Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Clean Eats: Fast Food Edition

  Everyone by now, knows I'm a firm believer in putting only clean healthy foods into your body. For me its easy. I'm organized and make all my meals on Sunday and have them in tupperware and ready to go for each day. But there are times I forget to grab my meals in the morning or on the weekends I'm running errands and need to eat and do not have my snacks with me. On such occasions I usually have been grabbing a low carb, no sugar(made with honey) protein shake from Smoothie King. To which I have been addicted to since I was in middle school in Texas. Having them in Tennessee has been a God sent especially when I'm sick and can't get food down or keep it down. These are perfect and get my body the fuel and nutrition it needs. That being said you do need to be aware that they do have smoothies that are not as healthy for you and are more for indulgence. There are days I want something other than a smoothie to fuel me up, my solution, Panera. That's right! Panera Breads!!!! They have come out with a new line of foods geared towards us health nuts and clean eating freaks. Finally! Someone is getting the bigger picture and jumping on that band wagon in the food industry. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably have seen my post of these "bowls". I'm obsessed with them and all their goodness.
    I came across these bowls around Christmas time when I ran in to get something for breakfast as a "treat" meal. I saw this little sign by the register advertising for breakfast Power Bowls, I was hooked! I haven't seen any advertising for these items until I came across an article about their secret menu. Why the hell is it a secret? I have no clue. I believe if they advertised it more and made it known, more and more people would order them. Hence, why I'm dedicating a whole blog post to it! In the hopes that you, my friends and consumers will start eating them. Also, to start a  frenzy so they will actually have these on the menu full time and visible, no less. These bowls are created with out carbs in the form of bread aka. GLUTEN! They are packed full of nutrition and protein and on top of that taste freaking amazing, unlike anything I've ever had at Panera. Here is a link to the article from their website along with the menu. I have also posted pictures of the menu and my pictures of the items I've ordered off the menu. Enjoy! And hey go try one, you will be amazed at how good they really are.

     I personally have had both breakfast bowls and they are both amazing! I favor the turkey one with roasted turkey, spinach, egg whites, roasted red pepper and basil pesto to top it off. YUM! The other breakfast option is a take on a southwest omelet with steak, over easy eggs, tomatoes, avocado and topped with salsa.

    The third bowl I have tried is off their Lunch/Dinner menu, The Power Chicken Hummus Bowl. I have yet to try the other three but I love this one!!!!! Its is made with spinach, tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, roasted Antibiotic-free chicken and topped with cilantro jalapeno hummus and a lemon. I love hummus, no I'm obsessed with it! So I lean towards this one but the other bowls look amazing too.These recipes are pretty simple to recreate at home and I have on many occasions. The ingredient list is on the website in the link above and for the bowls they just top them with fresh squeezed lemon juice. So simple!

    Be sure to stop by your local Panera and give these a try, eating healthy and fast has never looked or tasted sooooo good! And be sure to check out all the links!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Clean Eating Pet

Gunner and Shelby
    You are probably asking your self, "What the hell?" Well as I have been researching dog food and the harmful effects it has on my pets I wanted to be sure that I'm feeding the most natural thing they can eat. Having lost two dogs to cancer over the years there is a direct link with feeding them table scraps (in the form of processed foods and candy) and processed dog food. After listening to a few fellow schutzhund goers in my group that they feed their dog a raw diet I was intrigued! Most high end breeders and showers feed their dogs this and for a reason. It the closest thing to them eating in the wild and it provides raw enzymes along with other important nutrients that are left out or cooked out in regular dog food. So I decided to do some digging on the benefits and reasons for feeding your dog raw. Be sure you weigh your options but I thoroughly enjoy cooking so this was up my alley plus I'm controlling what is in.
The Reasons:
1. The fist and most important reason for me was their teeth!!! I can't afford to pay to get all three of my dogs teeth cleaned twice a year at $300.00 per dog! I do brush and us an enzyme plaque busting gel on them every week. Feeding raw helps their teeth stay white and rid them of plaque, most of the plaque build up is from dry dog food and the products they use to keep the food together during drying, aka. preservatives. I have a rule if you wouldn't eat it or feed it to your kids why give it to the dog?

2. The second most important to me, their breath becomes odorless. This is because of their digestion becoming more normal and easier to digest the food and to process it quickly. Most of the products I put in it help aid in digestion, breath and other stomach issues. They systems are way more delicate than ours.

3. Brilliant and shiny fur/hair and skin. ever notice some dogs just stink, like German Shepherds? Gunner no longer has that weird oily smell, as I can describe it best. It also helps keep shedding to a minimum.

4. Better digestion and passing. A huge benefit is that you don't need to have their anal glands cleaned out cause when they eat this way it bulks their poop up and the result is a suppressed gland in exit.

5. Weight control!!!!!! This is the most biological identical appropriate diet for your dog and they use all the calories that are in it so there is no waste, and you will also notice their poop is smaller too because of this.

6. They are sick less, this is due to a lot of things aka, CARBS: corn, wheat, grain and other byproducts and fillers that they can not digest and can't process these foods so it passes through them or they throw up. Feeding them raw eliminates this.

7. Cost, this can be more expensive or cheaper depending upon where and what you put into it. I is half of what I was paying a month for premium organic dry dog food and they love it even more.

    As with everything do the research for your self because what works for one doesn't always work for them all and usually the results take a month or two to see a noticeable difference. I purchase my grind at Nashville Pet Product, they place a monthly order of 40 lbs. for me. A grind is a mixture of meat, organ meat and bones all things your pet needs and would have ate in the wild and it's all organic of course.

10 - Tubes of Blue Ridge Beef Grind - 2lb. each
1 - whole Salmon Filet (I usually find this at Costco, it's a pretty huge piece not the typical small filet. It's about 16 inches in length)
2 - bunches of kale
16 - carrots
4 - green apples or any apples
2 - 12 oz package of fresh blueberries (I also get these at Costco due to them being the same price as one small pint at the regular grocery store)
2 - bunches of parsley
4 - cans of organic unsweetened pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling
4 - roasted sweet potatoes
12 - whole eggs, boiled (shell and all)
1/2 cup - Coconut Oil
1/2 cup  - Flax Seed Oil

    I run all the ingredients through a food process in batches except for the beef, this insures that everything will be in a small edible bites for the dogs and will get mixed evenly into the mix. I dump all the ingredients into a large bowl and add the beef and oil. Make sure you mix and incorporate all the ingredients well. I portion out the food into plastic bags for each meal. My German Shepherd will eat two cups for each meal so he will eat a total of four cups per day. My Yorkie girls will eat 1/4 cup for each meal so 1/2 cup per day. This will last me 2 to 3 weeks. Be sure you freeze them all after packaging and be sure to take some out the night before for the day of serving. Please if you have any questions let me know. You can mix this up and add papaya, broccoli, spinach, strawberries or raspberries. I just compiled my ingredients from a few websites I searched and if you dog gets really constipated or even has the runs give them a scoop of pumpkin, this is a miracle saver for poop issues in dogs and it settles their stomachs. You can also add in some vitamins and supplements too. My favorites are: coconut oil, flax seed oil, fish oil, probiotic for dog, Bragg's Nutritional Yeast, Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar, Solid Gold Sea Meal, Solid Gold D-Zyme.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Gluten/Celiac Disease


    I'm getting a lot of questions about gluten and noticing that a lot of you are trying to cut it out. Well if your on the fence about gluten let me lay out some reason to cut it out on a trial basis. I challenge you to cut it out for 30 days to see if you notice a difference even though you  might not see the full difference, which means cutting it out for 6 months! Yes, 6 months! This is due to how gluten breaks down in the body and how we store it.  Like most of you who are lactose intolerant you will find you are also gluten intolerant and its only a matter of time before your body completely rejects gluten all together due to the over storage of it your body. That rejection is know as Celiac's Disease. Celiac's Disease affects 1 in 133 people, that's a lot and I'm sure a lot of them don't even know. Not sure if you have Celiac's or even a Gluten Intolerance, here is a list of symptoms to keep a look for and to see if any of these go away after giving up Gluten for those 30 days or 6 months if your a warrior! As with everything please do your own research on this too and ask your doctor! The test for Celiac's is a simple blood test.

Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance:
Skin Issues, including rashes, breakouts and more
Brain fog
Joint Pain (gluten is a known inflammatory!)
Numbness in your extremities
Constant Bloating and Gas
Asthma - gluten has been linked to this a along with Celiac's Disease

Symptoms of Celiac's Disease:
Attacks your immune system (specifically your small intestine, this results in intestinal damage, Celiac disease is also associated with other autoimmune conditions, including autoimmune thyroid disease and type 1 diabetes. ) 
Smelly Diarrhea
Constant Abdominal Pain
Abdominal Bloating with Gas
Can Develop: pancreatitis or gallbladder disease 
Endocrine System Issues (Fertility) _ it's linked to thyroid and infertility issues
Joint and Bone Pain: Linked with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis 

See the Website Link below for six signs you might have a gluten intolerance.

Six common symptoms of gluten intolerance

(1) Obviously, there are gastrointestinal (GI), stomach, and digestive problems. These can include one or some of the following: Gas, bloating, queasiness, abdominal cramping, constipation, diarrhea, or an alternating combination of both - IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).

(2) Headaches and/or migraines.

(3) Fibromyalgia is not a disease, it's a syndrome. Getting a medical diagnosis is bogus. You don't need to be told you have muscular and connecting tissue aches and pains. That's what fibromyalgia means. Fibro= Connective Tissue; Myo= Muscle; Algia= Pain. Thus fibromyalgia.

(4) Emotional issues involving chronic irritability and sudden, irrational mood shifts.

(5) Neurological issues, including dizziness, difficulty balancing, and peripheral neuropathy affecting nerves outside the central nervous system and resulting in pain, weakness, tingling or numbness in the extremities.

(6) Fatigue, whether chronic or almost after every meal. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is, like fibromyalgia, a syndrome, not a disease. If that's what you're diagnosed with, it means your doctor can't locate the cause of your fatigue.

Yes, all of these symptoms are common to other health issues and diseases. That's why symptoms alone as a diagnosis is perplexing.
    Fixing this is so easy! But most of you are shuttering at the thought of giving up carbs in the form of bread, pastas, cookies, cakes and other flour based products. Trust me, I know how hard this is. Being a daughter of a Czech/Polish/Russian mother who grew up in a Italian community we ate pastas all the time! There are solutions to these problems. First don't tell your self its going to be hard because then your setting your self up for failure, your mind is a very powerful thing and you can over come anything as long as you put your mind to it. Second, is it worth it? Seriously sit down and ask yourself this question. Is it worth stuffing your face with a poison or ridding your body of it and loosing a crap ton of weight at the same time? I'll take the latter! I have given up gluten and it was easy, but I had tools and did a ton of research to find out what I can replace in my house. I will save you the trouble and actually list and link the products to help make the switch easy and delicious. Now I know some of these products are going to cost more but it's worth it. I will tell you every once in a while and that is like once a month, I will have a slice of baguette with some really good brie on it or make a pasta dish with whole wheat pasta. But after I consume it I feel horrible and my whole body breaks out. I seriously look like a 12 year old going through puberty again! Yuck! Ask my friends they have seen and heard me complain about it. There are some times I miss it but all in all its so worth it and in this day and age its so easy to find replacement products!

What to AVOID:
Barley (including Malt flavoring and Malt Vinegar)
Durum Flour
Graham Flour
    And any foods made with these products, unless they are marked gluten-free, including: Beer (if you want an adult beverage drink wine or hard alcohol not made with rye or barley), breads, cakes and pies, candies, cereals, cookies and crackers, croutons, french fries (yes, a lot of places batter them in flour before frying! so ask!), gravies (thickening agent), matzo, pastas, processed lunch meats (this is what helps make the meat stay together and slimy, yummy right!), salad dressings, seasoned rice mixes, seasoned snack foods, self basting poultry, frozen vegetables in sauce.

Some great alternatives for food swaps:
Flours for baking, sauces and more:
Oat Flour, Quinoa Flour, Cup 4 Cup (my personal favorite cause it cooks like flour and it can be used in anything!), Buckwheat Flour, Flax Flour, Almond Flour, Millet Flour, Rice Flour. I buy most of these on Vitacost and purchase Bob's Red Mill brand. This brand makes a ton of Gluten- Free Mixes, like for bread, pizza crust and even pancakes. I use the pancake/waffle one a lot!

Udi's is one of the only few Gluten-Free products I have been able to find outside of the Whole Foods Market in major grocery stores like Kroger. Food for Life, aka Ezekiel Bread also makes Gluten-Free but you will have to ask your grocery store to order some, if they already carry the brand it's easier for them to order it. I love love love their products.
If making your own, use Cup 4 Cup or oat flour, if you need to add some elasticity to it add some xanthan flour. I have tried a ton of Gluten-Free pastas and my favorites are the Quinoa and Rice versions. They are very similar to the wheat pasta textures and wont disintegrate on you after cooking.

Believe it or not there is Gluten-Free beers and here is a list: The Alchemist, Celia Saison; Green's Gluten Free Beer, Endeavor; Sprecher Brewing Co., Shakparo Ale; Estrella Damm, Daura; Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales, Tweason'Ale; Omission Beer, Lager; Harvester Fresh Hop, IPA; Epic Brewing Company, Glutenator; New Planet Gluten Free Beer, Raspberry Ale; Lakefront Brewery, New Grist; Brad's Craft, Sorghum Beer

    If you have any questions always consult your doctor and get tested! You never know if you could have Celiac's and its a simple fix. Try the challenge and leave me feed back on your results.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Weekly Bites: Lunch

Strawberry Spinach Salad

I have been obsessed with berries, always have been, always will! So I decided to take a favorite salad I get out to eat and clean it up. I use organic spinach that I got from Costco at $4.00 for a huge container. I also got a huge flat of strawberries there along with goat cheese. I love goat cheese and usually use this and Parmesan cheese as my go to cheese. Costco has an amazing deal on two huge logs of goat cheese for the price of one log of goat cheese that you would find at Kroger or Publix. I also make my own salad dressing and I make enough to last me for one week. Now for the recipe!

2 - large handfuls of spinach
5 - sliced strawberries
1 - Small Slice of goat cheese crumbles
1/2 - Avocado sliced

I just toss everything into a large bowl and spoon dressing over usually 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of dressing. Feel free to add a lean protein such as shrimp, salmon or chicken. Steak would even be delicious.

Homemade Bragg's Dressing:
2/3 cup of grape seed oil
1/3 cup of Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar 
3 Tablespoons of Bragg's Nutritional Yeats
1 Tablespoon of honey
1/2 Teaspoon of black pepper, garlic and onion powder

I put all the ingredients into a salad dressing shaker and shake it to mix it together. Store in the fridge for to a month. Recipe can be doubled and tripled depending upon how often you use it.

Salsa Chicken 

Salsa chicken is a main stay in my kitchen. I make it once a week every week as it has a million different uses. Make tacos, enchiladas, salads, power bowls, even omelets. Being from Houston, TX I'm a Mexican food junkie! I eat it out and cook a lot of Tex-Mex and Mexican foods, even my own corn tortillas. This recipe is so easy and its a budget friendly item! This will cost you under $ 10.00 and can feed up to four for a week. Or if your like me I eat it for my mid-morning, mid-afternoon snack and with my lunches. Oh! and it's made in the crock-pot! Hello!!!! Mother's out there, it's easy!

1 - value pack of chicken, this is usually 6 - 7 chicken breast. (either Kroger or Publix)
1 - full jar of salsa, I use Arrbia Garlic and Cilantro Salsa or Frontera Double Roasted Tomato Salsa
1 - packet of McCormick Fajita Seasoning (I know weird a "processed food" but it is MSG free and I haven't found anything else that taste as good and I'm working on a better recipe)

Put everything into a crock-pot before you go to bed with the setting on low. In the morning you have perfect pull apart chicken. I usually portion it out into my grab and go containers. I also eat a half of an avocado with it and fresh squeezed limes.

Till next time stay motivated and remember you can do anything you set your mind too! Eat healthy and drink a crap ton of water people!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Just the Rules

My hero and eat clean mentor via her blogs, Tosca Reno has just put a free version of her Eat Clean Just the Rules on her blog to download! Did I mention it's free!!!!!! Check it out at the link above!
This book was an integral part of how I eat today. Please be sure to download and read it.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

How to Eat

    In the past few blog posts, I've gone over what to take and why along with some basic principles of eating clean. Now we will go over your eating habits and why this is the most important thing to focus on. Nutrition is not only key but is futile to achieve the body you have always wanted. I know this is hard for some of you but that is only because you have been eating junk for too long and its the only thing your body wants. Or your excuse is, "it's to expensive to eat healthy". That's a load of bull crap!!!! I eat healthy and on a budget, yes shopping at Kroger, Publix, VitaCost and Costco. I only shop at Whole Foods for my specialty items no one else has and for their awesome chicken and meat sales!! Once a month they have chicken on sale for $1.19 a pound!!!! People I don't just buy for the week I try to buy for the month and freeze what I don't use for that week. When you do not feed your body what it needs it will constantly be hungry and you will be constantly feeding it the junk that makes you fat and unhealthy. This is a deadly and dangerous cycle and it can be broken. Like before, I recommend that you do a cleanse to rid your body of all the toxins, byproducts and sugar these previous foods contained. This helps to break the chain that' s binding you to these foods. I also recommend you completely switch over to water and water only with the exception of coffee and teas only sweetened with non sugar products that do not contain aspartame. These include coconut sugar (my personal favorite), stevia, agave nectar, honey, real maple syrup and nectresse. The reason why I say no aspartame is because this is a by product of e-coli, yes the deadly bacteria that can cause death well aspartame is basically e-coli feces! Don't put it into your body. If you are going to drink those diet beverages they are doing more harm than good. I'd rather you grab the full sugared beverage instead but in reality you shouldn't even be drinking these. Drink water!
     On to eating and eating well. I suggest you look at your body as a machine and the things you consume are fueling this machine and has an effect on how your body responds to every day life. Also the amout of food you eat is very important. Now, what I'm about to tell you might not make sense at first but there is a science behind it. You need to be eating a lot of food and at least five times a day. You will not loose weight unless you eat more, the reasoning behind this is to keep your metabolism revved. You know that thing your body does to burn fat and to burn fat around the clock even when your not working out! This only occurs when you do not skip any meals and you are feeding your body with healthy living foods. Eating five small meals a day every day insures, 1. proper nutrition, 2. keeps you full so your not snacking and 3. boots the crap out of your metabolism so you burn more calories i.e. fat!!!! OH!!! and your wont have any 3:00 pm down and out, I need a nap feeling. You will have constant energy. This is a simple conception that goes back to when we were kids and even babies. If you ever noticed your kids or in my case nieces and nephews always being hungry or wanting to eat and the result is they have so much energy you wonder when the heck are they going to conk out? This is why, they are eating frequently and hopefully eating healthy too. Eating this way insures no failure in loosing weight. You can count points and cut calories but when you eat this way and your eat the right foods you never have to that ever again! Good bye Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and what ever else stupid diet foods are out there. This is not a "Diet" it's a lifestyle change and you will be following this the rest of your life, if you so choose to. See my graph below that I'm borrowing from another blog.
    Here is an example of my day along with what I might eat. I eat five meals a day sometimes even six depending upon my workout for the day. I eat every 3 hours and every three hours on the dot. I try to wake up by 5:30, upon waking up I drink a 8 oz. glass of water I set by my bed the night before. I will either stretch or do yoga.(You don't have to do this I'm just showing you an example of my day but it is a great way to start it!) I eat by 7:00 am and no later. My 7:00 am meal consist of either 3 scrambled egg whites with one yoke left in or my favorite veggies frittata that I make on Sunday prep days. I will also add some of my garlicky kale, chopped bell pepper and half an apple to this meal. I will usually drink grapefruit juice with my powdered supplements mixed in and/or green tea. If you want have oatmeal with berries or fresh fruit along with the eggs you can. I'm seeing that I kinda eat Paleo even without trying! That's another blog and another day. (I'm learning I'm gluten intolerant :( I love bread, but have cut out all gluten except for a treat snack every once in a while. Honestly I don't miss it one bit.) My 10:00 am meal consist of 3 to 4oz. of protein, usually salsa chicken along with my garlicky kale salad and avocado with lime juice on it. My 1:00 pm meal is my "lunch" meal and is pretty much like my 10:00 am meal except I usually have a huge spinach salad with a homemade vinaigrette and fresh goat cheese with strawberries. I'm also drinking about 16 Oz. of water with each meal through out the whole day. My 4:00 pm meal is the same as my 10:00 am meal, 3 to 4oz. of protein, usually salsa chicken along with my garlicky kale salad and avocado with lime juice on it. You can switch this up if you want, either having Jamie Eason's eat clean brownies with some sort of fruit or veggie or her meatloaf muffins, my personal favorite. My 7:00 pm meal usually follows at least 15 minutes after my nightly workout if not immediately after. (My evening workout is either HIIT training with core training (aka Crossfit), 3 mile run with weight training afterwards.) This meal is usually 4 to 6 oz of protein with a low carb side, like baked sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa and/or salad with some type of veggies. For me I love asparagus, broccolini, squash or carrots. With all my preparations and meals I always try to use a healthy fat to insure my body is getting enough fat to burn fat. I usually use coconut oil or grape seed oil. Check out Tosca Reno's blog on sexy fats.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Eat Clean Basics

    I'm sure all of you are wondering, "Well, how can I eat clean?" Let me first state that this is not a diet, a quick fix or miracle weight loss. You will loose weight but you need to approach this as a permanent lifestyle change and stick with it. Yes! That means giving up some things you love or as i like to say addicted to.  You can have a treat meal or treat every once in a while but that means once a week, not a whole day and not a more than once a week. I started this journey by first detoxing my body as it will be easier for you to start eating correctly by getting rid of the toxins and poisons in your body that cause triggers. As mentioned in my previous blog I used Celeste and Phil Davis' Wonderfully Well Workshop detox that is in their book.  Not only did I feel great doing this but it changed my mood, metabolism and even weight. Yes, if you stick with eating clean you will loose weight because you are fueling your body to work during the day, not just to eat but to propel you. Listed below are the basics of eating clean and the Eat Clean Diet. I also recommend that you purchase Tosca Renos book, Just The Rules for more detailed information. Remember you need to be the one to do the research and learn what you are putting into your body as you only get one body for life.

  • Eat Whole Foods: whole food are foods that have not bee processed or changed to be what they are. They have no preservatives, additives and junk that can cause major harm to our bodies. This is fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, non-hormone and non-antibiotic meats, cheeses and other dairy products
  • Avoid all processed foods: Yes, I know this is going to be hard but if it was easy everyone would be doing it! This is anything with a product label and a label usually means its been manufactured. I usually use one rule on this because it is really hard to avoid this especially with pastas and my favorite Ezekiel breads. Read the labels, be sure that if you can't pronounce it in the ingredient list the do not buy it or even put it into your body. In the world of GMO foods we have no idea what kind of crap they are sneaking into our foods.
  • Completely eliminate refined sugars: Ohh this one hurts but I will make it easier for you. If you want the sweets bake them your selves and use honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, palm sugar or other natural sugar replacements. But I emphasize on the NATURAL! Check out Tosca Reno's article on striking sugar and how addictive this stuff is.This also includes alcohol, now I do have a glass of wine every once in a while but not the whole Bota Box! Be sure if you do decide to drink it's not beer or sugar laden mixed cocktails. Make smart choices and wine and strait up liquor is better than choosing something that has over 500 calories and will leave you bloated.
  • Eat small meals and eat often: I understand that this can be a very foreign concept for some of you and a lot of you believe in the, "eat when your hungry mentality" and that's great but if you would just give this two weeks you will be hungry every three to four hours. The science behind this is once you start feeding your body this way, like we were when we were babies, it will sky rocket your metabolism! You will be a fat burning, energy machine with no 3:00 pm crash at work. Eating this way you will never be left feeling hungry and will be satisfied so your not snacking on the junk. I eat at 7:00 am, 10:00 am, 1:00 pm, 4:00 pm and my final meal 7:00 pm and sometimes I'll even have a casein shake before bed depending upon how hard I trained during my night workout. It really did take me a while to get used to this but now if I skip a meal I'm dying of hunger. I have lost more weight eating this way than eating three square meals a day. If this is something that is hard for you set an alarm on your watch or cell phone to alert you when to eat.
  • Be a home maker and make your own meals: This is very important because you are insuring,what is being made and put into all of your meals. This insures that you are getting healthy clean eats and not some frozen weight watcher crap that leaves you feeling hungry and wanting more food. Are you having a hard time finding recipes and ideas? There are a ton on Pinterest, Eat Clean Blog and other various websites, just search the web for them.
  • Drink, Drink, Drink Water!!!!: Be sure you are drinking water and a lot of it. Why? Because this is what flushes the fat out of your body that you are getting rid of by eating correctly and working out. Well, how much should I drink? Take your body weight and divide it in half and drink that number in ounces. Yes, you can have tea and coffee but be sure its clean, without sugars.
   These are the simple rules I follow along with taking my supplements and working out five days a week. You might not be able to do all this at once but start out small and then slowly start expanding until you have completely switched over. I promise you, you will never go back to eating junk and when you do your body will reject it and you will feel sick. That is what junk does to your body. Feed your body and feed it wholesome foods!

Friday, March 1, 2013


I was wanting to include these in yesterdays post but figured there was already too much information to take in and read. For those of you who actually started reading the post and checked out all of the links, I'm sure your brains were hurting and were over whelmed with information. I'd rather have you well informed and do the research than be in the dark on what your putting into your body. Now that being said here our my edibles list and more links on the information for these products.

Apple Cider Vinegar
I love, love, love this stuff!!!!! I have had major issues with acid reflux and indigestion, both hereditary from my mom's side of the family. Thanks Mom! In our world today it doesn't help that we eat fried, hi in fat, unhealthy foods along with sugar and loads of unnecessary acids from sodas and alcohol. I have read and heard from numerous people that I should be drinking this on a daily basis. One of those being Tosca Reno and her amazing wisdom on all things Eat Clean. She has an amazing article on her blog that I have linked above. I drink 1 - 2 Tablespoons a day in my water. Yes, it is strong it is vinegar but it's worth it and helps keep bloating at bay!

Coconut Oil
Another product I'm addicted too! I cook with it, shave with it, wash my face with it, oil pull with it, and make homemade lotion and body washes. I even eat it by the spoon full, yes! I love coconut and coconut oil has some crazy awesome benefits for your body. Read more from Tosca Reno here on the oil. I love coconut oil! It's an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, among other awesome benefits. I have not gotten sick yet this past year since starting to ingest this on a regular basis.

Coconut Manna 

This I just straight up eat with a spoon or spread on my toast and it has a high protein content. It's also wonderful in smoothies too! It taste amazing!!!

Whey Protein Powder
When it comes to protein powders it can be helluva confusing. Here is a link to Whitney Carlson's He and She Eat Clean blog that go in depth into the different proteins. I like Optimum Nutrition brand. They taste better and go down way easier than the millions I've tried, well not millions but you get the idea. I also like Sun Warrior and have been using their Greens, see below. I use Optimum Nutrition Any Whey, its a flavorless powder I use in smoothies, make brownies and other goodies with.

Casein Protein Powder
 On days I work my muscles hard, i.e. arms, legs or overall heavy duty workout, I drink this stuff before bed so that my muscles can fully rebuild. A blurb from BodyBuilding.com on Casein Protein. I love this stuff and can feel the difference it makes in my overall repair.

I also cook with a lot of herbs, citrus and real sea salt. Making any change in your life takes time to see the benefits. Like with the supplements I've listed yesterday you really have to give them at least a month or two to see the real impact they are making in your body and health. Don't give, keep going! Remember what you put in is what you get out, no more excuses. Cause excuses are the nails that built the house of failure!

Thursday, February 28, 2013


I'm going to let you in on a big secret of mine! Everything I use on a daily basis and why. I will have links for you on all the products and will try to give you as accurate information as possible. But before we get started, please be sure to read all labels, side effects and warnings of any product and always consult your Dr. if their are any doubts.

I take a lot of supplements, the reason for this is because in our modern day and age even if you eating "healthy food" your still missing a ton of important stuff your body needs. But always use them as a backup plan to secure optimum nutrition . I first started on this journey with not a lot of knowledge until I started reading and researching. With this research I've stubbled upon an amazing blog that has helped and encourage me along the way. He and She Eat Clean, Whitney Carlson and her husband have been eating clean for a while as a personal goal to loose weight and transform their bodies. She is another hero I have because she is a normal plain Jane person like the rest of us. This hot lady even set goals to take pictures in her transformed body and she rocked it!!! Her blog is very helpful in answering question and I have linked her supplement page above, for all of you to read the importance of taking supplements. Unless your Amish and live on a farm in the middle of no where you need supplements.

Let's start with vitamins, minerals and all things in between. I try to take all my supplements except for a few, first thing in the morning after I eat of course.

I take Isotonix Mulitvitamin without Iron, used to take a multivitamin from VitaCost, but I fell in love with these from a post Whitney Carlson did about them and did a little research. Because they are a liquid they enter your blood stream instantly. Here is a blurb from their website about the product:
What Makes Isotonix® Multivitamin Unique?
A good quality vitamin and mineral supplement creates a sound micronutrient foundation to accompany a balanced diet. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Nutrition is the foundation for health and development. Better nutrition means stronger immune systems, less illness and better health. Healthy children learn better. Healthy people are stronger, more productive, and more able to create opportunities to gradually break the cycles of both poverty and hunger in a sustainable way. Better nutrition is a prime entry point to ending poverty and a milestone to achieving better quality of life.”
Vitamins and minerals help to support a healthy immune system, promote the conversion of food into energy, support a healthy cardiovascular system, support strong bones, promote mental clarity, maintain normal metabolic functioning, promote healthy growth and repair of tissues, help maintain normal blood pressure and help maintain water and electrolyte balance in the body. There is no substitute for a healthy, well-balanced diet; however, in today’s fast-paced lifestyles it is important to ensure the body is getting the fuel it needs.*
Isotonix Multivitamin is an isotonic-capable food supplement containing 100 percent or more of the daily value of essential vitamins and minerals. There are wide varieties of vitamin and mineral supplements on the market today. Only Isotonix Multivitamin contains a unique blend of complementary vitamins and minerals with the superior delivery of Isotonix. Isotonix Multivitamin supplements dietary deficiencies and helps maintain normal metabolic functioning. Isotonix Multivitamin is a great supplement choice for all adults and especially for athletes, growing teenagers and pre-menopausal women. Isotonix Multivitamin is available with and without iron for differing nutritional needs.*
Isotonic, which means “same pressure,” bears the same chemical resemblance of the body’s blood, plasma and tears. All fluids in the body have a certain concentration, referred to as osmotic pressure. The body’s common osmotic pressure, which is isotonic, allows a consistent maintenance of body tissues. In order for a substance to be absorbed and used in the body’s metabolism, it must be transported in an isotonic state.
Isotonix dietary supplements are delivered in an isotonic solution. This means that the body has less work to do in obtaining maximum absorption. The isotonic state of the suspension allows nutrients to pass directly into the small intestine and be rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. With Isotonix products, little nutritive value is lost, making the absorption of nutrients highly efficient while delivering maximum results.

I also take their OPC-3 which is like a fre- radical anti-aging fighter!

What Makes Isotonix OPC-3® Unique?
Isotonix OPC-3® is an isotonic-capable food supplement that is made from a combination of bilberry, grape seed, red wine and pine bark extracts, and citrus extract bioflavonoids, all found to be powerful antioxidants. Oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) are bioflavonoids (complex organic plant compounds) found in fruits, vegetables and certain tree barks that provide exceptional nutritional benefits to the human body. Studies have shown OPCs to be up to 20 times more powerful than vitamin C and 50 times more powerful than vitamin E in neutralizing free radicals. Isotonix OPC-3 contains the only isotonic form of Pycnogenol® in the world. Pycnogenol is a natural plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree and the most clinically researched and potent bioflavonoid.*
Isotonic, which means “same pressure,” bears the same chemical resemblance of the body’s blood, plasma and tears. All fluids in the body have a certain concentration, referred to as osmotic pressure. The body’s common osmotic pressure, which is isotonic, allows a consistent maintenance of body tissues. In order for a substance to be absorbed and used in the body’s metabolism, it must be transported in an isotonic state.
Isotonix® dietary supplements are delivered in an isotonic solution. This means that the body has less work to do to in obtaining maximum absorption. The isotonic state of the suspension allows nutrients to pass directly into the small intestine and be rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. With Isotonix products, little nutritive value is lost, making the absorption of nutrients highly efficient while delivering maximum results.

Along with these two wonderful products I take these:

Vitamin D 5,000 IU

I take 25,000 IU daily until summer hits then I go back down to 10,000 IU daily. You would not even begin to understand the difference this has made in  my life!!!! I don't even need coffee in the morning! They don't call it the happy pill for nothing.
I take 1,000 IU twice a day, I usually do this with my 2nd and 4th meals which also helps boost my energy throughout the day and keeps me from feeling that "hitting a brick wall" around 3 pm. For Maximum results be sure to place and hold under the tongue for 30 second. I will always take this until my body is healed and can produce its own healthy level of B12's
What is methylcobalamin?
Vitamin B-12 (cobalamin) is a water-soluble B vitamin that’s vital for carbohydrate metabolism and energy production.* It also plays an important role in the formation of healthy red blood cells.*

Methylcobalamin is an active coenzyme of the vitamin B12 analogs, which are essential for cell growth and replication.* Methylcobalamin is required for the formation of methionine from homocysteine.*

How does methylcobalamin support health?
  • Helps reduce homocysteine levels, which is important for heart health.*
  • Supports the health of the central nervous system.*
  • Improves daytime alertness and concentration.*
  • Promotes optimal sleep.*
On this supplement you have to be extremely careful!!! I mean really careful! My hormones are so screwed up from having PCOS and Endometriosis that I had my Dr. recommend that I try this as an alternative to taking the synthetic junk they wanted me to take. I have heard and read that you can take up to 25 mg as a women and 50 mg as a man but I started and am sticking with 10 mg, just to be on the safe side. I will Say this had made a huge difference in me over all! I will continue to stick with it for a while until my hormone and thyroid levels are normal. This is also wonderful for your adrenal gland which controls your energy levels long with other things. I will have three more supplements below that actually help to restore this glad. Did you know when you drink more than two cups of coffee a day it actually drains that glad giving a false trigger. When this happens and you drink cup after cup, day after day, year after year, it leaves you tired all the time for one and a hot mess trying to focus on everything! Now this doesn't mean I don't drink coffee ever, its more a treat and on the weekends when I actually need help getting out of bed. ;) The affects of caffeine on our adrenal glands.
What is DHEA?
DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a hormone made by the human body, secreted by the adrenal gland.* DHEA serves as a precursor to female and male sex hormones (estrogens and androgens).* DHEA begins to decrease in the body starting around age 30.*
How does DHEA support health?
  • Maintains the health and function of the adrenal glands.*
  • Supports male and female hormone balance.*
  • Promotes healthy immune function.*
  • Helps maintain stable mood and a healthy sense of well-being.*
  • Maintains quality free radical scavenging ability.*
Here is a link to further answer question about this supplement.

The next section is more food supplements but they are still powerful and have amazing benefits too:

Camu Camu Powder

I use this in my fresh squeezed grapefruit juice in the mornings. The health benefits of this are ridiculous and it taste amazing!
Camu camu fruits contain more vitamin C than any other plant in the world from 30 to 60 times more than an orange. They also contain amino acids including serine, valine, and leucine; and significant levels of beta carotene, calcium, iron, niacin, phosphorus, riboflavin, and thiamin.

The phytochemicals in camu camu are highly effective in curbing the effects of the herpes virus; in fact, on a list of plants with anti-herpetic compounds, camu camu takes the highest honors as most potent. It is effective against depression, and has even been used to wean users off dangerous antidepressive medications (under medical supervision, of course.) Alternative medical practitioners have also been using it to combat attention deficit disorder.
Camu camu also:
Provides immune system support
  • Helps maintain good eyesight
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Supports collagen, tendons, and ligaments
  • Helps fend off viral infection
  • Improves respiratory health
  • Helps maintain clarity of mind during stress

 Ashwagandha Root Powder

Another powder I put into my morning juice. This one supports adrenal gland functions too, are we seeing a trend here?
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), is a commonly and extensively used herb in Ayurvedic medicine, the traditional health care paradigm of India. Its roots have been used for thousands of years for many health issues, such as boosting the immune system, reducing inflammation, improve memory and mental acuity, rejuvenating the body and managing stress.

Historically Ashwagandha has been noted to enhance reproductive tissues as well as enliven sexual potency and fertility for both men and women.

Ashwagandha root powder has a calming effect and may cause drowsiness or sleepiness in some individuals, depending on anxiety and current stress levels (some may feel a general calmness while others may feel drowsy).

Ashwagandha contains many useful medicinal chemicals, including withanolides, (steroidal lactones), alkaloids, choline, fatty acids, amino acids, and a variety of sugars. While the leaves and fruit have valuable therapeutic properties, the root of the ashwagandha plant is the part most commonly used in Western herbal remedies.

Live Superfoods Ashwagandha Root Powder is a light tan color, with a slightly nutty fragrance and a very mild but slightly bitter flavor.

Medical researchers have been studying ashwagandha and have carried out over 200 studies, showing these benefits:

• builds immune system protection
• combats the effects of stress
• improves learning, memory, and reaction time
• reduces anxiety and depression without causing drowsiness
• stabilizes blood sugar
• lowers cholesterol
• reduces brain-cell degeneration
• contains anti-malarial properties
• offers anti-inflammatory benefits
• supports proper function of the adrenal glands

Maca Root Powder

This one by far is the one I can not live without!!!! Its is helping my hormones being regulated and getting them back to normal and ladies it helps big time with PMS and Menopause. Take it from me, I've had hot flashes, night sweats and the worst almost labor type cramps ever! Yes, I know too young for hot flashes and night sweats but that was a side effect of the Dr.'s putting me trough perimenopause! YEAH!!!! This has completely helped my body reverse these horrible womanly reactions to having your monthly visitor. I first learned about this little miracle powder from Celeste and Phil Davis The Wonderfully Well Workshop, e-book.

Maca is a nutrition-packed root vegetable, also known as “Peruvian ginseng,” that grows in the mountain plateaus of the Peruvian Andes. It is rich in amino acids, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals, and has been used as a traditional source of both food and medicine by indigenous people since the time of the Incas.

This plant has been credited with many healthful effects, including:
  • Increasing energy, stamina and endurance
  • Enhancing libido and treating impotence
  • Stimulating fertility in both sexes
  • Supporting the immune system and adrenal function
  • Reducing chronic fatigue
  • Regulating and supporting the endocrine system
Maca is a powerful adaptogen that has long been used to treat menopausal symptoms and is now being prescribed by many health practitioners as a safe, effective alternative to Hormone Replacement Therapy.

Maca's reputation as a powerful enhancer of strength and stamina and as a libido-fertility herb goes back more than 500 years, and today it is gaining worldwide attention for its effectiveness.

From a nutritional standpoint, maca is rich in sugar, proteins, starches, and important minerals, such as iron, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorous. It also contains numerous trace minerals (including iodine), B vitamins, linoleic and oleic oils (essential fatty acids), and 18 amino acids, including 7 of the 9 essential amino acids.

Okay, so for now I'm done but I do have a few more items i'd like to share with you but I think I will have another post for those bcause they are more food items I use everyday that make a huge difference in my health and over all well being. Please let me know if you have any questions and be sure to click on all the links for more information.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Weekly Bites: Lunch

OMG!!!! I'm already posting again! Two in one day, don't you feel lucky? Ha didn't think so. So I'm writing up some recipes and those of you who know me and know me well know I DO NOT SHARE RECIPES. Well I won’t be sharing my prized recipes but I will be sharing some awesome Eat Clean recipes and some cheat meals (maybe).
First meal post and yummy meal post!!!

I eat a lot through out my day, like 6 times maybe 7 if I get in my pre-bedtime Cassin shake. I try to buy in bulk and will later post where I shop and what I buy. How too look out for deals too. The biggest complaint I hear from people (in a whiney voice) "Eating healthy is so expensive!" Well it's not and excuses are the nails that built the house of failure!!! Thank Kim Totzke for that quote! I do all my prep and cooking of most my meals on Sunday. I will also post a walk through of what that looks like. Doing this ensures that you have no excuses the food is cooked, portioned and ready. You just take, heat and eat! So easy, right?

Roasted Lemon, Garlic and Herb Chicken with Garlicky Kale Salad

6 - bone-in chicken breast (usually get these from Harris Teeter or Costco, best prices)

2 - lemons

1 - package of fresh poultry herbs(it has thyme, rosemary, and sage cheaper than buying one of each of them.)

1 - teaspoon of Better Than Bouillon

1 - head of garlic, peeled

Season with salt and pepper to taste

Optional - 1/2 cup white wine

Start by cutting the lemon into thin rounds, be sure to pick the seeds out after you slice them. Next place the chicken into a Crockpot. I usually do this in two layers. Then top with lemon, garlic, herbs, seasoning and bouillon and optional wine. Cook on low over night or for five hours.

I usually portion out the chicken for the week. I take chicken breast and debone it and take the skin off then cut the meat into quarters. One chicken will last me for one day. That will be for lunch and two snacks. I put them into Tupperware and add the reaming juice and lemons in with the meat. Yes, the lemons. They will be translucent and edible, like preserves.

For the Kale Salad:

1 - tbsp tahini

1 - tbsp lemon juice

1 - tbsp tamari

1 - tbsp water

2 - tbsp nutritional yeast

1 - clove garlic, chopped

1 - head of kale, washed, dried & stems removed.

Pinch of cayenne


Rip kale into bite sized pieces. Blend all ingredients. Pour over kale. Massage dressing into kale. Let sit in fridge for about 30 mins to let the dressing set in (or eat it right away) When I'm making it for the week I just double the recipe. These also make amazing Kale chips!!!!! Just spread on a baking sheet with a silpat or wax paper and bake for 15 min on 425' or until crispy.


A Fresh Start

I'm starting this blog over in an attempt to actually use it! LOL! I don't know how many times I said I was and then never posted a damn thing. I've decided to stick with the food theme cause that's what I know best but I'm going to actually post my eating clean, portions, prep, grocery lists and tips from other bloggers I follow along with Tosca Reno. Who is my Eat Clean guru and I have read every last one of her books to fully understand the concept of why and how to eat clean. I will help to answer any question you might have and will be sure to give credit to those were it is due.

I'll start out by saying I was always skinny growing up. I was a very physically active girl in every sport and especially swimming in the summer. But I ate like crap as a kid cause my metabolism was through the roof!!! So everything I ate I burned off. Now getting into my late twenties/early thirties I've noticed my metabolism has slowed and its due to lack of eating properly and working out to help keep my body in tip top shape. Now I wasn't "fat" in my unhealthy early to mid twenties. I was over weight but I didn't have fat rolls (thank GOD!) So I could hide it well. But I felt it, I felt unhealthy. I finally decided to fix it , since embarking on a new decade of my life, I need to make changes in all areas. First with my eating. I think this can be the hardest and easiest thing for most of us to do. I cut out all fast food, yes all except for a few sit down restaurants where I knew I could get a great salad. I also started a full body cleanse with the help of some awesome people! Celeste and Phil Davis of The Wonderfully Well Workshop. Please take the time to read their blogs, listen to their podcast and read their book! They have lost over a 100 pounds each on their journey. Plus they have some really great recipes! I bought their e-book read through it thoroughly and started my eat clean journey two years ago. Yes it's taken me a full two years to actually have eating clean as a habit of mine now! These things take time people, its not just over night, or popping a magic pill that makes you feel good. It's a mental and physical battle, I can promise you that once you really start researching what is in the food you were eating you will never touch it again.

After having gone through their wonderful detox I went back and actually started cutting out the recipes from my Oxygen Magazine, that I was also subscribing to for 7 years now but never really took it serious. I always said one day that will be me! This is how I discovered real eating, clean eating and why it's so important for our bodies. I literally bought every one of Tosca's books on Eat Clean last summer and decided to make a commitment to myself and to my body to start actually living what I've been preaching. I have also learned that the number on the scale isn't important cause muscle does way more than fat and you can actually gain weight (healthy muscle) while loosing fat, so don't beat yourself up if you gain a pound or two in the process of changing your body. I think we as Americans are so consumed with numbers and loosing numbers on the scale that we forget the changes we are making in our body and that they take time and some times it takes a long time. It has taken me 6 years of living unhealthy to be where I was at two years ago and it has taken me 2 years almost 3 to get back to being my healthy self that I was in high school and college. I suggest that you get motivators and those can be anything, pictures from the past, pictures of a healthy body, written words or goals, or my favorites!!! Personal hero’s! I have a few of those! My oldest sister who is a health nut and tri-athlete, shoot her whole family is! My bestie guy friend who has lost over 100 pounds this past year and a half!!!! 100 POUNDS!!!!!!! On his own, without a nutritionist or trainer just with his pure determination and he looks amazing!!! We also try to hike on the weekends to stay active. Tosca Reno is the mother of all hero’s and people I look up to. She has had horrible times and have kept pushing through to reach her goals and accomplish major things in her life! I want to be her when I grow up. Or at least start an Oxygen hub in Nashville! ;)

I will leave you with this. You are what you make of yourself so get down to it and actually do it!!!! There is nothing you can not do if you set mind to do it! I've learned that the hardest thing for me is over coming the mental game that happens and how shoot it the hell down and even run in the freezing cold rain! Your determination is everything in this life. You have only one body start living in it to the fullest and have the best body you can have! I'm happy and healthy at a size 6, who the hell wants to look like a skin and bones super model. Not this chic I like my natural curves too much to get down to that low of weight! lol! Sorry a little vain here. Strong is the new sexy!