Monday, August 19, 2013

Clean Eating Update

Hey Everyone, 

As I mentioned in a previous post, a couple of weeks ago I decided to challenge myself to following a clean eating diet for 30 days. After a week of reading books and various clean eating blogs/websites, cleaning out my cupboards and buying a bunch of clean eating foods, I finally started my fully clean eating diet last Monday. So far, I absolutely love it. 

I feel like my whole life I've been programmed to only think about calories and fat when it comes to dieting. I have been on weight watchers several times and while, I did manage to lose weight, I wouldn't say I ever felt healthy. On weight watchers you are programmed to eat snacks that, while low in calories, really aren't made with the most wholesome ingredients (hello 100 calorie thinsation cookies, or mini weight watchers bagels). So while I was losing weight, I was also eating a fair share of chemicals, additives, etc. 

With clean eating, I am eating real food. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, etc. If I have chocolate its as close to 100% cocoa as I can find. If I want ice cream, I blend up a banana and add some natural peanut butter to it (surprisingly this has a really ice-cream like texture). If I want spaghetti sauce, I make my own with fresh tomatoes and basil.  If I want something sweet, I don't use processed unrefined sugar. I use 100% raw organic honey. I'm still able to eat a majority of my favourite foods, I am just making them myself and know exactly what is in them. I feel better about myself and really feel like I have a purpose again (something I often lack lying in bed with chronic pain). 

As far as weight loss, I haven't seen any real results yet (I go up and down each day it seems), but as of right now, I don't really care. I feel good about what I am putting in my body. I am conscious of the portion sizes I am eating but I am not limiting myself to a certain amount of calories (or 'points'). If I'm hungry, I eat something wholesome, I don't think 'well, you aren't supposed to have more than a 100 calorie snack this afternoon'. 

With the exception of being a vegetarian for the past 18 years I tend to be someone who throws everything I  have into something and then gives up a couple of months later when I get bored and move onto the new thing. While I can't say I am going to be a clean eater for the rest of my life, I can say that this 'diet' feel a lot different than other diets I've tried in the past and I really hope this is a life style change I can, and will want to, stick to for a long time. 

I will be sure to keep you updated on my progress, and once I find some more great clean eating recipes, I will definitely be sharing them. If you are interested in seeing what I am eating, be sure to follow me on Instagram (funnyfacebeautypics) where I post almost daily photos of my meals (yep, I'm one of those!). 

Thanks so much for your support. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Cinnamon Chia Seed Granola Recipe

Hey Everyone, 

One of the best clean eating recipes I have found since starting my 'healthy eating' journey has been Shape Magazine's 'Cinnamon Chia Seed Granola'. Making a few minor adjustments of my own, this recipe has become a house hold favourite as it tastes absolutely delicious! 

With only five wholesome ingredients, this granola fits the 'clean eating' bill and combines oats (fiber, protein), chia seeds (fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids), cinnamon (fiber, calcium, iron), honey (probiotics) and canola oil. 

I have been eating this granola by itself as a mid afternoon snack, sprinkled onto a bowl of greek yogurt and berries for breakfast or mixed with homemade frozen yogurt for dessert. 

1 cup of old fashioned large flake oats
2 tbsp. of chia seeds
3/4 tsp. of cinnamon
2 tbsp. of organic honey (can use non organic)
1 tbsp. of canola oil (could use olive oil or coconut oil for cleaner recipe)

1) Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2) Combine oats, chia seeds and cinnamon in a small bowl. 
3) Stir in honey and oil and mix until all oats/chia seeds are well coated.
4) Spread mixture onto a baking sheet
5) Cook for 15-18 minutes or until slightly browned. 

Will you be giving this clean granola recipe a try? Any great clean eating recipes you can share with me? 

All Natural 'Chia Seed Energy Drink' Recipe

Hey Everyone, 

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am currently stuck in bed with, what feels like, the flu. For me, the worst part of any flu (or cold) is the complete lack of energy and feelings of exhaustion. Trying to fight these feelings, I decided to try my hand at making an all natural (and hopefully tasty) energy drink. The drink contains three clean ingredients including chia seeds which are packed full of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals and protein. Chia seeds also help keep you hydrated (very important when you are sick) as they can absorb 9-10 times their weight in water. 

2 cups of water
1/2 tbsp of chia seeds 
1/2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice 

** Chia seeds expand in water taking on a strange but cool jelly-like texture**

** If you are not a fan of tart drinks, add 1/2 tbsp of maple syrup, raw honey or agave nectar. **

** Try adding some fruits like raspberries or vegetables like cucumber to give the drink more flavour**

Will you be trying out this all natural energy drink recipe? If so, be sure to share your thoughts and/or pictures in the comment section below. 

Band Fill Update + My Favourite Green Smoothie

Hey Everyone, 

It's been almost 2 weeks since I got my latest lap band 'fill' and, let me tell you, I have noticed a difference. The first couple of days after receiving my fill, I figured it hadn't worked. I was able to eat all of the same foods I had been able to eat before the fill,  and didn't feel any less hungry. By day three, however, things had changed. The first thing I noticed was that the foods I had never had difficulties with, were extremely hard to eat. From well toasted bread to crunchy lettuce, I get 'stuck' at least once a meal and am not able to flush the food down with a sip of water (I won't get into the gross details of how I get the food unstuck). I have also noticed myself getting full or satisfied with less food, although I still feel fairly hungry between meals. I have not seen much weight loss since getting the fill, but am really hoping that with a little exercise (I'm currently sick with the flu and in bed) and a new diet (see below), I will start seeing results soon. 

Clean Eating
In an attempt to eat even better than I have been, I have dared myself and one of my sisters to go on a 'clean eating' diet for one month. For those who don't already know, a clean eating diet involves whole nutritious foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins) and no processed foods, white flour or sugar. There is a lot of planning that has to go into eating this way (shopping, meal prep, choosing clean recipes, cleaning out the cupboards), so we won't be starting until next week. After a few days of eating this way, I will be sure to update you on my progress and hopefully share a few favourite recipes. 

My Favourite Green Smoothie
As I mentioned in my previous post, I am on a green smoothie kick, and find that this healthy drink, packed with spinach and a variety of fruit, is usually enough to keep me satisfied between breakfast and lunch. While I don't have exact measurements for what I include in my smoothie (I usually just eyeball it), I wanted to share my favourite green smoothie combination. 

1 handful of spinach (High in Fiber, Omega 3, Protein and Vitamins C, E, A and K)
1/2 a banana (High in Potassium, Fiber and Vitamins C and B-6)
1/2 of a peach (High in Vitamins A and C, Fiber, Potassium and Antioxidants)
Frozen Mango Chunks (High in Fiber, Vitamins A,C,E and K and Potassium)
Earth's Own Original Almond Milk (High in Calcium, Vitamins C, E, D and A)
2 tbsp of Chia Seeds on top (High in Omega 3, Protein, Fiber and Antioxidants)

Have you tried green smoothies before? Any combinations you think I should try? Be sure to let me know in the comment area.