Earlier this week partook in a spur of the moment 24 hour juice cleanse. I hadn’t planned much for the day and woke up feeling drained and run down, and had some pretty nasty sugar cravings. I did what all crazy people do and decided to do a juice fast/cleanse! I made all my own juices with left over fruits and veggies,
Throughout the day I had some great bursts of energy as well as some much needed mental clarity. Along the way I learned that you definitely don’t have to spend tons of money on a pre made juice program! I made all my juices in total I drank 4 throughout the day and in the evening I ate a light dinner. It was a great experience and a surprisingly easy one, so easy I might consider doing it weekly. Following my juice fast/cleanse I was able to control my sugar cravings and my appetite. By doing the cleanse I was able to reset my body’s cravings and able to satisfy them with much healthier versions.
Recently I was assigned the task of making the cake for a family member’s baby shower.
This was a new challenge for me as I don’t often get to make cakes since my boyfriend and immediate family aren’t the biggest fans of cakes in general. I immediately knew I was going to use Nick Malgieri from Food Network’s classic white cake recipe, it’s to die for it stays very moist and is not crumbly. I started out preparing three batches of the recipe and divided it up between three baking sheets lined with silicone baking mats. I baked them all at once by simply rotating the pans every 10 minutes. After the cakes were baked and cooled I cut off the hard edges and divided the cakes into six pieces each, then I proceeded to fill and stack the cakes 6 layers high.
The fillings I used were lemon curd, chocolate ganache and black berry jam. I topped each cake per the fillings previously used. I iced them all with stabilized whip cream and then topped additionally with a classic buttercream this makes the cake a lot lighter than if you were to ice completely with buttercream. By making all three cakes at once with the same recipe but different fillings and toppings, you can give the illusion that you took the time to bake and decorate three entirely different cakes, this is most certainly a major time saver and a wonderful trick to have up your apron sleeves. You can find the recipe, some pictures of the finished product and a list of the toppings used below;
Eating healthy at work or school can be quite the challenge, it’s so easy to cave and go buy something on your lunch break. By avoiding this your health and wallet will thank you.
For my homemade lunches, I like to make a salad and cut up some fruits and veggies the night before. Another easy way to have a healthy lunch pre-made is to freeze some individual portions of soup, take one out in the morning and at lunch just pop it in the microwave. My personal favorite is minestrone with quinoa added it’s more filling than typical. If I’m crunched for time getting ready for work or school here are a couple of additional snacks I am sure to grab. They’re all made of 5-ingredients or less, minimally processed, delicious and good for you:
A Lara bar, you can get them in bulk at Costco and they’re perfect clean snacks/treats to have on hand. I try to not have too many of them but a couple a week is good.
Dehydrated apple chips, they’re so yummy I find that sometimes I’m not even hungry. I just want something to chew on, so these are a perfect pick.
Kale chips, they’re a super food, super easy to make and super yummy to eat.
Fresh cut veggies and salsa with some 5-ingredient beet crackers, they also can be purchased at Costco.
Naked smoothies’ mini smoothies they’re perfect for a quick energy booster when you don’t have the time or option to eat.
Unintentionally I typically do 16:8 fasting with a 12pm-8pm eating window. Before 12pm I drink lots of water and a coffee or tea.
Avoid mindless eating, to combat this aim to sit down and eat without being distracted. I tend to eat anywhere other than our dining room table or kitchen table to I make an effort to sit down and eat rather than make food and take it back with me to where ever I was in the house.
Avoid any product with more than 5 ingredients, especially ones that I can’t pronounce or don’t know.
I strongly recommend avoiding protein bars, or powders. If you’re eating a balanced diet there unnecessary for the average person. If I notice I have not rated enough during the day I will eat a Lara bar, they’re low glycemic and calorie dense.
Avoid cream based salad dressings and cheese, I use either plain balsamic vinegar or balsamic dressing and skip cheese on my salads.
Avoid meat in large portions, typically I will eat one chicken breast a couple times a week as well as eggs, typically I’ll have 1-2 eggs or servings of egg whites a week.
Avoid dairy (only consume as an ingredient in a product, typically just my bread and occasional salad dressing contains it.)
Avoid added sugar, watch when adding sugar in tea or coffee. As well watch having large amounts processed fruit when dried fruit doesn’t contain the fibre that fresh fruit does so our bodies cannot process the extra sugar properly.
Avoid fruit juices, diet drinks, energy drinks.
Avoid large portions of bread, I freeze it by the loaf and eat about 1 slice whole grain bread every couple days.
Avoid processed foods especially over processed foods when possible.
Over the past couple months I’ve been watching some documentaries, which could also be put as obsessively watching documentaries and talks on the American diet, educating my self on nutrition. With the goal of learning what’s truly healthy for my body.
I’ve learned a lot of things;
Almost everything is wrong with the typical American diet.
Nutella’s first ingredient is sugar
You can find products with minimal ingredients quite effortlessly, if you’re aware that they do exist.
Eating 50-75% fruits and veggies every meal helps me feel more full, and stay full longer.
Sugar in processed fruit products really counts because the end product lacks the fiber that fresh fruit contains; your body uses the fiber to help digest the sugar in fresh fruit.
Most people are chronically dehydrated.
Diet pop may be 0 calories but your body still considers and processes it as sugar.
Balsamic vinegar is a low cal, simple and yummy dressing for salads.
You don’t have to use oil to roast veggies, you can opt to use some broth or nothing at all.
Avoid products advertised fat-free and sugar-free at all costs. Ironic? I know. These products are typically even worse for you than the original product it’s self.
If you drink multiple cups of coffee a day, with sugar, your sugar intake will still be high even if the rest of your diet is relatively sugar free.
A good diet will affect your weight more than a good exercise routine.
You can eat more clean, unprocessed foods (fat and calorie wise) compared to your original diet and still lose weight, at least I can.
Large portions of meat is not good for you, that goes for all meat. Not just red meat contrary to common beliefs, fish is possibly the worst meat there is because it will contain the most pollution and contaminants.
Eggs can be considered worse than meat for you. I try to limit egg consumption but who can’t resist a sunny side up and some whole grain toast once in a while.
Too much protein is bad for your organs. If eating a good, mostly unprocessed, diet you don’t need to consume ANY protein bars or shakes.
Most importantly I’ve been learning how to read intuitively what my body needs. For example headaches almost always mean I need to drink more water. And feeling lousy and bloated typically means I’m not getting enough sleep.
It’s very hard for people below the poverty line to eat healthy. Especially here in Canada.
I’ve been pondering on this for a while now, it’s crazy to think it’s unaffordable to purchase the most simple and natural ingredients that there are. How can a factory made, chemically altered product be cheaper than something that grows in the ground! Sure being healthy living below the poverty line is attainable, but it has a cost on their overall quality of life, ironic. A healthy diet should be not only affordable, but cheaper than the rest; in an ideal world of course. I find my self buying daily buying things such as:
$2 sparkling water,
$7 apple chips,
$9 all natural toothpaste,
I often stop to think, what would I eat and use if I couldn’t afford these things? I would eat over processed chemically loaded food.
You may find your self asking questions such as: what about;
Organic vs non organic,
Processed vs unprocessed,
Expensive vs cheap.
My goal in 2017; is to come up with an affordable, and nutritious meal plans and recipes for both individuals and families. I don’t think there should be a struggle to eat good on a budget, I will be researching the best ways to do so without going through any struggles.
“…whenever I hear people say clean food is expensive, I tell them it’s actually the cheapest food you can buy. That always gets their attention. Then I explain that with our food all the costs are figured into the price. Society is not bearing the cost of water pollution, of antibiotic resistance, of food-borne illness, of crop subsidies, of subsidized oil and water — of all the hidden costs to the environment and the taxpayer that make cheap food seem cheap. No thinking person will tell you they don’t care about all that. I tell them the choice is simple: You can buy honestly priced food or you can buy irresponsibly priced food.”
I have not exercised, nor followed a restricted diet. Yet I’ve lost about 10lbs a month over the past three months!
How? By eating minimally processed and minimally cooked foods! I’ve learned that by following a (semi-strict) 5-ingredient rule for the products I buy, almost everything I purchase will be minimally processed. Of course you can’t start counting things like tortilla chips or ice cream. Let’s rephrase that to “clean” foods with less than 5 ingredients.
I regret to admit that I work out maybe 3 times on a good week and 0-1 times on a typical week but I am on my feet all day at work and get upwards of 12,000 steps a day doing so. Yet I still lost weight, proving that a good diet and weight loss is even achievable for the lazy, Netflix loving, full time employed, student. Without having to restrict your caloric intake.
Over those three months I changed a lot about my diet, I’ve learned you can still have truly yummy food and drinks while eating healthy and some easy substitutions.
Have honey instead of sugar in your coffee, you’ll end up needing a lot less. And it’s also way healthier for you.
You can still have a specialty drink but opt for soy or almond milk and skip the excessive syrups. My go to is a soy or almond milk London Fog with a pump of sugar free vanilla syrup.
You have to let yourself eat bad to maintain a good diet. This may sound counterproductive but by letting your self have the occasional treat day (not to be confused with a cheat day, this isn’t a diet it’s a lifestyle), and I’m talking once every couple weeks. You will not feel like your not allowed to have certain foods, which causes you to want them a l o t more.
Clean eating for the win.
I feel and look amazing thanks to simply cleaning up my diet and subbing healthier but still yummy new options in opposed to my old go to meal and drink options.
I’m an all-or-nothing kinda girl, meaning I always approached clean eating with that same attitude. Which never turned out in my favor, this time I have approached clean eating with a whole (ha get it whole foods) new attitude.
The new and approved clean eating plan is as follows:
Eat 90% clean, and treat yourself to 10% treats;
For me a treat would be a soy cafe misto at Starbucks instead of my regular drip coffee. Or some cheesy-kale chips. You can “splurge” and still eat a clean diet. If you follow these simple rules you too will be effortlessly eating clean daily.
Drink water! A no-brianer, yes but our society as a whole is often chronically dehydrated. Make sure to drink at least one and a half liters of water, but aim for two.
Avoid dairy, cheese or large portions of meat. Especially when you’re eating a salad, by avoiding these you can easily cut back on unnecessary fat, added sugar and calories.
Build your meals for success, make sure 50% of your plate is filled with greens and veggies, fill the remaining 50% with half starch and half protein.
Watch for added sugar in your food products, 4g of sugar is equivalent to a teaspoon of sugar!
Try to keep all products down or five ingredient or less. Meaning ingredients you know and pronounce.
When making a meal, attempt to make it as visually pleasing as possible. You’re more likely to enjoy it and feel satisfied.