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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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.

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!

In between goals is a thing called life, that has to be lived and enjoyed

…And boy have I been enjoying!

Dear my body,
 
I promise to treat you better then I ever have before. To move you, and feed you nutritious food, (and not deny you a treat now and then). I promise to love and respect you, and be proud of you.
Love,
Me.

While I was having my week (or more) of excess, indulgence and general unhealthiness, I did actually try to do some healthy options. I made my chicken basil cashew nut dish, as well as my choc fudge balls. This time, I made them, even better – the best yet!! How? Why, with the addition of some superfoods.

Now I LOVE superfoods – I buy Acai berry power powder and chia seeds from Power Superfoods, and recently was given their Cacao Crunch nibs and Goldenberrys to try. They’re certified Organic, and you can have a look at their site here. So many good things that you hear of and can be hard to find – Maqui berry powder, goji berries, Coconut palm sugar, wakame seafood. The list goes on and you can but it all from their site, plus they’re better at explaining the nutrition than I am, so check it out just for that!

I hadn’t ever tried – or to be honest heard of Goldenberries before, but am happy to report they’re ah-mazing. They’re deliciously tangy, which I absolutely love. Especially so in baking or making sweets, gives that tang that prevents them from being oversweet. I added these, as well as the Cacao nibs to my choc fudge balls and they’re a MUST now. I was happy to see they went down a treat with guests, and will definitely whizz these up again when entertaining friends and maintaining a healthy diet (in fact I already have made up some more since). The balls are a great for entertaining, serve up and enjoy a dessert and know you can participate and not feel guilty or think you’ve blown out that day. Gives your guests some nutritional benefits too. I don’t know the exact amount I added of these, about 3 heaped tablespoons, but I just poured from the pack. The balls can be really sweet, and the addition of these in particular give the flavour a bit of complexity. I very much recommend.

I also added the goldenberries to my breakfast yoghurt parfaits (more on them later) I’ve been having lately and to my trail mix. If you’re not into sour or tangy then these Aren’t for you as they’re not a super sweet berry, but I do recommend adding them to sweets you may be having to add some zing!

Cacao nibs are awesome too. If you’re expecting super sweet chocolate, again, these are not going to give you that. But, as the pack says, if you’re going to eat chocolate anyway, give these a go. They’re chocolaty-coffee crunchy and great! I mixed these into the fudge balls and as well as flavour they gave a good crunch element. Again, something I’ll definitely be adding into the mix from now. I also used these in my hot chocolate, on top, and added them to the parfaits I’ve been having, and even topped a bowl of cornflakes with them ( I know, weird craving I had, I never have Cornflakes but I NEEDED them and no I’m not pregnant).

I also soaked some chia seeds and added them to the balls, but I think I’ll skip that step from now. Just went a bit Superfood happy. It messed with the texture and consistency, maybe because I soaked them before rather then just adding in, but the balls weren’t ‘setting’ and I ended up freezing that batch and making a new one without – much better. But Chia seeds in general. I love, and use everyday. So many uses, Chia puddings, smoothies, and just adding them for bulk.

Below are some pics for making up the balls, and even my cornflakes with cacao nibs, which by the way was such a yummy breakfast!

There’s even a pic of my cornflakes with cacao nibs, haha.

Now, the parfait.

Couldn’t be easier. Just toast some oats, nuts – I used raw almonds and shredded coconut in the oven or under the grill, with some honey or agave syrup, about a teaspoon of is enough. It’s important to keep a close eye on it, as it BURNS real quick! Then mix Cacao nibs after toasting, once the mix had cooled a little. Then layer some fruit – I’ve been loving peaches, but berries are great too, and I can’t wait until Mango season, or any other Summer fruits, a tropical version with pawpaw, lychees – YUM <3. Anyways, layer the fruit of choice, then add yoghurt, I like plain greek, then the oat mix and layer again. So yum, I feel like I am having a dessert for brekkie and look forward to it each morning. The mix of nuts, oats, cacao, chia, fruit and yoghurt works so well and keeps me sustained right through to lunch, no problems, even on weekends when I work out in between breakfast and lunch. Do yourself and favour and try this for breakfast, you’ll feel like you’re having a real treat.

Berry amazing-ness!

 

Back on track – 21 day countdown, where I’m at and a little fitspo

All my loved ones, friends and family, that were visiting have now gone back, and it’s time to get back on track with training and nutrition. I decided I’ll weigh in next Saturday, rather then set myself in a state of despair by doing it earlier, like today. I know I’ve done damage, and set myself back, making reaching my holiday goal unrealistic now. I ate whatever, drank a fair bit, and didn’t go to the gym.

Back to the gym this morning, squats and deadlifts here I come! Actually, that could be tomorrow because I’ll do chest today.

Normal breakfast routine for me today, I had warm water with lemon, my quinoa oats with blueberries, and cacao crunch nibs, and a green tea. Gosh it’s good to be back to normal eating my foods I love and make me feel good.

I do have a ‘secret weapon’ that I hope (please please please let this work) can help me get results before I go, in the form of Maxine’s Burn protein powder, which I’ll review. Oh my goodness I was soooo excited to get this. Exactly what I need at the moment with 21 days to go, I really hope this will give me that edge. Burn baby burn! A protein that helps lose fat AND tone muscle?? Yes!! Stops you feeling hungry so you don’t just go for the nearest thing – which more often then not is not a nutritious choice, especially if you’re out and about. But this protein powder has added benefits, helping promote healthy skin hair and nails, and supports your immune system, and generally is a supplement designed to promote your health. It can be used as a meal supplement – added boost, as well as post-workout, has carb blockers, and suppresses appetite. L-Carnitine, green tea, Choline and Inositol and zinc, all work in different ways to help your body burn the fat, and I think I’ll use it as both meal replacement and post workout. You can probably read more here, the describe much more scientifically how it works, however as mentioned I will review it.

Weight gain, a small setback but I got this!!!

Over the past week I have gained a kilo!!! Sure, I’ve indulged in alcohol and lot’s of eating out, pizza, ice cream, chocolate, fish and chips even, but I’d been active and the meals that we ate in – I was careful with. Shows how fine a line it is. Also makes me feel so moody and down, because I had reached a mini-goal, and was set to get to where I want to be before our holiday. Now, I’m pretty stressed as I don’t think I’ll get there, or if I do, I’ll have to be ULTRA strict, like shakes for dinner strict, and I prefer to be healthy and nourish my body.

Eat to nourish, Move my body, and Achieve beyond my wildest dreams.

This has also made me nervous about the holiday. Clearly, I am more easily led then I knew, and my determination and will is not what I thought, when I’m tested. What am I going to do while we’re away for a month?? If it was just the two of us I’d be fine, of that I’m sure. But, it’s not. Staying active I feel good about, that isn’t my issue. I love it. My aunty that was visiting was telling me about a yoga app that she said is divine, she is totally in love with, so I may give that a go, I’ll have to double check what it was called, I’ve forgotten. She looks amazing (hi if you’re reading this J ), so if she swears by it I have faith. I know there’ll be long hikes, I can go for runs and we are taking a resistance band set, plus lot’s of swimming and boogie boarding, beach sports etc.

My area of concern is the all bbq’s (usually means wine), convenience food (grabbing something on-the-go) and me not being in control of cooking. When you do it yourself you tailor what you eat to your needs and taste.

I did give the food diary a rest for a week, I don’t think I’ll do that while away. I have eating at home, work etc down pat, but entertaining and holidays I think I need to still be very mindful, and the diary is such a must for me. Which reminds me, it’s winner time… I’ll generate a random number and announce the giveaway winner, and link it to the original post so everyone who entered is notified. Good Luck!!!

Vegetable Curry with Quinoa – from Kora Organics – Miranda Kerr

Vegetable Curry with Quinoa

Picture Different from outcome

Don’t you just love a meal that you can sit down to with the complete assurance that what you’re eating is bringing health, vitality and healing to your body?.  In the state of the busy world today, it seems that our priorities are so focused on the high speed rhythms of work and priorities, that we don’t have any time to think about what we are feeding the very body that is endlessly chugging us through a life of almost impossible demand. Those demands require nutrients and that is the key for a functioning body and a healthy life.

Nowadays we are fully immersed in a society where fresh wholesome food is available, yet unfortunately our biggest killers are preventable diseases.  In my opinion we need to get our aprons on, our skillets a-sizzling, and link arms to tackle these issues head on, with enthusiasm and joie de vere.

The idea of preparing nutritious meals at home can seem like a pain to many people. But really there’s no need to feel daunted, it just takes a little practice in the kitchen, planning, and an appreciation of the nutritional value of wholesome ingredients.

The Supercharged Food website and blog are a perfect starting place, providing you with nutrient packed, easy recipes complimented by research that will educate you on the very ingredients you’re cooking with. You can prepare and enjoy disease fighting food knowing exactly how the ingredients are bringing your body into a state of health and wellness. Win-win!

This exotic vegetable quinoa curry is a wonderful meal to include into your transition to a lifestyle of health. Cook up a massive double portion and freeze the leftovers for those busy weeknights or work lunches. I promise that your body and tastebuds will be jumping for joy!

The base of this mouthwatering curry is quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), technically a fruit seed that seems to be growing and growing in popularity due to its versatility and significant health benefits. Quinoa conveniently has a quicker cooking time compared to brown rice and other grains, and accompanying flavours are absorbed beautifully, making it a great option for sweet or savoury cooking.

The uses of quinoa are remarkably diverse, and it can be used in pilaffs, gluten free risotto’s, soups, salads, or as an interesting addition to stuffed capsicums, tomatoes or mushrooms.  I personally love to use fluffy royal white quinoa to make a satisfying gluten free breakfast porridge.

One very important thing to remember before cooking with quinoa is to wash the seeds, as they contain a naturally occurring outer coating called saponin, a defense mechanism of the seed that is toxic to humans. This can be easily removed by placing the seeds in a fine sieve, washing under a tap and using your fingers to scrub off the residue. Saponin has a bitter taste, so a taste test before cooking will ensure that it has been removed.

So why is quinoa really selling out in supermarkets? What are its real claims to fame besides being a convenient grain substitute? The rage for quinoa has its roots in the knowledge that unlike other grains, it is a complete protein. The superfood uniquely contains all nine essential amino acids required for protein utilization. Vegans and protein junkies rejoice!

Quinoa is the perfect substitute for animal protein, therefore a lunch ingredient of high biological value that will fill your tummy and protect you from the haunting idea of eating that sugar laden doughnut during your 3 o’clock slump. Quinoa is also rich in iron and magnesium, and provides fibre, vitamin E, copper and phosphorous, as well as some B vitamins, potassium and zinc.

Studies confirm that quinoa is a very good source of flavanoids, particularly in its high levels of quercetin and kaempferol antioxidants.  Quercetin has been found to be valuable in cases of allergic reactions due to its ability to inhibit the production and release of histamine.  It has also been linked to an improvement in the health of capillaries and connective tissues, as well as having important antiviral and immune support benefits. Kaempferol is known for its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Evidence has indicated that kaempferol is one of the most important flavanoids that inhibit heart, spinal cord and brain disease, and studies have shown that it can help the treatment of cancers, cardiovascular disease, neuron disorders and cholesterol.

I could go on forever. There is so much valuable evidence out there showing the countless benefits of this superfood. Try out this delicious, hearty curry as a way to include quinoa’s wonderful benefits into your life.

Vegetable Quinoa Curry Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups baby green beans
  • 1 head cauliflower chopped into florets
  • 4 carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup chopped coriander
  • 1 1/2 TBS coconut oil
  • 2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 2 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1 large onion, cut into strips
  • 2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander

Let’s Get Cracking:

  • Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add quinoa cooking for 5 mins
  • Add green beans and cook for a further 5 mins
  • Now drain and set aside in a colander
  • In a frying pan sauté garlic, ginger and onions in coconut oil push to one side and toast cumin and coriander and turmeric for a couple of minutes, stirring consistently
  • Add cauliflower, cashews and carrots and stir fry for a couple of minutes then add stock and bring to boil then reduce heat to simmer and stir through coconut milk cook for 10-15 mins
  • Remove from stove and stir coriander through and then fold in quinoa and green beans

For more gluten, wheat, dairy, yeast and sugar-free recipes visit www.superchargedfood.com

And a pic of Miranda looking Ah-mazing to inspire…

Alcohol and exercise… no go!

I drank last nig ht, not a lot as it’s been ages since I last had any booze, but I had about 6 drinks (to me that’s not a lot – but I am Polish, hahaha). I also smoked – terrible, but I can be a bad, bad person when drinking. Much worse then I was last night which was the tamest, but since I’ve been on my health kick also the most rotten. I did no exercise and and ate, but it was bbq – shaslicks, steak and salad so far from tragic. And a prawn cocktail for lunch, I know the sauce on it isn’t great.

I’ve got a visitor here, so am going to ‘rest’ the food diary for a week, and try to be mindful of what I eat. Wish me luck! I’m scared, as it’s been my saviour/obsession. I had reached a mini-goal on Saturday morning before this all went down, and I don’t want to be hating it come next Saturday. Eye on the prize baby, I only got one mini-goal to go before I reach my goal. I will post progess pics …. as soon as I get the courage to.

Baked Pumpkin Ginger Oatmeal

If you LOVE ginger like I do, check this out. Another recipe from Oxygen Mag. Yummmmmmmo! And cinnamon. Spices are meant to do all sorts of great things for your health, with these two being amongst the bes! Ginger is said to stimulate the heart and assists in circulation & lowers blood pressure as well as Ginger has been also found to contain satiating properties, and has been found to help boost metabolism by approximately 20%! Cinnamon is said to help with muscle and joint pains, as well as regulating blood sugar levels – helping with weightloss as well.

Citrus Marinated Salmon with a Quinoa Salad – From Kora Organics, Miranda Kerr

This is actually delightful. Easy to make, but I didn’t use sheeps milk yoghurt. Plus it’s a recipe endorsed by one of my favourites, the amazing Miranda Kerr, how hot does she look here in the reebok ad? Anyways, enjoy the recipe. I’m sooo sunburnt after a long beach walk today.

Eat Fit Food’s Citrus Marinated Salmon with a Quinoa Salad

Eat Fit Food's Citrus Marinated Salmon with a Quinoa Salad

When I was recently back in Australia and my schedule was hectic I had some of my meals delivered by  Eat Fit Food. This was one of my favourite recipes so I thought I should share it with you. Not only is it quick and easy to prepare, it is also nutritious and contains one of my favourite ingredients, quinoa.

I hope you enjoy it, Miranda xxx

Prep time: 25-35 minutes, Cook time: 10-15 minutes, Serves: 4

Ingredients for salad:

3/4 cup uncooked quinoa

1/2 cup grated carrots

1/2 cup chopped capsicum

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/4 cup chopped coriander

1/2 Spanish onion

1 tsp. of lemon juice

1 tsp of lime juice

1 tbsp orange juice

2 garlic cloves

1 tbsp tamari soy sauce

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp fresh ginger

1 tsp of fresh chilli

1-2 tbsp sheep’s milk yoghurt

Marinate for the salmon:

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp lemon zest

1 tbsp of lime juice

1 tsp lime zest

1 tbsp orange juice

1 tsp orange zest

4x 150-200 grams salmon

Method:

Rinse quinoa and drain. Add 1 1/2 -2 cups of water, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and let cool.

Mix carrot, capsicum, parsley, coriander and Spanish onion in large bowl. Add room temperature quinoa and toss to combine. Whisk together lemon, orange and lime juices, tamari, ginger, garlic and chilli.  Pour over salad and combine well.

Place all the citrus dressings in a bowel including the salmon and let it marinate for 10-15 minutes. Lightly pan-fry the salmon until slightly pink in the middle.

Serve salmon on a bed of the Quinoa salad with a dollop of sheep’s milk yoghurts. ENJOY!