you’ve probably heard about the importance of a “balanced” diet, but what exactly does that mean? honestly, it means different things for different people. some people take an 80 / 20 approach, where 80% of their diet is nutrient-dense, while the other 20% is “fun” foods. a sustainable diet will allow you to eat outside the confines of “clean” in moderation, but one thing a lot of people struggle with is making sure their daily meals are balanced with macronutrients.
so what are macronutrients? there are three: carbohydrates, protein, and fats. we need all three in our diet! for those new to nutrition, it can be hard to understand sources of each, and why exactly we need them, so let’s break it down and give you some inspo:
carbohydrates: our body’s preferred source of fuel. these fill our glycogen stores, help with energy production and overall recovery.
- white or brown rice
- white or sweet potato
- squash (spaghetti or butternut)
- cream of rice / cream of wheat
- rice cakes
- bread / bagels / english muffins
- jelly / jam
protein: aids in muscle growth, blood sugar regulation, is essential for many bodily processes and helps maintain healthy hair, skin, nails. protein promotes satiation as it has a high thermic effect, meaning it takes the most work for our body to break down.
- chicken breast
- ground turkey
- ground beef
- sirloin steak
- turkey bacon
- chicken sausage
- center cut bacon
- deli meat
- white fish (cod, tilapia)
- egg whites
- greek yogurt
- vegan sources (tofu, tempeh, seitan)
- protein powder
fats: these are the slowest digesting of all macronutrients. like protein, adding fats to meals is key for satiation and blood sugar regulation. fats are also vital for healthy hormones and organs. outside of training, fats are your body’s second preferred source of fuel.
- nuts / nut butters
- seeds (flax, chia, hemp)
- oils (coconut, avocado, olive)
these sources listed above aren’t the only options, they just provide some ideas for you to build balanced meals! ideally, we want most meals in our day to include a protein, fat, and carb source + micronutrients like fruits & veggies.
beam’s whey and vegan proteins powders are a super convenient protein source to help build balanced meals! mix into your oatmeal, pancakes, smoothies, or drink it on its own paired with an apple + nut butter.
especially with protein flavors like chocolate peanut butter whey and fruity cereal vegan, options are endless for the tastiest meals packed with everything your body needs🙂