Category Archives: Resources

How to Stay Healthy While Traveling

One of the most common questions I receive from clients is how do I stay on track while traveling. If you’re going on a vacation you need to decide beforehand if you intend to continue making progress towards your weight or fitness goals. If you decide to take time off, that’s totally fine! Below are tips on how to ensure you do not gain weight while traveling and continue to feel great.

  1. Bring convenient and healthy food items: Before leaving on my trip I always hit the grocery store to grab some convenient items for traveling. I usually only pick up non-refrigerated items like protein bars, tuna packets, and beef jerky to eat while on the road or plane. The only other thing I do before I leave is pre-portion a serving of protein powder into a few Ziploc bags to add to oatmeal or smoothies while at the hotel/home I’m staying at. When I arrive to my destination I take a quick trip to the store and pick up my refrigerated items. I have provided a list below on the most common and convenient items I purchase for my trips.
  2. Practice good balance: If you’re going on a vacation it is meant to be enjoyed. Don’t stress yourself our having a perfectly balanced diet. Enjoy some extra treats but do so in moderation. I like to follow the guidelines of balancing my meals which means a healthy breakfast of oatmeal and berries followed by pizza or fried chicken or whatever I want for lunch, healthy snack, lean protein for dinner with an alcoholic beverage, and a small serving of a treat for dessert. Enjoy flexibility but enjoy your nutrient dense whole foods too.
  3. Be mindful of portions: This is especially important when practicing extra flexibility in the foods you eat. When you go to enjoy that pizza, fried chicken, chocolate cake, etc. be mindful of your portion. Start with a small portion and gauge hunger levels. While eating out at a restaurant, order what you want! But no need to eat until you’re stuffed, eat until you are no longer hungry and save the rest for later.
  4. Be smart with your alcohol: I don’t like drinking my calories, I’d much rather eat them. However a vacation or travel usually means more alcohol than normal. If you plan to indulge on food opt for a light drink. I keep Crystal Light packets in my purse to add to a vodka tonic. You can also do whiskey or rum with Diet Coke. Choose one day where you can have a few extra drinks and make one of those a fruity concoction or your favorite drink, otherwise stick to 1-2 drinks per day on your trip. Remember, balance!
  5. Stay active: There’s no need to hit the gym on vacation. If that’s your thing, go for it! But if you’re busy having fun and relaxing don’t feel bad for skipping the hotel gym. Instead just aim to move your body as much as possible. It’s likely you’re doing a lot of walking on your trip, great! Park further away, take the stairs, kick your legs around in the pool, check out the yoga class at your hotel spa, walk to close destinations, go to the night club and dance your booty off, etc. The point of a vacation is to have fun- have fun with your fitness and do new stuff!

Convenient Food Items For Traveling (provided your accommodations have a microwave and fridge):

  • Bring pre-portioned protein powder in Ziploc bags
  • Individual oatmeal packets
  • Light coffee creamer or skim milk
  • 2-3 fruit options that take no prep work like bananas, oranges, blueberries, blackberries, etc
  • 2-3 vegetable options that take no prep work like baby carrots, baby cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, etc
  • Greek yogurt single cups
  • Low fat cheese sticks
  • Low fat cheese slices
  • Beef jerky
  • Deli meat
  • Pre-cooked chicken
  • Tuna packets
  • Whole grain bread or wraps
  • Salad bag
  • Dressing
  • Protein bars

Meal Prep Part 3

I’ve noticed a trend in the fitness/health community on social media. A lot of people make meal prep way harder than it needs to be, and that simply ain’t sustainable. I don’t know about you but between being a mom and working I don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen preparing meals. I’m the queen of lazy meal prep and this week was one of my favs!

  1. 6 eggs and 6 egg whites with diced onions, peppers, tomatoes, low fat shredded Mexican blend cheese, and green onions. I kept this in the fridge to cover breakfast for the family for the next three days but you could also spoon a serving onto a whole wheat tortilla and add a strip of turkey bacon or a serving of turkey sausage crumbles, wrap it up with plastic wrap, and store it in the freezer for a quick breakfast on the go!
  2. Large batch of brown rice with tomatoes, peppers, green onions, and lime. This was used for the stuffed peppers I prepared and the leftovers went with whatever lunch or dinner option I was having that week.
  3. Stuffed green peppers. Cut off the top of the pepper, gut the inside, and fill with whatever you want! I chose the brown rice mix, black beans, red onion slices, and a sprinkle of low fat shredded Mexican cheese. I wrapped each one individually in foil. I saved three in the freezer and three in the fridge. When I was ready to eat one I put it in the oven for 30 minutes on 375 degrees. When I ate the last one in the fridge I put the three from the freezer into the fridge to thaw.
  4.  Low fat ricotta stuffed shells in the slow cooker. Paired it with a side of steamed broccoli and a piece of garlic bread. Surprisingly high in protein!

This prep knocked out half of my week’s breakfast with the egg scramble and the rest of my breakfasts included proats. Lunch was covered with stuffed peppers and I had two nights of dinner covered on the stuffed shells. Another two nights of dinner I threw some chicken into the oven on foil (no clean-up!) with taco seasoning and topped it over the leftover rice. The other two nights Thom made his homemade pizza. Boom! I spent two hours preparing meals on Sunday and that left me only needing to cook one night all week. Meal prep rules.

For further ideas check out my meal prep tab.

Staple Items: My Go-To Grocery List for Meeting Macros

It was requested by a client of mine to share my go-to grocery list for reaching macros/eating a well-balanced diet. I decided to come up with something that was simple and covered all macro-nutrient needs, meaning I don’t purchase every single thing on this list every single week but I do make sure to have a few of these options from each category in my pantry and fridge.

As many of you know, I create a meal plan each week before grocery shopping. They are designed exactly like the meal plans found here. However, when it’s the day before I need to go grocery shopping or I just feel like going off plan and being spontaneous, it’s extremely helpful to have these staple items around. At the end of this list I’ll provide some simple meal options you can use with this list but trust me, the options are pretty endless. Happy flexible dieting!


  • Egg yolks
  • Avocado
  • Nut butters
  • Nuts
  • Oils
  • Olives


  • Eggs
  • Bacon
  • Steak
  • Whole fat milk
  • Whole fat yogurt
  • Full fat cheese
  • Chia seeds


  • Egg whites
  • Chicken breast (or sliced from the deli)
  • Turkey (breast, patties, or bacon)
  • White fish
  • Lean ground beef
  • Non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • Non-fat cottage cheese
  • Non or low fat cheese
  • Whey protein


  • Beans
  • Whole grains
  • Quinoa
  • Nonfat sweetened Greek yogurt
  • Frozen yogurt
  • Fair Life skim milk
  • Peas
  • Protein bars (most have around 7g fat)


  • Bread
  • English muffins
  • Tortillas
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Cereal
  • Bran
  • Oats
  • Potatoes
  • Popcorn
  • Pancakes/waffles
  • Bananas
  • Frozen berries
  • Seasonal veggies
  • Spinach
  • Jello or pudding

Simple Meal Ideas Using List:





  • 1/2 cup Fair Life skim milk, 1 scoop whey protein, 1 banana, 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup water, 1 scoop whey protein, 1 cup frozen berries, 2 cups spinach, 1 banana
  • Greek yogurt & berries with chia seeds
  • Light popcorn
  • Jello or sugar free pudding
  • Protein bar
  • Frozen yogurt

Carb Cycling & Clients

carb cycling macro coach iifym 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!

Vlog: Staying on Track Out of Town

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

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

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?

Full Day of Eating While Cutting

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!

Full Day of Eating with IIFYM

I’ve been active on Youtube lately posting resources like full days of eating on IIFYM, insight on weight loss, and many IIFYM tips and tricks. Be sure to subscribe to my channel so you never miss a video!

There’s a specific playlist for all full days of eating and IIFYM resources.

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

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 If you need help with your macros visit


IIFYM Vlogging Series: 8 Week Diet Diaries

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.

How to Calculate the Macros of Alcohol & Add to MyFitnessPal

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.

The Secret to Perfect Protein Oatmeal

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

Meal Prep Part 2

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?

How to Calculate Exact Macros of a Serving of a Recipe in MyFitnessPal

A very common question I get in the world of IIFYM is “how do I figure out the serving of a recipe?” This tutorial takes you step by step to figure out exactly how many macros you’re eating in a serving of a recipe!

myfitnesspal recipe iifym

First, go to the recipe tab in MyFitnessPal.


Choose to manually enter ingredients.


Add all the ingredients that will be included in making the recipe and be sure to set it to one serving.

Now, cook your recipe. Once the recipe is finished weigh the entire recipe. You can do this by pouring into another dish on the scale or for things like casserole you can weigh the dish you’re using to cook it in, note the weight, then weigh the entire dish after cooking and subtract the weight of the dish (see this video).


Once you have weighed your dish go back into the recipe and edit the serving to how much the food weighs. For example, say this recipe weighed out to 1853. Now your recipe is showing you the macros for a single gram of your recipe.


To measure out your serving simply place it on the scale. Say you weigh out 80g of the dish. When you add the recipe to your food diary put the serving in as 80g. Boom! Yes, some portions of the dish may have say more meat or more carbs but this is the most accurate way to get the macros without picking out each ingredient and weighing.

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How to Kick Ass at Restaraunts (IIFYM or Not)


By far one of the most common questions I get from clients tracking their macros is, “what do I do when I eat out?” Tracking macros is quite simple eating out. The MyFitnessPal database has most chain restaurant’s meals already computed, however it’s always best to double check with the website since they are user added. If it’s not in the database check the restaurants site and if the restaurant doesn’t have nutritional values online you’re going to have to guestimate. To me, that is the easy part about eating out! The hard part is actually ordering something that will fit into your macros or lifestyle. Here are some pointers to stay on track…

How to Kick Ass at Restaurants on IIFYM or NotRecently Thomas and I visited a burger joint for lunch. I ordered this burger (oooh was it good- smoked Gouda cheese, bacon, fried onion straws, and a jalapeno aoili. I checked their website and compared to the already user added submission in MFP) and ate half of it as well as splitting a basket of fries with Thomas. By splitting I mean having a few because that kid can suck up food like a vacuum. I fit half the burgers and half the basket of fries into my macros and that meant having grilled chicken and peas for dinner. Balance, yo!

  1. If you know you’re going out to eat, plan accordingly. Keep it light the rest of the day but don’t starve yourself or you will want to order everything off the menu.
  2. Have a piece of fruit or light snack before heading to the restaurant so you aren’t overly hungry and tempted to order something you wouldn’t normally.
  3. Take a look at the menu online ahead of time to see what some options are that fit your needs. This is especially helpful because you can look at the nutritional values. You’ll be surprised at meals that sound like they’d be light and are not.
  4. Say no to a bread basket or chips and salsa, or at least practice moderation. It’s one thing to have a slice of bread with a tiny bit of butter, it’s a whole other story to eat half the loaf.
  5. Plan to only eat half your portion. You can even ask for half the portion put in a doggy bag ahead of time. I personally feel silly asking this so I just tell myself I’m only going to eat half and I do it! I’m always plenty satisfied and I can save the other portion for when I’m hungry later.
  6. If you order veggies ask for them to not be cooked in oil or butter. You can do the same for your meats.
  7. Once you’ve picked something that fits your macros or something that is light don’t keep lurking the menu. You will be tempted!
  8. If you practice IIFYM you have two options: bring your scale and weigh your food or estimate portions. It’s always best to overestimate carbs & fat and underestimate protein.
  9. Skip dessert. Tell yourself if you really want dessert later you can grab some non-fat frozen yogurt.

Of course these tips are designed for if you want to stay on track while at a restaurant. Some nights it’s nice to have an un-tracked meal! If that’s the case, just don’t stuff yourself silly. You won’t feel well after and likely be regretting it.

How to Calculate Macros While Pregnant

Not news to many, but I’m pregnant! I’m full term actually at 37 weeks. This is my first pregnancy and Thomas and I are beyond excited for our little guy to get here! As you can see I’ve been currently stocking up the freezer with meals for when Marshall arrives to make our lives easier and keep me from living off of fast food and junk…

IIFYM while pregnant


A common question I get is, “are you still practicing IIFYM?” Heck yes I am! I haven’t been strict about it but I’ve been tracking for two reasons: 1) I want to make sure I reach my micros and 2) I don’t want to go too crazy, because lord knows I could eat 1,000+ calories a day.

So the next question I get is, “how do you calculate macros while pregnant?”  It’s actually quite easy! *Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, contact yours first to see what they recommend for calorie consumption.

The first trimester you don’t really need extra calories so you just want to be at maintenance calories. Again, check with what your practitioner says as I’m not a doctor! In the second trimester you’re looking at anywhere from 150-300 calories above maintenance (ask your doctor) and in the third trimester about 300-500 calories. Listen to your body when adding calories.

When you calculate your macros at calculate your maintenance macros using your starting pregnancy weight. Then add the surplus of calories to your TDEE where it says “custom macros”.

IIFYM Pregnancy

So for me my calories came out to be 2039 for the second trimester. Then I did .9g protein per pound of bodyweight and .4g fat. If you want to maintain your muscle I recommend not going lower than .8g protein and .4g fat is the minimum I’d recommend being at while pregnant. The rest of your calories will come from carbs. Wam! Bam! And that’s all it takes you calculate your macros while pregnant. 🙂 In rare cases, is possible to consume too much protein so always be sure to check with your doctor on what numbers you plan to use.

Drop a comment below if you have any further questions or concerns, and remember to talk to your doctor about your plans!

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Day of Meals for IIFYM

A lot of people ask me what a day of IIFYM looks like for me. Well, I suck at remembering to take pictures of my meals haha! I’m too excited to eat/care too little to get a nice picture. But I’m working on it! In the mean time I will share them with you.

Meal 1 (pre workout): 1/2 cup oats with a scoop protein powder, apple, ground cinnamon, peanut butter

Meal 2 (post workout): 1/2 cup OJ with a scoop protein powder, handful of mixed frozen berries, blended

Meal 3: 1-2 eggs, 2-3 egg whites, spinach, a meat (ham, bacon, turkey sausage, etc), fat free cottage cheese. Sometimes a piece of toast of half a bagel on the side if I have enough carbs.

Meal 4: “Bro food”: Chicken breast, fish, or lean beef mixed with potatoes or rice and veggies of choice. Important to buy a few good seasonings and garnish with a macro friendly option, for me that’s usually ketchup, hot sauce, or Greek yogurt

Meal 5: Greek yogurt with fruit and sometimes granola

Meal 6: Dinner is always different for me. Check out my main dish recipe tabs for some ideas.

Meal 7: Treat of choice, usually 1/2 cup of ice cream, 1 cup cereal, or 1/2 Poptart

As you can see I eat a lot of small meals throughout the day. This keeps my tummy satisfied so I don’t make any poor choices or feel the urge to binge eat. Everyone is different and this may not be the most viable option for you. That’s fine! In regards to weight or fat loss, it doesn’t matter when you eat it only matters that you’re eating at a deficit. So eat whenever it works for you! Just be cautious that you don’t go over at night because you didn’t eat enough during the day. And yes, I eat mainly the same thing every day. I do switch up variations but I typically don’t get tired of foods and I love that I know this is what will fit my macros. I like to get creative at dinner and keep the rest of the day simple. I also have many different “bro meal” options. Maybe I’ll do a post with a bunch of example bro foods.

Check out an example of IIFYM meal prep here.

Meal Prep for IIFYM

Check out my meal plans designed for IIFYM.


You’ve probably seen fitness blogs or social media accounts posting pictures of 100 meals prepped for the week. You’re probably thinking “oh, that looks cool! I’ll try that”. Then you try it and realize it takes a lot of work, a lot of tupperware, and after 4 days your food isn’t fresh and you’re tired of the same thing. Well lou and behold the IIFYM meal prep! This is how I prep each week to stay on track…

The beauty of IIFYM is that you don’t need a set meal plan to be successful. I give meal plans on my blog as ideas for people as well as for those who are busy and don’t have time to think out meals for the week themselves. The point is to help you get creative with what you can make.

The most important thing you should do is make sure you have some lean protein on hand. Since IIFYM is all about flexibility in your diet you don’t need to be eating the same thing. I make sure I have a 1lb or 2lbs of chicken breast (or other lean meat) ready to go so I can throw it on top of a salad, have it with some pasta, dice it up and make a chicken salad sandwich with Greek yogurt instead of mayo, or use it in my dinners like casseroles or soups.

Another thing I like to have prepped is my “bro meal” of the day. Click here to see a sample day of IIFYM meals I eat. Usually meal 3 is my bro meal, which means it’s lean and filled with micros (nutrient dense). I like to have this meal ready so I don’t have any excuses not to eat it. Usually I will have two different options of this meal each week. I will make the first option Sunday and the second Wednesday so it stays fresh.

Here’s a breakdown of the meal prep pictured above:

  1. 1lb grilled chicken breast marinated in honey mustard dressing. I used this during dinner and made a few variations of salads, had it with some potatoes & corn, and one night I threw it in some pasta.
  2. 1lb buffalo chicken (I used half a bottle Sweet Baby Ray’s) cooked in slow cooker then shredded. I used this for my lunch option aka bro meal and put it on some whole grain bread with a cup of tomato soup and broccoli. I also did a few “pizzas” using a low carb wrap, then put some chicken on top with red onions and 2% mozzarella cheese. Toast in oven for 5 mins.
  3. Steamed broccoli. This went with my buffalo chicken sandwiches and pizzas. To the far right you’ll notice a sauce. This is simply Greek yogurt with some seasoning very similar to the dry ranch packets. I like to toss my broccoli in this. YUM.
  4. Corn on the cob. This was actually leftover from grilling we did over the weekend. I paired with some of my dinners.
  5. Boiled potatoes. Great carb to have around. I used it with the chicken for dinner a few nights and also diced them up to go with my eggs in the morning.
  6. White chocolate cranberry protein balls. Awesome snack or dessert.
  7. Greek yogurt and ranch sauce. As stated above, I’ll toss my broccoli in this sauce. Also a great dip for the carrots I had.

All in all this took maybe 45 minutes of prep with clean-up (not including cooking time). I let the grill and slow cooker do most of the work. Easy clean-up with those two appliances! The protein balls are SUPER easy to make and take no baking. This was all done on Sunday and on Wednesday I browned some ground turkey to use for the rest of the week’s “bro meals” and also a dinner option. I made ground turkey, spinach, and sweet potato fries for lunch and made a light cheeseburger pasta for dinner. Having my meats and veggies ready to go is so helpful for sticking to my diet and goals. I hope this helped!

Further meal prep ideas can be found in the meal prep tab.

Don’t forget to check out an example of a day of IIFYM here. If you’re new to IIFYM check out my post here.



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How I Transformed My Body After Losing 100lbs (My IIFYM Experience)

How I Transformed My Body After Losing 100lbs iifym

Definitely the most common email I get is from people asking about IIFYM. I did a blog post explaining IIFYM here, but I thought I would share with you all my personal experience and my progress with IIFYM. The left picture above is at the beginning of my weightlifting and IIFYM journey (January 2013). I had already lost around 60-75lbs (can’t remember exactly) but I wasn’t happy with how my body looked. Of course I had lots of loose skin, cellulite, etc. I had heard of IIFYM and practiced it loosely, but in January 2013 I made a commitment to practice IIFYM as I also began my weightlifting journey.


Weightlifting has had a lot to do with how my body has transformed (as you can see I’ve built up quite a bit of muscle- resulting in more fat being burned), but that’s a whole other post for a different day (I wrote it! Read here.) Because I mixed IIFYM with weightlifting I saw DRASTIC results. If you’ve read my IIFYM post you know that if you’re at a slight calorie deficit, the point of IIFYM is to target fat loss instead of just weight loss (muscle and fat). This is how I was able to get my muscles to show through so quickly (many people call it getting “toned” but toned just means less fat more muscle).



These pictures are 9 months apart. The left picture is right before I began IIFYM and as you can see I had a lot of cellulite in my legs. With weightlifting and IIFYM I was able to reduce the size of my thighs as well as the amount of cellulite I had because I was reducing my body fat percentage (focusing on fat loss rather than weight loss) but because I was still ~20lbs overweight the weight slowly fell off as well. People freak out when they begin IIFYM or weightlifting and don’t see an immediate drop on the scale. Stay patient and persistent. If you’re not to weightlifting you’re likely gaining muscle, if not you’re at least maintaining it. If you’re at a deficit you WILL see a decrease on the scale, you just need to give it some time. It will be worth it in the end when you have kept your muscle and look “toned” instead of “skinny fat”.

I did notice that my progress with IIFYM was pretty linear. With low calorie diets, commonly people lose a bunch of weight in the beginning and stall out. For me I was losing 1-2lbs a week the entire process until I got close to my ideal body weight.


This is the best picture I have that shows my overall IIFYM progress. The left picture was May 2013 and the right picture was September 2013! It certainly wasn’t easy sticking to my macros; I had to measure my portions, weigh my food, and constantly prepare for any situations where I would need to make sure I could meet my macros- like eating out, going to a friend’s, or leaving town. There were days where I did not meet my macros but I never gave up. I didn’t feel like I was overly restricting myself so it was much easier to stick with. I didn’t dwell on the bad days, I accepted them and I found it was easier to move on and continue on the right path.

All the sacrifices were WELL worth it. I’m so happy with my body composition whereas in early 2013, even after losing almost 75lbs, I was not. Plus, I was still able to enjoy the foods I loved in moderation. That is definitely a HUGE principle IIFYM taught me- moderation! After I was done with the fat loss track I focused on maintaining which meant I didn’t really need to track any longer, because of everything I learned from IIFYM I knew how to properly fuel my body and what proper portions looked like.

I always recommend IIFYM to anyone trying to lose weight or fat because a) it gives them flexibility to still enjoy the foods they love whereas eating “clean” does not (my motto is 80% healthy, 20% whatever the F you want- don’t neglect your micros!), b) you learn a lot from IIFYM including how to successfully eat out, why eating enough is so important (why low calorie diets SUCK), & proper portions and c) it’s SCIENCE, it is 100% fool-proof if you are using the right numbers.


Poor quality but here is my entire journey of losing 100lbs! Left picture is 2010 and right picture is late 2013.

For more IIFYM resources click here or check out my Youtube channel.

If you need help with your macros I provide 6 weeks macro support. I am a CPT which includes education on proper calorie intake with a breakdown of macronutrients, as well as learning how to approach fat loss. But mainly I understand where you are because I’ve been there. I know that in the beginning IIFYM takes a lot of trial & error and practice. Having confidence with the numbers you’re tracking and having support every step of the way can make the WORLD of difference. You can find more info here. Good luck!

Don’t forget to check out my weightlifting journey here!


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The Science Behind IIFYM & Why Low Calorie Diets Suck

Your body is constantly trying to maintain itself through a process called homeostasis, so if you eat at 1200 calories a day your body will try to adapt to only needing 1200 calories a day. This will make weight loss harder and is why people plateau on low calories diets. It also makes you more likely to binge which leads to slower progress and a poor relationship with food.

To calculate your macros I calculate your BMR and add in your exercise to come up with the calories you burn each day (this is called your TDEE). This is your maintenance numbers or how much you’d need to eat every day to maintain your current weight. Based on this number, I put you at a deficit (anywhere from 200 calories to 600 calories per day, depending on how much you have to lose) so you can lose 1-3lbs per week (again it all depends on how much weight you have to lose). You’ll be able to sustain this weight loss and not plateau as we’ll slowly decrease your calories as you lose weight and your BMR decreases. This will also set you up to be WAY less likely to binge because you’ll be able to fit in some treats and won’t feel so restricted.

The reason we track the macros as opposed to just calories is to target fat. If you were to only track calories you’d lose fat and muscle. With IIFYM you’re targeting fat because you’ll be eating a certain amount of protein to keep you at a positive nitrogen balance, which simply means your body will be able to repair your muscle and you will not lose muscle, only fat. This will allow you to get a completely different body shape than if you were to lose fat and muscle, which will give you that skinny fat look and just make you look deflated.


Macronutrients include fat, carbohydrates, and protein. They are vital for fueling your body and needed in large amounts. Macronutrients make up your total calories. 1 gram of fat is worth 9 calories, 1g of carbs is worth 4 calories, and 1g of protein is worth 4 calories. Micronutrients include necessary vitamins and minerals. Fiber is a carbohydrate that should also be tracked, fiber is not only beneficial for your internal health but it also gives you a more accurate indication of progress. If you don’t eat enough fiber you’re likely going to experience bloating which will sway your measurements or the number when you step on the scale. If you want to learn more about the role each macronutrient plays check out this article.

Customizing your Macros

Your macros depend on your age, weight, height, activity level, and goals. There are calculators online like or Considering there are so many factors to look at and especially if the individual has more than 30lbs to lose, sometimes the online calculators need adjusting. That’s where coaches come into play. We highly suggest knowing your coaches qualifications before purchasing services. Ask yourself, “does this person have experience with customizing other people’s macros?” “Are they certified and allow to recommend someone’s macronutrients?” Personal trainers are typically taught how to calculate a person’s caloric needs as well as a proper macro split but it’s still a good idea to know someone’s success rate.

Tracking your Macros

Many people track macros using MyFitnessPal but there are other websites and applications like Lose It and Macros +. MyFitnessPal has the largest database available for searching foods but it is also user submitted so you must always double check the label with the entry. To input your custom macros into MyFitnessPal you can either purchase the premium version or try this script on Google Chrome:

Why I love IIFYM

I started practicing IIFYM in March of 2013 after counting calories for close to a year. I was only eating 1200-1300 calories and felt like crap. The only workout I had energy for was a mindless hour on the elliptical machine. I was bingeing at least once a week and although I was losing some weight I wasn’t seeing my body transform like I had hoped. Once I began IIFYM I started eating around 1,700 calories. I was still losing fat at this amount because I was working out hard and at a proper macro split. I ended up losing the last 35-40lbs of the 100lbs in less than 6 months. Then I bulked for 3 months to build more muscle, which I followed with a 3 month cut where I was able to consume almost 1,900 calories and still blast fat. I reached my lowest weight, 121lbs, at this time while lifting the heaviest I ever had. I now lift weights 4-5x a week. A year ago I couldn’t imagine working out the way I do now because I exert so much more energy and I wasn’t fueling my body enough back then. Food is a friend and IIFYM has helped me realize this. It has also helped me find balance in enjoying the foods I like and made me appreciate the importance of moderation. I’ve lost 35-40lbs following IIFYM, but my body has completely changed shape.


iifym macros cellulite thighs

See all my progress pictures here.

The heat on IIFYM

IIFYM gets some heat in the fitness community mainly because some people assume it means you can stuff anything you want in your mouth. Well, I don’t know about you guys but unfortunately when I count my macros I cannot fit a breakfast of donuts, lunch of fried chicken and french fries, and dinner of pizza into my macros. With IIFYM you have flexibility. You may be able to fit that donut in for breakfast but if you’re going to fit your macros for the rest of the day that means lower fat and high protein items (baked chicken or fish). IIFYM is great for learning how to balance treats with the nutrition your body needs to lose fat and be properly fueled.

Refeed Day

If you’re familiar with IIFYM you may have heard the term refeed day. A refeed is completely optional and simply a psychological tool to help you stay on track. A refeed day is one day out of the week where people eat anywhere from 30-50% more carbohydrates than usual. This gives you a day with a little extra flexibility. Some people choose to eat a little extra fat on this day. It’s really up to you. Find whatever works for you to stay on track and keep you from binge eating or overeating.

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is another optional tool popular among IIFYM followers. For most people, intermittent fasting means consuming all their calories in an 8 hour period. Personally, I practice IF because I’m not hungry in the mornings and I like to enjoy a big treat before bed. So I consume all my food between 2pm to 10pm. Again, this is simply psychological and is not proven to help you lose fat faster. From the research I have found neither a refeed day or fasting promotes fat loss aside from the fact that they can both be a tool to helping you stay on track. I utilize both.

Macro Consultation

If you are new to dieting and feeling overwhelmed or if you are relatively overweight consider purchasing my macro support before setting out to customize macros on your own. I provide you with your custom macros as well a plethora of resources for you to succeed. I’ll answer any questions or concerns you have during this time. By the end of the program you should have the tools necessary to customize your own macros. You can choose to purchase one on one coaching if you need accountability and extensive support.

If you are interested please fill out this form and I will contact you within 48 hours to begin.

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I hope this answers any questions you all had on IIFYM! If not, feel free to drop a question in the comments below or email me. I know the feeling of being lost or overwhelmed by all this. Knowledge is power so do your research and know that as long as you are making healthy choices you are on the right track!


weight loss before and after