Entries in Weight Loss (22)

Saturday
Jan072012

Creating Habits for Eating CLEAN

If I'm away and not eating my healthiest, as soon as I get home I'm back to eating CLEAN and it takes little effort. Why is it so easy? Because it has become a habit.  We are creatures of habit. Habits help us get through the day. It makes satisfying our needs to eat, sleep, work, wash... easier to accomplish because it's habitual and effortless.  Think of how easy it is for you to make dinner in your kitchen, you know where everything is - you've done it many times (hopefully!).  But if you're in someone else's kitchen, it's much more complicated and it takes longer.

Habits are powerful however perhaps there are habits that you would like to change.  And maybe there are habits that you've already tried to change, such as eating healthier.  Habits are very hard to change since they are so ingrained in us, they are second nature. But once you've make the change, that healthy eating habit, for instance, then becomes almost automatic to us.  When you apply personal strengths, such as determination, persistence, fortitude and optimism, you can make it happen.

Break down your goals into smaller tasks.  For instance, if you want to shift to a CLEAN diet, you can first focus on developing a new habit for eating healthy breakfasts. Once accomplished, you can then move on to lunch and then dinner.  So how long does it take to form a new habit? The established rule on habits is 21-28 days, however more recent research from the UK Health Behavior Research Centre came out with research that found it took 66 days to form a habit. I would have to agree with that number. 

Remember to keep your eye on the prize.  Don't let setbacks discourage you, instead use them as fuel to succeed.  Be gently on yourself and remind yourself of the all the times when you've triumphed over adversity in the past.  I know you can do it!!  Believe in yourself.

 

Food Log

Days 4 and 5 were very similar - I am a creature of habit.

Breakfast - Day 4 & 5:

My day always starts with 2-3 glasses of hot water.

Cucumber, 1/2 apple, romaine lettuce, spinach, parsley, ginger, lemon juice

Avocado and cucumber mash on gluten free toast.  (I crave this when I get up! Not a bad thing to crave.)

Lunch - Day 4 & 5:

High energy salad: Mixed greens, avocado, cilantro, parsley, mint, basil with drizzled avocado oil

Dinner - Day 4

Salad - Black bean, corn, red pepper, cucumber, cilantro and lime salad.

7x7 herbal tea

Dinner - Day 5

A little bit of whatever I had in my fridge.  Homemade sunflower dip (see Day 3 post for recipe), rice crackers, clementines and Ying Yang Soyfood organic tofu.  This tofu is so good.  The bf does not like tofu with the exception of their flavoured variety, which he really likes. He's my barometer for what most people will like.

7x7 herbal tea

Hot and warm water throughout the day.

Tuesday
Jan032012

Day 3 - CLEAN Nutrition for 30 Days

Breakfast

Shake: Cucumber, romaine lettue, 1/2 apple, parsley, lemon, ginger.

Green shakes are packed with nutrients.  If you're starting out, the apple is key to balancing any green smoothie.  Green shakes can be bitter but the sweetness of an apple balances it, making the green juice tasty.  I don't always add an apple because I enjoy the bitterness.  I need that to start my day.

Cucumber and avocado mash on one slice of gluten-free bread.

Green tea. 

Lunch

Lentil Soup - I had to finish the last of the Good Luck New Year's batch.

Dinner

I asked the BF to throw something CLEAN together and this is what he came up with:

Tomato, bok choy, portbello mushroom, onion, garlic and tofu topped with fresh cilantroBragg Liquid Aminos and sunflower seed dip on gluten free wrap.

Good job BF - Very tasty!  I love fresh cilantro.

7x7 tea, hot and room temperature water throughout the day.

Sunflower Seed Dip

  • 1 cups hulled sunflower seeds (ideally soaked for 8 hours, see why below)
  • 1/4 cup hulled sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup red onion
  • 1/2 cup parsley (chopped)
  • 1 lemon - juice of it
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Top with hemp hearts (optional)

Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until you get the desired texture - I like my dip smooth. You may add some water if you're having difficulty blending.

** Hemp seeds are a great source of protein, omega 3, manganese, magnesium, vitamin E

The hemp hearts are great to sprinkle into shakes, oatmeal, yogurt... While hemp seeds are a bit tougher to eat so you are better off blending them.

 

Why soak nuts and seeds?

Soaking nuts and seeds beings the sprouting process. This increases enzyme activity, improves absoprtion of its nutritions, and increases digestibility.  The nutrients significantly increase once the sprouting process being.

 

 

Tuesday
Jan032012

Day 2 - CLEAN Nutrition for 30 Days

Eating CLEAN is easy. It does take a bit of practice in the beginning and some getting used to, but it's well worth the benefits.  Organization is key.  If you are not organized and don't have CLEAN food accessible, you'll likely grab that muffin or burger because it's quick and available.  I usually go to the market on the weekend. When I get home, I clean my vegetables, cut them and prepare them for the week.  I typically eat at work, so I pack my breakfast and lunch in the morning - much of the final prep is done the night before.

Breakfast

Green Shake. 1 cucumber, handful of spinach, 1/2 apple, 1/2 lemon, handful of parsley

Cucumber and avocado mash on one gluten-free toast.  This was the first time I had this and may I say DELICIOUS!! I diced up about 1/4 cup of cucumber, mashed in half an avocado and added a dash of Bragg Liquid Aminos.  Bragg Liquid Aminos contains 16 amino acids - the building blocks to protein. It tastes like tamari or soya sauce.

7 x 7 tea: This tea contains 49 herbs.

Lunch

High energy salad. 

- Mixed greens, parsley, cilantro, mint, basil, 1/2 avocado, 1 tomato, sesame seeds, drizzled avocado oil.  I had a burst of energy after having the salad.  It’s full of nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, fiber, calcium and manganese.

Snack

Lentil soup.

- Lentils are an excellent source of fibre.  In addition to lowering cholesterol, lentils also help manage blood sugar levels. They are also source of folate (folic acid) and tryptophan, which is an amino acid that helps manage appetite.

Dinner

Lentil soup (It was that good!)

Rice crackers with homemade nut spread: sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, parsley, onion and garlic.

7 x 7 tea

I had hot and room temperature water throughout the day.

 

Sunday
Jan012012

CLEAN Nutrition for 30 Days

Happy New Year Everyone!

For the next 30 days I will be following the CLEAN food diet 100% of the time. I typically follow this philosophy about 80-90% of the time - I advise my peeps to follow it at least 80% of the time.  The 80%/20% rule! 

I'll be blogging about what I eat and will post some recipes. Whether you're looking to lose weight, become healthier or want to set a better example of your children,  I hope to help you along your quest for better health.

"The first wealth is health." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ok, so what is CLEAN nutrition?  It's probably easier to define it by explaining what it's not.
CLEAN nutrition is NOT:
•    Refined and processed foods
•    Sugar (white, brown...)
•    Fruit drinks high in refined sugars
•    Gluten-containing grains (wheat, spelt, rye, barley) i.e. breads, pasta, pastries…
•    Dairy (milk, cream, cheeses, butter, yogurt, ice-cream), goat milk and goat cheese are permitted
•    Caffeinated beverages (coffee, black tea, soda pop)
•    Red meats (beef, pork)

It may sound limiting but it's really not, you just need to get out of your old routine. Out with the old and in with the new. You will feel amazing - I promise!  So stick with me and you'll see results.

What will I be eating? Lots of vegetables, fruits, lean meats (I don't eat meat, but I do eat fish and I do recommend meat if you so choose), quinoa, rice, beans, tofu, nuts and seeds and lots of water.

 

Stay tuned for my daily food log.

 

 

Thursday
Jul282011

Fibre for Weight Loss & Overall Health

 There has been recent hype about fibre that marketers have latched on to. Fibre cereal, fibre cookies, fibre in the artificial sweetener Splenda  (now that one is just ridiculous) but aside from Splenda now marketing its fibre content, there is good reason for the recent hype about the importance of fibre.  With the steady increase in the consumption of refined and processed foods, at the expense of whole foods, we are not getting the fibre our bodies need.  White grains and white sugar have had the majority of their nutrients (including fibre) stripped. That's why white bread, cakes, cupcakes... all melt in your mouth - they contain no fibre to slow down the digestion process. 

 

6 Reasons why Dietary Fibre is Important

1. Supports weight loss: Fibre leaves you feeling full

2. Controls diabetes and blood sugars: Fibre helps to regulate or slow glucose (sugar) absorption.

3. Promotes bowel regularity: Fibre adds bulk to stool, keeping stool soft and the bowels moving regularly.

4. Reduces cholesterol levels: Fibre can help lower serum cholesterol levels by inhibiting the absorption of cholesterol.

5. Helps prevent cancer: Fibre-rich foods contain phytochemicals, known to reduce cancer risks. Fibre may also help detoxify cancer-causing substances.

6. For overall health: Foods with fibre have lots of vitamins and minerals that our bodies need. Fibre also helps our bowels to function properly on a regular basis, and to prevent either diarrhea or constipation.   

The 2 Types of Dietary Fibre

Soluble Fibre

Soluble fibre contains gums and pectin. This type of fibre helps to regulate total cholesterol levels and LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) in addition to controlling blood sugar levels (excellent for Type II diabetics). Soluble can be found in all fruit and vegetables. The following foods are rich sources:

  • Legumes (peas, soybeans and other beans)
  • Oats
  • Apples
  • Barley
  • Chia seeds and flaxseeds
  • Citrus fruits
  • Strawberries

 

Insoluble Fibre

Insoluble fibre contains cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. It is important for bowel health since it makes stools soft and bulky. Insoluble fibre helps prevent or reverse constipation. Excellent sources include:

  • Green beans
  • Cauliflower
  • Oats
  • Wheat bran
  • Flaxseeds

 

You should aim for about 25- 35 grams of fibre per day. Don't worry about getting the different kinds of dietary fibres in varying amounts. Simply increasing your overall fibre intake, will be beneficial to you.  The easiest way to do this is to avoid refined and processed foods and instead opt for whole and CLEAN foods.  This may be easier said then done for some so in the meantime here are some tips to get you started.

 

Tips to Increase your Fibre Intake:

  • Switch all grain products to whole grain products
  • Sprinkle ground flaxseeds into your yogurt or shake
  • Eat a minimum of 5 - 9 servings of fruit and veggies daily
  • Use beans in omelets, casseroles and salads and eat bean dips such as hummus (chickpea spread)
  • Finish a meal off with an orange or have a citrus fruit as a mid-morning snack
  • Have a tablespoon of ground flaxseeds in a glass of water

Be careful about suddenly increasing your intake and overburdening your digestive system.  You should only aim for a 5g increase over a three to five day period, and drink plenty of water for it to be effective.

 

 

CLEANnutrition.ca Toronto Weight Loss and Nutrition