Macros 101 in Summary

The very first time I heard of the terms macros was when a friend asked me about the macros of a dish that I had posted on my Instagram. Curious by nature, I started doing some research developing a plan for myself and understanding the makeup of food I ate. You could really transform your body by understanding macros and what it does for your body.

Macros is short for macronutrients–nutrients needed in large amounts that provide energy making up your calories. Generally, most people don’t count micronutrients, the vitamins and minerals your body requires in small amounts.

The three primary macronutrients that your body requires to function properly are carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Carbohydrates are the most important source of energy for your body by breaking them down into glucose to fuel your cells, tissues, and organs. There are good carbs and bad carbs. Proteins are the “building blocks of life.” Protein helps repair tissue and make new ones for growth and development. Your hair and nails are mostly made of protein and is the most important nutrient for your bones, muscles, skin, cartilage, and blood. Good fats are essential to promote normal growth and development. It helps the body absorb vitamins, support cell membranes, and provides a cushion for organs.

Each of these macronutrients provides calories:

Carbohydrate provides 4 calories per gram
Protein provides 4 calories per gram
Fat provides 9 calories per gram

Depending on your goal, weight, age, fitness level, etc. the amount of carbs, protein, and fat are different for everyone. I’ll dedicate a post to that in the future. In the meantime, start counting macros. It can be a little obsessive and tedious, but having a rough guesstimate of what your plate of food is made up of could really push your body to new levels. Start reading nutritional labels, choose wholesome options, and log your foods.

Layered Strawberries & Coconut Panna Cotta (Dairy Free)

So sorry this is so late! Happy be-lated 4th of July! BBQs were running rampant this past weekend. While I normally bring savory dishes to BBQs, this year I chose to contribute with something sweet: layered strawberries & coconut panna cotta. The colors were perfect to celebrate and represent the 4th. These were transported so I made them in disposable 5 1/2 oz cups.

Since it was 4th of July, I decided to layer the panna cotta and strawberry gelatin in double layers then topped them with blueberries for the American flag effect. What do you think? It took more time, but it was worth the presentation! You could also substitute and make pineapple gelatin for a tropical taste–pineapple coconut! If you’re making this on an ordinary day, single layers, this should make four servings.

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Ingredients:

Ingredients for Strawberry-Coconut Gelatin:

  • 1 tsp unflavored gelatin
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup coconut water (or water)

Ingredients for Coconut Panna Cotta:

  • 1 tsp unflavored gelatin
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Blueberries

Directions:

  1. For the strawberry-coconut gelatin, sprinkle unflavored gelatin over 1 tbsp water; let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. In a small sauce pot, combine sliced strawberries, sugar, and lemon. Let sit for 5 minutes. With a potato masher, mash strawberry mixture until fine. It should turn into a thick liquid.
  3. Over medium heat, cook strawberry mixture until sugar has dissolved. Add coconut water and stir to combine. Simmer for about 2 minutes and take off heat. Stir in gelatin until gelatin has completely dissolved.
  4. Strain mixture using the back of spoon to push out all the liquid. Discard pulp.
  5. Distribute among 4 cups or 12 5 1/2 oz cups like I did to achieve the first stripe. If distributing among 12 cups, 2 generous tablespoons per cup will be enough.
  6. Transfer to the refrigerator to set (4 hours for 4 portions, 1 hour for 12 portions).
  7. For the coconut panna cotta, sprinkle unflavored gelatin over 1 tbsp water; let sit for 5 minutes.
  8. In a small sauce pot, combine coconut milks, sugar, and lemon juice. Let simmer over medium heat for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take off heat and stir in gelatin until gelatin has completely dissolved.
  9. Once strawberry gelatin has set, distribute panna cotta mixture into cup. Refrigerate for 1 or 4 hours depending on the version you choose to make.
  10. For 12 servings, striped dessert, repeat complete process.
  11. When panna cotta has set, drop several blueberries on top.

SERVINGS: 4 or 12

 

Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

Cookies are quite possibly my favorite treat of all time. It always satisfies my sweet tooth. The slight crunch and moist chewy center fulfills my every single need in a dessert. This past weekend I decided to whip up some cookies to get rid of my opened packages of chocolate chips and nuts. They came out decadent! I ate two last night and for being someone who doesn’t have a sweet tooth, my boyfriend loved them.

This particular recipe yields a slightly crispy yet chewy center cookie. The addition of chopped walnuts gives it that extra crunch throughout the cookie. Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (semisweet or milk is fine depending on preference)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 250*F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a mixing bowl, mix butter and sugars until well combined. Add egg and mix until incorporated.
  4. In a bowl mix together flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add in flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture. Add vanilla extract and combine until ingredients are all wet and combined.
  5. With a spatula, fold in chocolate chips and walnuts.
  6. Scoop spoonfuls (two heaping tablespoons) of cookie dough onto baking sheet (I used an ice cream scoop to make perfectly uniform round cookies) leaving them at least 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake for 11 minutes. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 3-4 minutes and transfer to cooling rack. Note: let cookies completely cool before eating; otherwise, it will fall apart.

SERVINGS: 16 cookies