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.
 IT'S FREEEEEEEEE!!!!!!


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

Edibles


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!