Clean Eating Update

I am coming into my 34th day of clean eating from my Digestive Spring Clean and I am starting to feel pretty fantastic.  I was able to stick to my clean eating program while sick, and in all likelihood it probably helped me to recover from my cold a lot faster than I would have normally.

After getting over my sugar withdraw everything has been pretty spectacular.   My eczema (reappearance from my not so optimal food choices) is almost all cleared up, my digestive system is starting to feel way less taxed than normal (less bloating and general uncomfortableness), my face is clearing up and a whole bunch of other positive benefits like more energy and better sleep.

I also think my new organic food delivery has a lot to do with this.  Yes, I am eating clean and changing my diet has a lot to do with starting to feel better and yes, I have started taking my vitamins and supplements again. However the food box that is delivered opens me up to a larger variety of different organic and non-GMO products.  I mean when I do the groceries I load up on vegetables and fruits but being completely honest I go for the same ones time and time again.  With the food box I get a varied assortment of different fruits and vegetables that I would likely only buy on occasion or never (what do you do with a star fruit?) Which leads me to an important part of clean eating, which is mixing it up.

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I find that when I start modifying my eating I end up finding a handful of things that work for me and then just stick with them until I become so sick of them I pretty much never want to eat them again.  Not only do I get bored of the foods I am eating but I am also limiting the type and amount of nutrients (vitamins and minerals) that I am feeding my body.

Our bodies are complicated amazing things that require support from a wide array of nutrients to function and if we want our bodies to function optimally we, as the owners of said bodies, have to do what we can to provide ourselves with a variety from various sources.

So give it a try this week. When you are doing your weekly grocery for the up coming week try and add two items (fruit or vegetable wise) to your cart that you normally wouldn’t select.   Pick something bright and colourful, or maybe it is that yucca everyone is always talking about.   Regardless of what it is try two new things, maybe make it a bit of a challenge for yourself, picking more and more and more new things each week to keep a healthy mix of vegetables and fruits in your diet, who knows you might find a new favorite food.

Happy Thursday Everyone!

 

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Eat Clean V.2.0 Enters Month 2

Now that everyone is a little over halfway through the clean eating challenge hopefully cutting processed and refined foods out of your diet is really just an after thought now. Hopefully your meal prep days and the working out of your meal plan for the week is something that had become more exciting than daunting and maybe, I am just being hopeful here, limiting your alcohol intake has become an after thought and your will power muscle has been seriously bulked up.
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During the second round of this challenge I was hoping that people who participated in the first round would have the opportunity to solidify their habits and those of you participating for the first time would have a chance to see just how simple incorporating clean eating into your life style actually is. I don’t expect this challenge to be without struggle (because it is often a struggle for myself) but the goal is for it to be empowering.

I hope that by now if you were asked to sit down and write down all the positive things about this challenge as well as the things you have learn those lists would be longer than the things you truly dislike and the struggles you have faced. The hope is that you have been introduced to something that can be incorporated into your life style and will last longer than just a 50 day blip.

Today as a part of challenge V.2.0 I recommend you make those lists:

1. What do you enjoy about this challenge and what do you dislike?
2. What parts of this challenge do you want to incorporated into your regular lifestyle?
3. What have you learnt that you find useful?
4. Is there a rule you can’t wait to be without and why?
5. What has most surprised you about yourself while on this challenge?

These are some things that I like to ask myself when I am testing something out, it gets me to think about why I am doing it and to really focus on if it is something I want to incorporate into my everyday life.

I would love to hear what you all have to say about the challenge so if you feel like it share some of your answers in the questions below.

Happy Wednesday everyone.

3 Tips for Time Management

It is now a week into Challenge V.2.0 and it feels great to be back into a challenge. Sometimes I find it takes a bit of competition to remind yourself of how much willpower you have, how determination you are filled with and how many other people out there have similar goals to your own.

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Clean eating is something that I have found that the more I do it and the more effort I put into making it a part of my regular life, the easier it gets and the more it turns into just a part of your regular routine.  You have to think about it much less and the decision to pick something clean or to make the tomato sauce instead of buying it becomes something that is less of a decision and more of an instinct or habit.

Some of the things I notice of myself when I do challenges like this is that I always find that I have a bit more time on my hands.  I feel that I end up focusing so much more on my organization to ensure that I succeed at the challenge that I end up feeling like everything I need to get done actually gets done. I don’t know if anyone else can relate to this, but I always feel like when I plan things properly I feel like I have more “time” for everything.

So just in case you can’t relate to my feeling or you are looking for some tips on how to make everything a bit easier on yourself I would provide some tips to help you all feel a bit more relaxed and as though you have all the time in the world so that preparing your food and self for the day doesn’t feel like a chore.

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1. Plan it out.   Much like the tips I provided on meal planning it is important to give yourself a specific time every week to plan out what your meals will be and what groceries you will need to get for that to happen.  This doesn’t only apply to your food, I find it really helpful to plan out my workouts, yoga visits, and runs with my running buddy that way activities like this are much less likely to fall the waste side.

2. Take time to relax.  It is great to have things planned out and to be busy (at least I don’t mind it) but no one can go full tilt forever.  As important as it is to get everything done and be prepared it is equally important to take a minute to catch your breath.  Be sure to give yourself some time each day to unwind and relax a bit, even if it is just reading a book for 30 minutes before passing out at night be sure to give yourself some time.

3. Combine what you can.  When it’s possible try and kill two birds with one stone.  Things like making big suppers so you have lunch for the next day, working yoga into your day as your “me time”, or chopping your veggies right after grocery shopping.  When it is possible to group to do’s together do so to save yourself some time.

I hope these tips help you to stay on track with your health, fitness and wellness goals.

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

Another Glorious Weekend and another Recap

This weekend was pretty great. Now with summer definitely being here I have a feeling most weekend are going to be pretty glorious which is going to make Monday mornings all the more difficult.

I started off my weekend with a Friday evening workout. It was leg day and it owned me. After having a rough week the week before (I didn’t make it through my whole leg day) I was excited to get a full workout under my belt. I know I sound crazy when I say this but I absolutely love leg day. I know most people like push and pull type days (generally speaking back, arms and core) but there is something about leg day that just makes me feel like a powerhouse, so I am always stoked to do some squats and deadlifts.

20130617-070128.jpgAfter the gym I came home to a wonderful meal of grilled tuna steaks with asparagus and mushrooms cooked by my wonderful husband. Just a side note the tuna steaks were so huge they provided both of us with a second meals.  It is also getting nice enough out that we are able to eat out on our deck, which is always so nice and relaxing. After supper we tidied up and then just relaxed for the rest of the evening.

Saturday started off early with a glorious run with Susan.  We have started a new training program to start lengthening our distances and it has, so far, been pretty easy to stick to, we will see what my tune is once the distances start to exceed 10k.  After our early morning run we both decided that it was a great day to pamper ourselves, so we stopped by Starbucks for some shaken iced teas and headed off to get our nails did. Once I got back home I was definitely ready to dig into some lunch, so I whipped up a quick salad with the leftover tuna steak and it was fantastic!
nails and salad

After lunch it was time to run some quick errands and stop off at Art in the Park. The art was awesome and it was so fun to look at everything.  Also check out the house that looks like a castle, how awesome would it be to live there?

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Following Art in the Park, we headed over to a BBQ for a friend’s birthday and what a perfect day for some outdoor activities and mingling with friends. I also had the chance to see one of my favorite little ladies, and boy is she getting big! She is such a little ham.

bbq babes

Following the BBQ it was a quick stop at home to change for an engagement dinner, and then off we went to a lovely supper at one of my favourite restaurants in the city, Fresco’s. They are always super tasty! I probably should have taken pictures of my Arctic Char but I am always way too excited to eat my food to remember to snap a photo of it. I used my last “cheat” that evening so I could have some wine and indulge in the nut free dessert, it was tiramisu, I had never had it before and I am definitely a fan now! After supper everyone else continued the festivities but having started my day pretty early I was tuckered and ready to just unwind.

Sunday started off same as most Sundays with a visit to the Farmer’s market to stock up on my weekly groceries.  June is my favourite for the market because the amount of fruit and veggies really starts picking up, and  as delicious as asparagus is it is always fun to have some variety in what’s available.  I also finally purchased some plants to start a mini backyard garden.  I picked up some tomato and kale plants and I can’t wait for them to get bigger and start producing.

garden party

After finishing off at the market and getting the rest of our groceries for the week it was time to fully engage in some lazy sit on my butt time, so my husband and I loaded up Pirates of the Caribbean and got ready to enjoy a marathon movie watching day, while it rained outside. Basically a pretty fantastic ending to a weekend.

Now it is Monday and there are 3 days left of the Gingersneezes Eats Clean challenge so a huge congrats to everyone who is sticking with it!

Happy Monday everyone! 

Clean Eating – Giveaways

So folks it is finally here Gingersneezes’ very first giveaway!  I couldn’t be more excited especially because of who is donating the prize!  Seeing Gingersneezes is doing a 50 day Clean Eating challenge the prize is completely perfect!  The generous people over in Tosca Reno’s shop have donated an AMAZING gift filled with a bunch of clean eating essentials!

I figured now would be a great time for a giveaway to help pump up all of your motivation to stay on course.  I find that generally speaking heading into week three of something can be pretty challenging.  Week one you are all full of motivation and energy to succeed, week two you are starting to feel some positive effects of your lifestyle change, and then week three sinks in.

It is a point in a lifestyle change, a cleanse, or some type of challenge where your motivation may have dwindled a bit, you might be struggling with overcoming a barrier you haven’t ever had to face. You may be feeling like you have been so good so you deserve your sugary, processed food you normally have on Friday nights. Or that perhaps just a couple drinks won’t be so harmful to all the progress you have worked for.  I find it is at this point where you really need something to keep you going and keep you focused on what you goals are, why you started this challenge and why you wanted to commit to it 100%.

_DSC0141This giveaway is inspired by the Gingersneezes Eats Clean challenge but it is open to any of my readers and hopefully this will inspire you to try the challenge for yourself, we are 16 days in but it is never too late to start!

_DSC0141I have made you all wait long enough, what could you win? Well you could win an Eat-Clean Diet and Raw Elements Inc sponsored goody bag!  The goody bag includes Tosca Reno’s favorite Sunwarrior supplements, a special recipe from Tosca and two titles from Tosca Reno’s best selling Eat-Clean Diet series!

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And now for the important part…How do you win?  It is simple, in the comments below answer the following questions….What is your favorite clean eating treat? or What processed food do you find yourself missing the most?

The winner will be selected at random on the 31st of May, the winner’s name will be posted on the site so that I can get in touch with them for shipping information.  Although the grand prize will be selected at random I may be giving away some extra little goodies for originality and enthusiasm. I can’t wait to see what you have to say!

Happy Thursday Everyone! I hope you are all gearing up for a nice May 2/4. 

*I have not tried any Sunwarrior products as previously mentioned in a post, so you will have to get back to me on what you think of it.

Fridge Spring Clean

In preparation for the 50 day challenge I decided to clean out my fridge a little early so that I could share the purge with all of you.  It turned out to a bit more work than I had initially envisioned but it was nice to go through and see what food I have been eating and to clean my fridge which to be honest (sorry mom) had gotten totally out of control. a little out of control Now generally I like to think I am a pretty healthy eater, I mostly make my own salad dressing, sauces, marinades etc.  but my my face was red once I started emptying out the fridge.  How many sauces do two people need of my goodness. condiments Collage After my initial shock wore off I got to work being ruthless, and started tossing things out. I did however have to keep in mind that I am not the only one in the house who will be eating for the next 50 days.  Although my husband will be supporting me and eating the same meals as me for the most part he won’t be participating 100% in the challenge. Keeping that in mind I allowed some foods to stay in the house for his use.

The next surprise was all of the hidden sugars, salts, processed and artificial junk in my supposedly healthy food. There were items I thought were going to be garbage for sure (tostitos salsa) that weren’t and then other’s I thought would be totally fine (Sriracha – sugar) that didn’t end up suitable for the challenge.

Then there were all the fake healthy products I had been suckered into buying. We all know the products that advertise as low sodium, low calorie, carb free, or whatever their health claim.  But once you flip them over you have the chance to see just how unnatural the ingredients are and how many stabilizers and colour enhancers were used to make them look and taste appetizing.   So be sure to read the ingredients and look at your labels when you go through the same clean-up before the challenge there are some items that might shock you (both good and bad).

Sneaky Collage So after about two hours of scrubbing and reading ingredients, the fridge and freezer were finally ready for the Eats Clean challenge.  Standing back looking at all my hard work (a fridge a mom could be proud of) I realized that I would need to do some groceries.

after Collage To show the difference here is a quick little before and after.  I hope your purge feels as freeing as mine did, I guess it is something about the spring and cleaning stuff out of the house makes me feel so good. before and after Collage

Take a before and after of your fridge and post it on instagram, twitter or facebook (#GingersneezesEatsClean), trust me the after photo will be 100% the before!

Happy Wednesday everyone! The weekend is in sight! 

What’s so Special about Radishes?

Happy Food Friday! This Friday instead of giving you a homemade recipe I figured I would take a minute to talk about the amazing little cruciferous vegetable the radish. To be honest radishes are not my first choice in a vegetable, by a long shot, but after reading a couple of books and setting up a meal plan for myself to break through this plateau I am at I realized it popped up quite a bit. So I thought to myself “why in the world does everyone want me to eat radishes?” Instead of looking it up right away I just tossed it into my meal plan on a regular basis, but the more I cut the little guys up the more I wondered why am I eating this all the time.
radishesUnable to handle the suspense anymore, and wondering why I had started eating radishes every day I went to the internet and started looking up radish nutritional facts. I was definitely not expecting the results I found. These little vegetables and their leaves are packed full of great things.

Like their cruciferous friends (kale, brussel sprouts, broccoli, etc.) they are great at helping to prevent cancer. The bulb or root being full of fiber, vitamin C and folic make it a bit of a natural detoxifier which helps to clean you out and keep your colon healthy. I think it is important to note that when I say they are full of fiber I mean full of fiber, a radish has about 1g of fiber in it which is approximately 4% of your recommended daily intake, for something so little that is great!

Not only are they full of fiber but they are also full of water, which makes them a great tool in anyone’s weight loss tool box. Adding some radishes to your meal will increase your fiber and water intake helping you to feel satisfied quicker and longer. Them being packed full of flavour will also help to entertain your taste bites, giving your salads and other meals an extra punch of taste. Along with filling you up they will make sure to deliver a good dose of some essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, the Bs, K, as well as other minerals like potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, and many others.

To think such a small little vegetable would be capable of delivering all of these things, while making sure to keep you healthy boggles my mind sometimes. But it is times like these that I am extra encouraged to continue eating clean and exploring new fruits and vegetables because you never know what they might offer.

HAPPY FRIDAY!!! I am not sure why but this week I am extra excited for it to almost be the weekend.

Have you been amazed by the healthful potential of a fruit or vegetable lately? If so which one?

References:
Livestrong
Organic Facts
Every Nutrient