Clean Eating… my thoughts

I’ve read a lot about clean eating, people’s recipes and thoughts all the time, there are mag’s, books, e-books and guidlines, and I’ve been known to post some myself, and use the phrase on more then one occasion (see how many times I tagged). What do I really think about it? Bullshit! It’s such a load of crap that now someone thinks they’ve discovered America with this eating “revolution”. Every aspiring wann- be posts their own ebooks on it, as if they are something special, and like I said, I am guilty, have a look at my tags, I’ve done it, and probably will after this post too. A bit harsh I know, but I read all these young impressionable girls writing things to these gurus as if these people are god, some fountain of nutrition knowledge, when many (MOST) aren’t even qualified in any relevant field, and it makes me mad. Often, I feel like they’re been taken for a ride. Some of these ebooks on clean eating are just receipes that people have shared on blogs and various forums, and it makes me mad that someone packages them up and sells them to people who are often quite desperate, who look at their fit bodies and think if they buy the product that’s been flogged, whether a book, recipes, smoothies, protein powder, by a miracle this will instantly transform them. At the end of the day, it’s mainly diet, as well as exercise, nothing revolutionary there. The number of times I have read or heard people say “I don’t count calories, eat clean and you’ll be fine” is incredible! And too often, if you go by the definition of the term, these recipes include ingredients that are far from fitting that definition. Is protein powder really clean? How so? Too often they are actually using low fat,  or packaged, or ultra processed foods in the recipes or diets. What is clean about that?? Food should be plain and real as possible. I know when I first started trying to lose weight I was reading all of these things, and buying this crap, when all along I should’ve just listened to what one my aunties said – eat at home, eat like what we have always eaten, and just watch portions and you won’t get fat ever.

I think there’s something very unhealthy as classifying food as ‘clean’, therefore making the other food ‘dirty’. Guilt much? Does that sound like a recipe to a healthy balanced attitude to food to you?

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Let me explain further. As I’ve mentioned, I was actually born overseas. When I go back  I have to say that there is a huge difference with supermarkets and people’s way of shopping, thoughts on food, and weight issues (prevalence of type 2 diabetes) is hugely different to here, the US or England (and I’m sure other places). In many places, you still go to a butcher for meat, greengrocer for veg, bakery for bread etc. The foods are more natural and real generally, rather then having to specifically seek out places that advertise as being ‘clean’. In a supermarket, for instance, I look at the milk or yoghurt, and it isn’t a whole wall with every imaginable fat free, added omega/folate/whatever, or minus whatever ingredient, it’s proper real milk and proper yoghurt. There are some skim options (sadly, more and more, and moreso in capital cities or other big cities that are becoming more westernised in food habits), but overall, it’s pretty much a difference in milk brands, or flavours, rather then messing with food too much. Lettuce comes as you would pick it, not all pretty in a bag, pre rinsed and cut etc. Same with most veg, rather then pre-cut, pre-portioned, packaged, with added whatever in it.  And, when I am there I don’t even buy skim milk, and yet every time I am there I seem lose weight just incidentally. Now, I know this isn’t just the food, it’s the way meals are structured and portion sizes, however trust me, anyone with European rellies will know – as the guest there’s no saying no to desserts, seconds, and there’s no holding back with foods. And, add to this that Polish food is not lean by any stretch of the imagination. We have amazing sausages, smallgoods, cakes, cheeses etc, and I love them all. Yet, as I said, I always every time without fail slim down there, and I look around and not only are there less overweight and fat people around, the ones who are aren’t grossly obese like you see here. If they are there, I have never seen even one. It’s no secret which nations are the top for obesity, and no coincidence that these same nations have similar attitudes to food, meals, portion sizing and an abundance of fat free, lite, low fat etc predominant on the shelves.

I am going cold turkey. For the most part, I don’t get fat free, but I do buy skim milk, and a few other things. No more. Done with that shit.

Now, I will probably contradict myself and post some recipes tagged clean in future, feel free to call me out on it, it’s a journey, but this is my thoughts today, and where I stand today on it. What are your thoughts on this?

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Supplements – Protein for Men and Women – Review

My boyfriend and I started both trialling a few different supplements a while ago, in order to do some reviews. We both had different aims, and been trying a few different brands to find products that give us the results we’re after, as well as being good value, and tasting good. I also like to make different recipes with my protein powders as you all know, like baking bars, pancakes, protein balls, and even mixing with some greek yoghurt so flavour is probably more important to me.

So, anyway, we just finished our his and hers vitalstrength protein powers. The company was also generous enough to chuck in a a sample of the pre-workout. It’s the 16:00 Nitroxl pre-workout and came in orange crush and arctic blue. The boyfriend gave one of them to his workout mate. Both of them are doing personal training, and a prepping for a bodybuilding comp, so take this sort thing ultra seriously. They both liked the flavour they each tried, and are thinking about switching from their current pre-workout. This said it has no side effects, which they said it’s hard to tell only using it once, but is something that if it’s the case would be a HUGE selling point for them, as well as to recommend to other PT’s and guys at the gym. I’ve put links to the site if you want to have a look. Apparently they can make you jittery and it messes with your sleep big time. These guys work out in the afternoons so that is a major factor, and happy to report my baby slept like a baby.

He also got vitalstrength Weight Gainer in chocolate blast. He hammered this product, three shakes a day, and is definitely seeing some great results. I have noticed them too – his shoulders have grown so much! Hot. I can’t find this exact product on their website to link it though… the pro muscle looks similar, click here to see this. I used this in baking my protein bars, the banana blueberry ones, and he loved this batch. Despite the weight gainer being the last thing I was after, I did try them too, and I loved them. I usually use my Define Vanilla but was low and didn’t want to use it last batch of bars I made. Anyways, the next one he wants to try is the WPI  from vital stength, so I’ll update you on his results with that.

I like my Define Vanilla, high protein, fat free, low carb, so exactly what I look for. For me flavour is an important factor too, and this protein nails it. I love vanilla because it’s so versatile. I was talking to a friend who was saying she can’t believe I get Vanilla, but for me it’s the best. I can do all sorts of smoothies (see smoothies post here), and it goes with all, the avocado combo’s, ones with berries, greens, tropical flavours, works everytime. I put some PB2 in sometimes, cacao, or keep it simple and just use the vanilla. This has gotta be my favourite protein powder I’ve tried – and I’ve tried a few different brands – and from me that’s a big call. my routine lately has been to do my Insanity workouts, shower, head off to uni and I take my protein in a shaker – and this needs to keep me going for at least the next couple of hours until I have a break. Many I’ve tried are too watery, taste shit with just water (sometimes I mix milk and water, sometimes just water), gritty, or leave me feeling bloated and crampy after. NOT what I want when I got to sit through a lecture after. Has anyone else had that from protein powders? Also, I have got the best results with this, combined with my exercise routine, I feel really happy with. I’d also like to try chocolate, but I’m ultra fussy with chocolate flavours, I especially don’t like some of them when I use them in smoothies with greek yohurt. I’ll update on this after I try it too.

Anyways, that’s my review of the vital strength products. Like I said, as soon as my boyfriend tries the pre-workout for a longer period I’ll update on side effects in more detail, as I know this is something a lot of people are interested in hearing about.

20130312-204357.jpgNewMuscleJarThis is the one on their site that I think is most similar to the one my partner loved, but this is the actual one below:

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And finally the pre-workout

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juicing vs smoothies and exercise commitment

I just wrote a whole post, published it and ‘poof’ no where to be found. And I hate re-writing something that I’ve written, but am feeling motivated to post again luckily. It’s been one of those days, basically.

So, month two of insanity is still kicking my arse. I waxs walking up stairs today and my hammies and butt were killing me – but most pain is my chest. Never have I done so many push ups. I love the sore feeling though, so embrace this. Insanity is definitely the most engaging program I’ve ever done, but also the only one I’ve stuck to. I really can’t recommend it enough, it’ll be tough, but if you commit you’ll feel wild when you do it. I love sharing things I love, so have told all my friends to get into this!

I have made working out one of my priorities, just something that I do every day, rather then something I should fit in. I have a pretty full schedule, but it’s no reason to be slack and bitch about not being fit/thin/toned whatever it is you’re after. There is always someone busier then you. I have a friend with children, studies, works, has an active social life and house is always clean and tidy yet manages to workout daily. And good, tough workouts too. I don’t have patience for bullshit excuses of others, so try to not to it myself. And I reckon I succeed. If you want, you will find any excuse, time of day (too early, too late, too midday), just got home, just ate, just woke up, weather – too hot, too cold. I am already rolling my eyes at the thought of this bullshit, blah blah blah, have a whinge! Just don’t whing about body/fitness/health because it’s just bulshit.

On a lighter note, I brought the blueberry protein bars to uni the other day, and after begrudgingly sharing got asked for the recipe. Yep, they’re a hit. Trythem by clicking on this.

I was actually reading some of the emails I subscribe to this morning and looked at the Lorna Jane site, which had this awesome little piece on juicing vs smoothies. I’m a smoothie girl myself, last time I had a juice would’ve been over six months. I actually remember it, I was at the beach and got a fresh pinapple, watermelon, orange and beetroot juice ( the beetroot chucked in to make it a bit healthier). Delicious but I feel way more virtuous and healthy not to mention satisfied after a smoothie. I have them post workout usually, so many great combo’s I feel like one now just typing this! Anyways, have a lok at the below. What do you like? Juice or Smoothies?

Your Go-To Guide To Green Juicing & Smoothies

By By MNB TEAM | Posted in Nourish | March 13, 2013 | Add to favourites

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Struggling to get enough fresh veggies in your diet?  Do you often feel a little bit flat and in need of a energy boost?  Looking for great ways you can get some nourishment on the run?  Don’t worry girl, because at MNB we’ve got you covered with this guide to green juicing.

It’s totally obvious we are crazy, obsessed about all things GREEN, especially of the smoothie or juice variety, so to get you all super excited about it too, we are going to break it down and explain the bounty of benefits that come from fresh juicing and smoothy-ing (we may have made up a new word).

So why are green smoothies and juices so good?

First off, smoothies and juices are actually very different.  Smoothies are made by completely blending whole fruit and vegetables into a thick drink.  Juices, however, are exactly like the name suggests, and only the ‘juice’ from the vegetable or fruit is extracted for consumption.

Therefore, the main nutritional difference between smoothies and juices is that juices contain no fibre. 

Fibre is a type of carbohydrate that cannot be digested by our bodies.  This means that it passes straight through our digestive system without being broken down and without contributing too much to calorie intake.  Although it cannot be digested, it is still an extremely important nutrient as it keeps our digestive systems super happy by promoting healthy stools and supporting beneficial bacteria in our gut.  Not only this, but fibre keeps us feeling fuller for longer.

So now we know what fibre is you may be inclined to think that smoothies would be the better choice over juices.  Smoothies are wonderful, but consuming juices has its benefits too.

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So, there are pros and cons to both juicing and smoothies.  But which one should you choose?

Both are great to have on a daily basis, but there might be a few factors to take into consideration before you decide to juice… or blend those greens.  The next few scenarios may help you in your decision:
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What will I need to start blending or juicing?

Unfortuantely, to get the most out of the fruit and vegetables, you do have to initially invest in nothing less than a good quality blender or juicer.  Some cheaper blenders will just not do what you want them to do without a lot of patience, pain and tears.  High-powered blenders however, get the job done in next to no time.

Centrifugal juicers are much more common, but do some research and shop around before you buy any machine.  Cold-press masticating juicers, although a lot more expensive, are sturdy machines and can last decades.

So, why go GREEN?

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When shopping for green leafy veg, fresh is definitely best.  Avoid wilting, faded leaves and try to get organic, or at least local.  Give your greens a big wash, even if organic, before using to get rid of any nasties.

rhijuice_02This is MNB’s fave green smoothie combo. Super nourishing and jam packed full of green goodness!

Rhi’s Foodie Tips:
  • If you can, make a few smoothies or juices a day in advance, this will leave you with no excuses to not get those nutrients into you.
  • Start out slow.  At first aim for a fruit and vegetable ratio of 1:1 whether juicing or making a smoothie.  Then, slowly work your way down, getting accustomed to the taste, until you are using at least 3 parts veg to 1 part fruit.
  • Change it up every once in a while by having a different coloured juice or smoothie every day to experience the benefits of a variety of fruit and veg.
  • Use lemon or lime to prevent the discolouration of your drinks.
  • Store your drinks in glass for ultimate freshness.
  • Use the freshest of fresh produce to get the most bang for your buck.

Chłodnik – Cold Beetroot soup recipe

Chłodnik

Is a great Summer soup from Poland. It’s also a really pretty looking dish to serve for guests, and is really good for your, with plenty of herbs, beetroot, and natural yoghurt.

I highly recommend it

Ingredients

bunch of young beets with stems
2 finely garlic cloves
1 litre boiling water
Vegetable stock, or cube (Vegeta)
Spring onion
Parsley
Dill
500g natural yogurt, buttermilk or kefir
salt & pepper, to taste
¼ lemon juice

4 hard boiled eggs
1kg baby potatoes

Method

Wash and chop the beets and stems.Cut them quite small, you can even coarsely grate the beetroot.
Place in a large pot with boiling water, garlic, stock cube or Vegeta, and lemon juice. Cook covered until beets are al dente – just soft enough.
Remove from heat, then add half of your dill, half your parsley (reserve the rest for garnish), your spring onions and leave aside to cool down a little bit more. Add yogurt (buttermilk or kefir), season to taste with salt, pepper. Taste it, it may need a little sugar to balance the flavour. If the soup is too dense you can thin it with more hot water. Chill in fridge for an hour.

Hard boil your eggs

Chop and cook your baby potatoes, then put a little butter (optional) and sprinkle the rest of the dill on them.

To Serve, half your eggs, and put on top of soup which you sprinkle the rest of the parsley on, and serve the potatoes on the side, so they can be added by your guests themselves to the soup before eating.

 

Make 6 servings.

Healthy Travel snack ideas for upcoming holiday period

With my holiday rapidly approaching, I am thinking about travel snacks and healthy options. I’ve expressed some anxiety about my diet and routine suffering, and there are definitely some VERY unhealthy options in terms of travel food – whether it be airports, or on the road. It’s easy to not even try being health, but with the holiday season approaching I thought I would write about some healthy options.

 

Obviously – fruit. You can pre-cut it if that’s easier, but what better packaged option then a piece of fruit?

Yoghurt – A small portion sized container filled with some full fat greek yoghurt portioned out has an added bonus of probiotics which can help if you get uneasy in your stomach while travelling. I would get the small serves from a supermarket, but trying to find one that ISN’T REDUCED fat, and naturally flavoured is practically impossible. Plus, some of the sizes are more then 1 serve, so I bought these little stay fit containers, you freeze the lids to keep it cool, and you’re set.

 

Nuts – a small serve of nuts or trail mix is so handy to have, again you need to be aware of portion sizing, but they’ll help keep hunger and cravings at bay until you can get a proper meal.

Homemade muesli bars – I am making some with oranges and a little chocolate drizzled, yummm. There are some good natural bars you can get if you don’t feel like making them, I just don’t want something with too many additives.

I did consider some beetroot chips, organic and blah blah, but the sodium was ridics in them.

 

Because I am road tripping, I’ll also pack some crackers, like Vita-weats, or Ryvitas, with some avocado, or tuna that I can put together on the go for a bit more of a meal-y snack.

 

 

 

9 Foods For Amazing skin

http://www.wellandgoodnyc.com/2012/10/24/9-foods-for-amazing-skin/.

I came across this today and thought I’d repost, I love superfoods for skin! Like the Perricone Diet – amazing skin if you can make yourself eat COPIUS amounts of fish! For me, the sauerkraut and cabbage wasn’t a surprise, in Poland we know how good it is for your skin! And best of all, these are all really easy to incorporate into your diet, have loads of other health benefits, and and not obscure, and hard to get. I always have lemon and water first thing in the morning, have chia seeds in a brekkie or sometimes as a pudding, cucumbers in salad all the time, love a seaweed salad from sushi train, recently tried papaya for the first time (i know, hey, but I’ve always avoided it and thought I didn’t like it),  pumpkin seeds I put on a salad for crunch etc.

SkinWe may not be able to change our DNA or completely alleviate blemish-inducing stress, but we all can eat foods that contribute to amazing skin, says Kimberly Snyder, celebrity nutritionist and author of the best-selling The Beauty Detox Solution. Snyder shares with us nine foods—from cucumbers to kale and sauerkraut (surprise!)—that can seriously impact the look and health of your skin.

Cucumber

Cucumber: Cucumber is a virtually a cure-all full of hydrating enzyme-filled water, and hydration is key for youthful, smooth skin. It also contains vitamins B and C, zinc, iron, folic acid, calcium, magnesium and potassium. And it has anti-inflammatory properties, which is why you put the chilled slices over your eyes for a DIY spa treatment!

Seaweed

Seaweed: Seaweed is rich in B vitamins and minerals such as iron, which helps with healthy blood flow to contribute to radiant skin. It is also naturally low in (bloating) sodium, but high in iodine, to help your thyroid and metabolism function at its peak. Order a seaweed salad when you go for sushi or add spirulina to your smoothies or diet.

Kale

Kale: The sexy, good-for-you green is an excellent source of the beauty vitamins A, C, and E, which have potent anti-aging properties and help promote healthy new cell growth. Kale is also loaded with minerals, such as magnesium and calcium that healthy skin needs. Make a green juice or massage a kale salad stat.

Papaya

Papaya: Papaya’s gorgeous reddish color is due to its high content of beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body, and acts like a mechanic of on-going skin repair. The enzyme papain is used in all kinds of exfoliating facial masks, but when you eat it, it contributes its cleansing properties to your digestion and promotes both bright skin and eyes.

Sauerkraut

Raw sauerkraut and other probiotic-rich foods: Probiotics are one of the biggest beauty secrets for clear, radiant skin. They encourage the growth of friendly gut flora that helps keep your digestion in check, so there’s better nutrient delivery to the skin and entire body. And they help make B vitamins, critical for energy and beauty overall. How to eat more? Add a scoop of sauerkraut to a rice or quinoa bowl with steamed veggies for a zing.

PumpkinSeeds

Pumpkin seeds: A handful of these are like taking your B vitamins and biotin, an essential nutrient for strengthening hair, nails, and skin. Pumpkin seeds are also high in minerals, such as zinc, which in deficiency can lead to issues such as acne. Sprinkle them over anything from yogurt and salads to rice bowls and fish.

ChiaSeeds

Chia seeds: They’re an unbelievable source of essential fatty acids that nourish the skin and scalp. Chia seeds also contain skin-saving antioxidants (in the ballpark of blueberries) that fight free-radical damage. Be sure to soak them first before eating, or add them to a pudding or smoothie.

Cabbage
Cabbage: The humble cabbage is actually a wonderful beauty food. It’s high in fiber and contains the compound sulforaphane, which promotes anti-aging antioxidant activity in the body. It’s also high in vitamin C. How to eat more? Add sliced purple cabbage to your salads.

Lemon

Lemon: I recommend starting each day with hot water with lemon. It gives you a boost of vitamin C, and this simple drink starts you off in the day hydrated. Lemon’s enzymes have also been shown to help rejuvenate liver tissue and help support skin collagen.

Plateau bust & Mountain Bread sausage rolls

I’ve lost my mojo a bit lately. I dunno if it’s that there’s been a hiccup with my holiday plans, or that I’ve hit a plateau weight loss wise and don’t quite know how to bust it…. But I feel a bit hmph.. bleh… real articulate I know, but i’m sure you get the picture.

Any tips for breaking through the plateau? And, I really cannot imagine eating less calories….

I downloaded a yoga app that my aunty was telling me she’s in love with. It’s Pocket Yoga, has anyone tried this app? Thoughts on it? Apparently Miranda Kerr, my fave, uses it, and for me that’s a glowing endorsement for me 🙂

Anywho’s, the other day I was saying how I have been using Mountain Bread and got their cookbook. Well, I made yummy sausage rolls with it. It was a great dinner. I used some organic free range pork, just for a change, but you could use beef, turkey, kangaroo mince, whatever your preference is. I had yummy fresh italian herb mix in my mince, and then placed some in the centre of a rye mountain bread wrap, and rolled it. It said to use a little water to seal, but I found I had to use a LOT of water, like literally run the roll under running water and drench it! Then, I baked at 180 degrees, for 30 mins – but you have to keep a careful watch that it doesn’t burn. I served with salad, with a tablespoon of flax oil and balsamic for dressing. So yummy, and soooooo great to have a change from the usual. I hightly recommend trying it, the boyfriend loved them too, and normally doesn’t go near normal pastry sausage rolls as they give him heartbrn, but these were great!

Mountain Bread light tandoori yoghurt crusted chicken with mint – eat clean

I’ve been experimenting with Mountain bread, and found this great book of recipes online. I like the rye mountain bread, I took a wrap to work today with tuna and salad, have made other recipes which I’ll also post.

Mountain Bread

2  small chicken breasts (recipe calls for thighs but we eat chicken breast, chicken breast and more chicken breast in my house)

1 cup  greek yoghurt

1 tbsp tandoori paste

8 mint leaves, thinly sliced

250 gm mesclun lettuce

salt and pepper

8 sheets of Mountain Brea

1 tsp olive oil

 

Method:

1 Marinate chicken thighs in ¾ cup yoghurt and

tandoori paste for 2 hours.

2 Blend mint and washed lettuce together.

3 Heat oil in frying pan and cook chicken on a

medium heat for 4 minutes on each side until

cooked. Set aside on a plate to rest for 5 minutes.

4 Slice chicken and serve with extra yoghurt and

lettuce mix. Wrap up in the Mountain Bread

and enjoy.