Saturday, July 28, 2012

More Portion Distortion

Americans have super sized their way to obesity at a record pace. We're completely unaware now as a society exactly what a true portion of food looks like. Instead, we greedily consume all that is put before us, and that translates to eating more calories than are necessary on a constant and daily basis. If your stomach is stretched out and isn't satisfied by a normal serving of food...the only way to rectify this is to slowly allow your stomach to shrink back to it's normal size until you are satisfied by smaller portions.

Take a look at these - food for thought.

The next time you are sitting down to a meal, look at the amount of food that has been served to you, and decide if its too much or just right. If too much, consciously DON'T eat the extra. Take it home. If you are at home, serve yourself a small portion of food. You can ALWAYS go back for a little more if you need it.

( Clearly, the foods above are not Clean, and are for illustrative purposes only. If you are eating cookies, drinking soda, and eating burger and fries on a regular basis - you need my blog more than you realize! )

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Personal Responsibility

Whether speaking of Clean Eating, Poor English, Drunk Driving, or “Gun Control”…Don’t blame the tool, blame the operator. 

Personal Responsibility. Look into it.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Good Habits Are As Addictive As Bad Habits

It's funny, in the past few weeks I've come to understand that my previous manner of eating - eating Unclean - was more a habit than anything else. A bad habit. You fall into patterns, and if you are like me, you find the path of least resistance. You find the easy way, the convenient way. The pre-packaged, direct from the factory to my love handles method of eating. It's a way of quelling hunger without providing your body the fuel it so desperately craves.

Bad habits.

But what if you decided to change a bad habit? What if you recognize that an ingrained pattern you've fallen into is really the wrong way? ( Think about that cigarette, that Diet Coke, that 3 pm bag of M&Ms? ) What if you made your habit something different? Something better?

What then?

Breaking a bad habit is hard. Replacing it with a good habit helps reinforce the positive nature of the change. Don't try and tackle every bad habit all at once; you're only setting yourself up for failure. One at a time.

For example, that 3 pm candy you got from the vending machine. Replace that 3 times in the next week with a different snack - still a sweet, but a little healthier. Perhaps a handful of organic graham crackers? What about some apple slices with almond butter?

The following week, try switching out those M&Ms 4 times that week. This time, try switching your sweet treat to something more filling and also Clean. Hummus with vegetables, maybe?
The point is to ingrain a new habit - a good habit, to replace the one that is detrimental. Do it slowly. It's said that any repetive act done for 21 days or more can easily become a new don't give up so quickly.

My bad habit was being mostly sedentary. I sit behind a computer all day at the Engineering Salt Mines(tm), slaving away. I would come home from work, cook dinner for my family, do ( low impact ) housewife like chores, then sit in front of my home computer all evening doing a variety of tasks. All sedentary.

My good habit? Now every afternoon when I look at the little clock on my desktop and see it is 5 minutes to 5 pm...I get excited. I get to go to the park after work, I get to exercise. I've changed my routine, with the support of my family, to make time for exercise. To finally make time for me.

It didn't happen overnight. I started walking once or twice a week. First on weekends, when I have more personal time. Then a week or two later...I branched out to include a weekday. Slowly, over the following weeks, I added a day here and there. Now? I'm in the park every single day of the week. I've been there ( even for a short time ) on the of the days where it has topped 100 degrees here in my area. I've been there in a light rain, where previously I would have used the rain as an excuse not to go out. I've even been there as I've worked to heal a mild groin pull.

The point is...if you are motivated enough to make a change in your life, work to identify those small, specific habits that are holding you back from your ultimate goal. Work on the habits, one at a time.

My co-worker and I were talking about lifestyle changes - and her own significant weight loss over the past 2 years. She said something about willpower that struck me.

"Willpower is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets."

Breaking bad habits is a matter of willpower combined with repetitive motion. Of wanting a future goal more than you want satisfaction in the here and now. Of knowing certain negative attributes are holding you back from that future goal, from that full potential. It's the good habit of Clean Eating. It's the good habit of exercise. It's the good habit of loving yourself and the body you were born with.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

DIY Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt

It's said that most men find the scent of pumpkin pie spice an incredible aphrodisiac - and to be sure... when I wear my Demeter pumpkin pie spice perfume,  Darling Husband knows something is up.

He wanted some ice cream. I made him this frozen yogurt, and his toes nearly curled with delight.
*insert mental image of a rough and tough Marine squeeing*

Homemade Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt

32 oz Greek yogurt, vanilla flavor
1 cup pumpkin puree
2-3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened ( optional, but makes for a creamier end result )
2-3 tablespoons honey or stevia
2 tablespoons+  pumpkin pie spice ( add more or less depending on your needs to influence your man )

Mix everything together in a large mixing bowl until completely combined. Churn the mixture in an ice cream maker for a few minutes until it is a smooth, cool consistency. Alternatively, place the bowl in the freezer and stir mixture every half hour until it reaches desired consistency.

Thanks to for the picture and recipe which I tweaked per the comments and my CE needs. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

CrossFit Recipes Website: Paleo for the Clean Eater

I like to recommend websites as I come across them, and while this next one isn't Clean Eating - it is Clean Eating's cousin, Paleo.
( Remember, Paleo is essentially Clean Eating, but without dairy and grains Clean Eating Versus The Paleo Diet . )

CrossFit TBC Recipes has multiple recipes someone who is straddling the border between Clean Eating and Paleo ( like me right now! ) would find useful. Crossfit is an exercise system adopted by many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide. Hand in hand with exercises that replicate "real life movement" is an eating regimen that removes processed foods from the diet ( Sounds familiar, huh? ). The eating regimens most CrossFit folks adhere to? Yep, Clean Eating, followed closely by Paleo.

Artichoke Chili? Huh, I think I'm going to try that one.

No Bake Paleo Snack Bites? Sounds like a nice addition to my mid-morning or mid afternoon minimeal.

A lot of the dessert recipes hinge on almond meal / almond flour, so I'd suggest finding a reliable source for almond flour before anything else. Try your local health food store, or ask your grocery store to order in some for you. Most stores CAN order anything for you, with no extra ordering fee. You may have to pay in advance, though.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Clean Eating Banana Oatmeal Muffins

     2+ weeks ago, I decided to see if eating gluten free would have an impact on my health, nutrition, and weight loss...and I was startled to find out that yes indeed - eliminating gluten has helped me lose an additional 8.5 pounds. I'm really pleased! I figured being gluten free would be hard...but actually, it's really quite easy since with Clean Eating. For me, it has mainly been the elimination of bread and crackers from my daily consumption.

     I found this recipe for a Clean Eating ( and gluten free! ) banana oat muffin over at Keepin Up With the Joneses.Thanks so much for this great recipe and the picture, too!


*2 /1/2 cup oats (old fashioned kind, not quick cooking)
*1 single serving cup of plain low fat greek yogurt
*2 eggs
*3/4 cup sweetener - honey or 2 tbs stevia sweetener
*1 1/2 tsp baking powder
*1/2 tsp baking soda
*2 bananas

Optional: You can also add chopped blueberries or strawberries to the batter AFTER it has been in the blender. 

 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray tin with non-stick cooking spray or line 12 muffin tins with silicone or foil liners, (or just use a silicone muffin pan). ( Note: Paper liners seem to stick a lot to flourless muffins, so your best bet if you don't have silicone is to spray the muffin tin and go linerless. Don't use paper muffin cups! )
2. Place all of the ingredients, including bananas in a blender or food processor, and blend until oats are smooth. 
3. Divide batter among cupcake liners, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Maura's note - technically, oatmeal IS gluten free - but since most oatmeal is processed in factories where wheat is can have gluten in it. If you are on a strict gluten free diet, buy oatmeal labeled "gluten free", like Bob's Red Mill brand.