mastering PFC: your guide to balanced meals and easy macro tracking

macro-balanced diet proteins fats carbohydrates macronutrients blood sugar control energy regulation metabolism balanced meals blood sugar levels stable energy sustained energy metabolic health balanced combination immediate energy source long-term energy source sources of proteins sources of fats sources of carbohydrates macro tracking convenience foods dietary choices health body composition athletic performance goals

Emily Field (00:00:00) – Welcome to episode 20 of the Macros Made Easy podcast. In today’s episode, we’re diving deep into the fundamental components of a macro balanced diet. That’s your proteins, fats and carbohydrates. 


Welcome to Macros Made Easy, the podcast that takes the confusion out of tracking macros. I’m your host, Emily Field, a registered dietitian that specializes in a macros approach. In each episode, I help you learn how to eat in a way that supports your health, body composition, and athletic performance goals. We’ll cover the basics of macronutrients, how to track for various goals, the role of macros in your health, and how to make sustainable changes to your habits. I’ve helped hundreds of people experience more food freedom and flexibility while navigating their nutrition. So whether you’ve tried macros and it just didn’t stick or you just heard the word macros yesterday, I can’t wait to help you too. 


Balancing all three macronutrients in your meals is not just about counting numbers, it’s about optimizing your overall health and well-being. So in our first segment, we’ll explore the importance of those macro balanced meals, discussing how each macro contributes to blood sugar control, energy regulation, and metabolism.


Emily Field (00:01:08) – Next, we’ll dive into actual sources of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates in your diet. So if you’ve ever felt confused about which foods fall into each category, this segment will be your guide. So from lean meats to fish to nutrient rich grains and whole foods fats, I will help you build a foundation for effective macro tracking. Next, I’m going to share convenience foods that align with your protein, fat, and carbohydrate goals, making it easier for you to meet your macronutrient targets by the end of the day. It is not realistic to expect that you’re going to cook or build meals from scratch every single day. So I’ll recommend some of my favorite pantry essentials and quick frozen options that can make for a hassle free choices when you’re in a time bind. And finally, I’m calling this the ten quick mixed macro meals that you can make with food that you already have at home segment. Or I’m going to provide you with some simple yet delicious meal ideas that encompass a perfect balance of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.


Emily Field (00:02:00) – So whether in the mood for a deli sandwich with hummus, a Greek yogurt parfait, or a flavorful beef and broccoli stir fry, these meal ideas are going to get your mind turning and your creative juices flowing. Whether you are a seasoned macro tracker or just starting, this episode is packed with valuable insights and practical tips to make macros easy and enjoyable. Balancing macronutrients. Again, that’s your proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Balancing ingredients in your meals that contain all three of these things is crucial for a variety of reasons, because each macronutrient plays a unique role in supporting your overall health. But I think I want to talk specifically about three major areas why it might be in your best interest to pair proteins, fats, and carbs together at each meal. The first reason is for blood sugar control. So understand that a balanced combination of macronutrients and meals is going to play a role in regulating your blood sugar levels. So carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of energy and have a direct impact on blood sugar. But when you pair them with proteins and fats in a balanced meal, the digestion and absorption of those carbohydrates becomes much slower and more controlled.


Emily Field (00:03:12) – This contrasts with meals high and simple carbohydrates. Think like your kid’s cereal or gummy bears, candy, things like that. That’s going to lead to a rapid spike and crash in blood sugar levels. I like to use the imagery of a roller coaster, and you’ve probably heard this if you’ve listened to my podcast for any length of time. I’m always talking about the difference between roller coaster blood sugar and rolling hills. Blood sugar, those rapid spikes and those crashes in blood sugar resemble a roller coaster, and they’re not great. To be on roller coasters all day long are not fun to be on versus the opposite, which would be rolling hills, gentle rises and falls in your blood sugar all day long. It’s going to be much more supportive for your overall energy. You know, proteins and fats also contribute to a feeling of fullness because they slow down the digestion process, which leads to a more gradual release of those carbohydrates or sugar into the bloodstream. This promotes stable and sustained blood sugar. And again, it resembles rolling hills rather than the peaks and valleys of a roller coaster.


Emily Field (00:04:16) – We know that maintaining stable blood sugar levels is associated with better energy, improved mental clarity, better focused enhanced mood, higher quality sleep, and optimized hormone balance. And we’re talking most of your hormones okay. So in summary, a well-balanced combination of macronutrients in your meals is going to contribute to better blood sugar control and better overall metabolic health. Now are you doing yourself a disservice by not having proteins, fats and carbs in your meals? No. There might be times, especially if you get going in this journey where you want to purposely spike your blood sugar, like before working out, or before a big endurance event where you’re going to be utilizing those carbohydrates and you need that simple sugar, that energy right away. So again, this isn’t about being perfect. You’re not doing your body a disservice by missing out on all three macronutrients at a meal. It’s super unrealistic to expect that you’re going to have a perfect balance at every single meal, but this should be something that you’re striving for. The other piece of this is that you’re probably going to be more on pace with hitting your macro targets by the end of the day.


Emily Field (00:05:24) – If you’re nipping off a little bit of those targets at every meal. So, for example, instead of saving your macros by the end of the day or eating very imbalanced throughout the day, you’re going to probably have to play catch up if you want to hit your macros by the end of the day, but instead, if you’re really aiming for that meal to contain protein, fat, and carbohydrate in pretty sizable, substantial amounts, you’re probably going to stay on pace or on target for those nutrient totals by the end of the day. The next important piece I want to talk about, you know, kind of the benefits for having a balanced combination of macronutrients in your meals is from the energy perspective, carbohydrates serve as the body’s immediate energy source, providing quick fuel for daily activities and exercise. Meanwhile, fats act as a secondary, more long term energy source, and that’s crucial for maintaining your energy levels between meals or during long periods of low intensity activities. We don’t usually use protein as a source of energy, but it absolutely could be in a bind.


Emily Field (00:06:24) – And this is amazing. This just kind of like harkens back to how amazing the body is from an evolutionary standpoint. We are evolved enough to survive and get energy from our food no matter what the balance of our diet looks like. So in feast or famine, or in different parts of the world where there are different emphasis on different macronutrients because of the different foods available, that’s pretty amazing. If you think about it. We can get energy from any type of food, but the body’s preferred energy source would be those carbohydrates for that quick energy and exercise, and then those fats will be that secondary energy source. Think about like when you sleep for 7 to 10 hours and you’re not eating in that time frame. And that means your body is able to utilize the fuels that are stored, the stored fats as fuel, the stored carbohydrates as fuel in order to maintain your energy, keep your heart beating, your brainwaves going, your lungs going, and things like that. I lastly want to touch on the fact that eating a balanced combination of all three macronutrients is going to play a big role in regulating our metabolism, essentially turning our food into cellular energy and all the processes that have to come together in order to do that.


Emily Field (00:07:36) – The food is outside of our body and it comes into our body, and it provides our cells with energy. Okay. Proteins, for example, have a higher thermic effect, which means that they require. More energy for digestion and metabolism. Fats are essential for synthesizing. Hormones in carbohydrates provide that readily available energy source, so eliminating any of those macronutrients will play a really big role in your body’s ability to efficiently convert food to cellular energy, and it will absolutely influence your metabolism. Again, I feel strongly that you’re dieting history or, you know, any diets that you’ve participated in the past that really demonize one macronutrient over the other probably had some downstream consequences. You may or may not have realized them in the first few weeks of that diet. But if you really look back, if you tried to commit for months or years, the consequences do catch up with you, because there is some interruption in that process of turning food into cellular energy, aka your metabolism. So now that I have really set the scene for why it’s important to have a balance of macronutrients in your diet, let’s talk a little bit more about some protein, fat, and carbohydrate sources.


Emily Field (00:08:53) – Let’s get really down and dirty with sources for these proteins, fats, and carbs because chances are you don’t really have a great idea of which foods contain each macro. Unless you’ve been tracking for a fair amount of time, you’ve probably heard me say this in various episodes. But if you’ve really learned about nutrition, peace through social media, diet fads, or hearsay, it’s really likely that you have some misconceptions about what foods are comprised of protein, fat, and carb. So I’m going to talk about the basics. All right. And I usually like to depict this concept with a Venn diagram. All right. So if you can imagine there’s three circles. One circle is protein, one circle is fats and one circle is carbohydrates. Right. And they all come together kind of like a triangle where they are going to overlap in certain spots. That’s kind of like how our diet is, right. There are foods that contain a dominant portion of protein, a dominant portion of fat, and a dominant portion of carbohydrates.


Emily Field (00:09:54) – But most foods are going to have a combination of fats and carbs or proteins and carbs or proteins or fats. You know, they’re going to overlap in that Venn diagram. So I want to first say, if you are a visual person, I highly recommend that you download my DIY macros guide because in the pages following creating your macro targets, there are some support resources there. And one of them is this Venn diagram, which really covers the main sources or dominant sources of protein, fats and carbs, but also foods that have a combination of two or more macro that you can really easily see and learn a lot just from that one pager. So since this is an audio learning experience, I’m going to talk through some of your main sources of protein. It’s going to be easy. This is going to be totally review for you. And then we’ll move to fats and carbs. So mostly protein the foods that are contained mostly protein are going to be your meat fish, poultry things like that. So we’ve got your beef pork lamb your game meat bison.


Emily Field (00:10:55) – We’ve got salmon, tuna sardines. We’ve got chicken turkey duck. We have that Cornish game hens. You know I’m trying to give you plenty of examples, but then also things like fish and crustaceans, shellfish, molluscs that all falls into a category where the dominant portion of macronutrient in those foods is going to be protein. Okay. Now you might be asking like, what about eggs? What about Greek yogurt? What about dairy? Like cottage cheese, soy products, things like that? Because you might in your mind categorize them as protein. And you’re right, they have mostly protein. We do have a fair amount of portion of protein in those foods, but they also contain some fats or carbs or both. So your whole eggs, your Greek yogurt, your cottage cheese, your tofu, tempeh or soy products, they’re going to have a sizable portion of protein, no doubt, but they’re also going to have some fats and carbs. So that’s kind of why I left them out of that main category.


Emily Field (00:11:48) – You know, that big circle of protein containing foods. Let’s talk next about fats. I really like to categorize these as your whole food fats. Then your oils and solid fats and then cheese kind of falls in here to your whole food. Fats are going to be things like olives and avocado, coconut products, your nuts, your seeds. We got your almonds, walnuts, pistachios, chia seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, all of them. I’m obviously not going to create an exhaustive list on a podcast, but you’re getting the idea of what I’m talking about. But then also like your olive oil, your coconut oil, butter, things like that will fall into this category as well. Now we have our third circle, which is the foods that are dominantly carbohydrate based. And these are going to be like your grains and your grain products, potatoes, all of your fruits, all of your vegetables, and even those legumes. So your beans, lentils, peas would fall here too. And that might surprise a few of you.


Emily Field (00:12:42) – You know, the fruits and vegetables don’t really surprise you. Maybe even the grains don’t surprise. Rise you, your rice, oats, quinoa, barley, all that. That doesn’t surprise you. But maybe you’re thinking, well, I thought legumes like beans, lentils and peas had protein in them and they were good sources of protein. And it might surprise you to hear me categorize them mostly as carb and and that’s really what they are. They have some traces of protein macro in them, but they’re not really going to be a dominant source of protein. It’s going to be really tough if you have a diet totally comprised of grains, potatoes, fruits, vegetables, legumes, it’s going to be pretty tough for you to hit those protein goals if that’s exclusively what you’re eating. So yes, it will contribute to your protein targets, but this is probably not what I would call a dominant source. And that’s what I’m trying to do here on this podcast episode is share with you those major circles protein, fat and carbohydrate.


Emily Field (00:13:34) – Having a sizable portion of each one of those categories in each meal is going to promote health and wellness in the ways that I’ve already described. I highly recommend that you take this nutrition education approach to macro tracking, where you are going to eat foods that you normally like or, you know, not even change your diet at all, but gain some understanding of the nutrition that that diet is providing you. So at the end of the day, after you’ve logged your food to the best of your abilities, you’re actually seeing, well, was I surprised by any of these things? Or was I surprised that I wasn’t getting as much protein as I thought in breakfast? Because I’m emphasizing whole eggs instead of something that has more protein? Or maybe you didn’t realize that your snack bar or your protein bar that you thought had a lot of protein was more fat or more carbon you had anticipated? You know, this is what the beauty of macro tracking, which is simply an objective lens, could be like for you.


Emily Field (00:14:28) – It’s such an advantage because, again, you probably don’t have a lot of experience understanding nutrition through that lens. It’s really always been through hearsay, social media, diet fads, things like that. Again, if you haven’t already, I highly recommend that you download the DIY Macros guide and scroll down into the Support Resources pages of that guide and see this Venn diagram for yourself. All right. So we’re going to have that protein circle that’s going to be your beef chicken pork lamb turkey things like that. Shrimp tilapia tuna all of that’s going to land in the mostly protein. And then in the mostly fats we’re going to have butter and coconut oil, egg yolks, your olive oil, sour cream, things like that will be there. They’re dominantly a fat macro food. And then we have that third circle which is dominantly carbohydrates. All of your fruits, all of your vegetables, all of your whole grains and your whole grain products. Now, where they meet in the middle is going to be education for you.


Emily Field (00:15:24) – Okay. So overlapping on the carbs and proteins, that’s where you’re going to find your beans, lentils and peas, but also your fat free dairy products. Okay. If you think about that makes sense right? Lactose is a milk sugar. So that is a carbohydrate. It gets broken down into sugar in our bodies, but it also has a fair amount of protein in those foods. But if it’s fat free the fat has been removed. Okay. So you can kind of see how your fat free dairy products would land you right squarely in the middle of protein and carbs. On the other side of that, we have mostly protein and fat. So what are the foods that don’t really have any carbohydrates but are rich in protein and fat? Well, that’s going to be like your high fat meat products, like bacon or bone in meats, or like your whole eggs of a mix of protein and fat oysters, salmon, pork, sausage, things that you know. Yes, they do contribute protein, but they’ve got a fair amount of fat.


Emily Field (00:16:20) – And they’re and we know it because those foods taste really good. The third category that overlap of carbs and fats are going to be like olives, coconut products, avocado. It might surprise you to hear that because you always hear of avocado as a healthy fat. We never really talk about how there’s a fair amount of carbs there too. But in the middle, let’s talk about what those foods. All three macros are pretty even in foods like your full fat dairy products, you’ve got protein, fat, and carbohydrate in all of those full fat dairy products, your full fat cottage cheese, your full fat Greek yogurt, full fat milk, half and half, things like that. But also nuts, seeds and nut and seed butters are pretty even split of protein, fat, and carbohydrates as well. It really depends on the nut or the seed. It kind of depends on the product that you’re eating, whether they added sugar to it or, you know, they reduce the fat to it. But this is where I would you know, obviously it can’t be an exhaustive list.


Emily Field (00:17:15) – This is an auditory learning experience. I can’t really list all of these things for you, but it is in your best interest to play around with your diary and your food tracking app to really see what foods contribute what macro, and see if that surprises you. Okay, I promised you that I would talk a little bit about some convenience foods that might help you meet your PFC macro targets, because, again, it is unrealistic to expect that you are going to be building your meals from scratch or cooking your meals from absolute. Scratch every single day. And if you are a modern person, you are going to be relying on some sort of food processing or some sort of package, or find processed food in order for you to hit your macro targets. So I’m going to talk about some of my favorite foods that helped me hit my macro targets. And the best way to describe this is by describing where you’d find them in your kitchen, or where you’d find them in the grocery store. So what I mean by that, you know, if you’re leading this whole endeavor of macro tracking and trying to make it easier for yourself if you’re leading this endeavor with categorizing foods as proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, that gets you pretty far.


Emily Field (00:18:25) – The next layer of detail here, or specificity would be to where would you find those proteins, where would you find those fats, and where would you find those carbohydrates in your home or in the grocery store. So I like to think about this in areas of storage. So we have pantry storage or dry storage. We have fresh which is like in your refrigerator. And then you also have frozen. So if we’re thinking about protein rich foods that would land in your pantry, those are things like your canned tuna or canned salmon, but also like your protein powder lives here. You’re ready to drink protein drinks, maybe a really great protein bar. These are your dominant protein containing foods that land in the pantry. Some fresh examples would be like an already cooked full rotisserie chicken or deli meat, or already cooked grilled chicken strips or something like that. They need to be refrigerated, but they can absolutely contribute to your protein targets and build out some roundness to your meal if you need to. The third category is frozen, and this would be like I put like turkey burgers in here.


Emily Field (00:19:31) – Beef burgers. You’re ready to warm salmon filets, meatballs, frozen already cooked shrimp, things like that. It’s really helpful to think if you’re trying to mix and match proteins, fats, and carbs to make a balanced meal. One of the best ways to do this is to make sure that you have food in each place of your kitchen, you know, building this up over time. Obviously you’re not going over the weekend and shopping like this, but it can be really, really helpful from the perspective of having food on hand and being caught in a time bind or a convenience bind where you need to build something quickly, you know you have something on hand that can round out a meal with protein, but this can also go for fat as well. So if we’re thinking about the pantry stable fats, it’s going to be your nuts, your seeds, your nut and seed butters. You’re going to have your coconut cream or coconut milk in the pantry. There’s a lot that can fit here. Obviously, you know your olive oil.


Emily Field (00:20:25) – Your coconut oil can live in the pantry as well. These are not hard to come by. Usually people don’t have trouble hitting their fat targets. But again, if we’re trying to just like categorize this in our heads, it’s always helpful to have a source of protein, fat and carbohydrate available to you in multiple areas of your kitchen. So that’s what I would say for pantry for fresh. I mean, your cheese sticks maybe like pre boiled hard boiled eggs that are ready to go. You know those hummus packets or guacamole packets something like that could fit here in the fresh section. Those are refrigerated easy to grab fat sources. As far as frozen goes, I didn’t really have a ton of examples. Again, because it’s not really that difficult to find fat in a typical American diet, so we’re not usually trying to catch up with a fat rich source. And we might not need to have this in the freezer. But, you know, if you have a variety of frozen ground products, I’m thinking like pork sausage or ground beef or ground turkey.


Emily Field (00:21:27) – You know, if you’re somebody that falls short on their fat targets and you need more in your diet, maybe you’re reaching for more of that, like 80 over 20 split of lean to fatness on that ground meat instead of like a 9010 or like an 95 five. You know, things like your salmon is going to be higher in fat than turkey or chicken. You might have a variety of chicken breasts versus chicken thighs, both of which have different fat and protein profiles. So again, it probably comes down to your personal preference in which foods you need more of in your diet in order to round out those macro goals. But I think for fats, probably a little bit easier to visualize those go to fats being in your refrigerator or your pantry. Now, if we’re talking about carbohydrates, we have a variety of sources of carbs that can be pantry or dry storage stable. That would be like your pasta, your cereals, bread, crackers, popcorn, tortillas. We also have like ready to heat packets of rice or barley quinoa.


Emily Field (00:22:27) – We’ve got applesauce. We’ve got canned fruit. You know, we have a lot of variety here to help round out a meal that you might need some carbohydrates. And the pantry is a great place to store some of this stuff. You know, for me, I am loving dried fruit right now, especially as a source for pre-workout. It’s easy to eat on the go and I don’t have to have a huge volume. Volume of food, which might be difficult right before a workout. So I might have like dried mango or dried pineapple. I love raisins and craisins. They can definitely round out some carbohydrate content in a meal and they last forever. They’re in your pantry for a long time. The fresh carbohydrates that I’m thinking of are. Be like your already washed pre-cut fruit or vegetables salad kits. Things like that would fit here. Your fruit that might be going bad soon would live here. And lastly, you know, frozen carbohydrates that I feel like I have on hand at any one time are going to be like my mixed frozen berries or mixed tropical fruits that I can add to smoothies or oatmeal or yogurt or something like that.


Emily Field (00:23:27) – You’re already parboiled rice, barley, quinoa that comes frozen. I love the Trader Joe’s packets that you just zap in the microwave for three minutes. You know, hash browns or potatoes, things like that could fit here in the frozen section for carbohydrates. Again, this is just probably a different way of visualizing your grocery list or visualizing your meals. I think a lot of times people get stuck because they’re trying to make everything come together without doing some preparation. From the perspective of having a variety of foods in their kitchen. So it’s not like this is going to happen overnight, but I highly recommend that you could rattle off a few easy to grab protein, fat, and carbohydrate sources that you could build a well-rounded meal no matter if you are relying on pantry, frozen or fresh versions of those foods. Okay, in this section of the podcast, I’m going to describe ten mixed macro meals that you could probably make with food that you already have on hand. Okay, so this might be a little bit rapid fire, but I’m hoping to kind of just give you some ideas of some PFC meals that you could absolutely put together and visualize what would be the contributing factor of protein, fat and carbohydrate together at that meal.


Emily Field (00:24:40) – Okay, so let’s just start with like a common breakfast food, like Greek yogurt. We’re making a parfait. Our Greek yogurt is going to be our protein contributing food. We’ve got granola or mixed berries that could contribute some carbohydrates. Maybe you’re adding some nuts and seeds that are contributing some fats. Okay, that’s pretty easy. Let’s think about like a deli sandwich. You’re making that with hummus. So you have your choice of deli meat. That’s going to be your protein contributing foods on some bread, which is going to be your carbohydrates. You’re going to layer it with some healthy fats like hummus. And then maybe you’re going to throw some like cucumbers, tomato, lettuce, whatever you want. That’s also going to contribute a little bit of carbohydrates, but also some fiber as well. Maybe you want to make a tuna salad wrap. You’re going to do canned tuna. That’s your protein source. You’re going to put it on a whole grain wrap. That’s a carb source. Maybe you’re going to throw in some cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, mixed greens.


Emily Field (00:25:33) – That’s going to contribute some carbohydrates, but mostly just like fiber and other nutrients. And then we throw in some hummus or avocado for some healthy fats. You could also do mayo or a mix of mayo, mustard and Greek yogurt to round out more protein or increase the fat. Whatever you’d like to do. Their next example would be like a egg and vegetable stir fry. Let’s do scrambled eggs. Maybe you throw in a little bit of tofu, maybe don’t. That’s going to contribute protein. You’re going to put in some rice or quinoa which is going to contribute some carbohydrates. Throw in whatever mixed vegetables that you want. We’ll add a little bit of carbohydrate, but mostly just fiber and other minerals and vitamins. And then you’re going to flavor it with like soy sauce or teriyaki sauce, which might have some healthy fats contained in there. You might be using olive oil in the pan, something like that, to cook your eggs. Okay. Next example is a burrito bowl. We’re doing grilled chicken or black beans that contribute protein.


Emily Field (00:26:30) – Then we’re going to add some quinoa or brown rice. For carbohydrates you might do sour cream or avocado or maybe even like Greek yogurt. For some healthy fats you might layer on there salsa, lettuce, corn. All of that is probably just going to be negligible. Carbohydrates, but also some flavor and fiber in there as well. I find that burrito bowls, and just like bowls in general, that can be deconstructed or manipulated up or down and protein, fat and carbohydrate can be really, really good for your end of day meal when you need to round out your macros for the day. Let’s do like a turkey and avocado wrap. We’ve got sliced turkey breasts for protein. We have it on a wrap. It’s going to be like, let’s just do a whole grain higher fiber wrap. That’s carbohydrates. Let’s throw some avocado slices or maybe even one of those like quick packets of guacamole that you keep in the fridge for healthy fats. You’re throwing on lettuce, tomato, mustard, any other veggies that you want and you are good to go with a PFC meal.


Emily Field (00:27:29) – Let’s do like a beef and broccoli dinner. We’ve got lean ground beef or sirloin strips. That’s going to be your protein. You’re going to layer on some brown rice or quinoa. You’ll do some steamed broccoli. But flavor that with soy sauce or teriyaki sauce which is probably going to contribute some healthy fats. But. That broccoli is going to be mostly your carbohydrate contributor, a little bit of fiber there as well. What about, like a Greek bowl? We’ve got grilled chicken or maybe some chickpeas that are contributing protein. We’ve got rice that’s contributing carbohydrates. Maybe even do like you could do potatoes there too. Kalamata olives, feta cheese, maybe some olive oils contributing fat. And then you’re going to layer on some cucumbers, red onion, bell peppers, whatever veggies you want. That’s going to be contributing a little bit of carbohydrates, but mostly fiber there. A couple more here. What about a poke bowl? This is like probably not something you have quite on hand unless you have the use for it right away, but I wanted to include it as an example, like sushi grade tuna or salmon is going to be your protein contributor.


Emily Field (00:28:29) – You’re going to have white rice most likely. It’s going to contribute your carbohydrates, your avocado, your sesame seeds, your teriyaki sauce, things like that. That might contribute some fat. A lot of people like seaweed snacks or cucumbers at Imam that can also contribute some carbohydrates, but also some fiber and flavoring as well. The last example here I’m going to share is like a shrimp pasta. You’ve got some frozen shrimp in the freezer, and you’re going to cook that over a pan with olive oil. So we’ve got our protein in the shrimp and we’ve got fat in the olive oil. And you’re going to combine that with a grain based pasta or some other pasta alternative that’s going to be mostly carbohydrates contributed there. But then when you layer in like cherry tomatoes, garlic, onions, spinach or any other veggies that you want there, it’s going to do a little bit more carbohydrate, but also just fiber and flavoring. I told you that would be rapid fire. But if you are somebody that would like to see that listed, or you really want to see it for yourself, what are the protein, fat and carbohydrate contributing foods in those meals? You can follow the show notes and be linked to a blog post that kind of like reviews.


Emily Field (00:29:35) – All ten of those meals in which are the ingredients contribute the macros that you’re looking for. Maybe you can kind of inspire some meals for even dinner this week. Thank you for joining us in this episode of Macrame Easy, where we talked about the significance of balancing macronutrients, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates all together in your meals. Striving for and achieving balance in your meals is important for overall health, influencing energy regulation, blood sugar control, and metabolism. We explored the role of each macronutrient in providing sustained energy, stabilizing blood sugar levels and supporting metabolic functions. So from muscle maintenance and nutrient absorption to athletic performance, a well-balanced mix is vital for various physiological functions. Then I shared recommendations for tracking and sourcing proteins, fats and carbohydrates, debunking some common misconceptions about different foods. So whether you’re new to tracking or you’re a seasoned enthusiast, understanding the basics of these components of your meal is crucial for making more informed nutritional choices. In the following segments, I covered convenient foods that meet your protein, fat, and carbohydrate goals, ensuring a hassle free approach to macro tracking.


Emily Field (00:30:47) – Additionally, I provided some quick and easy mixed macro meals that you can prepare with ingredients you probably already have at home. From deli sandwiches to Greek yogurt parfaits to flavorful shrimp pasta, these meals are a perfect blend of macronutrients, so remember, achieving a balance of macronutrients in your meals not only supports your health and fitness goals, but also contributes to a sustainable and enjoyable approach to eating. As you navigate your macro journey, consider the recommendations shared in this episode, and feel free to experiment with the diverse and delicious options available to you. So until next time, stay macro balanced and enjoy eating your way to a healthier you. 


Thank you so much for listening to the Macros Made Easy podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, take a screenshot of the one you’re listening to right now to share it on your Instagram Stories, and tag me @emilyfieldrd so that more people can find this podcast and learn how to use a macros approach in a stress free way. If you love the podcast, head over to iTunes and leave me a rating and a review. Remember, you can always find more free health and nutrition content on Instagram and on my website at Thanks for listening and I’ll catch you on the next episode.

If you’re new to macro tracking, or even if you’re a seasoned expert, knowing what foods provide carbs, fats and protein is a game changer when it comes to tracking macros. 

In this episode, I share how to identify foods based on their dominant macronutrient and why balancing all three macros matters for your health. 

I’ll dive into why each macronutrient is crucial for controlling blood sugar, boosting energy levels, and revving up your metabolism. I’ll also give you some of my top tips for tracking macros, selecting nutrient-dense foods, and creating meals that will keep you feeling your best. Join me as we simplify the world of macros and take a step towards achieving your health and performance goals.

In this episode, I cover:

understanding macronutrients: proteins, fats, and carbohydrates

At the core of a balanced diet are the three macronutrients: proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Each plays a unique role in our body’s function:

  • Proteins are the building blocks of our muscles and tissues, vital for repair and growth.
  • Fats serve as a long-term energy source and are crucial for hormone production and nutrient absorption.
  • Carbohydrates are our body’s preferred immediate energy source, fueling our daily activities and brain function.

Balancing these macronutrients is not just about numbers; it’s about understanding their contribution to blood sugar control, energy regulation, and metabolism.

the impact of balanced meals on blood sugar and energy

One of the most significant benefits of a macro-balanced diet is its ability to regulate blood sugar levels. This regulation is key to avoiding the highs and lows that can lead to energy crashes and cravings. 

By combining proteins, fats, and carbohydrates in your meals, you can promote stable and sustained energy throughout the day, supporting your overall metabolic health.

the role of macros in energy production

Carbohydrates often get a bad rap, but they are essential as the body’s immediate energy source. Fats, on the other hand, are your backup energy reserve, providing fuel when carbohydrates are not readily available. Understanding this dynamic is crucial for anyone looking to optimize their diet for energy and performance.

identifying sources of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates

To make informed choices, it’s important to recognize the sources of these macronutrients in our diet. Here’s a quick guide:

Mostly protein:

  • Meat – beef, pork, lamb, game meat, bison 
  • Fish – salmon, tuna, sardines
  • Poultry – chicken, turkey, duck, cornish hen
  • Seafood – fish, crustaceans, shellfish, and mollusks 

Mostly protein, but some fat and/or carbohydrates:

  • Whole eggs
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cottage cheese 
  • Tofu, tempeh, soy products

Mostly fats:

  • Whole food fats – olives, avocado, coconut products, nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios) and seeds (chia, flaxseed, sunflower)
  • Oils, solid fats – olive oil, coconut oil, butter
  • Cheese

Mostly carbohydrates:

  • Grains and grain products – rice, oats, quinoa, barley
  • Potatoes 
  • Fruits – berries, tropical fruits, stone fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Legumes – beans, lentils, peas

Most foods will have a combination of carbs, fats or protein, which is why I love displaying this concept in a Venn diagram of 3 major circles where they overlap in 3 places, but overlap in the middle as well. 

To see these foods sorted visually in a Venn diagram – download my free DIY Macros Guide

embracing macro tracking and convenience foods

Macro tracking is not about being perfect, but about making more informed choices that align with your health and performance goals. And don’t worry, convenience foods can still fit into a macro-balanced diet. The key is to choose options that align with your protein, fat, and carbohydrate targets. 

Here are some examples of convenience foods that are a great source of each macro, split by how we store them:


  • Protein – chicken strips, burgers, turkey burgers
  • Fats – higher fat cuts of meat, desserts
  • Carbs – frozen waffles, mixed berries, tropical fruits, hash browns, potatoes, ready-to-heat grains


  • Protein – jerky, canned tuna
  • Fats – olives, nuts, seeds
  • Carbs – beans, pasta, cereals, bread, crackers, popcorn, tortillas


  • Protein – deli meat, shredded chicken, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, turkey dogs, ground beef, eggs/egg whites, Canadian bacon
  • Fats – full fat yogurt, full fat cottage cheese, cheese, bacon
  • Carbohydrates – fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, juices

10 quick mixed macro meals made with food you already have

Deli Sandwich with Hummus:

  • Your choice of deli meat (protein)
  • Whole-grain bread (carbohydrates)
  • Hummus (healthy fats)
  • Sliced cucumber, tomato, and lettuce

Greek Yogurt Parfait:

  • Greek yogurt (protein)
  • Granola (carbohydrates)
  • Mixed berries (fiber and antioxidants)
  • Nuts or seeds (healthy fats)

Tuna Salad Wrap:

  • Canned tuna (protein)
  • Whole-grain wrap (carbohydrates)
  • Mixed greens (fiber and nutrients)
  • Cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and bell peppers
  • Hummus or avocado (healthy fats)

Turkey and Avocado Wrap:

  • Sliced turkey breast (protein)
  • Whole-grain wrap (carbohydrates)
  • Avocado slices (healthy fats)
  • Lettuce, tomato, and mustard

Egg and Vegetable Stir-Fry:

  • Scrambled eggs or tofu (protein)
  • Rice or quinoa (carbohydrates)
  • Mixed vegetables (fiber and nutrients)
  • Soy sauce or teriyaki sauce (flavor and healthy fats)

Burrito Bowl:

  • Grilled chicken or black beans (protein)
  • Quinoa or brown rice (carbohydrates)
  • Salsa, avocado, and lettuce (carbohydrates, healthy fats)
  • Greek yogurt or low-fat sour cream (protein, healthy fats)

Greek Bowl:

  • Grilled chicken or chickpeas (protein)
  • Quinoa or brown rice (carbohydrates)
  • Kalamata olives, feta cheese, olive oil (fats)
  • Cucumbers, red onion, bell peppers (fiber)

Beef and Broccoli:

  • Lean ground beef or sirloin strips (protein)
  • Quinoa or brown rice (carbohydrates)
  • Steamed broccoli (carbohydrates, fiber)
  • Soy sauce or teriyaki sauce (healthy fats)

Poke Bowl:

  • Sushi grade tuna or salmon (protein)
  • White rice (carbohydrates)
  • Avocado, sesame seeds (fat)
  • Cucumbers, edamame (fiber)

Shrimp Pasta:

  • Shrimp (protein)
  • Olive oil (fat)
  • Wheat or another grain pasta (carbohydrates)
  • cherry tomatoes, garlic, onions, or spinach (carbohydrates and fiber) 

My goal is to demystify the process of tracking macros and to empower you to make dietary choices that support your health, body composition, and athletic performance. Remember, a macro-balanced diet is not a one-size-fits-all solution; it’s a flexible framework that can be tailored to your individual needs and preferences.

I hope this episode leaves you feeling empowered to take control of your nutrition and make macro tracking a breeze. Remember, a little knowledge goes a long way in your journey to better health and peak performance.


  • Custom Macro Calculation – No more second guessing those macro numbers or being confused by online calculators. Get personalized macro targets that you can trust. We’ll create your protein, fat, and carbohydrate targets, calorie goals, and give you bigger picture health recommendations for real results. To learn more, click the link or hop over to Instagram and DM me the abbreviation “CMC”!
  • DIY Macros Guide – Follow this free guide to set your own macros so you can start eating to your needs ASAP!

  • Macros Made Easy – Get on the waitlist to learn when we enroll next and qualify for exclusive bonuses. This is a professional led, self-paced online course that teaches you how to track macros—the stress-free way. Learn how to eat for your unique needs so you can be in the driver’s seat of how you look, feel and perform without relying on a restrictive diet plan ever again.
  • Eat to Lean Coaching – If you’ve mastered the basics of macros, but there’s still room for more clarity and personalization for your particular goals, join us in Eat to Lean Coaching! ​In this group coaching program you’ll learn nutrition, exercise and mindset changes alongside other women who are in your exact shoes.

follow Macros Made Easy on Instagram for more macro tracking how-tos