Category Archives for "Mash Potatoes Nutrition"

Eating Healthy On A Budget by Rebekah Tilson

One of the biggest hindrances to taking the leap of faith into the world of healthy eating and living is monetary consideration. I began my journey into the “clean eating” lifestyle during my (“poor”) college student days. Always a conscious eater, on a limited budget it was sometimes difficult to pass up midnight pizza or Ramen noodles. Since beginning this lifestyle years ago, I’ve navigated my shopping ventures in such a way to avoid costly grocery store trips. The following tips are to help kick-start your new grocery routine.

Tip #1 – Buy In Bulk, Especially Protein

Protein freezes well. Every time you grocery shop, check the meat and chicken section. Buy-one-get-one, store discounts, and near-expiration packages offer excellent opportunities for stocking the freezer. If your freezer is stocked, you never have an excuse for not having a healthy alternative in your house!

Tip #2 – Avoid ALL Processed Foods

Of course, there is the physiological reasoning behind why we should avoid processed “foods”; for the most part these are not real food. Now, technically a package of chicken is “processed”, but think crackers, cookies, pastas, snacks. There is also a monetary reason – here are some examples of money saving from eliminating such products:

  • One bag of chips per week: $192/year
  • One half gallon of ice cream per week: $288/year
  • One fast food meal per week: $384/year
  • One loaf of bread per week: $144/year
  • One box of cereal per week: $240/year
  • One soda (or sweet tea!) per day: $548/year

Tip #3 – Factor in “Eating Out”

If you are choosing to take the step to put your health first, perhaps it’s time to take a moment to evaluate how much money you spend eating out. Now this can be the semi-weekly lunch with a co-worker, or a Friday night out- either way it costs money to have someone else cook your food. I’m all about going out and having a good time, and socializing is important, but determining how to cut part of your “restaurant” budget and turn that over to your grocery budget can be helpful. A $15 meal can buy 3 pounds of chicken…

Tip #4 – Frozen Vegetables

Flash frozen vegetables pack the same nutritional punch as their fresh counterparts. Granted, fresh sometimes tastes a tad better, but with the right spices, frozen vegetables are delicious! A one pound bag of broccoli is 30-40% less expensive than a fresh bunch.

Tip #5 – Frozen Fruit (Smoothies)

The same holds true for fruit. Where green juices remove essential pieces of fruit and are low on nutritional value, smoothies of any sort hold on to the whole fruit. All micronutrients work together for optimal nutritional value. From a convenience perspective, a smoothie paired with a few boiled eggs is a quick and easy breakfast choice.

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Tip #6 – Supplement

Dried beans are a low-cost addition to any meal and can make your meat last longer!

Tip #7 – Unusual Proteins

I almost always carry a packet of tuna or some jerky in my bag. Now, tuna straight out of a package may not be the tastiest way to enjoy lunch, however at under $1 each, this is a cost-worthy alternative. Packaged salmon works well too. I encourage this use only occasionally, but as a once in a while swap it is worth the cost benefit.

Sardines are another example of a cost-effective, though unusual protein source. Add these to some broccoli, salads, etc. for a great kick of protein (over 20 grams) and a huge supply of omega-3 fatty acids. They will also curb salt cravings.

Tip #8 – Plan

Having a plan for your week is essential for nutrition and budget success. Plan a shopping list, look for sales. Know what you are purchasing before you reach the grocery store.

Tip #9 – Read the Fine Print

What I am referring to here is the “fine print” on grocery store shelves indicating the per ounce price equivalent. Oftentimes what’s on sale isn’t really “on sale”. Be sure to read your shelving!

Tip #10 – Read Your Labels

Know what you are buying. Choose items with a higher nutritional punch. We love calories when they’re nutrient dense! Calories that pack a high nutritional content are most worthwhile. Nuts satiate much better than chips, therefore are a much better nutritional and cost effective choice.

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No Tracking, No Progress? By Paluna Santamaria

I’d like to dedicate this article to all my clients who have stayed patient, consistent, and most importantly committed to their nutrition journey – taking what I like to call a “health first” approach.

Putting your health before aesthetics sometimes means taking the slow route, choosing nutritious foods more often than treats, and understanding that extremely low body fat can be detrimental for some people (and you may not be able to stay there for long). This means you understand nutrition periodization.

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Defining Health

I define health as a balance between the mental, physical, and spiritual aspects of your life.

Sometimes we need to take care of things that have nothing to do with food or exercise to move forward in life.

If you work with me you know that (unless you are a competitive athlete in sports that require you to fit into a weight class) I am not tied to putting emphasis on scale weight, progress pictures, or even always tracking macros. I know some eyes will roll when reading this statement. They’ll say, “But how will you know you are progressing?” or the popular “What gets measured gets managed.”

I’m not saying it’s impossible to achieve body composition goals in a healthy way, but we can all agree there are ways to do it in non-optimal ways. This is how fad diets become popular and some people get rich fast by taking advantage of misinformation.

We can’t deny that tracking everything we eat precisely is an effective method that provides useful information. The more information in regards to food intake I have as a coach, the better.

However, what happens when the person I’m working with has disordered eating tendencies such as: stress around food, binge eating episodes, body dysmorphia, or periods of high stress?

Tips for Shifting Focus

It is my job to find a way that will allow this person to make progress at a rate that won’t disrupt their hormonal health. So when a client is overwhelmed, discouraged, in a negative rut, or needing a break from looking at the scale or tracking apps, here some things I like to shift the focus to:

1. Sleep quality and quantity. Do you wake up rested? Do you sleep through the night?
2. Food quality. Choose whole foods as often as possible.
3. Food quantity. Eat when hungry, stop when full.
4. Hydration. It has been proven that our brain confuses thirst with hunger.
5. Energy and recovery in training.
6. Overall mood and outlook on life.
7. Non exercise related de-stressing activities.
8. No tracking devices, just a simple journal to bring awareness to the above.

Now let me ask: what if you allowed yourself to remove the focus on aesthetics once in a while as a way for other meaningful changes to occur?

When you are wondering if you are making any progress, perhaps ask yourself if the overall quality of your life has improved… regardless of what you look like.

Interested in this approach? Share your thoughts with us! I’d love to hear!

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Meal Prepping When You Have No Time by Rebekah Tilson

The two biggest hurdles in becoming an athlete (whether you’re a beginner or elite) tend to be time and money. We’re going to talk about the former today in relation to meal prep. I’ve written before about meal planning for the month and how that has helped us, but let’s get down to some specifics regarding the actual cooking!

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As I’ve mentioned before, having protein cooked is key – this is the hardest thing to grab quickly. When in a rush it’s easy to grab some carbs (an apple, some granola, etc.) or some fat (nuts, seeds, etc.), but try eating a raw chicken breast… no thanks.

Batch Cooking

When I am anticipating a busy week, I batch cook on Sunday evenings. Here’s what I do:

  • Salsa chicken: Three pounds of chicken breast in the crockpot with a jar or two of salsa (just shred when it’s done!) …or Grilled chicken!
  • Beef roast: Roast in crockpot with a bottle of wine (so good!)
  • Sweet potatoes: 20 baked in the oven (yes, 20… my husband Caleb eats for three!)
  • Frittata: I use about 18-20 eggs. This is great for any meal. (See the clip below)

Veggie Prep

Other than that, I cook and prep vegetables nightly. I prefer the taste when they’re fresh! Here are some of my favorites:

  • Broccoli: Baked until slightly crispy, I add evoo and salt/pepper after it’s cooked
  • Kale salad: This is boring, but just raw kale and my favorite dressing
  • Veggie foil packs: Preferably grilled, my favorite is kale, onions, and fresh garlic

These are some of my easiest, go-to items that help get us through a busy week. The more you meal prep, the more you find out what works for you. Have a great recipe or meal prep suggestion – let us know. Or even better yet, you can come join us on our online nutrition team and let the entire facebook group know!

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A New Favorite Macro-Friendly Recipe by Jacky Bigger

I’ve been spending a bit more time in the kitchen lately, trying to learn how to cook some new macro friendly recipes that aren’t just plain chicken breast, quinoa, and brussels sprouts.

I came across this delicious and simple recipe on Pinterest. I made a couple of changes – and it turned out so delicious I wanted to share it with you all. People also ask me all the time where they can fine recipes with pre-calculated macros, so I figured I’d start sharing some of my favorites, since I’ve already done the macro calculations for you.

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Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet

Serves 4 (46C/31P/15F per serving)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of peeled and diced sweet potatoes
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • yellow bell pepper
  • 1 cup of onion, diced
  • ½ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup of water
  • ¼ cup cilantro (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper

Now that looks like a long list of ingredients, but I promise it’s a simple recipe. If not, I wouldn’t have been able to make it. I definitely still have lots to learn in the kitchen.

I started by peeling and dicing my sweet potatoes. I used Japanese sweet potatoes, because my fiancé and I prefer them to regular sweet potatoes. However, if you’re watching your calorie intake and are low on carbs, regular sweet potatoes are probably the way to go since they contain fewer carbohydrates than the Japanese ones. If you’re looking to try something new, you can find Japanese sweet potatoes at Whole Foods and Trader Joes.

Next, I minced my garlic and heated the oil up in the pan. I used a sunflower, avocado, and coconut oil blend, because that’s what we had in the house. The recipe calls for olive oil, but you can likely use whatever oil you prefer. I cooked the garlic on medium heat for about one minute, then added in the ground turkey.

While the ground turkey was cooking, I chopped my onion and pepper and put together my mix of spices – that way I could just dump them all in at once when the turkey was ready. Once the ground turkey was fully cooked, I stirred in the spices and added in the onions and peppers. I used red onion instead of yellow. I let the onion and peppers cook for about three to four minutes before I added in the water and sweet potatoes – which then cooked covered for another eight to ten minutes or until the sweet potatoes were soft when stabbed with a fork.

Once the potatoes are cooked, throw the cheese on top and let it melt, garnish with cilantro for a prettier dish – and boom… done. It’s as simple as that.

This recipe serves four. Each serving contains 46g of carbs, 31g of protein, and 15g of fat. It’s a very well-balanced meal!

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Need even less calories? Ditch the cheese and use squash instead of sweet potatoes. Need more calories? Try using a higher fat meat such as ground beef.

Eating on macros doesn’t have to be boring and repetitive. Get creative! Who knows? You may find a meal like this one that you’ll have no problem eating over and over again.

The Basics on Calories, Macronutrients, and Eating for Performance by Crystal McCullough

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates

Your body is a machine and that machine needs fuel to function. Food is your fuel. The kind of fuel you put in your body will determine how smooth your body will run. There is a saying that “you wouldn’t put the cheap fuel in your Ferrari would you?” The way you feel and the way you perform are directly related to your nutrition choices.

We are all on our own journey. Some of you may just be wondering where to start. This whole nutrition thing is frustrating and confusing and you just need some guidance and a nudge in the right direction. Others of you may be competitive athletes looking to enhance your performance. Nutrition is one aspect you can control.  

So where do you start?

 

Calories

The medical dictionary definition of a calorie, or more technically a kilocalorie, is the “amount of energy required to raise 1 kilogram (kg) of water by 1º C.”

For the purposes of nutrition, a calorie refers to the amount of energy we get from the food and drink we take in as well as the energy we expend during exercise. Calories are needed to live and individual caloric needs vary based on height, weight, age, activity level, and gender. According to the USDA, the average female needs 2,200 calories and the average male needs 2,700 calories per day. Keep in mind that this is just an average and there are variations based on the factors listed above.

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Mash Elite's resource will give you the nutrition tools you need to make fast results without guesswork, stalled progress, or unbearable restrictions.

 

Macronutrients & Micronutrients

We get our calories from three macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fats. All three macronutrients are important for the body to function. Protein and carbohydrates are both measure 4 calories per gram while fats measure 9 calories per gram. We also need micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) but in much smaller amounts. Examples of micronutrients are calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium, sodium, zinc, vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K. These micronutrients are found in the whole foods we eat.

Example meals containing a balance of all 3 macros and lot’s of micronutrients

 

Protein

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), protein is composed of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Amino acids are categorized as essential (not found in the body and have to be obtained from food) and non-essential (made by the body). There are 20 amino acids, 9 of which are essential.

Protein is involved in almost every process of the body to include muscle and tissue repair, blood and organ building, and making enzymes and hormones. Our hair and nails are actually made up mostly of protein.

Depending on our activity level and choice of fitness, we need 0.7g/lb. up to 1g/lb. of body weight. This can easily be done by taking in 20-30g of protein each meal.  Common sources of protein include meats like beef, chicken, and seafood. Other sources include eggs, beans, and tofu. The total caloric intake of daily protein is usually 25-30%.

 

Carbs

Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of energy. The simplest form of a carbohydrate is glucose. The body needs glucose to function, particularly the brain. When your body needs energy, it looks for glucose from the food you’ve eaten first. If you eat the right amount of carbohydrates your body needs per day, your body will convert the glucose to glycogen and store it in the muscles and the liver. If you consume more carbohydrates than your body needs, it will store the excess as fat. There are three types of carbohydrates: simple (sugars), complex (starches), and fibrous. Some sources of simple sugars are fruits, vegetables, and milk products. Some sources of starches are grains, vegetables, rice, and dried beans. Some fibrous carb sources come from green leafy vegetables, some fruits, and whole grains. Depending on the type of exercise you perform will determine on how many carbohydrates you should take in within a day. It can range from 40-60% of your total calorie intake.

Veggies are carbs too! Get plenty in your diet.

 

Fats

Fats are also very important for the body to function properly.  Fats are needed in order for the body to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. According to the NIH, “essential fatty acids contribute to brain development, blood clotting and aid in inflammatory control.” Fats shouldn’t be avoided in the diet. There are different types of fats. Some are ‘good’ and some are ‘bad’. Some examples of fats that can be considered bad because of their impact on cholesterol and their link to heart disease are saturated fats, trans fats, and triglycerides. Some examples of good fats are monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, Omega 3 fatty acids, and Omega 6 fatty acids.  These good fats have protective properties from heart disease and can reduce inflammation. Some sources of good fats are olive oil, sunflower seeds, walnuts, flaxseeds, and fatty fish like salmon and tuna.

Fats are also used by the body for energy. During the first 20 minutes of exercise, glucose is the body’s primary source of energy, but will then switch to fatty acids when extended beyond the 20 minutes.  The remainder of total daily calories after finding protein and carbohydrate values will come from fat.

Now that you have some basic information about where your calories come from and good sources of each, what do you do now?

Putting this info into practice

Changing your eating habits can be overwhelming. We find that these changes are more successful if done in stages so that you are comfortable with one before adding another step.

1. Simply start out by making better food choices.

Focus on eating quality whole foods: lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Ditch the fast food and sodas. If you fall into this category, changing the quality of your food is much more important than the quantity. In the first few months of simply making better food choices, you will see changes in weight and body composition.

Opt for lean proteins, vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grains more than processed foods.

2. Once you have developed healthy eating habits, there will come a time when you will need to begin focusing on the quantity of food.

There are several free resources out there that can help you estimate your total daily caloric needs as well give you guidance on your macronutrient breakdown. These resources are a great starting point, but if you are serious about finding the right fit for your goals and needs, I highly recommend working with someone that can give you a custom set of macronutrients plus accountability and adjustments based on changing needs. We offer nutritional coaching at Mash Elite and if you are at this stage, one of our coaches would be excited to help you reach your goals.

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3. For performance athletes especially, nutrient timing is a strategic way to manipulate macronutrients around workouts.

Protein and carbohydrates are the main concern in the post workout time period. You would eat a 1:2 ratio of protein to carbohydrates in this period. For example, if you consume 25g of protein, you should also consume 50g of carbohydrates. Exact numbers are based on individual needs.

According to a study conducted by Aragon and Schoenfeld, there is an ‘anabolic window of opportunity’ lasting around 30-45 minutes after a training session. Findings of the study showed that “theoretically, consuming the proper ratio of nutrients during this time not only initiates rebuilding of damaged muscle tissue and restoration of energy reserves, but it does so in a supercompensated fashion that enhances both body composition and exercise performance.” Limiting fat intake with the first meal post workout has also been shown to allow for the quickest absorption of glycogen into the muscles.  All other meals of the day, you would eat protein, carbohydrates, and fats.

At the end of the day, whether you are someone who just wants to be healthy or a high-level competitive athlete, nutrition is a very important part of your recovery and performance and is well within your control. Treat your body like the temple it is and CHOOSE to put healthy foods into your body a majority of the time. I promise you that if you do this, you will look better, feel better, and perform better.

Crystal

A Healthy Way to Look at Your Food Choices by Paluna Santamaria

Food is more than fuel. Food is present in celebrations, work engagements and many times used as a coping mechanism which we won’t go into in this article. 

For better health, it’s best to consume a balance of protein, carbs, and fat from whole food sources in order to get your micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and when it comes to health and nutrition, there are no good or bad foods. There are optimal and less optimal choices.

I like to think about my groceries and my food choices this way:

  1. Things I love eating and need for health reasons. Whole, nutritious foods go here. One of my favorites meals is roasted veggies with olive oil and pink salt, roasted chicken with rosemary and lime. I could eat this every day. I like to get my protein from lean meats like the chicken and my carbs from roasted veggies. There are bonus points for vitamins and minerals in pink salt as well as healthy fats from the olive oil.
  2. Things I don’t love but don’t hate either and need for health reasons. These are foods like raw veggies and fruits. Yeah, I’m a weirdo who doesn’t care for fruits, but I’m perfectly happy with strawberries and few other ones. Raw veggies hurt my jaw and I prefer them in a smoothie but I recognize the need for variety in your diet. Without variety, you can say hello to nutrition deficiencies! Even if you are eating “healthy” aka chicken and broccoli every day, you could develop issues including nutritional deficiencies and food sensitivities from the lack of variety. So vary your meats, veggies, and fruits and try some new foods or meals every week!
  3. Things I love eating but don’t need. These would be foods like cheesecake, muffins, chocolate, pizza and ice cream. I want it all–every day but to be honest but I don’t need them so I have them on occasion. You know, for mental health reasons 😉
  4. Things I don’t like eating. I don’t eat anything I don’t enjoy. If you don’t like vegetables, perhaps you need to experiment more. I can assure you there’s at least one you like. The same goes for the other categories of foods like protein, carbs and fats.

 Eat What You Want and Eat What You Need both your mind and body will thank you.

Here's the best way to reach your diet goals in 2019...

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* Fully Customized Nutrition Plans

* Expert Coaches to Guide You

* Real-World Solutions for Real-World Issues

– Paluna