Tuesday, July 31, 2012

7-Day Challenge: Eating Clean

7-Day Challenge: Eating Clean
Can we go one week without processed food?

I challenge those who are willing to eat clean for one week starting Sunday, August 5, 2012.
During that week stop by and let us know how you are doing, what you have changed and how you feel.  I will be posting tips to help us along the way.

For those new to the terminology, clean eating is the practice of eating whole foods.  Foods as close to their natural state as you can get them like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins instead of pre-packaged, processed or fast food. Clean eating is also committed to replacing saturated fats with healthy fats.  Here are a few steps to make your week a success:

Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Avoid canned or processed products. Processing fruits and vegetables reduces their nutritional value and fiber content and adds salt, fat, sugar and chemicals.  In a pinch if you must choose a processed vegetable or fruit, frozen is always better than canned.  Read your labels and make sure there are no additives.

Balance protein and complex carbohydrates.  Incorporate whole grains like brown rice or quinoa, avoid over processed grains like white rice.  Eat lean meats, and choose organic or grass fed meats when possible, as these foods are usually clean of pesticides, hormones and additives. Grill, broil or steam your meats rather than frying which will add extra fat.

We are aiming to remove refined sugars from the diet, so avoid sodas and high calorie, sugary drinks.  Choose water, seltzer water, tea or juice your own fruits and vegetables.

Trade bad fats for good fats. A key aspect of clean eating is removing saturated fats from the diet. Lower your saturated fat intake by avoiding fast food, choosing lean cuts of meat and getting your fat calories from foods like nuts and fatty fish.

5-6 small meals to keep blood sugar stable and to avoid overeating. Choose snacks like nuts, low-fat or fat free dairy, fruits and vegetables.

Clean eating also includes cooking healthy meals; packing healthy meals when you are on the go; healthy choices when dining out; drinking a lot of water; eliminating alcoholic beverages; always start your day with breakfast.

Many of us want to lose weight or improve our overall health.  The biggest challenge in improving your health is cleaning up your diet.  A huge portion of the American diet consists of processed foods and breaking away from that can be difficult.  Eating clean can be a major transition for a majority of people due to addictions to sugar, white bread, and fast food. It takes discipline in order to make eating clean a habit but it is possible and has so many long-term health benefits.  Eating clean can be difficult but it is not impossible and soon it becomes a part of your life.


Friday, July 27, 2012

2nd Ave Deli's Health Salad

I love this recipe.  I had it at the actual 2nd Ave Deli and it was love at first bite.

1 small head green cabbage (abt 2 lbs.)
2 medium carrots, peeled
1 small green bell pepper
1 large rib celery, cut into thin slices
3/4 C. distilled white vinegar
2 T. extra virgin olive oil, peanut, or canola oil
1/2 C. sugar
1 T. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper
Makes about 8 cups

Cut the cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Shred the cabbage as finely as possible and transfer to a large bowl.  Using the coarsest side of a box grater, shred the carrots; halve the green pepper and remove the seeds, ribs, and stem, then cut them into extremely fine strands; cut the celery thin and crosswise and add all ingredients to the cabbage.

To make the dressing, whisk together the vinegar, oil, sugar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the slaw. Toss well.

Refrigerate the slaw, tightly covered, for at least 8 hours before serving. As the slaw will not wilt much, it should remain crisp and fresh tasting for 2 to 3 weeks. 

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Skinny Drank

I found this recipe on a local farmers market site. If you drink a glass of this a day it’s supposed to promote weight loss. 

I love the way it tastes! Refreshing on a hot day!

Skinny Drank


2 Liters of Water
1 Cucumber
1 Lemon
10-12 Mint Leaves

Slice cucumber and lemon and put in a 2 liter container. Muddle the mint leaves and throw those puppies in. Pour in the water.
Let it sit overnight before serving.

Weight Loss Plateau?

Have you experienced a weight loss plateau?  I have and it is very frustrating!

Since I began my new lifestyle to lose weight, I have been more than happy with my results.  I started in January of this year and have lost over 35 pounds.  A month ago I hit a plateau.  My research confirmed this as a normal occurrence.  However normal it may be it is very frustrating to continue to work hard and the scale not move.  I refused to get discouraged and started looking for ways to get me back on track.  I posted the question on my FB page and received some great suggestions.  One of my FB friends suggested Calorie Confusion.  I had heard of this and did a little research on it, but I did not believe I needed to incorporate this into my eating plan because I was doing fine.  After two weeks of my scale not moving, I decided to look at Calorie Confusion a little closer.

The basic premise of Calorie Confusion is to outsmart your metabolism.   When your body adjusts to a certain amount of calories over an extended period of time, your metabolism also adjusts accordingly and you hit a plateau. Calorie Confusion is a technique that aims to confuse your metabolism so that it does not adjust to any specific caloric intake. If your body does not know how much food it will receive, your metabolism will not have time to adjust or slow down.

My daily caloric intake is between 1280-1630 calories.  My average daily caloric consumption was around the 1200-calorie range.  I did this thinking it would accelerate my weight loss.  This consistent caloric intake caused my body adjusted to my daily 1200 calories and my metabolism slowed down bringing my weight loss efforts to a screeching halt.

It seems the best way to incorporate Calorie Confusion into your diet is to alternate high calorie days and low calorie days.  One day I would consume around 1200 calories and the next day I would consume 1630 calories.  With this schedule and my normal workout routine, I dropped three pounds in two weeks.  I am back on track.

Now let me just say high calorie days does NOT mean go crazy and eat cheeseburgers to meet your caloric goal.  On high calorie days just add a little more healthy foods into your eating regimen.  For example, on a low calorie day I would have a greek yogurt and fresh fruit for breakfast consuming about 200 calories.  On a high calorie day, for breakfast, I would have roasted veggie scrambled eggs, 2 slices nitrate-free turkey bacon, fresh squeezed juice and whole-wheat toast consuming about 380 calories.  I even incorporate a healthy dessert consisting of low-fat frozen yogurt.  Remember to spread your calories throughout the day to include your three meals and two snacks (and on high calorie days your dessert).

Since I was counting calories, anyway Calorie Confusion was very easy to incorporate into my lifestyle.  This calorie range is what my body needs.  Begin by finding your personal caloric range.  If you have reached a weight loss plateau or if you just want to try something new, give Calorie Confusion a try…please let us know about your success.

Healthy eating…