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FAQ - Fueled + Focused

Website Frequently Asked Questions:

Why should I use Fueled and Focused?

Fueled and Focused was designed to help athletes make the best meal choices possible, so that they are better able to reach their race goals. Many athletes know good food choices but putting together meals to reach their training goals can get tricky or tiring. Using Fueled and Focused will shorten your time and save you money at the grocery store, fuel your body to help you reach your athletic goals, help you waste less food, and save time in thinking about what to prepare, so you can spend more time on training, friends, family, or relaxation.

Is Fueled and Focused right for me?

If you are looking for help in reaching your nutrition and athletic goals and want to feel and perform better, Fueled and Focused is for you! We have 3 meal options, 3 levels of membership, and several Consulting/Coaching options, so you can choose what best fits your needs. Fueled and Focused also allows for a $1 month trial to see if we are right for you. Sign up today!

Which of the 3 meal options should I choose?

Traditional: this meal plan is designed for an athlete who doesn’t have any food allergies or intolerances, and they eat all meat and fish. If you choose this option, you will have access to every single recipe.

Gluten Free/Dairy Free: this meal plan is designed for the athlete who either has food allergies, intolerances, or just wants to avoid consuming these specific foods. You will only be given recipes that don’t contain gluten or dairy.

Vegetarian: this meal plan is for lacto-ovo vegetarians. Your recipes will include eggs and milk but no other animal or fish products. Many of the recipes can be made vegan with little effort.

You can also switch in between the meal plans if you desire to do so.

I'd like to have leftovers from dinner for lunch the next day. Can I do that?

Yes, you can. All you need to do is remove or “x” out your lunch for the following day. This way, you will not duplicate your grocery list ingredients. Unfortunately, there is no way to type in your calories or macronutrients in place of the lunch the following day. You will need to manually calculate how the dinner nutrients would fit within your other meal choices.

Why are there recipes that appear to be duplicates?

There are some recipes with the same name. If you look closely, they are similar except that they have varying calories and macronutrient amounts. One salad might have a serving size of 350kcal, while the other might be 500kcal. This way, no matter what calorie and macronutrient amounts you are given, you are able to enjoy the same meals. Sometimes you will see both on your food choices. This is due to the fact that the software uses ranges in calculating your specific nutrient amounts. Your ranges might fall into both recipes, and you can choose, depending on what the rest of your day looks like.

What does a pre-workout meal mean?

Pre-workout means that the meal is perfect to consume before your workout. It should have less than 15g of protein, 7g of fat, and 4g of fiber. Pre-workout meals should include carbohydrates with a little protein and very little fat and fiber. Depending on the sport, the carbohydrate level might vary, so no carbohydrate level is listed. Pre-workout also means that you have less than 90 minutes prior to the workout. If you have 3+ hours until your workout, you can have a heartier meal.

What does a post-workout meal mean?

Post-workout means that the meal is perfect for after your workout. Ideally you’ll consume it within 30-60 minutes of finishing. Post-workout meals should include at least 40g of carbohydrate and 15-20g of protein.

Why are there no specific cost amounts for each recipe?

It is difficult to give specific costs due to several varying factors. Where you live, the grocery store you choose to shop at, if you use coupons, etc. all play a role into how much your meal will cost. Most meals, including fish or some meat/chicken, will be in the costly category, but the majority of the meal selections are in normal or budget categories.

Why are there no specific cook times for each recipe?

It’s difficult to give a specific time on exactly how long each person will take to cook a recipe. Some might be very proficient at chopping, dicing and slicing, while others might take a bit longer. Certain cookware, stoves and ovens may cook things more efficiently or inefficiently. By giving a range, you’ll know an approximate time of how long it will take you without feeling like there might be something wrong because the recipe is taking longer than it says it should. You’ll find a key to determining cook times as follows: “Quick and Easy.” which means less than 30 minutes, “More Involved” requires 30-60 minutes, and “Time Consuming” will take more than 60 minutes.

Are marinading times included in the overall recipe times?

Marinading times are not included in the overall time to prepare the recipe. Most recipes we will recommend starting the marinade in the morning before you leave for work, or even the night before you wish to prepare the meal. There are some recipes where the marinade time will only be 15 minutes. This is mainly for some fish recipes.

I think the calories are off. They are either telling me to consume too many or too little from what I’ve thought is true or from what I have seen in the media or on another site.

Fueled and Focused is designed using scientific formulas based on your gender, age, height, weight, sport, season, activity level and your desire to gain, lose, or maintain weight. While these formulas are as accurate as they can be, they are still just formulas and won’t be perfect. Most athletes we work with believe they need to consume less, or are surprised to see the number they really should be consuming. Give it a try, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results. If you are still concerned that there is an error on the site or if you’re an elite athlete training 20+ hours per week, you might need additional guidance. Please reach out to us at fueledandfocused@gmail.com

I’m worried about the macronutrient amounts. I believe I’m going to gain weight eating a larger amount of carbohydrates or I believe I need more protein.

Just as with your calorie amounts, we use scientific formulas to calculate macronutrients. Formulas will never be perfect, but they will be very close. Depending on your specific details (sport, training level), the formula will choose macronutrients that are a fit for your sport and training level. For example, an Olympic lifter will require closer to 40/30/30-40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 30% fat. A marathon runner or ironman triathlete will be closer to 50/25/25. Or, an injured athlete might be closer to 40/30/30. Our formula will choose which percentages most closely match your goals.

What do I do if the plan is telling me I need more calories and macro nutrients per meal and your recipes don’t provide enough?

The Fueled and Focused software will automatically assign recipes that are designed to fit your needs based on calories and macronutrient amounts. The software will choose random recipes, so you have the ability to change and manipulate them to fit your tastes and needs. The software has been designed to split your meals into approximately 25% of your daily calories and 12.5% of your daily calories for snacks. We are constantly adding more recipes to broaden your choices, and if you’re still having trouble, please reach out to us for help at fueledandfocused@gmail.com.

I have a family that I cook for. How can I calculate their needs to make sure that they are getting the right amounts?

Unfortunately, Fueled and Focused is only designed to calculate one person’s needs at a time. Almost all recipes are designed to make 1-6 servings, and you have the ability to manipulate how many servings you would like. If someone else in your family wants to know what they should be eating, have them sign up for the Fueled and Focused Community as well!

I think I need more help, what do I do?

We are here to help! If you feel you need more personalized support, check out our Consulting and Coaching page. If you’re having issues with the F+F meal plan, please reach out to us directly at fueledandfocused@gmail.com.

Nutrition Frequently Asked Questions:

Should I eat organic produce? What about the cost?

Organic foods are a personal choice. Organic food must adhere to specific guidelines set out by the USDA, are grown without certain pesticides, and genetic modifications. Our belief at Fueled and Focused is to take the scientific approach to nutrition. Currently, the experts believe that there is no significant difference between conventionally grown and organic foods when it comes to health or taste. They found that organic produce was less likely to have pesticide residue, but they also found that pesticide residue were below safe levels for both organic and conventional produce. The cost is generally between 10-40% higher for organic food vs conventional. If you can’t afford organic, know that just by increasing your vegetable and fruit consumption, you are lowering your risk of cancer and disease. For further information, seek credible science literature and sites sites like www.health.harvard.edu and www.sciencebasedmedicine.org.

I can only afford to eat some organic produce. Which are most important?

If you desire to go the organic route for fruits and vegetables, here is a list of the Dirty Dozen. This list includes the produce that are reported to have the highest level of pesticides, which includes: apples, celery, bell peppers, cherries, grapes, lettuce, nectarines, peaches, pears, potatoes, spinach, and strawberries.

Are organic meat, chicken, milk and eggs really any better?

Similar to produce, there are mixed reviews on whether some organic meat, milk, and eggs are truly better. Our take on this is a bit different for each item:

Meat: Some conventionally raised animals are given hormones and antibiotics to stimulate growth and protect them from illness. If you are buying meat from a local farmer, and you know how the animal was raised, organic may not be needed. If the meat is coming from a supermarket, organic means it can’t have been grown with antibiotics or hormones. Due to the increase of bacteria resistant to antibiotics, we would recommend choosing organic, pastured, or grass fed meat at the supermarket. In addition, eating more vegetarian meals means less risk in general, which we also recommend.

Chicken: In the US, chickens are not allowed to be raised using hormones, so if you see a package that says “no hormones,” it’s just chicken. Organic chicken has not been raised with antibiotics, however there is no set amount for how long the chicken gets to spend outdoors or the size of the area. To ensure that they get to spend their day outside, look for pastured chicken. Pastured is different from pasteurized. Pastured means the chickens are allowed to roam free, eating plants and insects (their natural food), along with some commercial feed.

Milk:  The fact is, all milk is tested for antibiotics. If they are found in the milk, it is thrown out. All milk contains hormones due to the fact that they are naturally occurring. Some milk does have higher levels of hormones, and you can look for milk that says “made without rbST.” The FDA claims that both milk made without hormones (rbST) and with cows that were given hormones is exactly the same. So in this case, choose what’s best for your family.

Eggs: Eggs can be very complicated. There are eggs that say natural, organic, free range, cage free, etc. Even though the names imply that the chickens are out free enjoying the sun, the only way to know that your eggs come from chicken that actually have room to roam and are outdoors for the majority of the day is to buy pastured eggs. Pastured is different from pasteurized. Pastured means the chickens are allowed to roam free, eating plants and insects (their natural food) along with some commercial feed. Pastured has even been found to have higher amounts of omega 3 fatty acids. You can find pastured at your local farmers market or from a local farm. If this isn’t possible, the other choices are very similar from a health perspective.

Farm-raised or wild-caught fish?

Fish is a fantastic protein and has an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids. This is still a debated topic, as there are benefits to both. Wild fish and farmed ones have both been shown to contain similar amounts of omega-3’s. Vitamin and mineral content in both is also similar. Where wild caught fish stands out is that it contains less polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). These are chemical toxins found in both wild and farmed salmon, however farmed salmon generally contains higher levels. If you can’t afford wild caught, eating farm raised is a good option. If you are eating fish more than 2-3x a week, wild caught is your best bet due to the PCB’s.

What about GMO’s?

GMO’s stand for genetically modified organism, and they are one of the most misunderstood topics around these days. GMO foods do not have chemicals added to them and up to this point, scientists have not proven them to be harmful.  In fact that are over 1500 reputable scientific studies proving that they are safe. If you are concerned about them, however, choosing organic foods will help eliminate your chance of consumption.

Where do you recommend shopping?

We believe in supporting your local farmers first and foremost. During the spring/summer/fall, seek out local farmers markets and take advantage of CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) opportunities. Some programs are still available throughout the winter, but be sure to take advantage of the harvest during the other times of the year to can, preserve, and freeze.

When you talk about beans, are you speaking of canned or dried?

Unless specifically noted, you can use either canned or dried. They actually also have beans in pouches as well. Canned beans tend to be easiest for people, but some cans do contain BPA. BPA is bisphenol A, a chemical used to make plastics. It can be found in epoxy resins, which are used to coat the inside of metal products like cans. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said that BPA is safe at the very low levels that occur in some foods. This assessment is based on review of hundreds of studies. If you’re concerned, seek out cans that don’t contain BPA, use dried or the pouches.

I’ve always eaten only egg whites, but your recipes generally call for the full egg. Will this negatively affect my cholesterol?

Latest studies show that eating a whole egg will not raise your cholesterol. Those that do need to be concerned are those that already have high cholesterol. Eating the whole egg has additional benefits, including containing vitamins and minerals: Vit. A, Vit B(‘s), Phosphorus, Choline, Biotin, and Potassium.

What whole grains should I be consuming?

When looking at bread or pasta, 100% whole grains should be chosen first. For those with gastro intestinal issues, looking for sprouted grains will be a good bet. Sprouted grains can be helpful if you or someone in your family has trouble digesting them. Other good choices include quinoa, millet, spelt, brown rice, amaranth, teff, and barley.

Are microwaves safe for cooking?

Yes, microwaves are safe for cooking foods. They are in fact easy to use, make meal preparation and cooking faster, and are a safe to use. From the Harvard Medical School:

Microwave ovens cook food using waves of energy that are similar to radio waves but shorter. These waves are remarkably selective, primarily affecting water and other molecules that are electrically asymmetrical — one end positively charged and the other negatively charged. Microwaves cause these molecules to vibrate and quickly build up thermal (heat) energy.

Some nutrients break down when they’re exposed to heat, whether it is from a microwave or a regular oven. Vitamin C is perhaps the clearest example. But because microwave cooking times are shorter, cooking with a microwave does a better job of preserving vitamin C and other nutrients that break down when heated.

To read more about microwave safety in cooking, click here.

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Fueled + Focused is headed by Cristina Caldwell, a Certified Sports Nutritionist, Endurance Coach, and Exercise Physiologist. Her platform allows a customized scientific approach to food and diet to help you maximize your potential and realize your goals. For any questions/feedback please contact fueledandfocused@gmail.com

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