the roast is cooking make your pico de gallo. Mix together the onions, tomato, green pepper, cilantro, and squeeze half a lime over top. Salt and pepper to taste. Allow this to chill in the fridge for the duration of the cook time. Once the meat has cooked shred the beef using two forks. Add 3 oz of beef to each taco, 2 tbsp pico de gallo, and feel free to add other toppings like low fat shredded cheese, light sour cream, or avocado.

Macros (per taco, yields 8 tacos): 304 calories, 12g fat, 22g carbs, 26g protein

Buffalo Chicken Mac n Cheese

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Hello heaven on Earth. I have arrived. This was everything I could have ever imagined it could be and more. Especially for how easy it was! Of course, you know it’s macro friendly. I just love flexible dieting.

buffalo chicken mac and cheese iifym macros

Now, bare with me on this. There’s a few ways you can do it.. The macros for this recipe include this method.


  • 4 oz cooked chicken breast
  • One package Lean Cuisine mac and cheese
  • 1 tbsp Sweet Baby Ray’s buffalo sauce

I happened to already have chicken prepped when I came up with this simply concoction, if you don’t the best way to prepare your chicken is in a slow cooker and then shred it up with the buffalo sauce. Otherwise cook everything accordingly and mix together!

Macros (for entire recipe): 478 calories, 11g fat, 48g carbs, 48g protein

If you want to use a less processed mac n cheese check out my homemade version. This would change the macros to  478 calories, 13g fat, 28g carbs, 51g protein

Meal Plan #9

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meal plan 9 iifym flexible dieting

These plans are made to feed two people so if you have more people in your family double the amount you buy and/or consider adding an extra option. I choose two options for breakfast, two for lunch, a few snacks, and three dinner options. We eat leftovers every other night and that leaves us one night to eat out! This week I spent close to $100 with all the meat but we have plenty of leftovers! The meals are designed for a balanced diet. If you eat proper portions and especially track your macros or calories, you will lose weight!

*Some people have asked if I can provide macros for these plans but I don’t find it to be necessary since we all have different macros. Just portion out these meals to meet your macros.:)


Option 1-  Two chocolate protein donuts w/ a banana

Option 2- Freezer friendly breakfast sandwiches


Option 1- Philly cheese tots or fries

Option 2- Taco salad with 3 cups romaine lettuce, 4 oz lean ground beef, diced tomatoes & onions, and Bolthouse Cilantro Avocado dressing


Option 1- One pot chicken lo mein

Option 2- Italian meatballs with spaghetti squash and marinara

Option 3-  Grilled chicken breast with smashed potatoes and lightened spinach artichoke casserole


Option 1-  1 cup Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup fruit and protein granola (I use Nature Valley brand)

Option 2- 5 crackers, 2 oz deli meat, 1 oz cheese (adult “Lunchables”)

If requested I’ll add the grocery list but many of you have said you mix and match from different meal plans so I’m not sure it’s necessary? 🙂

You can also check out:

Meal Plan #1

Meal Plan #2

Meal Plan #3

Meal Plan #4

Meal Plan #5

Meal Plan #6

Meal Plan #7

Meal Plan #8

Macro Friendly Philly Cheese Fries

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Holy yum! My husband Thomas is obsessed with Philly cheese steaks. It’s been a hot minute since we’ve had one and since we’ve moved there’s nowhere near us that can make a delicious one. Plus now that Thomas is counting his macros he can’t afford all the fat so I set out to make a satisfying low fat version. I’ve posted a Philly cheesesteak sub on my blog before but today when I used the leftovers on top of Alexia fries I knew I had to share.

philly cheese fries iifym macros



  • 3 oz eye round steak, cooked (could do chicken instead for lower fat)
  • 2 oz sauteed peppers and onions
  • 1 oz sauteed mushrooms
  • 1 serving Alexia 98% fat free fries (pictures are Alexia tots for my husband, if you want lower fat stick with their fries. They’re delish!)
  • 2 slices Sargento Ultra Thin provolone cheese

Macros (for entire recipe): 459 calories, 19g fat, 32g carbs, 31g protein, 4g fiber

How to Calculate Macros if You Have More than 20lbs to Lose

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Just something to keep in mind if you use the IIFYM calculators online… If you have more than 20lbs to lose the calculators will likely be off for you.

Although it’s going to be different for everyone, I suggest trying an aggressive deficit with fat set around .3g and protein set around .6-.7g. Again, this will depend on how much you have to lose.  If you have 100lbs to lose it’s going to be a very different formula.

It’s always a good idea to have someone with credentials and experience customize your macros. If you have any questions about this topic feel free to email me at malzisfit@gmail.com. If you need help with your macros visit www.malzisfit.com/shop.


One Pot Macro Friendly Chicken Lo Mein

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Forever on a search to not feel like I’m dieting but not get fat. Haha! Thomas and I rarely get Chinese takeout because it’s filled with sauces and fried meats that we end up having to save all of our fat for the day! So I set out to make a yummy chicken lo mein that wouldn’t break the macro bank. I adapted this recipe from one I found online by adding more meat and veggies. Holy crap did it turn out delicious!

macro friendly chicken lo mein iifym meal


  • 1 and 1/2 lbs chicken breast, cut into small chunks
  • 1 16 oz box of linguine, cut in half
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut 3 inches long or grated
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, cut 3 inches long
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts (optional, not included in macros)

Cook chicken in pot on medium heat for 5-6 minutes. Once it is no longer pink add the pasta and broth and bring to a boil then add in the remainder of the ingredients, stir, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and let cook through for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. You may end up needing to add more liquid but do so slowly. I did not. Enjoy!

Macros per serving (yields 8 servings, about 1 and 1/2 cups): 355 calories, 4g fat, 48g carbs, 30g protein, 3g fiber

Who I am As a Coach

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Ever wonder what it’s like to work with me as your coach? Or maybe you had no idea I’m an online coach! Either way, this short video explains what my services include and who I am as a coach.

I’ve worked with hundreds of women and dozens of males to reach their goals. I specialize in macro support, fat loss, and strength training. You can view some client testimonials here.

I have built an incredible system of support for my one on one clients. They are apart of a team, not only do they receive support from me as their coach but they also support one another. My coaching focuses not just on the physical aspects of this journey but the mental. We work on goal setting, a positive relationship with food, fitness, and your body, and learning to believe in yourself. For more information on my packages visit www.malzisfit.com/shop.

Samoa Protein Donuts

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It’s Girl Scout season and I’m stayin’ strong! As much as I love those little cookies I swear there’s crack in there. I can never eat them without finishing a whole sleeve! I haven’t made protein donuts in awhile so I decided to recreate the beloved Samoa in protein donut form! Needless to say they turned out incredible! The base recipe is from my protein donut hole recipe which can be made using a muffin pan, so if you don’t have a donut pan fear not!

samoa protein donuts


  • 2 scoops of protein powder (I used PEScience chocolate)
  • 3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour (whole wheat will change the taste a bit)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar (you can sub with applesauce or banana)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Smucker’s sugar free caramel sauce
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Lite chocolate sauce to drizzle (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together. In another bowl, mix together wet. Add wet ingredients to the bowl with dry. Grease muffin tin and fill each about 3/4 the way. Bake for 10 to 12 mins (check with toothpick). Take them out and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Macros for chocolate protein donuts (NO toppings, per donut, recipe makes 12): 80 calories, 2g fat, 11g carbs, 6g protein

To make these Samoa donuts I simply mixed together 1/2 cup of Smucker’s sugar free caramel sauce and 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut flakes then topped each donut with the mixture. I drizzled a little lite chocolate sauce over the top to make it look like a Samoa (didn’tt count macros on this!). They are insanely good, especially for the macros!

Macros for coconut & caramel topping (per donut): 63 calories, 3g fat, 9g carbs, 0g protein

Macros for Samoa donuts (per donut, recipe makes 12): 143 calories, 5g fat, 20g carbs, 6g protein

IIFYM Vlogging Series: 8 Week Diet Diaries

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Hey fam! Over the last 8 weeks I have filmed my diet on Youtube to track my goal of losing 10lbs. I started the vlogs at 145lbs in the first week of 2016. I wanted at least to get down to the 130’s but set my goal to be about 135lbs. I ended up getting to 140lbs, so I lost 5lbs, and 11 inches total!

I was not perfect these 8 weeks. In fact, I was far from it. These videos were an eye opening experience for me. Week by week reflecting on camera, then editing and hearing it again, it helped me put together the pieces on why I was struggling to stick with my macros. I’m burnt out from tracking. I desperately need a break…

I was consistently having 1-2 days a week where I wouldn’t go crazy and binge, but I had no desire to reach my macros. I never beat myself up about this. In the videos I’m very open and honest about my imperfect days and I accept them for that they are. This was huge for me as I’ve been really hard on myself in the past with dieting. I’m a very goal oriented person and when I make a goal I put my mind to reaching it, so I used to be very tough on myself when I didn’t. But when I gained back almost 50lbs extra during my pregnancy in 2014 I knew something had to change. The past 9 months of dieting postpartum I have lost 35lbs and I am proud to say that I have been very kind to myself during it. I have taken things at the pace that works for me and keeps a good balance in my life. Fitness isn’t my life, it’s just a part of it. Tracking macros isn’t my life, it’s just a part of it. And right now I need to take a step back from it.

I conclude these 8 week vlog’s with the decision to take a break from being at a deficit (aka cutting aka trying to lose weight). Instead I’m going to very loosely track around maintenance, practice intuitive eating more and more, and focus my training goals around getting stronger, especially in my erb’s palsy arm. I’ve recently started working with a coach who’s going to help me get my arm strength where it needs to be so I can dive in to the world of powerlifting. I’m so excited for this next chapter in my life! I feel like this is the beginning of something big.  I’m grateful to you all for joining me on this journey and I hope from these videos I can inspire even one person to listen to their hearts, pursue their passions, and care for their body as well as their souls. Please don’t be afraid to move at the pace that works for you and don’t be discouraged if it’s slower than someone else’s.

I hope you continue to follow along as this next chapter unfolds.

Lean Beef Italian Slow Cooker Meatballs

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Thomas and I are still really tired of chicken, haha! So this week we prepped some lean beef Italian meatballs to make as meatball subs for him (and his infinite carbs) and to pair with spaghetti squash for me. The beauty of IIFYM is the options with these are only limited to the macros you have left! So these Italian meatballs are a great option for your next meal prep session.

An added bonus to cooking these (and anything) in the slow cooker is using a slow cooker liner and having no clean-up! The lazy teenager in me is pleased.

meatballs iifym meal prep



  • 2 and 1/2 lbs lean ground beef (93/7)
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • 3 and 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Roll into balls. If you want to follow the macros of the recipe weigh each ball to be 3.5 oz. I placed mine in the slow cooker on low for 4 hours then added marinara sauce and cooked for another 2 hours. Slow cooking the meatballs are my favorite because they come out so moist and soft yet brown and crispy on the outside! If you don’t have a slow cooker you can bake in the oven for 20 minutes on 400 degrees. Make a meatball sub using marinara sauce and low fat slices of provolone or place a few on top a bowl spaghetti squash and shredded parmesan for a low carb alternative!

italian meatballs 4

Macros (1-3.5 oz uncooked meatball, makes 13): 171 calories, 7g fat, 7g carbs, 19g protein, 1g fiber

How to Calculate the Macros of Alcohol & Add to MyFitnessPal

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Unfortunately, alcohol is not empty calories. We must track the macros. To calculate macros take total calories and divide by 4 for carbs or 9 for fat, preferably use as carbs. So if one shot or beer is 120 calories we will divide 120/4 = 30g carbs.


To add the alcohol to MyFitnessPal go to “My Recipes & Foods” tab.

macros alcohol

The click “Foods”.

FullSizeRender (58)

The click the + to add a custom food.

FullSizeRender (59)

Input the information for your item.

iifym alcohol

Then input the amount of calories and carbs or fat. In this case, I used carbs so 110/4=27.5. You can also do some carbs, some fat.


Sorry to burst your alcoholic bubble, flexible dieters.

Unique Protein Options for IIFYM

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This list was compiled after my husband and I’s decision to not buy chicken breast for a few weeks. Who else is super tired of chicken breast!? Yikes! We’ve been mainly sticking to lean pork chops, chicken sausages, and lean ground beef but I wanted to share a few items that I picked up this week that are a little different. Hope this gets your creative juices flowing!

  1. Jimmy Dean Turkey Sausage Bowls These are tasty for a quick and different breakfast option. Macros are 8g fat, 19g carbs, and 22g protein. Add more protein by mixing in a few egg whites half way through cooking.

iifym easy meal prep 2. Weight Control Instant Oatmeal These packets are great because they have 29g carbs with 7g protein. I always add a scoop of protein powder into my oatmeal but it’s nice that this adds even more! Also the banana bread flavor is bomb.weight loss iifym

3. Publix Brand Philly Cheese Chicken Sausage If you don’t have access to a Publix I feel bad for you, son! Publix has so many macro friendly options. These are a staple in our house. They are absolutely DELICIOUS! Each link is 6g fat and 12g protein so save up some fat for these! They also have Apple & Gouda, Spinach & Feta, and Artichoke & Parmesan. They are all great!iifym meal ideas  4. Trader Joe’s Tri Tip Roast Y’all, you need to get on this right NOW! It is so good and SUPER macro friendly as well as affordable! For 4 oz it’s only 7g fat to 32g protein. AMAZING! The pre-marinated Santa Maria option is so yum. Follow the cooking instructions, you’ll be glad you did!

iifym protein lean unique options

5. Frozen Yogurt Ice cream is a staple in my diet. I have a bowl almost every single night before bed. I fit it into my macros and work the rest of my day around it. It keeps me on track because I have something to look forward to. But I hate having only one serving, I want at least two! The problem is I can never save enough fat for two servings, so I’ve been buying frozen yogurt. Not as tasty at my beloved ice cream but with all the tummy mix-ins it’s worth saving the fat. What I love about the frozen yogurt is one serving has 4-6g protein, so with two servings I’m sneaking in 8-12g protein! The macros for this yogurt is 5g fat, 23g carbs, and 4g protein. They have a ton of delicious flavors like Mint Chocolate Cookie and Peanut Butter Cup. Yum!

iifym sneaky protein

Simple and Macro Friendly Shepard’s Pie

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Ok so quite honestly I’m not sure if it should be called Shepard’s pie since it has beef in it. I think the European version is made with lamb but Americans use beef and still call it Shepard’s pie. Americans are weird like that! At any rate, this is as delicious as it is simple.

shepard's pie simple iifym meal recipe


  • 1lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 16 oz potatoes of choice (I had Gold on hand)
  • 3 cups frozen steamable mixed veggies, cooked
  • 1 cup skim milk (I used Fair Life)
  • 4 tbsp low fat margarine (I used I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter)
  • Salt & pepper
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Peel (or don’t) and boil potatoes. Brown beef on stove with seasonings.  Once beef is browned add in onion and Worcestershire sauce, move to medium high heat and allow the liquid to evaporate. Mix in cooked vegetables, take off heat, and set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Once potatoes have finished mash them and add in butter, milk, and salt & pepper. Add beef and vegetable mixture to 9×9 glass dish then add the mashed potatoes on top. Cook for 15-20 minutes. Enjoy!

Macros (for one serving of 4, about 2 cups): 13g fat, 31g carbs, 30g protein (cheese not included)

You can easily store this meal in the freezer to save for later. Cook as directed, allow to cool completely, cover well, and when you are ready to reheat it defrost the pie in the fridge overnight then cook for 1 hour on 350 degrees covered.


Lightened Spinach Artichoke Casserole

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I was searching for a way to sneak some vegetables in my husband’s diet (seriously, he never eats vegetables. Gr!). We were also having guests over for dinner so I was in the mood to make something fancy. Right off the bat I knew I wanted to do some kind of cheesy, delicious casserole. A few ideas popped up but didn’t excite me enough. Then it hit me, Thomas loves spinach artichoke dip! Let’s make it a casserole! This spinach artichoke casserole is stuffed with ooey gooey Parmesan cheese, but it won’t stick to your thighs. It’s a huge hit for the whole family and a great dish to be made at a large dinner event! I made it with grilled chicken and smashed potatoes.

lightened up macro friendly spinach artichoke dip casserole


  • 4 10 oz packages of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 14 oz can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 8 oz package low fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup low fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix the spinach and artichokes in a large bowl. Microwave cream cheese unpackaged in a microwave safe bowl until soft, about 1 and 1/2 minutes. Stir the cream cheese into the spinach and artichokes then add sour cream, grated Parmesan, and garlic. Season to taste. Spoon the casserole into a 9×11 baking dish. Top with shredded Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minute, uncover and bake at 400 degrees for 7-10 more minutes.

Macros (per serving, 16 servings): 9g fat, 8g carbs, 10g protein

Meal Plan #8

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meal plan 8 iifym ideas

These plans are made to feed two people so if you have more people in your family double the amount you buy and/or consider adding an extra option. I choose two options for breakfast, two for lunch, a few snacks, and three dinner options. We eat leftovers every other night and that leaves us one night to eat out! This week I spent close to $100 with all the meat but we have plenty of leftovers! The meals are designed for a balanced diet. If you eat proper portions and especially track your macros or calories, you will lose weight!

*Some people have asked if I can provide macros for these plans but I don’t find it to be necessary since we all have different macros. Just portion out these meals to meet your macros.:)


Option 1- Kodiak Power Cakes with blueberry compote

Option 2- Protein French Toast with turkey sausage links


Option 1- Buffalo chicken cheese fries IIFYM style

Option 2- Pizza grilled cheese


Option 1- Light cheeseburger soup

Option 2- Ranch pork chops (packet of ranch sprinkled over pork) with smashed potato and side salad

Option 3- Southwestern Cobb salad


Option 1- Oatmeal raisin cookies

Option 2- “Mocha Latte”- 1 cup black coffee to 1 cup chocolate Fair Life milk (I swear, it’s the most delicious thing ever especially iced! The macros for one cup of Fair Life is 4.5g fat, 13g carbs, and 13g protein)


If requested I’ll add the grocery list but many of you have said you mix and match from different meal plans so I’m not sure it’s necessary? 🙂


You can also check out:

Meal Plan #1

Meal Plan #2

Meal Plan #3

Meal Plan #4

Meal Plan #5

Meal Plan #6

Meal Plan #7

Protein French Toast

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French toast isn’t something you’d typically think to make while dieting, huh? Think again. This protein french toast is just as delicious as the original but with a lot more protein and less carbs and fat.



-8 pieces of bread (I used Sara lee low cal bread)
-3/4 cup milk (I used 2% Fair Life)
-2 eggs & 1 egg white
-1 scoop protein powder (I used Optimum Nutrition vanilla ice cream)
-Splash of vanilla extract
-Ground cinnamon

Whisk together all ingredients except bread. Dip bread in mixture and place on oiled baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 mins, flip halfway through.

Macros (for three slices): 10g fat, 38g carbs, and 33g protein

Buffalo Chicken Cheese Fries IIFYM Style

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That’s it. I’m claiming the title. I’m the queen at making bar foods more macro friendly. What can I say, I’ll forever be a fat college kid at heart.

These cheese fries are to die for. The key ingredient is the 98% fat free Alexia fries.

buffalo chicken cheese fries iifym style


  • 1 and 1/2 servings 98% fat free Alexia Crinkle fries
  • 6 oz baked chicken tossed in 1 tbsp Sweet Baby Ray’s buffalo sauce
  • 1 serving reduced fat Mexican cheese
  • Handful of scallions
  • 1/2 serving low fat ranch
  • If you’ve got the extra fat you could add bacon bits

Cook fries according to packaging. Top with chicken and serving of cheese and put back in the oven for 3-5 minutes. Top with scallions, ranch, and anything else you fancy. Enjoy!

Macros (for entire recipe, no bacon):  491 calories, 15g fat, 38g carbs, 51g protein

5 Minute Meal: Trader Joe’s BBQ Chicken Teriyaki with Rice and Broccoli Slaw

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All the parents out there know, being a full time mom means you gotta get creative with some simple meals. Bored with sandwiches and chicken burrito bowls, I set out to try something new that’s as easy as ever. The week before I had visited Trader Joe’s and stocked up on IIFYM friendly freezer goodies. One thing I picked up that I hadn’t tried before was their BBQ Chicken Teriyaki. I’m so glad I gave it a shot!

trader joe's iifym easy recipe


  • 1 and 1/2 servings Trader Joe’s BBQ Chicken Teriyaki
  • 1/4 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 cup Trader Joe’s broccoli slaw

The package directions for the chicken have you microwaving the chicken with no instructions for cooking in the oven. The first time I tried it I reheated the chicken in the oven, but the second time I tried the microwave and there was no difference. If you want to cook in the oven simply do so at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. I used Uncle Ben’s instant rice, but you could also save this meal for when you have leftover rice! Once the chicken was done I added the rice and broccoli slaw and mixed it all up. Yup, that’s it! I garnished with some scallions.

Macros (for entire recipe): 305 calories, 6g fat, 27g carbs, 29g protein

iifym easy meals

Lightened Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

oatmeal cookies


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together all dry ingredients except oats and raisins. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar together. I used my electric mixer. Add in the egg, applesauce, and vanilla extract. Stir the dry mixture into the eggs and applesauce, then add in the oats and raisins. Scoop about a tbsp out for each. Bake 12-14 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Macros (per cookie of a 24 cookie batch): 99 calories, 3g fat, 16g carbs, 2g protein

Scotch Egg: An Experiment Gone Delicious

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We saw the Scotch egg on Facebook and were drooling! It’s pretty much all protein (and fat from the oil) so we knew it’d be a great IIFYM food. We made it a little more macro friendly by using turkey sausage but it is still pretty high in fat. It’s a bit of a task but well worth the deliciousness. A great treat, especially for the holidays!




  • 4 eggs soft boiled and peeled
  • 1lb turkey sausage
  • 1/4 cup scallions
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs, seasoned
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 raw egg for egg wash
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp mustard

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare three bowls: one with 1/2 cup flour, 1 with beaten egg and milk, and one with 1/2 cup breadcrumbs. Heat oil in a pan (you want an an inch and a half of oil). Once you have your eggs soft boiled and peeled roll in flour. Then wrap each egg in 4 oz of (uncooked) sausage. Lightly roll the sausage around the egg into a ball. Make sure you do this lightly as to not break the egg. Now coat in flour, then egg wash, and then bread crumbs. Fry egg in i oil for 3 minutes on each side. Finish in the oven for 5 minutes, preferably on a drip pan.

Macros (for each Scotch egg): 27g fat, 13g carbs, 37g protein

Chocolate Protein Waffle

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After tweaking a few recipes I found I finally found a protein waffle I’m happy with AND it’s super easy! This is crunchy on the outside and light on the inside. This particular one I made chocolate using Fair Life’s chocolate milk and chocolate protein powder but you could easily make different variations. Oh and I added Christmas sprinkles because there’s only 4 days until Christmas!

chocolate protein waffle


  • 45g Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes
  • 25g chocolate protein powder
  • Fair Life 2% Chocolate milk, enough to mix

Weigh your Kodiak Cakes mix and protein powder into a bowl. Stir in the milk until it’s a thick consistency. You still want it to be thin enough to pour but don’t over stir it. Cook in a waffle iron that’s been lightly sprayed with cooking oil. Enjoy!

Macros (for waffle pictured above): 4g fat, 31g carbs, 36g protein


Meal Prep for a Weekend Away

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This weekend we went out of town for my cousin’s wedding. I just love weddings! So much joy and FOOD. I wanted to be able to enjoy myself at the wedding and be a bit more flexible, meaning I wasn’t going to bring my scale and I definitely was going to have a drink or two. Doing so meant I needed to stay 100% on track the rest of the trip. So I decided to prep some meals for Thomas and I. Here’s what we brought:

road trip meal prep for iifym

We left Friday morning, before heading out I made some protein oatmeal.

We stopped for lunch at Sonny’s BBQ. I had the pulled chicken, a side of baked beans, and a piece of garlic bread. It all fit my macros. 🙂

For a snack on the road I had chocolate cherry Greek yogurt.

For dinner I had the sausage and pasta dish. It was two pieces of chicken sausage, 1/2 cup marinara sauce, 3 oz penne pasta, and a serving of parmesan cheese. Came out to be something like 11f/40c/35p. I needed more protein to fill so I ordered a chicken breast from room service.

For dessert I had a Clif Builder protein bar. Macros hit! I even went to the hotel gym and got my workout in!

The next day was wedding day. For breakfast I had my prepped meal of chicken sausage, diced potatoes, and eggs.

For a snack I had a banana.

For lunch I had a grilled chicken sandwich plain from Zaxby’s and ate two of Thom’s fries. 🙂

At the wedding I skipped the appetizers as to not graze and accidentally go over. I did enjoy two very strong jack and diet cokes. I logged the jack as 4 oz to be safe. Remember, alcohol does have carbs! To figure this out you need to divide the calories by 4 and that’s your carb amount.

The dinner was buffet style. I filled my plate with chicken and a little pulled pork, then I had a small side of penne alfredo and guestimated the macros.

I skipped the cake and had another protein bar when I got home. Boom! Feeling good.

Sunday we drove back home. I had breakfast at the hotel and order the “healthy start” sandwich which was egg whites, spinach, and turkey breast on an English muffin.

For lunch I had my Boar’s Head buffalo chicken (best deli meat eva!) sandwich with low fat mayo and low fat provolone cheese.

For a snack I grabbed a grilled chicken go wrap from Wendy’s.

Another protein bar because they’re too dang good.

We enjoyed dinner at home. I ordered a pizza and ate the rest of the grilled chicken I had prepped.

I kicked butt! It feels great to have a fun weekend away and still stay on track. Win win! The prep only took me an hour max. Sausage is great because it’s simple to cook. I threw the diced potatoes in the oven and cooked the pasta all at the same time. Easy peasy!



Pizza Grilled Cheese

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A delicious, unique lunch that will leave you satisfied and in disbelief you’re dieting.

pizza grilled cheese iifym meal ideas


  • 4 oz chicken breast, cooked
  • 7 slices turkey pepperoni
  • 1/4 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 slice 2% provolone cheese
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Cooking spray

Heat up a pan on medium heat. While the pan is getting hot assemble your grilled cheese. First spoon the serving of marinara on each slice of bread, then add the chicken, pepperoni, and cheese. I sprinkled a little Italian seasoning on as well. Spray your pan and cook your grilled cheese sandwich until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Make sure the cheese is melted. Enjoy!

Macros: 11g fat, 27g carbs, 47g protein

Baked Chicken Parmesan

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One of my FAVORITE dishes made lighter. I’m a happy girl and the whole family loved it! That’s always a plus. 🙂

baked chicken parm iifym mealideas


  • 1lb chicken breast, I took 2 breasts and sliced in half to make 4 cutlets
  • 1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup low fat shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • Cooking spray

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Put both the breadcrumbs and egg whites in two separate bowls. First dip the chicken into the egg white, then into the breadcrumb mixture, and lay on a lightly sprayed oven tray. Repeat until all chicken is breaded. Give the chicken a light spray on top and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and spoon marinara sauce over chicken as well as 1/8 cup cheese. Put back in the oven another 5 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown. Enjoy with whole grain pasta or if you’re low on carbs use spaghetti squash. Yum!

Macros (for each chicken cutlet, including marinara and cheese): 7g fat, 12g carb, 31g protein

The Secret to Perfect Protein Oatmeal

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There is an art to protein oatmeal. So many people ask me how to make it and truth is, it’s super easy! You toss in a scoop of protein powder into your cooked oats and bam! It’s protein oatmeal. But there are some guidelines to follow to get it to mix well…

protein oatmeal iifym


  • 1 servings old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup water (or milk)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 scoop protein powder (I use Optimum Nutrition vanilla ice cream whey)
  • 100g apple, chopped
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter

Cook your oats either on the stove or in the microwave following the label instructions. I always use the microwave as to not dirty a pan. Now here’s the first trick, LET IT COOL! Adding protein powder in while it’s still pipping hot will cause the protein powder to start cooking and turn it into a cake. I let the oatmeal rest for about 3 minutes and then I add in my protein powder. The next trick is to use the right protein powder so it doesn’t get chalky, Optimum Nutrition works pretty well especially the double chocolate. Mix mix mix! Now for the final tip. At first it may look like you’re going to need more liquid but mix the protein powder fully into the oatmeal before deciding to add more. Usually it doesn’t need it! Once it’s all mixed in add your apples, ground cinnamon, and peanut butter. Yum!

Macros (including all toppings): 10g fat, 38g carbs, 33g protein

Cheeseburger Nacho Fries

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I’m obsessed with cheeseburgers, mkay? Cheeseburger soup, wontons, nachos.. bring it on! This was actually a random creation I threw together because I had a limited amount of fat and carbs left and an equally limited fridge, but it ended up being delicious!

cheeseburger nachos iifym


  • 4 oz lean ground beef, browned & seasoned to liking
  • 50g white onion, diced
  • 2 servings Alexia 98 fat free crinkle fries
  • 1 serving reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Ketchup
  • Greek yogurt, 0% fat plain

Cook fries according to packaging and brown beef in a pan. Once fries are done top with cheese and throw back in the oven for 2-3 mins (keep an eye on it!). Take out, top with your serving of beef, and all other topping. Enjoy!!

Macros (does not include Greek yogurt, does include 1 serving of ketchup): 498 calories14g fat, 48g carbs, 45g protein


Ham & Cheddar Breakfast Quesadillas

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Almost always I start the day with protein oatmeal. It’s easy to make, loaded with protein, and keeps me full for a long time (fiber, baby!). But that gets boring. So I shook things up today and ended up with this delicious quesadilla packed with even more fiber than oats!

breakfast quesadilla iifym


  • 1 serving deli ham, diced
  • 1 egg and 2 egg whites scrambled (I do this in my microwave egg dish for more convenience)
  • 1/2 serving reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 La Tortilla Factory low carb/high fiber wrap (any brand will work)

Cook eggs and add in ham once the eggs are done to warm it up. Add the eggs and ham into half of the high fiber wrap and sprinkle over the cheese. Fold and either cook on a pan with a bit of cooking spray or throw it in a toaster oven. Remember, cooking spray still has fat in it! Nobody uses a .3 sec spray!

Macros (not including cooking spray): 12g fat, 12g carbs, 37g protein, 9g fiber

Macro-Friendly Bacon Cheeseburger Soup

macro-friendly cheeseburger soupI cooked this in the slow cooker and it was friggin delicious. Not going to lie, I was kinda procrastinating making this but it was really simple.


  • 1lb lean ground beef, cooked and drained
  • Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup low fat milk
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 8 oz can Rotel tomatoes drained
  • 16 oz 2% Velveeta cheese
  • 12 oz Russet potatoes, cubed
  • Bacon crumbles (optional, not accounted for in macros)

Toss all prepped ingredients except Velveeta and bacon in slow cooker and set on low for 8 hours. When there’s about 2 hours left cube the Velveeta and stir in. Before serving crumble bacon on top. I also topped with Greek yogurt and shredded cheddar cheese (not accounted in macros). Viola!

Macros (per serving, recipes makes 9 servings): 203 calories, 6g fat, 16g carbs, 20g protein

Food Prep IIFYM 2

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iifym food prep

Each week I prepare some foods to hold me over for the week. It takes 2-3 hours of my Sunday or Monday afternoon but saves me tons of time during the week! The beauty of IIFYM is the flexibility so I do not prep full meals, instead I prep a few proteins to keep on hand and sometimes I’ll prep a few other options. Here’s what I did today:

  1. Tuna salad for lunch (4 cans tuna, 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, 2 tbsp light mayo, salt & pepper, chopped carrots, celery, & onion): Throw it in a low carb/high fiber wrap or pita pocket with some veggies or if I’m low on carbs I’ll just toss it on a bed of lettuce
  2. Turkey & swiss roll-up (I used this recipe but made it more macro friendly by doing turkey breast and low fat swiss and the sauce on top was just mustard with a little brown sugar): I made these for my husband for lunch but was able to fit a few in. Week baked half early in the week and then the other half later.
  3. Shredded buffalo chicken for dinner (2lbs chicken breast & half a bottle Sweet Baby Ray’s buffalo sauce thrown in the slow cooker for 8 hours then shredded): This is a staple in our house because it’s so easy! To switch it up sometimes I’ll do bbq sauce, zesty Italian dressing, or salsa instead of buffalo sauce. Throw it in a bun with Alexa’s 98% Fat Free crinkle fries or on a bed or lettuce.
  4. Salsa chicken for dinner (2lbs chicken breast & jar of salsa slow cooked for 8 hours): I made this the day after I made the buffalo chicken. I was craving pasta so right before it was done I threw in some fat free cream cheese, cooked up some whole grain pasta, mixed it all together and OH MY GOD! So delicious.
  5. Protein chocolate chip banana bread (My muffin recipe made in a bread pan): I had some brown bananas and my mom is staying with us, so I whipped this up! She was pleasantly surprised.
  6. No bake pumpkin pie cheesecake with added protein: I also made this for mama and the whole fam gobbled it down in one night!

The slow cooker saves me a ton of time in prep so over the span of two days I spent maybe two hours putting all this together. If I’m being real lazy I’ll even use slow cooker liners to avoid cleaning that big ole pot. What’d you prep this week?