We are going to look at each macronutrient and break them down for you, provide you with some easy habits to implement so you can start to look and feel good! There is so much misinformation out there, and we are going to give it to you straight up.
Protein is meat from anything that walks, swims or flies. You can also get protein from vegetarian/vegan sources like tofu, tempeh and beans, or protein powders.
Protein is the building block of yourself! Nothing is more important than protein.
What exactly are proteins? Proteins are considered long chains of amino acids, which are the important molecules we get from our diet. Amino acids can be found in many different types of foods, even vegetables, but the highest sources are those that come from animals – like meat, dairy, eggs and fish – plus to a lesser extent certain plant foods like beans and seeds.
Proteins are used everyday to keep the body going. Because they’re used to develop, grow and maintain just about every part of our bodies — from our skin and hair to our digestive enzymes and immune system antibodies — they’re constantly being broken down and must be replaced.
Vital organs, muscles, tissues and even some hormones of the body are made from proteins. Additionally, proteins create haemoglobin and important antibodies. Proteins are involved in just about every body function from controlling blood sugar levels to healing wounds and fighting off bacteria.
Simply put, without proteins life would not exist. For best body composition, energy and optimum health and wellness, it’s important for each meal or snack to contain at least 20g of protein (1 whole egg = 6g of protein).
For meats, the best forms of protein you can be getting are going to be things like grass-fed beef, organic chicken and turkey, and wild-caught salmon.
Bacon, eggs, spinach and avocado
Frittata packed with lots of veges, served with avocado
Protein smoothie with coconut milk, blueberries, baby spinach
Omelette with veges and nuts
Kangaroo fillet with sautéed veges and drizzled olive oil
Fish and salad with avocado
Grilled pesto chicken with steamed veges
Steak and eggs with broccolini and olive oil drizzle and pine nuts
Mexican style beef mince with tomato, baby spinach and sour cream and avocado
Tacos with lettuce leaves as the shell
Your plate should look like this at snack or meal time, combining all three ‘macro nutrients’:
EAT PROTEIN for EVERY MEAL OR SNACK
Omega 3 & Omega 6 aka Good Fats
Over the years, fat has gotten a bad wrap. The latest research findings have discovered that good fats – olive oils, raw nuts and seeds, quality grass fed butter, avocado, and oily fish (salmon, sardines, tuna) are actually really, realluy good for you! In particular to balance your hormones, facilitate weight loss, support healthy pregnancy, support athletic recovery, and maintain healthy hair, skin and nails.
Fat is important for those watching their figures, fats also help us stay satisfied (fuller) for longer, and is a great energy source for the human body, and brain!
Omega 3s are good for people with high cholesterol, depression and brain health, and eating them regularly also helps to reduce inflammation. Despite the marketing campaigns from the 90s telling us it was bad for our health!
Ideally you want to eat equal parts and different types of fats.
1/3 saturated, 1/3 monounsaturated, and 1/3 polyunsaturated.
We should be eating a balance of 1:1 omega 3s to omega 6 fatty acids.
|Saturated Fats||Monounsaturated Fats
|Grass-fed meats, butter lard||Olives, avocado, nuts and seeds||Fish oils, flax seeds, wild caught (not farmed) oily fish|
Eating fats post workout impairs blood flow, and slows down protein synthesis, so keep fat to a minimum in the meal directly after a workout, but do include it in all other meals!
Have some avocado with your eggs and veges.
Have some olive oil and nuts with your chicken salad, a nice piece of salmon with asparagus drizzled with olive oil and seeds… delish!
So what does your plate look like after you work out then?
Introducing everyone’s favourite macronutrient!
When we ask our clients ‘what is a carb?’, we hear pasta, bread, cereals, muffins, rice etc, and everyone is mega surprised to find out that ALL fruits and vegetables are CARBS!
Carbohydrates are a nutrient that breaks down into glucose, this is your body’s primary source of energy, and many foods contain carbs. However, not all carbs are created equal.
Naturally occurring sugars like fructose (fruit sugars), lactose (dairy sugars), white/processed sugar/corm syrup, and refined grains such as white rice, are broken down very quickly by your body. That means they provide almost-instant energy, but unfortunately, that energy doesn’t last for long.
Other carbs, such as those found in whole grains, (brown rice or quinoa), vegetables (sweet potato or pumpkin) and legumes (lentils or beans), take longer to digest, so you get a steadier supply of energy. When you eat sugar – in response, your body will produce insulin, causing a large spike of your blood sugar. What goes up, must come down. Thus leaving it to come down in a crashing halt, leaving you tired, and looking for the next pick me up– normally a stimulant, like coffee or chocolate. Which creates this big, messy, unhealthy cycle. This was me as an office worker! Carbs – banana bread or a bacon and egg roll with a large mocha coffee for brekky, lunch was pasta or noodles, 3pm was the coffee, Coke, chips and chocolate run for the team. Then after work was wine time, and this cycle was on repeat for years and years. No wonder I couldn’t lose weight no matter how hard I tried.
After we train (weights training) our muscles and bodies run on muscle glycogen (the sugars stored in our muscles). If you don’t replace them with what you eat immediately after you train – you’ll find muscle growth will be slow, and your strength and energy while training will be poor. You may also lose muscle mass, if you aren’t eating enough food, or eating post-workout.
ALWAYS choose protein as the base of your meal or snack as this reduces the amount of insulin released by the pancreas, therefore helping stabilise your blood sugar levels.
EAT PROTEIN and CARBOHYDRATES POST WORKOUT
Time your carbohydrates around your training times (pre/post workout – depending on your goals and body type). You’ll find that you not only have sustainable energy throughout the day, but you’ll also have a better looking body!
If your goal is to put on lean muscle or strength gains you can and should be having more carbohydrates throughout your day, and carbs pre and post-workout. Try two slices of gluten free, whole grain toast, and a banana mashed on-top (YUM!), this will also help you generate more power and strength in your session.
If your goal is weight loss – stick to slow digesting carbs (brown rice, sweet potato etc) and only AFTER you’ve trained with weights! If you do cardio, still stick to the anytime plate of just protein, fats and green vegetables for the whole day’s meals and snacks.
Carbohydrate-rich foods like breads and pastas can be very high in calories. A general recommendation serving size for post-workout, is one cupped handful. The best sources of carbohydrates are starchy vegetables, as they contain the most vitamins, minerals and fibre. Our faves are pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots, beetroot, white potato, bananas, oats, buckwheat pasta or brown rice.
How much do I eat?
1 palm (men and women)
2 thumbs (men)
1 thumb (women)
2 cupped palms of leafy greens
1 cupped palm (starchy carbs post-workout)