Tag Archives: health

Clean Eating and Sweets

9 Apr

I get this question often…”What can I have to satisfy my sweet tooth while eating a clean diet?” This is a great question. I love my sweets, and this is one of the areas that I struggle with from time to time. That being said, it is one of the most important struggles to get control of in order to make clean eating a way of life. You need to rid your body of the toxicity of refined sugar, and I am not going to tell you it’s easy. Although, I will tell you that you will feel better on the other side, and you will be happy you did it. Detoxifying your body of processed sugar usually takes about two weeks. In this time, be sure you are paying close attention to your food labels. The most important part to read is the ingredients section. Sugar is added to so many things these days, things that you wouldn’t even think of, and it goes by at least 50 different names (e.g. cane juice, malt syrup). This makes it more difficult to interpret what’s in your foods, and this is how companies want it to be. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to steer clear of processed foods altogether.

Eat less sugar

 What makes this process less overwhelming is to focus on the foods you CAN have, not the ones you cannot. Some foods that I CAN eat to satisfy my sweet tooth are apples with almond butter (all natural), banana slices and peanut butter (all natural) on a piece of toast (whole grain), or a protein smoothie with berries. I use raw honey as a sweetener for baking things like my pumpkin muffins. I also like Lara bars for a sweet snack. These have no sugar added (except the ones with chocolate chips in them-avoid these) and are made from dates which make them sweet. I really like the cashew cookie one because it is made from just cashews and dates. Simple and yummy!

As for artificial sweeteners, there has been some research starting to emerge that is showing that they are not good for us. I avoid these as well. Because artificial sweeteners are even sweeter than real sugar, they only increase the cravings, so avoiding these will help you kick the habit.

I hope this has helped answer the question of what to do about eating clean and wanting to have a sweet treat now and then. Trust me, it gets easier with time, and your body will thank you for it!

heartsig

5 Tips for How to Eat a Clean Diet

27 Mar

This is the second post where I talk about clean eating and how to make it a lifestyle. Read my first post, “What is Clean Eating: 5 Guidelines to Follow”, here. I want to go into how to start changing your diet to incorporate more “clean” foods. Here are a few ways to get started…

  1. Read labels! This is very important to eating clean. Many foods contain unnecessary additives that can be harmful to your body. My rule of thumb is, if it contains something that I can’t pronounce, I shouldn’t be eating it.  I also try to stick to foods with 5 ingredients or less. Less is MORE when it comes to treating your body right.
  2. Eat at home. By doing this, you are able to have control of what you are putting into your body. Many restaurants use processed, frozen foods full of sodium and other unknown ingredients that your body does not need.
  3. Do all of your shopping on the outside perimeter of the grocery store. Rarely will you find anything clean in the middle aisles.
  4. Try to buy organic fruits and vegetables and grass-fed lean meats when possible. This is one that I struggle with. Sometimes it can be difficult to fork over the extra money (no pun intended) for these items, especially the meats. They can be expensive! But, your body will appreciate it in the long run. Our bodies were not designed to ingest the harmful additives, hormones, and pesticides that are found in most of the foods we eat today. It’s no wonder cancer and other diseases are on the rise.
  5. Prepare, prepare, prepare! If you have a plan of what you are going to eat each day, and you ensure to bring enough food with you wherever you go, you will not fail. I use to fall into the trap of not bringing enough snacks with me to work which led me to indulging in the crap (bagels, cookies, donuts, etc.) that my co-workers always bring in. Now, I always make sure to have healthy snacks on hand so I am not tempted by these things when I get hungry.

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Clean eating has been a work in progress for me, but I have never felt better about my health than I do now. I am never bloated, I rarely get headaches, and I have more energy. I have also enjoyed trying new foods and recipes since eating clean. Some include: cornish game hen and kale (pictured above), grass-fed bison, spaghetti squash, cauliflower mash (tastes just like mashed potatoes, yum!), and different types of homemade hummus. I hope you will nourish your body and give clean eating a try.

Let me know if you have any clean eating recipes or tips to share. 🙂

heartsig

What is Clean Eating? 5 Guidelines to Follow

25 Mar

Eating clean is one of my biggest passions. It certainly hasn’t always been, that’s for sure. I used to eat like crap! Back in college, my meals consisted of pop tarts, Wendy’s dollar menu items, and boxes of Velveeta shells and cheese. The thought of this makes me cringe now, but I have learned a lot since then. Growing up, I never really learned healthy eating habits. The food in my house was cheap, processed, and convenient. Unfortunately, this has become the norm for many American families. It wasn’t until the last couple of years that I started to make a change toward healthier options. It was definitely no overnight achievement, but more of a work in progress. I eat clean to feel good. I eat clean to maintain a decent energy level. I eat clean because I want to nourish my body with the nutrients it needs and deserves.

You may be asking, what is “clean eating” anyway?

Well, here are a few guidelines to eating a clean diet.

  1. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Buy organic when possible to ensure you are getting all the possible nutrients and no harmful chemicals.
  2. Eat lean meats, such as chicken, turkey, or fish.
  3. Eat whole grains, such as brown rice or whole wheat. Personally, I don’t do gluten, so no wheat for me (read here for more info on that), but others may be able to tolerate it. Make sure it says whole on the ingredients label. Avoid all refined grains such as white flour or white rice. All refined grains are stripped of most of their fiber, vitamins and minerals.
  4. Avoid alcohol.
  5. Avoid added refined sugar.

Clean Eating

I have some helpful tips here if you’d like to give it a try.

Do you want to feel better and become healthier? Starting a clean diet may be for you. Feel free to comment below if you have any questions about eating clean.

Read my story about how and why I started to eat a clean diet.

heartsig

Making Friends Through Online Social Networking

23 Mar

I want to share my most recent adventure with you. Yesterday, I went to visit the Challenge Loop headquarters.  Challenge Loop is an iPhone app. that let’s you join fun challenges and share your progress with pictures, comments, and/or videos. Challenge Loop was a creation that was incubated within the company called IDEA. IDEA is the leading resource for health and fitness professionals and is based in San Diego. To learn more about Challenge Loop, read my first post about them here.

challengeloop

IDEA

Lucky for me, IDEA is not too far from where I live. It only took me about half an hour to get there and a little longer to get home (gotta love San Diego traffic!). I met up with Kelli, the social media/web products manager of IDEA. She showed me around the building, introduced me to a few of her co-workers, and we went out for some lunch. It was Foodtruck Friday, and it was my very 1st food truck dining experience. It was so cool! We hung out on the grass, enjoyed the sunshine, chatted about online social media, and ate our lunch. We both ordered chicken salads from the Paleo food truck. It was very tasty!

chicken salad Paleo food truck

Me and Kelli

I am so excited that I made some new friends through blogging and got to see a little “behind the scenes” action of an awesome local company. I will be hosting a challenge on Challenge Loop soon, so stay tuned!

Have you met any new friends through online networking? I’d love to hear your stories about it!

heartsig

Who’s up for a challenge?

12 Feb

I recently found this neat app called Challenge Loop. It is an app that lets you browse through and join all types of challenges. You “compete” and share your status with others who have signed up for the same challenge. Some challenges even offer prizes at the end of the designated time frame. There are weekly and monthly challenges or others that are self-paced such as “The 100 Push-Up Challenge”. The types of challenges include nutrition, fitness, health and wellness, and others. This app can be a useful tool to getting started with anything you’ve been striving for. It can help with your diet, weight loss, fitness or anything you want. You can even set-up your own challenge.

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I am currently doing two monthly challenges for February. One is the “Butts and Guts Fitness Challenge” (BGFC) and the other one is the “28-Day Blog Challenge” (28DBC). The BGFC focuses on working your glutes and abs by doing body weight squats and planks each day. Every day, the goal is to do more squats and hold your plank for longer than the previous day. Unfortunately, I’m on a couple day break due to my cold. Booo! But, my goal is to do 100 squats and a 1 min 30 sec plank by February 28th.

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The other challenge has been helpful in getting my blog up and running. Its focus is to help you build a better blog by challenging you to fix, add, update or share something each day. Both of these challenges have helped me be accountable and focus on the objectives that are important to me. I challenge you to challenge yourself! You may be surprised at what you can achieve when you set your mind to it and get involved with a community of others striving for the same goal. What do you want to challenge yourself to achieve?

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. ~ Helen Keller

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