IIFYM 101: How to Get Protein like a boss

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If you are just begining your IIFYM/Flexible Dieting Journey you may be surprised to see how much protein you are going to need to eat each day.  In fact, most of my new clients come to me eating very little protein so it looks daunting to try to hit those protein goals!

The question I get the most is “How can I hit my protein goals with out going over fats and carbs?”

Protein is very important to our physique goals!!  We need protein to build muscle and we all know that muscle is the fountain of youth!  In a fat loss plan, we eat protein to help us maintain the muscle we have!!   Protein also helps you feel full!!

Protein 101: Basic Sources
Meat Lean cuts to keep fat down. Skinless white meat is lower in fat.
Chicken
Turkey
Pork
Beef
Fish
Other Seafood (shrimp, scallops)
Dairy
Milk, Chocolate milk (great post workout)
Sour cream
Greek Yogurt
Cheese
Laughing cow cheese is fun!
Cottage cheese (add to your pancakes to add a fluffy texture)
Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese
Halo top Ice cream (I had to add that)
Eggs
Egg whites (buy the pour-able kind)

Legumes
Beans and legumes have some protein but the carb profile is higher, but if you can make it fit.. could be an option.

Whey
Whey protein or Isolate : you can cook with this!!
Lenny and Larry’s cookies (low protein profile but worthy)
Kodiak protein pancake mix (Target)
Protein Bars like Quest or B-Up bars (check your local Supplement store for variety)
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Peach Protein Cupcakes with Raspberry Lemon icing.. I tossed this in for you just for fun. Here’s that recipe.  P:11 C:11 F2 for each cuppie.

Protip: Aim for protein first, Carbs second and fats last.
If you aim for hitting your protein goals first, you won’t be left at the end of the day with 120g to eat!!  
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Protein hack: You could split your protein goals up by meal. 
Mary Jo has 160g protein per day. She likes to eat 5 meals a day.  Each meal could contain 32g protein per meal.
100g of shrimp is 28g of protein!!

Hidden protein

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Many foods you enjoy each day will have protein in them!!  These amounts will help get you to your goals. Track that food!!  Let’s see whatcha got!!

“I don’t like eggs or egg whites.”
Ok.. I hear you. I don’t care for egg whites on their own either, but I do love Crepes, Pancakes and French toast which are all made with egg whites /egg.
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This is my Birthday Cake  crepe. The recipe is here
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Here’s a Banana Protein Pancake!!!
Protein pudding is boss.. This is at Walmart,  Sup stores, Amazon.
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Oh Hey.. let’s make Fish Tacos!  The shells are La Tiara (4 carbs per taco shell)
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Hack:  Start tracking your normal eating.  Look at it like a puzzle. Are you lacking in protein but way over in fatty/carby foods?  Let’s start working on ways to tweak your normal eating!
How can you add more protein in and hit your other macros on point?

Ideas:
RippedRecipes.com will help you find some fun ideas that are NOT boring.

This Blog!!  Search Protein and you will see all my ideas!!

This is Roo Ferrigno. She is very sure of her protein intake and likes to judge mine.
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I know you are working hard! Don’t give up. If you need macros or help.. connect with me on
LearnIIFYM.com
t

Prepping Not Starving: Taco Tuesday

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Our Team LOVES Taco Tuesday! Who doesn’t!!  IIFYM is bomb because you can make them fit your macros!!  Here are a few of our creations!  The tacos above are grilled chicken !taco1
Alicia scored this find at Trader Joes! 24g Protein!  Holla!
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Coach Michelle is on vacation and on prep. Her tacos are on point. That avocado!!  Avocados and that wrap have fiber. That’s about 20g fiber right there!  taco3
Ashley is about 4 weeks out from her show. This is her masterpiece!

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Coach Julia is 7 weeks from her show and this is her taco crunch wrap!
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Melissa is 7 weeks from her show. These are her shrimp tacos! I love the lime. taco5
These are mine. I am 13 weeks from stage. Each one of those shells is only 4 carbs. taco7
Jen nailed her macros while eating tacos out!  um.. yes please!!
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Holy Mama, sometimes you need a taco when you are out. The macros on the Taco Bell Chicken Soft Taco are sweet.

Hack: If you are craving Tacos, front load your tracker with your tacos early in the day and eat around them.

Here’s my 4g Carb Taco shells.

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These are in the grocery store or order online. We buy 72 shells at a time!

Eat food that makes you happy!  #makeItFit

Prepping Not Starving: Pizza

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Warning: These are actual pizzas made by our bikini team in PREP!!

One of the thing that has me completely over the moon is our team’s ability to create amazing food from prep ingredients.  They do it quickly and with flair.

There is no reason to eat plain when you are in a cut!  Creativity goes a long way and creates a sustainable plan!

The above pizza was made by our girl Ashely who is just 4 weeks out from her show.
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Here’s another one she did!

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Coach Michelle is 7 weeks out from her show and rocked this masterpiece.
Chicken, sundried tomatoes, onions, FF mozzarella, reduced fat feta and basil on a flat out.

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This is my SOB on a flat out. I toast my flat out before we bake the pizza.
Jimmy Dean Sausage crumbles, Onions and Louis Rich Turkey Bacon. Sauce Prego light smart red sauce from Walmart.

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Our Bikini Team Athlete, Tracy made this gem.
Pepperoni Pizza for Dinner! 🍕💪🏻Oh man… Winning! ❤️ 308 Calories / 4.5G Fat / 37 Carbs / 32 G Protein
Tomato Basil flat out Wrap
Turkey pepperoni
Marina Sauce
Fat Free shredded cheese
Bake at 425 for 10 minutes

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Melissa did a fun peperoni and sundried tomato version!  mmmmmm
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Debbie, who is 7 weeks out from her show  created this version of the white pizza!
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Tips: Pizza is an easy dinner and it has a secret bonus. Flat our or tortilla wraps have fiber.
There are lower carb wraps too.  You can create your own toppings from your prep food. You can load veggies if you are into that.  You can use full fat or non fat cheese depending on your macros.

You do NOT have to have 12 dry roasted almonds for your fats.  You can have other fats!
Cheese has protein.  Feta is a great choice too!  This is all about you.

Pro-tip: Build your pizza in your tracker in the morning so you can have exactly what you want. Then eat around it for the rest of the day. You can enjoy your evening meal hitting your macros and feeling super smart!

Hey.. if you want to learn more about IIFYM.. go to LEARNIIFYM.COM and let us teach you!
If you want to join our IIFYM bikini team.. we’d love to talk to you.

Prepping Not Starving: Quik Trip Egg bowl hack

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If Quik Trip is local to you, you might have seen this egg bowl in their stores. I had the chance to taste it last fall and it was insane.  I know a lot of restaurants serve this as well.

Last night, we recreated this masterpiece for my  prep macros. I have no pic, because I ate it up. But it looked much like the above one so go with that.

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1/2 cup Jimmy Dean Turkey sausage Crumbles
1 whole egg
1/2 cup whites
1 slice Kraft Fat Free Singles
onions

In the pan with cooking spray, heat your onions first.
Next add the crumbles until they are hot.
Eggs go next
Put the cheese on top and put a lid on it so it melts.

You can modify anything here just adjust your macros.
If you take out the whole egg  you can take off  5g Fat. I use an omega egg so
that’s a good way to get my EFAs. If you have the fat, get some real cheddar!
It’s so good!

BRO ALERT:  If your coach has locked you down to Bro-city, you can still rock this meal.
Use cooked ground turkey and seasonings instead of your sausage.

Wish I’d saved room for Buttered Toast!

Hey.. do you need help with IIFYM? Check us out at LearnIIFYM.com

Prepping not starving: The Monte Cristo Sandwich

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The mister has been binge watching “Top Chef” so my prep has gone to level 3000.
This sandwich is the bomb and the macros are fierce!  Seriously, you can use whatever you want to make your own to fit your macros but this was one I had for Brekkie!! It’s a good pre workout too.

2 slices 97/3 Ham
1 slices FF turkey
100 calorie english muffin
1 slice FF cheese

1/2 egg whites
Splash of vanilla

Mix egg whites and vanilla together
beat it until it is frothy

Drop the muffins into the mixture and let it soak up the eggs.
Fry the bacon and turkey in a pan with some cooking spray.
Remove from the pan.

Put the muffins in the pan and pour the rest of the mixture on top.
Flip them over then put the turkey and ham and cheese on the muffin.
Close it like a sandwich. cover the pan so the cheese melts.
Serve with syrup and jelly or powdered sugar if you have the carbs.

Your macros will vary but you can make it fit, even with some


I know you are working hard on your prep!! Keep going!
t

Prepping Not Starving: Tacos!!

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Oh man.. who doesn’t love TACO’S!
I am 12 weeks out from my show and I am nailing my IIFYM prep. This one has been the most fun yet.  Taco prep is going to be my new thing!

Look what I found! LaTiara Low Carb Taco Shells. I got these at my local Schnucks store in the Taco section.They are also available on Amazon and other Low carb sites. Check Google!
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Each taco shell has just 4g carbs where as other shells or tortillas are around 18g carbs each.

La Tiara registers a B on MyNetDiary’s food score so that works for me.
It’s a small taco shell but it’s so good.

The macros for two tacos are
2. oz grilled tilapia
25 g light sour cream
20g fat free cheese
2 table spoon of salsa
2 shell

Total for two tacos
P: 26
C: 13
F: 9
fiber 1
Calories  236
That’s just 118 calories per taco!

Bro prep swaps: If by chance your coach has you on the “no fat ever” bro plan, you could drop down to fat free greek yogurt and only take 4g fat for the whole recipe.

I bought 72 taco shells on my last trip to the store!
Everything in my recipe has an A or B rating and would be considered “healthy”!!

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What about doing Shrimp tacos? Yesss! I mixed shrimp with light sour cream, avocado and
filled the shell! mmmmm..

Try grilling Corn on the Cob if you have the carbs!
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You could also use those taco shells for some nachos if you do it right!
Pro-tip: create your recipe and load it into your tracker early in the day. Just eat around the recipe so you hit all your macros/fiber/veggies/fruit requirements.

I wish you well on your competition training!
t

 

 

IIFYM: Eat this or that

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    Ok.. let’s talk for a minute about choices.  First of all, you are IIFYM, you have them.
    Your world does not have to be protein cookies and no fun.I have compared two items.
  • Lenny and Larry’s Complete Protein Cookie. Serving size is HALF the cookie.
  • One Taco Bell Soft Chicken Taco
    The macros in each are almost the same. The rating is higher on the cookie because of the fiber.  Although, in the large scheme of things a B- isn’t horrible.I eat mostly A /B rated food because I’m probably psycho but more because I like to. It’s a slippery slope when I’m all crazy with my food.  It’s just my way. I’m in no way advocating getting an eating disorder of only eating A rated food. That’s no good.There are people who eat IIFYM who don’t monitor their food rating because they just hit their macros and fiber numbers. The food rating is my thing!

    But..
    I also have issue with eating a A rated protein cookie because sometimes I think it’s important to eat some food that looks like food.  If I can’t make a chicken taco fit in my day, and choose a half of protein cookie.. what? That seems to defeat the purpose of being flexible. My gut instinct is to choose cookies because I eat like a 4 year old. Sprinkles, and icing is my game!!

    The taco would be nice and satisfy my brain and my macros.  It has less carbs than the cookie. I really can make it fit. If you don’t want fast food in your life.. I get that too but we have options.

    Now. I’m not going to get crazy because the taco is lower rated due to the fiber. It has more protein than the cookie.

    My day looks like this:

  • I get about 50-60 g of fiber a day.
  • I eat 3 servings of fruits
  • 500 grams of veggies
  •  I take my Juice Plus trio for my micros.
  •  I eat 5 sources of protein each day and over 35 different foods a week.
  • In a cut I eat 95% nutrient dense foods and 5% discretionary food.

This chicken taco does not scare me. I don’t even think that falls under discretionary food!

 

Would I eat taco bell in prep.. yep. I know science wins here . I’m still finding my way and comfort zone. As I draw closer to stage.. maybe not.  Flexible lifestyle dieting is about options!!

This may be second nature to many IIFYMers.  I am a recovering clean /binge eater+ overthinker . I’m just being honest.

Journey on!!

If you would like to learn how to master your macros.. please visit our site LEARNIIFYM
and we will teach you online!!

t

Ps: check out Fatsecret.com for a huge list of all foods and their macros.

Micronutrients matter: Fruits and veggies

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I love fruit!!  Eat the rainbow.

You all know in my Bro Preps, I wasn’t allowed any fruit. The common belief is that fruit is full of sugar and “you won’t look right”.  I practice IIFYM and I do eat fruit. I measure every bit of it and make it fit.

In the past, I got very sick in my bro preps. My nutrition was off because I had very little variety in my food. In fact, only eating spinach created a lot of health problems for me.

In the last 2 years, I have focused on my health in both prep and off season.
I also follow solid  sports nutrition and get at least 35 different foods per week.
My food tracker, MyNetDiary keeps a running total of this for you.
This year, I am very much fine tuning my food to not just hit my macros but my micro nutrients as well.

Micronutrients, as opposed to macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fat), are comprised of vitamins and minerals which are required in small quantities to ensure normal metabolism, growth and physical well-being.

Simply put from Bodybuilding.com
Athletes should eat between 3-5 servings of fruit and 5-10 servings over veggies! I’ve seen very few clients eating that much!   I work toward 300-500g of veggies each day.  I can’t imagine how a bro prep would accommodate those numbers, especially for bikini girls starting off at next to no carbs to begin with.

This is something I feel really passionate about. Fine tuning my plan to include the fruits, veggies I need!!

I have incorporated in the Juice Plus Trio.
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One of the things I love about my trio is I can get micros from fruits and veggies I would normally not  enjoy eating. I don’t like beets at all!  But  beets have benefits!   Many times in prep I don’t have extra carbs so I may not get my full servings of fruit.  The trio will give me the nutrients without the carbs. I have always used a green powder but I actually like this better.
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I ordered my trio and this is how it came.

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The gummies come in two boxes.
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My kid loves these too. They taste really good too. Children can get these free from Juice Plus.

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My trio. These are capsules.

I have always taken great supplements so I’m super excited to incorporate these.
Several of my clients have done their prep with the trio and done beautifully. I believe nutrition counts!!

On a side note: Because I purchased the trio, my kid was able to be enrolled in the Children’s Health Study. He gets the gummy versions free. We will fill out a form quarterly with info about his school attendance and how often he has been sick. He loves them.

If you would like to know more about the children’s health study here is that info

If you would like to learn more about the trio or gummies, click here

Summer prep: More grilling

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I am 21 weeks out from UFE Halloween Mayhem. I’m doing a slow cut and I’m 100 percent IIFYM.  We are using the grill for prep this year!!

Costco:
The mister hit Costco yesterday. He literally walked the food from the car to the grill.
The above pic is our charred chicken breasts. I like them so much better on the grill. They were juicy!

This is the seasoning he used.

Jennie-O turkey Sausage
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This is crumbled Jennie O lean turkey sausage, onions, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms.
This was really good. The macros on this are 6g fat per 56g of sausage so I only had  a little but it fit my macros!

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Grilled Cali flower!!  The mister cut it and laid it on the grill. Done.

Other things that we could have added to this were BBQ sauces! These are at Walmart.bbq

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Love this! Costco!


I love having choices and not living on 6 meals of turkey, chicken and fish.
The grill makes things taste better and it’s fairly easy.
I wish you luck with your show!
t

Prep 101: Summer time grill

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So this week a competitor was on a board talking about how she was going back to her Bro plan because she tried that “iifym thing” and it didn’t work. I asked her what was it that didn’t work and really had no answer. She said she ” just needed to eat clean.”

Some people get overwhelmed by too many choices. I can understand that, especially when you are used to being a strict meal plan kind of girl. It’s all you know, right?

Refresher:  
IIFYM is not a diet. You count macro nutrients :Protein, Carbs and Fats.
You must eat at least 20 g of fiber each day.
You must hit your numbers +5/-5 grams daily.
You can eat any way you want but in a fat loss plan, your ratios are 95 percent nutrient dense foods and 5 percent discretionary.
You could eat paleo, diabetic, vegan, bro, whatever you like. You just have to hit those numbers!

This girl was confused. She missed an opportunity to eat well and have choices which is exactly what IIFYM is about. Choices!!

Ideas!
My prep is starting up and we decided that this summer is going to be about the grill.
I want to show you some things we did for my prep.

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Bison burgers are lean.
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This is shark! mmmmmmm
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This is Cajun shrimp. He didn’t even flip them. Just closed the lid on the grill.
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Butter Ball Turkey breast , thawed and cut into steaks on the grill.

Protein:  I get about 190 g protein per day. Rob grilled bison burgers, Shark Steaks, Cajun shrimp and turkey.  So the turkey.. he took a Butterball breast and thawed it. He cut it into steaks and grilled it, 20 min per side. It was insane.  There is no added fat in anything here.
I added avocado to my turkey for my fats and fiber and it was amazing.

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Bison and cabbage
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Grilled purple cabbage from the farmer’s market.
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The zucchini was the best. It’s so flavorful! Asparagus was great! So much better grilled.
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Yellow peppers and poblanos! There’s zuc in there too. This bowl was gone fast! YUM.

All our food came from the farmer’s market next door to my studio.
There is no additional fats on these at all. The squash is my favorite. The flavors burst. We used poblanos and yellow peppers. I hate regular green peppers but you could try.  The yellow ones are so sweet when you grill them.

Roasted cabbage is very good. We have made that into a salad for lunch tomorrow. With this grilling, Rob really just chopped and grilled. He likes to use seasonings so you can too.
I’m sure you have your own flavors you dig.

You can do it
If you are a person who thinks you have to choose the restricted non scientific BRO plan because IIFYM means all you eat is crap.. I am so sorry that you have misunderstood.
I want you to learn so you can have peace in your plan. If you are happy with ‘clean’ food then by all means, enjoy the food you eat.  Dousing things with mustard because you don’t believe you can sub out anything for egg whites is just foolish. It doesn’t make you a better athlete. It doesn’t make you  more HAM or beast mode.  Here’s what makes you a better athlete. Listening to your body. Eating well for your gains. Choosing things that YOU like for consistency and to not feel restricted.

Remember as athletes we need 300-500g of fruits and veggies per day. All my clients, in fact eat this. That’s about 300 calories and 40g carbs or so.  We need 35 different foods per week and we need to focus on our micro nutrients too. Different foods provide micros! Don’t be stuck with the same 6 food items! Investigate!!  Let me know if you have questions!!

I wish you luck with your competition!!
t