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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Study study study

I have been MIA lately, had mid-semester exams, and a few assignments o hand up. And what I think is crazy also had to still attend classes as normal that week and have a week off this week. I have a friend coming up to visit, so trying to get prepared for next week now. I have two things I need to do – a case study I want to actually get completed and some research for a group assignment that I want to get mostly done, so I know I won’t post much in the next week, but please bear with me.

I have been eating total crap during the last two weeks and feel like shit because of it. I have totally used study snacks as an excuse and I can tell I have put on weight, which I’m so angry at myself for and totally depressing. But, whatever, I am not going to sit and mope about it, just get on ewith un-doing the damage. It’s actually a god lesson – the damage two weeks of eating like shit will do. Never again! At first I was in denial, like my stomach is just a little bloated, it’ll be fine in the morning (?!?), but by two weeks when my fave shorts were tight as and I totally had muffin top I was like YUCk. I feel like shit. During the whole time I have still been exercising. In fact I completed the Insanity program and started to loop back around with the core balance ones and going to do the second month again. Just goes to show how it truley is 80/20! All about what you eat, you CAN’T out train a bad diet. I lived this saying for myself. So, anyway, I’ll be posting more now to keep myself strict with diet and motivated. Blogging does wonders for me motivationally. And I’m saying godbye to all the unhealthy shit I have been eating.Image

(not my books, too lazy to take my own pic hahaha!)

Healthy Hot Cross Buns recipe for Easter – and Easter eggs

Happy Easter everyone!

I found the below healthy hot cross bun recipe today, which I’m going to make this afternoon – better late then never – and it’s never too late to enjoy some Hot Cross Buns, especially when they look this yummy and healthy! There’s also a link to an Easter egg recipe in the article. It’s from Move Nourish Believe

 

Healthy Hot Cross Buns Recipe

 

hotcrossbuns_01 With a little good, there is always a little bad, or so they say.  But this Easter, don’t let the joyous holiday occasion be ruined by the guilt of gorging on gifted chocolate eggs and sugary Easter buns. Instead, make your own Easter treats!

*We have already posted some nourishing Easter egg recipes, and today I am bringing to the holiday table a healthy Hot Cross Buns recipe.

Commercial Easter buns are notorious for containing a foot-long list of ingredients, of which most would be highly processed, fabricated and harmful.  Our Easter buns, however, are extremely nutrient dense and are a good source of quality fat from the coconut oil, fibre and protein from the oats and spelt flour, contain natural and complex sugars from the honey, and are rich with protective antioxidants from the blueberries and dark chocolate.hotcrossbuns_07These buns, although quite dense, are just awesome.  The oats are imperative for the entire experience and mouth-feel of the buns, while the dark chocolate and blueberries make them sinfully tasty.

hotcrossbuns_02Gather you ingredients and get mixing. The mix should be quite sticky, add a bit more moisture if they do not roll into shape easily.

hotcrossbuns_03Spoon out the mixture and roll into a ball (portion size above). Drop on a tray lined with baking paper… now they are ready to cook!

hotcrossbuns_04Ummm YUM!! Leave these buns out to cool for about 10 minutes. Then you can add your special x marks the spot. The buns raise quite nicely, this is due to the baking powder we added to the mixture.

The most common raising agent used in baking is yeast.  Yeast produces a delightfully fluffy and light product, however, can be tricky to use.  So that’s why we have used baking powder. Baking powder is a pre-mixed combination of bi-carb soda (a weak alkali) and cream of tartare (a weak acid).  When this combo is provided with moisture (like when you’re forming your bun dough), gas is released forming bubbles, causing the dough to expand, and thus, rise.  The end result is a slightly raised bun.

hotcrossbuns_05A hot cross bun wouldn’t be complete without the cross. Using your tempered chocolate, in a piping bag, drizzle that decadent chocolate over the bun to top off your Easter bun.

hotcrossbuns_06VOILA. Would you check out those beautiful buns? DELISH. The best thing about this recipe is that it’s a totally acceptable treat for all year round, so you don’t need Easter as an excuse to whip this recipe up. Now that you are done, gobble them down on the spot or keep safe for the Easter long weekend to share with your friends and family. Enjoy!

Rhi’s Nourishing Notes:
  • Baking powder is similar to that which is added to flour to make self-raising flour.  Baking powder and self-raising flour are most suited to making products such as cakes and muffins, while yeast is preferable when making breads.
  • Choose an aluminium-free baking powder.
  • Baking powder does have a best-before date.  Over time the effects of the acid-alkali reaction will wear off, leaving the baking powder useless.  Replace baking powder at least every 12 months, as it is best used for only around the first 3-6 months after opening.

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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Feel like staying home in pyjamas

This is just a short post. I don’t have anything terriby interesting to report, but although I’ve been busier lately, I’ve been really enjoying blogging and reading blogs. Great when you’re travelling (public transport not driving!!) or have a little time to kill. I don’t do facebook or twitter so reading other blogs is what I do when I have a little time spare.

I can’t believe it’s Wednesday night already. This week has flown so far, I feel like it was the weekend just yesterday. I’m pretty pleased, I have got everything I wanted done work and uni wise, just a test to study for = but not tomorrow night. Confession: I’m a Survivor freak, love it, so deliberately structure around it making sure on Thursday nights I’m free, turn my phone off, easy meal, jammies on and Survivor on!

I feel like I’m coming down with something, the boyfie was complaining of a sore throat yesterday, and he’s dead meat if I get sick! I actually haven’t been sick in well over a year = knock on wood. As the title suggests, I feel like staying home in PJ’s. Not working out, no run, no study, I just want to sleep (and watch tv). And drink tea.

Still on Month two on Insanity, still kicking my arse, still loving it. I’ve been trying all sorts of different protein smoothies after,#. So addicted. So many yummy combo’s.  I also bought tahini the other day, I used to really not like it, but thought I’d give it another go. I’ll prob experiment on the weekend with some different things and post if I come up with anything worthwhile. Honestly, sometimes the best part of preparing food for the week is right at the end, when everything is portioned and put away, all dishes, pots, baking dishes etc washed and put away. I thank myself during the week, but unless I have a new recipe I want to try, it’s such a pain.

Lastly, my bf tried to bet me the other day I couldn’t wall squat longer then him. Haha, nice try buddy, I squat. Was inspired to do this tribesport challenge after:

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Hold a 1 minute wall squat every day for 7 days

 This challenge should help you build up to the 3 minute
wall squat.

DONE

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.

Banana blueberry protein bars

I was a bit lazy with food prep for lunches this week. I usually do brown rice and chicken and then only have to add veg to take for lunch but didn’t do it yesterday. I didn’t have any bars made up either. This was basically due to not going to the supermarket for extra ingredients. (This may be TMI but it’s THAT time of the month and I knew if I went shopping I’d end up caving and getting something I’d rather not. Like ice cream….. Mmmmmmm……). Anyways, I did intend to make the same carrot cake protein bars as last week, but since I was avoiding the shops I changed it up and made blueberry banana ones- and they’re delish! I always have peeled and chopped bananas in the freezer, as well as blueberries, and other berries,( and mango’s, spinach etc) for smoothies. So I put together pretty much the same protein bar recipe, changed slightly because I didn’t check the recipe and made it from memory.
I used 3 frozen bananas (I’m sure you can use fresh too)
1/4 cup Greek yoghurt
3 egg whites
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup oat flour (I just blended up rolled oats to make my own)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 scoops vanilla protein powder (I like Define Vanilla)
Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius or 350 F.
Mix all the wet ingredients. I actually put my bananas and yoghurt in the food processor because the bananas were frozen. (On a side note, this was so yummy!! I’m going to do it again, and re-freeze for banana fro-yo. I loved it, had to remind myself I’m actually trying to prepare for the week, not just scoffing food!). Then fold in egg whites. Fold in dry ingredients. I had used a little coconut oil on an Pyrex dish, then I covered it with bran so the bars didn’t stick, and in my head they were going to be cheese-cakeish so I thought a bottom would suit. They aren’t, and the bran didn’t make much of a difference. They came out really easily, but so did the carrot cake ones from last week. Anywho, bake this in the oven for about 40 mins, or until you get a clean skewer. My oven is super hot so I got them out early, keep an eye on them when they brown on top. Enjoy!

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Oh.My.God.Insanity.Month 2.Dying.

But loving it.

I did the Max cardio one today, I’ve showered, changed, etc, and my legs still shaky.

I LOVE it!!

I like this month better then the last so far. I like the longer workouts better, although mentally I find I really have to talk myself into pushing through.

I can’t wait to get to the end just so I can say I’ve done it!

 

Sexy legs workout at home

Here’s a great little at home leg workout when you don’t have a lot of time to spare. No excuses! You can check it out at tribesports

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Also, I don’t have twitter, but if you do tribesports are ruuning a #TrainWithNoShame competition. If you have an embarrassing or shameless sports or training moment, going to work in lycra, covered in sweat at a finish line, working out in clothes far too small etc. tweet it to tribesports and you could win a Buff from @bufflife to “hide your shame”.

To enter just follow @tribesports, retweet one of their #TrainWithNoShame tweets that will look something like this – “RT, Follow and tweet YOUR #TrainWithNoShame moment to win a @BuffLife!” and tweet your embarrassing moment in a separate tweet with the same hashtag.