12 Healthy Halloween Treats That Will Leave You Screaming For More

Three things come to my mind when I think about Halloween: Pumpkins, Costumes, and CANDY. There is nothing worse (or better) than anticipating the post-candy binge stomach ache that happens every year, regardless of how much I try to resist. Well, I’m here to tell you: NOT THIS YEAR! Sure, …

Meal Prep Tips: 5 More Tips To Make The Most Of Your Prep Time

My blog post in August, “Meal Prep Tips Part 1”, gave you some general ideas how to start meal prepping in your kitchen. Meal Prep Tips Part 2 is going to give you some more!  Don’t get discouraged if prep takes you longer than anticipated, it is a trial-and-error process! …

4 Tips to Make Meal Prepping Your Macros Easier

 4 Tips to Make Meal Prepping Your Macros Easier

After countless consultations with clients, there’s a common theme that comes up in almost every conversation. Meal prepping seems to be the most universally recognized difficulty that most of our F5 clients have. Whether it’s the fact that you just don’t enjoy cooking or having to add the additional time and effort to calculating your macro nutrients, meal prep can be a daunting task. Take a read at some of our favorite meal prep tips below!

1. Find A Buddy

Get a friend to be your accountability buddy! – Or, as I fondly refer to them, your accountabilibuddy. If you’re lucky enough to have a roommate or partner who is interested in figuring out their macros too, meal prepping and eating can be infinitely more fun and easier. If you don’t have someone close to you for support, you can use the F5 community! Whether it’s a coach or someone else following the F5, having someone to rely on for frustration, meal ideas, and sharing successes can be hugely beneficial in your progress. iPhones are even make it easier to track and share your meals between friends with the iMessage feature to send My Fitness Pal meals through text. (YES, it’s a REAL THING!)

Facebook Group: F5 Method – Friend Maggie or Jessi on Facebook and we will add you to the group!

Instagram Account: @F5Method

2. Digital Scale

The very first thing I did before I even came in for my F5 consultation was buy a digital scale off Amazon (this one). I had been using a small, analog scale when I first tried measuring my macros a few months prior, and though it worked just fine, it made it about 14 times harder to calculate between units. I used this as an opportunity to understand how much I was eating before getting my assessment and to get used to the feeling of weighing and measuring everything. Once I went

through my assessment, it was much easier to change my mindset to looking for a specific number on the scale.

Another tip? Keep the scale on the counter. Don’t put it away. Every time I put the scale away for the night or after a meal I am that much less likely to remember to pull it back out for the next time I eat. If it’s always sitting out on the counter, looking at me, it is so much harder to ignore it.

3. Time Management

Frozen Veggies & Fruit

Keep frozen vegetables and fruit in the freezer always, just in case. One of my favorite throw-together dinners is a hodge podge of frozen veggies (Mukimame/shelled edamame, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower) and some fresh bell pepper and zucchini all sautéed in a pan and then added to some sort of ground meat. I kid you not, it takes me less than 5 min to make a heaping plate and I never have to think about my veggies going bad in the fridge. Talk about the best of both worlds! Frozen fruit can be a great sweet treat when you’re craving something sugary or a quick source of carbs to add to smoothies.

Save Reoccurring Meals

One of my favorite My Fitness Pal hacks is saving the meals that you eat over and over again. Having the same thing for lunch every day this week? Instead of entering each food item every day, just save your meal from Monday and add the entire thing to the rest of the week’s days.

To save, click the three dots at the bottom of the meal (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) and choose “Save As Meal”. Once you’ve saved, you can add the entire thing by choosing “Meals” when searching for a food. So simple and so time efficient!

Take Advantage of Weekends

Use your weekends to meal prep- don’t assume you’ll have time during the week. Carve out at least one hour to get everything done for the next few days, which means you have to meal prep more than one meal at a time. I guarantee that eating the same thing for lunch a few days in a row will be completely worth it when you’re finished packing your week’s lunches in 10 minutes.

Siri

Use Siri to help with your meal prepping. I know it sounds a little silly, but I don’t use Siri for anything except meal prepping. Rather than adjusting the weight of my food in MFP, I’ll just ask Siri how many grams of X are in whatever I want to eat. For example, if I have 4oz of banana on my scale, I’ll ask her how many grams of carbs are in 4oz of banana and adjust accordingly based on my macros. That way I know exactly how much I need to eat and can input it directly into MFP.

4. Make It Fancy

Go buy yourself some brand-new Tupperware and a new lunch box. I promise, the “treat yo’self” idea is applicable to more than just eating food: shiny, beautiful Tupperware containers that make your food look that much better will make meal prepping that much more fun. Who doesn’t want to show off their glass, snap-lid containers in their new lunch box? (It can’t be just me….) I promise you, it’s going to make packing meals that much more fun. Not to mention your plastic Tupperware containers are probably really old and dirty and some of them don’t even have a lid!

Get rid of ‘em. Just do it.

Want to take it a little bit further? Some preliminary studies have shown that eating your meals out of a bowl actually make you feel more satisfied than eating the same meal from off of a plate. Take it for what you will, but I am all about this bowl trend!

Try These Healthy Patriotic 4th of July Eats

Classic 4th of July recipes and their healthier (but just as tasty) substitutes

The 4th of July is just around the corner (HOW did it get so close?!) and we know that feasting celebrations are one of your favorite traditions during the holiday (ours too!). As much fun as it can be to indulge with your family and friends, overeating on holidays is a real thing and something we all want to try and avoid. Even if you run your local 5k that morning or participate in our 10am community WOD, that doesn’t mean you get to stuff yo’ face with whatever you want. Whether you’re hosting or just bringing a dish, consider swapping some of these fan favorites for their lighter, just as flavorful options.

Some of the recipes have the nutrition facts already calculated for you for easy tracking!

Potato Salad

  • Skip the mayo and try a trendier version. Use sweet potatoes, like this recipe from Paleomg, or keep it simple with traditional red potatoes and tons of herb-y flavor. Find a recipe here.

Burgers

  • Classic burgers are fattier, normally made with 80/20 meat, cheese, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, mustard and a white burger bun. 
  • Choose a leaner beef (90/10 or higher) or even a leaner meat option all together (ground turkey, ground chicken, or a lean ground pork). Season and skip the cheese. Pesto, tomato, pickles, grilled veggies make fantastic toppings. Use a whole wheat bun or a bed of lettuce, pull the insides of the bun out (hollow it out) to make more room for toppings and less room for carbs!
  • Check out this chicken avocado burger recipe from Laughing Spatula! Need to cut the fat? Use less avocado!

Hot Dogs & Bratwurst

Corn on the Cob

  • Make it your classic way (we like grilled or boiled), just go easy on the butter and salt. Or, skip them all together and savor the naturally sweet flavor.

Alcoholic drinks

Just say no! Pour yourself a virgin version or avoid the carbs and sugar all together and stick to good ole’ water. But, if you must, consider substituting sodas and sugary mixes with seltzer water, flavored or unflavored, and using natural/fresh fruit instead of the fruit concentrate or juices.

If you really want to take the brain work out of it, there are a few companies selling spiked seltzer water by the can now. Take a look at this taste-test review of a few different brands if you’re looking to mix it up! Most are very low in carbohydrates, sugar, and you can find plenty of brands that are gluten free.

Coleslaw

  • Try a recipe that uses a vinegar or olive oil base instead of mayo, for a healthy fat or no-fat option. Check out this olive oil-based recipe.

Deviled Eggs

  • Try this recipe and substitute Greek yogurt for mayonnaise. Trust us, it’s good.

Pie

  • Cobbler or Crumble (less crust!) Try this low carb, rhubarb option. If you’re not a rhubarb fan or don’t have any on hand, sub any type of fruit you like!

Red White and Blue Cake

The classic white cake with vanilla frosting, blueberries and strawberries to create an edible American flag. Cute, yes. Healthy… not so much. Get the same kind of patriotic vibes with these Banana Split Kebabs!

Skewer a piece of banana, blueberries, and a strawberry onto a kebab stick in alternating red, white, and blue order or organize to make them look like a flag. Dip them in whipped cream or drizzle chocolate on top for an extra dessert kick. Feel free to use any combination of blue, white, and red fruits you enjoy eating!

Don’t forget our BRFC community WOD at 10:00 on July 4th! Bring your friends and family to the gym and we’ll all sweat together before the cookouts and fireworks begin!

You Can Have Your Cake and Eat It Too (If You Make It Yourself!): Five Reasons to Make Dessert At Home

As we move into the summer months, we still want you to be able to treat yo’self without the guilt normally attached to eating dessert. As a self-proclaimed chocoholic, I (Maggie) look for every excuse to eat dessert; so, I present to you the top five reasons that you SHOULD eat dessert this summer… as long as you make it at home.

You’ll save money.

I hate to break it to ya, but pretty much everything is cheaper if you make it at home. There are definitely a few exceptions, but do you really want to be eating an ice cream cone that you bought for 60 cents? Quality over quantity, people.

You’ll save calories.

Have you ever heard of someone actually making a bowl of cookie dough ice cream from scratch? Unless you grew up with Ben and Jerry (or someone with an ice cream machine and a lot of spare time) you probably have only ever eaten it from someone selling it! Eating desserts that you make yourself will save you calories because, well, you probably don’t know how to make most of your favorite treats from scratch. So, if you can’t make it, you can’t eat it. If you are willing to try and make a fan favorite in your own kitchen, you’ll also have control over exactly what is going into the sweet treat you’re making. You can opt to use healthier substitutions (applesauce for butter, cut back on sugar), or try a new, healthy version of your favorite treat. Making it at home gives you total control!

You can share with someone you care about.

If you enjoy cooking and consider yourself a decent cook, chances are you’ve had an opportunity to share a dish with someone you care about, and chances are it felt pretty good to do that! Did you know that the more you share your happiness, the more happiness you create for yourself? Sharing increases joy, so that means homemade dessert= joy! Right?!

You’ll form good habits for your kids.

Studies show that cooking with your kids not only positively influences your children’s behaviors and choices regarding food, but also can increase self-esteem, communication skills, reading and math comprehension, and more! Bond with them, encourage them to experiment with trying new foods, and open their eyes to how GOOD it can taste when they make it all their own!

Experiment!

Don’t hesitate to try new recipes! The internet is FULL of healthy dessert recipes, and tons of them have the nutrition facts already calculated for you (like the ones we found on Good Housekeeping and Eating Well). Check out some of the recipes we’ve picked out below, as well as a few simple, no-cook ideas!

Goal Setting the SMART Way

Goal Setting the SMART Way – by Maggie Batsford Living your healthiest life can be a challenge,but goal setting is one of the most efficient and effective ways to get to a healthy and happy place. We want to lose weight, be better at tracking our food, say no to …

Fred’s Testimonial!

“Progression post – I’ve been following The F5 Method for 7 weeks consistently. I am back down to 180 lbs, strength is the same, but performance in workouts have gone way up. I’m not done yet, but loving the results so far!”