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?

cleaneating

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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Clean Eating Egg Muffins Oxygen Magazine

I bought 2 large cartons of eggs, and needed a clean recipe that would make life easier during the week for lunches, so thought I’d share. The original minced rather then dices some veggies, but it’s a personal preference thing.

These portable energy-revving muffins are great to make in advance and use throughout the week!

Ready in 40 minutes • Makes 12 servings

Ingredients:

  • Oil spray
  • 4 spring onions, diced
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1/2 capsicum, diced finely
  • 1/2 zucchini, shredded
  • 14 egg whites
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • Dash salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F). Coat a 12-muffin tin with a little oil to prevent sticking.
  2. Combine vegetables in a big bowl. Fill each muffin tin 2/3 full with vegetables.
  3. Whisk eggs and seasonings in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Use a 1/3-cup measuring cup to scoop egg mixture and pour slowly into each muffin tin. Egg mixture should fill tin the rest of the way. Bake 30 minutes or until muffins have risen and are slightly browned.

Nutrients per serving (98 g):

Calories: 56, Total Fats: 2 g, Saturated Fat: 0.5 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 71 mg, Sodium: 93 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 3 g, Dietary Fiber: 1 g, Sugars: 2 g, Protein: 7 g, Iron: 0.5 mg

STORAGE TIP: Muffins will keep up to one week in the refrigerator or can be frozen. If freezing, allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

egg muffins

Homemade muesli/granola bars

Today I was so hungry during the day, I didn’t pack enough to take out with me, and so I’m wanting to make some homemade muesli bars.

Ive been looking for some good recipes, that are clean, not too sweet, will keep well, and not too complicated to make. If you have any on your blog, or that you like making, please post a link or recipe below!

Meanwhile, I’m thinking of making Coach Nicole’s Chewy Oat and Nut Granola bars The recipe and nutritional profile seems good, although I may modify them a little. I’ll have to wait until I go shopping though as I don’t have almond milk at home.

In the meantime I think I’ll put together some protein bars to tide me over. Again, if you have a good TASTY protein bar recipe I’d love it if you can share! Some protein bars I’ve had have been, uh, like eating chewy, well I don’t know what, but BAD! The recipe I’ll use is based on Jamie Eason’s ‘Oh Baby’ carrot cake protein bars, but I change it a little depending on what I have or don’t have. Works well and tastes good.

Ingredients

Coconut or Olive oil (i don’t ever use no fat non-stick sprays)

1 cup oat flour (blend whole oats in food processor)

2 scoops vanilla whey protein

2 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp allspice

4 egg whites

¾ cup Splenda (I’ve used honey or raw sugar instead too)

2 4 oz. jars or packs of baby carrots, instead of shredded carrots, (I have had to blend up a tin of baby carrots when that’s all I had)

1/2 cup ricotta (again, the original recipe calls for fat free ricotta, which I don’t do, or you can use greek yoghurt as I’ve done before)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 x 8 pyrex dish with non-stick butter spray, or coconut oil, Olive Oil etc.
In a large bowl, combine flour, protein, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and allspice.
In a medium bowl, mix egg whites, sweetner, water and baby food until well combined. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and mix well. Finally, fold in the quick cooking oats (optional) and stir until just combined.
Pour batter into the pyrex dish and spread evenly. Bake 28 – 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool and cut into 16 pieces – 4 x 4.

Number of Servings: 16

The original nutritional profile is (but I modify the recipe): 94 calories  (132 cal with oats folded in)
1.25 g fat  (2 g fat with oats folded in)
10 g carbs (17 g carbs with oats folded in)
10 g protein (11 g protein with oats folded in)

(not my picture – mine aren’t as pretty!)

Image

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.

 

Clean Eating – Dips

I love dips, they’re great to serve to guests, with some rye mountain bread wraps, cut up and toasted, or to add flavour to eggs and chicken, which when you eat a lot of sometimes need that something extra to prevent your diet from becoming monotonous.

Beetroot Dip

425g can Beetroot slices, drained

1 tsp Ground Cumin

⅓ cup Natural Yoghurt

Method

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Tzatziki

¼ cup Greek Yoghurt

4 Cucumbers, grated

2 Tbsp lemon juice

¼ cup mint leaves, chopped finely

¼ cup dill leaves, chopped finely

Method

Combine yoghurt & juice in a bowl. Add remaining ingredients & mix.

Guacamole

1 Avocado, mashed

1 Tbsp Greek Yoghurt

1 garlic clove, crushed

¼ red onion, diced

Lemon juice

Salt, pepper & chilli (to taste)

Method

Combine all ingredients.

Hummus

400g chickpeas

2 Tbsp unhulled tahini

¼ cup lemon juice (approx 1 lemon)

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp ground coriander

1 clove garlic

2 Tbsp water (or more)

salt & pepper (to taste)

Method

Put everything (except salt & pepper) in a food processer & whiz. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Spinach Dip

1 container cottage cheese, or cup of greek yoghurt

1 cup frozen spinach, thawed

1 can water chestnuts

½ red onion, finely diced

½ cup parsley

2 cloves garlic, crushed

½ tsp salt

Method

Using a blender, blend cottage cheese until smooth & creamy. Put cottage cheese in a large mixing bowl & add all other ingredients, mix until well combined. Store in fridge.

Quick, Healthy go-to dinner recipe – Chilli Cashew Basil Chicken

Chilli Cashew Basil Chicken
  • Prep Time: 6 mins
  • Cook Time: 9 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp peanut oil or canola oil
  • 1 tbsp red-chilli sauce or 2 small chilli’s.
  • 1 tsp brown sugar (or substitute)
  • 1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 red capsicum
  • 1 red onion
  • handful raw cashew nuts

Can serve with brown rice, steamed rice, quinoa, etc

Directions
1.
Finely chop the garlic and chilli’s, then use the side of your knife to press them together into a rough paste. (Add a pinch of salt to make this process easier.)
2.
Preheat a wok or stainless-steel saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and the garlic-chili paste you just made, and cook for 2 minutes (be careful not to burn the garlic). Chop the chicken into small pieces and add them to the pan, cooking until they’re lightly browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the soy sauce, fish sauce, red-chilli sauce, and sugar, and continue to cook until the chicken is done all the way through, another 3 to 4 minutes.
3.
Add the capsicum, stir fry another minute or so, then basil, and cook until the basil is just wilted, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.
Enjoy!

Choc fudgy balls

Offices can be bad places for strict eating plans. There’s always something to celebrate, a birth, someone leaving, a birthday etc. So,t’s sometimes  it’s better to make something yourself and bring it in – so if you do indulge at least you know exactly what’s in it, and can make something with some nutritional value… Which brings me to these:

Soooo yummy! And easy. I was meant to put some desiccated coconut in but forgot to get some! Oops.

1/2 cup almonds (or other nuts)

3/4 cup pitted dates

2 tablespoons cocoa or cacao

2 tablespoons Craisins

1 tablespoon coconut oil

optional  – add a couple of squares of chcolate for extra yumminess.

Take all ingredients, whizz up in food processor and roll into balls. Allow to set in fridge. Coudn’t be easier. And they’re tasty, but not terribly low calorie so don’t gobble them all down at once! I try to limit myself to one. You can add agave to sweeten, or honey or sugar if that’s how you roll, but dates are the sweetest of all dried fruit and so I don’t think it needs sweetening. These taste like chocolate-y deliciousness.