Fats: The other taboo macro.

We recently discussed carbohydrates (and since then, lots of waffles). But carbs aren’t the only “taboo” macronutrient. Fats also fall into that category depending on what diet you’re following.

The primary source of calorie (energy) storage beyond the body’s immediate need comes from your fat intake. That might sound bad, but I promise it’s not. Fats also carry vitamins through the bloodstream, contribute to the smell and flavor of foods, help you feel full, nourish your skin and hair, and for the major components of your cell membranes. Yes, you read that right… FATS ARE NECESSARY ON A CELLULAR LEVEL!
Now, that’s not an excuse to get a Chipotle bowl with double guac (although I’m not judging if you do because that sounds delicious).
Let’s get sciency really quick:
When you eat a food containing fat, the fat is broken down into small molecules of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen and linked together and then called fatty acids. The most common fatty acid chain found in the body (95%) is a Triglyceride which is the major class of dietary lipids (to include fats and oils). It’s built by combining three fatty acids and one glycerol. *Disclaimer: the other types of fats are Phospholipids and Sterols.
Fats can be broken down into two categories:

  1. Saturated- A FULL fatty acid chain containing the maximum number of hydrogen atoms leaving no points of unsaturation.
    *Saturated fats can be found in animal products (meat, poultry, full-fat dairy) and in tropical oils like palm and coconut oils.
  2. Unsaturated- A fatty acid chain with one or more points of unsaturation.
    *Unsaturated fats can be found in both animal and plant products such as avocados, peanut
    butter, and olive oil.
    The difference between the two is the degree of saturation and the fatty acid chain length, but both provide 9 calories per gram.
    In addition to the two categories of fats we just defined, there are also different levels of unsaturation. These are polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, omega-3 fat, and trans fat. Each of these has different effects on fat in your blood (essentially).
    The fats you eat play a huge role in heart disease, so it’s best to try and eat a diet primarily consisting of “healthy” fats and treats (AKA: Trans fats) in moderation. Ideally, 20-30% of your daily calories should come from fat.
    One way to meet this goal and still keep your heart happy is to swap out some of your saturated fat for poly/monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fats.

This can easily be done by swapping coconut oil for canola or olive, snack on nuts instead of chips or ice cream, using greek yogurt instead of sour cream, or add flaxseed to your baking or oatmeal.
*Side note: did anyone jump on the coconut oil bandwagon in a Paleo phase only to realize it isn’t the champ of healthy oils/fats?! Ok… maybe that was just me.
It’s easy to do once you start looking at the labels on your food.
If you have any questions or want to discuss fats, please email me at nutritionwcrystall@yahoo.com


Weekend Waffles-PB&J

Moving 3,735 miles 2 weeks before Christmas meant that my list for Santa was short this year, but on my list was a Belgian Waffle maker. Now I’ll admit that I made this request having ZERO waffle making experience unless dropping some frozen waffles into the toaster counts. But when I saw my brand new, Cuisinart waffle maker under the tree, I knew I’d be eating way “too many” carbs and enough waffles to make my heart content.

We’re almost 4 weeks into the year, and while I haven’t exactly stuck to my “diet goals,” I have made waffles EVERY WEEKEND. So far, I’ve made a lot of spontaneous pre-mixed waffles, specifically: Kodiak Cake Waffles, Aunt Jemima Original, and Krusteaz Light & Crispy Belgian Waffle (the last one is my favorite).

I’ve also made the fluffy waffle recipe from Grace & Good Eats (fantastic btw). You can find the link to that recipe right HERE: https://www.graceandgoodeats.com/fluffy-waffle-recipe/

So far this year, I’ve made strawberry chocolate chip waffles and several versions of cinnamon-sugar waffles BUT today’s Peanut butter & Jelly waffles were the biggest waffle hit yet.

I’m going to drop that recipe here for you: Try it! They’re super TASTY! I used:


  • 3 Cups of Krusteaz Light & Crispy Belgian Waffle Mix
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Water
  • 2/3 Cup of Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 to 1 Cup of Jelly/Jam (Warmed)
  • Non-stick Cooking Spray
  • Syrup
  • Toppings of choice: Powdered Sugar/PB/Banana/Nuts


  1. Mix the Krusteaz, eggs, water, and peanut butter together.
  2. Warm the jelly/jam into the microwave and warm for 20-30 seconds. It’s ok if it’s still a little chunky (in my opinion, a few jelly/jam chunks are super nice).
  3. Add the warmed jelly/jam to the waffle mix and stir until combined.
  4. Drop up to 2/3c of waffle batter into your waffle maker (sprayed with nonstick cooking spray) and cook to your desired crispiness (I like 4).
  5. Top with more peanut butter, jelly, powdered sugar, banana, or berries and syrup (or honey for a Low GI syrup substitute).
  6. And enjoy!

A few notes:

A few notes:

  • You can make this with a different waffle mix or even a homemade waffle, just skip the oil.
  • If you’re not into jelly, you can add some mashed banana, but you’ll need to reduce the liquid by at least 1/4c.

French Fries, Noodles, Bread…. Today, we are talking about C-A-R-B-S!


Aka: carbohydrates

A carbohydrate is a macronutrient that is made up of a single sugar (or multiple sugars), carbon, hydrogen, & oxygen.

Carbohydrates provide energy @ 4 cal per gram & are a QUICK ENERGY source making them a useful tool for physical activity (workouts, runs, sports, etc).

They’re also the preferred source of fuel for your noggin and nerves!

Carbohydrates can be broken down into two categories: Complex & simple. The difference between the two being how many sugars are in each glucose chain.

Complex- long chains of sugars (glucose). This group includes starches and fibers such as bread (choose whole grain), pasta, crackers, legumes, peas, corn, potatoes, squash, etc.
Simple- single sugars & pairs of sugars. This group includes white sugar, fruits, dairy, cookies, candy, jelly, syrup, etc.

Both categories of carbohydrates can be “healthy” and “unhealthy,” but the key to making smart carb choices is knowing what food will make you feel good and help you optimize your energy. 

Because carbohydrates can cause spikes (and subsequent crashes) in blood sugar. This can cause fatigue, lack of focus, and make you crave a nap. To avoid this feeling (or worse feelings if you have a carbohydrate metabolism disorder), choose your carbs while considering portion control! I know this is hard (or maybe it’s just me) but try only ordering one pancake instead of a full-stack or maybe pair that cookie with some beef jerky.

In addition to blood sugar, fiber is also a fundamental nutritional component of carbohydrates. Technically speaking, fiber is the indigestible roughage/bulk of a plant-based carbohydrate. That may sound gross, but it plays an important role in digestion, blood sugar regulation, and weight management.

There are actually many people out there who correlate “healthy” and weightloss with low carb (or no carb) diets/meal plans. But I promise, your nutrition DOESN’T have to be that way UNLESS you want it to.
In fact, the Daily Recommended Intake (DRI) for carbohydrates is 46-65% of your daily intake (with only 10% of your TOTAL CALORIES coming from sources with added sugar).

These are some healthy & unhealthy carb choices I had I currently have in my pantry. It’s OK to want both!

Like I mentioned earlier, your brain and nervous system need carbohydrates to perform. Additionally, carbs provide 1/2 of the fuel utilized by your muscles! To optimize the use of carbs before you work out, you might try 1-4grams per kg (2.2lbs) 30 minutes before exercise. Oh, and remember when I said carbs are a quick energy source?! Try having a few during your workout and see if you can see a difference!

So girl (or guy), eat those carbs. If you’re concerned they’re going to make make you fat or unhealthy, my recommendation would be to make good, well-balanced choices. This will help you reach your goals and feel energetic in the process.

Health Baking Substitutions

Today is New Years EVE! If you’ve got some baking still to do, try swapping some of these ingredients out for your usual flours, fats, oils!

Healthy Baking Hacks:

Almond flour- High protein!
You will have to add additional eggs as a binder (start with one and play it by ear).
*Add a LITTLE bit of extra rising agent (Baking Powder/Soda) to help account for added weight & density. Swapping for almond flour may be a little trial & error.

Coconut flour- Very trial & error
1/4-1/3 cup for every 1 cup all-purpose flour
*You will have to add additional eggs as a binder (one egg for every 1/4c) and 1:1 additional liquid to flour.

Oat flour- Slower digesting (so you’ll feel full longer)!
I recommend partial replacement (1/4c for cookies or bread).

Wheat flour- Provides more fiber!
1/2-3/4 c whole wheat flour ~ 1 c white flour
*I recommend only subbing half the amount of flour needed for wheat flour.

Coconut Sugar- My favorite “sugary” substitute

Honey – LOW on the glycemic index! No sugar “crash.”
1/2 – 2/3 cup of honey for 1 cup sugar
*Subtract 1/4 cup of liquid for every 1 cup of honey
*Add 1/4 tsp baking soda for every 1 cup of honey

Ripe Banana- Great for bread/muffins (but not a great low-calorie sub)
*Reduce the liquid 1/4 cup

Unsweetened apple sauce- Saves a ton of calories!
*Reduce the liquid by 1/4 cup

Applesauce- 1:1
*Reduce the liquid by 1/4 cup

Banana- Great for bread/muffins (but not a great low-calorie sub)
*Reduce the liquid 1/4 cup

Nut butter- 1:1
If what you’re working with seems too thick, add a little milk or water.

Happy Baking! I wish you all a VERY happy & HEALTHY 2020!

QC&E (Quick, Cheap, & Easy): Faux Cheesecake

Alright Ladies & Gentleman, 
Tonight I’m sharing with you a QC&E (quick, cheap, and easy) get out of jail free card-kind of recipe. You DON’T have to go to your next social gathering empty handed!
You can bring this Faux Cheesecake with you!
This “cheesecake” is perfect if you’re short on time or just plain lazy. It’s so versatile and light that people will want to eat it (even if it’s not as gorgeous as a traditional cheesecake) and they won’t feel stuffed afterward!

You can swap many of these ingredients out for vegan options or different flavors but I’m going to “make” a chocolate peppermint cheesecake! You can also make this as “healthy” as you’d like by using reduced fat/fat free graham crackers, milk (although this may affect the setting process), and whipped cream.

You’ll need: a 9 x 9 (or 9 x 13) pan.
🔹Chocolate graham crackers

🔹8 Oz cream cheese (or cottage cheese for extra protein)
🔹1 cup cold milk
🔹1 box cheesecake pudding mix

🔹8 oz (or a little extra) cool whip

🔹Pie filling or topping of choice (candy canes!)

1. Break the graham crackers down to your preference (so completely) or just enough to fit into your pan and lay out 1 layer. *I don’t recommend using crumbs bc the slices will crumble after it softens and won’t serve well!
2. Blend cream cheese/cottage cheese until smooth. 
3. Add milk
4. Add pudding mix
5. FOLD in whipped cream
6. Add filling or topping to the top!
7. Refrigerate for a few hours until graham cracker crust is soft (or over night). AND your done! And everyone will love it! And you can play it off like you were just trying to save them a stomach ache instead of fessing up to being a bum! 
If you make this tell me how it went and what flavors you chose! *side note: you can also use nilla-wafers and banana cream pudding mix and make it in little single size cups for banana pudding!

My Experience w/Meal Prep/Kit Companies

First of all, I’d like to apologize for being MIA. I’m sure the situation doesn’t actually warrant an apology, and I’m worrying over nothing. Still, I fully intended to be present and provide you with information and recipes for the last couple of weeks.

  Unfortunately, the move from Hawaii to Kansas was more difficult than I could have anticipated. 

But, with the NEW YEAR quickly approaching (are you a New Years Resolutioner?), you may be looking for ways to improve your health and wellness that are convenient and fit your lifestyle. 

Our 1st Blue Apron Meal in the Kansas house (& my favorite so far)!

 SO I thought I would discuss a few of the meal prep/planning companies I’ve used previously and a few that are on my radar. 

*If you’d like me to review a specific meal prep company, please comment on this post, and I’ll make a separate (or more thorough post). 

 The following companies are listed based on my first to most recent experience. 

Fuel Meals: My first experience with a meal prep company was WAYYYY back in January of 2015. I initially explored this company because they delivered to where I would be TDY for a six-week military training course. It’s been nearly five years since I’ve tried their service, but I do remember being pretty satisfied with their clean food/“bro diet” meals. Like 7/10 (which is honestly as satisfied as I can get on a “bro diet.” 

 They’ve changed their website and now offer meal services based on meal plans (and for various dietary preferences to include keto), which is excellent. Additionally, Fuel Meals allow you to order by the pound, which could be helpful during a bulk or in a large family. Their price range is $7-$13 dollars per meal plus shipping, and they offer a 10% discount for making your order a weekly subscription. I’m sure SO MUCH has changed in the last five years for this company, so go ahead and check them out if you’re looking for a meal prep service that delivered food right to your door! 

Good Clean Food: This company is a local Hawaii Company providing Paleo/ Whole30/Plant Based/Keto and Clean food meals. The company uses local ingredients, and they’re not your typical food. Meal Prices range from $10-$15, and meals are delivered (up to twice a week) to a local refrigerator (located in CrossFit gyms across the island). I tried Good Clean Food in 2016 when I was pregnant and unfortunately struggled with the higher-fat meals. I also found the pickup to be a little inconvenient as I wasn’t apart of a CrossFit gym at that time, so picking up my meals at a convent time was a little bit of a struggle (schedule-wise). If you’re on Oahu and you’re looking for a meal prep company (and you don’t have intolerances to higher fat diets), check them out!


Bite Meals: Bite meals was the first meal prep company I used after having Addison (early 2017). I was looking to stock my fridge and freezer with healthy and quick meals. My first two deliveries were incredible, but my husband felt like it wasn’t enough food, so we ended up eating out a lot, which made ordering meals a little wasteful. I’ll say that flavor-wise, there wasn’t a meal I didn’t like. Bite Meals also change their menu pretty frequently, which I thoroughly enjoyed (especially their Thanksgiving meals that year). They came with scratch-off tickets that gave you discounts on your future order. I actually even attempted a second run at Bite Meals and noticed I experienced more issues with shipping (and damaged containers/meals) than I had before. I wouldn’t call this a foul on the company because I honestly never reported the issues to them. I also watched a Youtube video by Registered Dietician Kara Corey (https://youtu.be/mOVNFTYuXgc) about Bite Meals macros, possibly being inconsistent with food weight (which is a risk you assume anytime you eat out or don’t prep your food). This video, combined with the understandable but extremely expensive shipping costs were why I decided to end my subscription. I’m sure many things have changed since I was subscribed to Bite Meals, so please feel free to check them out (and their recent reviews) if you’re looking for a meal prep company! 


Blue Apron: Prepping for this move (obviously we’re in the present now), I decided that I wanted to try Blue Apron. This was my first meal KIT delivery service, but I wanted to try my hand at cooking out of the box (but healthy) meals for my family. I purchased the three meal-four serving plan, which breaks down to about $33 per meal and $8 (+ some change) per serving. So far, Blue Apron has been my favorite experience because it forces me to do something I enjoy (cooking). If that becomes a little too challenging to schedule in, then I can hold or chance my subscription to better fit my needs. 

 I’ve cooked 4 Blue Apron meals so far, and they’ve all been delicious. In fact, the very first meal I made was the one pictured (we were too hungry to take pictures of the plated food…. SORRY). It was incredible despite having made it without oil/butter/or cooking spray. It’s that easy that even though I didn’t have some of the extra but naturally necessary ingredients, it still came out tasting great. The meal ingredients come in their own, individually labeled bag, and each meal comes with a recipe chart. My experience so far has been great, and I look forward to continuing this subscription (even if it’s only a weekend dinner type thing). 


BUT, there are a LOT of other meal PREP companies out there.

 A few that I’ve heard great things about are: 

Clean Eatz:

 This is a company I’ve recently seen “blow up” on social media by a bunch of East Coasters. This North Carolina based company provides catering, cafe pickup, and shipping to your door. I haven’t tried them, but if I did do another review (for blog’s sake), I’d order from this company. All of their meal plans have five stars, start as low as $8, and you may be eligible for free shipping. If you’re ordering a meal plan online, it doesn’t look like you get to choose your specific meals. That would honestly be a deterrent for me, and I read a few reviews from users who found that to be a little frustrating as well. No one wants to pay for a meal they don’t/won’t eat. 

  I assume the service /options are better if you live near a Clean Eatz cafe, so check them out and see if there’s a cafe near you. 

 Icon Meals: 

 I heard about Icon Meals from some “influencers” on social media that I admire. I’ve even considered trying this company out previously because the majority of people I’ve seen that have tried them have raved about them (yes, some unsponsored individuals as well). The only reason I haven’t tried this company before is that they’re just a little too high-calorie for my dietary preferences. I like to eat throughout the day and not over “spend” calories or macros on one specific meal. But if you’re bulking or prefer to eat only a few meals a day, I’ve heard their meals are on point in the flavor department. 


Oats, Oats, Oats: Whats the difference?

If you’re like me when you’re wandering down the cereal aisle (before you get distracted by delicious, high-sugar cereals like Lucky Charms or Cinnamon Toast Crunch), you see dozens of boxes of oatmeal. You have wondered, “Which one of these 500 boxes is the healthiest but will taste a little better than cardboard”?”.

Well, I’ve done a little research into oats (and honestly was a little shocked at what I discovered). 

There are only TWO types of oats. Steel-cut and Rolled. Nearly every other “oatmeal” is a more processed variation of one of these two. 

 But for the sake of this discussion, I’m going to break down the two types AND instant oatmeal (because if you’re eating for convenience, you need to know what you’re eating).


 Harvested by removing the stalks & hulls from the kernel (this is known as OAT GROAT) and then cut with a sharp blade. 


 More coarse therefore they’re chewier and more filling

Old Fashioned: 

 Rolled oats 

 Most common type of oats

 Made by steaming oat groats and flattening them. 

 Reduced cooking time (5 min)

 Stays fresher longer


 PRECOOKED-then dried (YUCK)

 Lots of added sugar/sodium

 Lower nutritional value 

My favorite oats:


Great bc they’re not heated at all, so they hold all of their original nutritional value. 

You can make them ANY FLAVOR.

One of my favorite overnight oat “recipes”:


1/2 c oats

1/4 c almond milk (unsweetened/vanilla)

1/4 c water (or enough to barely cover the oats)


 1/3 c Greek Gods Strawberry or Honey Greek yogurt 

  • 4 sliced strawberries 
  • 1 Tbs peanut butter


 1/3 c plain Greek yogurt 

  • 2 Tbs Bonne Moman Wild Blueberry preserve
  • 2 Tbs Graham Cracker crumbs


1/3 c fruity pebbles (YUM) or your favorite cereal (ADD at meal time for a crunch)

If you have a great overnight oats recipe, feel free to comment it and I’ll try it out!
Happy eating!

Did Someone Say Chocolate Chip?

Since hotel living is about as excellent as I expected (Spoiler alert: It’s not my favorite time ever), I can’t exactly give you an original recipe this week, BUT I’ve got something tried-true, and TASTY for you instead:
One of my favorite cookie recipes EVER. I can’t count how many times I’ve made these cookies and have had nearly every eater come back for a handful or ask me for the recipe. Maybe some of you have had these cookies and are one of the people I’m talking about!
Well, I’m sharing it with you!

This cookie recipe is my go-to, and if I want something seasonal, I just cut the amount of chocolate chips by 1/4 (hehe I love chocolate) and add in peppermint kisses, chocolate chunks, or candy such as m&ms.

The key to this recipe, though, is what Buddy Valastro mentions in his book, which is if you’re using chocolate, use HIGH QUALITY chocolate. It truly makes all the difference.

If you make these for an upcoming party/holiday event, let me know what you think and if you modified them at all!

Makes 24 cookies:
1 c unsalted butter (softened)
1 c sugar
1/2 c light-brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt (fine)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 extra large eggs
2 & 1/2 c of all-purpose flour
2 & 1/2 c of chocolate chips
*I’ll be honest here: I’ve nearly doubled this amount before so put what you want in the batch.

Preheat over to 350 (F).
Using an electric mixer (and paddle attachment) mix the following at medium speed (about 2 min):
Brown Sugar
Baking Soda
While the mixer is still on, add the eggs one at a time. After both eggs are fully incorporated, begin slowly adding the flour and mix until the ingredients look well… like dough.
Add your chocolate chips (or extras) and mix in the blender OR fold them in. It’s up to you.

Bake time is 13-15 minutes (TRUST ME).
The Cake Boss Cookbook specifically warns about leaving the cookies in for more than 15 minutes, even if they look undercooked. Allow them to cool on a cooling rack for about 20 minutes and BAM… you’re ready to gain 5 pounds because they’re just so dang good.

Head on over to the Cake Boss website if you want more AMAZING recipes (or you can even sign up for classes) and hit up Amazon and purchase one of his incredible cookbooks. This one is called “Cake Boss: Stories and Recipes from Mia Famiglia,” but I also have “Baking with the Cake Boss,” and I love them both.

Valastro, B. (2011). Cake Boss: Stories and Recipes from Mia Famiglia. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

Healthy Eating?!

What does that even mean?

It’s the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (so, so sad), and you’re probably either finished with your leftover turkey and stuffing, or you’re staring down the last remaining traces of your holiday meal. Either way, I hope you had an incredible holiday with good food, great company, tons of laughs, and the opportunity to make memories you’ll cherish until you’re old enough to be excused for forgetting things!

You may have overdone it in the eating department (womp womp womp), or you may wish you’d eaten and enjoyed more, but you were worried about the impact your Thanksgiving meal would have on your progress.

*If the latter is you, that’s a topic I’ll try and touch on in an upcoming post.

Whether you under-ate, ate just enough, are still eating, or are contemplating avoiding food until January 1st, I want to “discuss” healthy eating for a moment.

You may be immediately “turned off” by the words healthy eating, thinking of dry chicken breast, egg whites, chalky protein shakes, lots of spinach, or some other food that is entirely dissatisfying to you. BUT I’m here to bring you some good news:

Healthy eating is unique to your body and your lifestyle.

*Because newsflash, if you aren’t eating according to the above-your “diet” won’t make you feel good and won’t properly fuel your body.

So as a welcome to The Crumb Corner (blog) and Crumbs with Crystall (Instagram) I’d like to present you with a simple and hopefully informative post on healthy eating. In my personal and professional opinion, a healthy diet can be defined as a pattern of eating that focuses on the consumption of energy balancing food/nutrient-dense foods. Essentially, this means that eating healthy provides your body with all of the essential nutrients for optimal function for your health and energy needs. What this looks like in my mind is consuming quality proteins (fish, lean beef, chicken, eggs), carbohydrates (oats, whole grains, veggies and fruits), and fats (avocados, dairy, nuts/seeds), while moderately consuming solid fats & foods with added sugar aka: ICE CREAM!

Some, including myself, may find the idea of “healthy eating” and still reaching their goals challenging especially because of our vast diet experience. If you’re like me, you may have attempted low carbohydrate diets, high fat diet, restrictive diets, intuitive eating diets, macronutrient focused diets and calorie counting diets. Some or all may have worked for us. Still, if we weren’t simultaneously “eating healthy,” we may have experienced lethargy, headaches, trouble sleeping, excessive mood swings, and many other not so great symptoms. Additionally, our diet (and diet attempts) may have negatively impacted our body image and confidence, our mental health, and maybe even our friends, family, and coworkers.

But I’m here today, in an effort to spark a flame inside of you that consumes your negative idea of “healthy eating” and burns it to ash. There’s so much more to you than what you eat, how much you weigh, how much you can lift, how long you can run, and how great you do or don’t look in a bathing suit. I want to remind you that your body is the only vessel you have in this life. Keeping it healthy keeps you here, walking and talking, laughing and crying, lifting and running (yuck), awake and asleep, chasing around that toddler, and hanging with your friends. AND guess what… you don’t have to run yourself ragged doing those things.

Now that the pep talk is over let’s jump to some facts. All of the information I know about dieting/nutrition is either from experience or my certifications through the AFPA. Before starting a diet or even taking my advice, feel free to do your own research. Your needs are as unique as you are!

To give you a bit of information on what you should be looking for in your “diet” (generally speaking) See the below paragraph, but if you’re looking for more of a pep talk… go ahead and skip it!

If you know your BMR/desired caloric intake, apply the following information. If you don’t know that information or would like assistance determining that, please email me at the address at the end of this post.

Your appropriate caloric intake for your body, age, gender, level of activity, etc., should be broken down like this:

Carbohydrates should make up 45-65% of your total calories (also, there is some science in 55-70% carbohydrate balance for athletes, but that’s really dependent on the athlete and their sport). Now I realize that I’ve probably lost you and you’re probably freaking out BUT… Carbohydrates are your body’s primary source of energy AND are the body’s preferred energy source. Read that again. Not only are carbs your body’s primary source of fuel for function, but they also play a CRITICAL role in brain function.

Carbohydrates provide half of the fuel used by your muscles and tissue (fat offers the other half). If you’ve ever been on a low carb diet (lower than 130g), you may have experienced “brain fog,” which can be an indicator that you aren’t consuming enough carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are also critical to blood sugar levels and hypo/hyperglycemia. Symptoms you may experience if you’re not eating the right carbs, at the right time, or eat too many at one time and your blood sugar spikes or dips, you may get shaky and feel weak. If you believe you may have medical concerns regarding carbohydrate processing or your blood sugar, I suggest you see your doctor.

Fats are another important food group. Fats are essential for transporting nutrients through the bloodstream and should make up 20-35% of your calories. It’s important to know that 1g of fat is nine calories, while carbohydrates and protein are only four calories per gram) so they can quickly put you in a caloric surplus if you’re not monitoring them. This is why you may have heard the advice to skip the salad dressing or only eat the egg white. BUT they’re essential to your body! Just be choosey! Pick the right ones and monitor your intake. If you’re cutting fats out of your diet, you may find you’re always hungry. Fats help aid in satiety, so don’t be afraid to add some healthy ones to your meal! There are two types of fat: saturated and unsaturated. Both are ok, but mindful consume solid fats (hydrogenated oils, butter, etc.).

And the last macronutrient: Protein! My gosh, there are so many rumors about protein floating around. One of which is why I decided to start this blog. YOU DO NOT NEED 1g of protein per POUND of body weight. GOODNESS. That’s absurd. If you don’t work out (that’s totally ok, no judgment here!), you likely only need .8-1.2g per 2.2 pounds. If you’re an athlete, that range is increased to roughly 1.2-2g per 2.2 pounds. That could mean you may be happy and healthy, consuming only 100g of protein. The key here is that you’re consuming what is right for your body and lifestyle. Individuals consuming protein lower than what their body needs will likely have trouble recovering from workouts, and individuals consuming too much protein will have issues with digestion (ick).

If you’re not into calorie or macronutrient counting and you want to just eat healthy, that’s great too! Some guidelines to follow are: eat a variety of foods, focus on nutrient-dense and whole-grain sources, and eat quality protein. While protein bars, pasta, and cheesecake technically cover your “macronutrients,” make sure you’re eating the right amount of unprocessed foods. Since you’re not tracking your diet, it’s extremely easy to eat in a caloric surplus by consuming lots of processed foods! Practice moderation (and yes, I know this is a struggle… one I face daily LOL).

If you take anything from this, please know that your body requires YOU to take care of it so that it can take care of you (and so you can take care of others). It needs carbohydrates (yes, the good kind), it needs fat, it needs protein, it needs essential vitamins and minerals, and it needs a healthy mind. Just because you’re in a caloric surplus (to gain weight) or a deficit (to lose weight), doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your health.

If you’d like to discuss what healthy eating may look like for you, please email me at nutritionwcrystall@yahoo.com!


There are places in your life for dieting (regardless of diet choice i.e., IIFYM, Paleo, Keto). This post isn’t to bash the idea of dieting, but instead to help relieve some possible pressure to only diet for your goals (i.e., your ideal body, weightless, whatever) and remind you that it’s ok to diet for your health.

Also, in this post, I am not referring to athletes participating in sports that can require dietary/exercise extremes or aesthetic bodybuilding competitions. This is not within my wheelhouse and will not be something I likely discuss, so please keep in mind that my intention for my posts may not apply.

Introductions make me nervous…

But breakfast doesn’t!

Hi! Welcome to the Crumb Corner. If you know me, you can absolutely go ahead and skip this post! If you don’t, please let me take a minute to introduce myself.

I’m Crystall, an aircraft engine mechanic, toddler mom, student, and AFPA Certified Nutrition Counselor. I’ve earned two certifications in Health and Wellness and also Sports Nutrition (I hope to enroll in the AFPA Youth Nutrition Specialist course next year). What that means is that I’m currently qualified to give nutritional advice to both athletes and non-athletes with specific goals and also for those just looking to make healthier choices! And that’s what I’m here to do!!!!

I’ve been certified for nearly one year, but my love for nutrition (and food) started when I was much younger. I’m a foodie with a mouth full of sweet teeth, but health is important to me. I come from a family riddled with nutritionally related illnesses, many of whom have improved their health by making realistic and maintainable changes to their diet. How inspiring is that?!

I realize you can’t answer that, so I’ll just get on with it.

What my goal is in this blog, is to positively impact at least one person to make a more educated or positive decision to improve their health and feel better in their body. My motto in terms of nutrition and counseling is that everyone’s needs are as unique as they are, and I give advice with that in mind.

What you can expect from me are informative posts (and maybe a few recipes) on various nutrition-related topics ranging from food choices, the benefits of specific vitamins, to moderation, and my love of Swiss Rolls.

All of the information you’ll find here was learned from the pursuit of my certifications or life and dieting experience, but I ALWAYS recommend doing your own research. Never jump into anything blindly if it could put your health at risk.

Anyway, thank you for coming by. I hope you enjoy your future reads.

And if you have any questions or would like a personalized nutrition consultation, feel free to email me at nutritonwcrystall@yahoo.com!