Macronutrients vs. Micronutrients

Have you ever heard someone use the term micronutrients and think to yourself what the heck, I thought they were tracking macronutrients? If so, you’re not alone. I’ve had people ask me what the difference is, and I realized there may some confusion between the two, as they are both frequently used in the health/fitness/nutrition worlds. Although they may sound very similar, they are actually quite different, which is the reason I wanted to write this short, but informative blog post.

Macronutrients are defined as the structural and energy-giving caloric components of our foods. These are the ones that most of us are familiar with–proteins, carbohydrates, and fats–that people who “track macros” ensure they hit a certain daily gram of each of the three. On the other hand, micronutrients are the vitamins, minerals, trace elements, phytochemicals, and antioxidants that are essential for good health. These include minerals such as fluoride, selenium, sodium, iodine, copper and zinc. as well as vitamins such as vitamin C, A, D, E and K, and the B-complex vitamins. Micronutrients are called so because they are only needed in small, miniscule amounts. However, their absence can be detrimental due to the important part that micronutrients play in our bodies.

If macros are the structure, micros are the support that enable our bodies to produce enzymes, hormones, and other essential substances. The quantity and quality of both types of nutrients vary greatly depending on the types of food you eat. For example, processed foods tend to have more macronutrients at the expense of micronutrients. Likewise you’ve probably seen or heard people refer to their salad or plate of veggies as “health” or “#micros” because fruits and vegetables have loads of micronutrients in them. However, while people track macros, micros are not something you need to stress out over with regards to tracking them. As long as you are filling your diet with mostly whole foods, plenty of fruits and veggies, and a good balance of foods, you should be good to go with your micros. In some cases, such as a deficiency, disease, or other physical/medical issues, there may be a reason to keep an eye on a certain vitamin or mineral; however, your medical professional would be in charge of this–nothing for you to worry about figuring out.

A balanced diet should contain a mix of all the macronutrients as well as adding in your micronutrients for the healthiest you possible. How or where you get each type of nutrient from is up to you, your lifestyle, food preferences, etc. A list of good sources of the different macro and micronutrients can be found here.



When You Feel Lost…

This wasn’t one of the posts I originally planned to write. It’s not one of the titles that I had written down. It’s just an idea, a thought that popped into my mind and all the sudden I started writing this blog in my head. And that’s why I knew I had to write it. I’m going to say that I truly believe this message is from God, for me and for you. It may not be the most organized or drafted post, but it’s a blog from the heart and soul that I believe is very meaningful.

It’s scary to feel lost, to feel as if you have no idea where to go or what to do. To have this desire to be so much more and make an impact, yet have no direction for how to go about doing that. When people say they’ve found their dream job/career or they are following their passion, and you still don’t know…I’ve been there (heck, I’m still there). It’s scary, it’s terrifying, it causes fear to creep in and take over. In today’s world there are so many options, paths, careers, choices, etc. that it overwhelms us into just staying where we are–happy or not. We tend to turn to people asking them what we should do, letting their opinions or decision become the choices we make. We turn our attention so intensely onto another person, object, etc.  to fill that void/lost feeling we have. Or maybe we just stay where we are, hopelessly scraping by; we give up. Oftentimes we are so desperate for answers and immediate fixes that we almost always overlook the one simple truth. You see here’s the truth:

It’s not that we’re lost, it’s that we are looking for answers in all the wrong places.

That’s it. We turn to friends, family, significant others, substances, food, addictions, things we can control, etc. instead of running to the one who already has a plan for you. You aren’t lost, there is a plan for your life far greater than you could ever imagine, so much greater that if you knew it all right this instant, you couldn’t even comprehend it. That’s why there are no quick fixes or immediate clarity because we only got a piece at a time; and over time those little pieces add up to the big, grand life that God has planned for you. I understand that this isn’t easy. That it’s not easy to let go of control and to feel lost with no direction, but the great thing is, is that God knows this too and He is looking out for you–whether you feel it or not. In times when you feel lost with no direction, here’s what you need to remember: the only direction you need to turn is to God. It doesn’t matter if you know what you want to do, who you want to be, what your passion or purpose is. Give it to God and he will supply the rest.

It can be easy to run to things of this world which give quick gratification, but you and I both know that whatever that is, it will ultimately leave you feeling empty in the end–wanting and needing more. So instead in tough times, when you don’t know what to do or where to go, run to the One who does know, the One who will meet all your needs according to the riches in Christ Jesus. You are not lost, you are just going in the opposite direction looking for answers in the wrong places. When you feel lost, remember this and remind yourself to turn your focus and direction back on God. Remind yourself to be in constant communication with Him and to put your full faith and trust in what He can do. No matter how lost you feel, you’re just one step away from the Father who is calling you to Him.

You aren’t lost; you don’t have no direction. You are loved by the only direction that leads to joy, purpose, and grace. Follow that road and don’t look back. Instead look to the future, to all the amazing things the God of the universe has in store for you, and to the present, to what He is doing in your life right now.


Why is Eating Healthy Hard?

As I was going through my site today, I re-read my “about me” page (haven’t done that in a while) and I saw that I wanted my blog to be a place for encouragement when being healthy gets hard. And I do, I really do because I think that is one reason people give up this lifestyle so quickly–it’s hard. But nothing worth having comes easy and honestly once you get set in your routine, in living the lifestyle the way it works for you, it gets easier. With that said, there are still times when eating healthy is difficult and I realized that I hadn’t posted many blogs regarding that topic, and I wanted to change that, so…here it is!

I’m going to give my viewpoint on when/why it’s hard, as well as my opinion of why I think many people fail at eating healthy. This will also include my tips for incorporating healthy eating into your lifestyle–to a point where it is generally pretty fluid and easy. I hope you get answers, advice, help, and encouragement from this post. Encouragement to know that it is hard, so don’t be upset if you fail; but it is worth it, so get back up and keeping work harder.

Even for someone who eats healthy on a regular basis, there are times it gets difficult and I must make the active choice to eat healthy. There are  times I’m rushed and busy, times when excuses would be easy, times when I–to put it simply–just don’t want to. Whatever your reason/excuse may be, I get that there are numerous times when it would be easy to throw in the towel. It’s hard because it’s not the easy way out such as fast-food, processed foods or just picking something up quick. It’s hard because it takes time and thinking to plan out your meals, meal prep, bring your food, etc. It’s hard because not many other people do it, so you’ll stand out. But all of these excuses are the exact reasons you should do it! Take care of yourself by feeding your body with nutritious foods, feel the increased energy and overall better-feeling you will have. It may be difficult, but it’s worth it!

Now, with that said, I 100% understand it being difficult. So please, please, please do not get discouraged, upset, mad, etc. at yourself if you fail, or aren’t perfect in eating healthy. There are times you forget to prepare and have to grab something quick, or those office treats you want to enjoy, or memories to be made–that’s why it is all about balance. But make sure to find that balance, and don’t just have that throw-in-the-towel mentality. Yes it’s important to respond to your body’s cravings, but don’t overindulge. Make active choices to enjoy yourself, but don’t say I already ate bad, screw it I’m going to eat like crap the whole day, week, month, etc. Quite honestly, when you start eating healthier, and your body gets used to it, you start cravings “unhealthy or processed foods” less. Once you get in this healthy eating habit, it becomes your lifestyle and blends right in with everything else you do on a daily basis. When it gets hard, think of how amazing it’ll feel when you reach your goal, when you feel energized and healthy, when you reach your goal weight, when you are living a balanced, healthy lifestyle. Think of that as opposed to the immediate satisfaction you would get, but that would soon coming crashing down.

My #1 tip for overcoming the difficulty of eating healthy is the number one reason people find it so hard/fail. That is: enjoy the food you are eating. People think healthy eating and immediately bland chicken, rice, and veggies comes to mind. (I’m not wrong, am I?) But healthy foods and fueling your body doesn’t have to be boring, bland, tasteless, restrictive, etc. That is one of the MOST common misconceptions people have. You can use seasonings and sauces, use healthy fats such as olive or coconut oil to add in flavor, make homemade fries/pizza instead of going out for them. There are countless healthy recipes all over the internet, making it super easy to eat healthy foods that taste good and that you enjoy.

Many times eating healthy becomes so hard because people try to make it complicated. They try to make it black-and-white thinking when in reality, it’s all about balance,finding what you enjoy and what makes your body feel good, and sticking with it. Bake some delicious spaghetti squash, make these easy breakfast swap-outs, get inspired by easy meal-prep ideas. The options are endless out there! Don’t get discouraged by how daunting healthy eating can be, you CAN do it. Instead view it as an opportunity to live a healthier lifestyle and create the best version of you/your body that you can. Find delicious tasting healthy foods/recipes and stick with them. It’s all about finding what works for you!



Who are you living for?

Who or what you live for consumes your life. Trust me. That’s how most eating disorders start. You live for your body, for this messed up ideal in your head, for society’s view that being skinny/small/low-weight is being perfect. lived for all these things. I wanted to look a certain way and lived my life based on how I thought society or other people would look at me, judge my body, and think of me. I was so caught up in hating my body and who I was that I forgot myself, I let someone/thing else dictate how I was to live my life.

None of this is easy to admit, it isn’t easy to type this, but if I can help just one person, reach someone struggling with my message then it’s worth it. I see it so much in today’s world, not just with eating disorders, but with anything. People are losing themselves trying to live for approval, other people, material things, etc. We get so caught up in what other people think of us, our lives, the choices we make, the items we buy, the “image” we portray that we actually end up losing the most important thing: ourselves. We lose sight of who we are, who we are made to me, who we truly want to be. Because I guarantee you that 99.9% of the people that try to live that way don’t actually want to be, it’s not what they truly desire, but they are so set on this image they think they need to be. Listen to me, you don’t need to be anything other than yourself. You are worthy, beautiful, lovable, smart, successful, deserving, capable whether someone else does or does not think so.

Whoever we live for dictates who we become. And eventually who we become turns into who we are. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If we are so set in our identity, then no matter what other people say, think, or do to us…IT WON’T MATTER because we know it’s not true. Think of it this way. If someone came up to you, pointed to a car, and said that is a machine that washes, dries, and folds all your clothes, you would look at them like they’re crazy. Why? Because you know it’s a car, you know it’s purpose is to get people from location to location and you know all of this because you’ve grown up learning and living it. But now imagine that same person could go back in time (with the car) and talk to a pilgrim. If that person walked up to a pilgrim, pointed to the car and said that is a machine that washes, dries, and folds all your clothes, what would the pilgrim say/think? They might believe them. Why? Because they don’t know any different, they’ve never seen, used or lived with this “car” before so whatever someone tells them about it, they can easily believe and adopt as the truth. The same goes for you. When you live for someone or something else, you lose touch with who you truly are–you become like the pilgrim who has ever seen a car. You allow other people to dictate your truth; you take what they say or think about you as true, and start adopting it as who you are.

But if you were with the pilgrim when the person told them about the machine that washes, dries, and folds all your clothes, you would still not believe them–even when the pilgrim did. You still know it’s a car and what it’s true purpose is, no matter what the pilgrim chooses to believe. The same should be for our lives. Even when other people think certain things about us, or tell people things that aren’t so true, if we know and stand firm in who we are then we don’t lose sight of our true selves. It doesn’t matter what others think about us. What matters is what you think about yourself. And no matter how much you believe that having other people think well of you, approve of your life choices, and “like” you will make you like yourself more…let me tell you, it won’t. The way you start liking yourself, is to love every single fiber and thread you’re created with. And the way you start loving yourself, is to actually get to know yourself on a deeper level; understand your likes and dislikes, your wants and needs, your dreams so big they scare you and your fears so small they terrify you.

This is why I live for myself. Living for myself means standing firm in my identity as a child of God and in who HE says I am meant to be. It means I focus on him; He is guiding my path, my plans, my future. But also just because God is in control, doesn’t mean that I cannot pursue things that I want, enjoy or am passionate about because all of those things God has given to me and blessed me with. Living for myself means that I don’t care if people don’t understand my passion for weightlifting, it doesn’t matter if someone agrees with my healthy lifestyle, it’s okay if no one supports my big dreams or if they disapprove of something in my life. It’s okay because all of these things are what I love to do, they are what I choose to do and they make me who I am today. This doesn’t mean that I don’t care about people. Not at all. I truly want to help people, to inspire them with my story, my passion and the love of God. It just means that when someone says something about me or thinks a certain way about me, I don’t let that dictate who I actually am because I know who I am.

Remember that life is short and we don’t get a second chance to live. So please don’t spend your one opportunity living for the wrong reasons, the wrong people. The most important thing you can do is to love yourself. It sounds silly, but truly loving yourself sets you up for a whole life of love, happiness, positivity, peace, success, and joy. My only question to you is: who are you living for?