It doesn’t bother me to eat the same thing every day. Most of the time I actually like it. It makes meal prep and counting macros much easier and I like that it keeps my body feeling regular. However, even I need to switch it up every now and then. As I continue to experiment with hitting my macro numbers in different ways, I’ve been finding some macro-friendly food things to add to my arsenal. Many of them were introduced to me by friends who also share an affinity for food, so thank you, friends! You know who you are ;)
This week’s post is a simple list of finds I’ve been loving right now, why I think you should try them, and where to find them. Dig in!
1 | SONNY SALT
This isn’t necessarily a new one for me, but I want everyone to know about this amazing spice, so I’m sharing it! It’s local to Tennessee; in Memphis I’ve found it at Kroger, Fresh Market, and Whole Foods (it’s actually cheapest at Whole Foods), but I know it can be purchased online, too. You’ll notice it shows up a lot in my recipes, but that’s why I love it! It’s versatile for seasoning just about anything. If I’m just looking to use a general spice for protein, green veggies, or potatoes, Sonny Salt is my go-to.
2 | COCONUT AMINOS
Similar to Sonny Salt, I love coconut aminos for their versatility and ability to add flavor to my meals without needing 10 different spices or sauces. It’s the perfect mix of sweet and salty and can be used as a salad dressing, marinade or for sauteing meat or veggies. It’s likened to a soy sauce, however it is soy-free and gluten-free. And even though it’s made from coconut tree sap, it doesn’t have a strong coconutty taste. I think the best part (for my fellow macro-counters) is that it only has 1g of carbs per teaspoon, so it can be used somewhat generously in your meals. You can find it at most grocery stores or online.
3 | GARLIC EXPRESSIONS VINAIGRETTE
My mom introduced me to this vinaigrette (thanks, Mom!) and what I love about it, besides its flavor, is that it only has 5g of fat per tablespoon, whereas most oil-based salad dressings I like have at least 8g per tablespoon. If you like garlic, this stuff adds a really nice, rich flavor to your dishes. It’s great as a salad dressing and a marinade, especially on chicken. But my favorite way to use it is by adding it to roasted vegetables as soon as they come out of the oven. I especially love it on roasted potatoes and green beans. You can find it at most grocery stores or online, but I think it’s cheaper in the store.
4 | 4TH & HEART GHEE
A friend gifted me a jar of the 4th & Heart Madagascar Vanilla flavor ghee and, y’all, it is out of this world. Ghee itself is clarified butter, meaning it is just pure butterfat. Regular butter and butter substitutes are made with milk solids and water, whereas ghee uses a reverse process to filter out the milk-solids, making it dairy-free and lactose-free. This is great for someone like me who is lactose-intolerant. There are arguments on both sides of whether it is healthier for you than butter (who really knows), but I use it primarily for the taste. It is 5g of fat per teaspoon, but a little bit goes a long way. I like to add a teaspoon to rice or a piece of Ezekiel Bread for a yummy pre- or post-workout snack. This specific brand has several different flavors that I haven’t had a chance to try yet but I’m sure they are just as yummy! It can be purchased at Whole Foods (it may be at other grocers, I just haven’t looked anywhere else).
5 | FLAXSEED
Recently, I’ve been adding ground flaxseed (aka flaxseed meal) to my meals as a way to cash in on the awesome nutritional benefits the little seeds provide. I’m sad to admit that I don’t eat as much fish as I would like - I’ll blame it on my husband who doesn’t care much for seafood. In searching for an alternative for working in some omega-3’s, I came across the benefits of flaxseed. Even though not the same omega-3’s as eating fish, flaxseed is high in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidant substances known as lignans. Flaxseed also contains beneficial minerals, like manganese and thiamin, and is a great source of dietary fiber and plant-based protein. Because of it’s neutral flavor, I have been adding a couple tablespoons to my protein shakes and oatmeal. It can also be added to baked goods or sauces, too. You can find ground flaxseed at most grocery stores or online.
6 | RICE CAKES
I love these things! A friend mentioned to me last week that she was using them in place of bread and I’m obsessed. Since they are just puffed rice, there’s not much to them nutritionally, so I don’t recommend eating a whole sleeve of them in one sitting or anything. But they only contain 8g of carbs per rice cake, which makes them great for a little snack! There are flavored kinds, but I stick to the plain, lightly salted ones. One of my favorite ways to eat them is with peanut-butter and jelly spread on top. Another way is with tuna salad, chicken salad, or deli meat layered on top with greens and tomato.
Here are two ways to try rice cakes:
PB&J | 3P/4F/17.5C
1 lightly salted rice cake
½ TBSP peanut-butter (Smucker’s Natural brand)
1 TBSP jelly or jam spread (Simple Truth Four Fruit Spread)
First spread peanut-butter, then spread jelly and enjoy every single bite because it’s so good!
TUNA SALAD | 18P/6F/15C (per serving)
2 lightly salted rice cakes
1 can tuna (Wild Planet - wild albacore tuna)
1 TBSP. spicy brown mustard
¼ apple, chopped
Mix ingredients together in a bowl. Layer greens and a slice of tomato on rice cake. Divide tuna mixture in half and layer on top of greens and tomato.
*makes 2 servings
7 | FOOD FOR LIFE - EZEKIEL SPROUTED GRAIN BREAD
This isn’t a new one for me, but one I wanted to share because it’s been part of my regular diet and I love it! It’s a great option for those who may be sensitive to digesting wheat and other ground flours. Food For Life products include the sprouted bread in a number of varieties as well as gluten-free products. You can read more about the health benefits of sprouted bread, but I like it because it doesn’t make me feel inflamed like regular bread tends to, and it’s a lot more nutrient dense. Each slice of Ezekiel bread has round 5 grams of protein and is packed with other vitamins and minerals, too. I have tried the tortillas, the sprouted flaxseed and the cinnamon raisin kinds - all of which I would recommend! However, my favorite is the cinnamon raisin english muffins. I toast them and add 1 teaspoon of ghee or peanut-butter for a delicious pre- or post-workout snack. Most grocery stores carry Ezekiel Bread (Kroger, Whole Foods, Sprouts, Trader Joe’s and Fresh Market all have several kinds).
8 | RX BARS
This one is definitely not new and most of you probably already eat RX bars as much as I do, however, they are worth adding to the list for those of you who don’t know about them. They are really the only ‘protein bar’ I’m ok with eating because they don’t have any added sugar and they’re made from very few, simple ingredients. They are a great snack to pack with you during a trip or if you have a busy day on the go. My favorite flavors are the chocolate peanut-butter (which, if you know me, is not at all surprising) and the chocolate sea salt. What I have been obsessed with more lately is the Kids RX bars. I love these little guys because they are a great mini snack for working into my macros when I just need a little something to tide me over between meals. My favorite flavor is the chocolate chip. You can find RX bars at most grocery stores (Kroger, Sprouts, Whole Foods, Target) or online.
9 | LIONS PACK EDIBLE COOKIE DOUGH
Of course I had to save the best for last. If you know me, you know that I have a pretty big sweet tooth and who doesn’t love cookie dough?! My sister-in-law gifted me a jar of this cookie dough for Christmas and I think I ate the whole thing in 2 days (not recommended). Not only does it taste ABSOLUTELY amazing, but if you count macros, this stuff is like a dream come true. It’s made with nutrient-dense ingredients, each serving has just as much protein as fat, and all flavors are vegan and gluten-free. I have also tried the Lions Dust powdered peanut-butter and it’s the best powdered nut butter I have tried so far. If you have a sweet tooth like me, grab a few jars of this to curb your cravings without breaking your macro bank.
So there you have it, a quick list of some of my food obsessions at the moment! Share in the comments below if you want to see more posts like this - I will be sure to work on consistently sharing my latest finds with you! Also let me know in the comments if you’ve tried any of these or what are some of your favorite recent food finds are!