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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Iannelli-Rubin

Michy's Macro Bowl Magic - Part 2 (In Action)

Updated: Dec 19, 2020

Foods should be a source of pleasure, wouldn't you agree? Growing up in an Italian family, food was and will always be central in any gathering. I share this mindset along with a continued appreciation for quality food & experiences. Learning about flavors, preparation & cooking methods, health benefits and overall well-being has been inspiring. I am experimenting with things that I had never tried before, and finding so much delight! Previously, I had heard many people talk about macros and macronutrients. I honestly had no idea what they were talking about. Now, learning that macros and macronutrients are one in the same, I am figuring out how to balance them in my meals. This entire learning curve has been liberating.

According to McKel Kooiegna (RDN, LDN) at Nutrition Stripped, macros include the foundational five: 1. Proteins, 2. Non-Starchy Carbohydrates, 3. Healthy Starchy and Sugary Carbohydrates, 4. Flavor Factors and 5. Fats. A macro bowl balances all of these ingredients and provides us with a healthy and filling meal. They're super easy to prepare, and are great for everyday lunches.To recap, here are the foundational five that make a nutrient-dense meal. I have updated the foundational five visual with percentages and portion size.

1 Bowl consists of:

  • Proteins (1 serving = 21 grams protein (ie. 3 oz meat)): Tempeh, beans, quinoa, and lentils (starchy-proteins), hemp seeds, nuts/seeds, nutritional yeast (not a “protein”, but loaded with plant-based protein). Vegetarian-friendly (ovo-, pesca-, lacto-): farm fresh eggs and wild-caught fish. Animal proteins: quality sources only.

  • Non-Starchy Carbohydrates (2 servings = 1 cup raw or leafy AND 1/2 cup cooked): Spinach, romaine, arugula, kale, microgreens, sprouts, mustard greens, swiss chard, bell peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, snap peas, radish, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower

  • Healthy Fats - 1/4 Avocado, 1TBS olive oil, grape seed oil, sesame oil, truffle oil, coconut oil; 15-20 grams of olives (5), nuts, seeds, hemp seeds,

  • Starchy and Sugary Carbohydrates (Grains, fruits, vegetables) (1 serving= 1/2 cup) - Sweet potatoes, quinoa, millet, brown rice, wild rice, beans (starchy-protein), corn and peas (starchy veggie), strawberries, pears, banana, papaya, mango, grapes, raspberries, apples, etc.

  • Flavor Factors (1/4 cup) - Fermented veggies like kimchi or sauerkraut, homemade salad dressings, kelp/dulse granules and flakes for added iodine and minerals, nutritional yeast, homemade hummus, apple cider vinegar, fresh lemon juice, sauces, herbs, spices, etc.

Experimenting with the fundamentals, I have incorporated these healthy lunches in our week. I pre-planned and prepped my proteins, starchy carbs, and non-starchy carbs in advance so I would have choices without stress. I also ordered some fermented options to top the bowls, along with some olives and options that I had on hand.

Bowl 1: Chicken, Arugula, Avocado, Olives, Roasted Pears topped with Tahini Dressing

Bowl 2: Salmon, Spinach, Sesame Oil, Sweet Potato, Tossed with Homemade Ginger Dressing

Bowl 3: Chicken, Arugula, Romaine, Bell Peppers, Olive Oil, Wild Rice, & Lemon.

Bowl 4: Salmon, Kale, Spinach, Bell Peppers, Olive Oil, Apples & Apple Cider Vinegar.

Bowl 5: Chicken, Spinach, Arugula, Romaine, Olives, Olive Oil, Wild Rice & Lemon.

Bowl 6: Salmon, Bell Peppers, Spinach, Kale, Olive Oil, Quinoa & Lemon.

Bowl 7: Chicken, Arugula, Avocado, Olives, Olive Oil, Strawberries & Kimchi.

I weighed out the portions that I needed to incorporate into my prepared lunches for my family of 5 for a week. I pre-roasted my chicken breasts & pan-seared my salmon, and stored them in separate tupperwares. I also prepared my starchy & non-starchy carbs by portion. This made my bowl assembly go quick and with minimal stress.

Each bowl was refreshing. They were so easy to assemble, and they were a flavor party. I experimented with a few simple homemade tahini dressings to drizzle over top. What a great option! The balance and consistency of the vegetables with the salmon or chicken and grain was delightful.

The simplicity of this healthy and flavorful lunch option was rejuvenating. I felt lighter, and more focused. My energy level sky-rocketed and I felt my brain fog lift. As a busy mompreneur, I love when I am able to fuel myself & my family with a healthy plate, that is manageable, with minimal prep, that will do us good. And the added perk, I am teaching my children healthy new habits to incorporate and learn from into their futures! We are all winning. I look forward to experimenting with macro bowl more. Give it a try, and let me know what you think.

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