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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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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Loving my life!

start my new full time studies this week, and am beyond excited to be going back to it. I know from previous University study that in about 4-6 weeks this excitment will have waned somewhat and I’ll be feeling the usual stresses of balancing work, study, fitness, housework, my relationship and having some sort of down time to myself, but I feel like my coping tools have improved a lot since the last time I studied.Being organised is the key, and for me procrastinating is a huge problem which I have to overcome. I now now that I have to just force myself tyo start things, rather then putting them off with a whole load of good resons to do so! Even if i can’t be bothered cleaning on a Saturday morning, or don’t have all my research to start an assignment, or am feeling tired to go work out, i have to ‘Just F***kin Do It’! There are so many  reasons not to start something, but once you’re into it, it is so much better then you thought and just keep going! Then there is none of the stress that comes with putting things off, that niggling anxiety in your chest.

I have timetabled my weeks, putting study, work and fitness in as my main priorities, and the primary things that I need to timetable, everything else can be timetabled around these top priorities. Makes a huge change from last time I studied where fitness wouldn’t have made it anywhere near the top of my list, rather socialising etc.

Fitness wise I am almost onto the second part of Insanity, so excited to start the next phase. I think my results are good, especially noticing a change in my legs, which for me is the main part I wanted to focus on. Body weight exercises are undervalued I think. This week is the core balance or whatever (can’t be bothered getting up to check it), so it’ll be nice to take it easier. I’m really looking forward to the next fit test, I didn’t record the results the first time, which I really regret, but at least I have the second one to compare to.

I’ll do a review of a few different protein powders I’ve been using soon, just getting through them still. Love my post-workout protein smooties, one of the highs of my day, haha! What do you put in a protein smoothie? Lately I’ve been loving keeping it simple, choc banana! Yummmm! I freeze my bananas, add my choc protein, greek yoghurt, full cream milk, water, ice and blend!

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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.

Slim secrets products – smart snacking

As mentioned in a previous post I was sent some products from Slim Secrets to review (thanks Sharon 🙂 ) You can buy it online, including packs, from here, and they have a loty of gluten free options, including a pack you can see here

I’ll start with the low carb fit balls


These were really good. Mint is not really my thing, but it did give the balls a nice flavour and crunch, and really worked with this product. The climate here is HOT and when the boyfriend and I set off for a hike we do, we decided to share the fit balls before setting off, to see if they made a difference in energy levels. Ordinarily by the end of the walk we’re dying. There’s a drinking fountain on the hone stretch, and getting there is the only thing I’m focused on. Both of us found that we had more energy and fared a lot better, especially on that last stretch. These are something I’d keep in my gym bag, and have before the gym after work. I find that sometimes I don’t train as hard at that after work time. Lunch feels like eons ago, and I’m thinking about dinner, and the only thing in the way is a workout. The boyfriend had the Milk (Michael Klim) which are pretty much the same flavour, but a bit higher calorie and protein as well, and loved them. Now, he does like LOVE Mint, so they suited him to a T. For me, I love fresh mint in a meal, but mint flavoured sweets etc just remind me of eating toothpaste too much! I like my treats sweet, but as mentioned these use natural mint and it’s not toothpaste-y in the slightest!!

The next thing I had was these:

One word – Ah-mazing! Loved ‘em! Just as I’m not a massive Mint fan, my boyfriend is not a salt and vinegar fan. I thought “yesssssssss! I get these to myself!” Wrong.

No, those are NOT my man hands (Seinfeld reference)  holding the chips! He loved these too – boo for me! At 140 calories how can you go wrong. And they’re soooooo yum. Salty snack attack disaster curbed! I haven’t had the other flavour – sea salt and cheese & onion, but if they’re as good as these were there’s really no need to ever have normal chips again in my opinion. Guilt free chips? Yes please. The only downside is I’ve never seen these at my supermarket 😦

I was feeling all chocolately another night – and lazy too. Normally I’ll whip something up that’s healthified because that’s how I roll, but I had a binge buster on hand. A Cranberry and Choc’N’ Nuts bar.

Excuse the really shoddy picture taking! This was great, a bit of chocolate because sometimes there’s no substitute, and a girl needs what a girl needs. And for this girl that need is chocolate. I haven’t tried the vanilla almond one from this range, but will definitely be looking for it, sounds like a bit of me. Did I mention the best part – apart from taste? Under 100 Calories. That’s right UNDER 100 CALORIES, I’m shouting it out. There’ll definitely be some of these in my pantry at all times.

Another thing I LOVED was the night time binge buster bar. Does as the name says. I really couldn’t say it any better, and the name couldn’t be more apt.

It’s low carb, low GI decent protein at over 11g too, which is a added bonus. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I’ve amped up the weight to two a day, and I had shared this before the second session, did the trick as I went hard. Tri’s that night, and I smashed it!

Afternoon cup of tea ( I LOVE tea, a tea fiend!!) with a cookie that’s filling, tasty and healthy? Yes please!! Great to take to work to solve the tea break dilemma, when everyone else is dipping into the cookie jar. BYO, and you’ll feel better for it. The cookie was chocolately and soft, and not over sweet, which is important for me…. But the cookie that was my  very fave, was actually not this choc one, shockingly (for me it’s usually chocolate at the end of the day), it was the trail mix cookie:

Yeah, again with the man hand. I shared this too, but if I knew the taste of this one I definitely would’ve stashed it, and taken this one to work and had it all to myself – Greedy bitch, but at 128 calories I could’ve been, and not felt at all guilty. For the calories or for the greediness for that matter. It’s AMAZING!! I’d say go out and get one right now. I’ve already asked my local Coles to stock the full range, but on their site I’ve just seen this pack is on sale. Win.

Last of all:

Protein Caramel Crunch bar. This one is a protein bar, and has the real protein bar consistency, you know that soft, chewy texture that they have? I wouldn’t exactly call it a ‘crunch’ bar, the whole time I was like – where’s the crunch. But, having said that, the caramel flavour is lovely, white choc gives that sweetness and the whopping 20 grams of protein is terrific. I just ripped a bit off this one, the boyfriend had this post-workout and loved it. He said he’ll definitely get this again, and have some in his gym bag. And that’s a huge endorsement from him, as he’s usually a protein shake post-workout kinda guy. Today I’ve been out swimming all day and am soooo tired, as mentioned I’ve got some family visiting so we went swimming and had a bbq lunch. I’ve actually sent my boyfriend out to the shop as I type to see if they have any of these, for me to have before gym, then dinner etc.

To sum up, my faves were the chips, if you see these I highly recommend trying them, I know I’ll be looking for them. Girls, if you’re like me and like a savoury snack, especially at that time of the month, this is your answer. LOVED the Cranberry and Choc’N’ Nuts bar too, and will be trying the other flavours in the under 100 calorie range too. Trail mix cookie, I love love love too. I’ll be taking a few of these on the road trip for afternoon tea, or after a long day at the beach treat. I know, what a hard life, huh? Haha. I think I’ll take some of the Binge Buster bars too, and even though it wasn’t in this sample selection, I’ve mentioned in prior posts my love of the Craving Crusher cookies & cream bar.

For him, he’s a fan of either the fit balls, but they’ll look at bit girly for him, so the MILK protein bombs (& they’ve got about 3g more protein). They’re pretty much the same in flavour, and the White choc and caramel bar… although by the prevalence of man hands in my pics, you can see he was pretty much a fan of it all.

Recipes from Kora Organics – Miranda Kerr

Two yummy recipes that are good and healthy – just how I like it.

The are often great recipes posted on the blog, check it out at:

http://www.koraorganics.com/blog/

Coconut “Porridge” Breakfast Bar

This is a delicious healthy breakfast bar that you can eat on the go or serve with a little yogurt and fruit for a healthy start to your day or nutritious snack anytime. The inspirations come from the team at NIULIFE COCONUT our favorite place to get all things coconut!!! They are a sponsor for our books and many recipes in LUNCHBOX SOLUTIONS have the wonderful coconut in them. You can find the book at www.chefkate.me .

NOTE: You can also add seeds, chopped nuts, dried fruit and chocolate pieces to the bars if you like.

Please use certified organic ingredients whenever possible.

SERVES 8 – 12 pieces

PREP TIME 15 minutes

BAKING TIME 25 – 35 minutes

Ingredients

WET INGREDIENTS

2 eggs, beaten

2 (500ml) cups coconut milk or milk of choice

¾ (185ml) cup coconut palm syrup or honey

½ (125ml) cup honey

½ (125ml) cup coconut oil (melted)

1 tsp vanilla

DRY INGREDIENTS

1 cup desiccated (shredded) coconut (reserve ¼ cup)

1 cup coconut flour

¾ cup coconut palm sugar

1 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp chia seeds (optional)

1 tsp sea salt (to taste)

2 tsp cinnamon (to taste)

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or almonds (optional)

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F and prepare a medium size baking pan by lining with baking paper and rubbing generously with coconut oil.

2. In a large bowl mix all the wet ingredients together well and then add the dry ingredients and mix well until combined. Add any additional things like chocolate pieces or dried fruit and mix well.

3. Pour the mixture into the baking pan and spread evenly and sprinkle with ¼ cup reserved desiccated (shredded) coconut . The place in the oven and bake for 25 —35 minutes or until golden brown and the center is set, but not hard. If it begins to brown too quickly cover loosely with baking paper and continue baking until done.

I look forward to hearing from you and send “The Flavor of JOY!”

And the second is:

This recipe makes guilt-free fudge that good for you too. It’s so delicious it may never make it to the fridge!!!!! It’s full of protein, healthy fats and antioxidants.The base recipe is great and I’ve shared a few delicious additional suggestions you can add to the recipe. Get creative and have fun making your own signature treats. It’s one of the healthy treat recipes in our book Lunchbox Solutions that you can find at www.chefkate.me

NOTE: I’ve used Chocolate Vital Protein in this recipe, but you can also use Plain or Vanilla Vital Protein www.vitalgreens.com or other protein powders for the fudge too. If using plain or vanilla protein powders just add 2-3 tablespoons more cocoa powder and 2-3 tablespoons honey.

MAKES approx 2½ cups

PREP TIME 10 – 15 minutes (If rolling balls add 15 minutes)

Ingredients

1 cup macadamia nut or almond butter (or *Niulife coconut cream)

½ cup cocoa powder (to taste)

½ cup Chocolate Vital Protein

½ cup honey (to taste)

2 tbsp melted coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla (optional)

¼ tsp sea salt or Himalayan salt (the salt makes it really yummy…like salty chocolate caramels)

Optional Additions

1 cup coarsely chopped chocolate

½ cup raisins or goji berries

½ cup finely chopped nuts

1 cup toasted finely ground desiccated (shredded) coconut (for topping)

½ cup coconut sugar (for topping or mix in the fudge)

Method

1. Prepare a small baking pan with sides by lining with baking paper. You will not be baking the fudge this is just where you need to let it set.

1. In a medium size bowl mix all the ingredients together by hand until well combined. Then evenly spread onto the baking pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

NOTE: You can sprinkle with finely ground toasted coconut and coconut sugar or cocoa powder or leave it plain on top

2. Serve while still soft or refrigerate to set the fudge until ready to serve and cut into bite size pieces.

NOTE: You can roll bite size pieces of the mixture in your hands while still soft to make fudge balls and then roll them in cocoa powder. You can also add desiccated (shredded) coconut and or chopped nuts into the ball or roll them in it.

*Coconut cream and other great coconut productswww.niulife.com

I love sharing recipes with all of you and enjoy hearing from you too so please leave a comment and also join my facebook page Chef Kate McAloon. Have the best week!!!

Sending joy until next time.

Have fun!!! Chef Kate

Clean Eats: Turkey & Quinoa Larb

Clean Eats: Turkey & Quinoa Larb

 

from ‘mevsthebulge’. I don’t think this girl posts on this blog anymore, but it’s an awesome one to read, so inspiring. And this receipe is so good! Something I still eat all the time. Only difference I do is I cook the onion in the pan with the mince. I prefer it like that, not over cooked but just so it starts to go clear. The below is re-blogged exactly from the page, but I do recommend checking out the blog:

http://mevsthebulge.com/

 

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I love Thai food. I could happily exist on a diet of Thai food for a very long time. Actually, throw in Japanese food and I’m pretty certain I could exist on that for the rest of my life.

Issue is, you can never be certain what goes into your takeaway meal. Hidden salt, sugar and fat… it’s a major risk when you’re on Project Tighten Up.

So, I set about making my own sour and spicy Larb salad. I used turkey mince because it’s super lean and cheap however it is traditionally made with chicken or pork mince. I also served this up the next day for lunch with broccoli instead of lettuce and it was just as good.

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 tbs peanut oil 500g turkey mince 1 stem lemon grass, pale section only, finely chopped 1 small chilli, finely chopped 1/4 cup fresh lime juice 1 tbs fish sauce 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced (or more if you’re an onion fan!) 1/3 cup fresh coriander leaves 2 cups of cooked quinoa Lettuce leaves, to serve

Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan over high heat until just smoking. Add the mince, lemon grass and chilli and stir-fry, breaking up any lumps, for 3-4 minutes or until meat changes colour. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool slightly.

Whisk together the lime juice and fish sauce in a small bowl until well combined. Drizzle the mince mixture with the dressing.

Add the, quinoa, onion and coriander and stir to combine. Spoon the mince mixture among lettuce leaves and dig in!

What cuisine could you eat every day for the rest of your life?

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Sophie Guidolin’s Energy Balls

I recently stumbled upon a site a friend of mine has – check it out. She looks amazing and is an inspiration. I also found this yummy recipe on there.
She is a mum of two who recently trained for the  2012 INBA Sportsmodel taking out 1st place.
energy-balls
Sophie Guidolin’s Energy Balls

Great for kids lunch boxes as unlike most energy balls- they contain no protein powder, no artificial sugars or artificially processed foods!

Preparation: 15 minutes,
Cooking: minutes,
Approx. Total: 15 minutes

These are great for kids lunch boxes as unlike most energy balls- they contain no protein powder, no artificial sugars or artificially processed foods! Great for adults as a natural pre workout, or a great snack on the go!
They taste INCREDIBLE, even the fussiest of children would LOVE them- and are so much better than processed foods!
Please note- these DO contain NUTS.

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 8 dates
  • 1/4 cup cranberries
  • 1/4 cup sultanas
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 2 teaspoon of natural organic cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon of agave syrup- optional
Method
  1. Add all ingredients in the food processor, the natural liquid in the dates/sultanas will provide enough moisture for the mixture to be a good consistency.
  2. This process may take 4-5 minutes, keep stopping the processor and using a spoon, mix the mixture together and to ensure none is stuck on the sides.
  3. Agave syrup- This is optional, these are naturally very sweet, however if you have only just started your clean eating journey and are use to processed foods, the taste is a ‘different sweet’ (natural!!) so you may want to add the agave, you will only need 1 teaspoon max.
  4. Once the mixture looks like the picture, and is moist, yet still has texture. Roll into balls, you can add topping to this- cashew nuts in halves, almonds, cranberries etc