FREE Shipping! Code: SAVETIME (orders $130+)
0 Cart
Added to Cart
    You have items in your cart
    You have 1 item in your cart
    Total
    Check Out Continue Shopping

    ICON Meals Blog — fit living

    Blog Menu

    How To Eat Healthy In College

    How To Eat Healthy In College

    From Michael Mastrucci (@themacrodiabetic)

    College students are no strangers to full class loads that include cramming for exams, late-night studying, and regular assignments or projects. Many students take on part-time (and some even full-time) jobs to keep some money in their pocket, be it for course materials they may need, some weekend spending money, or trying to get ahead on their savings. While everyone works for that end-goal or "light at the end of the tunnel" there's no doubt things can be hectic and feel like they might never let up.

    But amidst the chaos in trying to keep the pace going and not fall short on whatever deadlines you may face, it's of the utmost importance to NEVER neglect your health.

    Sometimes it seems like all you have time for between classes and studying is to reach for a pack of ramen, an energy drink, or some fast food on the corner. And while all food is sustenance in some way, WHAT you put in your body determines just how far and well you'll be able to perform both physically and mentally.

    While I'm not here to bore you with a word problem, assuming you hear enough of those in math class already, think of your body and mind as a car. You have a long trip ahead of you and need to ensure your car doesn't just drive as long as you need, but that you won't have any permanent breakdowns along the way. Knowing your car runs on a certain type of fuel, ask yourself: what would putting the WRONG fuel in my car do for my journey? Would it be able to function optimally to get me where I need to go?

    You see, food is the same.

    By choosing relatively unprocessed, whole-food sources you're providing your body with the ability to remain healthy and your mind the opportunity to remain focused on the demands placed on it. Of course, this can be easier said than done, as those quick grab-and-go types of foods aren't just convenient (and often cheaper than the healthy stuff), they tend to taste better too. But the keyword here is "cheap" and opting for foods that give you the RIGHT nutrients offer you more than just "growing big and strong.”

    Back in my college days, I put a lot of the wrong fuel in my body. Sleepless nights studying were often fueled by too much caffeine and convenience store snacks. This often came at the cost of lethargy, low energy throughout the day, and just feeling like I was in a constant mental fog no matter how much I slept or tried to get into a studying groove during my classes.

    How I wish I had ICON Meals then!

    What I enjoy most about them is how they don't just give healthy options to choose from (be it their weekly Signature Menu or their custom meal options) but they all taste great. These days my routine stays just as busy between auditing classes from my degree as well as running my own web development company. This keeps me extremely busy and I don't have time to stop what I'm doing to cook every single meal, much less spend my weekend grocery shopping, cooking, and prepping the following week's meals in advance.

    ICON Meals doesn't just take the guess-work out of what I'm going to eat, they save me massive amounts of time I wouldn't have otherwise, allowing me to grab a healthy meal and keep grinding away at everything on my plate (pun intended).

    Even when I DID start taking care of myself with a proper fitness and nutritional routine I never considered a meal-prep/delivery service before. But if I'm going to spend the money grocery shopping just to spend chunks of time weighing and cooking the food only to package it up for when I need it, why not just have ICON Meals do the majority of it for me?

    All the food is properly weighed out and comes from REAL food that isn't processed. It's minimally seasoned (especially the custom meals) so I can spice dishes up a different way if I want to. They have options for protein, carb, and vegetable sources I enjoy having regardless of whether I made them myself or used them!

    Treat your body right by feeding it right. Remember that good practices make good habits and that even after your time at school, things stay busy. For that reason alone, while your education sets your career up for success, ICON Meals sets your nutrition, body, and mind up to keep you going.

    Stay connected with blog author Michael Mastrucci on

    Want to be featured by ICON Meals? Submit your stories to info@iconmeals.com or send us a DM on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook!

    5 Habits Fit People Have

    5 Habits Fit People Have

    By ICON Meals Athlete, Mike O’Hearn

    When it comes to long term fitness, there is no such thing as a quick fix. Sure, there are ways you can achieve your fitness goals in the short term — but if you want to make a lifelong change it’s all about adapting to the lifestyle. Developing healthy habits that become an everyday part of who you are.

     

    Here are five habits of successfully fit people:

    1. Having Perspective

    You’re not going to be able to meet your fitness goals every day. Have an off day? Accept it, figure out how to not make the same mistake tomorrow, and move on.

     

    2. Eliminating Excuses

    Fit people make hitting the gym a priority, and if something gets in their way they don’t give in to excuses: they find MORE reasons to work out. Short workouts are better than no workout.

     

    Instead of giving into excuses, fit people find MORE reasons why they need to hit the gym and find the time to do it. A short workout is still better than no workout.


    3. Sleeping and Eating Well

    There’s virtually a library of studies showing the benefits of proper nutrition and sleep. Whole, unprocessed foods keep you fuller longer, providing energy and strength all day. Good sleep keeps your body’s systems running smoothly. Both are necessary for long-term fitness.

     

    4. Tracking Progress

    This habit is so valuable for two reasons: it rewards you by showing you tangible progress, and motivates you in the same stroke by showing you all your hard work — countless gym hours, smart food choices, and appropriate sleep — is really doing something. 

     

    5. Consulting A Professional

    There’s no faster way to improve than being around people more experienced than you. Find somebody more advanced in the gym and learn everything you can from them. Maybe one day YOU will be the fitness pro.

     

    @mikeohearn on Instagram

    - The Titan Mike O’Hearn, 4x Mr. Universe

    How To Calculate Your Sweat Rate

    How To Calculate Your Sweat Rate

    It’s pretty common knowledge that proper hydration is important for your general health. Most of your body is made of the stuff, and we simply need to drink enough every day. The Mayo Clinic recommends 15.5 cups of fluid a day for men, and 11.5 cups for women (that includes all fluids, 20% of which come from food).

     

    When you’re exercising though...things get a little more complicated. Sweat’s our way of regulating body temperature, and the more you sweat the quicker you become dehydrated. Knowing how much you sweat makes adequate rehydration much easier.

     

    ICON Meals Sweat Rate

    Learn Your Sweat Rate

    Sweat rate measures how much water leaves your body while you’re exercising. Next time you exercise, do these steps to calculate it:

     

     

    1. Head to the bathroom and empty your bladder.
    2. Find your initial weight — weigh yourself in as little clothing as possible.
    3. Write down the ambient temperature.
    4. Go through a 1-hour exercise routine, recording any fluid intake.
    5. After your routine, towel off any sweat and weigh yourself again in the same clothing as before. This is your final weight.
    6. Convert weight loss to fluid ounces or milliliters. (1 lb = 16 oz = 454 ml)
    7. Add fluid lost to fluid consumed during exercise to find your hourly sweat rate at that temperature.

     

    Average people sweat 27 – 47 oz/hr during exercise, but sweat rates as high as 125 oz/hr have been recorded (that was Alberto Salazar while training for the 1984 Summer Olympics). It’s important to remember that climate affects sweat rate. Temperature, humidity, and airflow are all important variables to consider.


    Once you know your sweat rate, you’ll know exactly how much water to replenish during your exercise!


    Besides water, post-workout you’ll want protein to help your body repair and regrow your muscles. Snacks like our Wag Bars are the optimal choice.

    Staying in Shape When Life Feels Too Busy by Travis Just

    Staying in Shape When Life Feels Too Busy by Travis Just

    How does bodybuilder and entrepreneur Travis Just stay in shape when he’s running a business, traveling, and raising twins? That’s the #1 question he gets — and here’s his answer:

     

    Make Health A Priority

     

    Great health is a major priority for Travis, and he devotes time to it! Without good health, everything else in life suffers. Who cares how much money you make if you can’t enjoy the benefits of your hard work — vacations, quality time with family, doing hobbies you love, etc…

     

    Travis Just (TravelingWithTrav) Working Out - ICON Meals

     

    It Gets Better

     

    The problem is most people quit working on their health before they feel and see life-changing results. At the beginning of a get-healthier journey it sucks. It’s super hard and everything hurts and you’re sacrificing “good food” while everyone around you eats whatever guilty pleasures they want.

     

    Here’s the thing though:

     

    When you push through the suck and get to the place I’m talking about, everything changes. Your desire for unhealthy food is viewed differently. Your taste buds change. You actually look forward to “treat meals” weekly and savor every single bite.

     

    Travis Just Healthy Eating - ICON Meals

     

    Planning Makes Perfect

     

    Plan, plan, plan. It’s all about having your food ready to go! When we’re scrounging for food at the last minute, we almost always make worse choices than if we had something prepped and ready to eat. ICON Meals has turned our world upside down when it comes to planning and being prepared for our crazy busy lifestyle.

     

    No Excuses

     

    Get rid of the excuses! I used to yoyo diet every few months — I’d eat super clean, work out like crazy and feel great, and let myself roll back down the hill to start over again. Ugh. It’s easy to get caught in this trap. Why do we care what out-of-shape people think, as if they have what we want anyhow? 

     

    I finally decided years ago to live how I want. I realized most people gave me a hard time about how I eat because they were uncomfortable eating poorly around me.

     

    We get one body and one life. Live it the way you choose.

     

     


     

    Follow Travis Just and his family on IG at @thehomeless_millionaires and @travelingwithtrav

    Want to be featured as an "Everyday ICON?" Submit your stories to info@iconmeals.com or send us a DM on IG or Facebook!

    Macros Made Simple by April Imholte

    Macros Made Simple by April Imholte

    Do you ever hear the word “Macros” and nod your head like you know exactly what the other person is talking about when in reality, you have absolutely no clue? It wasn’t that long ago, I myself looked like a deer in headlights when Macros was the topic of conversation. A few years ago, I started digging deep into understanding macros and how they can affect your physique. 

     

    Let me be the first to tell you that understanding Macros is comparable to “winning the jackpot” when it comes to reaching your fitness goals. It’s a complete game changer. And the good news is, it isn’t nearly as complicated as it may seem.   

     

    If you want to impress your friends and family and contribute to the next conversation you are a part of surrounding this very topic, keep reading as I break down the ABCs of Macros for you in 5 simple steps.  

     

    1. What exactly are Macros? Macronutrients, aka “Macros”, are simply your Proteins, Fats and Carbs. They make up the foods we eat and are needed in large amounts in order to provide our body with energy (aka calories) on a daily basis. Macros allow our body to function properly and carry out activities of daily life. Certain food items are considered to be Proteins, others Fats and then there’s my personal favorite, Carbs. Some foods contain a little of each macro and are considered to be “combo foods.”   

    2. What is the function of each Macronutrient? Protein is responsible for several duties; primarily repairing and rebuilding tissues which includes, you guessed it, lean muscle tissue. Protein contains essential amino acids which are the “building blocks” for our muscles. This is not exclusive to muscle tissue but also includes skin, hair, nails, even the cells that line our intestinal tract. Protein also helps support immune function which can ward off illnesses. Our body must convert protein sources into essential amino acids. In order to ensure I am getting enough of the essential amino acids my body requires, I also supplement with REAAL EAAs which have been clinically proven to be 3x more effective than whey protein and 36x more effective than BCAAs at building and restoring lean muscle tissue! Carbohydrates are our bodies primary source of energy. This includes the cells of the brain. Last but not least, let’s talk about fats, which tend to get a bad rap. Healthy fats supply our body with fatty acids. These fatty acids must be consumed through the foods we eat as our bodies cannot make them, such as Omega-3 found in fish oil. Fats also aid in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins such as Vit A, D, E and K. They also help to protect vital internal organs.  

    3. What are some examples of Proteins, Fats and Carbs? One of the easiest ways to understand if a food source is considered a protein, fat or carb is to read the nutrition label. If the grams of one macronutrient are higher than the others, that is what it should be considered. For example, let’s say the protein grams in an item are quite a bit higher than carbs or fats, you would consider that food to be a protein source. Ideally, the majority of foods consumed per day will be whole foods. If there is no nutrition label to refer to, here is a list that you may find helpful.  

      1. Lean Protein Sources: chicken breast, turkey breast, extra lean ground beef, egg whites, fish, and dairy products such as cottage cheese and Greek yogurt.  

      2. Carbohydrates: fruit, potatoes, rice, oats, quinoa (also contains a good amount of protein), beans, whole wheat bread, starchy vegetables.  When choosing carbohydrates, stick to complex carbs versus simple carbs such as sugar, sweets, juice, etc. 

      3. Healthy Fats: olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, natural peanut butter or almond butter, fatty meats such as salmon, and egg yolks.  

    4. How do Macros make up our Calorie Intake for the day? Most people would be able to give you a fairly close estimate of how many calories they consume from day to day. However, if asked how many grams of protein, fats and carbs one consumes per day, the majority have no clue. Simply put, Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats all contain calories. Protein and Carbs contain 4cal/gram. Whereas Fat, which is more calorie dense, contains 9cal/gram. For example, if a food item contains 20g of Protein, 80 calories would be derived from Protein. It’s simple math but helpful in understanding how food makes up your total calorie intake per day.  

    5. How do I know how many Macros to consume per day? This question is the most complicated to answer as not two individuals are alike when it comes to nutrition. Trying to copy a meal plan your buddy, neighbor, spouse, has will most likely not work for you. Hiring an online trainer or following a program like those offered on bodybuiling.com will be your best bet when it comes to figuring out what works for you. If you are looking for a general starting point, the 40/40/20 rule is a good place to begin. 40% of your calories should come from carbs, 40% from protein and the other 20% from fats. For example, if following a 2000 calorie diet, this would equal out to 200g protein, 200g carbs and 44g fat daily. I would also encourage you to document your daily intake using a macro tracker such as Myfitnesspal app.  

    In conclusion, the best thing you can do is familiarize yourself with macros. Stay consistent for at least a week and only adjust your macros if you aren’t making progress. And remember, progress is measured by more than just a number on the scale. Until next time, wake up each day reminding yourself to Be Strong & Courageous and Keep “Livin Fit”.  

     

    For more helpful training tips, workout ideas, macro-friendly recipes and more, follow me on Instagram@aprilimholte

     


     

    Stay connected with ICON Meals Influencer April Imholte:

    Want to be featured by ICON Meals? 

    Submit your stories to info@iconmeals.com or send us a DM on IG or Facebook!